(Washington) Joe Biden travels Thursday to Michigan, an electorally crucial North American state that has been at the center of anger among Arab-Americans against the Democratic president's pro-Israel policies.
The White House made it clear that this was purely an election trip, and the Democratic campaign team noted only that he would meet with members of the UAW, a major automobile union in the Detroit area.
No details have been leaked on the details or stages of the trip, shrouded in secrecy unusual even for a US president.
The union is calling for a vote for Joe Biden, a support that could carry more weight in Michigan, the cradle of the U.S. automobile industry.
The state in the Great Lakes region is what we call a “swing state” that will swing to the US president and his best rival in the Republican primary, Donald Trump, during the presidential election in November.
Joe Biden narrowly won against the former president in 2020 and hopes to repeat the result.
But this time he has to deal with the wrath of Arab-Americans, especially the large numbers in Michigan. These voters accuse the president of sacrificing the citizens of Gaza in the name of support for Israel, in the grip of a grave humanitarian crisis.
Trying to quell this hatred? According to US media, the 81-year-old Democrat is set to sign an executive order on Thursday targeting Jewish settlers accused of attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army has been carrying out a massive military operation in Gaza since the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas launched a bloody attack on Israel on October 7.
Several associations called for demonstrations in favor of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Wednesday evening in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, one of the largest communities of Arab origin in the country, and the collective “Abandon Bidden” organized a press conference in the same city on Thursday to protest his visit.
“Never before has the location of a President's campaign rally been kept so secret. “I believe Biden is so disillusioned that he is afraid to meet citizens publicly,” Khalid Durrani, one of the group's leaders, commented in a press release.
Last week, the mayor of Dearborn refused to meet with Joe Biden's campaign manager when he visited the area.
“I'm not going to talk about elections when we see a genocide taking place before our eyes with the support of our government,” Abdullah Hammoud explained on the social network X.
Wherever he goes, the US president is now confronted by groups of demonstrators who wave Palestinian flags and chant slogans against “Genocide Joe” as his motorcade passes.
His speeches are almost routinely interrupted by pro-Palestinian activists. On January 23, Joe Biden had to stop speaking several times during an event dedicated to defending abortion rights.
Almost every vote will count for the Democratic president, as November's election, like last time, could be decided by narrow margins in some key states.
Take Pennsylvania, for example: Joe Biden narrowly won in 2020 in this state, home to many Arab-Americans.
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