(DCWatchdog.com) – Arab and Muslim Americans, along with their allies, are slamming Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. They are demanding he take stronger steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, warning that his lack of action would force them to sit out the 2024 election.
A significant number of Arab Americans are disappointed because Biden has not advocated for a humanitarian ceasefire. This comes at a time when Palestinians are being affected by Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip, a sentiment echoed by a range of individuals, including academics, activists, community members, and even those within the administration.
This growing discontent might jeopardize Biden’s chances of being reelected. In key states like Michigan, Arab Americans make up 5% of the voting population, and their presence is also notable in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where they account for 1.7% to 2% of voters, according to Jim Zogby, head of the Arab American Institute.
Although Arab Americans condemned the attacks by Hamas that resulted in the death of 1,400 Israeli civilians, they feel Israel’s retaliation was excessive. They are also concerned about Biden’s reluctance to criticize Israel’s actions, which raises questions about his commitment to a foreign policy rooted in human rights.
Abdullah Hammoud, the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan—a city with a significant Muslim population—expressed his dismay at Biden’s stance. He lamented the lack of attention to the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the potential threats to their necessities like water and electricity.
Linda Sarsour, a prominent figure in the Arab American community in New York, emphasized the need for political donations to be conditional on policy changes. Many are urging Biden to intervene and persuade Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza, which have resulted in a high number of Palestinian casualties.
Biden’s proposal to increase U.S. aid to Israel by over $14 billion has also been criticized. Sa’ed Atshan, an academic, contrasted this with the relatively smaller amount proposed as humanitarian aid for the Palestinians.
Interestingly, even former President Barack Obama, who generally supports Biden’s policies, has publicly called for more aid to be directed to Gaza.
While Biden has appointed a diverse range of officials, including Arab Americans and Muslims, these appointments have not translated into significant policy shifts. Some of these appointees are concerned about potential backlash and the safety of their relatives in the region.
In response to the criticism, the White House has initiated dialogues with community leaders and officials. However, Josh Paul, a long-serving State Department official, recently resigned. He felt that the U.S. was supporting Israel without considering the humanitarian consequences for the people of Gaza.