One-in-three Americans think Israel is committing genocide in Gaza

One-in-three Americans think Israel is committing genocide in Gaza
35% of Americans say Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, a new poll has found, with young people and Democrats most likely to back the statement
3 min read
25 January, 2024
There have been large-scale protests in the US over Israel's war on Gaza [Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty]

One-in-three Americans believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, a new poll has found, but public opinion in the US on the war remains deeply divided.

An Economist/YouGov poll published on Wednesday found that 35 percent of adults in the US believe that Israel's military campaign against the Palestinians amounts to genocide.

A similar number, 36 percent, disagreed and another 29 percent said they were undecided on the matter.

The poll, conducted between 21 and 23 January, found big differences in opinion between different age groups and political affiliations.

Almost half of people aged 19 to 30 - 49 percent of them - said that Israel is committing genocide in Palestine.

The same percentage of Democrats agreed that genocide was being committed against Palestinians.

Republicans and older people were far more supportive of Israel's actions - 57 percent of Republicans said genocide is not happening in Gaza compared with 29 percent of Democrats.

Almost 26,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its war on the Palestinian territory on 7 October. Israel has committed indiscriminate bombings and field executions during their campaign, and has also desecrated cemeteries and tortured Palestinians detained in Gaza.

In the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October alone.

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Release of the poll's results came as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that it would rule on Friday on the case South Africa brought against Israel, accusing it of committing genocide in Gaza. Public hearings for the case were held earlier this month.

A group of South African lawyers said in January that they were preparing a case against the US and the UK for complicity in Israeli war crimes.

US politicians have largely condemned South Africa's case.

Earlier this week, more than 200 members of US Congress signed a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemning the case that they said was "grossly unfounded" and "perpetrates false and dangerous allegations against the Jewish state".

Despite the continued widespread support for Israel among US politicians, segments of the public have vocally opposed Israel's war on Gaza.

A poll, whose results were published last month, found that more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds in the US supported Hamas over Israel in the Gaza war. Support for the Palestinian group was far lower among older Americans, however.

There have been large-scale and high-profile protests in the US over the war. Protesters have called for an immediate end to the onslaught and for the US to halt its arms sales and other support for Israel.

There has been limited official opposition from the US towards some Israeli plans for Gaza, including the permanent displacement of Palestinians from the territory.