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Twitter Is Helping Push the Most Dangerous Epstein Conspiracy Theory Yet

Conspiracy theorists are tying the Jeffrey Epstein documents to a school shooting.

Law enforcement officials patrol the Perry Middle School and High School complex during a shooting on January 4 in Perry, Iowa.

Twitter’s algorithm is promoting what may be the most unsavory conspiracy theory yet: that the Perry, Iowa, high school shooting is somehow part of a larger Jeffrey Epstein cover-up.

Since Wednesday evening’s release of 943 pages of court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring, the conspiracy theories have run amok. But now, X (formerly known as Twitter) is helping take it to the next level.

One post by a verified QAnon promoter became the center of attention, garnering the most views on the floundering social media platform for claiming that the Perry shooting was a “false flag” to “distract the media” from the release of the documents.

“Not even 24 hours after the Epstein court document was released we have multiple victims who were shot at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa,” posted user @ShadowofEzra, mere moments after 17-year-old student gunman Dylan Butler opened fire on his classmates, killing at least one person and leaving another five injured. It received more than 1.5 million views by the time of publication.

“Make no mistake this is a false flag to distract the media from discussing anything in relation to Jeffrey Epstein and his clients. As more names will be released in the coming days we expect more serious distractions and false flags,” the account added.

It was just one of dozens of QAnon accounts sharing the same sentiment.

The wide spreading narrative is an entirely fabricated one, likely influenced by the conspiracy theorists’ own social media algorithms, which have been widely documented as drastically influencing users’ newsfeeds. Since Facebook was hounded for its role in promoting false news articles and memes planted by Russian-connected troll farms meant to influence the 2016 presidential election, social media algorithms have been roundly criticized for isolating users in feeds stacked with what they’d algorithmically prefer to see rather than what is actually happening.

In reality, practically every major news outlet has covered the recently unsealed documents—in just the last 24 hours, Google has recorded more than 3.8 million new items pertaining to the nine-years-in-the-making release, chief among them articles from reputable news outlets around the globe, including The New York Times, Al Jazeera, the BBC, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and thousands of others.

Meanwhile, there were 134 incidents of gunfire on U.S. school grounds in 2023—translating to an attack less than every three days, according to data from Everytown for School Safety, a statistic that unfortunately makes the occurrence of a school shooting more likely than not, Epstein’s revelatory case files be damned.

But not everyone, including some candidates for the highest offices in government, appear to have performed even that miniscule amount of research before sharing their own conspiratorial opinions on the matter.

“Not even 12 hours after the Epstein documents are released there is a mass shooting at a high school in Perry, Iowa,” posted Florida Republican Lavern Spicer, who is running for the state’s 24th Congressional District.

“I ain’t saying nothing,” she added.

X’s algorithmic choices on Thursday add to growing concern about the direction of the platform under Elon Musk, who has himself shared antisemitic and conspiratorial rhetoric that ultimately drove dozens of the company’s biggest advertisers, including Disney and IBM, off the platform.

Oklahoma Tells Low-Income Kids to Go Hungry

Oklahoma is rejecting a federal program that would have helped feed kids from low-income families.

Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Oklahoma, one of the worst states in the country for child hunger, has rejected a federal program that would have provided food for low-income children over the summer.

The summer EBT benefits program launched nationwide in 2023, after being pilot-tested for a few years. Under the program, eligible families would have received $40 per eligible child, per month, in the form of a pre-loaded card that can be used to buy groceries. The benefits work in conjunction with other food aid programs such as SNAP and WIC.

The deadline for states to indicate they intended to opt in to the program was on January 1. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s office said they were concerned that states had to opt in before the exact rules of the program had been finalized. Stitt’s office also said that the program could incur new administrative costs. (All of the benefits are funded by the federal program, and states simply have to pay half the cost to run the actual program.)

But gubernatorial spokeswoman Abegail Cave argued that the summer EBT program was unnecessary. “Oklahoma already has multiple programs to serve food-insecure children across Oklahoma,” she said.

Chris Bernard, the president and CEO of Hunger Free Oklahoma, pointed out that about 20 percent of children in Oklahoma currently experience food insecurity, while about 60 percent rely on free or reduced-price school lunches.

