War in Gaza Takes Center Stage in Michigan
According to The Washington Post, Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud has declared the war in Gaza as the top concern for his voters. This sentiment was echoed by a group of leaders from Michigan’s Arab and Muslim communities who refused to meet with manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez during her visit to the state this weekend.
Demand for Cease-Fire Agreement
State Rep. Alabas Farhat affirmed that they will continue to decline meetings with President Biden until he calls on Israel to accept a cease-fire agreement. Hammoud voiced his decision to skip the meeting, stating, “When elected officials view the atrocities in Gaza only as an electoral problem, they reduce our indescribable pain into a political calculation.”
Impact on Michigan’s Electoral Landscape
Michigan holds significant importance for President Biden’s re-election bid, having won the state by a narrow margin in 2020. However, with the Arab and Muslim communities comprising around 300,000 voters, their defection could potentially sway the pendulum towards Republicans in the upcoming November election.
Rejecting the “Lesser of Two Evils” Argument
Amer Zahr, a Michigan resident and former campaign surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders, dismissed the notion that Arab voters were supporting Trump by rejecting Biden. Zahr stated, “We’re not going to respond to the lesser of two evils argument, we are going to reject that.” He further emphasized their stance, saying, “We’re not supporting Joe Biden under any circumstances – or any politician frankly – that is not willing to simply call for a cease-fire.”
President Biden is scheduled to visit Michigan on Thursday, ahead of the state’s Democratic primary in February.