Joe Biden promises to listen to ‘peaceful protests’ for Gaza

Joe Biden promises to listen to ‘peaceful protests’ for Gaza
Joe Biden promises to listen to ‘peaceful protests’ for Gaza

US President Joe Biden promised on Sunday to listen to “peaceful and non-violent protests” against Israel’s war in Gaza, during a visit to the university where Martin Luther King studied aimed at appealing to the African electorate -American and young.

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“I support peaceful, non-violent protests. Your voices need to be heard, and I promise you that I will hear them,” the president said during the graduation ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

A student turned his back on Joe Biden during the ceremony, but his speech took place without disruption.

Students at this historically African-American university had asked their administration to cancel the Democrat’s speech, pointing out his support for Israel, the subject of strong criticism in the middle of an election year.

During his speech, Joe Biden also called for a ceasefire in Gaza, for the return of Israeli hostages, and assured that he was working for “a lasting peace” throughout the region including “a two-way solution States”, with the creation of a Palestinian state, “the only solution”.

“This is one of the most difficult and complex problems in the world. There is nothing easy about this situation,” said the Democratic president, who wore a brown and black robe, the colors of Morehouse College.

“I know this angers and frustrates many of you, including in my family, but most of all, I know it breaks your hearts. It breaks mine too,” he assured.

Young people and African Americans

This visit to Atlanta, in the state of Georgia (southeast), represents for Joe Biden the most direct face-to-face meeting with students since the wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations which swept through American universities.

By coming to Morehouse, Joe Biden wants to pay tribute to the hero of the civil rights movement who studied there, but students pointed out that Martin Luther King opposed the war and in particular that of Vietnam in the 1960s.

The Democratic president initially remained silent on demonstrations against the war launched by Israel in Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attacks of October 7, before declaring that “order must prevail” on American campuses where police are intervened to dislodge camps.

But the United States’ unconditional support for Israel makes the Democratic camp fear losing votes among the young electorate and among sympathizers of the Palestinian cause.

More generally, polls show the Democrat’s broader difficulties in securing the support of black voters and young Americans, two groups who helped him defeat his rival Donald Trump in 2020 and who will again be decisive this year for prevent a return of the Republican to the White House.

According to a recent New York Times/Siena poll, Donald Trump could win the votes of 20% of African-Americans in November, approximately double the number in 2020. This would be a record for a Republican candidate and a disavowal for his Democratic opponent.

To prevent this score, Joe Biden castigated on Friday the “extremism” of his rival and his supporters who “attack diversity, equity and inclusion across all of America”, during of a speech at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

The day before, in the Oval Office, he had received personalities and relatives of plaintiffs in the case called “Brown v. Board of Education” (Brown v. Topeka Board of Education), which resulted in a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning school segregation, a turning point in the state civil rights movement. -United.

The American president must continue his campaign trip on Sunday in Detroit (northeast) where he will address the country’s main civil rights association, the NAACP.

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