Another US State Department Official Resigns Over Biden’s ‘Horrific’ Support for Israel

Sat Mar 30 2024
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WASHINGTON: A United States (US) State Department official, who promoted human rights on behalf of the US government, has become the latest staffer to leave her post in opposition to President Joe Biden’s ‘horrific’ support for Israel’s war against Gaza.

Annelle Sheline, a Middle East analyst who promoted human rights on behalf of the US government, announced her departure in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday.

Sheline’s resignation from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor marks a significant public departure from the department. She joins a growing number of staffers who have left their posts in protest against what they perceive as unwavering support for Israel’s actions in Gaza.

In her statement, Sheline expressed her belief in the mission of promoting human rights in the Middle East but stated that serving in a government enabling atrocities in Gaza had become untenable. She highlighted the soaring death toll in Gaza, which has reached 32,490 since October 7, and the warning from the World Food Programme about an imminent famine in the enclave.

“I was not planning initially to go public,” Sheline told CNN’s Jim Sciutto, explaining her decision to make her resignation public. “But when I started to tell people that I was planning to resign quietly, they said, you know, please reconsider, please, please go public if you’d be willing to. So I decided I would.”

Sheline’s resignation adds to a growing chorus of dissent within the Biden administration over its handling of the Gaza conflict. Tariq Habash, a Palestinian-American policy adviser in the Department of Education, also resigned in January for similar reasons.

The Biden administration has faced pressure from within the Democratic Party to call for a permanent ceasefire and to restrict how Israel uses US weapons and military assistance in Gaza. The resignations highlight the deep divisions within the administration over its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Responding to Sheline’s resignation, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the diversity of views within the department regarding policy on Gaza. He noted that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has engaged in “listening sessions” with staff members representing various perspectives on the issue.

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