Activists call for ceasefire in Gaza as Biden pays visit to Minnesota
As President Joe Biden visited Minnesota on Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Minneapolis to voice their opposition to his administration’s policies on Palestine and the war in the Middle East.
The crowd rallied outside the Minneapolis Federal Building before marching around the streets. Organizers say they’re against President Biden’s proposed $14 billion in military aid for Israel. They also want him to call for an immediate end to Israeli bombing in Gaza.
Leaders of Minnesota’s Muslim community spoke out earlier in the day, declaring they will not support Biden’s reelection after giving him a deadline last week to call for a ceasefire.
“We stand on the side of saving life. We stand on the side of peace. We stand on the side of recognizing the humanity of Palestinian children,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We are not only disappointed, we are outraged.”
So far the war has killed 8,800 people in Gaza and wounded some 22,000 others, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Wednesday.
More than 1,400 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mostly during Hamas’ initial attack on Oct. 7.
Biden began Wednesday’s trip by stopping at a farm in Northfield to tout his administration’s investments in rural America. He then departed for a campaign event in Minneapolis.
At that fundraiser, a woman who identified herself to pool reporters as Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg stood up while Biden was speaking and shouted, “As a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now.”
A video circulating on social media captured the moment, and audience members could be heard booing and hissing at her.
Biden responded by saying, “I think we need a pause. A pause means time to get the prisoners out,” referring to the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas.
Security escorted Rosenberg out of the room while she sang, “Ceasefire now.” Audience members proceeded to chant, “Four more years.”
“I understand the emotion,” Biden continued. “This is incredibly complicated for the Israelis. It’s incredibly complicated for the Muslim world as well, and I supported a two-state solution. I have from the very beginning.
“The fact of the matter is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. A flat-out terrorist organization.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.