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‘On Thin Ice’: Some Biden Administration Staffers Feel Stifled Discussing Horrors In Gaza
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Huffington Post

Ahn Young-joon/AP

Huffington Post, October 18, 2023
Posted: October 29th, 2023
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-administration-gaza-dis...

President Joe Biden departed for Israel on Tuesday evening on a high-stakes diplomatic visit amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. As Biden grapples with the crisis, several U.S. officials told HuffPost it has become difficult to have a full debate within his administration about what’s happening in Israel-Palestine and in particular that people who want to talk about Israeli restraint or humanitarian protections for Palestinians feel stifled. Several staffers across multiple agencies, most of whom work on national security issues, told HuffPost they and their colleagues worry about retaliation at work for questioning Israel’s conduct amid the U.S.-backed Israeli campaign to avenge an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. The fear is especially intense among staffers with Muslim backgrounds. On Sunday, presidential personnel office chief Gautam Raghavan organized a call with close to a dozen current and former high-level Muslim appointees to discuss their concerns. Some staffers said they felt unsafe voicing their opinions around colleagues because it could endanger their careers, according to a person on the call. The period since the Hamas attack represents “the first time in the administration that there was a real culture of silence,” one official said. “It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an anti-Semite.”

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