“Genocide Joe!” shouted a protester with a Palestinian flag from the back of the hall. “How many children have you killed in Gaza? How many women have you killed in Gaza?”
Biden looked confused and winked silently at the cameras. In total, it was to be interrupted at least 13 more times. “This is going to continue for a while,” he said at one point. “They plan to.”
As Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign gets underway, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they have it planned. A decentralized network of pro-Palestinian groups and individuals, including Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, and anti-war organizations, are hounding Biden for his staunch support for Israel despite the high cost in civilian lives in its war against Hamas.
“Our community will be active, with actions big and small, until this genocide ends and there is a permanent ceasefire,” Mohamad Habehh told the Guardian. It was an individual who stood up and shouted, “Genocide Joe!” in Virginia.
Habehh said Biden should expect much more of the same during the election year. “Every event that the president does, no matter where it’s held, no matter what state or city, there will be Americans who will oppose his position on Gaza.”
Habehh, who described himself as a Palestinian-American organizer, did not threaten the wilderness. This month, all of Biden’s big speeches to kick off his re-election campaign have been interrupted by pro-Palestinian protests.
At a rally for abortion rights in Virginia, there were at least 30 protesters in the hall and another 50 outside. A few weeks ago, at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Biden’s appeal to black voters came to a screeching halt after several protesters began chanting “truce now!” from the pews.
A day after the rally in Virginia, protesters disrupted a similarly elaborate union-wooing event in Washington, DC, where Biden was receiving support from the United Auto Workers. Video taken by New York Times reporter Katie Rogers showed individuals being physically dragged from the venue.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the feminist peace group Code Pink and one of the protesters outside the Virginia rally, echoed the feeling that such agitation is fast becoming the new normal.
“We expect there to be protests at every major event that Biden does and even the smaller ones,” she said. “People are so angry that they want to take out their frustration and disgust on the man we now call Genocide Joe and anyone who works for this complicit administration.”
It’s not just the prime-time rallies that are now drawing the ire of the anti-war crowd in Gaza. Everywhere Biden goes, whether it’s outside the church he attends near his home in Delaware or along the route of his presidential motorcade.
Other senior politicians are also under fire. Benjamin said she now attends almost daily protests in Congress.
Code Pink and other groups harassed senators as they entered and left congressional hearings. They also held meetings at the congressional offices of Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, and Mitch McConnell, his Republican counterpart.
Regular demonstrations are also held at the entrances to the White House, the US State Department, and other federal government offices, which are believed to add to the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s attack on Gaza, which came in response to a Hamas attack that killed 7 in Israel 1200 people.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli military operation.
Image Source: Asharq Al-Awsat