WASHINGTON : US President Joe Biden has “ignored our people” during the ongoing Gaza crisis and “we’re going to ignore him” in next year’s presidential election, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has said.
“We told him directly, in our personal capacities, that if you do not call for an immediate cease-fire, you will not get our votes in 2024,” Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director and co-founder, told Anadolu in a video interview.
“There’s no possibility for us to vote for him or give him any support.”
Awad’s remarks came shortly after Biden, responding to a question as he departed for a trip to the state of Illinois, said there is “no possibility” of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, where relentless Israeli attacks have now killed nearly 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 7,300 children and women.
“The Biden administration, in our view, has been betraying American Muslim voters and the pro-Palestine movement, who were promised that he would center human rights in his policies, both domestic and foreign,” Awad said.
“What we see is a total violation of human rights, dignity and equality for people abroad, especially for Palestinians.”
He said when people voted for Biden, they were expecting to see a leader who would bring “peace, tranquility and justice for all people.”
“What we see from him is completely one-sided support for the state of Israel,” he said, accusing the administration of giving a “green light” to Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians with “American-supplied weapons, American taxpayers’ dollars, and American political support.”
On a meeting at the White House between senior officials and representatives of Muslim and Palestinian American groups, he said major Muslim or Palestinian organizations were not invited.
Awad said he spoke to some of the individuals who were part of the discussions, describing the meeting as a “disappointment.”
Biden ‘partnering’ in genocide against Palestinians
There has been a “rampant surge” of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim political rhetoric, as well as “dehumanization” of Palestinians and Muslims in the US, according to Awad.
“That led to a huge number and spike in attacks against American Muslims, acts of discrimination, bullying, censorship and hate crimes,” he said, citing the brutal murder of Wadea Al Fayoume, a six-year-old Palestinian boy who was stabbed 26 times in Chicago.
He said this “unprecedented” situation is “due to this administration’s policy that’s fueling Islamophobia.”
“Not calling for a cease-fire is a continuation of dehumanizing Palestinians and Muslims and those who support them in the US,” said Awad.
He stressed that American Muslims, Arab Americans and Palestinians are “very frustrated with this administration.”
“It’s a shameful experience to see this president … not only being complicit in the atrocities, but partnering in the atrocities and genocide against the Palestinian people,” he added.
He pointed out that Biden’s “numbers and favorability rate is dropping seriously and severely.”
“Now he feels that he is going to, if this continues, to lose the elections, and his party is going to lose the election in 2024,” said Awad.
“He ignored our people and we’re going to ignore him in the elections. No money and no votes for Biden or the Democratic Party.”
Support from Jewish Americans
Awad said many Jewish partners and colleagues have been joining pro-Palestine demonstrations in the US, including protests outside the Congress and White House.
“They have been participating in civil disobedience actions, protests, disrupting hearings in the Congress and the US Senate because they believe that Israel does not represent them,” he said.
They also believe that the US is “a partner with the state of Israel in committing war crimes against the Palestinians,” he said.
“We cherish these people and their number is growing,” he added. — AA