Maryam Hassanein

Maryam Hassanein—seen here in Budapest, Hungary in an undated photo—is the first Muslim American to resign from the Biden administration over its complicity in Israel's assault on Gaza.

(Photo: Arizona List)

'Complicit in the Genocide': First Muslim Biden Appointee Resigns Over Gaza

"This administration has chosen to uphold the status quo instead of listening to the diverse voices of staff urgently demanding freedom and justice for Palestinians."

A political appointee at the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday became the youngest—and first Muslim American—appointee of President Joe Biden's to resign as his administration continues to "fund and enable Israel's genocide of Palestinians."

"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," Special Assistant and Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Maryam Hassanein, 24, said in a statement.

"However, over the past nine months of Israel's genocide in Gaza, this administration has chosen to uphold the status quo instead of listening to the diverse voices of staff urgently demanding freedom and justice for Palestinians," she added. "I am resigning today from my position as a Biden administration appointee in the Department of the Interior."

Hassanein toldHuffPost that she decided to resign because "I came to understand that even if the agency I'm working at is not producing foreign policy, serving in the administration in any capacity does essentially make you complicit in the genocide of the Palestinians."

Palestine defenders applauded Hassanein's resignation—which made her at least the 11th American official to step down over U.S. support for Israel's war on Gaza, according to HuffPost.

"We welcome this principled resignation by another Biden administration official who took up their post believing they could help the nation, but instead realized they were becoming complicit in the administration's enabling of the far-right Israeli government's genocide in Gaza," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"President Biden, whose administration has lost all credibility on the issue of human rights, must reverse course and end our nation's complicity in genocide, forced starvation, and ethnic cleansing," Awad added. "He must demand an immediate and permanent cease-fire, an end to the occupation, and justice for the Palestinian people."

The Biden administration has been Israel's staunchest supporter, even after 270 days of what United Nations officials, human rights experts, and countries led by South Africa in an International Court of Justice case all call a genocidal assault on Gaza's 2.3 million people. Despite this, Biden has approved billions of dollars in military assistance and provided diplomatic support for Israel.

According to Palestinian and international agencies, at least 37,925 Palestinians—mostly women and children—have been killed by Israeli forces, while upward of 87,000 others have been wounded and at least 11,000 people are missing and presumed dead and buried beneath the rubble of hundreds of thousands of destroyed or damaged buildings.

Israel has also been accused of deliberately starving Gazans—dozens of whom have died of malnutrition—via a crippling siege and blockade of the coastal enclave.

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