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YouGov USA

February 2-9, 2024

The Details

1. Most Americans still care quite deeply about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • Two thirds of Americans (64%) care a great deal or a fair amount, this level has remained constant since October 2023.

  • 1 in 5 Americans don’t care very much, and 16% don’t care at all or aren’t sure how much they care about it.

  • Slightly fewer Democrats and Republicans now compared to last year, but more Independents, say that the conflict matters to them a great deal.

2. Differently from the British public (see the latest YouGov UK poll we analyzed), Americans’ outlook on the future of the conflict is largely negative.

  • Most Americans (59%) say they do not think there will ever be peace in the Middle East, 17% think there will be, and a quarter (24%) say they’re not sure.

  • Amongst Gen Z’ers, there’s more optimism about the possibility of peace in the region, with 35% saying they think there will be, 37% saying there won’t, and 29% who aren’t sure.

  • While the share of Americans who say the conflict will never be resolved has steadily declined since 2006, the share of adults who say the opposite has fluctuated more: more Americans were showing a positive outlook in 2009, only for the share to decline again after the October 7, 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel.

3. The more the conflict in the Middle East goes on, the more Americans are willing to take a side.

  • In 2003, Americans overwhelmingly (65%) blamed both sides for the failure to reach peace, a quarter blamed the Palestinians and only 6% blamed the Israelis. Twenty years later, less than half of Americans (41%) blame both sides, 29% blame the Palestinians and 15% blame the Israelis.

  • Democrats and adults under 30 are more likely than Republicans and older Americans to say the Israelis are to blame for the failure to end the conflict. 51% of Republicans and 40% of Americans 65 and older say the Palestinians are to blame.

4. A series of questions hidden right at the end of the poll (and not included in the press release) reveals tremendous insights on how Americans view the situation. Here's a summary:

  • 34% of Americans agree that being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic, 27% aren’t sure whether that’s true, and 39% disagree.

  • 30% of Americans feel that the Palestinians’ cause is the cause of oppressed people everywhere, 38% strongly disagree with that statement, and 31% aren’t sure.

  • Only 13% say they can’t be friends with someone who supports Israel, 68% strongly disagree with that statement, and 19% aren’t sure. Conversely, 23% feel they can’t be friends with someone who supports Palestine, 54% strongly disagree with that statement and 23% aren’t sure.

  • Only 47% of Americans can’t be friends with someone who supports Hamas, 31% disagree with that statement, and 22% aren’t sure.

  • 14% won’t do business with someone who supports Israel, 66% said they will, and 20% aren’t sure. Conversely, 23% won’t do business with someone who supports Palestine, 53% disagree and 24% aren’t sure. Again, only 48% say they won’t do business with someone who supports Hamas, 31% disagree and 22% don’t know.

  • 27% of Americans agree that Israel is an apartheid state, 28% disagree and 45% aren’t sure.

  • 30% think that being pro-Palestinian is being pro-terrorist, 44% disagree and 26% aren’t sure.

  • 41% of Americans believe Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza, compared to 70% who believe Hamas have done so in Israel. 31% don’t think Israel committed war crimes, compared to 9% who don’t think that about Hamas.

  • 54% of Americans think Hamas is responsible for what has happened to the Palestinians in Gaza, 22% disagree and 24% don’t know.

  • 56% of Americans think Hamas has genocidal intentions towards Jews, compared to 29% who think that Israel has genocidal intentions towards the Palestinians. 16% disagree that Hamas has genocidal intentions, compared to 42% who disagree that Israel has such intentions.

  • Respondents were asked if they think Israel is committing genocide against Palestinian civilians. 36% said yes, 36% said no, and 28% said they weren’t sure. When the same question was asked but posed as Israel taking actions that are intended to destroy all Palestinian people, 31% said yes, 40% said no and 29% said they weren’t sure. Of those who responded yes to either way the question was presented, 31% described Israel’s actions as committing genocide, and 36% described them as intended to destroy all Palestinian people.

  • The same question (in two forms) was asked about Hamas’ intentions for the Israeli people. Roughly the same number of respondents (54% and 56%, respectively) said Hamas was committing genocide and intending to destroy all Israelis. 18% and 16%, respectively, of Americans said Hamas had no such intention. In both cases, just under 30% were not sure.

5. While Americans are narrowly split on which side of the conflict gets more sympathy worldwide, more say that the press has been too critical in the way it has covered the actions of Israel than say the same about the press coverage of Hamas' actions.

  • When asked – even if they don’t know much about it – what their impressions are about whether countries are more sympathetic to the Israeli or the Palestinian people or if it’s roughly balanced, a larger share of Americans now than at the start of the war say the world is more sympathetic to the Palestinians than to the Israelis.

  • Republicans are more likely than Democrats and Independents to agree that the press has been too harsh in its coverage of Israel.

Key Takeaways

Despite the conflict raging for over 20 years, and Americans losing optimism about the prospect of peace in the region, they still care quite a bit about the conflict and are following closely. Compare this to the Russia-Ukraine war, which started just two years ago and note how American interest in it is already waning. Younger Americans, unsurprisingly, feel that Israel is more to blame for the failure to reach peace than their older counterparts.

Americans aren’t blind to the fact that the press is more critical of Israel and that the Palestinians are getting more sympathy from the world than the Israelis are. As previous polls have indicated, Republicans are far more on Israel’s side than Democrats – this is important as the elections loom closer. 

The most important information in this poll was hidden! We always check the source of polls, not just the press release, and this time we found a treasure trove of data about how Americans really feel about the situation.


We recommend a review of point no.4 in The Details section. Importantly:

  • Both sides are investing an awful lot of effort in messaging that isn’t hitting home yet. The jury is still out on the claim by the Jewish community and Israel that being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic, but the same can be said for the Palestinians’ claims that their cause is the cause of all oppressed people, and that Israel is an apartheid state.

  • Americans haven’t turned their backs on those who support Israel. Most Americans overwhelmingly disagree that they can’t be friends with people who support Israel.

  • But Americans aren’t viewing Hamas negatively enough, and we need to work on that. Only 47% of Americans can’t be friends with someone who supports Hamas. This is a shockingly low percentage, considering that Hamas is as bad as ISIS (perhaps this message isn’t hitting home?).

  • A very important piece of data for the business sector is that only 14% won’t do business with someone who supports Israel, and 48% won’t do business with people who support Hamas. This data should be shared with non-Jewish businesspeople who fear publicly expressing their opinions about the war. The percentage who won’t do business with people who support Hamas is not high enough, but should be used to bring pressure to bear on businesspeople who don’t condone Hamas’ actions. In other words – rather than asking businesspeople to publicly support Israel (because it won’t do them as much harm as they might think), another way of getting their endorsement is by showing them that condemning Hamas bears no risk for them.

  • We need to dumb our messaging down. In other words, use language like “Chanting “from the river to the sea” means you agree that all Jews in the region should be destroyed”, is more effective than saying: “Chanting “from the river to the sea” means your’e supporting the genocide of all Jewish people in the region."


The poll was conducted among 2,000 U.S. adult citizens on two separate surveys from February 2 - 5, 2024 and February 6 - 9, 2024, with each survey taken by 1,000 U.S. adult citizens.

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