A State Department dissent memo accused US President Joe Biden of “spreading misinformation” on the war on Gaza and acknowledged that “Israel” is committing “war crimes” in the Strip, as per a copy of the memo obtained by Axios.
The memo, organized by a junior diplomat who has previously indicated on social media that President Biden’s support for “Israel” implicates him in genocide in Gaza, reveals significant internal divisions within the Biden administration regarding the war on Gaza.
Signed by 100 US personnel, the memo calls on senior US officials to reconsider their policy toward “Israel” and push for a ceasefire in Gaza, where more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed including over 4,500 children due to the brutal Israeli aggression, as per the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The sentiment expressed in the memo aligns with that of progressive activists in the US, whose dissatisfaction and demonstrations against Biden’s management of the war on Gaza have reverberated within the Democratic Party, presenting a fresh obstacle for the president’s 2024 campaign.
Furthermore, the memo asserted that Biden is guilty of “spreading misinformation in his Oct. 10 speech” endorsing unwavering support for “Israel”. Additionally, the memo urged the US government to actively support the release of Palestinian prisoners held without charge in Israeli prisons.
Primarily, the memo’s writers center on the aggressive actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against Gazans. As Biden barely expressed worries about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza while vowing unwavering support for Gaza, the memo contends that Biden should intensify his scrutiny of Israeli actions.
The memo asserted that actions such as cutting off electricity, restricting aid, and launching non-stop bombardment, which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and the killing of over 11,000 including at least 4,500 children, are all violations of international law, constituting war crimes and/or crimes against humanity.
“Yet we have failed to reassess our posture towards Israel,” the memo states. “We doubled down on our unwavering military assistance to the (Israeli government) without clear or actionable redlines.”
Throughout the memo, there are overarching criticisms of US policy in West Asia, highlighting what the authors characterize as a failure to promote a “viable path to a two-state solution” in the Palestinian struggle, a position Biden has expressed support for.
The memo additionally condemned Biden for questioning the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza. On October 27, Biden expressed “no confidence” in the figures provided by the Health Ministry in Gaza, while acknowledging that he was “sure innocents have been killed” there.
The document accused members of the White House and the National Security Council of displaying a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinians, a documented unwillingness to de-escalate, and, even before October 7, a reckless lack of strategic foresight.
The number of dissent memos filed within the State Department during the Israeli aggression on Gaza is unclear.
Politico reported last week on a memo urging the US to “publicly criticize Israeli violations of international norms.” The State Department has maintained a “dissent channel” since the Vietnam War, reportedly allowing diplomats to register opposition to policies. While dissent memos are intended to remain internal, they occasionally get leaked to the media. Examples include a 2016 cable criticizing the Obama administration’s Syria policy and a 2021 memo on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which sparked a conflict between Congress and the State Department.