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New Polling – How Arab Americans' Shifting Disposition Could Create Change in Gaza

posted on: Jun 12, 2024

Photo: Pexels

By: Nate Fox / Arab America Contributing Writer

Recent polls by the Arab American Institute reveal a drastic change in Arab Americans’ opinions regarding the upcoming elections. In a recent survey among Arab Americans, former president Trump beat Biden 32%-18%; compared to the previous elections polls, Biden won 59%-35%.

You don’t have to look far to find the reason, Gaza, with President of the Arab American Institute James Zogby calling it “The wound in the Arab heart that never heals.” Other concerns have been raised about Arab American citizens voting at all, with polls revealing 79% view Biden unfavorably and 56% view Trump unfavorably.

Zogby claimed that the many staying home are not just Arab voters but also Black Americans, Asians, and young voters. He remained confident that Arab Americans would remember the pain he says they suffered under Trump and, when they vote, vote for Biden. However, he reaffirms that the primary concern is progressive people as a whole voting at all. Zogby claims that the bright side of these polls is that Biden can still change; given he takes a strong stance on the war and leverages his power over Israel, he may regain his lost popularity.

When you look at the perspectives of Biden and Trump on this issue, the polls don’t make as much sense. Trump has claimed that he would crush pro-Palestinian protestors and even deport demonstrators. In talks with some of his wealthy donors, Trump claimed that he supports Israel’s right to continue the war and said it was a “war on terror.” While he seemed more sympathetic to the Palestinian side when talking to the public, concerns have risen concerning major donors lobbying him to take a stronger stance backing Israel. On the contrary, Biden says this regarding college protestors “I understand people have strong feelings and deep convictions. In America, we respect the right and protect the right for them to express that. But it doesn’t mean anything goes. It needs to be done without violence, without destruction.”

Biden proposed a ceasefire not long after the polls were released. Given its short succession, it’s difficult to say that this is in response to the poll, but it gives hope that, given the upcoming election, his approach to Palestine might shift. Biden’s ceasefire has three phases, with the result being an end to all conflict, a release of all the hostages, and aid to the civilians caught in the middle of the war. Biden now claims that the only thing stopping this ceasefire is Hamas, with Israel supporting it, having authored it. It’s challenging to remain confident in Israel’s support, with Netanyahu reaffirming that Israel is committed to “the destruction of Hama’s military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel” before ending the war. 

To see the full CNN report, please click here.

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