Poll Reveals Gen Z Voters Misinformed About Israel, Palestine, and Hamas

By Nancy Flory Published on May 2, 2024

A recent poll reveals that Gen Z voters embrace anti-Israel ideology more than any previous generation. They overwhelmingly believe Israel’s military retaliation against the terrorist group Hamas is unjust, that Israel does not have a right to exist as a country, and that Hamas is not a terrorist group. Where do they get their information and why do these ideas appeal to them?

Focus on the Family Vice President of Communications Paul Batura said this alarming trend can be traced to antisemitism in many schools and on social media.

“It’s difficult for a young person to be immersed in the sewage of such hatred, especially at such an impressionable and formative age,” he said, “and not have the propaganda shape their developing worldview.”

The Gen Z Poll

The poll, conducted by RMG Research, March 20-21, 2024, in partnership with Summit Ministries, an organization that equips and supports Gen Z to live out their faith, revealed that 42% of Gen Z voters believe Israel’s campaign against Hamas is unjust; 33% said Israel does not have a right to exist as a nation; and nearly 40% don’t believe Hamas is a terrorist group.

Polls generally underrepresent Gen Zers, said Summit Ministries President Jeff Myers, but this one encompassed almost almost 1,500 participants — 495 of whom were between the ages of 18 and 24. “Young adults seem to be governed by this oppressor-versus-oppressed mindset,” he said. “We’ve heard about this for a long time. We’ve sort of suspected that professors are teaching students this Marxist framework of the world.

“Gen Z really bought it, and they view Israel as the oppressor because it is a wealthier place than Gaza. They also view it as the oppressor because it has more military equipment and the support of the United States and Gaza does not. And they believe that the United States of America is a bad place, that our influence in the world is bad.”

Gen Z Hasn’t Picked up on Hamas’s PR Campaign

While schools indoctrinate students, Myers said, there’s also an American tendency to root for the underdog — and that’s another reason why students instinctively feel sorry for the people of Gaza. But “We don’t understand the relationship between Gaza and Hamas, the group that rules Hamas, this apocalyptic rape-and-death cult that attacked Israel on October 7,” he said. “And that is part of the problem, that Hamas governs the entire agenda. On October 7, they launched not only a military operation, but a PR operation.”

That PR campaign was mostly conducted through social media.

“This is something that Gen Zers just haven’t picked up on because on social media, Hamas completely dominates, Myers said. “The truth is, on the social media platforms, it is only one-sided. It is all about Hamas. Everything is completely controlled by specific Hamas messaging.”

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The best way to fight indoctrination through schools, said Batura, is better education — and for Christians, that means biblical literacy as well as historical literacy.

“Education is one of the best-known antidotes to ignorance,” he said. “Open the Old Testament before opening The New York Times. Wise moms and dads read from their Bibles before doing so from a newspaper or online news site. When it comes to cultivating love, respect, and appreciation for Israel, our children should know that the Jewish people are God’s chosen ones. He chose the Holy Land for Christ’s earthly ministry — and promised it to the Jewish people.”

He added that parents should teach the history of the Jewish people, like the Holocaust. “Teaching truth is a powerful tool when combating lies.”

What Parents Need to Know

Myers says that parents and kids can work to find good information online. Meanwhile, his own book, Should Christians Support Israel? will be released shortly. Sign up to get information about its release date.

Parents should know that antisemitism is incompatible with Christianity. “It’s a toxic assault on the very nature of God,” Batura says. “Ignoring or appeasing the oppressors will not make them go away. We must confront and resist the hate, and model love and appreciation for our Jewish friends.”  

Myers agrees. “We want Gen Z to be proud to be Americans — not because they’re proud of everything that America has ever done, but because this is a place that gives them an opportunity to come outside of themselves and be a blessing and bring flourishing to other people. Self-absorption is never going to solve our problems. And that’s a message Gen Z needs to hear.”

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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