Biden Appointee Maryam Hassanein Reveals Reasons for Resignation Over Gaza Policy

On this episode of State of Play we speak with Maryam Hassanein, a Biden political appointee who recently resigned over the administration’s Gaza policy.

Conventional wisdom holds that if you want to change a system, you must do so from the inside. It is the most effective and responsible way to implement institutional change. While this is an expansive subject ranging from perceptions of social institutions – the established patterns of beliefs, behaviors and relationships that organize social life – to governmental organizations that oversee the massive cogs of U.S. foreign policy, an overriding conclusion is that any systemic change takes time.

The frustration over the Biden Administration’s patent unwillingness to check Israeli violence in Gaza in any meaningful way has brought the question of institutional change into a sharp focus.

On November 13, the Guardian published an article describing a memo wherein 100 U.S. government officials from the State Department and International Development Agency criticized the White House for “disregarding the lives of Palestinians” and showing an “unwillingness to de-escalate” in the Israel-Hamas war.

The heedless violence, the disregard for international law, and the rank hypocrisy manifested between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Palestine have undoubtedly complicated the jobs of the U.S. diplomatic corps.

According to a Politico article published the week prior, a memo stated that the distance between America’s private and public messaging “contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor, which at best does not advance, and at worst harms, U.S. interests worldwide.”

State Department officials have resigned and described submitting complaints to the Department of State dissent channel. Likewise, a string of service members in the United States Armed Forces have filed for conscientious objector status.


Those who detest war and champion diplomatic solutions applaud these symbolic acts of dissent and resistance. Yet, the question remains: what do they really accomplish in terms of influencing a demonstrably self-destructive foreign policy stance?

Upon examining the turnover rate in President Biden’s a-team and cabinet, we see that senior position resignations are no greater than those of prior administrations, even accounting for this turbulent past year, and are significantly below former President Trump’s. Ultimately, it is difficult to gauge the internal political climate within an administration from the outside.

Tonight on State of Play, we interview Maryam Hassanein – A political appointee at the U.S. Interior Department and the most recent to resign as the Biden Administration continues to “fund and enable Israel’s genocide of Palestinians.”

Special Assistant and Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Hassanein said in a statement last week:

Marginalized communities in our country have long been denied the justice they deserve. I joined the Biden-Harris administration with the belief that my voice and diverse perspective would lend a hand in the pursuit of that justice.”

Join us on MintPress News for a conversation about institutional dissent and internal disillusionment and whether or not this will affect shifting policy in the long term.

Greg Stoker is a former US Army Ranger with a background in human intelligence collection and analysis. After serving four combat deployments in Afghanistan, he studied anthropology and International Relations at Columbia University. He is currently a military and geopolitical analyst, and a social media “influencer,” though he hates the term.

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