Skip to content

More Than 500 U.S. Officials Sign Letter Protesting Biden’s Israel Policy

U.S. State Department. CC/AgnosticPreachersKid

The New York Times reports today that more than 500 officials from over 40 U.S. government agencies signed a letter to President Biden, protesting the U.S. policy on the Israeli attacks in Gaza. The letter, without the names, reads: “More than 500 political appointees and staff members representing some 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday [Nov. 14] protesting his support of Israel in its war in Gaza. The letter ... calls on the President to seek an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and to push Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the territory. It is the latest of several protest letters from officials throughout 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 employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“The signatories of the letter submitted on Tuesday and the one circulating among USAID employees are anonymous, the USAID letter explains, out of “concern for our personal safety and risk of potentially losing our jobs.” The signatories of the State Department dissent cables must disclose their names, but those cables have not been released publicly.”

The letter denounces the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, then adds: “We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the 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 overwhelming majority of Americans support a ceasefire,” the letter states, linking to a poll from October that shows that 66% of Americans, including 80% of Democrats, believe the United States should put pressure on Israel for a ceasefire.

The Times writes: “Two political appointees who helped organize the letter to Mr. Biden said the majority of the signatories are political appointees of various faiths who work throughout government, from the National Security Council to the FBI and the Justice Department.... The letters of protest come after a contentious meeting on Oct. 23 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where 70 Muslim and Arab political appointees gathered with senior Biden administration officials, including Jeffrey D. Zients, the chief of staff, and Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. The meeting started with a general question: How many of the appointees have faced pressure from family or friends to resign over the Biden administration’s support of Israel in the conflict? Dozens of hands shot up, according to one attendee and another who was briefed about the meeting.... Some attendees cried as they demanded that the administration call for a cease-fire, curb weapons shipments to the Israeli military, and stop disregarding Palestinian civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.”