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Impact Of Biden’s Israel-Hamas Policy On 2024 Unclear

President Joe Biden has received both praise and criticism for his support of Israel’s military response while pressing them to better protect Palestinian civilians.

As of date, the war between Israel and Hamas rages in Gaza following Hamas’ terror attack on October 7.

Public Perception Is Already Forming For 2024

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As Biden seeks a second term in 2024, the public’s perception is already being shaped by the ongoing reactions to his handling of the war.

However, a number of political experts who support Biden are pushing back, despite some protests from progressive Democrats and Arab American groups, including calls to try to sink his reelection bid.

 

“Did What He Thought Was Right”

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According to David Eichenbaum, a Democratic media consultant who supported Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s successful reelection campaign, Biden “did what he thought was right and consistent with American values.” 

Eichenbaum told ABC News, “I think the politics will take care of itself when you do that.”

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His Handling Might Still Still Be Seen Positively

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With elections still a year away, he and other pro-Biden strategists and advocates expressed optimism about his campaign. 

They feel that Biden’s handling of Israel and Hamas could help, or at least not seriously harm, his presidential bid.

Abortion Rights And Biden’s Record Will Be Key To The Campaign

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According to Jim Gerstein, a researcher and pollster with the Democratic-aligned GBAO Strategies, Biden’s 2024 pitch is not likely to center around the ongoing war.

Biden will likely run, according to Gerstein, “on his record, both in terms of his economic policies, and what he has done to protect abortion rights in this country, as well as what he is done on the international stage.”

Jewish Group Feels Biden’s Support Was On Expected Lines

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Halie Soifer, the CEO of the left-leaning Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), which supported Biden in his reelection campaign,told ABC News that Biden’s handling of Israel’s retaliatory actions and Hamas’ attack on the country on October 7 is in line with his “long-standing support of Israel.” 

According to Soifer, as the election draws near, the JDCA will target Jewish voters with messaging about Biden that will cover a wide range of topics rather than just Israel.

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Majority Of Jews Support Biden

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According to Soifer, the majority of Jewish voters support Biden’s positions, and numerous Jewish organizations and leaders have commended his actions regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

White House authorities have stated that they do not think politics should play a role in it.

But It’s Not That Simple

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This opinion is already being put to the test by the opposition and demonstrations regarding the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The Gaza Health Ministry, which is under the control of Hamas, reports that more than 18,000 people have died in Gaza; the prime minister’s office reported that 1,200 people have died in Israel.

Protests Have Been Rocking DC

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Protesters against the war assembled in mid-November in front of the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., calling for an end to hostilities. 

Arab American and Muslim leaders and organizations have also made headlines by criticizing the president; some have declared they will no longer support him, even if it means a Republican victory.

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Muslim Lives Don’t Matter To Them

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In an interview, Niala Mohammad, director of policy and strategy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council and former senior policy analyst for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said, “All lives are not equal in the eyes of the Biden administration. There’s more precedent given to Israeli lives than there are to Muslim lives.” 

But The President Is Trying Hard To Counter The Narrative

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The President’s campaign said, “Biden knows the importance of earning the trust of every community. … President Biden continues to work closely and proudly with leaders in the Muslim and Palestinian communities in America, to listen to them, stand up for them, and fight back against hate.”

In addition, Biden attended a private White House meeting with Muslim American advocates last month along with his assistants.

Alienating Policies

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash said in an interview earlier this month “I have been out there for the president, and I will continue to be, even though I think that the way that the handling of this war started was, unfortunately, such that it has alienated huge communities.”

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Long Term Solution Needed

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Jayapal said, “At the end of the day, the United States has its reputation to think about globally. And if we alienate all of our allies in the Middle East, that is not going to help us ensure that President Biden wins domestically at home.” She called for a long term solution to the vexatious issue.

Swing States Might Become A Concern

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The opposition from certain Democrats and Arab American organizations may become a swing state concern.

Arab American and Muslim voters recently started the “Abandon Biden” movement, which calls on voters to reject Biden due to his views on Israel and the war.

The Movement Might Create Ripples In States Like Michigan

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The movement is aimed at battleground states like Michigan, which Biden narrowly won in 2020. 

Hassan Abdel Salam, from the University of Minnesota and a member of this movement, said, “We’re really focused on just making sure that our signal to the White House is clear.” 

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Polling Data Shows Support For Biden

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According to Biden’s supporters, public opinion on the war is generally in line with his position.

The people support Israel’s “right to defend itself” while also emphasizing that Palestinian civilians must be safeguarded and that the military campaign must be less damaging.

Democrats Agree

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Democratic support for the president’s position appears to be growing, according to certain polls.

Early in December, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a poll of American adults and found that 59% of Democrats agreed and 39% disagreed. However, this trend was more striking in older Democrats rather than younger ones.

Michigan’s Support For Biden

Impact on the Electability Argument
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Polling also shows that voters in a battleground state like Michigan largely support Biden’s stance. 

For example, a CNN/SSRS poll conducted in Michigan from November 29 to December 6 revealed that most voters there believed Biden was supporting Israel either too much or not enough.

Nonetheless, 49% of Michigan voters under 35 believed that the United States was supporting Israel excessively.

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2024 Is Still Far Away

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We are almost a full year away from next year’s presidential election.

In contrast, COVID-19 would not become a major worldwide issue at this same stage of the 2020 cycle for three more months, and most pro-Biden strategists have doubts that the war will still be a major concern by then.

A Repeat Of 2020 Could Go In His Favor

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Furthermore, according to political analysts, should the election become a rematch with former President Donald Trump, the Biden campaign may be able to capitalize on this difference to win over Democratic-leaning voters who do not share Biden’s views on Israel-Hamas.

It’s Still Unclear

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As per Eichenbaum, “The president is rightly expressing concern about the loss of life on both sides as well as the potential for Israel to lose support from her other allies the longer the war goes on,” 

“I think it’s premature to make any assumptions about how this will impact an election 11 months from now,” he added.

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Voter’s Aren’t Taking Sides

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According to polling, voters themselves are not “taking a side” in the conflict and are not making a choice between Israelis and Palestinians, according to Gerstein.

According to an Associated Press poll, 46% of respondents said it is very important, and 33% said it is somewhat important, to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians living in Gaza; 22% said it is somewhat important, and 67% said it is extremely important, to free the hostages that Hamas is believed to still be holding in Gaza.

Gerstein added, “I would give voters credit for being able to hold sympathy for both peoples at the same time… and have complex feelings and emotions over that that don’t lead to simple responses.”

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