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Biden Kowtows To Dearborn’s Terror-Justifying Mayor To Retain Antisemitic Voters

Abdullah Hammoud is able to make the White House shake while critics of his city’s cheerleading for mass murder are called Islamophobes.

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Dearborn, Michigan, is a modest suburb of Detroit with a population of only about 110,000 people. But it may be the key to the 2024 presidential election, and that has made its mayor one of the more influential people in the Democrat Party.

Earlier this month, Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud flatly refused to take a meeting with Julia Chavez Rodriguez, President Joe Biden’s national campaign manager. Rodriguez had been dispatched by the White House to Michigan to try to persuade local Democrats to stop talking as if they were abandoning Biden because of his support for Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre. But while Rodriguez was able to meet with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the virulently antisemitic Palestinian-American charter member of the congressional left-wing “squad,” Hammoud snubbed her.

Displaying the kind of chutzpah that would have been more fitting for a stereotypical party boss of a big city political machine of the 19th or early 20th centuries, Hammoud sent the campaign the message that he didn’t have time to meet a mere political operative. Hammoud would only meet with policymakers. And in a clear indication of the White House’s view of the importance of the Arab-American vote in Michigan, the administration duly complied with Hammoud’s demand.

In short order, Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer led a delegation of officials to Dearborn that included President Barack Obama’s U.N. ambassador and current administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Samantha Power. And what he said, which was leaked to The New York Times and subsequently confirmed by the White House, should come as a shock to Democrats who hold onto the belief that the U.S.-Israel relationship is in good hands with Biden.

Finer’s message to Hammoud was one of contrition. “We are very well aware that we have [made] missteps in the course of responding to this crisis since Oct. 7,” said Finer. He said the administration was sorry for its messaging and policies in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacres in which Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,200 men, women, and children in southern Israel. Biden had forthrightly declared American support for Israel’s right to defend itself but also for the cause of eradicating Hamas.

Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken later sought to first delay and then hamstring the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces to take out the terrorists. In recent days, a cascade of blistering and unjustified attacks on Israel has escalated with Biden saying that Israel’s efforts to eradicate Hamas have been “over the top” and Blinken claiming that Israel was “dehumanizing” the Palestinians by fighting back against a genocidal terror organization. So it’s hard to imagine why Finer would think he had to apologize for Biden not valuing Palestinian lives.

Why Send Top Aides?

But as his poll numbers continue to sink along with the growing questions about his age, Biden can’t afford to ignore the open revolt against his policies that encompasses lower-ranking administration officials, congressional staffers, and the president’s reelection campaign workers, as well as the left-wing activist base that will supply most of the energy and volunteers to get out the vote this fall.

That’s the explanation for the highly unusual deployment of top aides whose work is executing the nation’s foreign policy to instead carry out a blatantly political mission. There’s simply no other explanation for sending Finer and Power to take a message to a key Democrat constituency. Not only did they apologize for backing Israel but they articulated a desire to reward the Palestinians with an independent state after they launched a war and committed the largest mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

Dearborn Mayor’s Extremism

But what makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that the man Biden dispatched the No. 2 official in the National Security Council to placate is the sort of extremist that ought to be radioactive to a major party’s presidential reelection campaign.

The 33-year-old Hammoud is in one sense an illustration of the American dream. The son of Lebanese Shia immigrants, Hammoud attended the University of Michigan, worked as a consultant for the Henry Ford Health System, and won a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2016. In 2021, Hammoud won a landslide victory as mayor of Dearborn. And his background has made him a hot number — he was recently appointed as a member of the advisory board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors — in a party where identity politics rules supreme.

In a city where an estimated 54 percent of the population is Arab, Hammoud has outdone even Tlaib in his reaction to the Hamas atrocities and the subsequent war Israel has waged to eliminate the Islamist terrorist movement.

As a New York Times article published in December made clear, Hammoud was the face of anguish about events in Gaza. But rather than condemning violence, he became a leading voice rationalizing Hamas terrorism, including the mass murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping committed on Oct. 7. Posting on X the day after the massacre, and well before any Israeli retaliation for the cross-border invasion had begun, Hammoud claimed Hamas’ actions were justified by Israeli actions.

Repeating well-worn lies about Israel being an “apartheid” state and defending the antisemitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, he also claimed that the slaughter was a natural response to the “occupation.” He left out the fact that Gaza wasn’t occupied on Oct. 6, since Israel had withdrawn every soldier, settler, and settlement from the Strip in 2005 in a vain effort to create an incubator for peace there. Gaza had been ruled as an independent Palestinian state in all but name by Hamas since 2007.

Moreover, when Hamas refers to the “occupation,” they don’t speak of the dispute over the future of the West Bank between Jews and Arabs. They consider every inch of Israel to be “occupied,” and their charter and all their actions are aimed at destroying the one Jewish state on the planet and bringing the genocide of its 7 million Jews.

‘America’s Jihad Capital’

Such statements help explain why The Wall Street Journal has referred to Dearborn as “America’s jihad capital.” Dearborn has been the site of a number of pro-Hamas rallies in which local imams have spread hatred against Jews, urging Muslims to regard Hamas’ murderers and rapists as heroes and to continue the jihad against Americans who back the Jewish state. But as The Federalist reported, any mention of these activities is regarded by left-wing ideologues and even supposedly responsible Democratic politicians such as Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., as, “Bigotry. Hatred. Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim.”

This follows a typical pattern in which left-wingers label any accurate reporting about Muslims’ Jew-hatred and support for Islamist radicals as “Islamophobia.” Indeed, even before Oct. 7, the White House reflexively paired any comment about the surge in antisemitism throughout the country to a mythical increase in prejudice against Muslims. And the disingenuous talk about Islamophobia is why politicians like Hammoud are not just mainstreaming hate but making it politically profitable.

Winning Michigan for Biden

Arab-American voters who opposed former President Donald Trump because of his historic backing for the Jewish state had been part of the coalition that won Michigan for Biden. But Biden’s equivocal stand on the war against Hamas has alienated more than woke campus leftists. Hammoud, Tlaib, and other Arab-American politicians think this gives them leverage not just to have White House officials bend the knee to them but to actually change U.S. policy toward Hamas.

Biden’s efforts to force a ceasefire on Israel that would allow Hamas to emerge from the war still alive and, in effect, its victor, is in no small measure the result of his fears that Arab-American voters will abandon him in November. Whether that is the main factor behind the polls that show Trump winning Michigan by a possibly decisive margin remains to be seen. But, as Finer’s mission to Hammoud shows, Biden and his campaign believe it.

Biden has allowed his fears of losing Michigan and the support of his party base to paint himself into a corner about Gaza. If he doesn’t prevent the continuation of the war, then he will have given the antisemites like Tlaib and other progressives a reason to further distance themselves from his political fate. That would seem to be counterintuitive for Democrats who regard a victory for Trump as the end of the world. Still, some are so committed to delegitimizing Israel and thwarting efforts to destroy Hamas that they seem to think a Trump victory might be worth it if it means that never again would a Democrat president stand with Israel.

At a time when the destruction of Hamas is a real possibility after several months more of hard fighting, Biden’s apology to his left-wing critics like Hammoud isn’t just humiliating. It may also offer the terrorists a lifeline. That would not only enable them to claim victory but would also encourage, rather than seek to end, the surge in left-wing antisemitism that is on display in the country’s “jihad capital.”


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