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Poll shows gap between Republicans and Democrats in backing Israel in Gaza

JTA

November 20, 2012 | 9:37 am

Israeli border policemen guard during clashes with stone-throwers near the Gaza border on Nov. 20. Photo by Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

Israeli border policemen guard during clashes with stone-throwers near the Gaza border on Nov. 20. Photo by Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

A CNN poll showed a considerable gap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to backing Israel in the current Gaza conflict.

In the CNN poll published Monday, respondents were asked whether "Israel was justified or unjustified in taking military action against Hamas and the Palestinians in the area known as Gaza." Among Democrats, 40 percent said Israel was "justified," compared to 74 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.

In all, 57 percent of those polled said Israel was justified in launching the operation in the Gaza Strip. The poll, carried out by ORC International in 1,023 phone interviews from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Israel launched air and naval attacks on Gaza on Nov. 14 after an intensfication of rocket fire from Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.

Meanwhile in a Gallup poll, Americans cited keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon among the top three priorities of President Obama's second term.

Gallup asked respondents to rank 12 issues as "extremely," "very," "somewhat," "not too," and "not at all" important.

The top three ranked were taking "major steps to restore a strong economy and job market," with 95 percent of respondents ranking it as "extremely" or "very" important; taking "major steps to ensure the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare," ranked "extremely" or "very" important by 88 percent of respondents; and preventing "Iran from developing a nuclear weapon," cited by 79 percent of respondents as "extremely" or "very" important.

The rankings broke the same when respondents were identified as Democrats, Republicans and Independent, although the numbers were slightly different.

Gallup polled 1,009 adults by phone Nov. 9-12. The results have a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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