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Jewish appointee at US Interior Department resigns in protest of Biden's Gaza policy

Anadolu Agency U.S. POLITICS
Published May 15,2024

A Jewish appointee at the US Interior Department publicly resigned Wednesday in protest of US President Joe Biden's unconditional support for Israel's onslaught on Gaza.

Lily Greenberg Call, in her resignation letter circulated on social media, which was written to Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland, said she joined the administration because she believes in "fighting for a better America."

Call, who is the first Jewish appointee from the Biden administration to publicly resign since early October, said she has spent her entire life in the Jewish community in the US and Israel, and people in her community lost loved ones during the Hamas attack Oct. 7, which killed less than 1,200 people with hundreds taken to the Gaza Strip as hostages.

Gaza's Health Ministry said Wednesday that the death toll hit 35,233 with nearly 80,000 injured.

"And yet I am certain that the answer to this is not to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians through displacement, famine, and ethnic cleansing," Call wrote. "Israel's ongoing offensive against Palestinians does not keep Jewish people safe — in Israel nor in the United States."

Noting that in Jewish tradition, "every life is precious," she said Israel's killing more than 35,000 people in Gaza, including 15,000 children, and bombing hospitals, targeting journalists and aid workers are "violations of international law. She called them "inexcusable atrocities."

"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 UN resolutions designed to hold Israel accountable. President Biden has the blood of innocent people on his hands," Call said, accusing the US of enabling Israeli war crimes and the "status quo of apartheid and occupation."

"That status quo does not keep Israelis safe, nor Jews around the world. It certainly does not protect Palestinians, who have the right to freedom, safety, self-determination, and dignity, just as much as Jewish people do, and every person does," she said.

"Making Jews the face of the American war machine makes us less safe," she added.

Call, a special assistant to the chief of staff in the agency, has become the fifth staffer to publicly resign in protest of the US administration's unconditional support to Israel in its war on Gaza.

Last month, Hala Rharrit, the State Department's spokeswoman for the Middle East and North Africa, announced her resignation, becoming the third official from the agency to resign publicly since Oct. 7, after Annelle Sheline, a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, resigned in March. That was after Josh Paul, former director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, publicly announced his resignation Oct. 19.

A senior Palestinian-American official in the Education Department, Tariq Habash, also announced his resignation in January because he could no longer "stay silent as this administration turns a blind eye to the atrocities committed against innocent Palestinian lives."