Poll: 72% Support Humanitarian Pause; 20% Favor Unconditional Ceasefire

A large majority of Americans support short-term humanitarian pauses in Israel's fight against Hamas to allow for hostage releases, according to a Jewish Federations of North America survey. The poll found that 72% of the general public said they supported such pauses, as did 69% of Jewish Americans.

But when it came to a longer-term cease-fire, only 20% of the general population and 16% of American Jews believed both sides should immediately and unconditionally cease hostilities. Significant majorities (60% of the general population and 64% of American Jews) cited the release of all hostages held by Hamas as a precondition for a long-term ceasefire, while 51% and 58%, respectively, called for Hamas to be removed from power as a precondition. 61% of American Jews and 46% of the general public said that Hamas's disarmament was a precondition for a long-term ceasefire.

"It's clear that the vast majority of Americans understand that an end to the fighting must be tied to releasing the hostages and making Israel safer by removing Hamas from power," said Mimi Kravetz, Chief Impact and Growth Officer for Jewish Federations of North America. "Understanding these fundamental and widely held views is critical for our policymakers as they work to represent their communities."
The above findings were from a survey conducted November 19-20, 2023, of 1,290 adults including 843 Jewish adults. You can view the top-line results of the survey here
That survey reached out to respondents of a previous Jewish Federations survey, fielded from October 29th to November 1st. Previously unreleased data from the initial survey, below, showed broad support for Israel in the war, as well as the significant emotional impact on the Jewish American community.
According to that data, a plurality of Americans (39%) and half of Jewish Americans (50%) see Hamas as deserving the greatest blame for obstructing peace, as well as other Middle Eastern nations such as Iran (10% and 13%, respectively). Only 15% of the general population thought Israel was most to blame, a figure that fell to 4% among Jewish Americans.
A strong 76% of the general population and an overwhelming 91% of American Jews say that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. Only 13% of all Americans and 4% of American Jews said it does not (the rest said they weren't sure or did not know).
The war between Israel and Hamas has deeply affected the Jewish American community, 88% of whom say they are emotionally affected by the war, including 57% who are affected "a great deal."
The conflict hits close to home; roughly half of American Jews say they are 2 degrees of separation or less from someone killed, hurt, or displaced by the conflict. Some 30% of Jewish Americans say the conflict has made it harder to share their views with non-Jewish friends.
The poll also found that the top terms Americans associated with Hamas's brutal attack on October 7th were "terrorism," "barbaric," "massacre," and "war crimes," while the top terms associated with Israel's response were "self-defense" and "justified."
This text-based survey was conducted between October 29th and November 1st, fielded by Benenson Strategy Group among a random sample of US Adults and Jewish Americans using Civis Analytics data set. The sample included 3,777 Americans, including 2,199 Jewish Americans. It had a margin of error of ± 1.59% for the general population and ± 2.09% for the Jewish population.
See the toplines of that survey here, and read about the methodology here.