An open letter to Sen. Duckworth, Sen. Durbin, Rep. Schakowsky, Pres. Biden.
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An Open Letter

To: Sen. Duckworth, Sen. Durbin, Rep. Schakowsky, Pres. Biden

From: A constituent in Chicago, IL

July 4

On 7/2, Biden appointee Maryam Hassanein resigned her job as a special assistant at the Department of the Interior, saying "I cannot continue working for an administration that ignores the voices of its diverse staff by continuing to fund and enable Israel's genocide of Palestinians." Her sentiment echoes in prior resignations this year, especially from Airforce Senior Master Sergeant Mohammed Abu Hashem and Army Major Harrison Mann. Abu Hashem gave 22 years of honorable service to our country, only for his tax dollars to pay for the bombs that murdered over 20 of his family members and loved ones in Gaza. "I can’t be part of the system that enabled this," his parting words to this administration. For Army Major Mann the decision to end his 13 years of honorable service to our country were due to the moral injury his job inflicted in both witnessing a genocide and being retraumatized by his people's history of suffering a genocide during the Holocaust. His position as as assistant to the director over the Middle East in the Defense Intelligence Agency gives him unique insight. Mann recounted how the 10/17 bombing of the al-Ahli Hospital was the only time he'd seen a concerted effort to investigate an Israeli war crime. The Army Major said at first "that was very heartening for me 'cause I thought, wow, there's going to be intense interest in investigating possible war crimes or killings of civilians. But shortly after that process, I understood that that was an outlier and that we were really never going to drill deep into any killings of civilians ever again." Mann shared that "Seeing videos of burnt corpses and dead kids and people starving to death, I think, should be very affecting for anybody, but if you're Jewish, you can't look at that and not think of your own people's history." Alexander Smith's resignation in late May, former contractor with the US Agency for International Development, was particularly telling on efforts to obfuscate the truth. He was given the ultimatum to resign or be dismissed a day before his presentation on Palestinian maternal and child mortality was scheduled, which the USAID canceled. Smith said, "I cannot do my job in an environment in which specific people cannot be acknowledged as fully human." His words echo the desire of the majority of the American people, “I would like them to stop gaslighting and speak truthfully about what is happening...It’s shameful that...we at USAID can’t even whisper about it in a conference on gender and human rights and health outcomes." I demand that you:  – Hold Israel accountable for a permanent, immediate ceasefire, their violations of the Genocide Convention, and gross human rights violations by any means necessary – Secure the immediate release and safety of all Palestinians who have been abducted and held captive by Israel, including those whose indefinite detention began prior to 10/7 * * *

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