Thursday 7 March 2024

Poll: Two-thirds of American voters want U.S. to push for PERMANENT CEASEFIRE in Gaza

 A poll has found that roughly two-thirds of American voters want the U.S. to push for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The survey conducted by Data for Progress (DFP) polled more than 1,200 likely voters from Feb. 22 to 26. It found that among overall respondents, 67 percent said they endorse Washington initiative to call for a lasting Gaza ceasefire and a broader de-escalation of violence. The same sentiment was present long party lines with 77 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents, and 56 percent of Republicans in favor.

Furthermore, the poll delved into additional dimensions by querying respondents about their stance on supporting a ceasefire coupled with de-escalation measures and the "release of Israeli hostages from Gaza." The inclusion of the hostage release component elevated overall support to 74 percent.

A nuanced exploration of respondents' views on the timing of a permanent ceasefire revealed that 50 percent believe the U.S. should call for an immediate ceasefire. In contrast, 35 percent contend that such a call should occur after Hamas is "defeated." Meanwhile, 15 percent expressed uncertainty on the matter.

"The support for a permanent ceasefire increased by six points since DFP asked the question in a poll that was conducted at the end of November. Throughout the conflict, polling has consistently shown the majority of Americans favor a ceasefire," pointed out. However, the Biden administration has consistently gone against the grain by vetoing calls for a pause to hostilities.  

The ongoing dynamics between Israel and Hamas – formally the Islamic Resistance Movement –add complexity to the situation. The militant group has proposed a permanent ceasefire in exchange for the release of all remaining hostages it abducted during the Oct. 7 attack, which Tel Aviv rejected.

Hamas recently suggested a 135-day ceasefire, aiming for a comprehensive settlement within that timeframe. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed these proposals as "delusional."

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is advocating for a negotiated deal involving a six-week truce and the release of 40 Israeli hostages. However, Netanyahu has signaled that Israel will resume its military operations in Gaza once the proposed ceasefire concludes.

The grim toll of the conflict is evident in the staggering statistics, with nearly 30,000 Palestinians losing their lives and over 69,000 sustaining injuries in the backdrop of U.S.-backed Israeli actions. About two-thirds of these casualties are comprised of women and children, underscoring the profound human impact of the protracted conflict.

Fewer lawmakers support a ceasefire

The same DFP poll from November 2023 found that support for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict is significantly lower among members of Congress. While 61 percent of likely U.S. voters who responded to the survey support a permanent ceasefire and de-escalation, only 11 percent of lawmakers have done so.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, highlighted this disparity. She questioned why so few government officials align with the public's views, and criticized the White House for labeling her colleagues who called for a ceasefire as "repugnant."

Moreover, the DFP's November 2023 survey raised concerns about the rise in hate towards Jewish communities, Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. since the conflict began. The House of Representatives' recent measure equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism was met with criticism from Palestinian rights advocates, who deemed it "dangerous" for potentially restricting free speech and diverting attention from the war.

When asked about the U.S. government's foreign policy approach to the crisis, around half of the respondents prioritized diplomatic efforts, while approximately 30 percent emphasized humanitarian assistance. Notably, the poll found that fewer than 25 percent of voters supported sending additional military aid and weapons to Israel, and only 11 percent considered sending U.S. troops to assist Israeli forces in Gaza a priority.

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