happened this week in the United States.
Against all the odds, polls were predicting that Hilary Clinton would
win Michigan in the US’s rust belt by over 20%, Sanders gained a narrow victory
How to explain
this? Well one explanation is that
Michigan’s Black voters split down the middle.
The other explanation is that working-class whites don’t buy Clinton’s
support from Wall Street.
is that large numbers of Arab voters did what the US media has always told its
readers was impossible. The media
narrative is that Arabs are anti-Semitic, hate Jews etc. That after all is what motivates the Palestinians. It’s nothing to do with land confiscation,
killing of civilians, expulsion of refugees etc. It’s all to do with that ingrained hatred of Jews. Anti-Semitism explains all.
quite as stupid as the American media would have their readers believe. Their main concern is anti-Muslim racism (or
Islamaphobia as it’s called). Bernie
Sanders, unlike Hilary Clinton, addressed this issue and opposed it. Clinton has remained silent. Sanders record on Israel is not good but it’s
better than the other candidates and he has at least criticised the brutality
of Israel’s military, unlike all other candidates.
to the normal ruling class narrative of anti-Semitic Arabs, 60% of Arabs in
Dearborn are estimated to have voted for the Jewish candidate. Strange that!
of the great storylines from last night’s surprise victory for Bernie Sanders
in Michigan is that he won the Arab-American vote– and the mainstream media are
stunned that Arab Americans would vote for a Jew. Sanders won
heavily-Arab-American Dearborn, by
7100 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 4700 votes. That’s a 59 to 39 percent Sanders
stronghold inside Wayne County, which was a Clinton stronghold. Wrote
law professor Khaled Beydoun:
Free Press’s Niraj Warikoo reports that Sanders’s victory was fueled by
young Arab and Muslim voters, and that he put out an Arabic ad at a time when
Hillary Clinton wasn’t working that community.
Monday afternoon, Sanders spoke to a packed theater that included many
Arab-American Muslims, including several women wearing hijab, the Islamic
headscarf, who sat behind him as he addressed the crowd. He was introduced by
Detroit native U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to
Congress. Sanders met before the speech with the publisher of the
Arab-American News, which endorsed him last week.
narrative of Arab-American Muslims in Dearborn supporting a Jewish candidate
was one that struck many on social media as a symbol of unity at a time of
division on the campaign trail.
quotes Sanders, thrillingly:
if we stand for anything we have got to stand together and end all forms of
racism, and I will lead that effort as president of the United States.
American News endorsed Sanders last week and cited his vigorous
denunciation of Islamophobia.
stands for racial justice and has unequivocally condemned Islamophobia.
made a similar point on Twitter:
notice the Arab newspaper’s brisk and refreshing acknowledgment of Sanders’s
Jewishness and of America’s unfair policy on Israel’s human rights abuses. It’s
impossible to imagine this language in a non-Arab publication.
foreign policy, Sanders has shown the most even-handed approach
to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
his views on this issue do not rise to the aspirations of Arab Americans who
would like to see Washington take a clear stance against Israel’s human rights
abuses and occupation of Palestinian land, Sanders’ call for ending the
blockade on Gaza is a step in the right direction. His condemnation of Israeli
attacks that kill Palestinian civilians is unprecedented by any major
is a Jewish American. This newspaper and the community at large do not have a
bias against anyone’s ethnic or religious affiliation. Ideas are what matters.
in mind, Sanders won the state by little more than 18,000 votes out of more
than 1 million cast. Much of that margin was surely Arab-American.
Scahill noted the obvious foreign policy angle:
of the commentary on the Sanders victory in the Arab-American community has
noted the media’s surprise at it. IBTimes:
commentators and media outlets were quick to pounce on a “fascinating”
statistic from Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Michigan primary on Tuesday
night: Democrats in Dearborn, a city whose population is 40 percent Arab, voted
overwhelmingly for Sanders over rival Hillary Clinton (59 percent
to 39 percent). The subtext of pointing out this particular statistic is
clear. How, the media wondered, could a predominantly Muslim group support
a Jewish candidate?
|An Arab American supporting Bernie Sanders|
noticed NY radio
host Brian Lehrer’s tweet from last night, because it assumed Arab
Americans would not vote for a Jewish candidate (Lehrer is Jewish and almost
never touches real criticism of Israel).
tweeted (and he’s been widely retweeted):
York Times reporter
Liam Stack, formerly in Cairo, said:
moment, for the mainstream media.
Donald Trump won Dearborn on the Republican side, 39 to 29 to 17 (Trump/John
Kasich/Ted Cruz). But his vote total, 3153, is less than half of Sanders’s 7126
and less than Hillry Clinton’s 4730.
Islamophobia didn’t resonate with Arab Americans.