Thu 16 May 2024 3:46 pm - Jerusalem Time

The first American Jewish employee to resign from the Biden administration because of the war on Gaza

On Wednesday, Lily Greenberg-Cole resigned from her prestigious position in the US Department of the Interior - becoming the first Jewish employee in the administration of US President Joe Biden, in protest against US support for the Israeli war in Gaza.

Lily Greenberg Cole, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff at the Interior Ministry, accused President Joe Biden of using the Jewish people to justify the destructive American policy in the war on Gaza.

Grebenberg-Cole worked on the presidential campaigns of both Biden and Kamala Harris, and was a longtime Israel activist and advocate in Washington and elsewhere before joining the government.

She is at least the fifth mid-level or high-ranking employee in the Biden administration to publicly announce her resignation in protest against the military and diplomatic support provided by the Biden administration for the seven-month-long Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

She is the second political figure to do so, after the resignation of Tareq Habash, an official in the Ministry of Education (of Palestinian origins), last January.

Her resignation letter described how happy she was to join an administration that she believed shared much of her vision for the country. “However, I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration,” she wrote.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Greenberg-Cole pointed to Biden's comments, including his comments at a Hanukkah event at the White House where he said, "If there were no Israel, no Jew would be safe in the world," and at an event commemorating the Holocaust. In Washington last week, he said that the Hamas-led attacks on October 7 that sparked the war were motivated by “the ancient desire to eliminate the Jewish people.”

“He (Joe Biden) is making Jews the face of the American war machine,” Greenberg-Cole said. “This is a very big mistake,” she added, noting that her ancestors were killed because of “state-sponsored violence” (in this case Israel).

The war waged by Israel on the besieged Gaza Strip in the past seven months has led to the killing of more than 35,000 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children.

The Biden administration noted its repeated calls for Benjamin Netanyahu's government to more precisely target Hamas in order to save more civilians. It recently halted a shipment of bombs to Israel, saying it wanted to prevent Israeli forces from dropping them on the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza.

“I think the president should know that there are people in his administration who think this is disastrous,” Greenberg-Cole said of the war in general and American support for it. “Not just for the Palestinians, for the Israelis, for the Jews, for the Americans, but for his re-election prospects.”


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The first American Jewish employee to resign from the Biden administration because of the war on Gaza