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Biden Political Appointee Resigns Over President’s Support for Israel

by | Jan 3, 2024

Biden Political Appointee Resigns Over President’s Support for Israel

by | Jan 3, 2024

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In an open letter announcing his resignation, a senior Education Department official slammed President Joe Biden for supporting Israel’s war in Gaza. In three months, Israeli forces have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of survival. 

Tariq Habash, Special Assistant in the Education Department’s Office of Planning, announced his resignation in a letter published Wednesday. He is a political appointee as well as a Palestinian-American. In the letter, Habash explained he campaigned for Biden during 2020.

“I cannot stay silent as this administration turns a blind eye to the atrocities committed against innocent Palestinian lives, in what leading human rights experts have called a genocidal campaign by the Israeli government,” Habash wrote. 

Hundreds of Biden administration staffers have signed onto a myriad of statements condemning the White House’s support for Israel and asking the President to call for a ceasefire. However, President Biden has firmly refused to place any conditions on the military aid the US provides to Israel and prevented the UN Security Council from adopting a resolution calling for a ceasefire. 

The Israeli military operations have decimated Gaza. At least 22,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 9,100 children and 6,500 women. Another 7,000 people in Gaza are missing, likely dead or dying under the rubble. 

Habash criticized Biden for questioning the Palestinian causality figures. “The president has publicly questioned the integrity of Palestinian death counts frequently used by our own State Department, the United Nations, and numerous humanitarian non-governmental organizations,” he wrote.

Habash’s letter continues, “I cannot be quietly complicit as the administration fails to leverage its influence as Israel’s strongest ally to halt the abusive and collective punishment tactics that have cut off Palestinians in Gaza from food, water, electricity, fuel, and medical supplies, leading to widespread disease and starvation.”

The destruction of the Strip’s infrastructure and the stifling of aid shipments present a second crisis. Over 500,000 Palestinians are in a state of starvation. At least an additional 250,000 are suffering from a respiratory infection or diarrhea. Nearly all 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza are displaced from their homes. Many are living in deplorable makeshift tents or overcrowded shelters.  

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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