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As many have noticed, Biden is catching a lot of criticism from parts of the Democrat base for his support of Israel.

Michigan's 100,000 'uncommitted' votes challenge Biden's Israel stance | Reuters

With 95% of the votes counted, Biden won Tuesday's primary with 81%, but 13%, or more than 100,000 people, cast "uncommitted" ballots in a state where a large Arab American community and other progressive Democrats vented their anger at Biden's support of an Israeli offensive in which tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed.

Fair enough, but have any major Democrat politicians or spokespeople flagged the risk of disenchanting Democratic voters overmuch on this subject, come November? Whatever "too much support" Biden is up to, Trump would most likely, on past form, be significantly worse, from their own point of view of "too much support".

This isn't just me making up this problem either. After I posted this question, BBC wrote this:

I (the reporter) asked Leyla Elabed, manager of the "Listen to Michigan" campaign, if she was worried she might be inadvertently helping Donald Trump back into the White House by damaging Joe Biden's electability.

"If Biden doesn't act now, and listen to the 80% of Democrats and the 66% of Americans that want a permanent ceasefire right now," she told me before Tuesday's primary, "it is going to be Biden, his administration and the Democratic Party that are going to be accountable for handing the White House to Trump in November."

No, I am not really all that interested in hearing the rationale from people like Ms. Elabed (see the title), I understand their motivations well enough. Only if other politicians have mirrored this reporter's concerns.

To put this in perspective, a subsequent BBC article, same subject:

Most foreign policy analysts agree that Mr Trump, who has boasted of being the most pro-Israel president in US history, would be even less likely to challenge Israel's Gaza policy if he returns to the White House next year.

p.s. this question is asking about statements by prominent Democrats. Not whether or not Biden is the best candidate.

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  • Comments deleted. This is not a place to debate the upcoming US presidential election.
    – Philipp
    Commented Mar 6 at 7:38

2 Answers 2

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US politics for the last few decades has been dominated by a broadly bipartisan consensus that Israel is to be supported no matter what. This has been the case with successive administrations, whether that be Biden transferring weapons to Israel whilst it plausiby commits genocide and deliberately starves Gaza, to Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recognising the illegally occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel, to Obama signing over to Israel over $3 billion a year making Israel the largest recipient of US aid.

So yes, Democrat leaders are telling pro-Palestinians that "Trump is worse" and will continue to do so, but most pro-Palestinians just don't care. To them, putting the fear in the Democrat party and breaking the decades long unconditional support for Israel by US politicians from both parties, even as it commits Apartheid, is so important that it is even worth running the risk of another four years of Trump.

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    This answer says "Most pro-Palestinians don't care," thus implying that a majority of people who support Palestinian rights will not vote for the Democratic Party in the general election. That assertion is a question of fact, and while it might turn out to be the case, I rather suspect that most supporters of Palestinian rights will end up holding their noses and voting for Biden anyway. In any case, it's quite early to prognosticate one way or another, particularly in the absence of polling—which is indeed absent from your answer.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Mar 1 at 5:42
  • Philipp, the parts of my answer that you removed are properly referenced to reliable sources. They are not opinions. You should not be defacing the answer.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Mar 4 at 16:48
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    @Obie2.0 This is the way the system works. Whether most supporters of Palestinians would risk Trump coming back is really irrelevant. In Michigan 13% of voters showing up to the Democratic primary and voting "unaffiliated" rather than voting for Joe is a deafening example of poilitical speech. Joewill find it hard to win Michigan without those voters and hard to win the Presidency without Michigan. This is exactly how the U.S. got in Bed with Israel and why the US has stayed in that bed for 70 years. Truman vs Dewey 1948.
    – JMS
    Commented Mar 12 at 16:40
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this question is asking about statements by prominent Democrats

Somewhat of a frame challenge: do they have to make such statements? They'd look pretty hand-holding, and so they might be resented as such. OTOH the Democrat-leaning press has done that job e.g. Vox

For those who wish Washington would put more pressure on Jerusalem to stop the killing, this raises a fundamental question: Would President Donald Trump have done anything differently?

The answer is almost certainly yes. Biden has put only inconsistent pressure on Israel; Trump would have put none.

And the Israeli government appears to be doing that job too:

The Israeli right understands this and pines for Trump. In an early February interview with the Wall Street Journal, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir made his views quite clear.

“Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel [to Gaza], which goes to Hamas,” Ben-Gvir said. “If Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different.”

And the Trump camp also speaks for itself:

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy for Middle East policy, blasted the Biden administration's decision to impose sanctions on violent West Bank settlers as “wrong and deceptive.” He also claimed to be “shocked that the State Department was investigating the possibility of declaring an independent Palestinian state,” a decision he termed “terribly harmful and dangerous.”


To more directly answer the Q, Bernie Sanders (who technically isn't a Democrat, but caucuses with them) said in an interview:

Asked about the backing that "uncommitted" campaigns have gained across multiple states—a sign of the broad unpopularity of Biden's approach to the war—Sanders told "Face the Nation" that "the fight continues to change Biden's policy in Gaza," where children are dying of starvation as the U.S.-armed Israeli military attacks and impedes aid deliveries.

"But the contrast between Biden and Trump is day and night," the Independent senator added, pointing to differences between the two candidates on climate, abortion rights, voting rights, and other issues. "The election of Trump would be a disaster for this country and, in my view, the world. We've got to come together, reelect Biden. But, at the same time, we have to demand that we have a progressive agenda, where we have an economy that works for all, not just a few."

Sanders is also one of the most adamant critics of Netanyahu, even demanding the conditioning of US aid to Israel now, so Sanders saying that Trump is still the worse choice is telling enough.

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