US staffer becomes first Biden Jewish-American appointment to quit over Gaza policy

Lily Greenberg Call leaves Interior Department over 'disastrous continued support' for Israel

Lily Greenberg Call has resigned from her role in the US government's Department of Interior over Washington's Gaza policy. Photo: Lily Greenberg Call
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Another member of the US government has resigned over America's support for Israel during its deadly military operations on Gaza.

Lily Greenberg Call stepped down as a member of the Department of Interior after stints working on political campaigns for Vice President Kamala Harris in 2019 and President Joe Biden in 2020. Ms Greenberg Call is the first Jewish-American political appointee to resign over the war in the enclave.

“I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden's disastrous, continued support for Israel's genocide in Gaza,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

Ms Call is the latest member of the US government to resign over Washington's Gaza policy, and the second this week.

Maj Harrison Mann, who worked in the Defence Intelligence Agency's Middle East and Africa Regional Centre, criticised “nearly unqualified support” of Israel that “enabled and empowered” deaths of “innocent Palestinians”.

There have also been a handful of members in the State Department who left their positions over the past couple months.

More than 35,200 people have been killed in Israel's siege of Gaza, local health officials say. That came in response to a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people.

The White House asserts that Israel is not committing genocide, and that it has pressured Israel to increase humanitarian deliveries and aid access into the Palestinian enclave.

In her resignation letter, Ms Call details frustration as an American Jew who knows people in her community who lost loved ones on October 7, and with a government role while Israel's war leads to a mounting civilian death toll.

“I have asked myself many times over the last eight months: What is the point of having power if you will not use it to stop crimes against humanity?” she wrote.

Ms Call later answers her own question in her letter: “I reject the premise that one people's salvation must come at another's destruction.

"I am committed to creating a world where this does not happen – and this cannot be done from within the Biden administration.”

Ms Call told AP that she grew uncomfortable with Mr Biden's recent comments that appeared to use Jewish people and concerns for their safety to justify American policy with Israel's actions in Gaza.

She referred to remarks Mr Biden made at a Holocaust Memorial event that the October 7 Hamas attack was borne out of an “ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people”.

And at a White House event marking Hanukkah, he said: “Were there no Israel, there wouldn’t be a Jew in the world who was safe."

The statements by Mr Biden paint “Jews the face of the American war machine” and do not recognise how Israel's actions do not make Jewish people safe, Ms Call told AP.

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Updated: May 16, 2024, 8:17 AM