Over 800 officials in U.S. and Europe sign letter protesting Israel’s war on Gaza

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: An inside view of International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on July 23, 2018. The International Court of Justice on Monday ruled that the United Arab Emirates had violated the rights of Qataris through the blockade it imposed on its Persian Gulf neighbor over a year ago. (Photo by Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

More than 800 civil servants from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union released a statement Friday criticizing their governments’ support of Israel as it presses on with its war against Gaza, warning that such policies could be contributing to war crimes and violations of international law.

The “transatlantic” statement said the administrations in the US, UK and EU, some of which are Israel’s key Western allies, risk being complicit in “one of the worst human catastrophes of this century.”

The officials say they privately expressed concerns about Israel’s military operations to leaders of their governments and institutions but have been ignored.

The officials say they privately expressed concerns about Israel’s military operations to leaders of their governments and institutions but have been ignored.

“Our governments’ current policies weaken their moral standing and undermine their ability to stand up for freedom, justice and human rights globally,” the statement says. “There is a plausible risk that our governments’ policies are contributing to grave violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes and even ethnic cleansing or genocide.”

The statement marks the first display of coordinated transatlantic dissent since Oct 7, when the Israeli military launched an air and ground operation in Gaza. More than 27,000 people in Gaza have been killed and nearly 2 million have been displaced since the war began, according to the health ministry in Gaza and the United Nations.

The signatories called on their governments to “stop asserting to the public that there is a strategic and defensible rationale behind the Israeli operation and that supporting it is in our countries’ interests.” They also urged Western governments to halt military support and secure a ceasefire that will increase aid for Palestinians and ensure the release of Israeli hostages.

The statement said that it was coordinated by civil servants in European Union institutions, the Netherlands, and the U.S. and was endorsed by civil servants in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The names of the civil servants are not listed, but the effort reveals that the current pro-Israel policies have generated dissent among some who work in government.

The statement comes a week after the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—the highest court of the United Nations—ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza caused by its military campaign. Israel has denied accusations of genocide in Gaza.

The signatories to the new letter demanded that Israel comply with the ICJ order.

“Our governments have provided the Israeli military operation with public, diplomatic and military support,” the statement read.

The officials said they are concerned “that this support has been given without real conditions or accountability” as Western governments “have failed to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to blockages of necessary food/water/medicine in Gaza” in light of the war’s death toll.

Meanwhile, the US federal court in California asked US President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday to reconsider its “unflagging support” for Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

The court also ruled that the Israeli offensive against Gaza, which began in early October, “plausibly” amounts to genocide.

UN experts have described Israel’s war on Gaza as the deadliest, most dangerous conflict for journalists in recent history.

BY: Muhammad Attzaz Khan