More than 400 US officials sign letter protesting Biden’s Israel policy | ET REALITY

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More than 400 political officials and staff members representing about 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday protesting his support for Israel in its war in Gaza.

The letter, part of growing internal dissent over the administration’s support for the war, calls on the president to seek an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and pressure Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the territory. . It is the latest of several protest letters from officials across the Biden administration, including three internal memos to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken signed by dozens of State Department employees, as well as an open letter signed by more than 1,000 State Department employees. the American Agency. for International Development.

The signatories of the letter presented Tuesday and the one circulating among USAID employees are anonymous, the USAID letter explains, out of “concern for our personal safety and the risk of losing our jobs.” Signers of the State Department’s dissenting cables must reveal their names, but those cables have not been made public.

Although the Biden administration has recently begun to express concern about the high number of Palestinian civilians killed and urged Israel to show restraint, that nascent criticism does not appear to appease many in the US government.

The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, began by denouncing the Hamas attacks of October 7 and then urged Biden to stop the bloodshed caused by Israel’s retaliatory military campaign in Gaza.

“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and call for a de-escalation of the current conflict by ensuring the immediate release of Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” the letter states.

Two political appointees who helped organize the letter to Biden said most of the signatories are political appointees of various faiths who work across the government, from the National Security Council to the FBI and the Justice Department.

Some of the signatories helped Biden get elected in 2020 and said in interviews that they were concerned that the administration’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza would clash with Democratic voters’ stance on the issue.

“The overwhelming majority of Americans support a ceasefire,” the letter states, linking to a survey October that shows that 66 percent of Americans, including 80 percent of Democrats, believe the United States should pressure Israel to establish a ceasefire.

“Furthermore, Americans do not want their military to be dragged into another costly and pointless war in the Middle East.”

Israel launched a ground invasion last month in Gaza in response to bloody Hamas attacks on October 7 that killed about 1,200 people, according to the Israeli government. So far, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military offensive, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

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