Majority of Canadians want ‘neutral’ or no role in Israel-Hamas conflict, says Ipsos – National

Most Canadians believe Canada should play a neutral role or stay away completely from the Israel-Hamas conflict, now in its second month, a new poll suggests.

Four in ten Canadians (41%) said in an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News and released Friday that the country should be a “neutral mediator” in the conflict. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) said Canada should not get involved at all.

While 18 percent said Canada should support Israel, a smaller proportion (9 percent) said the country should support the Palestinians.

The vote took place between November 14 and 16, before the announcement of a temporary ceasefire agreed by Israel and Hamas and which is expected to come into force on Friday. Under the deal, the two sides agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities and for Hamas to release 50 Israeli hostages taken during the deadly October 7 attack in exchange for prisoners held in Israel.

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Darrell Bricker, global CEO of public affairs at Ipsos, said the poll reveals “a lot of sympathy” for the hostages and for people suffering because of the conflict.

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“4 days is a bandage on a huge gaping wound”: temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas arouses anger

“I think Canadians are not looking at it from a geopolitical perspective,” Bricker said in an interview with Global News.

“They’re looking at it through the lens of a humanitarian crisis and regardless of how we got here, there’s a lot of suffering happening and that’s what really got Canadians’ attention.” »

Israeli officials say the October 7 attack killed 1,200 people in Israel. Gaza health authorities, run by Hamas, say 13,300 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes in retaliation.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza as well as the fate of some 250 hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas are causing growing concern.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has repeatedly called for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting, last week urged the Israeli government to exercise “maximum restraint” in its military operations in and around Gaza. large hospital in the area.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying that Israel was working to minimize civilian casualties, but that Hamas was entrenching itself in the civilian population.

Ottawa, however, did not go so far as to call for a ceasefire, which a majority of Canadians (81 percent) in the Ipsos poll said should be implemented immediately.

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Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believe there should be a ceasefire, but with the condition that Hamas release the hostages.

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Most Canadians (87 percent) also said Gaza civilians should be allowed to flee to a safe country.

“(Canadians) want people to be able to get out of danger, they want these hostages released and they want peace to return,” Bricker said.

A majority of the population (84%) is worried about an escalation of conflict in the region, according to the Ipsos poll.

These are some of the conclusions of an Ipsos survey carried out between November 14 and 16, 2023 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure that the composition of the sample reflected that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The accuracy of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadians aged 18 and over had been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.

– with files from The Associated Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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