Creating new perspectives since 2009

Biden faces protest vote in Michigan due to support for Israeli genocide 

February 27, 2024 at 8:41 am

US President Joe Biden in Raleigh NC, United States on 18 January, 2024 [Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency]

Two days before the Democratic primary in Michigan, speakers at a rally in Dearborn on Sunday urged voters not to back President Joe Biden for re-election because of his support for the genocidal Israeli offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza. Speakers said that Biden and other Democrats who support Israel would only act responsibly if the protest vote helped former President Donald Trump to win in the November presidential election.

“Donald Trump is a threat to American democracy,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). “I recognise this. Many in the community recognise this in the upcoming election.” The Democrat member of the House of Representatives, the only such official from a Palestinian background, noted that, “President Biden is risking another Trump term over his support for the most right-wing government, most extremist government in the history of Israel.”

Tlaib is the only member of Michigan’s congressional delegation to support an effort encouraging Democrats to protest against Biden’s position on the war in Gaza by voting “uncommitted” in the state’s primary election on Tuesday. The campaign, led by a group called Listen Michigan, has energised a primary that Biden is expected to win easily, but has raised concerns that he could lose the support he needs to win the swing state in the presidential election.

It’s unclear how much support the “uncommitted” voting campaign has gained, even with Listen Michigan organising rallies and visits to mosques across the state since it began its efforts this month, according to the New York Times. The event on Sunday was organised by a group known as the Michigan Task Force for Palestine and drew more than 200 people to an indoor event space in Dearborn. It was partly intended to show that support for the effort goes beyond Michigan’s large Arab American community.

Other speakers at the rally included the Black pastor of a Baptist church in Detroit; a lawyer affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace; a group of progressive activists; and leaders of a local chapter of the United Automobile Workers, which both endorsed Biden but also supported a ceasefire.

READ: Palestine health ministry warns of ‘catastrophic’ situation in north Gaza