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Thousands vote ‘uncommitted’ in Michigan primary to protest Biden’s support for Israel

A Democratic voter uncommitted to President Biden rallies outside of a polling location at Maples Elementary School on February 27, 2024 in Dearborn, Mich.

The chorus of calls in the US against Israel’s war on Gaza has gathered more voices, with thousands of Democratic voters in Michigan marking their primary ballots as "uncommitted” to protest President Joe Biden’s unwavering support for Tel Aviv’s war.

Edison Research announced on Tuesday that with almost half of Democratic votes counted, the number of "uncommitted" ones was more than 58,000 in Michigan, home to a large Arab- American community who are outraged at Biden’s unwavering support for Israel.  

The Listen to Michigan campaign, which urged people to vote uncommitted, hailed the results as a huge victory, saying the votes far exceeded the target of 10,000 that protest organizers had hoped for.

"Our movement emerged victorious tonight and massively surpassed our expectations. Tens of thousands of Michigan Democrats, many of whom who voted for Biden in 2020, are uncommitted to his re-election due to the war in Gaza," it said in a statement.

As results came in after polls closed at 8p.m., members of the group gathered at a banquet hall in Dearborn, with attendees embracing and celebrating the turnout for the campaign.

Layla Elabed, who launched the campaign in early February, thanked local and national progressive organizations and voters who voted “against war, genocide and the destruction of a people and a land.”

Andy Levin, a former congressman, called the movement “a child of necessity” and said the turnout so far was “a huge victory”.

In a post on X, Abdullah Hammoud, mayor of Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, hailed the significant number of people who voted “uncommitted” in the US presidential primaries in Michigan.

“Today, thousands said, ‘Enough.’ As American citizens and Michigan voters, we have made our voices heard at the ballot box,” Hammoud said.

“Now, it is up to President Biden to listen to Michigan and do the right thing,” he added.

Biden won the Democratic primary in Michigan amid concerted effort by anti-war activists to vote “uncommitted” in the race.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Biden said, "I want to thank every Michigander who made their voice heard today. Exercising the right to vote and participating in our democracy is what makes America great," he said, without addressing the Listen to Michigan campaign or the growing tally of voters who cast their ballots as “uncommitted.”

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the offensive, the occupying regime has killed at least nearly 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured about 70,000 others.

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to more than two million Palestinians living there.

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