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Gaza ceasefire movement is ‘a gift for Joe Biden,’ third-party leader says

A leader of the Working Family Party argued on Monday that Democratic leaders are missing a key opportunity by ignoring demands from their base to pressure Israel into a ceasefire in Gaza. 

The protests are “a gift for Joe Biden,” — if the president is willing to use it, said party national director Maurice Mitchell at a live taping of “Touré Show” at an off-SXSW event in Austin, Texas.

Rather than trying to suppress a ferment from the base, Biden should treat it as a source of “information about where we need to go,” Mitchell said.

He said that national Democrats’ support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is at odds with a domestic campaign “to block authoritarians, which is the MAGA movement.” 

“If Joe Biden claims to be the leader of the pro democracy forces, then it probably doesn’t make sense for him to be in league with the ultra right-wing authoritarians who are leading the State of Israel, right?” Mitchell said.

Last week, more than 100,000 Democratic primary voters in Michigan marked their ballots “uncommitted” in a protest against U.S. support for the Israeli bombing and ground campaign in Gaza, which have killed tens of thousands of people, the majority of them civilians.

The benefit of social movements is to “simplify things that are supposed to be complex,” Mitchell argued. 

“Like the movement for Black Lives: ‘Stop Killing Us.’ Or this movement for peace right now: people play this as complex, but it’s actually one of the most ethically or morally simple things in the world. The politics are complex, but the morals are simple: if it’s a choice between a baby and a bully, it’s always a baby, and everyone feels that.”

Despite his opposition to Biden policies, however, Mitchell framed the 2024 election as being about finding the right adversaries — arguing that politics isn’t dating.

“Look, if you want to fall in love, try Bumble,” he said. “Our politics shall not be about whether or not you can drink a beer with somebody, or if you like someone or you trust them. Political action should be a chess move, not a Valentine.”

Compared to four years of either Trump or Biden, “what chess moves are we going to be able to make to build our own independent power? And what is likely to happen under Trump and MAGA or under the Democrats? Right? Because ultimately, that is actually what’s on the table. 

“Politics is a negotiation.” he said. “Who do you want to negotiate with?”

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