We've recently - March 2024 - seen numerous Western government leaders, normally pro-Israel, express alarm at the food situation in Gaza.

The World Bank (no, not one of those mistrusted-by-Israel UN organs), has also weighed in with some serious alarm.

With more than half the population of Gaza on the brink of famine—including children and the elderly—the World Bank Group calls for urgent action to save lives. We join the international community in calling for immediate, free, and unimpeded access of medical supplies, food and life-essential services through all available means at speed and scale to the people of Gaza.”

Most of those statements tiptoe around blaming Israel directly, but many of them request unimpeded aid access from the Israeli government.

With that in mind, what is the state of the (Jewish) * domestic Israeli opposition to Israeli government policies concerning Gaza aid?

I could see three broad domestic concerns about this war.

  1. support, or opposition, to the wider military operations to remove Hamas

  2. concern with how the government is getting the hostages back

  3. opposition to aid policies.

Really, I am only concerned with 3. here. There is a traditional pro-peace constituency that can be counted on to generally oppose wars. But I am wondering if there are any influential, non-pacifist, pushback about - again, alleged - Israeli shortcomings in allowing food aid.

Either for ethical reasons, or just out of self-interested concern at the risk of Israel's losing support from Western countries?

Any large scale protests, prominent politicians or even media voicing concerns about #3?

p.s. I recall one comment on a previous post of mine that there were mass protests in Israel, but did those concern the food emergency specifically?

* Arab Israelis' positions with regards to this war are more complex and nuanced than many would assume, but this question is really only asking about Jewish Israeli public opinion. Like that of pacifists, Arab-Israeli opposition would seem a lot less exceptional.

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    The accusation of interference of aid shipments comes from Israels policy of checking that the supplies actually contain aid not weapons. This is totally understandable and reasonable but the issues arise in defining what counts as aid and what doesn't, how thorough the checking should be and how long it could take. So it is more a matter of degree than a yes/no question but I don't have a good alternative to the word 'alleged' which to me implies that one side is just wrong.
    – quarague
    Commented Apr 22 at 6:11
  • 3
    @quarague that is the explanation giving by the Israeli government. It could be the honest reason for the controls or an excuse for an undeclared blockade, it could be implemented reasonably or unreasonably (either by malice or incompetence). Just because the stated objective is reasonable does not put the Israeli government actions beyond scrutiny).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Apr 22 at 14:27
  • 1
    @quarague No, "alleged" is not implying wrong behavior. Alleged means that accusations have been made but that the facts have not been proven. It's frequently used whenever strong claims are made but uncertainty remains. Or in the context of a court trial. It is very much the word to use, until the facts are better known. Commented Apr 22 at 14:50
  • These "allegations" were but private opinions of a handful of officials, known for their dislike of Israel. I doubt that Israeli public cares much every time an unsubstantiated claim about Israel is made.
    – Morisco
    Commented May 5 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


This news item from Mar 04 brings the opinion of an Israeli businesswoman who calls for "flooding Gaza with food".

Although she is a single citizen, who does not necessarily represent public opinion in Israel, her claim has apparently convinced the Israeli government, as in Mar 13, the Israeli military spokesman said that 'Israel will try to "flood" the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid from a variety of entry points'.

This change of policy has indeed affected the situation in Gaza, as in Mar 31 the food prices in the Gaza strip have substantially decreased: 'Gazan merchants explained, "an average family can now buy products for a hearty meal with 100 shekels, compared to 200 shekels required for such a meal just a few days ago."'

In Apr 10, Israel's defence minister re-iterated the plan to 'flood Gaza with aid'.

To conclude: sending humanitarian aid to Gaza is, currently, no longer an opposition stance - it is the official Israeli policy.

EDIT: there is an Israel opposition group that tries to block the aid trucks from entering Gaza. They often clash with the Israeli police, which now puts a lot of effort in securing the aid trucks. Hebrew information is available in this Wikipedia page as well as in this news item. Their stated goal is to prevent aid trucks from entering Gaza until all the hostages held by Hamas are released.

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    50% off sounds like a good deal... until you take into account that many of the displaced people have no finances left after having their homes blown up, family members killed, and communications cut off. So I guess the discount is helpful for the lucky few who made it out carrying a lot of cash. Realistically, what portion of refugees is that, I wonder?
    – Mentalist
    Commented Apr 25 at 1:26
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    @Mentalist I don't know. I brought this fact to show that the Israeli policy to "flood Gaza with food" is starting to have an effect. Commented Apr 26 at 10:11

We've recently - March 2024 - seen numerous Western government leaders, normally pro-Israel, express alarm at the food situation in Gaza.

The Israeli starvation tactics in Gaza, the 35,000 deaths mostly women and children and the Israeli propensity to bomb the United Nations aid convoys all have become charged political grass roots issues globally. That has not had any effect on the ground yet, and it's rather unclear whether it will. Israel is a sophisticated player in global politics and so far has resisted any change, believing they can weather the storm until the world gets distracted by the next crisis.

What is the state of domestic Israeli opposition to the - alleged - Israeli interference to aid supply in Gaza?

