Aaron Blake parses a new Pew poll asking Americans who’s to blame for the war in Gaza:
While all age groups north of 30 years old clearly blame Hamas more than Israel for the current violence, young adults buck the trend in a big way. Among 18 to 29-year olds, 29 percent blame Israel more for the current wave of violence, while 21 percent blame Hamas. Young people are more likely to blame Israel than are Democrats, who blame Hamas more by a 29-26 margin. Even liberal Democrats are split 30-30. The only other major demographic groups who blame Israel more than Hamas are African Americans and Hispanics.
The poll echoes a Gallup survey from last week. Gallup asked Americans whether they thought Israel’s recent actions were justified. While older Americans clearly sided with Israel, 18 to 29-year olds said by a two-to-one margin (51-25) that its actions were unjustified. No other group was as strongly opposed to Israel’s actions.
Ron Fournier warns Israel of what polls like these portend:
[A] generation of global citizens is rising to power without the Israeli narrative embedded so firmly in its consciousness. The so-called Arab Spring and the United States’ diminished influence abroad has created a new set of filters through which young people will consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a viewpoint that might be less inclined to favor the Jewish state. …
Again, none of this is intended to suggest that Israel should bow to Hamas’s demands. Israelis must defend themselves. Neither is this a case for or against Israel completing its current mission to shutter terrorists’ tunnels and silence the rockets. Rather, it’s a warning that Israel’s decades-old public relations and political dominance is coming to an end unless the nation’s leaders change the narrative and reset their strategic position with moderate Palestinians.