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Disapproval of Israeli Action in Gaza Eases Slightly in U.S.

Disapproval of Israeli Action in Gaza Eases Slightly in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans continue to be more likely to oppose than support Israel’s military action in Gaza, but public backing has increased slightly since Gallup’s prior reading in March. The 42% of U.S. adults who currently approve of the military campaign is up six percentage points, while the 48% who now disapprove is down seven points.


These findings are from a June 3-23 poll, which began after Israel’s military campaign in the Gazan city of Rafah drew international criticism, and optimism about a potential hostage and cease-fire deal had faded. The poll was completed before an announcement that there had been significant new progress in reaching a cease-fire deal in the conflict.

The latest increase in Americans’ approval of Israel’s military action is largely the result of a 12-point increase among Republicans, to 76%, which is higher than the group’s initial reading in the month after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. Meanwhile, Democrats’ and independents’ support in the June poll edged up five points each -- to 23% and 34%, respectively, with majorities of each group still expressing disapproval.

In Gallup’s initial November reading, 50% of Americans approved of Israel’s military action in response to the surprise attack by Hamas, and 45% disapproved. Republicans (71%) were much more supportive of Israel than Democrats (36%) and independents (47%) were, and they have continued to be in the ensuing months.

As the war progressed, the United Nations and others in the international community raised deep concern about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In March, U.S. adults’ approval of Israel’s efforts fell to 36%, with 55% disapproving. Although all party groups showed declines in approval of Israel’s efforts, these were larger among Democrats and independents (-18 points each) than Republicans (-7 points).


Adults 55 and older (51%) and those aged 35 to 54 (43%) are more likely than their younger counterparts under 35 (27%) to approve of Israel’s military action.

More Americans View Netanyahu Unfavorably Than Favorably

Since 1997, Gallup has asked Americans for their views on Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served as Israel’s prime minister (from 1996-1999, 2009-June 2021 and since November 2022) and now leads the most conservative government in the country's history. Until December 2023, Netanyahu had been viewed more positively than negatively by Americans in all readings except one, in 1997, when many were not familiar with him.

Netanyahu’s unfavorable rating of 47% last December far outpaced his 33% favorable rating, and the current poll shows the continuation of that sharp reversal in the trend, with 45% of Americans now viewing him unfavorably and 35% favorably.


Republicans have consistently been more positive than Democrats or independents about Netanyahu. Republicans’ latest favorable rating of him, 66%, is up 11 points since December and is the second highest for the group (the high was 73% in 2017). In contrast, the 12% of Democrats who view Netanyahu favorably is a new low dating back to 1999, and the 30% of independents with the same view ties that group’s record low.


This low rating from rank-and-file Democrats mirrors what many Democratic leaders have voiced. Although the U.S. has continued to support Israel, President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional Democrats have indicated concern about Israel’s actions on a number of occasions.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress later this month, and the prime minister is expected to meet with Biden when he comes to the U.S. Schumer, who in March publicly called for Netanyahu to hold new elections, has said he will attend the address out of respect for the broader U.S.-Israel relationship. However, some Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have said they will not attend the address in protest.


More Americans disapprove of Israel’s military action in Gaza than approve, and their opinions of Netanyahu are also negative on balance. Republicans remain much more likely than Democrats and independents to approve of Israel’s military action and to view Netanyahu favorably, consistent with the party groups’ broader opinions of Israel and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With a possible cease-fire deal and Netanyahu’s U.S. visit looming, Americans’ views of Israel and its leader could shift again in the coming weeks.

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