Biden has often said: You don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist (Reuters)
The New York Times revealed sources it described as knowledgeable as saying that US President Joe Biden invited a small group of prominent Muslim Americans to the White House to discuss Islamophobia in America a few weeks after the start of the war on Gaza, noting that disappointment with Biden even included some officials in his administration.
The newspaper reported that those meeting with Biden told him that his embrace of Israel after the October 7 attacks was considered by many as a green light for the Israeli bombing of Gaza, and said that his statement questioning the Palestinian death figures was insulting, highlighting that the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old Muslim boy outside Chicago was just a devastating result of dehumanizing the Muslim community.
Wael al-Zayat, chief executive of a Muslim voter mobilization organization who was among those attending that meeting in Roosevelt Hall on Oct. 26, said: "Biden acknowledged that there may have been mistakes in his speech, he listened and actually showed empathy, and promised to do better, especially in terms of humanizing Palestinians."
Zogby: When the dust subsides, the tears dry up, we will have more corpses, more anger, more extremism
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who also attended the meeting, said the war had increased the risks for Americans as well, explaining that Muslim community leaders warned Biden that "the suffering of innocent Gazans trying to survive in very difficult conditions has actually increased the likelihood of anti-Islamic attacks in the United States."
The rally ended with Mr. Biden embracing a woman who lost her brother in a hate crime against Muslims several years ago, but the group left without getting the only thing they came for: a promise from Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire.
James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, who has been surveying the Arab community for 27 years, said: "There is a feeling that the shock of one people is more important than the shock of another."
Biden's top aides, led by White House Chief of Staff Jeffrey Zients, have held multiple meetings with angry officials to hear their grievances, one of which was recently chaired by Mr. Zients, senior adviser to the president Anita Dunn, Deputy National Security Advisor John Viner, and Director of Public Engagement Stephen Benjamin, and allowed dissatisfied staff to express concerns about the president's strategy and speech.
Biden has long regarded himself as a hero of Israel and Jewish nationalism, and has always said, "You don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist." His unwavering support for Israel has at times put him at odds with some members of his party, especially among left-leaning coalition members who see the Palestinian cause as an extension of ethnic and social justice movements.
"When the dust subsides, and the tears dry up, we will have more bodies, more anger, more extremism."
Source: New York Times