Several top Democrats of Michigan, including the likes of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, attended a large-scale pro-Israel rally at a suburban Detroit synagogue days after Israel’s relentless bombing on the Gaza strip. Some of them were even spotted dancing and joining chants of “Am Yisrael Chai” — Hebrew for “The people of Israel live.”
None of them joined a rally in nearby Dearborn the next day to express support for Palestinans in Gaza or those who were killed in a single Israeli airstrike in Baptist Hospital.
“There is going to be an effort to not support the people who have not supported us. The people that we voted for for such a long time — people that we’ve helped, we’ve donated to and we’ve worked on their campaigns,” said Adam Abusalah, a 22-year-old Palestinian American from Dearborn.
In Dearborn, adjacent to Detroit, almost half of the roughly 110,000 residents hail from Arab ancestry.
On October 9, 2023 at the pro-Israel rally, a few of the Michigan democrats present were Gov. Whitmer, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, two U.S. House members, the secretary of state and the state attorney general. Whitmer further told the crowd that “we stand with Israel” and that “Israel has a right to defend itself.”
“In Michigan, we have so many families who are feeling the trauma and mourning the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives. Our strength as a state is our ability to bring people together to get through difficult times,” she wrote.
The next day at the Pro-Palestinian rally in Dearborn, three democratic state representatives spoke at the event, and businessman Nasser Beydoun, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate called out Whitmer, Peters and Lieutenant Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II for missing the event.
“They’re not here with us today because they were busy dancing yesterday,” Beydoun said as the crowd booed. “I want you to remember that.”
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