Biden official Jon Finer, who serves as Deputy National Security Advisor under National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, recently spoke to a closed-door meeting of US-Arab leaders in Dearborn, Michigan, where he called some Israeli leaders ‘somewhat abhorrent’ and stated he does not have ‘any confidence’ in the current Israeli government.
Pandering to a city with a large Arab-American population, Finer was joined by other Biden administration officials, including ex-UN ambassador Samantha Power.
The New York Times reported that in a recording from the event, Finer told attendees about the Biden administration’s efforts toward Palestinian statehood and would demand all parties compromise.
Finer was quoted as saying, “We will have to do things for Saudi Arabia that will be very unpopular in this country and in our Congress. Will Israel be willing to do the hard thing that’s going to be required of them, which is meaningful steps for the Palestinians on the question of two states? I don’t know if the answer to that is yes. I do not have any confidence in this current government of Israel.”
Finer also called unnamed Israeli officials “abhorrent.” He added that the administration should have taken a stronger stand against those who compared “residents of Gaza to animals.”
While Finer did not specify who he was referring to, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was quoted in the early days of the war as saying, “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.” Gallant’s remarks came after the slaughter of civilians, the murder of children, and the use of rape as a tool of war by Hamas terrorists.
Finer’s efforts seem to suggest concern over dwindling support for Biden’s re-election bid in the state.
Meeting attendees told the New York Times that they were disappointed that the Biden officials would not commit to policy changes.
Some of the attendees had previously refused to meet with Biden’s campaign manager as part of a listening tour of Muslim and Arab American concerns about the president.
More than 30 Michigan state and local officials have vowed to vote “uncommitted” in the state’s Democratic primary over Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.
Only 17.4% of Arab American voters said they would vote for Biden in 2024, according to a John Zogby Strategies poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute last October.
In 2020, the same poll measured Arab American support for Biden at 59%.