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The ‘Red Line’ Drawn on Biden

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the high barriers that were placed around the White House and the Capitol building and remained there for a long time had returned. Thus, those who said “Joe Biden is becoming more like Trump step by step!” were not completely wrong in at least one aspect.

Now, onto the demonstration…

Thousands of protestors gathered in front of the White House and drew a ‘red line’ for the Biden administration. Literally, a red line was drawn. Over the years, I’ve witnessed many demonstrations in Washington DC. Today’s protest in front of the White House was the most colorful and diverse one.

Church groups, Anti-Zionist Jews, Latinos, Afro-Africans, and people from every walk of life formed a human chain that completely surrounded the White House. They held a red ribbon bearing the names of Palestinians who lost their lives in Israeli attacks. Physically, a red ribbon was drawn around the White House.

What was the purpose of this well-planned and well-organized demonstration?

The crowds protesting Joe Biden’s policy on Israel called for an immediate halt to the genocide. The demonstrators demanded that no more weapons be sent to Israel, reminding Biden of his ‘red line’.

Even if only nominally, Biden had previously stated, “Genocide is our red line.” Since President Biden was on an international trip, thousands chanting “Genocide Joe” could have been heard even from across the ocean.

PHOTOS | ADEM YAVUZ ARSLAN, WASHINGTON DC. TR724 1 of 29

Let’s also remember this; Joe Biden’s unconditional and unlimited support for Netanyahu seems likely to cost him dearly. Not just Muslims, but also American Democrats are highly critical of Biden. This sentiment has been reflected in the polls.

Despite the hot weather, the lengthy demonstration also showed something else. Whether in Europe or the USA, while governments may stand with Israel, there is significant street-level support for Palestine. This demonstration was important as it showed the breadth of the undercurrent of support. It was one of the broadest demonstrations ever held in the US capital.

What struck me and what we all need to reflect on is the diversity of the demonstrators. Unfortunately, in Turkey, everyone mourns their own dead. No one empathizes with the pain of ‘the other’. This vicious cycle has not been broken for years. Thus, corrupt, oppressive regimes continue to have their way. I viewed the Palestine support demonstration also with this perspective. From Filipinos to Nigerians, from Germans to Koreans, people from Arab countries to Latin American communities, everyone was there.

The color spectrum of the participating Americans was just as vibrant. Anti-Zionist Jews in thick black clothes stood at the forefront for hours. Afro African black groups, gay communities, anarchists, republicans, democrats, and anti-political groups.

It was very clear that Muslims were in the minority.

I can say that Netanyahu managed to unite Americans who hardly agree on any issue. Biden will have to take a hard look at this situation.

The same applies to the bureaucracy and media.

But why can’t we achieve this kind of diversity and difference in Turkey? If everyone spilled their grievances and made the necessary criticisms and self-critiques, couldn’t we come together on fundamental values?

‘It shouldn’t be this hard to achieve,’ I think.

The most painful part is this; while thousands of people in front of the White House call for “Stop the genocide!”, as I write this article and as you read it, innocent people, children, and women in Palestine continue to die.

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Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Aslan is a leading Turkish investigative journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C.
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