Staffers quit Biden campaign due to his support of Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians
01/14/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

Some of President Joe Biden's reelection campaign staff recently quit their posts because of their candidate's all-out support for Israel in its efforts to root out and destroy the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza.

Seventeen of his "employees" wrote an open letter to Biden scolding him for refusing to pursue a "ceasefire" between Israel and the militant group. "We write to you as the current staff of your re-election campaign. As we work to mobilize voters to cast their ballots for you in 2024, we must take a moment to acknowledge our tremendous grief, and the grief shared by countless other Americans, toward the violence occurring in Gaza," the letter stated.

They noted that they joined the campaign because the values "that Biden and they" share are ones worth fighting for. "Justice, empathy and our belief in the dignity of human life is the backbone of not only the Democratic Party but of the country. However, your administration's response to Israel's indiscriminate bombing in Gaza has been fundamentally antithetical to those values and we believe it could cost you the 2024 election," the staff declared, adding that they believe that it is both a moral and electoral imperative for Biden to publicly call for a cessation of violence. "Complicity in the death of over 20,000 Palestinians, 8,200 of whom are children, simply cannot be justified."

The letter goes on to demand an end to the United States' military aid to Israel and warned the POTUS to pursue a de-escalation in Gaza. The five demands the group expressed in the letter included the use of the president's platform to effect "an immediate, permanent ceasefire." They also asked to de-escalate the conflict in the whole region and force Hamas to release its hostages and Israel to release its Palestinian prisoners. Additionally, they demanded to end the "unconditional military aid to Israel" and investigate Israel for supposed "gross violations of human rights." Finally, they asked to take concrete steps to end the conditions of apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing that are the root causes of this conflict.

"You have said numerous times that silence in the face of human rights violations is complicity. We agree, which is why we are speaking out now," the letter added. "Every minute that passes without a ceasefire is another life that is lost – a life that could have been saved with political action from you. As your staff, we believe it is both a moral and electoral imperative for you to publicly call for a cessation of violence." This was in reference to Biden's Oct. 15, 2021 speech at the dedication of a human rights center at the University of Connecticut, where he said that "silence" over human rights abuses "is complicity." He has repeated the idea since, including at a December 2022 White House event.

Meanwhile, some of Biden's administration officials have previously openly and publicly quit over the president's Israel policy, unlike the staffers who hid their names. Tariq Habash, a now-former special assistant in the Education Department's Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development resigned, as per a New York Post report. "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," Habash said in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Moreover, a group of 400 self-identified administration employees signed another letter demanding that Biden pursue a ceasefire in Gaza in November. NBC News reported that the letter was signed by political appointees and civil servants across more than 30 federal departments and agencies.

White House insists Gaza ceasefire at this time would only benefit Hamas

Despite the massive backlash, the Biden administration continues to reject mounting calls for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby recently reiterated the administration's long-standing position that a ceasefire at this point would only benefit Hamas. Moreover, Israel insisted that its military campaign would stop only after the Iran-backed terror group was eliminated. "We do continue to support humanitarian pauses but not a general ceasefire right now," Kirby told the news outlet during Tuesday's White House news briefing. "The president wasn't signaling any change at all."

Biden also said he has been "quietly working with the Israeli government" using all means at his disposal "to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza." "I understand the passion," Biden said, addressing the group who interrupted his speech during a campaign event in South Carolina chanting "Ceasefire. Now!" For Wendy Pearlman, a professor of Middle East studies at Northwestern University, Biden's statement is "an insult" to the American people who are "demanding U.S. leadership" to stop the war. "It's almost embarrassing to talk about quiet, behind-the-scenes whispers when the Biden administration's actions on Israel speak so loudly," she told VOA, underscoring American financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel.

To some analysts, the current administration is sending mixed signals as it declines ceasefire but at the same time, appears to be trying to appease some Americans' calls for the humanitarian pause in Gaza. (Related: U.S. vetoed Gaza ceasefire on same day it profited from arms sale to Israel.)

Meanwhile, Biden's policies on Israel are becoming a potential electoral liability among increasingly large swaths of voters beyond Arab and Muslim Americans, including young and progressive Democrats and even some in the American Jewish community. "The Biden administration must push Israel to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and pivot from war to peacemaking," James Klutznick, chairman of Americans for Peace Now, said in a statement.

Find out about the latest updates about the Israel-Gaza conflict on

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