New leaked memo sees US diplomats call for ceasefire in Gaza and public criticism of Israel
A new memo written by US State Department officials has severely criticised the Biden administration over its unqualified support for Israel, in the latest sign of dissent over Washington's stance on the brutal war on Gaza.
The memo, written by junior and mid-ranking diplomats, calls on Washington to support a ceasefire in Gaza and publicly criticise Israel's indiscriminate military tactics and treatment of Palestinians, the US website Politico reported.
The memo reflected a "growing loss of confidence" among US diplomats in President Joe Biden's handling of Israel's war on Gaza, which has killed over 10,000 civilians killed – most of them women and children.
The Biden administration has offered Israel "unlimited" support in its war on Gaza, which began after a surprise Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October killed an estimated 1,400 Israelis.
The US has sent two aircraft carriers to the region, supplied weapons to Israel, and adopted its narrative on the conflict, despite a ferocious and indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza which has seen hospitals and schools targeted.
The dissident memo said that the US must criticise Israel’s military policy publicly as well as privately.
It also states that the appearance of unqualified support for Israel and a lack of public criticism "contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor, which at best does not advance, and at worst harms, US interests worldwide".
“We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the memo adds.
"When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity."
Discontent at the Biden administration's approach has been growing in the State Department, with reports of a "mutiny" among staffers.
Josh Paul, a senior official responsible for weapons deals, resigned in October saying that Biden’s policies "will only lead to more and deeper suffering" for Israelis and Palestinians.