We’re one of the worst in the nation, and that’s been true for a while now,” Bernard said. “Parents are going to skip meals, or you’re going to stretch meals farther. The charitable side will try and fill that gap. But there are going to be some struggles.”

Although Oklahoma has rejected the summer program, the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations, both of which are located in the Sooner State, are opting in. The Cherokee Nation joined the program when it was still in its pilot stage, and leaders reported helping feed 7,000 children in the summer of 2023.

“I wish Oklahoma was participating. It’s frankly mystifying as to why they’re not participating for a relatively small administrative cost, bringing federal tax dollars back home in the form of a benefit for low-income families. That’s, to me, as much of a no brainer as you could get. I’m baffled as to why the state of Oklahoma is not participating,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

It’s not just Oklahoma: A total of just 39 states, territories, and tribal nations have indicated they plan to join the program this summer, according to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service.

This, unfortunately, follows a larger trend of politicians apparently wanting kids to go hungry. In June, the Republican Study Committee released a proposed budget for 2024. One of the party’s professed priorities is to eliminate the Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP, from the School Lunch Program, because “CEP allows certain schools to provide free school lunches regardless of the individual eligibility of each student.”

House Republican Admits He’ll Kill Border Deal If It Helps Biden

Secure the border … unless it helps Biden’s poll numbers.

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Texas Representative Troy Nehls showed his true colors on Wednesday, refusing to back any sort of border deal because he claimed it could help President Joe Biden’s slumping poll numbers.

“Let me tell you, I’m not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,” the MAGA Republican told CNN.

“I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it. Why would I? Chuck Schumer has had H.R. 2 on his desk since July. And he did nothing with it,” Nehls added.

Republican loyalty to H.R. 2, an asylum-limiting immigration bill that passed in the House with zero Democratic votes, has proven to be an unstoppable headache for Congress with an almost zero percent chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate or being signed by the president.

That hasn’t stopped House Republicans, more than 60 of whom traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, from rejecting any sort of bipartisan deal on border security.

And Nehl’s confession on Wednesday may hint at the reason why: Republicans care more about who sits in the White House than doing anything about the border situation they keep harping on about.

“When the House clings to H.R. 2 as the only solution … we’re not going to get a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday. “We’re willing to meet the Republicans a good part of the way. I think now in the last few days, many Republicans have begun to realize that we are willing to do that and how serious we are about getting this done.”

The transparently vacuous approach to building a border wall is not an uncommon party trick for conservatives, who have been so inoperative on their self-proclaimed party objectives in recent years that their own caucus has taken to railing against them on the House floor.

In November, Representative Chip Roy laid into his party for failing to pass any laws or reach meaningful policy goals that could translate to campaign talking points, leveraging years of inaction at the border under Trump’s presidency as his primary example.

“One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing. One. That I can go campaign on and say we did,” Roy said. “One!”

“With all due respect to former President Trump, they sure as hell didn’t get border security done when we had the White House and the House and the Senate,” Roy said. “Talked a big game about building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Ain’t no wall, and Mexico didn’t pay for it, and we didn’t pass any border security.”

Trump Is Absolutely Losing It Over His E. Jean Carroll Case

The former president could have just handed Carroll another chance to take him to court.

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Donald Trump has lost another battle with E. Jean Carroll, and he’s handling it in a classic fashion: by completely flying off the handle.

Over the span of about 30 minutes Thursday morning, Trump made 31 posts about Carroll on Truth Social. Although he didn’t say anything himself, he shared stories from conservative outlets attacking her and comments from internet users calling her “creepy.” He also shared media interview clips and social media posts that appear to come from Carroll, all stripped of context so as to paint her as some sort of sexual deviant.

Trump’s gross little rampage is likely the result of a Wednesday court ruling rejecting his latest attempt to delay his upcoming trial for defaming Carroll. The trial is due to start on January 15.

In May, a jury unanimously found Trump liable for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. He was ordered to pay her $5 million in damages.

