Muslim American Activists Outraged by Biden's Support for $2.6B Israel Aid Package

Muslim Americans feel betrayed by Biden's support for $2.6B Israel aid, threatening his re-election in key swing states like Michigan. The rift highlights the growing divide in the Democratic Party over US policy towards Israel and Palestine.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Muslim American Activists Outraged by Biden's Support for $2.6B Israel Aid Package

Muslim American Activists Outraged by Biden's Support for $2.6B Israel Aid Package

Muslim American activists and organizations are expressing a strong sense of betrayal towards President Biden after the House passed a $2.6 billion aid package for Israel with his support. The activists argue that this decision marks a "point of no return" in the relationship between the Biden administration and the American Muslim community, as the aid package does not distinguish between funding for defensive and offensive weapons used against Palestinians in Gaza.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $2.6 billion aid package for Israel as part of a larger $95 billion foreign aid bill that also includes aid for Ukraine and Taiwan. The package is expected to become law next week despite opposition from some Democrats and Republicans. 37 left-leaning Democrats defected to vote against the Israel aid bill, citing opposition to unfettered aid that could be used in Israel's offensive in Gaza. However, this fell short of the opposition bloc progressives had hoped to muster.

Prominent Muslim American groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have urged voters to contact Congress to oppose the aid. Representative Pramila Jayapal has also criticized the bill, comparing it to the Iraq war and stating that the public is not in favor of continued U.S. military assistance to Israel. The anger from Muslim voters is particularly significant in key swing states like Michigan, where Muslim and Arab American community leaders have refused to meet with Biden's campaign director and have threatened to abandon his re-election effort over his support for Israel.

Why this matters: The rift between President Biden and Muslim American voters over the Israel aid package could have significant political implications, especially in crucial swing states like Michigan and Arizona where Biden won narrow victories in 2020. The outrage expressed by Muslim activists and organizations highlights the growing divide within the Democratic Party over U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine.

The Biden campaign and White House have acknowledged the concerns of the Muslim American community and say the president is working to end the violence and achieve a just, lasting peace in the Middle East. However, the activists view the passage of the aid package as reaffirming their belief that they cannot back Biden for a second term. "This vote is a point of no return," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News in Dearborn, Michigan. "This anger is not going to go away."

Key Takeaways

  • House passed $2.6B aid package for Israel with Biden's support.
  • Muslim American activists feel betrayed by Biden's backing of the aid.
  • Activists argue the aid doesn't distinguish between defensive and offensive weapons.
  • Rift with Muslim voters could impact Biden's re-election in swing states.
  • Activists view the aid package as a "point of no return" for Biden.