Creating new perspectives since 2009

Jewish staffer resigns from Biden administration amid ongoing US support for Israel’s Gaza offensive

May 16, 2024 at 9:18 pm

A view of the North side of the White House, Washington, DC, USA [Getty]

A staffer at the United States’ Interior Department has resigned in protest against the Biden administration’s continued support for Israel’s offensive on Gaza, becoming the first Jewish staffer to publicly do so.

On Wednesday, Lily Greenberg Call, Special Assistant to the chief of staff in the Interior Department, announced her resignation from the position in a letter condemning the administration of President Joe Biden for using Jews to justify aggressive US foreign policy and to ensure complicity in Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Describing her initial excitement in joining the Biden administration due to its perceived shared vision for the US, Greenberg Call stated that “I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden’s disastrous, continued support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza.”

She said that, while people in her own Jewish community had lost loved ones in Hamas’s 7 October attacks on Israeli-held territory, she stressed that “the answer to this is not to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians through displacement, famine and ethnic cleansing.”

READ: Former US military intelligence official says he resigned over Gaza war

Call especially referred to her Jewish tradition which taught her that “every life is precious. That we are obligated to stand up for those facing violence and oppression, and to question authority in the face of injustice.” She insisted that “Any system that requires the subjugation of one group over another is not only unjust, but unsafe. Jewish safety cannot – and will not – come at the expense of Palestinian freedom.”

The former Interior Department staffer also affiliated the plight of the Palestinians with the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust under the Nazis, stating that “Nakba and Shoah, the Hebrew word for Holocaust, mean the same thing: catastrophe. I reject the premise that one people’s salvation must come at another’s destruction.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Call even accused Biden of using Jews to justify US policy toward the ongoing offensive on Gaza. “He is making Jews the face of the American war machine. And that is so deeply wrong,” she said. “I think the President has to know that there are people in his administration who think this is disastrous. Not just for Palestinians, for Israelis, for Jews, for Americans, for his election prospects.”

Greenberg Call’s public resignation is the latest in a string of similar resignations from the Biden administration in the seven months since Israel began its campaign amid firm US support. This is the first one to be publically announced by a staffer from the American Jewish community, however, lending further credence to the extent of the growing divisions caused by the offensive and Washington’s reluctance to pressure Tel Aviv for a ceasefire.

READ: Israel to send additional forces for Rafah offensive, Defence Minister says