We Arab Americans and Muslims Are Voting for Bernie. Because He’s Jewish

I'm a Palestinian Arab American. My father is a Palestinian Christian. My mother is a Palestinian Muslim. (They're hippies, obviously.) Both of my parents were driven from their birthplaces of Yafa and Akka by Israel. After my birth in Jordan, I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I then attended college, graduate school, and law school in Michigan. I then became a comedian. My mom still tells people I'm a lawyer.

I now live in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest concentration of Arabs and Muslims anywhere in the United States. It's the only place in America where you can eat a delicious shawarma, drink thick coffee, smoke a tasty shisha, and then chant "Free, Free Palestine" with hundreds of your friends, all in the same afternoon. It's the Arab Disneyland.

I'm also a national surrogate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. No, that doesn't mean I'm having his baby. It means that I campaign on the candidate's behalf whenever asked to do so. Yes, I am a Palestinian volunteering countless hours of my time for the old, Jewish guy running for president. And I'm proud as hell about it.

Arab Americans (of all faiths) and Muslim Americans (of all nationalities) are overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders. In fact, we have stood behind the Vermont senator since 2016.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) poll of registered Muslim voters ahead of the Iowa caucus on Jan 30th 2020 showing Bernie Sanders at 39 percent supportTwitter

Four years ago, Arab Americans in Michigan put Bernie Sanders over the top. Reviews of polling stations in Dearborn showed that Arab Americans there voted at a ratio of 3-1 for Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. Roughly 400,000 Arabs live throughout Michigan. Sanders won the state by 17,000 votes.

I was a political activist on the ground then, and I am now too. Back then, and still today, reporters routinely call me with a strikingly similar line of questioning:

"Can you explain how Arab Americans are supporting the Jewish candidate for president?"