Poll: 51% of U.K. Voters Think Israel Used Excessive Force in Gaza

Poll results also show that 41 percent say their opinion of Israel has dropped during Operation Protective Edge.

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Haaretz
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A Gaza war protest in London, July 26, 2014.
A Gaza war protest in London, July 26, 2014. Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

The recent hostilities in Gaza have significantly worsened Israel's standing in the United Kingdom, with 41 percent of voters saying their opinion of Israel had dropped and a majority – 51 percent – saying that Israel acted in a disproportionate manner during the conflict.

A poll published Tuesday in the Guardian newspaper and conducted by Guardian/ICM also found that the British public is more opposed to Israel than it is to the Palestinians.

The paper said that the poll results "lend support to the arguments" made by senior Foreign Office minister Lady Warsi, who resigned from the government last week. Warsi criticized Prime Minister David Cameron for what she called his "morally indefensible" failure to describe the Israeli action as disproportionate.

According to the poll 19 percent of respondents thought Israel had acted proportionately in retaliating to Hamas rocket fire with air and artillery strikes while 29 percent of those polled did not know.

The conflict has hardened opinions against Israel, the poll found, though it also reflected unease about the actions of Hamas.

A fifth of those questioned – 21% – said their opinion of the Palestinians had worsened, while just 9% said their opinion had improved. A clear majority of 60 percent said their opinion of the Palestinians had not changed while 9 percent did not know.

By comparison, 41 percent of respondents said their opinion of Israel had worsened during the conflict, 48 percent said their opinion of Israel had remained the same, only 2 percent said their opinion had improved and 8 percent said they did not know.

ICM Research, a member of the British Polling Council, interviewed a random sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ on 8-10 August 2014. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results were weighted to the profile of all adults.

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