Some Arab American leaders Express Frustration After Meeting with Biden officials in Michigan Regarding the Israel-Hamas War

Credits: The Detroit News

Some Arab American leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the information conveyed by Biden administration officials during meetings in Michigan on Thursday. These discussions aimed to address the frustrations within a key constituency regarding U.S. policy concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The administration officials engaged with Michigan leaders to alleviate the discontent within key parts of the president’s coalition over his stance supporting Israel in its conflict against Hamas and his reluctance to publicly advocate for a ceasefire.

Following the approximately two-hour meeting, some participants voiced their frustration with the proceedings. A spokesperson for one group stated that they were “met with yet another failure from the Biden administration to call for an immediate ceasefire that saves lives.”

Arab Americans (Credits: Detroit Free Press)

“We asked how Biden can demand our votes when he provides unconditional weapons funding to an Israeli government that pursues a policy of collective punishment against Palestinians,” said Listen to Michigan spokesperson Abbas Alawieh in a statement.

“Biden’s funding of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s extreme, far-right government makes a mockery of his claim to fight against the bigotry and authoritarianism of Trump and the MAGA movement.”

Growing dissatisfaction with Biden’s Israel policy led to more than 30 Michigan officials pledging to vote “uncommitted” in their state’s Democratic presidential primary on February 27 as part of the Listen to Michigan campaign. Michigan, a crucial battleground, will play a pivotal role in the upcoming November election.

The Muslim American vote, in particular, holds significance. According to an analysis by Emgage, an organization aimed at boosting the Muslim American vote, at least 146,620 of the 200,000 Muslim American voters in Michigan cast a ballot in the 2020 election cycle.

As of Thursday, the Health Ministry in Gaza reported that nearly 28,000 people have been killed during Israeli military operations, and more than 67,317 have been injured since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The meeting saw the participation of some of Biden’s most trusted advisers and policymakers, alongside Michigan leaders like Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Deputy Wayne County Executive Assad Turfe.

Arab American leaders had previously rejected a meeting scheduled with Biden campaign officials, opting for engagement with administration policymakers.

In a statement, Turfe asserted that any further meetings would be “conditional upon real action.” He emphasized that the Biden administration must act swiftly and decisively to end the violence in Gaza, adhering to the principles of justice and human rights.

Hammoud, speaking on X, reiterated that the group remains “uncompromising in our values and our demands,” including a call for a permanent ceasefire and the cessation of unrestricted military support for Israel by the United States.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.