code pink protest war ukraine capitol building
© Tasos Katopodis / Getty ImagesAn anti-war rally led by Code Pink outside the US Capitol in March, 2022
Americans would overwhelmingly support ceasefires both in the Ukraine conflict and in Gaza according to the results of an Economist/YouGov poll released on Wednesday. The survey also found that US residents trust Israel more than Russia not to target civilians during the hostilities.


Comment: Which only goes to show the depth of the mind programming of the average American


More than seven in ten Americans (72%) either strongly or somewhat support a truce in the Russia-Ukraine fighting, the survey showed, with the "strong" option picked by 48% of those polled. Just 9% opposed a ceasefire to some degree.

The desire to end hostilities was less overwhelming for the Israeli-Hamas war, but nevertheless 63% of Americans favored it, while 20% opposed such an outcome.

People were also asked about their perception of the military tactics used by Russia and Israel, and whether their attacks were aimed at military targets rather than civilians. Both countries claim they have never deliberately struck civilians.

In the Russian case, "some" or "half" of attacks have a military purpose, said 28% and 20% of people respectively. The same answers were given about Israel by 14% and 13% of respondents. Just 5% said all Russian attacks were aimed at military targets, compared to 18% for Israel.

For context, the UN estimated this week that over 10,000 civilians, including more than 560 children have been killed in the Ukraine conflict since February 2022, without attributing them to either side of the conflict.

Over 13,000 civilians have been killed in Gaza since the October 7 attack on Israel by the militant group Hamas, including more than 5,500 children, according to Palestinian officials. UN Secretary-General António Guterres cited the death toll on Monday, when he condemned the "unparalleled and unprecedented" level of violence that civilians face in the enclave.

The Israeli government has blamed all civilian casualties on Hamas, accusing the group of using Palestinians as human shields. But some former and serving Israeli officials suggested that civilians were legitimate targets, because, as President Itshak Herzog claimed in mid-October, "it is an entire nation out there that is responsible" for the Hamas incursion.

Asked about which side was winning in the Ukraine conflict, 37% of Americans said neither, while 26% were not sure. Israel is beating Hamas in Gaza, according to 43% of the people polled. A majority of 64% sympathized with Ukraine rather than Russia, while 39% sided with the Israelis rather than the Palestinians.