A leaked memo revealed a scathing attack on President Joe Biden from within the U.S. State Department as staffers openly condemned his support of Israel.
More than 100 staffers reportedly signed the dissent memo, a five-page message that accused the president of “spreading misinformation” on the Israel-Hamas war and targeted Israel for committing “war crimes” in Gaza.
The memo was “organized by a junior diplomat who has suggested on social media that Biden’s support of Israel has made him ‘complicit in genocide” in Gaza,'” according to a report by Axios which noted that some of the note’s language “echoes that of progressive activists in the U.S.”
Politico, which also reportedly obtained a copy of the memo, noted that it was “authored by two midlevel staffers who have worked in the Middle East,” according to “a department employee who has seen the document and was granted anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.”
“The memo is marked ‘sensitive but unclassified.’ It’s not clear how many people signed it or if and when it was submitted to the department’s Dissent Channel, where employees can voice policy disagreements. It’s also not clear if the document was revised in any way beyond the version obtained by POLITICO,” the outlet added.
While the memo called out Biden for “spreading misinformation in his Oct. 10 speech” in which he reaffirmed the U.S. support of Israel, there were reportedly no examples of this so-called “misinformation” presented by the staffers, according to Axios.
While conceding “recent atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th” in its pages, the memo mainly focused on Israel and its response to the brutal attack by Hamas terrorists.
“We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the memo stated. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity.”
The staffers also alleged that Israel’s actions in Gaza “all constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law.”
“Yet we have failed to reassess our posture towards Israel,” the memo accused. “We doubled down on our unwavering military assistance to the (Israeli government) without clear or actionable redlines.”
There was an overall theme of criticizing U.S. policy in the Middle East region.
“Members of the White House and (the National Security Council) displayed a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinians, a documented unwillingness to de-escalate, and, even prior to October 7, a reckless lack of strategic foresight,” the memo also claimed.
According to Politico:
Multiple dissent memos about this war are being circulated in the State Department in efforts to gather signatures. These communications may or may not be classified, but their contents are rarely leaked. The department’s Dissent Channel is a long-established vehicle that allows staffers to freely express their discontent on a policy matter without fear of reprisal.
A State Department spokesperson told Axios they are “proud there is an established procedure for employees to articulate policy disagreements directly to the attention of senior department leaders without fear of retribution,” referring to the official Dissent Channel where employees can discuss their views.
“We understand — we expect, we appreciate — that different people working in this department have different beliefs about what United States policy should be,” the spokesperson added.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed concerns by staff about the government’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict in a note last month and has been “holding listening sessions with groups of staffers unhappy with the trajectory of U.S. policy in the last few weeks.” according to Politico.
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