The president’s blank-check support of Israel’s war on Gaza is alienating many of the Black and brown voters he needs to win reelection.

by Elie Mystal, The Nation

I am neither Israeli or Palestinian, nor am I an expert on Middle Eastern geopolitics, terrorism, security, or colonization. I am an expert in American constitutional law, which, in this situation, is as useful as being an expert in sand-castle construction during a tsunami. As such, I have little to add to the current international conflagration and the foreign policy discourse around it. Instead, I have tried to read, listen, learn, and generally not say anything that could be used by the most morally bankrupt people to justify the murder of children, both Israeli and Palestinian.

However, I am an American, a Black one, who has a lot of experience listening to actual people of color even as their voices are drowned out or dismissed by the prevailing white media. As such, I believe it is in my remit to warn white readers that Joe Biden’s unwaveringly pro-Israeli stance has the potential to do significant harm to his prospects for reelection among voters he needs: young Black and brown people.

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden (D - Delaware) makes a speech at a campaign stop at the River Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

I know many people will not want to think about American political realities so soon after a terrorist attack—while Israel continues to pummel Gaza with air strikes, and Hamas continues to hold Israeli hostages. But, as a person who desperately wants to stop the antidemocratic tide of MAGA-style fascism in my own country, I cannot help but be concerned.

Biden risks labeling himself as a president who is in favor of colonization, and one who will turn a blind eye to ethnic cleansing and war crimes—and those are tough labels to shake once they take hold in communities of color. Voters of color are strategic, and willing to swallow a lot of nonsense and vote for the lesser evil. But there are some who will simply not pull the lever for any president, in any party, who stands aside while an oppressed people is besieged, starved, and bombed into oblivion. Even if you don’t think Israel is a colonial power, or don’t think the Israeli government is violating the human rights of Palestinians as they wage war against Hamas, the Americans who do think those things are voters Biden is losing right now. Those are the kinds of voters who, once lost, Biden will never win back.

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