Opposition to Gaza Policy on the Rise in Washington

Middle East Eye reported last weeked that opposition among members of the White House staff and staffers in Congress to the Biden Administration’s Palestine policy has reached “the boiling point”. That assessment is based on discussions with protesters in both the Republican and Democratic parties. There have been few resignations until now, as most feel they will have more influence by remaining on the inside, but that may change very soon. According to other reports, hundreds of federal employees are considering a one-day walkout of their jobs in protest, perhaps this week.

Otherwise two prominent voices, formerly on the inside, have again spoken out on the issue. Retired Army Col. Douglas A. Macgregor warned on Jan. 14 that the fierce support given by the U.S. to Israel’s destruction of Gaza and its threats to get into a war with Houthis, the Iranians and anyone who might be considered a threat for U.S. security, is leading to a very big war.

“What has happened in Gaza is not going to go away. It has left a permanent mark on the people of the region. They were told that they too are animals and they deserve the worst, that they too deserve to be exterminated. They will not tolerate this; this is going to blow up in everybody’s face,” Macgregor posted on his X account Jan. 14.

He  pointed his finger at the underlying policy which has to be dumped to find a way out, warning that “the American people do not realize how isolated we really are in the world. The rest of the world is no longer a minor player. We don’t live in 1960 or 1970 anymore, this is a very different world now. What we used to call minor players are now major powers. They don’t have to do business with us.”

A similar view was expressed by Chas Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a “dissident” of the State Department, who noted that Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip this week to South-West Asia underscored the toll the war in Gaza has taken on the U.S.’s “convening power.” His comments are reported in an analysis published in the Middle East Eye, which makes the argument that the Biden Administration has failed to achieve any of its policy objectives.

“Blinken came to Israel with promises of support for a post-war Gaza plan by Türkiye and the Arab states, but it was just that, promises. No one committed to anything.” Freeman says the U.S. is increasingly isolated on the world stage as a result of its support for Israel.

“There is a tremendous disconnect between the administration and what’s happening globally,” Freeman said. “I think the war has destroyed U.S. credibility abroad. That has real-world consequences when you consider the war in Ukraine and competition with China.”

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