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A Biden Ally Wades Into the Divide Over Gaza and Emerges With a Warning

In the run-up to Michigan’s presidential primary on Tuesday, President Biden has stayed out of the state, where he is facing a campaign from liberal activists frustrated with his enduring support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

But another Democrat jumped into the contentious debate tearing at the seams of the party’s coalition.

Representative Ro Khanna of California last week assumed the unofficial role as mediator between Democrats disaffected by Mr. Biden’s Middle East policies and Biden allies like himself. He met with students, Arab American leaders and progressive voters, many of whom said they were, at least for now, withholding their support from Mr. Biden.

He was blunt about his takeaway.

“We cannot win Michigan with status quo policy,” Mr. Khanna, who has pushed for a cease-fire, said in an interview, adding that a shift should come in “a matter of weeks, not months.”

“Every day that goes by where we’re seeing the bombing of women and children on social media or cable news is not a good day for our party,” he said.

Mr. Khanna’s assessment is the latest warning sign for Mr. Biden about a swing state he won narrowly in 2020. The state is home to a large and increasingly discontent Arab American community, whose leaders have been pressing the White House for months to call for a cease-fire in a war that has left some 29,000 people dead in Gaza since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. In recent weeks, activists have begun urging Democrats to register their anger by marking their primary ballots as “uncommitted” rather than voting for Mr. Biden.

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