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‘Squad’ member Tlaib urges Democrats to protest Biden

The Michigan congresswoman has accused the US president of supporting genocide in Gaza

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) has urged her fellow Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the party’s 2024 presidential primary, as a challenge to US President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

“Right now, we feel completely neglected and just unseen by our government,” Tlaib said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday. Standing outside the Ford Civic Center in Dearborn, she told followers, “If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote uncommitted.”

“It is important as you all know to not only march against the genocide, not only make sure that we’re calling our members of Congress… It’s also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn to say ‘enough is enough’,” she said.

“We don’t want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction. We want to support life. We want to stand up for every single life killed in Gaza,” Tlaib continued.

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The Palestinian-American congresswoman is the most prominent of over 30 state and local officials to back the Listen to Michigan campaign, which aims to convince thousands of Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in their party’s February 27 primary. The movement hopes to force Biden to rethink Washington’s refusal to demand an end to Israel’s military campaign, which has killed upwards of 28,000 Palestinians in Gaza in four months, according to the enclave’s health ministry. 

West Jerusalem declared war on October 7 in response to a Hamas cross-border raid which left 1,200 Israelis dead and another 240 captured. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected all attempts at a permanent ceasefire.

Tlaib has previously accused the US president of supporting “genocide” in Gaza and co-sponsored a resolution demanding a ceasefire in October. 

The White House’s continuing support for Israel has cost Biden significant support among key 2020 demographics. An NBC poll conducted in November found seven in ten voters under the age of 35 disapproved of his handling of the war in Gaza.

In December, Muslim leaders in swing states, including Michigan, warned that continued refusal to back a ceasefire in the Palestinian territory would destroy what remained of Biden’s support among Arab-American voters. 

While he won 59% of the Arab-American vote in 2020, an October poll by the Arab-American Institute found just 17% would vote for him again.

In Michigan, which has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the US, Biden won the 2020 election by a 2.8% margin. Arab-Americans make up 5% of the state’s electorate, meaning they could potentially change the outcome of this year’s election by either staying home or lending their support to another candidate. Wisconsin and Arizona also boast larger Arab-American populations than Biden’s 2020 margin of victory.

February 19, 2024 at 11:27PM

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