A US State Department official resigns over the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict between Israel and Gaza
A State Department official has resigned from the agency over the Biden administration’s approach to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, the official announced on LinkedIn on Wednesday.
Josh Paul — who says he worked in the Political-Military Affairs (PM) office for more than 11 years — said in his LinkedIn post that he resigned “due to a political disagreement over our continued lethal aid to Israel.”
“Let me be clear,” Paul wrote. “Hamas’ attack on Israel was not just an act of atrocity, it was the atrocity of a monster. I also believe that a potential escalation by groups linked to Iran, such as Hezbollah, or by Iran itself, would be a new cynical exploitation of the status quo.” A tragedy, but I believe deep down that Israel’s response, and with it American support for both that response and the status quo of occupation, will only lead to greater and deeper suffering for both the Israeli people and Israel. For the Palestinians, it is not in the American interest in the long term.
The official described the administration’s response as “disappointing” and “unsurprising.”
“The response of this administration — and many members of Congress as well — is a reckless reaction based on confirmation bias, political expediency, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia,” Paul adds. He added, “Decades of the same approach have shown that security for peace leads neither to security nor to peace. The truth is that blind support for one side is destructive in the long run to the interests of people on both sides.”
Paul stressed that he cannot work to support a set of political decisions that include arms shipments, which he considers “short-sighted, destructive, unfair, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly defend.”
In an interview with The New York Times, the former State Department official said legal barriers intended to keep American weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers are failing, as the United States supports Israel while the country cuts off its water supply. Food, medical care and electricity in Gaza.
“There comes a time when you can say, ‘Well, it’s out of my hands,’ but I know Congress will object,” he told the Times. “But in this case, there is unlikely to be any significant response from Congress, there is no other oversight mechanism, there is no other forum for discussion, and that is part of what affected the decision-making process.”
When reached for comment, a State Department spokesperson told CNN that the agency declines to comment on “personnel matters.”
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