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The uncommitted vote today may be more than just symbolic by the time November comes.

I'm not a Middle Eastern scholar...or a scholar, period.


This fact is not necessarily a liability since most Middle Eastern experts who land on one side or another in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict base their judgments on their own favored viewpoints, irrespective of the scholarship of their research. We can find experts to blame the Jews and others to blame the Palestinians, both sides employing seemingly equal research, integrity, and earnestness.


Even the readily accepted position that HMAS is a terrorist group doesn't close the deal, for as much as the brutality of their October 7 assault repulses us, we can't help noting that somewhere north of a third of all Americans have no trouble supporting their own January 6 terrorist group—the one that tried to overthrow their government. The death toll was far less, but the intent came from the same terrorist playbook. Then there's the systematic destruction of Gaza and the horrific number of innocents—upwards of 20,000—who have perished either from violence or deprivation.

In contrast, 3000 Americans died on 9/11 and 2400 at Pearl Harbor.


Into this mess steps the person who the world expects to step into every mess: the American president. Joe Biden't task is daunting and basically impossible, for he has inherited decades of failed agreements and millennia of open hostility, and though "we the people" can throw our hands in the air, declare this a no-win situation, and move on with our lives, he can't. It truly is a no-win situation for him, and the ripples extend all the way to...Michigan?


Yep. home of the Buick, Eminem, and the Red Wings. Home also to about 250,000 Arab-Americans and their descendants in the Detroit area. Now a group of them loosely called "Listen to Michigan" has urged its constituency to vote uncommitted in today's primary to show its disapproval of continuing U.S. support to Israel.


This action comes from frustration and anger, but the fact that most of us understand that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that if Michigan were to end up in the Republican column in November, these protesters—and all protesters for whatever cause—would find a much different world awaiting them, one led by a self-avowed authoritarian to whom the acceptance of democratic ideals is anathema: Donald Trump. One can be assured he will not countenance protests by Palestinians, Jews, or anyone else, except maybe the thugs he has always indulged: the Proud Boys and their ilk. And the current Michigan protesters can expect more anti-Arab measures like the ones Trump initiated eight years ago.


(In fairness, most of the supporters of the uncommitted protest loathe Donald Trump and claim they will vote for Biden in November, but in close elections, collateral damage counts, and we may be witnessing its opening instances today.)


It's a shame because while Trump blasphemes the American flag by hugging it on stage, Joe Biden continues to work toward some semblance of an accord in the Middle East while trying to keep other hot spots from exploding and finding assistance for Ukraine. Oh, and immigration and a government shutdown. I almost forgot.


One of the freedoms Trump would love to erode is the freedom of expression, so I cannot in good conscience criticize the Palestinian citizens in Michigan. But I worry that the slightest tipping of the scales will matter nine months from now, and though "Listen to Michigan" will disappear into the ephemera of history, its effects could devastate our democracy for decades to come.

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2 Comments


Guest
Mar 06

As so often, your insight and solid thinking is very appreciated. Thank you.

Don Paglia

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Guest
Feb 29

Defending Biden horrible presidency is much harder than your simplistic trump hate rants.

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