Currently, support for U.S President, Joe Biden has plummeted among Arab Americans.
This became more evident during Biden’s visit on Thursday, February 1, 2024, to Michigan, a state that is home to a large Arab American community.
Arab Americans angered by President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza took to the streets to protest his visit.
According to James Zogby, President of the Washington, DC-based Arab American Institute, U.S President Joe Biden is in “very serious trouble” with Arab American voters due to his support for Israel in its war on Gaza.
“He’s in very serious trouble, and that was in October, and I dare say the numbers would have gotten worse in the intervening months,” Zogby told a news agency.
He added, “There is not only disappointment. There is real anger in the [Arab-American] community,”
He said that one of the reasons for Biden’s plummeting support with Arab Americans was that “he has been totally insensitive to the suffering of Palestinians.”
“From the beginning of this war, he was making statements about Israel – even as of yesterday … that Israel has a right to defend itself. That is ludicrous, and it is actually really hurtful to people in the community.”James Zogby
The United States has imposed sanctions on several Israeli settlers for attacking Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, accusing them of undermining stability and security in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Raids by Israeli settlers and soldiers against West Bank towns and villages have increased since the outbreak of the war on Gaza on October 7, killing hundreds of Palestinians.
The announcement came amid increasing pressure on President Joe Biden over his staunch support for Israel’s war on Gaza as he campaigns for re-election in November.
The executive order coincided with Biden’s visit to Michigan.
The sanctions target David Chai Chasdai, Einan Tanjil and Yinon Levi, who are accused of assaulting and intimidating Palestinians. They also target Shalom Zickerman, who is accused of assaulting Israeli activists.
The sanctions will freeze the individuals’ assets in the US and restrict financial dealings with them.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to reject the US move, saying that the overwhelming majority of West Bank settlers are “law-abiding citizens.”
“Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary,” his office said in a statement.
Reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, a reporter cited Palestinians as saying that Israeli authorities do not hold settlers accountable for attacks.
“In many, many incidents, we see settlers acting with either the tacit support or the actual physical support of the Israeli military in these attacks,” the reporter added.
Israeli authorities rarely prosecute suspects in violence against Palestinians.
Last month, Israeli settlers and an off-duty police officer fatally shot 17-year-old Palestinian American Tawfiq Ajaq in the West Bank, according to his family.
The Biden administration has called for an investigation into the case, but Israeli authorities have not made any arrests in the killing of the US teenager.
CAIR Downplays U.S Sanctions On Israeli Settlers
Moreover, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group, played down the significance of the sanctions, saying that Biden should penalise Israeli officials responsible for settler violence and end US support for the war on Gaza.
“It makes no sense for the Biden administration to oppose killing Palestinian civilians in the West Bank while enabling the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” CAIR said in a statement.
For his part, Abed Ayoub, Executive Director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), called the sanctions “empty”, saying that they are far from groundbreaking.
Ayoub said the White House sees the sanctions as a “safe way” to appeal to some voters who are angry over Biden’s backing for the war on Gaza.