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  • Writer's pictureNawaf M. Al-Thani

America can do more… But!

Amidst Political Tumult, Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis Demands Global Action.

The following is an op-ed in Arabic translated by the author (Nawaf M. Al-Thani), first published in The Alraya in Qatar on March 6th 2023.

In the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., where political intrigue and policy debates are as common as the cherry blossoms in spring, a grave humanitarian crisis unfolds thousands of miles away, demanding our attention. The plight of Gaza, exacerbated by over 150 days of conflict, presents a stark challenge to President Biden’s administration during a time when the American political landscape is as divided as ever.

As the holy month of Ramadan commences, the suffering in Gaza does not pause for reflection or celebration. The United Nations reports a dire situation: a severe shortage of food and potable water, and health services teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet, it seems the political machinations of an election year hold more sway in the halls of the Capitol than the cries for help echoing from the Middle East.

The Biden administration, caught in the throes of what may be one of the most brutal election campaigns in contemporary American history, must navigate a precarious path. The President’s ability to act on the international stage is inextricably linked to the domestic political arena, where even the most humanitarian of decisions is scrutinized through the lens of electoral impact.

In Michigan, a state that could decide the fate of the presidency, approximately 100,000 Arab and Muslim Americans—a demographic traditionally aligned with the Democratic Party—have voiced their intention to withhold their votes from Biden should he fail to address the war in Gaza positively. This is not just a political calculation; it is a moral imperative.

The United States has long been a beacon of hope and a leader in humanitarian efforts. As such, it is incumbent upon President Biden to place the weight of his office behind a push for peace and aid. The Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not just a symbol of American power; it is a testament to American values and the belief that the U.S. can and should be a force for good in the world.

Yet, the administration’s efforts are complicated by the stance of Israeli leaders like Netanyahu, who seem indifferent to U.S. pressures, which are perceived by some as empty threats. This perception, prevalent among Washington’s elite, suggests that Netanyahu’s actions could inadvertently shape Biden’s political legacy.

At this critical juncture, the United States and the international community must rise above the fray of political gamesmanship. The upcoming election cannot sideline the need for effective diplomatic action and urgent humanitarian aid. The stakes are too high, and the cost of inaction is a burden too heavy to bear.

As I engage with policymakers and thought leaders here in the capital, the consensus is clear: peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the ability to resolve it through dialogue and compassion. In this defining moment, let us not falter in our responsibilities. Let us instead reaffirm our commitment to humanity and take bold steps to alleviate the suffering in Gaza.


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