White House declares April as Arab-American Heritage Month

Biden has also refused to support a permanent ceasefire or put conditions on aid to Israel…reports Asian Lite News

The White House on Friday declared April as Arab-American Heritage Month, recognising the achievements of the community as well as their pain amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.

President Joe Biden said Arab Americans have helped shape the fabric and trajectory of the US, in addition to greatly contributing to its economy.

“People with Arab heritage were among the many immigrants who came to our country’s shores with a range of cultures, customs, backgrounds and beliefs, sharing a common courage to start new chapters in an unfamiliar land,” he said.

The Biden administration has nationally recognised April as Arab-American Heritage Month every year since taking office in 2021.

The US has similar recognition for other minority groups and throughout the designated month, the achievements of Americans belonging to those groups are celebrated.

This declaration comes as the Israel-Gaza war approaches its six-month mark.

More than 32,000 Palestinians – many of them with relatives in the US – have been killed in the Israeli bombardment and ground offensive.

Israel’s onslaught on the Palestinian enclave followed an attack by Hamas on Israeli settlements on October 7, in which about 1,200 people were killed and 240 abducted.

Biden said was he “devastated” by the suffering and the loss of life in Gaza. “As we come together this month to honour these contributions, we must also pause to reflect on the pain being felt by so many in the Arab-American community with the war in Gaza,” Biden said.

“The trauma, death and destruction in Israel and Gaza have claimed, and continue to claim, far too many innocent lives ‑ including family and friends of Arab Americans across our nation.”

More than 3.5 million people in the US claim ancestry to an Arab country.

On Thursday, the US government announced that residents would be able to identify as Middle Eastern or North African in the 2030 Census, after years of demands for recognition and visibility.

Arab Americans have historically largely leaned Democrat and many came out to support Mr Biden in 2020, when he ran for office on a campaign of inclusivity and overturning the legacy of his predecessor Donald Trump.

But the Biden administration has staunchly supported Israel in its response to the Hamas attack.

Washington has supplied Israel with weapons and provided it with political as well as diplomatic support, amid outrage from the international community over its actions in Gaza.

Biden has also refused to support a permanent ceasefire or put conditions on aid to Israel.

His position has drawn intense anger from Arab Americans, who say they feel betrayed by Biden. States with sizeable Arab American populations, such as Michigan, have organised protests and campaigns against him as he runs for re-election.

In Michigan last month, more than 100,000 voters marked “uncommitted” on their Democratic ballots in the primary elections in protest against his position on Gaza.

Biden also acknowledged that Arab Americans remain the target of persistent Islamophobia, including harassment, hate crimes, racist rhetoric and violent attacks, which has worsened since the start of the war.

ALSO READ-Biden Says World Leaders Told Him ‘Don’t Let Trump Win’

[soliloquy id="31272"]
[soliloquy id="31269"]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *