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Army Major and Pentagon Officer Resigns Over US Support of Gaza Genocide

“At some point … you’re either advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children, or you’re not,” he said.

Following the Israeli army's ground incursions into certain neighborhoods east of Rafah, located in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinians residing in the area continue to migrate from the eastern neighborhoods of the city towards the west of Khan Yunis on May 9, 2024.

Another Biden administration official has resigned over the U.S.’s unconditional support of Israel’s genocide in Gaza — this time a senior officer in the U.S. Army who also served as an intelligence official for the Pentagon.

In a letter posted on LinkedIn on Monday, Harrison Mann wrote that he felt complicit in the “most horrific and heartbreaking images imaginable” being broadcast from Gaza while in his role. Mann was an officer in the intelligence agency of the Pentagon, working on the Middle East and Africa, according to his LinkedIn profile, as well as an army major. He also noted that he is separating from the army.

Mann said that he submitted his resignation on November 1, feeling “incredible shame and guilt” over his contributions to the Pentagon’s policies in Gaza, and circulated the letter in April. He cited his Jewish heritage as a reason he felt it morally necessary to resign.

“Each of us signed up to serve knowing we might have to support policies we weren’t fully convinced of. Our defense institutions couldn’t function otherwise,” Mann wrote. “However, at some point it became difficult to defend the outcomes of this particular policy. At some point — whatever the justification — you’re either advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children, or you’re not.”

“[A]s the descendent of European Jews, I was raised in a particularly unforgiving moral environment when it came to the topic of bearing responsibility for ethnic cleansing … where the paramount importance of ‘never again’ and the inadequacy of ‘just following orders’ were oft repeated,” Mann continued.

Mann is one of only a few Biden administration officials to publicly resign over the U.S.-backed genocide of Gaza. Each official who has spoken about their resignation has expressed extreme frustration and disappointment over the administration’s support of Israel at a time when, internally, the government is seeing a historic amount of dissent and disagreement with the policies handed down from top brass.

Last month, the administration saw the first U.S. diplomat to resign over Gaza. Hala Rharrit, the Arabic language spokesperson for the State Department, called the government’s support of the genocide “inhumane” and in violation of international law. Many people within the administration are afraid to speak up against the genocide for fear of reprisal or are silenced when they do, Rharrit has said.

In his letter, Mann said that he felt isolated within the Pentagon as someone who objected to the U.S.’s staunch support of Israel. He said that he was afraid to step out of line and of “violating our professional norms.”

“The hardest part of the past six months was feeling totally alone — like I was the only one disturbed by the footage from Gaza. The only one who felt like a participant, not just a passive observer, in the destruction there,” Mann wrote. “For six months, I never heard anyone speak about the war in those terms, ever. I felt like I was living in an alternate universe. I now realize the obvious — if I was afraid to voice my concerns, you were too.”

Mann’s resignation is also significant due to his role in the army. Military officers are discouraged from acts of public political dissent, but the severity of the Gaza genocide has prompted many to speak out.

Active duty Air Force member Larry Hebert embarked on a hunger strike in March in protest of the genocide, in particular citing Israel’s famine campaign in the region. Hebert is now seemingly facing recourse from the military due to his protest.

In February, active duty U.S. Air Force member Aaron Bushnell self-immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., screaming “free Palestine” and saying: “I will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

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