Dearborn mayor meets with Biden advisors over Israel-Hamas war

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud spoke with advisors of President Joe Biden on Thursday, representing a thaw in icy relations from city leaders regarding the Middle East conflict.

Hammoud said on social media that earlier efforts by the White House to discuss the Israel-Hamas war were spearheaded by the president's campaign officials - leading to his stern rejection. This time around, it was senior advisors who sat down with city leaders.

"At 10 a.m. this morning, we represented the voices of Dearborn in a two-hour-long policy discussion with senior advisors - not campaign staff - from the Biden Administration," Hammoud posted on X. "This meeting was held to ensure that the White House and those with the ability to change the course of the genocide unfolding in Gaza very clearly hear and understand the demands of our community - directly from us."

Hammoud, a 32-year-old Democrat, also took a shot at the mainstream media as well as Biden's office - saying that "our position and viewpoints have not been accurately captured" by either.

On Jan. 26 Hammoud said "What do I tell my residents? My residents who have lost loved ones overseas" adding that it was not the time to talk about elections and that the need was to demand a cease-fire immediately.

Hammoud said there was a two-hour meeting held Thursday, and that he felt the need to speak with officials, if it means an end to the violence.

"When foreign policy decisions directly impact the well-being of Dearborn residents, it is irresponsible to walk away from difficult policy conversations that can lead to saving the lives of innocent men, women, and children," Hammoud wrote. "As citizens of the United States of America and representatives of the City of Dearborn, we have done our duty; now it is incumbent upon the President to do the same."

Imran Salha is the imam of the Islamic Center of Detroit. He said that the president's actions of sending advisers to Dearborn are a waste of time.

"These are conversations that would’ve been good to have maybe 30,000 innocent souls ago. It’s too late. You knew and you were well aware of their indiscriminate killing," he said. 

Salha, like many in the community, has been directly impacted by the war overseas.

"One of my relatives was murdered. 37 years old, in her car, her husband was driving - by an Israeli soldier and her son was in the back," he said. "She leaves eight children behind. What do you think my ask is? I want to the killing to stop. I want Israel to be held accountable."

The decision was not met with universal praise online.

One X account @inafieldbeyond posted in part, "You think this is a win to brag about?  They should have ALL been given the FINGER!!"

Another X account, @AlMahdi1017 wrote "Still not voting for Genocide Joe whose bombing several countries."

One response from an account claiming to be a Gen-Z Arab-American voter who said they will be voting for Biden.

"President Joe Biden is handling this complicated situation better than Trump would," they posted.

Earlier on Thursday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter leader Dawud Walid released a statement on the American support for Israel.

"When the Biden administration provides political and material support for the far-right Israeli government’s indiscriminate campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing, it is endangering the Americans who are trapped or held captive in Gaza, as well as the two U.S. citizens who were just kidnapped by Israeli forces.

"We call on our government to protect all endangered American citizens in Gaza by demanding and securing an immediate ceasefire." 

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud