Tariq Habash, a senior Education Department official in the Biden administration, tendered his resignation on Wednesday, expressing deep dissatisfaction with President Biden’s response to the war against Gaza, Axios reported.
Habash, the first Palestinian-American political appointee at the Department of Education, is the second official to step down in protest of the US stance on the war.
“As a Palestinian-American — in fact, the only Palestinian-American political appointee at the Department of Education — I bring a critical and underrepresented perspective to the ongoing work on equity and justice,” Habash said in his resignation letter.
More than 20,000 martyrs were killed in Gaza over the span of three months seemed to have changed Habash’s beliefs about US impartiality and commitment to justice.
“The actions of the Biden-Harris Administration have put millions of innocent lives in danger, most immediately for the 2.3 million Palestinian civilians living in Gaza who remain under continuous assault and ethnic cleansing by the Israeli government,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
“I cannot stay silent as this administration turns a blind eye to the atrocities committed against innocent Palestinian lives, in what leading human rights experts have called a genocidal campaign by the Israeli government.”
During an interview with MSNBC Wednesday evening, Tariq described President Biden’s comments which questioned the death toll coming out of Gaza as being “dehumanizing”.
Biden Admin faces internal dissent on ‘Israel’s’ genocide in Gaza: NBC
An op-ed piece written for NBC back in November explained that the Biden administration is grappling with internal dissent over its support for “Israel’s” genocidal operations in Gaza, revealing a deeper debate and a generational divide among Democrats.
This dissent, which includes open letters from government employees, objections from foreign service officers at the State Department, and criticism from US Agency for International Development (USAID) employees, is broader and more pronounced than seen in previous administrations.
Hundreds of federal government employees, including diplomats, have signed an open letter to President Biden, demanding that his administration push for a ceasefire to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians. Foreign service officers at the State Department have expressed objections through official dissent cables, and hundreds of USAID employees have signed a letter critical of the administration’s approach.
“It’s remarkable and it’s unprecedented,” said Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank who worked at the State Department from 1978 to 2003. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”