On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched an attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 hostages. Since the initial attack, Israel has launched its own offensive, leaving more than 23,210 casualties and nearly 60,000 injured in its wake.
G7 countries have been closely monitoring the Israel-Hamas conflict. On November 7, 2023, G7 leaders released a collective statement condemning Hamas and supporting Israel’s right to self-defense. The statement also called for humanitarian pauses in Israel’s shelling of Gaza. As the conflict has continued to evolve, G7 powers have been working with Israel to end the war rapidly, according to Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.
In times of complexity, accessing public opinion in real-time is paramount as policymakers look to strike a balance between appropriately answering the challenges posed by the International System and maintaining public support domestically. This is especially true for leaders facing presidential elections this year, such as those in the United States.
RIWI used web-intercept technology to randomly and anonymously survey almost 2300 regular citizens across the G7 countries. Data was collected from December 18, 2023 to December 28, 2023 to understand what they think about the war between Israel and Hamas and whether they support their country’s involvement in the conflict. Responses were provided in real-time to our clients with a full database encompassing various political and demographic variables (e.g. age, gender, income, city, party affiliation, among others).
Most respondents from G7 countries disagree or strongly disagree with their country supporting Israel in its armed conflict against Hamas. At the same time, 62% of respondents support a call for a ceasefire and de-escalation of the conflict.
Results by Country
Perceptions of the conflict are more nuanced by country. While most respondents from the US, the United Kingdom, and France agree with their countries’ military support of Israel in the conflict against Hamas; most citizens from Canada, Germany, Italy, and Japan disagree with military support.
Across all countries, most respondents agree or strongly agree that their country should call for a ceasefire and a de-escalation of the conflict in Gaza. Italy (67%), Germany (66%), and France (65%) hold the highest support rates for ceasefire and a de-escalation. This data highlights a discrepancy between the collective public opinion of G7 citizens and their countries’ leaders internationally, at least when it comes to voting in the Security Council and the UN’s General Assembly. In December 2023, UNGA demanded a ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza, but the US was one of the ten countries that voted against this resolution, while the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy abstained from the vote. Canada, France, and Japan voted in favor of the resolution.
Views on the War in Ukraine
Amidst the conflict in Gaza, various analysts discussed the implications of the current conflict for Ukraine. A recurrent hypothesis proposes that the current conflict in the Middle East may redirect global attention away from the Ukraine-Russia war as well as valuable military, humanitarian and economic resources for Ukraine. As of November 2023, G7 leaders have committed to maintaining the current levels of support for the Eastern European country, although recent reports have shown that new aid has dropped to its lowest level since January 2022. This backdrop aligns with the UN’s appeal to member states to “not forget Ukraine” amidst competition from other urgent humanitarian crises around the world.
Most respondents across the G7 countries indicated that they would disagree with the reallocation of resources from Ukraine to the Israel-Hamas conflict if their country had to decide between the two conflicts. The highest support rates for the Ukraine conflict come from Germany, with a 73% rejection rate, followed by France (63%), and Canada (58%). The US population is highly divided on the topic of redirecting aid from Ukraine, with 50% agreeing with a potential reallocation, and 50% disagreeing.
Views on the Israel/Hamas Conflict and Political Affiliation in the US
As the US moves towards its 60th quadrennial presidential election in early November, public attention has begun to focus on electors’ views of the Biden administration and public support for their potential challenger, Donald Trump.
RIWI data show that there is no significant difference between Biden and Trump supporters when it comes to their approval of the US supporting Israel in its war against Hamas. 68% of Trump’s potential voters agree with the statement, “the United States should support Israel in its armed conflict against Hamas,” while the agreement rate is 67% amongst Biden’s cohort.
When it comes to support for a ceasefire and a call for a de-escalation of the conflict, the scenario is more nuanced. While the majority of the population in the US supports a ceasefire (58%), Biden’s potential voters are more likely to support a ceasefire than Trump’s. 76% of those who said they would vote for Biden if presidential elections were to happen today support a call for a ceasefire while this rate is only 46% amongst Trump’s supporters.
Lastly, Trump’s potential electors are more likely to support a reallocation of resources from Ukraine to Israel than Biden’s are. 54% of Trump’s supporters indicated that they agree or strongly agree with the sentence, “if the United States has to choose, it should prioritize resources and humanitarian aid to Israel/Palestine Conflict away from Ukraine,” while the same approval rate is 46% among Biden’s cohort.
For more information about this data or the survey methodology, send us an email at email@example.com.
This analysis was conducted by Luan Borges. Luan is an expert in foreign affairs and policy research and a project manager at RIWI. Luan holds a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, with expertise in Latin American issues and research methods.