Relatives of Palestinians who were killed in an Israeli attack mourn

Relatives of Palestinians who were killed in an Israeli attack mourn as they take bodies from the morgue of Al Merouani Field Hospital to be buried in Rafah, Gaza on May 7, 2024.

(Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Majority of Democratic Voters Believe Israel's US-Backed Gaza Assault Is 'Genocide': Poll

"The Democratic establishment is dysfunctionally out of touch with its voters on this issue," said one strategist.

A day after U.S. President Joe Biden commemorated the Holocaust, speaking about Americans' "obligation to learn the lessons of history" to ensure another mass slaughter of a religious or ethnic group never takes place, new polling showed the majority of U.S. voters whose support Biden is counting on in November believe Israel—with U.S. backing—is now committing genocide.

Journalist Mehdi Hasan's new media organization, Zeteo, partnered with progressive think tank Data for Progress to poll 1,265 U.S. voters from April 26-29, as Israel's ground invasion of Rafah loomed, threatening more than 1 million Palestinians in Gaza who have been forcibly displaced since October.

The poll released Wednesday found that 56% of Democratic voters believe Israel is committing a genocide against Palestinians in the enclave, where in addition to constant bombings and ground attacks, residents have faced Israel's blockade on nearly all humanitarian aid. The blockade has pushed northern Gaza into famine and is causing acute food insecurity among the entire population.

Nearly 40% of all voters believe Israel is committing a genocide, and 7 in 10 support a permanent cease-fire.

More than 50% of voters said Israel's full-scale assault on Gaza, where 2.3 million Palestinians live, has been ineffective at bringing the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 to safety.

Fifty-four percent said they support suspending all U.S. arms sales to Israel until it stops blocking American humanitarian aid from entering Gaza. Such a suspension would be in accordance with Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Israel and the U.S. have repeatedly claimed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is taking steps to protect the lives of civilians—even as the world has learned of mass graves found with the bodies of Palestinian women and children, some with their hands tied behind their backs. In April, Israeli journalist Yuval Abraham of +972 Magazine reported that military officials have permitted up to 100 civilian deaths for every Hamas member killed, and that the IDF has targeted Hamas fighters in their homes instead of at military outposts.

The Zeteo/Data for Progress poll was released more than four months after the International Court of Justice announced an interim ruling that Israel is "plausibly" committing genocide, which came after South Africa brought its case to the United Nations court.

South African attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi gave a 22-minute speech during the hearing, cataloging the numerous genocidal statements made by top Israeli officials since October, up to that point. Last week, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the "total annihilation" of Gaza cities including Rafah.

The poll was also released as mass protests continued on college campuses across the U.S., with police aggressively cracking down at many schools as they ignore attacks on students by pro-Israel mobs, as in the case of University of California, Los Angeles last week.

A separate poll released Wednesday by USA Today and Suffolk University found that Democratic voters are split in their views of the movement. Thirty percent supported the protests, while 39% agreed with their demands but questioned some of their tactics. Two-thirds of respondents said they feared more violent confrontations would arise from the protests.

The Data for Progress survey is the latest sign that Biden, who signed a foreign aid package including $17 billion in additional military aid for Israel last month, faces widespread discontent among the coalition of voters that supported him in 2020. In January, The Economist and YouGov found that a full 50% of people who voted for him believed Israel was committing genocide.

More than 100,000 Democratic primary voters in Michigan—which Biden won by just 150,000 votes in 2020—voted for "uncommitted" on their ballots in February, hoping to send the message to the president that U.S. support for Israel must end. Similar results were seen in primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington state.

Strategist Nadia Rahman said the poll shows the Democratic establishment is "dysfunctionally out of touch with its voters on this issue."

"This is some of the clearest data yet that there's a massive disconnect between the media and what's happening on the ground," said journalist Ed Oswald. "And why yes, Biden's re-election is in big trouble."

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