A group of Biden campaign staffers have published a letter calling on the president to seek a permanent ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, marking the latest Democratic rebellion on the matter.
The Israel Defense Forces have invaded the Gaza Strip in a bid to oust Hamas from power after the terrorist group staged a lethal raid on Oct. 7 of last year that saw its insurgents kill roughly 1,200 civilians and take approximately 200 hostages. Fighting has persisted for months, with some violence spilling into neighboring Syria and Lebanon.
In an open letter posted on Medium and shared with Politico’s West Wing Playbook, 17 unnamed campaign staffers demanded that he publicly demand a ceasefire, urge Israel and Hamas to release their hostages and other detained persons, terminate unconditional military support for Israel, probe Israeli military conduct, and “[t]ake concrete steps to end the conditions of apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing that are the root causes of this conflict.”
“Like so many others, we continue to be devastated by Hamas’s attack against Israeli civilians on October 7th — it was a vile assault, one that touched the consciousness of the country,” they went on. “The subsequent killing of 20,000 Palestinian civilians, however, has struck the same societal nerve. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past by allowing the actions of Hamas to justify such further violence against civilians.”
Israel’s incursion into Gaza has attracted international scrutiny over the military’s tactics in the densely populated area and the civilian death toll. The United Nations General Assembly has twice approved non-binding resolutions calling for a ceasefire, though the U.S. has thwarted efforts by the security council to pass binding resolutions to the same effect.
The anonymous letter marks merely the latest internal repudiation of the Biden’s current support for Israel, despite public disagreements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over what President Joe Biden called the “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza and plans for the territory’s post-conflict administration.
Weeks after the outbreak of the conflict, State Department officials began circulating a dissent cable criticizing the administration’s handling of the matter in what one Department official called “a mutiny brewing within State at all levels.” Reports of the cable first emerged after former Director of Congressional & Public Affairs for the Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Josh Paul posted a public resignation to which he attributed the administration’s handling of the conflict.
“I believe to the core of my soul that the response Israel is taking, and with it the American support both for that response, and for the status quo of the occupation, will only lead to more and deeper suffering for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people – and is not in the long term American interest,” he posted in mid-October.