An internal dissent memo from the State Department has been leaked, accusing President Biden of “spreading misinformation” about the Israel-Hamas war. The Wall Street Journal reported that the memo, signed by 100 State Department and USAID employees, criticizes Biden’s continued support for Israel, alleging that it makes him “complicit in genocide.” The memo suggests that the president’s backing of Israel is based on misinformation but does not provide specific examples.
The document addresses the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas, during which hundreds of civilians, including children and the elderly, were reportedly kidnapped. The memo recommends advocating for the release of hostages, including the lumping in of “thousands” of Palestinians it claims are held in Israel. While acknowledging the recent atrocities committed by Hamas, the memo predominantly focuses on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s counterattack on Hamas in Gaza.
The report notes that the memo reflects sentiments expressed by progressive activists in the U.S. who have been critical of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, posing a new challenge for the president’s 2024 campaign.
According to Axios, the memo also criticizes Biden for questioning the number of deaths in Gaza, even though statistics from the Hamas-run Health Ministry are known to be unreliable.
In response to the leaked memo, the White House has not issued an immediate comment. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller addressed the dissent, highlighting the department’s strength in welcoming diverse views and encouraging employees to make their opinions known. He emphasized that while the department appreciates different beliefs about U.S. policy, it does not necessarily mean a change in policy based on disagreements.
The State Department expressed pride in having established procedures for employees to articulate policy disagreements without fear of retribution. The department referred to Monday’s briefing response when asked for comment on the internal dissent.
SCOOP: An internal State Department dissent memo accuses President Biden of “spreading misinformation” on the Israel-Hamas war and alleges that Israel is committing “war crimes” in Gaza. https://t.co/7sS7UaHw2n
— Axios (@axios) November 13, 2023