One in ten young Americans aged 18 to 29 has a positive view of terrorist organization Hamas, despite the group’s murderous attack on Israel last week that killed more than 1,300 men women and children.
Although almost two thirds of all Americans take a negative view of Iran-backed Hamas, in an exclusive DailyMail.com poll, that number drops to 40 per cent among Gen Z and young Millennials.
At the same time they are the least likely age group to hold a positive view of Israel.
The results reflect how college campuses have become a flashpoint for protests against the conflict.
Controversy erupted at Harvard, for example, where the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee said Israel was ‘entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,’ even as evidence emerged that Hamas terrorist gunmen had murdered children.
Young people are less likely to take a negative view of Hamas, according to our poll
Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee triggered fury last week by saying Israel was ‘entirely responsible for all unfolding violence’ despite Hamas killing women and children
J.L. Partners polled 1000 people for DailyMail.com to get a snapshot of American attitudes to Israel, Hamas and the unfolding conflict.
The results show how decades of U.S. support for Israel cannot be taken for granted with a younger generation.
James Johnson, co-founder of J.L.Partners, said: ‘Only four in ten 18-29 year old Americans have a negative view of Hamas. Yes, you read that right.
‘Throughout our poll, Gen Z are the misfits of American public opinion on Israel. They are the only group that have a negative view of Israel, they are most likely to give Iran the benefit of the doubt for responsibility for the attack, they support anti-Israel protests over the last week, and they are the only group to say any Israeli military response would be unreasonable.
‘These people are not just a statistical quirk: they are the generation in our universities, the generation undertaking their careers, and the generation that will be the future leaders of tomorrow.’
So although 63 percent of all Americans say they have a negative view of Hamas, the figure is much lower among the youngest group surveyed even though the poll ran from Tuesday to Thursday last week, at a time when bloody images of the group’s trail of destruction were prominently in the news.
In the same way, young people were the only ones to say it was right to hold anti-Israel protests, by a margin of 41 percent to 23 percent.
In contrast, when all ages were taken together, Americans believed two to one that it was wrong to hold such protests.
Hamas was founded in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian refugee living in Gaza, during the first intifada, or uprising, which was marked by widespread protests against Israel’s occupation.
J.L. Partners polled 1000 Americans on October 10-12 for their views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict in the wake of the deadly Hamas attack that killed at least 1,300 people
Pro-Palestine students march on the campus of the University of Massachusetts
Demonstrators take part in an “Emergency Rally: Stand with Palestinians Under Siege in Gaza,” amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Saturday
Its members are sworn to annihilate Israel and the group has been responsible for suicide bombings and other deadly attacks on civilians and Israeli soldiers.
But nothing compares with the operation launched last Saturday morning, when thousands of gunmen poured out of Gaza.
The world reacted in horror at stories of women and children being taken hostage, and entire families gunned down.
Israel is now massing forces around the territory ahead of an expected ground invasion to destroy Hamas.
Americans overwhelmingly backed the plan in our poll, by a margin of two to one, but 18-29 year olds came out against it (27 percent to 49 percent.)
That reflects their overall view on Israel. Some 24 percent hold a positive view of the Jewish state, while 32 say they hold a negative view.
That compares with an overall favorable view among all Americans of 46 percent to 18 percent.
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Israel has kept up an aerial bombardment as it prepares for an expected ground invasion to destroy Hamas
Bodies waiting for burial in Gaza City after Israeli airstrikes
Republicans are also much more likely to view Israel favorably than Democrats.
The results add data to the displays at campuses around the country that have angered Jewish communities.
At the University of Washington last week, video footage captured several Jewish students in tears as they pleaded with an administrator to put a stop to a pro-Palestinian rally, Students taking part appeared to condone violence against Israel and the Jewish people.
‘They want our people dead. They want us killed,’ sobbed one student to an administrator who appears to be listening, but indicating that there is nothing he can do.
‘How are you allowing this? Why aren’t you putting a stop to this?’ she asked through uncontrollable tears. ‘Please end it. Please,’ she begged.
The event at the campus’ red square had been advertised by a radical student group who said their goal was to ‘uplift the just Palestinian resistance’ and ‘condemn the settler colonial state of Israel.’