White House Courts Biden-Hating Anti-Israel Activist in Desperate Bid for Muslim Votes

Osama Siblani (MEMRI)
February 8, 2024

Top White House officials will meet Thursday with an Arab-American activist who has praised Hamas and refers to the president as "Genocide Joe," part of the administration's latest gambit to shore up President Joe Biden's waning support with Arab and Muslim voters.

At least seven Biden administration officials will meet with Arab American News publisher Osama Siblani in Dearborn, Mich., one of the country's largest Arab communities, according to the Associated Press. The group includes Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer and U.S. Agency for International Development chief Samantha Power.

They'll be meeting with one of Michigan's most influential Arab-American leaders, one with an extensive history of praising terrorist groups. Siblani in 2022 urged Arabs to fight Israel with "stones" and "guns" and praised the fedayeen, or Islamic militants. He has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as "freedom fighters" and cheered Iran-backed Houthi terrorists for declaring war against Israel in October. Siblani has bragged that during a conference call with White House officials in 2021, he refused "to apologize for Hamas firing rockets at Israel."

Siblani has criticized Biden's handling of the Gaza war, calling the president "Genocide Joe" and stating, "No vote for you Mr. Warmonger."

The meeting is the strongest indicator yet of how dire Team Biden sees his waning support among Michigan's Arab and Muslim voters. With the state's 300,000 Arab and Muslim residents, a boycott of the Biden ticket, which Siblani and his allies have urged, could prove disastrous for the president. Former president Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, won Michigan in 2016. Biden won by just 3 percentage points in 2020.

Biden's desperation is even more apparent given his team has already met with Siblani, with disastrous results. Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodriguez visited Siblani at his newspaper's offices last week to rally support from the Arab-American community. Shortly after the meeting, Siblani called Biden a "war criminal" and said he will never support the president.

"Biden is telling Israel, 'Here is the money; here's ammunition; here's the political power; here's whatever you need, go and kill.' That is a war criminal," Siblani told the Qatar-owned news outlet Al Jazeera. "If this man wants our vote, he has to do more than Jesus Christ—bring a lot more dead back to life. Thousands of people's blood is on his hands."

Siblani's electoral influence could explain the White House's decision to court him while denouncing other anti-Israel activists who expressed support for Hamas. White House officials condemned Nihad Awad, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after he said he "was happy" to see Hamas attack Israel.

The administration has taken other steps of late to mollify Muslim Americans.

Biden sanctioned several Israeli settlers who allegedly attacked Palestinians. The Department of Education this week launched an investigation into alleged anti-Muslim bias at Harvard University. The group that sparked the probe, the Muslim Legal Fund of America, has represented several convicted terrorists and is led by an activist with a history of anti-Semitism, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Siblani did not respond to requests for comment. The White House acknowledged the Free Beacon's request for comment but did not provide one.