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Gaza Protest: Biden Administration Jolted As US State Department Human Rights Officer Resigns

US President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden arrives on Air Force One at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, in Dallas (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The Biden administration has suffered another blow to its Israel policy as Annelle Sheline, a human rights officer from the US State Department, has resigned over Gaza. In an interview with the Guardian Sheline claimed that the US’s continued decision to arms Israel and what she alleged was the covering up of human rights abuses committed by Israel in the war against Hamas was what prompted her to make the decision.        

“The fundamental reason was – I no longer wanted to be affiliated with this administration,” Sheline told the Guardian. “I have a young daughter. She’s not yet two, but if some day in the future, she is learning about this and knows that I was at the state department and she asked me [about it] – I want to be able to tell her that I did what I could.”

Sheline’s exit has followed the exodus of other officials from the Biden administration who have exited. Josh Paul, a director in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, resigned in October of last year while Department of Education official Tariq Habash, a Palestinian American and Biden political appointee, resigned in January. While these resignation numbers are not high, they are enough to embarrass the president and shake his political campaign going forward to the November elections.

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The resignations may be part of a wider source of resentment within the Biden administration, which has been brewing since October. Several Biden officials, told the Huffington Post on condition of anonymity, that they felt it was impossible to talk about Israeli restraint or protection for Palestinians being killed daily by Israel. Over 32,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza and while President Biden has voiced his administration with Prime Minister Netanyahu little has been done to curb US arms sales to Israel.

The Biden administration’s seeming inability to curb Israel has also cost them support among Arab-origin voters in key swing states such as Michigan. Democrat leader Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian origin, has openly campaigned against Biden in the state. This could prove crucial in what is expected to be a very tight general election in November.