Dozens of State Department members have signed a “dissent cable” expressing their disagreement with Biden’s attitude toward Israel.
One senior administration official acknowledged the moral anxiety felt by some within the administration but noted the limitations imposed by their positions. The official stated, “No one can say it because we all work at the pleasure of the president, and he’s all in.”
The dissent cable was not the only expression of concern. The Agency for International Development (USAID) faced fierce opposition when an open letter was released, signed by hundreds of USAID staffers.
The letter called for an immediate ceasefire and the restoration of basic necessities for the people of Gaza. While the intentions behind the letter were well-meaning, critics argue that Hamas — the militant group in control of Gaza — cannot be appeased through negotiations alone.
Scoop: A State Department employee who is organizing a dissent cable on the White House's policy about the Gaza war has used social media to publicly accuse President Biden of being "complicit in genocide". @HansNichols and I write for @axios https://t.co/3n1Q4iIpgo pic.twitter.com/TJWhhuKk0T
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) November 4, 2023
As the death count in Gaza continues to rise, the Biden Admin has urged Israel to hold off on aerial strikes and plan a more precise counterterrorism approach. However, critics question how well that approach can work when dealing with an organization like Hamas.
The Hamas Charter outlines its goal is the complete destruction of Israel. This poses a challenge for the Biden Admin as it attempts to balance its support for Israel with the need to address the growing international backlash and humanitarian concerns.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in a complex web of historical, political and religious issues. Understanding the nuances of the conflict is critical for any meaningful resolution.
One of the primary challenges is the presence of Hamas — a designated terrorist organization — which has been launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza. Israel’s retaliation has led to a devastating number of civilian casualties, leading many to question the scale of its attack. Still, Israel argues it is acting in self-defense and using immense restraint to minimize civilian harm.
The moral dilemma faced by the Biden Admin is evident. On one hand, there is a pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. On the other hand, Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself against rocket attacks.
CBS News reports, “At least one cable has been submitted to the department’s Dissent Channel,” noting, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met personally with its authors.”
The Biden Admin and other international allies must find a solution that addresses Gazan’s immediate humanitarian needs, while also addressing the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the meantime, the White House and State Department remain in disagreement on the approach.