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US lawmakers divert from public opinion on Israel-Gaza ceasefire

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A recent survey by Data for Progress reveals a significant gap between US lawmakers and voters regarding support for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. While 61% of likely US voters endorse a permanent ceasefire and de-escalation, only 11% of Congress members have echoed this call. Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib questions the disconnect, emphasizing that 76% of Democrat voters support a ceasefire.

Tlaib, the sole Palestinian-American Congress member, criticized the White House for condemning lawmakers advocating a ceasefire. The survey, polling over 1,000 likely US voters, highlights concerns about increased hatred toward Jewish, Arab, and Muslim communities in the US since the conflict began.

The US House’s recent move equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism drew criticism from Palestinian rights advocates who argue it jeopardizes free speech and distracts from the war. The survey indicates a shift in public priorities, with approximately half favoring diplomatic efforts and 30% emphasizing humanitarian assistance over military aid to Israel.

Despite the US government’s substantial military support for Israel, the Biden administration announced visa restrictions on Israeli settlers deemed “extremist” in undermining peace in the West Bank.

While considered a shift, some experts, like Professor Youcef Bouandel, argue it falls short. Ariel Gold, Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, views it as “virtue signaling,” questioning its effectiveness given the dual citizenship status of many settlers.

Gallup’s earlier poll found 45% of Americans disapprove of Israel’s military action in Gaza, with disapproval rates higher among Democrats, people of color, and young adults. Only 32% approved of President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas situation, according to Gallup.

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