The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Telling Words from a State Department Defector

Nov 13, 2023

On October 17, senior State Department official Josh Paul resigned from the bureau that oversees arms transfers to foreign nations. Paul explained his reasoning in his post on LinkedIn, stating that the government “rushing” to provide arms to Israel was “shortsighted, destructive, unjust and contradictory to the very values we espouse.”

In his post, Paul denounced Hamas’s attack on Israel as a “monstrosity of monstrosities…. But I believe to the core of my soul that the response Israel is taking, and with it the American support both for the response and for the status quo of the occupation, will only lead to more and deeper suffering for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people,” he wrote.

He explained that providing material aid to Israel is different from providing aid to other countries: “But with Israel, it’s blank check from Congress. There is no appetite for debate. There is no real debate internal to the administration. And then there’s no one to hand the debate off to.” He also explained that the administration’s new conventional arms transfer policy, enacted earlier this year, clearly states that no transfers will be authorized under which the U.S. assesses that “it is more likely than not that the arms to be transferred will be used by the recipient to commit, facilitate the recipients’ commission of, or to aggravate risks that the recipient will commit: genocide; crimes against humanity; grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. So, I think for us to look at the current situation and say the answer is as many bombs as Israel asks for, knowing that their use will lead in a direction exactly opposite to our stated policy goals … it’s disappointing to say the least.”

Paul did agree that Israel had the right to defend itself. But he said there are “ways to do that that don’t involve dislocating a million Palestinians, that don’t involve the death of thousands of civilians.”

Josh Paul resigned because the U.S. is aiding and abetting Israel to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people.