NAACP calls on Biden to stop sending weapons to Israel as he seeks to shore up support among Black voters

By Jarrett Renshaw and Kat Stafford

(Reuters) – The NAACP urged President Joe Biden on Thursday to “indefinitely” suspend all arms deliveries to Israel and pressure the U.S. ally to end its war in the Strip of Gaza, recalling that his support for Israel could harm him among black voters. during the November elections.

The NAACP’s call was a rare example of an influential civil rights organization taking a stand on U.S. foreign policy toward a country without a significant black population. That appears likely to deepen the Democratic president’s election-year challenges, as he tries to prop up a key ally abroad and temper unrest among his supporters at home.

The 115-year-old civil rights organization said Israel had the right to defend itself after the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants that Israel said killed some 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages.

The NAACP urged Hamas to return the hostages and “end all terrorist activity.” He also urged Israel to “engage in an offensive strategy consistent with international and humanitarian laws.” Israel faces accusations at the International Court of Justice that it violated the genocide convention, which it denies.

The NAACP, which advocates for racial justice and the rights of Black Americans, said the United States must use its influence with Israel to bring about a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. According to health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave, the Israeli campaign has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, caused widespread famine and forced most of the population from their homes.

“The NAACP calls on President Biden to draw the red line and indefinitely end shipments of all weapons and artillery to the State of Israel and other states that supply weapons to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. “many civilian lives come to an immediate halt,” the organization said in a statement first provided to Reuters.

The NAACP’s position represents the latest warning sign that Biden could pay a price at the polls among Black voters on November 5 for his unwavering support for Israel.

Black voters have long been a loyal Democratic constituency and they played a significant role in Biden’s 2020 victory when he defeated Republican Donald Trump, whom he faces again this year. But polls show a lack of enthusiasm for Biden among black voters.

Earlier this year, a group of more than 1,000 Black pastors called on Biden to secure a ceasefire during the crisis.

A March poll by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found that 59 percent of Black Americans believe U.S. military aid to Israel should only be used for self-defense and consistent with human rights standards. man.

Biden’s re-election campaign isn’t as worried about black voters turning to Trump as it is about too many of them being at risk of not participating in the election due to a lack of enthusiasm, campaign officials told Reuters.

After growing domestic pressure and international outrage, Biden suspended sending bombs last month to…

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