‘Shocked & appalled’: Another State Dept. official walks off the job in protest of Biden’s support of Israel

In an op-ed for CNN.com, a former foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, wrote that doing her job had become “almost impossible” because of President Biden’s enabling of “atrocities.”

“For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East,” Annelle Sheline wrote. “I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office.”

“However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible,” she continued. “Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State.

“Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began.”

Following the publication of the piece, Sheline appeared with Christiane Amanpour on CNN International.

“So they’re trying to thread a needle and they are dropping aid,” Amanpour noted of the Biden administration. “They are complaining and demanding that more aid goes in. Tell me what you’re noticing about maybe a shift in the public posture of the administration.”

“I think it’s encouraging that we have started to see some degree of a shift, but at present it has made almost no difference to the lives of people starving and being bombed inside Gaza,” Sheline replied. “I think to the extent that even things like the U.S. being willing to abstain at the UN Security Council is significant.”

“But then the administration came out and immediately said that that was non-binding,” she said. “So in general, I just find that the way the administration is trying to do this, I think they made a political calculation that they thought that it made the most sense politically to maintain this extreme support for Israel, regardless of the illegal behaviors that Israel engages in.”

And, according to Sheline, “Israel is in violation of U.S. laws, whether it’s the Leahy laws or Section 620 I of the Foreign Assistance Act.”

“The law is very clear here,” she said. “And I worry very much that not only, when the administration flouts those laws, it’s not only having a devastating effect for the people of Gaza, but for U.S. moral standing abroad.”

“And this administration came in pledging to to reestablish America’s moral leadership, to reengage in international institutions, and this was something that many of my colleagues inside State really believed in,” she added. “And this is part of why so many people, are feeling so betrayed by the decisions this administration keeps making.”

Sheline is confident that she is not alone.

“I know that I speak for many people,” she told Amanpour. “There’s a group, for example, called Feds United for Peace, they’re outside of State. But in other government agencies, there are many other groups of people who are very concerned about this. Staffers for Ceasefire, for example, among Hill staffers.”

Back in October 2023, another State Department staffer resigned over Biden’s Israel policies.

“Josh Paul, who said he has worked in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for more than 11 years, said in his LinkedIn post that he resigned ‘due to a policy disagreement concerning our continued lethal assistance to Israel,'” CNN reported at the time.

“People are shocked and appalled by what the U.S. government is doing,” Sheline stated. “Many people continue to do the very important work inside the State Department and continue to feel that their efforts are making a difference on, you know, the many, many issues that the State Department is involved in.

“But on the other hand, I do know people who may be considering resigning.”

Melissa Fine


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