President Biden’s administration is working on a strategy to combat Islamophobia in the United States as Israel’s war with Hamas continues.
The Biden administration said it was already taking steps to protect Jewish students on college campuses across the country. The White House had expected to announce similar measures for Muslim Americans, but the move was met with skepticism from Muslim leaders, two people briefed on the matter said. A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Videos and reports of anti-Semitic incidents surged in the weeks following the October 7 Hamas massacre in Israel, particularly on university campuses. Dozens of student organizations deny the facts about the Hamas attack and even try to justify it outright.
Members of the Muslim community said similar Islamophobic incidents across the United States, although less widely documented, have been spiking.
Mr. Biden has been warned by the left wing of his party that his full-throated support for Israel could cost him Muslim voters in the upcoming election. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., warned the president to be “careful” in how he handles the issue.
“I am one of President Biden’s biggest supporters. He has been brave and strong on the home front, and I am proud to be a partner. He has supported average working Americans across this country. I really condemned the injustice against them,” Jayapal said.
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“I think the president needs to act courageously on this issue so we can maintain unity in the country in support of the incredible things he has done. “I think the president will be asked to explain the issue. “The moral importance of this is important to people. The American people are actually quite far away from where Israel and Gaza are, where the president and the majority in Congress are. ” she continued. “They support Israel’s right to defend itself and exist, but they don’t support trading one war crime for another. I think the president needs to be mindful of that. I know the president very well, so I would like to call him.”
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Jayapal himself has called Israel a “racist state” in the past, but has since amended his statement to only say he believes there are racists in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. .
The Associated Press contributed to this report.