Pentagon suspends trips to Israel for senior military officials


Thu Nov 04 2023 03:36:39 GMT+0530

3 minutes ago - In 2020, Eman Hammoud was one of thousands of Michigan Muslims who helped President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump. A month ago, the Palestinian-American immigration attorney had no doubt she would back his campaign again in 2024. But over the past few weeks, she has seen the Biden administration provide unwavering support for Israel after it declared war on Hamas following the Palestinian militant group’s deadly attack on October 7, with no red lines for Israel and no calls for a ceasefire , even as thousands of civilians in Gaza have been killed. Now she doesn’t know what to do. “He has put us in a very difficult situation,” Hammoud told CNN. “It has become almost impossible for me, morally speaking, to vote for someone who has taken the positions that he has taken in the last few weeks.” Arab and Muslim Americans make up a small percentage of the population, but they wield a lot of influence in battleground states like Michigan, where the rejection of voters like Hammoud — who feel hurt and betrayed by the Biden administration — could cost Biden both the state and re-election. Michigan has more than 200,000 Muslim American voters — 146,000 of whom turned out to vote in 2020 — according to an analysis by Emgage, an organization that seeks to build the political power of Muslim Americans. Biden won Michigan — a state that narrowly went to Donald Trump in 2016 — by 155,000 votes. “It just proves that the Biden administration needs the Muslim vote to win,” said Nada Al-Hanooti, ​​Michigan executive director of Emgage Action. The stakes are particularly high in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb where more than half the population is of Middle Eastern or North African descent. In nearly a dozen interviews, Democrats there who voted for, campaigned for and donated to Biden’s political campaign say they can’t imagine voting for him now, even if he were to support the community’s primary request: an immediate ceasefire in Gaza..


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Muslim and Arab Americans who spoke to CNN pointed to a growing list of what they see as missteps by the Biden administration since the conflict began last month. The US vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution on October 18 that called for “humanitarian pauses”. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the United States “does not draw red lines” for Israel. And Biden publicly cast doubt on the number of Palestinian casualties reported by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry when asked whether Israel is doing enough to prevent civilian deaths in Gaza. He later told a private gathering of Muslim American leaders that his comments on the death toll were intended to distinguish between Hamas and Palestinians..