Biden political appointee resigns in protest over Israel policy

A political appointee in the Interior Department announced her resignation Wednesday in opposition to President Biden’s policy toward Israel in its war against Hamas that has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis for Palestinians.

Lily Greenberg Call, a political appointee serving in the Office of the Secretary of Interior, issued her resignation in protest, joining a handful of other mid- to senior-level officials expressing opposition to U.S. support for Israel in the war.

“I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden’s disastrous, continued support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza,” Call wrote in her resignation letter, which was shared by the activist group IfNotNow.

IfNotNow describes itself as a movement of American Jews that works to end what it views as U.S. involvement with the Israeli government over the “systematic displacement of Palestinians.”

Call’s resignation follows that of a handful of public departures from the Biden administration in protest of the president’s handling of Israel’s war, but she is the first Jewish official to quit the administration over the matter.

She accused the president of making Jews less safe for portraying them as “the face of the American war machine.”

Call’s resignation, making her the fifth official to resign in protest, according to a tally by the Associated Press, comes seven months since Hamas launched an attack against Israel on Oct. 7, triggering a wider war against the U.S.-designated terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.

Biden has held firm on U.S. policy to support Israel’s right to self-defense after Hamas killed an estimated 1,200 people and took more than 250 people hostage, with approximately 133 people still being held in Gaza.

The administration, criticized for not pushing Israel to an immediate cease-fire, has worked to negotiate a hostage release in exchange for a pause in fighting, but that has yet to succeed since a week-long cease-fire in November.

The president has sought to balance his frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the scale of destruction in Gaza — the high civilian death toll and humanitarian crisis — with supporting Israel’s defense against Hamas’s continued threats and those from Iran, Hezbollah.

While Biden held back a shipment of heavy bombs for Israel as leverage to stave off an Israeli military operation on the southern Gazan city of Rafah, the administration said it is fulfilling Congress’s appropriation of more than $14 billion in security assistance for Israel. And the president transmitted notification to Congress on Tuesday for a $1 billion proposed arms sales to Israel.

Biden’s decision to hold back the heavy bombs for Israel bought the president some political cover from Democrats critical of Israel for using U.S. weapons in ways likely in violation of international humanitarian law.

But Republicans have seized on the president’s actions as an unacceptable policy of conditioning aid to Israel.

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