June 17, 2024

What do Iranians think about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

What do Iranians think about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Iranians support Israel against terrorist groups Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PIJ

The Islamic Republic’s proxy war against Israel is well-known. Yet, less understood is the strong support for Israel among the Iranian people in its conflict with Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Lebanese Hezbollah. This paradoxical stance, puzzling to many observers, reveals a complex interplay of social and political factors. At its core, this support highlights a significant public sentiment against the Islamic Republic’s regional policies and proxy wars with Israel.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas and PIJ terrorists carried out a brutal attack against Israeli civilians, killing over 1,200, including infants, toddlers, and women, with expert sadism. They also took 150 civilians hostage, ranging from babies to Holocaust survivors in wheelchairs.

In response to this savage massacre, Israel initiated a counterattack against the terrorists to eliminate the terror groups. However, Israel’s retaliation drew global condemnation and incited violent actions by many Muslims against Jews in various countries, including the United States.

Surprisingly, many Iranians, both publicly and on social media, expressed sympathy and support for Israel and urged the Israeli government to eliminate Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad.

This raises the question of how the Iranian regime can sponsor terrorism against Israel while the Iranian people publicly support Israel and advocate for the elimination of groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, all of which are sponsored by the regime. This paradoxical stance reveals a complex interplay of social and political factors, which this article aims to explore.

First of all, majority of Iranians regard groups like Palestinian Hamas and PIJ, and Lebanese Hezbollah as sources of their country’s political isolation and economic hardship. To understand the origins of this perspective, it is imperative to explore the Iranian regime’s costly and irrational proxy wars against Israel.