Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Biden's Support for Israel Angers Muslim Americans

The battle in the Middle East is roiling not only the Republican caucuses and primaries, but also the general election. Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans in general are not happy campers about Joe Biden's full-throated support for Israel. If and when the House gets its act together and Congress approves $14 billion in military aid to Israel, they will be even less happy. Of course, that aid will likely pass the House with 200 or so Republican votes, but we all know where the buck stops.

The biggest problem for Biden is Michigan, where the Arab-American population is about 5%. Biden won Michigan in 2020 with 50.6%, compared to 47.8% for Donald Trump, a margin of 2.8%. Most of the Arab-Americans in Michigan and elsewhere are Democrats (because Republicans hate, hate, hate immigrants), so it is unlikely that all the Arab-Americans in Michigan will support Trump. Still, some of them may decide to just sit out 2024 and not vote, which would hurt Biden. The only other swing state with a substantial Muslim population is Arizona, with about 1.5%.

Biden is getting some blowback from Muslim politicians. Abdullah Hammoud, the first Arab-American mayor of Dearborn, MI, which has the largest per capita population of Muslims of any city in the U.S., decried Biden's failure to condemn Israel for cutting off water, electricity, and food in Gaza, but he hasn't had anything to say about the Hamas attack on Israel.

Biden undoubtedly truly believes that the attack by Hamas on Israel was an atrocity, so his desire for aid to Israel is probably not simply a political calculation. Nevertheless, he also knows that there are nine Jewish senators and 0 Muslim senators as well as 24 Jewish representatives and 3 Muslim representatives. Getting stuff through Congress is always an issue, and he certainly can't afford to antagonize Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates