Arab and Muslim Americans Express Discontent With Biden's Support to Israel

They also find Biden's push for over $14 billion in new U.S. aid to Israel, concerning.

Arab and Muslim Americans, along with their supporters, are becoming more critical of President Joe Biden's response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. They're asking the President to do more to stop a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, fearing that this might affect their support for him in the 2024 election.

Joe Biden

Frustration Grows Over Biden's Response

Many Arab Americans are unhappy because Biden hasn't pushed for a humanitarian ceasefire, even as Palestinians face danger while trying to escape Israel's attacks in the Gaza Strip. This frustration could impact Biden's chances in the 2024 election, which seems likely to be a rematch with former President Donald Trump, according to opinion polls.

Crucial Votes in Battleground States

Arab Americans are influential in battleground states like Michigan, where they make up 5% of the vote. In other key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, they make up between 1.7% to 2%. Jim Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, highlights the importance of these communities in future elections.

In 2020, Biden won Michigan with 50.6% of the vote, compared to Trump's 47.8%. In Pennsylvania, Biden secured 50.01% of the vote to Trump's 48.84%, with a difference of fewer than 81,000 votes. Arab and Muslim Americans might not switch their support to Trump, but some activists think they may choose not to vote for Biden.

Biden and Netanyahu

Michigan's Impact

Laila El-Haddad, a Maryland-based author and social activist from Gaza, believes that Biden's response may affect his chances in Michigan.

While condemning attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians, Arab Americans believe that Israel's response is disproportionate. President Biden's failure to condemn this bombardment has raised doubts about his commitment to a "human rights-centered" foreign policy. On Tuesday, U.S. officials, along with the United Nations and Canada, called for a pause in Israel's attacks on Gaza to allow the delivery of food, water, and medicine to Palestinian civilians.

Abdullah Hammoud, the first Arab American mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, criticized Biden for not condemning Israeli threats to cut off essential supplies to over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza. He expressed concern about the lack of attention to their situation.

Linda Sarsour, former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, suggests that Muslim Americans should make their political donations dependent on policy changes. Many are urging President Biden to pressure Israel to temporarily stop its attacks on the Gaza Strip, which have taken the lives of thousands of Palestinians.

There's also criticism of President Biden's push for over $14 billion in new U.S. aid to Israel. Sa'ed Atshan, a Quaker Palestinian American and professor of peace and conflict studies at Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College, finds it concerning. He notes that despite Biden's rhetoric about human rights, there's a substantial military investment in Israel with only a small amount of humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

Even President Barack Obama, who typically supports Biden's policies, publicly urged the U.S. to provide critical aid to Gaza's desperate population.

Barack Obama
Obama Foundation

The White House isn't ignoring these concerns. It's engaging with administration officials and community members to address the criticisms. They emphasize President Biden's efforts to ensure aid reaches Gaza and his speeches against Islamophobia and hate.

The discontent isn't limited to those outside the administration. Josh Paul, a State Department veteran, resigned due to concerns about supplying arms to Israel while the Gaza crisis continues.

President Biden is under increasing pressure from Arab and Muslim American communities to take more action to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and reconsider his policies on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The outcome of this debate could significantly affect President Biden's chances in key states with substantial Arab and Muslim American populations.