Fri. May 24th, 2024

Muslim Americans who soured on Biden see Israel aid package as further betrayal

By 37ci3 Apr21,2024



WASHINGTON – “Furious,” “point of no return” and “absolute disaster” are how some Muslim American organizers have described the reactions to the protests. Aid package to Israel It goes through Congress for President Joe Biden to sign into law.

Many Americans were Muslim already angry with the Biden administration for his work Israel-Hamas warWith Activists Organizing to Vote Democrats”without obligation“Rather than supporting the president in the primaries held in some states this year.

For several activists and leaders of prominent Muslim American organizations, Biden’s $26 billion in aid to Israel reaffirms their view of the November election: They cannot support Biden for a second term.

Ahead of the House’s vote on Saturday to pass an aid package to Israel, American Muslim organizations urged voters to contact members of Congress to urge them to vote against the aid. Ultimately, it passed 366-58, with 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans voting against the aid and seven abstentions.

If Biden signs the aid package to Israel as he intends, “this heartless decision could mark a turning point in the White House’s relationship with the American Muslim community and other Americans who oppose the genocide in Gaza,” said the Council. .

“The administration is at an all-time low in its relationship with the American Muslim community,” McCaw said.

For others, it is too late.

Osama Abu Irshaid, executive director of Americans for Justice in Palestine, said that the rift between the president and Muslim American voters is unlikely to prevent “the president from undoing what has been done in Gaza over the past six months.”

Abu Irshaid, who lives in Virginia, voted for Biden in 2020, but does not plan to vote for either Biden or former President Donald Trump in November.

More than 33 thousand people were killed in Gaza the beginning of the warThis was reported by the Ministry of Health of Gaza. According to the Israeli government, about 1,200 people were killed in Israel during the October 7 attack by Hamas, and more than 240 people were taken hostage. More than 100 hostages remain in Gaza it is not clear how many are alive

The aid package, which will be sent to the Senate for approval next week, will significantly increase US support for Israel. buyename Since the start of the war with Hamas, it has sent weapons to the country. There have been democratic deputies increasingly critical Arms support to Israel. Earlier this month, more than three members of Congress, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – He signed a letter of request from the White House “reconsider Your recent decision to authorize the delivery of a new weapons package to Israel.”

Progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., was among the lawmakers who voted against aid to Israel on Friday. He said he and his colleagues were working to “make sure we don’t send more weapons” to Israel as part of the aid package.

“Just because we give permission doesn’t mean it’s going to be shipped right away,” he said.

In a statement after the vote, Biden praised the House’s passage and called on the Senate to “quickly send this package to my desk so I can sign it into law.”

“This package will provide critical support to Israel and Ukraine; provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Sudan, Haiti and other places affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world; and strengthen security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.” the president said in his speech statement.

In a close election, anger over Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war could be key in states the president won by narrow margins in 2020.

Biden won the state by nearly 154,000 votes in 2020, sweeping Michigan, which has a large Arab-American population. In 2016, Trump won the state by nearly 11,000 votes. But during the 2024 presidential election, more than 100,000 Michiganders abstained from voting in protest.

But the relatively small number of undelivered delegates — just 0.008% of Democratic delegates awarded to date — points to uncertainty about the movement’s impact on the November general election. Although Biden has more than 3,000 delegates, only 26 are designated as “non-threatened.”

Biden won Arizona in 2020 by just over 10,000 votes.

Ahmad Ewaisha, chairman of the Arizona Muslim Alliance, said he is “very excited” for Biden in 2020. He now serves as the co-chairman of the Biden rejection campaign in the crucial state. Ewaisha said she was “absolutely worried” about Trump, adding that she would “never, ever support Trump.”

Still, he said he wanted to vote against Biden as punishment for the president’s policies on Israel and Gaza.

“The President believes that making your voice heard and participating in our democracy is central to who we are as Americans,” a Biden campaign official said in a statement.

“He shares the goal of ending the violence and establishing a just, lasting peace in the Middle East,” he said. “He works tirelessly for it.”

Separately, the White House official pointed to the administration’s numerous meetings with state, local and interfaith leaders, as well as outreach to the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities.

There are also officials from the Biden administration he traveled Michigan and Illinois to meet with Arab American and Muslim community leaders.

“White House officials have held more than 100 talks with leaders at the local and state level regarding the conflict and humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza,” he said.

Ayah Ziyadeh, advocacy director of Americans for Justice in Palestine, said she voted for Biden in 2020 and is trying to “convince everyone to vote for him.”

Now, his organization is working with other groups on American Muslim caucuses, which he says will guide how he votes in November. The task force’s recommendations are expected in a month or two, he said.

In criticizing Biden’s response to the war, he said he “doesn’t know that anything can change my mind because I’ve had to watch six months of genocide against my people.”

As the war has progressed, Biden has increasingly sharpened his rhetoric against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the tactics of the Israeli military.

Aid workers were killed in Gaza as a result of an Israeli airstrike. Biden said he was “wretched and heartbroken” and argued “Israel also did not do enough to protect civilians” and aid workers.

Likewise, Biden expressed his support Because of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s public condemnation of Netanyahu.

The New York Democrat harshly criticized the Prime Minister of Israel and called for new elections in the country. Later, Biden said that Schumer “did a good speech, and I think he expressed the serious concerns of not only him, but of many Americans.”

While several Muslim American organizations have criticized Biden’s policies toward Israel, organizers are wondering how the November vote will affect Trump’s prospects of regaining the Oval Office.

Into the first days During the 2016 election campaign, Trump announced a policy plan that called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” In October last year he had called To expand travel bans from several Muslim-majority countries and bar potential refugees from Gaza from entering the United States

However, several Muslim American organizers say the onus is on Biden to regain their vote to avoid handing the election to the former president.

“We don’t think it’s on us. It’s on Biden,” Abu Irshaid said. “If our voices and those who support Palestinian human rights are so important, Biden should listen to them.”

Activist Linda Sarsour echoed her sentiments, arguing that “trying to explain that Joe Biden was better during genocide is not a conversation that belongs in our communities.”

Sarsour is the executive director of MPower Change, a Muslim organization and organizer of the non-committal vote campaign to challenge Biden. He said that he voted for the presidency in 2020.

“There is no community in this country that knows Donald Trump is worse than the one we know,” he said, referring to the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, voted for Biden in 2020 “because I really care about our democracy. I saw what Trump did.”

He said he has not yet decided how he will vote in November. His organization has not decided whether to support the presidential election, adding that some believe “no one is worth supporting.”

“My concern is that you have a presidential candidate who can’t hold any more public events for fear of protest, who can’t strengthen his party because he’s divided, and he doesn’t listen to his base within his party. “, al-Marayati said.

Biden continues to engage in public events, even as he faces anti-war protesters who shut down his speeches. At an event in March, he admitted that pro-Palestinians who interrupted him “had a point.”

“We need to take care of Gaza more,” he said after being escorted out by protesters calling for care in Gaza.



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