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State Department official resigns over U.S. response to Israel-Gaza conflict

Josh Paul, the director of congressional and public affairs at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, resigned on October 18th due to concerns about the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

He emphasized the severity of Hamas’ attack and expressed his belief that the current approach would lead to further suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians, which he viewed as contrary to long-term American interests.



UNITED STATES:   Josh Paul, the director of congressional and public affairs at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, resigned on Wednesday (18 Oct) due to the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

In a letter posted on his LinkedIn page, he criticized the administration’s response, describing it as an “impulsive reaction” stemming from “intellectual bankruptcy.”

Paul stated that he could no longer support further U.S. military assistance to Israel, calling it “immensely disappointing” to continue supplying lethal weaponry and ammunition to Israel.

In his public resignation letter, Paul underscored the moral dilemmas he encountered during his 11-year service. He was responsible for managing communication with Congress and shaping public perception of a critical office involved in military aid coordination.

He admitted to making numerous moral compromises, each within the scope of the promise he made to himself.

“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.”

“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 wrote.

Paul emphasizes the need to prioritize human rights and build a better world, expressing his concerns about the implications of the current approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He acknowledges the efforts made by the administration to temper Israel’s response but underscores his decision to resign due to his belief that the current policy decisions are shortsighted and contradict the values he wholeheartedly endorses.

“Let me be clear: Hamas’ attack on Israel was not just a monstrosity; it was a monstrosity of monstrosities. 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.”

“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. That is to say, it is immensely disappointing, and entirely unsurprising.”

He condemns actions that harm civilians, such as murder and kidnapping, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators or the victims.

He also denounces collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, occupation, and apartheid, asserting that such actions are detrimental to creating a better world.

“The murder of civilians is an enemy to that desire whether by terrorists as they dance at a rave, or by terrorists as they harvest their olive grove.”

“The kidnapping of children is an enemy to that desire – whether taken at gunpoint from their kibbutz or taken at gunpoint from their village. And, collective punishment is an enemy to that desire, whether it involves demolishing one home, or one thousand; as too is ethnic cleansing; as too is occupation; as too is apartheid, ” Paul added.

According to the New York Post, In the wake of the brutal October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas, which resulted in over a thousand casualties, President Biden, aged 80, has pledged to “stand with Israel” and ensure it has the necessary resources to protect its citizens, defend itself, and respond.

On the same day as Josh Paul’s resignation, President Biden during his visit to Israel, promised to seek congressional approval for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defence.

Additionally, he announced US$100 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinian territories and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to adhere to the “laws of war” as he contemplates sending ground troops into Gaza.

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Obviously this fella has a conscience and is not happy to ride the warmongering train.
If only most of the law makers are like him but again, there’s more chance of raining gold than that to happen.

Kudos to Josh Paul. A man who has stood by his conviction. I applaud such a person and hope more in America will stop the govt. from sending more arms to the Israelis. Seeking peace should be the criteria and Israel must return all Palestinian land it is occupying. You will never see a Josh Paul in the PAP govt.