Andrea Shalal and Andrew Hay, Reuters, October 31, 2023
Some Muslim and Arab American groups are threatening to withhold donations and votes towards President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection unless he takes immediate steps to secure a Gaza ceasefire.
The National Muslim Democratic Council, which includes Democratic Party leaders from hotly contested states that can decide elections, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, urged Biden to use his influence with Israel to broker a ceasefire by 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) on Tuesday.
In an open letter entitled “2023 Ceasefire Ultimatum,”Muslim leaders pledged to mobilize “Muslim, Arab, and allied voters” to “withhold endorsement, support, or votes for any candidate who endorses the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people.”
“Your administration’s unconditional support, encompassing funding and armaments, has played a significant role in perpetuating the violence that is causing civilian casualties and has eroded trust in voters who previously put their faith in you,” the council wrote.
Emgage, a Muslim American civic group, found that nearly 1.1 million Muslims voted in the 2020 election. Associated Press exit polls showed 64% of Muslims voted for Biden, a Democrat, and 35% for his Republican rival, Donald Trump.
The Arab American Institute estimates 3.7 million Americans “trace their roots” to an Arab country; its poll results issued on Tuesday show support for Biden and Democrats has dropped significantly in this group.
Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American lawmaker from Michigan, on Monday released a 90-second video on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, decrying Biden’s support of what she called “Israel’s genocidal campaign in Palestine,” adding “Don’t count on our vote in 2024.”
Biden won Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes by 2.8 percentage points in 2020.