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Only 40 Percent of Democrats 'Think the Israeli Actions in Gaza Are Justified'

11:58 AM, Nov 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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A new poll from CNN finds that most American support for Israel's retaliatory action in Gaza targeting Hamas.

"A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified," CNN reports.

CNN's poll director, Keating Holland, finds that there is a great discrepancy in which Americans think the action is justified, however. Of particular note is that only about 40 percent of Democrats believe the self-defense measures are "justified."

"Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don't necessarily feel that way," Holland tells CNN. "Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel's military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans."

According to the survey, nearly six in ten say their sympathies are with the Israelis, with 13% saying they side more with the Palestinians and 11% saying their sympathies are with neither side in the conflict.

"That's nothing new," added Holland. "The number of Americans who sympathize more with the Palestinians has never been higher than 18% since the question was first asked in 1988. Sympathies for Israel have sometimes dipped below 50%, but have been over that mark for the past eight years."

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