CHICAGO — A U.S. State Department official in the bureau that oversees arms transfers resigned Thursday in protest of the Biden administration’s decision in sending weapons to Israel amid the war that has claimed over 4,000 Palestinian lives and leaving over 13,000 wounded in consistent bombings and airstrikes.
More than 1,400 people in Israel are reported dead from the initial attack and that families of 203 people are believed to have been captured by Hamas.
Josh Paul, who had served with the Bureau of Political-Miliary Affairs for over 11 years was fascinated with the complexity of the job, but said in a LinkedIn post, he is unable to work in support of rushing major policy decisions and sending more arms to one side of a conflict.
“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 deeper suffering for both the Israel and the Palestinian people,” he said in the post.
With Israel continuing to bombard the Gaza Strip and preparing a ground invasion, Biden placed an increased emphasis on the deadly toll that the conflict has had on civilians there, saying he’s “heartbroken by the tragic loss of Palestinian life.”
Biden’s speech Thursday night reflected an expansive view of U.S. obligations overseas at a time when he faces political resistance at home to additional funding. He’s expected to ask for $105 billion on Friday, including $14 billion for Israel and $10 billion for unspecified humanitarian efforts.
The proposal was described by three people familiar with the details who insisted on anonymity before the official announcement.
In his post, Paul states that this plan is not in the long-term American interest and claims the administration and Congress had an “impulsive response built upon confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy and bureaucratic inertia. ”
Paul, who competed his master’s thesis in Israeli counterterrorism and civil rights, said, “the blind support for one side is destructive in the long term for the interests of the people on both sides.”
“It is our responsibility to help the warring parties build a better world. To center human right, not to hope to sideline or sidestep them through programs of economic growth or diplomatic maneuvering. And when they happen, to be able to name gross violations of human rights and matter who carries them out, and to be able to hold perpetrators accountable when they are adversaries, which is easy, but most particularly, when they are partners.” ”