A US Department of State official has resigned over Washington’s decision to boost military aid to Israel, saying the US-supported Gaza war would lead to more suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Josh Paul, a director in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, wrote in a note published online on Wednesday that the administration of President Joe Biden was repeating the same mistakes Washington has been making for decades.
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“The response Israel is taking, and with it the American support both for that 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,” he wrote.
“I fear we are repeating the same mistakes we have made these past decades, and I decline to be a part of it for longer,” he said, adding that the Biden administration’s “blind support for one side” was leading to policy decisions that were “shortsighted, destructive, unjust and contradictory to the very values we publicly espouse”.
“I knew it was not without its moral complexity and moral compromises, and I made myself a promise that I would stay for as long as I felt the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do,” wrote Paul who was involved in arms transfers to US allies for more than 11 years.
“I am leaving today because I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued – indeed, expanded and expedited – provision of lethal arms to Israel I have reached the end of that bargain,” he said.
In an interview with The New York Times, Paul also said that “continuing to give Israel what he described as carte blanche to kill a generation of enemies, only to create a new one, does not ultimately serve the United States’ interests”.
“What it leads to is this desire to sort of impose security at any cost, including in cost to the Palestinian civilian population,” he told the US publication. “And that doesn’t ultimately lead to security.”
Hamas, the armed group that rules Gaza, attacked southern Israel on October 7, prompting Israel’s retaliation on the besieged Palestinian enclave. The violence has killed at least 1,400 people in Israel and nearly 3,500 in Gaza.
Biden visited Israel on Wednesday, showing support and giving it “the green light to act as it sees fit” in Gaza.