By Cal Braid
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Aurora Strategy Global (ASG) released its commissioned poll results from an Oct. 20 – 24 survey of Canadians’ attitudes about the Hamas-Israel conflict. The poll engaged 1,052 Canadians, who were demographically balanced by age, gender, and province of residence. The following are ASG’s key findings from their Nov. 6 news release, but the full report on their website reveals a number of other relevant trends among the poll participants.
Key findings (verbatim):
* The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are aware of the conflict (93 per cent) with the majority following it very or somewhat closely (60 per cent). About one third are not following it closely.
* As to who is responsible for the current conflict, 41 per cent blame Hamas while 12 per cent blame Israel according to the survey results.
* Of note is that nearly two thirds of Canadians have not changed their opinion of Israel, while only less than a third had a worse opinion of Israel, and 12 per cent say their view of Israel improved. As a result of the Hamas attack 46 per cent of Canadians say their view of Hamas and the leadership of the Palestinians in Gaza has become less supportive.
* Most Canadians (60 per cent) agree that Israel should invade Gaza and remove the Hamas leadership.
* Three quarters of Canadians do not believe that Hamas was justified in attacking Israel as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state.
* More than two thirds of Canadians (71 per cent) believe Iran should be held accountable for the actions of Hamas against Israel.
* Canadians (57 per cent) are expressing their concern over the pro-Hamas protest taking place in Canada.
* Almost half of Canadians (46 per cent) feel that antisemitism is on the rise in Canada.
Elsewhere in ASG’s survey findings, they observed that Canadians have a general attitude of neutrality in many aspects of world affairs. In the poll they also noted that, “Nearly half of Canadians surveyed (45 per cent) say they have a ‘neutral’ opinion towards Israel, with 35 per cent holding a positive view and 20 per cent negative.
The report also found that only 24 per cent of Canadians identified as feeling well-informed about the conflict. Additionally, Conservatives were found to be much more likely to be following the conflict, with Bloc Quebecois voters second in line. In contrast, “Liberal Party supporters are the most likely to say that Canada should strongly stand with Israel. Fully 68 per cent of Liberals hold this view. This compares with 60 per cent of Conservatives and 51 per cent for the NDP.”
In another poll question, ASG quantified Canadians’ favorability towards political figures, and found that the most popular political figure in Canada is…Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He was found to have 59 per cent favourable votes and only 21 per cent unfavourable. Only 28 per cent of Canadians hold a positive view towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, versus 34 per cent with a negative view. “The remainder either have no opinion or have not heard of him,” said the report. By way of comparison, 37 per cent of Canadians hold a positive view of Justin Trudeau, and 57 per cent hold a negative view.”