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State Department human rights staffer resigns over Biden’s Gaza policy

A State Department human rights staffer said she is resigning in response to the Biden administration’s policy on Gaza in a CNN opinion piece Wednesday.

“For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East. I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office,” Annelle Sheline, who, according to CNN, worked for a year as a foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said in her piece.

“However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible,” Sheline continued. “Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State.” 

In October, Josh Paul, who served as the director of congressional and public affairs in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in the State Department, said he was resigning for a similar reason. He said in a letter he was exiting his role because the harm resulting from the “provision of lethal arms to Israel” outweighed the good he could do in the position.

“We cannot be both for freedom, and against it,” Paul said. “And we cannot be for a better world, while contributing to one that is materially worse.”

In an apparent response to Sheline’s decision to resign, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a press briefing Wednesday that “there is a broad diversity of views inside the State Department about our policy with respect to Gaza, just as there is a broad diversity within the State Department about our policy, in a number of important foreign policy issues, as there is a broad diversity of views and opinions throughout American society about this issue, and others.”

On Monday, at least 12 Palestinians in Gaza drowned while attempting to retrieve humanitarian airdrops, according to Palestinian health authorities. More than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing war in Gaza since its start back in October of last year.

Source: The Hill

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