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Dearborn mayor slams Biden on Israel-Gaza: 'This betrayal feels uniquely un-American'

Mayor Abdullah Hammoud (D) of Dearborn, Mich., says Arab Americans are feeling a sense of betrayal due to President Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, outlining that they voted for Biden in 2020 but are now being ignored.

Hammoud, in a New York Times opinion piece Tuesday, said there is a “constant fear and mourning” and “a visceral sense of betrayal” in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb where Arab Americans make up the majority of the population.

“In the past three federal elections, Arab American voters in Michigan have become a crucial and dependable voting bloc for the Democratic Party, and we were part of the wave that delivered for Joe Biden four years ago,” he said. “But this fact seems long forgotten by our candidate as he calls for our votes once more while at the same time selling the very bombs that Benjamin Netanyahu’s military is dropping on our family and friends.” 

He said that before the war, he believed Biden was “one of the most consequential and transformative presidents,” but said that landmark legislation Biden has passed can’t “outweigh the more than 100,000 people killed, wounded or missing in Gaza.”

“President Biden is proving many of our worst fears about our government true: that regardless of how loud your voice may be, how many calls to government officials you may make, how many peaceful protests you organize and attend, nothing will change,” he said. “My greatest fear is that Mr. Biden will not be remembered as the president who saved American democracy in 2020 but rather as the president who sacrificed it for Benjamin Netanyahu in 2024.”

Hammoud argued that the majority of Americans want a cease-fire in the Middle East and that the president and members of Congress are ignoring polling on that.

“This betrayal feels uniquely un-American. When conflict shoved them out of their homes, many of Dearborn’s parents fled to Michigan in pursuit of the American dream and the promise that their voices would be heard and valued. Today, we instill in our children the American aspiration of standing on the side of justice for all people, everywhere,” he said.

The op-ed was published a week before the Michigan Democratic primary. There’s a growing movement among progressive groups and Arab American grassroots organizations in Michigan urging supporters to cast their ballot for “uncommitted” in order to send a message to Biden.

Some groups in the effort say they will never support Biden — even against his likely GOP rival former President Trump, who famously called for a Muslim ban during the 2016 race — while others involved say the president has time to earn their vote back.

Hammoud met with White House officials when they traveled to Michigan earlier this month and said he told them that there is time to do the right thing. He argued that the “only way to ensure the safe return of all hostages and prisoners is through an immediate cease-fire.” 

But the White House has argued that a cease-fire would only help Hamas and has worked on negotiating a temporary pause in fighting for Hamas to release the hostages it took during the Oct. 7 attacks. 

The U.S. vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution Tuesday that called on Israel to implement a cease-fire against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, arguing the vote was “wishful” and “irresponsible” because it would put negotiations to release the hostages in peril.

Hammoud earlier this month ordered an increase in security across Dearborn after an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal called the city “America’s jihad capital.”

Biden called out the “anti-Arab hate” against Dearborn after that op-ed.

Source: The Hill

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