• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

State Department official resigns over Biden administration’s handling of Israel-Hamas conflict

State Department official resigns over Biden administration's handling of Israel-Hamas conflict





CNN
 — 

A State Department official has resigned from the agency over the Biden administration’s approach to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the official announced on LinkedIn Wednesday.

Josh Paul, who said he has worked in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for more than 11 years, said in his LinkedIn post that he resigned “due to a policy disagreement concerning our continued lethal assistance to Israel.”

“Let me be clear,” Paul wrote. “Hamas’ attack on Israel was not just a monstrosity; it was a monstrosity of monstrosities. I also believe that potential escalations by Iran-linked groups such as Hezbollah, or by Iran itself, would be a further cynical exploitation of the existing tragedy. But I believe to the core of my soul that the response Israel is taking, and with it the American support both for that response, and for the status quo of the occupation, will only lead to more and deeper suffering for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people – and is not in the long term American interest.”

“This Administration’s response – and much of Congress’ as well – is an impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia,” Paul adds. “That is to say, it is immensely disappointing, and entirely unsurprising. Decades of the same approach have shown that security for peace leads to neither security, nor to peace. The fact is, blind support for one side is destructive in the long term to the interests of the people on both sides.”

Paul said that he cannot work to support a set of policy decisions that include sending over arms, which he believes to be “shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse.”

In an interview with The New York Times, the former State Department official said legal guardrails that are intended to keep American weapons out of the hands of human rights violators are failing, as the US backs Israel while the nation has cut off water, food, medical care and electricity in Gaza.

“There’s a moment where you can say, OK, well, you know, it’s out of my hands, but I know Congress is going to push back,” he told the Times. “But in this instance, there isn’t any significant pushback likely from Congress, there isn’t any other oversight mechanism, there isn’t any other forum for debate, and that’s part of what got into my decision making.”

Reached for comment, a State Department spokesperson told CNN the agency declines to comment on personnel matters.



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