US State Department official resigns over Biden’s ‘unlimited’ support to Israel

US State Department official resigns over Biden’s ‘unlimited’ support to Israel
Josh Paul, a senior official from the US State Department, said that Biden's unqualified support for Israel 'will only lead to more and deeper suffering' for Israelis and Palestinians.
3 min read
19 October, 2023
Biden has offered Netanyahu "unlimited" support in his war on Gaza [Getty]

A senior official from the US State Department has submitted his resignation over President Joe Biden’ policies on Israel and Gaza.

Josh Paul, who worked on weapons deals for the State Department for over 11 years, told The Huffington Post that 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… It was clear that there’s no arguing with this one. Given that I couldn’t shift anything, I resigned," Paul said in a LinkedIn post.

Israel has been relentlessly and indiscriminately bombing the Gaza Strip since Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on 7 October. More than 3,700 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli strikes, most of them women and children.

The Hamas attack killed an estimated 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians.

In his resignation statement, Paul condemned the Hamas attack, saying that it was "not just a monstrosity; it was a monstrosity of monstrosities," adding that he feared Iran and Hezbollah would "exploit the existing tragedy".

However, he also said that "the response Israel is taking, and with it the American both for the 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".

Biden has offered Israel "unlimited" support in its war on Gaza, while his Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that US military aid to Israel was already "rapidly flowing" in the wake of the Hamas attack. The US has also deployed aircraft carriers to support Israel.

Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday, one day after at least 471 people were killed in a suspected Israeli strike on the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. He repeated widely criticised Israeli claims that the explosion at the hospital was caused by a Palestinian rocket.

The Huffington Post reported that US officials were feeling "stifled" talking about Israel’s conduct in Gaza. Citing "several US officials", the US-based website reported that this feeling was persisting most among staffers from Muslim backgrounds.

One anonymous source said that this was "the first time in the administration that there was a real culture of silence".

"It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an anti-Semite," they added.