Jewish Biden appointee publicly resigns over president’s handling of Israel-Hamas war

Lily Greenberg Call, special assistant to the Interior Department’s chief of staff, says Biden ‘is making Jews the face of the American war machine, and that is so deeply wrong’

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Gateway Technical College, in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, May 8, 2024. (Morry Gash/AP)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Gateway Technical College, in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, May 8, 2024. (Morry Gash/AP)

WASHINGTON — A United States Interior Department staffer on Wednesday became the first Jewish political appointee to publicly resign in protest of US support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

Lily Greenberg Call, a special assistant to the chief of staff in the Interior Department, accused US President Joe Biden of using Jews to justify US policy in the conflict.

Call had worked for the presidential campaigns of both Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris and was a longtime activist and advocate for Israel in Washington and elsewhere before joining the government.

She is at least the fifth mid- or senior-level administration staffer to make public their resignation in protest of the Biden administration’s military and diplomatic support of the now seven-month Israel-Hamas war. The war was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 onslaught in Israel, in which some 1,200 people were killed, mostly civilians, and 252 were taken hostage.

Greenberg Call is the second political appointee to resign after an Education Department official of Palestinian heritage resigned in January.

Her resignation letter described her excitement at joining an administration that she believed shared much of her vision for the country. “However, I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration,” she wrote.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Call pointed to comments by Biden, including at a White House Hanukkah event where he said, “Were there no Israel, there wouldn’t be a Jew in the world who was safe,” and at an event at Washington’s Holocaust Memorial last week in which he said the October 7 Hamas-led terror attacks that triggered the war were driven by an “ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people.”

“He is making Jews the face of the American war machine. And that is so deeply wrong,” she said, noting that ancestors of hers were killed by “state-sponsored violence.”

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 35,000 people in the Strip have been killed in the fighting so far, a toll that cannot be independently verified. It also includes some 15,000 terror operatives Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

The United Nations cut by more than half the number of women and children ‘identified’ as killed in Gaza. New data on Gazan fatalities cited by the UN agency separates ‘identified’ deaths in hospitals from some 10,000 alleged deaths based on Hamas “media sources.”

The Biden administration has pointed to its repeated calls to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for more precise targeting of Hamas so as to spare more civilians. It recently paused a shipment of bombs to Israel, saying it wanted to prevent Israeli forces from dropping them on the crowded southern Gaza city of Rafah.

However, on Tuesday, the Biden administration told key lawmakers it was sending a new package of more than $1 billion in arms and ammunition to Israel according to congressional aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I think the president has to know that there are people in his administration who think this is disastrous,” Call said of the war overall and US support for it. “Not just for Palestinians, for Israelis, for Jews, for Americans, for his election prospects.”

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