Harvard Caps/Harris Poll: Majority Say Hamas Responsible for Middle East Violence

a boy carries a toy gun in gaza city

Sixty percent of respondents to a Harvard Caps/Harris Poll say Hamas is to blame for the recent violence in the Middle East, The Hill reported Monday.

According to the survey of 1,945 registered voters taken May 19-20, 60 percent hold the terrorist organization Hamas at fault for the deadly rocket attacks and corresponding air strikes by Israel into the Gaza Strip taking place over 11 days.

The bloodshed translated into 248 dead, including 66 children, and more than 1,900 wounded in Palestine and an Israeli soldier and 12 civilians killed in Israel, according to the report.

Forty percent of respondents blamed Israel, according to the poll.

Both sides agreed to a cease-fire last week and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to visit the region and meet leaders on both sides of the conflict next week.

While the poll shows most Americans siding with Israel, a significant number are not backing the Jewish State in the recent conflict.

CNN reported last week that there were several attacks on Jewish people in US cities like New York and Los Angeles.

In New York, police arrested Waseem Awawdeh, 23, on several charges for allegedly punching, kicking, and pepper-spraying a 29-year-old Jewish man in Times Square on May 20, according to CNN.

That assault involved 5-6 men that yelled anti-Semitic statements at the man.

The New York Police Department told the news outlet it arrested Awawdeh on “several charges, including one hate crime assault.”

NYPD said the incident took place near an area in Times Square where pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators clashed following the announcement of the cease-fire.

The department said clashes throughout the city resulted in 26 arrests that night.

“I unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers, and we will not tolerate anti-Semitic violent gang harassment and intimidation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said May 21. “Those of all faiths, backgrounds and ethnicities must be able to walk the streets safely and free from harassment and violence.”

The divide was also notable in Washington, D.C., with President Joe Biden publicly acknowledging Israel’s right to defend itself from the Hamas rocket attacks, to Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., both Muslims, calling Israel “an apartheid” state.

Other Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., are questioning the need for the U.S. to send further funding to Israel.

The violence began May 10 as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan was winding down and Israelis and Palestinians clashed near a Jerusalem Mosque.

Hamas launched more than 2,000 rockets into Israel and the Israeli military responded by bombing 820 “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip and killing 130 Hamas targets, according to the story.

Most of the Hamas rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” which gets substantial funding and technical support from the United States.

No margin of error for the poll is available.


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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.