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Palestinian doctor walks out of White House iftar, as community boycotts annual event

April 3, 2024 at 11:47 am

A view of the North side of the White House, Washington, DC, USA [Getty]

Doctors who attended the White House’s iftar event yesterday walked out in protest of the Biden Administration’s policies in Gaza.

The US held a scaled-down version of the annual dinner after the majority of community leaders refused to attend as a result of Washington’s support of Israel’s genocidal bombing campaign in Gaza.

Speaking to CNN, Dr Thaer Ahmad, who had volunteered in Gaza, said he told President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and attendees at the iftar that he is “from a community that is reeling, we are grieving. Our heart is broken over what has been happening over the last six months.”

Palestinian Dr Thaer Ahmad [Democracy Now]

“We are not satisfied with what has taken place, there has been no concrete steps” by the White House to end the genocide in Gaza, he said.

“Out of respect for my community, out of respect for all of the people who have suffered and have been killed in the process, I need to walk out of the meeting. I want to walk out [on] decision makers and let them know what it feels like for someone to say something and not to hear them out.”

Ahmad, who said he was the only Palestinian-American in the meeting, added, “there wasn’t a lot of response” from Biden.

He explained that the Muslim community had requested that no food be provided at the iftar out of respect for those suffering famine in Gaza, as a result the event was scaled down to a meeting with community leaders.

Instead of attending the White House iftar, Muslims were joined by peace activists who broke their fast together and protested outside the White House. Emgage Action, a Muslim American advocacy group, said it declined an invitation to the dinner, citing Biden’s “continued unconditional military aid to Israel,” which they say has led to a “humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.”

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