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Jewish Biden Appointee Resigns Over US’s “Disastrous” Backing of Gaza Genocide

Lily Greenberg Call said her Jewish background is what compels her to take a stand against the administration.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators call for a ceasefire in Gaza during a protest as part of the "People's White House Ceasefire Now Iftar” outside the White House on April 2, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, an Interior Department Joe Biden appointee became the first Jewish political appointee to resign over the Biden administration’s support of Israel’s genocide in Gaza, levying sharp criticisms of the administration she says is instrumentalizing Jewish identity in order to continue funding Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians.

Former special assistant to the Interior Department’s chief of staff Lily Greenberg Call wrote in a letter that she can no longer “continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden’s disastrous, continued support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza.” Including Call, at least five mid- to senior-level administrative staffers have resigned so far in protest of the U.S.’s involvement in Gaza.

Call said her Jewish background is what compels her to take a stand against the administration.

“My whole life has been spent in Jewish community in the U.S. and Israel,” Call wrote. “People in my community lost loved ones during Hamas’s attack on October 7th; beloveds killed, displaced, and taken as hostages. I am terrified by rising antisemitism around the world. And yet I am certain that the answer to this is not to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians through displacement, famine, and ethnic cleansing.”

“Israel’s ongoing offensive against Palestinians does not keep Jewish people safe — in Israel nor in the United States,” Call continued. “What I have learned from my Jewish tradition is that every life is precious. That we are obligated to stand up for those facing violence and oppression, and to question authority in the face of injustice.”

Call chose May 15 to resign in recognition of Nakba Day, the anniversary of Zionist forces violently pushing 750,000 Palestinians out of historic Palestine 76 years ago in order for settlers to establish the state of Israel. Palestinians have long argued that the Nakba, translated roughly to “catastrophe,” started earlier than 1948 and is still very much ongoing.

Shortly after she posted her resignation letter on X, Call’s account was banned. It now appears to be up again, but in a restricted manner.

Call said that Israel has committed numerous violations of international law in Gaza that were only possible because of the U.S.’s ongoing military support of Israel. Biden could end the genocide now, she noted, but has used “nearly no leverage” against Israel, opting instead to legitimize the slaughter.

In interviews about her resignation, Call added that she has been particularly disturbed by Biden’s remarks that Israel is the only thing keeping Jewish people safe across the world and that Palestinian fighters have an “ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people,” a remark that many have noted is virulently anti-Palestinian.

“He is making Jews the face of the American war machine. And that is so deeply wrong,” Call told The Associated Press.

Call’s resignation is also notable due to her previous affiliation with the U.S.’s most prolific pro-Israel lobbying group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In 2019, Call graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was the president of AIPAC affiliate group Bears for Israel, and she says she attended many AIPAC-sponsored school events growing up.

But she has since chosen to separate herself from AIPAC, writing in an op-ed for Teen Vogue in 2022 that the group only “contributes to the cycle of violence by demanding or benefiting from unconditional support for the Israeli government no matter the cost.”

“We must understand that Palestinian and Jewish safety are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact intertwined,” she wrote.