A Plea to Biden Staffers — You Can Save Gaza
The President only responds to political pressure. Threatening to resign could save innocent lives.
This letter is addressed to those working in the Biden Administration, the Democratic National Committee, and state Democratic parties. I have no idea if any Democratic staffers are on my email list, so I’m asking folks to share this in the off-chance it goes viral and gets their attention.
Thank you. In Solidarity — Joe
Dear Biden Staffers,
A few weeks ago, your colleague Tariq Habash, a Department of Education policy adviser, resigned in protest of President Biden’s enablement of Israel’s “ethnic cleansing of Gaza” (his words). Habash, who is Palestinian-American, stated many of you felt similarly, a claim supported by the recent letter Biden staffers signed urging the President to support a ceasefire.
Unfortunately, neither the letter nor Habash’s resignation appears to have moved the President. Two-thousand-pound bombs and chemical weapons, manufactured and paid for by the U.S., continue to fall on innocent Gazans. So far 26,000 Gazans have been killed, a number that is sure to rise. Israel claims 34.6% of those killed were combatants, meaning, under the most conservative estimates, two-thirds of the Palestinian dead were civilians. But the death toll is only the surface of the misery. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (ICP), a non-governmental agency that chronicles global food shortages, found that 100% of the Gazan population is in the deadly “Phase 3+” category. According to the ICP, “This is the highest share of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity that the IPC initiative has ever classified for any given area or country.” While the Biden Administration loudly touts having delivered humanitarian relief to Gaza, what little aid has made it through the Israeli blockades is wholly insufficient.
While the Biden Administration fosters this catastrophe, the world responds. On January 26th, the International Court of Justice overwhelmingly found it was plausible Israel was committing genocide and ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. While obligated to abide by the ruling under international law, Israel has already issued statements indicating it will not. “We will continue to do what is necessary to defend our country and defend our people,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said, a clear sign he plans to ignore “the rules-based international order” the Biden Administration routinely celebrates.
Whatever notions you may have previously held about Israel, we must reckon with reality. Israel has shown it will ignore international law, the global calls for a ceasefire, and even the safety of its own citizens in pursuit of its military aims. But, historically, there is one force that Israel has responded to — pushback from the President of the United States.
In 1982, Israel attacked the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Lebanon amidst the Lebanese Civil War. President Ronald Reagan, of all people, responded by restricting aid to Israel and expressing public outrage. Eventually, this pressure motivated Israel to normalize relations with Lebanon and withdraw its forces.
“The Israeli government, under intense pressure from the United States (President Reagan), called off the aerial bombardment of West Beirut late today and stripped Defense Minister Ariel Sharon of the freedom he has exercised to order air strikes on the besieged Lebanese capital.” — The Washington Post, August 13th, 1982
Israel’s rationale for responding to American pressure is obvious. It relies on American financial and diplomatic support to maintain military superiority over its adversaries and avoid condemning UN resolutions.
So, Biden staffers, that’s where you come in.
As you’re aware, President Biden is a staunch Zionist. He has shown he is personally sympathetic to Israel’s assault on Gaza. But, as the repeated leaks to the press show, both he and his election staff are aware his enablement of Netanyahu’s crimes hurt his chances of re-election. Last week Axios reported Biden warned Netanyahu he’s “not in” for the violence to last through the year, as he fears it will weaken him with young voters. This shows Biden will respond to political pressure, at least more than he has to humanitarian pleas for peace.
Were you, the rank and file of his administration and reelection effort to resign en masse, Biden’s election infrastructure would crumble, all but ensuring his defeat. The administration is well aware they need you, hence your recent “morale booster” party. All of you have tremendous power, power that can be used to save Gaza and the thousands of innocent children who will be killed by American bombs if you do not act.
Were you to publicly state that you will resign from the administration if Biden does not call for a ceasefire, the President would be forced to respond. Either he can implement the only kind of pressure Israel has historically responded to by calling for a ceasefire, or he can watch you walk out the door, taking his chances of reelection with you.
Many will shudder at the obvious result of a Biden defeat. As the presumptuous nominee, Donald Trump will reassume office upon a Biden defeat, a thought that troubles us all. But while none of us welcome this prospect, we must weigh the alternative — absent a ceasefire call from President Biden, thousands more Palestinians will die and the survivors will be driven from their homeland, creating a historic crime parallel with apartheid, chattel slavery, and the Holocaust. One day, your children will ask you what you did at this moment. Now is your chance to act so you can tell them you did everything within your power to save the children of Gaza; that you stood for justice, even when it was difficult and carried the risk of great personal cost.
I wish things were different. I wish President Biden was swayed by the mass protests, the threat of a full-fledged conflict in the Middle East, or the desire to save Palestinian lives. But, to our dismay, he is not. With each day the death toll climbs and the potential of Palestinian self-determination diminishes. So, we must turn to more drastic action. Protest and disagreement are not enough.
Fate has handed you extraordinary power in world events, something few people are ever given. President Biden has signaled he will ignore the International Court of Justice. But he has also signaled he cannot ignore you. If you, the staffers who make up his political outfit, write a public letter threatening to resign should he continue to support Israel’s aggression, there’s a chance he will acquiesce. It’s not a large chance, but it’s a chance nonetheless.
I beg you, for the sake of Palestine and your image in history, take the chance.
As I mentioned up top, I’d appreciate any help getting this letter in front of the people it is addressed to. Please like, share, and, if you know anyone who works in Democratic politics, send it their way. Thank you — Joe