This week, a State Department official who was in charge of overseeing arms transfers resigned in protest at the Biden administration’s decision to send weapons and ammunition to Israel while it continues to impose a siege on Gaza as part of its war against Hamas.
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Josh Paul has worked as the Director of Congress and Public Affairs at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs of the State Department for more than 11 years. He said that the Biden Administration's "blind support" for one side led to policy decisions which were'shortsighted and destructive, unjust, and contrary to the values we publically espouse.
He wrote that he feared we were repeating mistakes from the past. I refused to continue to participate.
In an interview with Mr. Paul, he said that Israel's decision to cut off water, food and medical care to Gaza, which has a population of 2 million, should lead to protections for a number long-standing federal laws designed to keep American arms out of the hands human rights violators. He said that these legal safeguards were failing.
The problem with these provisions is that they are dependent on the executive branch to make a decision.
Mr. Paul stated that there have been human rights violations. The president has no incentive to determine anything.
Josh Paul, a former State Department employee, said: 'I think this administration knows better and understands the complexity. But it has brought very little nuance into the policy decisions being made.
Josh Paul Courtesy
Biden is now a strong supporter of Israel after Hamas took more than 1,400 hostages and killed over 1,400 in a terrorist attack in early January. His administration, according to sources familiar with the plan, has requested $10 billion, mostly in military aid. In a Tel Aviv visit on Wednesday, Biden warned Israelis to not give in to an 'all-consuming anger' that could push the country too far. His administration has also pushed Israel for a limit to civilian deaths.
Israel said the scale and brutality of Hamas’s attack justified its response, and that it was acting in accordance with international law. The State Department press office didn't immediately respond to an inquiry for comment made on Wednesday evening.
Mr. Paul whose resignation was
The Huffington Post has reported this earlier
He said he saw the U.S. Government approve many sales or shipments to Middle Eastern countries even though he thought federal law should have prohibited them.
He said that he could say, 'Okay, well, I don't know. But, I know Congress will push back', by putting a stop to the transfer, or interrogating officials at hearings in the Capitol. In this case, however, I don't expect any major pushback from Congress. There is no other oversight mechanism and there is no other forum for discussion. This was a factor in my decision-making.
Paul said that continuing to give Israel carte blanche, as he called it, to kill one generation of enemies only to create another, would not serve the interests of the United States.
He said that it led to a desire to impose security, even if it meant costing the Palestinian civilians. "And that does not ultimately lead to safety."
"This administration knows better, and understands some complexity, but has brought very little nuance into the policy decisions being made."
Since posting his letter of resignation online on Wednesday, Mr. Paul has received an outpouring support from State Department staff and congressional members.
He said that a lot of people find this policy to be very problematic. Some people have said that they really understand my point of view. They respect my choice. They have been very supportive.