US Rep. Meeks thinks Black voters will still support Biden amid Israel-Hamas conflict

Meeks, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes President Biden’s message on the Israel-Hamas conflict resonates with Black Americans.

Rep. Gregory Meeks,
Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., speaks during the America Competes Act event in the Rayburn Room in the Capitol on Friday, February 4, 2022. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images).

Ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., does not believe President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict will cause him to lose the support of Black voters.  

While Black voters are concerned about “innocent people being killed” and “want to make sure that humanitarian aid is getting to Palestinians,” Meeks told theGrio that he also believes they want “fairness” and “understand that Israel does have the right to exist and defend itself.”

Meeks said that President Biden has been very “clear” about wanting to provide Palestinians with humanitarian aid and is pushing for a two-state solution. He believes that is resonating with voters.

U.S. Rep. Gabe Amo, D-R.I, told theGrio that Black voters “want to see a resolution,” particularly “a ceasefire that both Israel and Hamas agree to … to make sure that we don’t find ourselves stuck in a cycle of violence and death.”

However, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., disagrees with Biden’s approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and believes it could cause him to lose Black voters.

“The stance of saying that Israel has to stand down is ludicrous,” Donalds told theGrio.

The Florida Republican added, “Would we stand down if somebody came into our country and killed our people? No, we would not. We would obliterate them.”

Last week, Biden engaged in a tense phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the 30-minute conversation, Biden said U.S. policy as it relates to its support of Israel could change if the nation does not address the “civilian harm” and “humanitarian suffering” caused by its military operation in the region. The president also called for an immediate ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to get in and enable hostages out of Gaza.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 18: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT – ‘ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE (GPO) / HANDOUT’ – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) US President Joe Biden (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meet in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023. (Photo by GPO/ Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Netanyahu agreed to increase efforts to transport aid to Palestinians. However, that has yet to materialize.

At this time, more than 1 million people in Gaza face the possibility of starvation due to food insecurity, and they are heavily reliant on the importing of humanitarian assistance.

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., blasted Netanyahu for failing to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza and for creating inhumane conditions in the region.

The progressive Democrat told theGrio that the Israeli leader is “undermining us and our relationship.”

“This is about human rights. This conflict is targeting vulnerable and poor civilians who are not Hamas,” said Bowman.

While the Israeli prime minister continues to fall short of fulfilling his promise to President Biden, Bowman said the U.S. should cease sending military aid to Israel.

“They should not be receiving our support if they are not going to adhere to the humanitarian crisis that is happening,” he declared.

Since the conflict began on Oct. 7, the U.S. has been supplying Israel with military weapons. As a result of the conflict, more than 1.7 million people have been displaced, and more than 33,000 people have lost their lives in Gaza.

Congressman Bowman contends that six months of engaging in “collective punishment of civilians in Gaza … is not going to beat Hamas.”

“Hamas is an idea, and that idea is going to continuously be perpetuated if we just go about trying to solve this with war, with missiles and the killing of babies and women,” he cautioned.

In the meantime, U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., said it is vital for President Biden to push “both sides to reach a bilateral agreement for a ceasefire.”

Ivey told theGrio, “That would be a huge step in the right direction” and would help humanitarian aid workers be able to perform their duties without the fear of death or injury.

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