CNN Poll: Most Americans Support Israel's Gaza Campaign

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A pro-Israel rally at Times Square in New York, July 20, 2014.Credit: Reuters

A majority of Americans are sympathetic to Israel's position in the Gaza conflict, CNN found in a poll of adults conducted Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20 – but the network also found that support has been waning since earlier this year. It also found a clear divide by party, with Republicans approving of Israel's actions against Hamas by an overwhelming majority, while less than half of Democrats approve.

Whatever their political bent, opinions seem quite clear, with few undecided. The CNN/ORC International poll, released Monday, found that 57% of respondents said Israel's actions in Operation Protective Edge are justified, while over a third said they were unjustified, CNN reports.

While 43 percent found Israel to be using the "right" amount of force in the struggle with Hamas, nearly 40 percent thought it is using too much.

CNN polling chief Keating Holland notes that support in the United States for Israel is firm: A 2012 poll found the same 57 percent supporting Israel's actions in the last struggle with Hamas, Operation Cast Lead.

Republicans are clearer supporters of Israel, with 73 percent approving of Israel's actions in Gaza, compared with 45 percent of Democrats and 56 percent among independents.

The figures could still change: On Monday, Democratic icon Hillary Clinton spoke out in Israel's favor, repeatedly stressing during a Q&A session at Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco that Israel was "provoked" by Hamas into the current conflict, Politico reports.

As for the waning support, a February poll found that 72 percent of Americans support Israel. That figure has dropped to 60 percent – but that's still three times the support for the Palestinian Authority, of which only 20 percent of Americans have a positive view.

Meanwhile, demonstrations for and against Israel's actions in Gaza have been spreading, most lately to Australia and Japan, where 500 people held a silent demonstration. Some protests have taken a violent turn, notably in London, and in Paris – where synagogues and Jewish stores were attacked, looted and burned. Other violent protests erupted in Turkey and elsewhere. There have also been numerous demonstrations in solidarity with Israel, notably in the United States and in London.

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A protest held in Haifa against the Israeli operation in Gaza, July 19, 2014.Credit: Rami Shllush
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Demonstrators protesting in Paris to denounce the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, July 11, 2014. Credit: AFP
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Arab-American demonstrators march down Woodward Avenue waving U.S and Palestinian flags as they protest against Israeli military strikes on Gaza, in downtown Detroit, Michigan July 13, 2014. Credit: Reuters

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