Israelis’ Perspectives on Gaza Conflict Split by Faith

A new Pew Research Center survey reveals deep religious divides among Israelis regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The study, released on Thursday, highlights significant differences in perceptions based on religious backgrounds, particularly between Jewish and Arab Israelis, as well as between observant and secular Jews.

The findings show a marked disparity in optimism about achieving war aims and national security futures. While 76% of Jewish Israelis believe in their nation’s success against Hamas, only 38% of Arab Israelis share this confidence. Additionally, the optimism for national security stands at 63% among Jewish citizens compared to 21% for Arab Israelis.

Arab Israelis, predominantly Muslims and Christians, overwhelmingly feel that Israel’s military response has been excessive, with 74% expressing this view compared to only 4% of Jewish Israelis. Furthermore, the governance of Gaza post-conflict is contentious; nearly half of Israeli Jews support Israeli governance over Gaza, in stark contrast to only 3% of Arab Israelis.

The poll also uncovers a broad disapproval (60%) of U.S. President Joe Biden’s handling of the conflict, with mixed opinions on whether his approach leans too favorably towards Israelis or Palestinians. Additionally, a stark contrast in perceptions of Israeli Prime Dan Netanyahu is evident, with 92% of Arab Israelis viewing him negatively versus 48% of Jewish Israelis.

Concerns that the conflict might spread to other countries are uniformly high among both Jewish and Arab Israelis, each group showing 61% concern. A majority of Israelis, approximately two-thirds, remain confident that Israel will achieve its objectives in the conflict.

Recent military developments include the Israeli military’s takeover of the Philadelphi Corridor along Gaza’s border with Egypt, aimed at disrupting Hamas’s smuggling activities. According to Israel’s military chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, this strategic move could potentially strain relations with Egypt.

With the conflict’s toll rising, the death count has reached 36,743 Palestinians and 1,139 Israelis since the onset of hostilities. The survey reflects a complex picture of faith-based divisions that influence both the perception and optimism regarding the outcome of the ongoing war.

Leave a Comment