The Biden administration has asked Congress for $14 billion in additional military aid to Israel, despite warnings he and other officials could be rendering themselves complicit in genocide.
By Jake Johnson
A new Gallup survey shows that U.S. President Joe Biden’s approval rating among Democrats has fallen by 11 percentage points this month, a possible indication that his unconditional support for Israel as it carries out massacres in the Gaza Strip is angering part of his base.
In September, 86 percent of Democrats approved of Biden’s job performance. But between October 2 and October 23, Biden’s approval rating among Democrats has fallen to 75 percent, according to Gallup—the lowest level of his presidency.
Megan Brenan, a research consultant at Gallup, argued the survey results released on Thursday suggest that “Biden’s immediate and decisive show of support for Israel following the October 7 attacks by Hamas appears to have turned off some in his own party.”
BREAKING from Gallup: "Biden’s job approval rating among Democrats has tumbled 11 percentage points in the past month to 75%, the worst reading of his presidency from his own party. This drop has pushed his overall approval rating down four points to 37%, matching his personal…
— Waleed Shahid ? (@_waleedshahid) October 26, 2023
As the death toll and humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsen by the hour, Muslim Americans are increasingly expressing outrage over the Biden administration’s unwavering show of support for the Israeli government, which human rights groups and United Nations experts have accused of collective punishment and other war crimes.
“Joe Biden has single-handedly alienated almost every Arab-American and Muslim-American voter in Michigan,” Democratic state Rep. Alabas Farhat told NBC News over the weekend. Michigan is a critical battleground state that Biden won in 2020.
“The Biden administration and Democrats as a whole are going to have to do a lot of work to rebuild some level of trust with my community,” added Farhat, who represents Dearborn, one of the largest Muslim- and Arab-American communities in the U.S. “It’s never too late to do the right thing.”
Last week, the Biden administration asked Congress to approve $14 billion in additional military assistance for Israel, despite warnings that he and other administration officials could be rendering themselves complicit in genocide.
Biden, who is running for reelection in 2024, has backed efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gazans under Israeli bombardment.
But he has thus far refused to call for a cease-fire and suggested he doesn’t trust the Gaza Health Ministry’s figures on the grisly death toll in the Palestinian territory—even though his own administration has repeatedly cited the data internally. Human rights experts say the ministry’s figures have proven to be reliable.
NBC News reported Sunday that “in rolling conversations in Michigan and beyond over the past two weeks, Muslim elected officials, activists, and community leaders have coalesced around a plan to mobilize their constituents to vote next year—but also to encourage them to leave the top of the ticket blank in protest.”
Survey results released last week by Data for Progress showed that two-thirds of likely U.S. voters—and 80 percent of Democrats—believe that “the U.S. should call for a cease-fire and deescalation of violence in Gaza” and “leverage its close diplomatic relationship with Israel to prevent further violence and civilian deaths.”
“A cease-fire, right now, really only benefits Hamas,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a press briefing earlier this week.
Kirby later said the Biden administration has not set or discussed any red lines with Israel as it prepares to invade the Gaza Strip after weeks of near-constant bombing.
By Brett Wilkins
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib hit back at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday after the Georgia Republican introduced an “unhinged” resolution to censure the Michigan Democrat—and only Palestinian American in Congress—for participating in a recent peaceful Capitol sit-in supporting a Gaza cease-fire.
Greene’s privileged resolution—which requires House consideration within two legislative days—seeks to censure Tlaib “for antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol” on October 18.
That day, thousands of Jewish protesters and allies rallied in and outside the Capitol to demand members of Congress push for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed nearly 7,000 Palestinians, wounded over 17,000 more, destroyed or damaged nearly half of all homes, and displaced more than 1.4 million people.
One of the most fringe, right-wing members of Congress is attempting to censure Rashida Tlaib for standing up for Palestinian human rights and against endless bloodshed.
We all know that those who are war-mongering in Congress would be the ones censured and shamed. https://t.co/838UUSniaD
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) October 26, 2023
“This type of Israel-hating, America-hating behavior from a sitting member of Congress is unacceptable and she does not represent anything America stands for,” Greene said on Tuesday while introducing a separate motion to censure Tlaib. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI)—whose third-biggest campaign contributor during the 2022 election cycle was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—introduced his own censure motion against Tlaib earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Rep. Rebecca Balint (D-VT) moved Thursday to force a vote on her July motion to censure Greene “for her racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic remarks, and unhinged conspiracy theories.”
Since Tlaib chairs no committees, there would be consequences should Greene’s resolution pass.
Earlier this week, Greene accused Tlaib and “the communist left” of seeking to “bring Jihad to America.”
Tlaib, who was one of the speakers at the rally outside the Capitol, said in a statement that Greene’s “unhinged resolution is deeply Islamophobic and attacks peaceful Jewish anti-war advocates.”
BREAKING: One of the most powerful speeches ever heard on the Washington Mall by @RashidaTlaib warning President Biden and Democrats about their rejection of Palestinian lives and calling for a ceasefire with @jvplive and @IfNotNowOrg. pic.twitter.com/IjePzvNTur
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) October 18, 2023
“I am proud to stand in solidarity with Jewish peace advocates calling for a cease-fire and an end to the violence. I will not be bullied, I will not be dehumanized, and I will not be silenced,” she continued. “I will continue to call for cease-fire, for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, for the release of hostages and those arbitrarily detained, and for every American to be brought home.”
“I will continue to work for a just and lasting peace that upholds the human rights and dignity of all people, and ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence,” Tlaib added.
My statement on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to censure me. pic.twitter.com/dzUNflJPh2
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) October 26, 2023
On Thursday, Tlaib, seven progressive Democratic colleagues—Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Ilhan Omar (MN), André Carson (IN), Summer Lee (PA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Delia Ramirez (IL), and Al Green (D-TX)—and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) voted against a bipartisan House resolution expressing unconditional support for the Israeli government.
The measure does not mention Israel’s mass slaughter, displacement, deprivation, and terrorizing of Gazans.
Greene’s resolution also baselessly claims that Tlaib “celebrated the Holocaust,” a charge also leveled in a video shared by the far-right congresswoman. The short clip takes a quote by Tlaib—that she gets a “calming feeling” when she thinks of the Holocaust—wildly out of context. What Tlaib actually said was:
There’s kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out… in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways.
The video also notes that Tlaib calls Israel an “apartheid” state—as do many Israelis and diaspora Jews, as well as human rights groups, experts, and world leaders.
Jewish Voice for Peace Action, the sister organization of Jewish Voice for Peace—which has led numerous protests across the U.S. during the war, including on October 18—weighed in against Greene’s resolution Thursday.
— Jewish Voice for Peace Action (@JvpAction) October 26, 2023
“Believe it or not, a self-described ‘Christian nationalist’ who believes in ‘Jewish space lasers’ doesn’t have the best interests of Jewish people at heart,” JVP Action political director Beth Miller said in a statement.
“On October 18, over 500 Jews and allies sat on the floor of a congressional… office building in prayer and song to demand an immediate cease-fire to save Palestinian and Israeli lives, and to prevent an imminent genocide of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli government,” she continued. “Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is one of the leading anti-war voices in Congress right now, and has the support of progressive Jews across the country.”
Thank you to our Jewish allies from across the country who joined in solidarity to call for a #CeasefireNOW.
Chanting “Not in Our Name.” https://t.co/IXcOfmhDM0
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) October 18, 2023
Clearly,” added Miller, “Marjorie Taylor Greene is politically threatened by Palestinians and Jews coming together to work for peace and justice.”
Jake Johnson and Brett Wilkins are staff writers at Common Dreams.
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