Creating new perspectives since 2009

FACTBOX - US officials who have resigned in protest over Biden's Gaza policy

July 2, 2024 at 9:22 pm

Demonstrators march from Sylvan Theater to the White House within a pro-Palestinian demonstration, condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza, in Washington D.C., United States on April 6, 2024. [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

President Joe Biden’s support for Israel during its nearly nine-month war in Gaza has spurred at least nine US administration officials to quit, with some accusing the US President of turning a blind eye to Israeli atrocities in the Palestinian enclave.

The Biden administration denies this, pointing to its criticism of civilian casualties in Gaza and its efforts to boost humanitarian aid to the enclave, where health officials say nearly 38,000 have been killed in Israel’s assault.

Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after Hamas fighters stormed into Israel on 7 October, killing around 1,200 people and taking 250 hostages, according to Israeli figures.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

READ: PA: Gaza is our land, Israel has no right to interfere in it

Here are the US officials who have resigned:

Maryam Hassanein, who was a Special Assistant at the Department of Interior, quit her job on Tuesday. She slammed Biden’s foreign policy, describing it as “genocide-enabling” and dehumanising Arabs and Muslims.

Stacy Gilbert, who served in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, left in late May. She said she resigned over an administration report to Congress that she said falsely stated Israel was not blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Alexander Smith, a contractor for USAID, quit in late May, alleging censorship after the US foreign aid agency cancelled publication of his presentation on maternal and child mortality among Palestinians. The agency said it had not gone through proper review and approval.

In May, Lily Greenberg Call became the first Jewish political appointee to resign, having served as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Interior Department. “As a Jew, I cannot endorse the Gaza catastrophe,” she wrote in the Guardian.

Hala Rharrit, an Arabic language spokesperson for the State Department, departed her post in April in opposition to the United States’ Gaza policy, she wrote on her LinkedIn page.

Annelle Sheline resigned from the State Department’s human rights bureau in late March, writing in a CNN article that she was unable to serve a government that “enables such atrocities”.

Tariq Habash, a Palestinian American, quit as Special Assistant in the Education Department’s office of planning in January. He said the Biden administration was turning a “blind eye” to atrocities in Gaza.

Harrison Mann, a US Army major and Defence Intelligence Agency official, resigned in November over Gaza policy and went public with his reasons in May.

Josh Paul, Director of the State Department’s bureau of political military affairs, left in October in the first publicly known resignation, citing what he described as Washington’s “blind support” for Israel.

OPINION: Silencing statistics, silencing genocide, betraying Palestinian lives and memory