High-Level State Department Official Resigns, Cites Disagreement With Israeli Counteroffensive

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A high-level State Department official helping oversee the transfer of weapons to Israel resigned from his role on Wednesday, citing disagreements with the country’s counteroffensive efforts in the Gaza Strip, according to a LinkedIn post.

Josh Paul spent over a decade as the director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and oversaw arms transfers to allies as part of his role, according to his LinkedIn profile. Paul announced his resignation on Wednesday, declaring that he opposed Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza and the “immensely disappointing” show of support for the counteroffensive by the Biden administration. (RELATED: State Department Spokesperson Gets In Heated Debate With Reporters Defending Palestinians)

“When I came to this Bureau … 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,” Paul wrote in a post on Linkedin. “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.”

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

Paul’s resignation comes after President Joe Biden visited with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a show of support for Israel’s self-defense efforts against Hamas. The administration has taken steps to rush military aid to Israel since Hamas attacked the country on Oct. 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people and the kidnapping of over 100 civilians.

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

“The fact is, blind support for one side is destructive in the long term to the interests of the people on both sides,” he wrote.

Paul said Israelis and Palestinians “both [deserve] protection” and that “collective punishment” in the Gaza region amounts to “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid,” according to his LinkedIn post. He noted that he was “heartened” to see the Biden administration “temper Israel’s response” by advocating for humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Biden announced on Wednesday that his administration will send approximately $100 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. The announcement comes days after Hamas stole fuel and medical aid provided by the United Nations.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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