Recent Polling Data Suggest That U.S. Support for Israel Remains Strong

Examining a poll of Americans’ attitudes regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict taken near the end of last month, and comparing it to the results of other similar surveys, Victoria Coates concludes that reports of diminishing support for the Jewish state are highly exaggerated:

The [survey’s first] question was on general support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, and the results indicate that there is robust, bipartisan support for Israel in the survey sample. Forty percent of respondents are following the issue closely enough to have a strong opinion, which is highly unusual in international issues. Within this group, . . . 6.9 percent strongly oppose [the alliance] and 33.7 percent strongly support [it]. Republican support is predictably the strongest, with 70 percent of [Republican] respondents supporting the alliance either strongly or somewhat, with the majority of that group in the “strong” category. But even within the self-identifying liberal demographic, strong support for Israel does not dip below 24 percent.

Among Democrats more broadly, 65 percent support the relationship with Israel either strongly or somewhat. These are solid numbers for a country frequently portrayed in the U.S. media as polarizing, and suggest that what opposition to the relationship there is among the American people is localized to specific congressional districts, and [that such opposition] would not be a successful platform for a state- or nationwide election.

Coates also cautions against overinterpreting any particular set of data, noting that the past 70 years “have seen wide swings in American attitudes towards the Jewish state,” even as pro-Israel sentiment has proved durable in the long run. Rushing to the conclusion that “the relationship is doomed” based on short-term shifts in public opinion would be, in her evaluation, foolish.

Read more at Center for Security Policy

More about: U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security