Israel has a very diverse political environment. That Netanyahu has been able to maintain office off and on, for so long, is a testament to his boldness and political abilities; rather than an indication of popular consensus on his leadership. There was a time between 2021 and 2022 for instance where Israel had 4 governments. These governments Began and Ended with Netanyahu.

Right now it is widely believed that Netanyahu's political career is over the moment there is a permanent cease fire. This is because a large number of Israeli's believe Netanyahu's leadership was responsible for the Hamas attack. Likewise there is a large number of Israeli's who believe Netanyahu's subsequent response has made Hamas stronger. Former Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz seems to be the heir apparent.

1.) support, or opposition, to the wider military operations to remove Hamas.

Removing Hamas from Gaza was never a practical goal. Israel had occupied Gaza for decades before and never pacified it. Nobody understands that better than the Israelis. The military operation was always about collective punishment. It's basically all Israel can do to hold Hamas responsible, is punish all the Palestinians.

2.) concern with how the government is getting the hostages back

I don't think there is much light between the opposition and Netanyahu on negotiating for the Hostages. There is no good solution their, and erring on the side of not rewarding terrorism has been supported by most Israeli governments for decades. Israel will give up prisoners, but hostage taking is not a very successful technique for establishing real change with Israel. At least historically, it never has been.

3.) opposition to aid policies.

Again hard to know. Israel's electorate is conservative when it comes to security, necessarily so. Quite liberal otherwise. One would not expect change on the security front. It is frankly unlikely that Israel will be comfortable in changing anything unless change is politically necessary and so far it's really not. Domestically the only thing that unites the broad majority of Israeli's is opposition to Netanyahu. Globally Israel is taking some heat for Genocide, but it is far from the existential threat required to force Israel's hand for real change. President Biden who really has the strongest hand to deal with the Israelis has decided not to confront Israel meaningfully. He hasn't re-evaluated his positions nor his support. Which means grass root protests is still the only avenue to effect real change. The Grass roots is itself far from unified on this issue presently. So expect no change other than Netanyahu leaving office. Make no mistake Netanyahu has been an obstacle to peace in the region for 3 decades. Getting rid of him is something, but in his 30 years in and out of the PM's office he and his supporters have pretty much destroyed all the peace efforts which once seemed to hold so much promise.

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    I am not downvoting, but this long post barely gets around to trying to answer the question - not before soapboxing on the way there - and basically can be summarized to "Again hard to know.". I asked specifically about protests/pushbacks/criticisms about specifically the food and aid issue, not a re-exposition of the pros and cons of Israeli democracy and/or their response to 10/7. Commented Apr 24 at 20:03

Let me just quote a few headlines from the Israeli mainstream left-wing daily Haaretz (Israeli equivalent of NYT):
March 26: Analysis | Inside Israel's Disturbing Denial of Starvation in Gaza
April 3: Opinion | There's Hunger in Gaza – Even if There's Food
April 7: Opinion | We Israelis Are All Complicit in the Starvation of Civilians in Gaza

In other words, the Israeli public opinion and media are not very different from those elsewhere in the west, despite a popular lately tendency to dismiss any information coming from Israel, as if it were a totalitarian state with government-controlled media.

Remark: What could be more interesting is the uneven coverage of Gaza famine in the Middle Eastern media.

  • Upvoted, but I guess you couldn't resist taking a snipe at "popular tendencies". Doesn't seem to add that much to the answer. Commented Apr 24 at 20:10
  • Could you either substantiate the remark or drop it? It really hurts the quality of the answer, being unconnected and ill-defined.
    – Jontia
    Commented Apr 25 at 6:57
  • "Haaretz" is the last media outlet that can be called mainstream. He is considered an extreme leftist Commented May 14 at 21:17

According to this (MARCH 22, 2024) NPR article, rather limited:

INSKEEP: I recognize we're in a world where everybody has their own sources and to some extent their own view of reality, so how does the Israeli public view hunger in Gaza?

ESTRIN: I've been speaking about that with Israelis along the Gaza border this week, and I heard a range of reactions from flat out denial to people saying, I have no sympathy for anyone hungry in Gaza after the October 7 attack. A common response I've heard is Hamas is stealing the food.

A former senior official on military law told me Israel, quote, "cannot dodge responsibility." He said starvation is a war crime. And wherever the military has conquered Gaza, it has a responsibility in that area to make sure civilians are fed. But you are hearing very few prominent Israeli voices saying this kind of thing out loud. There was a centrist politician who said Israel was starving Gaza, and she faced such a huge backlash that she had to walk it back. And this week, a leading Arab lawmaker in Israel, Ayman Odeh, was speaking about this in parliament. And this is what happened.

ESTRIN: He was saying there, there's slaughter and there's starvation in Gaza. And he was actually dragged off the podium.

Jerusalem Post covered Ayman Oden's removal.

p.s. I'd be more interested in who the "centrist politician" was, but haven't much luck finding that out.

Update May 8, 2024 - court case brought by 5 human rights groups

(May 4th) Israeli rights groups tell High Court government is not meeting Gaza aid obligations | The Times of Israel

Five Israeli human rights groups that took Israel to court over restrictions on aid to Gaza said on Friday that the state’s insistence that it has met its obligations was “incomprehensible.”

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