July 21, 2024

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Deaths and attacks in Gaza, news and more

Deaths and attacks in Gaza, news and more

In an email to staff, Blinken acknowledged disagreements at the State Department over the Israel-Hamas war

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, November 9, 2023. (Credit: Jung Yeon-Je – Pool/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken this Monday acknowledged differences within the State Department over the Biden administration’s approach to the war between Israel and Hamas in an email to staff.

His message to staff in the wake of his recent trips comes amid growing anger and dissent not only among State Department staff, but also within the Biden administration.

CNN reported last week that hundreds of employees of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had signed an open letter calling for a cease-fire, and there were reports of a “dissension” within the State Department.

Last month, a State Department official publicly resigned in protest of the administration’s policy on the war between Israel and Hamas.

“I know that for many of you, the suffering caused by this crisis is deeply personal,” Blinken wrote in his Monday email, which was seen by CNN.

“The pain of seeing daily pictures of babies, children, elderly, women and other civilians suffering in this crisis is heartbreaking. I feel it myself.”

A top US diplomat noted that “some people in the department may disagree with the approaches we take or have ideas about what we could be doing better.”

The State Department head noted that forums have been organized in Washington City for employees to express their views.

“We ask: What you share is our policy and conveys our message,” he said.

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In his email, Blinken provided an overview of his trip to the Middle East and Asia last week, saying America’s “overriding goal remains the same: to end this terrible conflict as quickly as possible, while “Israel’s right and duty. In full compliance with international humanitarian law, we must ensure that a terrorist attack like October 7 does not happen again.”

He reiterated that “too many Palestinian civilians have died” and that “more can and must be done to alleviate their suffering.”

“As I have said privately and publicly, we believe that the voices of the Palestinian people must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza,” Blinken wrote. “We believe in Palestinian-led governance of Gaza, with Gaza annexed to the West Bank. Gaza’s reconstruction must be supported by a sustainable mechanism.”

HuffPost first reported it in an email on Monday.

At a State Department briefing on Monday, spokesman Matt Miller noted that “the government sector, like all organizations around the world, not just in government, has people with a variety of viewpoints.”

“One of our strengths as an organization is the diversity of viewpoints and we welcome people to make those viewpoints known,” Miller said. And, he pointed out, he “has met with a lot of people from all levels of the department, from different offices in the department” to get what they think about our policy, both in terms of Israel and its conflicts with Hamas. Respect for other matters, including the most controversial matters.