Vote Uncommitted: Protest Gaza Genocide


ICNA CSJ

Date published: Tue, 5 March 24


Because of US support to Israel, through not only political policy, but financial support, and overstated support of Israel’s actions by policymakers and lawmakers, protests have engulfed the United States since October of 2023, when Israel’s horrific onslaught on Gaza started. 

From marches of over 400,000 people to sitting-in at representatives’ homes to where speakers do not condone Israel’s genocide in Gaza to self-immolation, protests around the world have shown that much of the world supports Gazans against Israeli terror and occupation. 

However, even though there is distinct and visible support for Palestine in the US, representatives and those in power are not heeding their citizens’ concerns. Although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of call-your-representative campaigns, most representatives have answered their constituents without changing their public position on Palestine and Israel. 

Because of the lack of political action key figures, pro-Palestinian activists are organizing campaigns to vote uncommitted in the Democratic primaries. People who support Palestine do not want to vote for Joe Biden in the primary, because Biden has been clear about his support for Israel, and his rhetoric has led to increasing Islamophobia in the US, lack of humanitarian action for Gaza, and an environment where many Americans are questioning their existence in the country. 

In Michigan, 100,000 protest votes made waves. The uncommitted vote was larger than anything expected in the state, where there are cities with high populations of Arab Americans and Muslims. Although Biden still won the Democratic primary in Michigan, the uncommitted vote received 13% of votes. In Dearborn, where the largest concentration of Arab Americans voters live, the uncommitted vote beat Biden. 

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib also endorsed the uncommitted vote, backing the campaign. 

With Super Tuesday today, many are hoping that the uncommitted vote will continue to gain traction. The uncommitted vote is on the Democratic ballot in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas. There are other states where protest votes are being asked to vote for someone else on the ballot, in an effort to take away votes from Biden. 

After the Michigan uncommitted vote, Vice President Kamala Harris called for a six-week “ceasefire” in Selma, Alabama, and for Israel to increase the flow of aid into Gaza. Although the presidential administration seems to be moving into a phase where they will be coordinating a ceasefire, it is too little and too late. The Vice President’s phrasing of a six-week ceasefire comes at a time where a Biden presidency may not happen, because of the large number of protests. What the American establishment is failing to understand is that many Americans are waking up to the horrors of American-sanctioned genocide in Gaza. American weapons kill the innocent people we watch on our screens, as their killing and maiming by Israel occurs in real-time. American voters are hopefully waking up to the reality of America as an imperialist state that has been supporting an illegal and brutal occupation against the Palestinian people.

As of now, Biden remains as “Genocide Joe” to people who advocate for a free Palestine, and they are unlikely to change their views of him (and the broader state of America) unless they see a free Palestine soon. The Biden administration must contend with this reality if they are to see a second term. 

As an action for protesting the genocide in Gaza, you can vote uncommitted in your state’s primary. If you reside in a state that doesn’t allow uncommitted votes, check out your local Palestine advocacy organizations to see what they advise you to do as a protest.