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Democrats Worry Israel-Hamas War Could Cost Them in November

Israel-Hamas (Credits: Al Jazeera)

Biden faces mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers over the worsening conditions in Gaza, escalating fatalities, and Israel’s potential invasion of the southern city of Rafah, where over 1 million Palestinians are seeking refuge.

In addition to these challenges, there is growing disapproval among Americans regarding Israel’s actions, presenting a political headache for Democrats who aim to rally behind Biden. There are concerns that this issue could become prominent in the November elections.

“It’s an important issue. If this conflict persists, it will continue to pose a major problem,” remarked one House Democrat to The Hill. “The sooner Biden can distance himself from [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] substantially, the better off he will be politically.

Israel-Hamas War (Credits: The Hill)

It’s not just progressives who are upset about the U.S. backing of the Gaza operation—it’s now more widespread than that.” “I’m concerned about what the DNC in Chicago might entail,” added the House Democrat, referring to the Democratic National Convention in late August.

Criticism of Biden’s handling of the conflict has been evident through protests during his public appearances and organized boycotts at the ballot box. Last week, he faced interruptions during campaign stops in Raleigh, N.C., and New York City, even as he attended a major donor event alongside former Presidents Obama and Clinton.

Groups like Abandon Biden and Our Revolution have mobilized efforts in states with good Arab American, Muslim American, and young populations—such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota—to encourage voters to write “uncommitted” or “Gaza” on their ballots, sending a message to Biden before November.

The Gaza War (Credits: Crisis Group)

While the administration has urged Israel to minimize civilian casualties, Biden has specifically called on Netanyahu to refrain from launching an offensive in Rafah without a clear plan.

Nevertheless, Democrats are intensifying pressure on the administration to address the ongoing conflict. Senator Chris Van Hollen and others are urging the president and his team to push Netanyahu’s government to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, given the high death toll and displacement among Palestinians.

“There’s a lot of unease,” noted a Senate Democratic aide about the party’s current sentiment. “The question is: How soon can we resolve this conflict? Democrats want to put an end to this as quickly as possible because it’s the morally right thing to do and also a political imperative.”

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