Heba Mohammad poured her energy and considerable skill into the election of Joe Biden as President in 2020. As director of digital organization for the Democrats’ campaign in the critical swing state of Wisconsin, she was part of the mass of young people who drove the Biden campaign against victory. But since the Biden government has not taken a firm stand in defense of Palestinian rights in recent weeks, Mohammad is increasingly frustrated with the man it has chosen so much. She said she was “deeply dismayed to see the president’s limited response to what happened in Gaza”.
Mohammad is not alone. After images of the death and devastation following Israeli air strikes on Gaza filled screens in the United States in mid-May, activists working on the election of Biden began communicating with one another as they convey a message about the country to the president and other senior Democrats could need a change in US policy aimed at achieving justice for the Palestinian people.
On Monday more than 500 of these employees of the 2020 campaign signed a letter – calling for the Biden government to abandon a status quo approach to Israel and Palestine that “deprives the Palestinians of peace, security and self-determination”. The letter to the President reads: “The same values that have motivated us to work countless hours for your election require us to speak up after the recent explosive violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which are inseparable Connected to the world is a continuous history of occupation, blockade and settlement expansion. ”
The letter comes at a time when Biden and his aides are confronting criticism from Democratic members of Congress like Michigan Rashida Tlaib, Minnesota Ilhan Omarand Wisconsin’s Mark Pocan, who has insufficiently focused on the relocation of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as on Israeli air strikes that have killed hundreds in Gaza. As in the 1960s, when many of the Democratic Party’s most accomplished officials and capable activists broke with President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War, this is a moment when dynamic young activists – and more than some of their elders – warn that the President and the Party leaders need to be aware of the fact that, as Mohammad says, “from now on we will no longer allow our democratic officials and candidates to remain silent about Palestine.”
The signatures on the letter to Biden include those of 10 employees from the national headquarters of his 2020 campaign and eight employees from the Democratic National Committee during the race. However, most of the signatories worked in the states where Biden won the presidency – including the five battlefield states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, which switched from the Republican column to the Democratic side in 2016 The Letter, a coalition of Palestinian Americans, Israeli-American, Jewish and Allied former employees, offers a knowing and nuanced view of violence in the Middle East, explaining: