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Another senior US official Sheline resigns over Gaza genocide

A high-ranking official from the United States State Department, known for advocating human rights on behalf of the US government, has become the latest member to step down from her position in protest against President Joe Biden’s perceived unwavering support for Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Annelle Sheline, a Middle East analyst, made her resignation public in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday, amid escalating casualties in Gaza, which have now reached 32,490 since October 7.

Additionally, the World Food Programme has issued warnings of an impending famine in the region.

Sheline’s departure from her role in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor marks a significant public dissent within the department since last October, when Josh Paul, a senior official in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, announced his resignation.

Expressing her reasons for resigning, Sheline, who served as a foreign affairs officer, stated, “For the past year, I worked for the office dedicated to advancing human rights in the Middle East. I strongly believe in the mission and the vital work of that office.

However, serving in a government that is seen to be supporting what the International Court of Justice has suggested could potentially amount to genocide in Gaza has made such work nearly impossible.”

Feeling unable to continue her service within an administration that she believes is complicit in atrocities, she chose to resign from her position at the Department of State. Initially intending to resign quietly, Sheline was encouraged by colleagues to make her decision public, believing that public pressure could influence the administration’s stance.

Tariq Habash, a Palestinian-American policy adviser in the Department of Education, resigned in January for similar reasons.

These resignations come amid mounting pressure on the Biden administration from within the Democratic Party to push for a permanent cease-fire and to impose restrictions on how Israel utilizes US military aid in Gaza.

Efforts to address internal dissent within the Biden administration have included Secretary of State Antony Blinken participating in “listening sessions” with Arab American, Muslim, and Jewish staffers, along with other senior officials holding similar meetings.

In response to Sheline’s resignation, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the diversity of views within the department on Gaza policy and stated that such views are considered when making decisions.

Miller clarified that Sheline opted not to extend her fellowship for a second year and highlighted the importance of individuals making decisions regarding their future employment.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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