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WATCH: State Dept. Responds to Official Who Publicly Resigned Over Biden's 'Continued Lethal Assistance to Israel'

'We think they have a right, not only a right but an obligation to defend themselves.'

The State Department responded to a question about one of their officials who resigned due to America’s “continued lethal assistance to Israel” during a press conference on Thursday.

Josh Paul worked for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He posted his resignation letter on LinkedIn on Thursday.

“Today I informed my colleagues that I have resigned from the State Department, due to a policy disagreement concerning our continued lethal assistance to Israel,” Paul wrote.

We cannot be both against occupation and for it. We cannot be both for freedom and against it. And we cannot be for a better world while contributing to one that is materially worse.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Paul had worked at the State Department since 2012.

Paul condemned the attack by Hamas, calling it “a monstrosity of monstrosities,” and added, “I also believe that potential escalations by Iran-linked groups such as Hezbollah, or by Iran itself, would be a further cynical exploitation of the existing tragedy.”

However, he explained that he does not believe that the US should take a side in the conflict, especially given that Israel has committed “gross violations of human rights.”

During a press briefing, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked by a reporter, “It appears he felt that Israel had deferential treatment when it came to arm sales to the IDF and checking individual unit’s human rights records. Is he right?”

Miller began, “We understand, we expect, we appreciate that different people working in this department have different political beliefs, have different personal beliefs, have different beliefs about what United States policy should be.”

In fact, we think that’s one of the strengths of this government. One of the strengths of the department is that we do have people with different opinions. We encourage them to make their opinions known. Of course, it’s the president that sets policy, but we encourage everyone, even when they disagree with our policy, to let…their leadership know.

“Secretary [Anthony] Blinken has spoken to this on a number of occasions when he said that he welcomes people exercising the dissent channel, he finds it useful to get conflicting voices that may differ from his opinion. He takes it seriously and it causes him to reflect on his own thinking in terms of policy making,” Miller continued.

“But I would say with respect to the specific criticism that has been aired, we have made very clear that we strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself, we are going to continue providing the security assistance that they need to defend themself,” Miller said, “We think they have a right, not only a right but an obligation to defend themselves.”

According to a CBS News report, “President Biden is addressing the nation from the Oval Office Thursday night at 8 p.m. to affirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel and Ukraine and ask Congress for $100 billion in supplemental funding, including billions in wartime aid for each country.”

Over 4,200 Palestinian people have been killed and over one million displaced in just 10 days since Israel declared war. An estimated 1,400 people have been killed in Israel.


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