The Scary Generation Gap Views On Israel vs. Hamas
By PNW StaffOctober 27, 2023
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A collection of recent polling done by various respected organizations on the differing views of Americans over the Israel/Hamas War that will shock you:
While America strongly supports Israel and is horrified by the slaughter of more than 1,400 Jews, our college campuses and new polling reveal just how far off-course a generation of kids has drifted as they grew up being fed by social media and parented by our institutions.
This month's Harvard CAPS / Harris poll shows how wide the divide has grown. Asked whether they support Israel or Hamas, those over 65 years of age sided with Israel, 95% to 5%. The generations who in their day protested the Vietnam War and lived through the Watergate scandal now nearly universally side with Israel.
Some of them may remember the 1973 War when Israel was attacked by thousands of tanks in a surprise multi-country invasion, as well as the subsequent attempts made by many American presidents to find a peace that would both recognize Israel and give Palestinians a state of their own. To them, the idea that they would side with an Islamic fundamentalist group bent on wiping out Jews and Israel is an absurdity.
Now let's look at the views of those ages 18 to 24. They support Israel over Hamas by the thinnest of margins, 52/48. These students were mostly born after 9/11 and have no memory of when America was attacked. They missed Schindler's List and have little or no connection to World War II and the Holocaust. They simply have little to no knowledge about the extermination of 6 million Jews in gas chambers and the post-war return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland.
The Hamas attack and its slaughter of civilians by the bushel provided a moral brightline that exposes the moral decay on our campuses.
Asked the most basic facts about the controversy today, many of these young people fail the test. When asked if Hamas killed 1,400 innocent civilians, 32% of this college-age group say it never happened.
A majority of 53% believe that Israel, not Hamas, has been ruling Gaza. And 45% believe that Israel bombed the Gaza hospital, despite all of the clear evidence to the contrary. Young people generally consume their news online, and the results underscore how easily our young can be misled.
We have allowed them to be schooled by professors who have filled their heads with the benefits of socialism, about how America is a structurally racist and defective society, and how free expression of opposing beliefs is "violence."
Although the United States has designated Hamas a terrorist organization since 1997, 10 years after Hamas's founding, 22% of voters (and 36% of 18- to 24-year-olds) did not think that Washington had designated Hamas as such.
Voters said that the Israel-Hamas war was the 10th most important issue facing the country today. Price increases, inflation and immigration topped that list.
Some 70% of voters said it was watching the conflict closely (31% very closely), with 51% of those ages 18 to 24 following it closely.
Although voters said overwhelmingly (58% to 42%) that students who blame Israel for the attacks are condoning violence and terrorism, a majority (55%) said law firms should still hire students who supported Hamas.
69% say that Iran was behind the attacks. (About 46% of 18- to 24-year-olds said Iran was behind the attacks.)
Sixty-three percent of voters still believe in a two-state solution, while 15% overall (and 26% of 18- to 24-year-olds) said that Israel should "be ended and given to Hamas and the Palestinians."
Robby Starbuck, a conservative influencer, noted that more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds believe that Hamas is justified, including in killing children. "If they're in power one day, I wonder what they'd feel justified doing to people who oppose them here?" he wrote of that age group.
More than half (57.5%) of Muslim American respondents to a new survey agreed that Hamas was at least somewhat justified in attacking Israel "as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state."
That group was about evenly divided between those who somewhat agreed (29.3%) and those who strongly agreed (28.2%), while 88.5% of Jewish Americans said that Hamas was not even somewhat justified.
The Anti-Defamation League has released a new report documenting a sizable increase this month in crimes and protests targeting Jews.
"Preliminary data from ADL Center on Extremism indicates that reported incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault increased by 388 percent over the same period last year," the organization said before laying out the numbers.
A map of the incidents shows clusters in various states and regions. In California, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles featured high levels of anti-Israel rallies, some with support for terrorism. Numerous protests also took place around Detroit, near the state's 12th District represented by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
High levels of anti-Israel protests--some with overt advocacy for Hamas and outright hatred towards Jews--also took place in New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, which was marked by anti-Jewish and anti-Israel vandalism and harassment. Indiana and Ohio saw six and eight protests, respectively.