FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Although some left-leaning organizations, especially on college campuses, have gained attention by supporting Palestine and even Hamas after Hamas’ terrorist attack Saturday against Israel, most Americans say they see Hamas as the aggressor and think the U.S. should side with the Jewish state, according to a new poll.
Most Americans polled (53%) said the United States should support Israel in the conflict, while a quarter (25%) said America should support “neither” Hamas nor Israel, and another 16% said they weren’t sure. Only 6% said the U.S. should support the Palestinian groups.
Most Americans (69%) identified “the Palestinian group Hamas” as the party responsible for starting “the most recent round of fighting with a surprise attack.” Almost a quarter (23%) said they weren’t sure, while 8% blamed Israel for the surprise attack.
Pollsters asked: “In fact, it was the Palestinian group Hamas who attacked Israel. How important is it for the United States to help Israel defend itself?”
The vast majority of Americans (68%) said it was either “very important” (38%) or “somewhat important” (30%) for the U.S. to help Israel defend itself. Only 16% said it was either “not very important” (11%) or “not at all important” (5%) to help Israel. Another 16% said they weren’t sure.
Respondents also said it was “very likely” (32%) or “somewhat likely” (31%) that “Iran was heavily involved in planning and supporting the attack on Israel.” Ten percent said Iran’s involvement was either “not very likely” (7%) or “not at all likely” (3%), while 27% said they weren’t sure.
Pollsters noted that “in exchange for the release of five U.S. prisoners, $6 billion was released to Iran.”
“Did the release of that money play a significant role in launching the attack on Israel?” they asked.
Many respondents (42%) said “yes,” while only 17% said “no.” Another 41% said they were unsure.
The poll, which Scott Rasmussen conducted for RMG Research on Oct. 9 and 10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%. Rasmussen said he polled 1,000 registered voters online, lightly weighting the sample by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party.
Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on the last day of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, as well as the Sabbath day of rest and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The terrorists slaughtered over 1,200 Israelis, including about 250 at a music festival, and kidnapped more than 120.
The U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday that 22 Americans had died in the attack.
“This morning, on Shabbat and a holiday, Hamas invaded Israeli territory and murdered innocent citizens, including children and the elderly,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement posted Saturday on X (formerly Twitter). “Hamas has started a brutal and evil war.”
“They didn’t go for military targets. They went for civilians. They went for grandmothers, children, babies,” Israel Defense Forces’ international spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in a video message Sunday. “The numbers are unprecedented.”
“The style of attack is barbaric,” Hecht added. “In a way, this is our 9/11.”
Hamas terrorists shot civilians at bus stops, on roads, and in their cars, photos show, according to Israeli experts who spoke to the Times of Israel. Videos reportedly show Israeli civilians, including women and children, being abducted and taken to Gaza. At least two videos raised concerns of sexual assault or rape.
An Israel Defense Forces commander told journalists that soldiers found beheaded babies in the carnage left by Hamas terrorists.
Israeli forces have launched airstrikes into Gaza, preparing for an assault to root out Hamas in response to the horrific terrorist incursion.
President Joe Biden has stood unequivocally with Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas attack, although critics claimed that Biden’s negotiations with Iran—including the $6 billion prisoner swap—emboldened Tehran, which supports and finances Hamas.
Some Americans seemingly celebrated the attack, which Israelis compared to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the United States.
Some chapters of the American group Black Lives Matter have expressed support for Hamas after the attacks. Black Lives Matter Chicago posted an image of a paratrooper with a Palestinian flag captioned “I stand with Palestine.” The image appeared to endorse the Hamas terrorists, who used paragliders to fly into Israel for the attack.
Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian group in the U.S. that reportedly has harassed Jews on college campuses, organized a national “day of resistance” for Thursday. The group’s document doesn’t call for “peaceful protests” and mentions peace only in the context of condemning the Jewish state.
“The occupation, the day to day and the existence of Israel is not peaceful; there is no ‘maintaining the peace’ with a violent settler state,” it reads.
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