Growing Public Support For Palestinians Will Play Decisive Role In US Elections – OpEd


US politics cannot be judged by its growing distortions and hypocrisies. Despite the media blackout on pro-Palestinian coverage and excessive exaggeration of pro-Israel propaganda, support for the Palestinians is steadily growing around the country. This will have an impact on the upcoming US elections, from the presidency down to local members of Congress.

There is no doubt whatsoever that what Hamas militants did on Oct. 7 was an unjustified brutal war crime. The fact that Israel has oppressed and brutalized Palestinians in Gaza, far more than it has in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is no justification for the inhuman conduct of some Hamas fighters.

It is hard to believe the propaganda of Israel’s government, led by a corrupt Benjamin Netanyahu. But if even a small part of what the Israelis say is true, what happened on Oct. 7 is egregious and outrageous. Hamas must be removed.

Israel’s apartheid policies certainly stoked flames of anger among many Palestinians. But outrage over brutal and unjust policy should never be the impetus for the inhumane conduct we saw. Yet, whatever the Hamas militants did does not justify what Israel’s government is doing to the Palestinian civilian population.

No matter what Israel’s government, the biased and racist mainstream US news media, or the incompetent and stumbling administration do to defend Israel’s war crimes and cruelty against civilians in the Gaza Strip, the real story is getting out. What the American public is seeing of this horror, mainly on social media, is shocking. It will have a huge impact on the election.

Every day, I hear from many mainstream Americans who express anger at Israel’s excessive violence and brutality. Israeli forces so far have killed more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians and including more than 8,000 children, and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses owned by civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas.

What we see and what US politicians are embracing is an outburst of Israeli government vengeance, mixed with selfish political exploitation to prop up an unstable Netanyahu government.

The targeting of Palestinians, Muslim and Christian, is driven by a racist stereotype promoted by Israel’s morally bankrupt government. It is blindly defended by a host of elected US officials, including the White House, the Senate and Congress, many addicted to the massive infusion of campaign funding from pro-Israel political action committees. They also fear being tarnished during elections by false claims of antisemitism.

Israel’s morally blind defenders have weaponized claims of antisemitism in a bid to stifle growing outrage boiling up among the American public. Many Americans are afraid to condemn Israel publicly, fearing they will be muddied by Israel’s hate-driven guardians. They clearly see Netanyahu’s carnage in Gaza, and how even Jews who protest against the killings by both sides are demonized.

This conflict is not strengthening Israel, but is setting it up for political turmoil and eventual collapse. Americans are afraid to publicly say how they feel, fearing the damaging public bullying and name-calling. But they do not need to hide their feelings when they cast their votes.

Recent polling shows significant cracks in American support for Israel.

Yes, Americans condemn the Oct. 7 Hamas violence. But they are extremely uncomfortable with the Israeli government response, and the use of $14.3 billion in American tax dollars and an endless cache of US-made weapons and bombs in the Gaza carnage.

A New York Times/Siena poll conducted before Christmas shows Americans equally divided between defending and condemning Israel. The New York Times reports that American views on Israel are “fractured,” and that is not good for Israel, which for generations has enjoyed unwavering American public support.

Not anymore.

Worse, the polling shows that the president’s political base is split. Many, including Muslim Americans, who gave Joe Biden the push he needed to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 are abandoning him at lightning speed, not just temporarily, but permanently and in a long-term realignment of their political activism.

The growing #AbandonBiden campaign, driven by disillusioned Arab and Muslim American voters, will contribute to his defeat in 2024.

Just look at election numbers from critical “swing states” during the 2020 election: Biden defeated Trump in Michigan by only 154,188 votes, in Arizona by 10,457, in Wisconsin by 20,682, in Georgia by 11,779, in Nevada by 33,596, and in Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes. In Minnesota, which has a large Arab/Muslim population, Biden defeated his rival by 233,012 votes.

The size of these vote differences are dwarfed by the more than 155 million votes cast.

Arab and Muslim Americans are doing what many Americans often do, voting “against” candidates in elections rather than “for” a candidate. Undermining Biden is not about supporting Trump. It is a long-term strategy with short-term deficits, such as the possibility of Trump’s reelection. But Trump is battling an insurmountable 91 federal and state corruption indictments. He may not survive.

This political disarray opens the door for a third-party candidate. Leading the field is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the former US attorney general of the same name, and a nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, both of whom were assassinated.

There are no guarantees. But several things are clear: The American public is no longer in lockstep with the Biden administration, and it is unlikely Trump will return to his controversy-plagued throne. Meanwhile, Israel is racking up a “scorecard” on which Palestinian civilian deaths since Oct. 7 far outnumber Israeli fatalities, but at a huge moral cost that reveals the real face of Israel’s immoral government.

The US elections mean 2024 will be a year of “shock and awe” never seen before in the West.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian-American former journalist and political columnist. Email him at [email protected].

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