Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan's "uncommitted" movement going national

(file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Public
(file photo)

Critics of President Joe Biden’s policy toward Israel and Gaza are expanding their “uncommitted” primary campaign beyond Michigan.

A coalition of Palestinian, peace, and progressive groups urged Michigan voters to cast “uncommitted” ballots in February’s Democratic presidential primary, in protest of Biden administration policies and statements in support of Israel's military actions in Gaza. More than 100,000 did.

“This is not a niche issue. It’s an anti-war campaign, focused on stopping a genocide that is massively unpopular in the United States,” said Layla Elabed, with the "Listen to Michigan" campaign. Elabed is the sister of U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI 12).

Monday, the coalition announced the launch of the Uncommitted National Movement. The campaign’s next target is the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary on April 2. The campaign is also organizing the uncommitted delegates selected in the primary process so far ahead of this summer’s Democratic National Convention.

Organizers say the Biden administration is enabling atrocities by the Israeli military. Israel has said it's acting in self-defense.

Spokesperson Abbas Alawieh says the movement is calling on Biden to support a permanent ceasefire and the end of military aid to Israel.

“We’ve been sending the same message to President Biden: “Stop funding the killing of our families’”,  said Alawieh. 

The Gaza Health Ministry said Monday that at least 31,726 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s offensive. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count, but it says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

Palestinian militants killed some 1,200 people in Hamas’ October 7 attack into southern Israel that triggered the war, and took another 250 people hostage. Hamas is still believed to be holding about 100 captives, as well as the remains of 30 others, after most of the rest were freed during a cease-fire last year.

According to the Associated Press, the war has displaced around 80% of Gaza’s population.

Famine is "imminent” in northern Gaza, where 70% of people are experiencing catastrophic hunger, according to a report issued Monday that warned escalation of the war could push half of Gaza's total population to the brink of starvation.

The report, by the international community’s authority on determining the severity of hunger crises, came as Israel faces mounting pressure from even its closest allies to streamline the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip and to open more land crossings. Aid groups complain that deliveries by air and sea by the U.S. and other countries are too slow and too small.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.