Observing the Overseers: How Biden, the US Media, and Arab-American Political Influence Impact the Israel-Gaza Conflict

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Arab- and Muslim-Americans, along with a majority of Americans, have been calling for President Joe Biden to pressure Israel into accepting a ceasefire in the conflict in Gaza, but their voices have largely gone unheard by the White House. Frustrated by this lack of action, Arab- and Muslim-Americans in critical swing states have banded together to flex their political muscle ahead of the presidential election.

In December, community leaders from nine potential swing states met in Dearborn, Michigan under the banner of “Abandon Biden, ceasefire now” to vow not to vote for Biden unless he changes his policies towards Israel. The campaign gained momentum, drawing support in Michigan and other states with large Arab-American populations, despite pushback from Biden supporters fearful of a Trump victory.

Arab- and Muslim-Americans intensified their campaign in February following demeaning articles in the mainstream press. The city of Dearborn, Michigan, singled out in one article, became the focal point of their efforts. They reached out to other marginalized communities, including African-Americans, Hispanics, progressive Jews, and others, to join forces in demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a reassessment of US aid to Israel.

Despite their efforts, the White House has only offered words of reassurance, with no tangible action taken to address their concerns. In response, community leaders, including US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, launched the “Listen to Michigan” campaign to demonstrate their demands for concrete action.

Arab- and Muslim-Americans hold significant voting power in critical swing states like Michigan, making their demands impossible for politicians to ignore. The coalition to change US policy on Gaza includes support from the United Autoworkers Union, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and progressive groups like Our Revolution.

Mayor Hammoud emphasized the shift in Arab-American community activism, noting a growing consensus on the need for a ceasefire in Gaza. This newfound political leverage has caught the attention of policymakers and could have a significant impact on the upcoming Michigan primary.

The coalition’s efforts reflect a broader movement of minority communities working together on shared causes, with a focus on bringing attention to foreign policy decisions impacting their daily lives. As the community continues to push for change, their impact on American governance and foreign policy is becoming increasingly apparent.

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