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On Nakba Day, first Jewish Biden appointee resigns over US support for Gaza war

An image of US President Joe Biden is projected on to a building during a pro-Palestinian protest near the White House on March 7, 2024 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by AFP)

A United States Interior Department staffer, a Jewish-American political appointee, has publicly resigned from her post, in protest against the Joe Biden administration's funding and fueling of the Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Lily Greenberg Call, the special assistant to the chief of staff at the interior ministry, submitted a four-page resignation letter to Secretary of Interior Debra Haaland on Wednesday afternoon.

In her letter, Call said she could not “in good conscience continue to represent” the administration amidst “President Biden’s disastrous, continued support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza,” accusing Biden of using Jewish people to justify US policy in the conflict.

“He is making Jews the face of the American war machine. And that is so deeply wrong,” she said, adding that Israel's offensive against Palestinians does not ensure the safety of Jewish people in either the Israeli-occupied territories or the United States.

Today, I became the first Jewish-American political appointee to resign from the Biden-Harris administration over its policies in Gaza. Here is my resignation letter:

— Lily Greenberg Call (@LGreenbergCall) May 15, 2024

Call argued that the United States had enabled and legitimized “Israeli war crimes" and "apartheid and occupation,” adding, “It’s time for us to stand up against what is happening to Palestinians in our name.”

“The president has the power to call for a lasting cease-fire, to stop sending weapons to Israel, and to condition aid. The United States has used nearly no leverage throughout the last eight months to hold Israel accountable. Quite the opposite, we have enabled and legitimized Israel's actions with vetoes of United Nations resolutions designed to hold Israel accountable. President Biden has the blood of innocent people on his hands," she continued. 

She expressed concerns about the war and US support, stating that there are individuals within the US administration who believe it could have disastrous consequences for the Americans and the president's reelection chances.

The first to resign in the Biden administration in protest against blind US support of Israel was Josh Paul, former director of congressional and public affairs for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and after that a string of resignations began.

Call's resignation is noteworthy due to her active participation in both President Biden and Vice President Camille Harris' campaigns, along with her emphasis on her Jewish heritage upon stepping down.

Back in January, a top adviser at the US Education Department resigned over Gaza war, becoming the second official to do so amid divisions in the administration over US support for Israel’s bombardment in Gaza.

Tariq Habash, who was the department’s only Palestinian-American political appointee, announced that he could no longer serve an administration that had “put millions of innocent lives in danger.”

Earlier this week, Major Harrison Mann, a US military intelligence official, also announced his resignation due to the “nearly unqualified support” that Washington has provided for Israel’s war in Gaza and the harm inflicted on Palestinians there.

Israel has killed more than 35,170 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza since October, when it waged a brutal war against the Gaza Strip.

The US, as Israel's main ally, has been backing the regime, providing it with munitions and even political support in defiance of calls for an end to the military aggression.  

Call’s resignation coincided with the 76th anniversary of the “Nakba” or Catastrophe. The Nakba refers to the displacement of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 during the illegal establishment of the present-day Israel. Palestinians are still enduring the repercussions of this catastrophe to this day.

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