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Blinken Addresses Internal Disagreements on Israel-Hamas Conflict in State Department Email

Israel-Hamas Conflict

In a candid email to State Department staff on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged internal disagreements over the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. The message, following Blinken’s recent travels, comes amidst rising dissent within the State Department and the broader administration.

Blinken empathized with the personal toll the crisis has taken on staff, expressing his own anguish at the distressing images of civilians, including children and the elderly, affected by the conflict. Reports of an open letter from hundreds of US Agency for International Development personnel and a purported “dissent memo” within the State Department underscore the growing discontent.

“I know that some people in the Department may disagree with approaches we are taking or have views on what we can do better,” Blinken wrote. He highlighted efforts to facilitate open forums and discussions worldwide, emphasizing the importance of feedback in shaping policy. “We’re listening: what you share is informing our policy and our messages,” he assured.

Blinken recounted his recent trip to the Middle East and Asia, reiterating the US objective to end the conflict swiftly while recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself. He acknowledged the high civilian death toll in Gaza and advocated for a Palestinian-led governance model in post-crisis Gaza, emphasizing the need for sustained reconstruction support.

The email comes in the wake of public resignations within the State Department and quiet dissatisfaction across the administration as the civilian death toll escalates. At a State Department briefing, spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the organization’s strength in welcoming diverse views and stated that Secretary Blinken actively sought input from individuals at all levels.

As internal disagreements persist, Blinken’s email signals a commitment to transparency and responsiveness within the State Department amid a complex and deeply divisive international crisis.