Biden Campaign Shunned By Arab American Leaders In Michigan

President Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, traveled to Michigan on Friday, where many Arab Americans were enraged over the administration’s Israel policy and discovered leaders who refused to meet with her. This further exposed tensions between leaders and the White House.

Rodriguez spoke throughout the day with some Arab American community leaders. Still, her trip ended when a late afternoon meeting with Arab American leaders was canceled after everyone invited declined to show.

Osama Siblani, publisher of Arab American News, said he took the campaign up on its invitation to meet with Chávez Rodriguez despite the reluctance of others.

“I told her that my community does not want me to meet with you, but I want to meet with you, look you in the eyes. I said, you know, look, we feel like the president has betrayed us, that we voted for him in 2020. We won’t do it again,” Siblani said in an interview.

According to two sources, the Biden campaign did not comment on the cancellation of Friday’s group meeting.

“Unless something drastic happens, you have lost the Arab American and Muslim community. At this point, from what I can see, there’s no winning them over. That was the idea of the meeting.” Wayne County deputy executive and meeting coordinator Assad Turfe said.

“Until there’s a cease-fire, the overall consensus in the community is they’re not welcome here, essentially,” he continued.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud, a Democrat, said he was invited to attend the meeting but has no interest in speaking with Biden campaign officials until Israel’s military operations in Gaza are paused.

“The lives of Palestinians are not measured in poll numbers; their humanity demands action, not lip service. When elected officials view the atrocities in Gaza only as an electoral problem, they reduce our indescribable pain into a political calculation,” Hammoud wrote on X.

“I will not entertain conversations about elections while we watch a live-streamed genocide backed by our government,” he continued.

Biden’s support among Arab Americans has suffered after his support for Israel in its war against Hamas, a terror group that killed 1,000 people and kidnapped around 200 in October 2023. According to a John Zogby Strategies poll, only 17% of Arab Americans said they would vote for Biden in the 2024 presidential election.

The lack of support could be a significant problem for President Biden in Michigan this fall, where Arab Americans hold a substantial portion in the vital battleground state.