Biden faces dissent vote in Michigan primary amid Israel's carnage in Gaza

The US state of Michigan votes in a presidential primary that is expected to be another ticker-tape parade for Republican Donald Trump — but could deliver Democratic leader Joe Biden a bloody nose over Israel's carnage in besieged Gaza.

Biden faces no serious opposition to being nominated to run for a second term in the White House.

But as the civilian death toll mounts in Israel's war in the blockaded enclave, he has seen support erode among Muslims and Arab Americans, a bloc crucial to his narrow 2020 victory over Trump in Michigan.

Activists in the key midwestern battleground — where Biden's winning margin four years ago was a mere 150,000 votes — want Michigan residents to vote "uncommitted" in protest, pressuring the president to back off from his Israel support and call for an immediate ceasefire.

"President Biden has funded the bombs falling on the family members of people right here in Michigan — people who voted for him, who now feel completely betrayed," said Layla Elabed of the "Listen to Michigan" campaign.

The group aims to amass 10,000 "uncommitted" voters to deliver a "powerful, unequivocal message" that funding and supporting the war is "at odds with the values of the Democratic Party."

The Democratic Party used to be normally the political home of Muslims and Arabs in the US.

Biden is cruising to the Democratic nomination, with his main would-be rival, Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips, polling in single digits.

But activists deny that the "uncommitted" campaign is merely symbolic, given their importance in an election decided on small margins.

"Ten thousand votes is about the same as Donald Trump's margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016," Elabed said.

'Stark numbness'

White House officials have portrayed Biden as frustrated with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Still, US weapons have continued to flow to Israel.

Biden has asked Congress for billions of dollars in additional military aid, and his government has vetoed multiple UN Security Council calls for a ceasefire.

A similar write-in campaign calling for a ceasefire during the New Hampshire primary went nowhere, but Michigan has a significantly larger Muslim and Arab population.

"With every day that passes, every minute that the president fails to do the right thing, the belief that I and so many others have invested in him dwindles," Abdullah Hammoud, the mayor of the heavily Arab American Detroit suburb of Dearborn, wrote in The New York Times last week.

"With every American-made bomb that Israel's right-wing government drops on Gaza, a stark numbness coats everything, restricting any space for belief to grow."

On the Republican side, Trump has swept the early-voting states, and Michigan is not expected to interrupt his march to the nomination.

Israel has killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians in besieged Gaza so far, mostly children and women, and wounded almost 70,000 others.


Source: TRT