White House hosts muted Ramazan event as Biden’s Israel policy draws Anger

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White House hosts muted Ramazan event as Biden's Israel policy draws Anger

After several invitees declined the president’s invitation due to dissatisfaction in the Muslim community about his stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict, the White House hosted a reduced iftar supper on Tuesday to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan.

Before attending a quiet dinner with First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband, and other prominent Muslim officials in his government, President Joe Biden met with Muslim leaders.

According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “President Biden will host a meeting with Muslim community leaders to discuss issues of importance to the community,” she said to reporters on Tuesday. She added that these leaders would prefer to have a meeting rather than a banquet.

She said that the White House “adjusted the format to be responsive.”

Dr. Thaer Ahmad, an ER physician who traveled to Gaza for at least three weeks, was among the attendees and he told CNN he left the meeting early on Tuesday.
“Out of respect for my community, out of respect for all of the people who have suffered and who have been killed in the process, I needed to walk out of the meeting,” Ahmad stated.
“There wasn’t a lot of response” from Biden, according to Ahmad, who claimed to be the only Palestinian-American present at the meeting.

Ahmad told CNN, “He actually said he understood, and I walked away.”

This is a stark contrast to May of last year when Biden gave an Eid reception to celebrate the completion of Ramadan.

As Biden said, “It’s your house,” dozens of guests applauded him inside the White House.

Congressmen Ilhan Omar and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib were among the Muslim attendees at that event. These days, they are among the most vocal opponents of Biden’s Gaza strategy.
The Muslim American advocacy group Emgage Action said on Tuesday that it has turned down an invitation to the event, citing Biden’s “continued unconditional military aid to Israel,” which they claim has resulted in a “humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.”

The administration’s support of Israel and its military offensive in Gaza, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and a hunger crisis in the small coastal enclave of roughly 2.3 million people, has infuriated a large number of Muslims, Arabs, and anti-war activists.

The United States has rejected several UN resolutions urging a ceasefire in the Gaza assault, which started after Palestinian organization Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. Israel is the country that the US provides the most foreign aid to. Late in March, the US did not participate in a vote.

1,200 people were murdered in Hamas’ Oct. 7 onslaught on Israel, according to Israeli estimates. The local health ministry reports that Israel’s ensuing military assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza resulted in over 32,000 deaths, nearly total population displacement, and accusations of genocide, which Israel refutes.

An anti-war and Muslim iftar was held in Lafayette Park, close to the White House. When dusk approached, they broke the fast by handing out dates and water bottles.

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