South Asia and Beyond

US State Department Official Resigns in Protest On Gaza

 US State Department Official Resigns in Protest On Gaza

Annelle Sheline, a West Asia analyst at the state department has become the latest person to leave her post in opposition to US President Joe Biden’s Israel policy. Her announcement comes at a time the UN has warned of a famine.

In a column for CNN, Sheline said, “Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began. Members of civil society have refused to respond to my efforts to contact them. Our office seeks to support journalists in the Middle East; yet when asked by NGOs if the US can help when Palestinian journalists are detained or killed in Gaza, I was disappointed that my government didn’t do more to protect them.”

Sheline’s resignation comes months after another state department official Josh Paul, a director in the bureau of political-military affairs resigned.

Sheline was tasked with promoting human rights and compiling annual reports. She is a PhD holder and has previously been a researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Her work at the state department involved coordinating with activist and civil society groups across the Middle East and North Africa region.

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When asked about her arrest, the US government said that officials meet a wide range of officials with differing views.

Her resignation comes at a time when the US recently abstained from a United Nations Security Council vote calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza. This prompted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his visit to the US. Prior to that, the US had repeatedly blocked Security Council resolutions that put pressure on Israel

Recently, US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the administration had received “written assurances” from Israel that the weapons supplied by Washington would not be used in violation of international human rights law.