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Biden won’t get our vote: Arab American News’ Osama Siblani

(NewsNation) — Osama Siblani, the publisher of the Arab American News, expressed deep dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden’s approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in an “On Balance,” interview raising concerns of Biden’s reelection chances in key swing states.

Biden faces multiple challenges as he navigates the delicate balance between supporting Israel and addressing the concerns of Arab Americans. 

In the 2020 election Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes, according to Axios. And census estimates put the state’s Arab American population at least 278,000. 

Biden won key states like Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia in 2020 by narrow margins and the potential impact of the Arab American vote on future elections holds significance. 

Siblani, known for his role in the Arab American community, criticized Biden’s lack of leadership and urged him to take a more active role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He called for a solution that addresses the root cause of the issue rather than exacerbating divisions.  

“We would like him to go and say, “What can I do in order to solve this problem.” So we will not have this issue again,” Siblani said. 

Siblani criticized past leaders, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, for their perceived failures in handling the conflict. 

“Unless Biden turns into Jesus Christ and brings some Palestinians back from the dead, we’re not supporting him,” Siblani told Axios. 

Host Leland Vittert questioned Siblani about the potential impact of Arab American voters turning away from Biden. Siblani acknowledged the limited choices among Republican nominees but hinted at a third option, suggesting that withholding support for either major party candidate could send a message. 

“No vote for the top ticket,” Siblani said. “And not speaking to the Arab American community and not talking to them or not addressing the issues that they’re concerned about, there is a price for it.” 

Vittert argued that Biden is evolving his tone toward Israel holding for an end to the war. 

The president tweeted Tuesday, “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek.” 

Siblani remained skeptical, emphasizing the need for concrete actions rather than rhetorical changes. 

Vittert raised the issue of Hamas, pointing to recent polling showing 75% of Palestinians support the Oct. 7 attacks. Siblani refused to condemn Hamas outright, attributing its actions to the prolonged suffering of Palestinians and calling for a broader perspective on the historical context. 

“I’m not willing to repudiate Hamas over what they did on October 7 because the history doesn’t start on October 7. It actually goes back to 1948. The suffering of the Palestinians has been going on for 75 years, and no one did anything about it. And Hamas is the product of the suffering. I cannot condemn Hamas for what they have done. I have to condemn those people who drove the Palestinians to the point of no return,” Siblani said. 

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