I’ve been a strong supporter of Joe Biden’s for years. So much so that, in 2020, I flew home from Rome to Maine at the height of a pandemic to volunteer with his campaign. For days, I canvassed to get out the vote, attended training sessions, helped voters in Portland correct mistakes on absentee ballots, and passionately defended Biden’s record on alleviating child poverty and supporting workers’ rights.

In 2024, I will not vote for him. I won’t lift a finger to help his campaign. I will never be able to “hold my nose and pull the lever” for any candidate who won’t call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel US Day After Dispute

President Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion International Airport on Oct. 18 in Tel Aviv. Evan Vucci/Associated Press, file

I’m not alone on this. Young Americans are starting to feel the same way. Politico recently reported that a majority of Americans under 35 disapprove of Israel’s actions and sympathize with the Palestinian people.

I’m a human rights lawyer. I’ve studied conflict and international criminal law and worked in Afghanistan, Sudan, Bosnia and East Timor. I’ve also done volunteer work in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and befriended Palestinians and left-wing Israelis, so I’ve long held the unpopular opinion that Israelis and Palestinians are human beings who deserve full and equal human rights.

What is happening in Gaza right now under the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unacceptable. It is unmistakably a genocide as defined in the Genocide Convention of 1948. You don’t have to be a lawyer or have spent time in the region to come to the same conclusion. Anyone can read the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations’ reports going back 50 years or read the many recent articles by nonpartisan experts in international humanitarian law and genocide studies.

Following the Oct. 7 attack, which included attacks on civilians (also a war crime), Biden offered unwavering political backing to Israel. He repeated with authority some of the now-debunked claims made by the IDF, such as the origin of the bomb that hit Al-Ahli Arab Hospital. He paved the way politically for Israel to attack civilians in Gaza and the West Bank with absolute impunity. He requested $14.5 billion in military aid for Israel with no strings attached. The U.S. was the only major country to vote “no” against a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire and another resolution demanding an end to the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.


Biden has never supported a ceasefire and has never publicly asked Israel to stop bombing densely populated areas and civilian targets, such as hospitals, mosques, churches and schools. Biden has never called for a sustained supply chain of clean water, food, or life-saving power or medicine to the people of Gaza.

“Gaza civilians, under Israeli barrage, are being killed at a historic pace,” according to the New York Times, and two-thirds of the dead are women and children. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz estimates over 20,000 have been killed as of Dec. 1. Over the last two months, Israel has reportedly killed Doctors without Borders’ staff, more than 60 journalists and more than 100 UN staff.

While our families in Maine safely and peacefully celebrate Christmas, the World Health Organization warns that more children will die from disease than from bombing over the coming weeks and months.

“Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,” said Vice President Kamala Harris after a recent meeting with Arab leaders.

She might be able to win my vote, though we don’t see eye to eye. At least Harris is recognizing Palestinians as human.

At this point, the only way Biden could win my vote is if he magically brought back to life the thousands of innocent children he has killed. I’ve never held Biden’s age against him. Now, as a former supporter, I want him to step down and pass the torch.

He is no longer electable, not because of his age, but because he has too much blood on his hands.

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