Last week, hundreds of liberal Jewish American activists held sit-ins at the offices of leading Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Senator Bernie Sanders, demanding an immediate ceasefire in the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
This division within the Democratic party reflects growing frustration with President Biden and Democratic leaders’ response to the Israel-Gaza conflict. The party’s progressive wing is increasingly at odds with the White House’s unwavering pro-Israel stance, leading to internal divisions within the left itself.
President Biden’s comments during a White House news conference, expressing doubt in the Gaza health ministry’s reported Palestinian death toll and stating that civilian casualties are the “price of waging a war,” have been met with widespread criticism. Many progressives have accused Biden of enabling violence against Palestinians and predict that his stance will cost him the support of Muslim and Arab American voters in the next election.
Despite growing resistance from the left, the White House has firmly rejected calls for a ceasefire. White House spokesperson John Kirby argued that a ceasefire at this stage would only benefit Hamas.
In Congress, 18 House Democrats have joined a resolution calling for the White House to support an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine. Additionally, hundreds of former campaign and congressional staffers to progressive senators have written open letters urging their bosses to call for a ceasefire.
Despite these calls, no senator has yet backed a ceasefire. Instead, several Democratic senators have called for a “humanitarian pause” to allow aid, food, and medical supplies to reach Gaza.
Potential Impact on 2024 Election as Biden’s Approval Rating Drops
The 2024 presidential election is still a year away, but many progressives, particularly younger activists, have threatened to withhold support for Biden due to his handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
A Gallup poll released on Thursday found that Biden’s approval rating among Democrats has dropped 11 percentage points in one month, to a record low of 75%. This drop is largely attributed to Democratic voters’ dissatisfaction with Biden’s support for Israel.
Read more at The Guardian.