US State Department facing 'mutiny' over its 'unlimited support' for Israel

US State Department facing 'mutiny' over its 'unlimited support' for Israel
US diplomats are readying a 'dissent cable', a message sent via secure means to criticise US policy, two officials said.
3 min read
20 October, 2023
There has been growing discontent at the State Department over the US's 'unlimited' support to Israel [ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty-file photo]

The US State Department is facing a potential mutiny over Washington's "unlimited" support for Israel's war on the devastated Gaza Strip, leading to a backlash in the Arab world.

Some government employees feel Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his team were indifferent to advice from experts on the war, news website HuffPost reported on Thursday, leading to discontent in the State Department, which has killed more than 4,100 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

An unnamed official said: "There's basically a mutiny brewing within [the] State [Department] at all levels."

Blinken and US President Joe Biden have been staunch in their support for Israel in its bombing of Gaza, which has killed more than 4,100 Palestinians, including over 1,500 children.

Efforts to get aid into the besieged enclave, where civilians are suffering severely as Israel continues its intense bombardment, have so far been stalled amid Israel's "complete siege" of the territory.

US diplomats are readying a "dissent cable", a message sent via secure means to criticise US policy, two officials said.

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A senior State Department official quit this week in response to Biden's policies on Israel and Gaza.

Josh Paul, who worked on weapons deals for the department for over 11 years, told HuffPost he had been unable to push successfully for a more humane US policy regarding the conflict.

"I have had my fair share of debates and discussions and efforts to shift policy on controversial arms sales," he said in a post on a business social media platform LinkedIn.

"It was clear that there's no arguing with this one. Given that I couldn't shift anything, I resigned."

A State Department representative pointed HuffPost to comments made on Thursday by spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Miller said: "One of the strengths of this department is that we do have people with different opinions. We encourage them to make their opinions known.

"It, of course, is the president that sets policy, but we encourage everyone, even when they disagree with our policy, to let… their leadership know.

"Secretary Blinken has spoken to this on a number of occasions, when he’s said that he welcomes people exercising the dissent channel.

"He finds it useful to get conflicting voices that may differ from his opinion. He takes it seriously, and it causes him to reflect on his own thinking in terms of policymaking."

Miller expressed "strong support" for what he termed Israel's "right to defend itself" but added that Biden and Blinken have been clear that the US "expects Israel to abide by all international law".

Hamas launched a surprise attack inside Israel on 7 October, killing more than 1,400 people.

The US has also backed Israel's claim that a strike on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza was caused by a Palestinian rocket, despite Israel's previous attacks on Palestinian hospitals and Palestinian eyewitness testimony.