A Biden administration official has resigned from the State Department, citing President Biden’s announcement of material support for Israel. The official said he ‘cannot work’ as the U.S. helps Israel in its war against the Hamas terrorist group.
Josh Paul, who worked for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where he was responsible for transferring arms to key American allies, posted his resignation letter on social media. In it, he said ‘continued lethal assistance to Israel’ prompted his decision to leave.
‘Today I informed my colleagues that I have resigned from the State Department, due to a policy disagreement concerning our continued lethal assistance to Israel,’ Paul wrote on LinkedIn.
He added: ‘I cannot work in support of a set of major policy decisions, including rushing more arms to one side of the conflict, that I believe to be shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse.’
In the lengthy statement, Paul condemned Hamas’ brutal attack on Israeli civilians, but said Israel’s ‘response’ in seeking to eliminate Hamas was too far.
‘Let me be clear: Hamas’ attack on Israel was not just a monstrosity; it was a monstrosity of monstrosities,’ he wrote. ‘I also believe that potential escalations by Iran-linked groups such as Hezbollah, or by Iran itself, would be a further cynical exploitation of the existing tragedy. But I believe to the core of my soul that 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 — and is not in the long term American interest.’
His decision came as Biden announced the U.S. would be supplying weapons and munitions to Israel, its closest ally in the Middle East. Biden also said the U.S. stands unequivocally with Israel and its right to defend itself following Hamas’ ruthless assault on Oct. 7 that left more than 1,400 Israelis dead. It was the worst terror attack in the country’s history.
‘When I came to the Bureau, the U.S. Government entity most responsible for the transfer and provision of arms to partners and allies, 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 would be outweighed by the good I could do,’ Paul wrote. ‘In my 11 years I have made more moral compromises than I can recall, each heavily, but each with my promise to myself in mind, and intact. 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 added: ‘We cannot be both against occupation and for it. We cannot be both for freedom and against it. And we cannot be for a better world while contributing to one that is materially worse.’
‘This Administration’s response — and much of Congress’ as well — is an impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia,’ Paul continued in the statement. ‘That is to say, it is immensely disappointing, and entirely unsurprising. Decades of the same approach have shown that security for peace leads to neither security nor peace.’
Later in the statement, Paul said the U.S., as a ‘third party,’ should not take a side in the conflict and suggested that Israel had committed ‘gross violations of human rights.’
Biden’s stance on the conflict includes wholly supporting Israel while ensuring aid is given to civilians caught in the crossfire. On Wednesday, he announced $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The president said the aid would be cut off if it fell into the hands of Hamas.
According to his LinkedIn, Paul has worked at the State Department since April 2012.