The upcoming trial is for comments Trump made in 2019, when he said Carroll made up the rape allegation to promote her memoir. Presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that since Trump has already been found liable for sexual abuse, his 2019 comments are by default defamatory. Carroll is now seeking up to $12 million in damages.

Trump has tried to argue that he has presidential immunity from the second defamation lawsuit, which Kaplan has repeatedly rejected. A main reason behind Kaplan’s decision is the fact that Trump waited three years before bringing up his immunity defense, and then another seven months before he actually moved to use that defense.

Trump appealed Kaplan’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled against him in mid-December. The three-judge panel also determined that Trump had waived his right to claim immunity by waiting for so long to bring up the potential defense.

Trump filed a motion for the entire array of the appeals court’s judges to rehear his case. The Second Circuit denied his request Wednesday, without explanation, per standard procedure. This is likely what sent Trump over the edge.

And now, thanks to his creepy Truth Social posts, Trump may have handed Carroll another chance to take him to court. Allison Gill, a former Veterans Affairs official and host of the podcast Mueller, She Wrote, pointed out that Carroll could ask for an injunction to stop Trump from continuing to make potentially defamatory statements about her.

“If an injunction is violated, jail is a remedy, as are additional fines,” Gill wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

New Poll Finds Republicans Seriously Think Trump Is the Greatest Person of Faith

More Republican voters believe Donald Trump is a person of faith than nearly any other politician.

A man holds a sign that reads "Caucus for Trump." In handwritten words, it also reads "Jesus is Lord" and "Turn to Jesus."
Scott Olson/Getty Images

A new survey suggests that an increasing number of Republicans view Donald Trump as a person of faith, with Trump earning higher ratings than even some of the more vocally religious members of the Grand Old Party, including former Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Mitt Romney.

Despite Trump’s sin-filled legal tribulations, 64 percent of Republicans reported that they viewed him as a person of faith, according to a new poll conducted by HarrisX for Deseret News in November, up from 53 percent in a similar poll conducted in October.

The poll was conducted among 1,012 registered voters between November 21 and 22, 2023, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Trump ranked head and shoulders above his competitors in the upcoming GOP primary. Trump’s primary rival, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who converted from Sikhism to Christianity was viewed as a person of faith by 44 percent of surveyed Republicans, leaving Florida Governor Ron DeSantis once again with the short end of the stick—just 34 percent of Republicans saw the onetime potential Trump usurper as a person of faith.

Trump also topped Pence, one of the most vocal Christian evangelists in U.S. politics, by a margin of 8 percent. Even Romney couldn’t compete, with just 34 percent of Republicans viewing him as a person of faith.

However, Trump’s ranking as a person of faith differs from how Republicans view his religiosity, and that’s where Pence and Trump trade places. Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they viewed Pence as religious versus 47 percent who said the same for Trump.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, who attends mass every week, per his White House schedule, was only branded as a person of faith by 13 percent of Republicans—though slightly more, 26 percent, conceded that he was religious.

When prompted to explain why they felt Trump was a person of faith, few respondents pointed toward the former president’s actual religious practices. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed respondents replied that it was instead because they viewed him as someone who defends people of faith in the United States. More than half (54 percent) said that they viewed him that way because he “cares about people like me.”

People who described Biden as a person of faith, on the other hand, said so in part due to perceptions of his character, describing the president as honest and trustworthy (48 percent), ethical (47 percent), and having a strong moral compass (52 percent).

Arkansas Has a New Abortion Ballot Proposal–and It’s Not as Great as It Seems

A new ballot measure proposal in Arkansas wants to protect abortion. But it’s more complicated than you think.

Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

A group in Arkansas is working to get abortion protections on the state’s 2024 ballot. But experts warn that the measure would actually open the door to more government intervention in reproductive access.

The fight for abortion access is increasingly playing out through ballot measures, which have led to multiple wins even in otherwise deep-red states. But should the Arkansas ballot succeed, it would actually provide fewer protections than Roe v. Wade did, according to a Wednesday report by Slate.

The proposal—which is still awaiting a decision from the state’s attorney general—comes from a ballot committee called Arkansans for Limited Government, or AFLG, which was founded by the democracy nonprofit For AR People. The measure would only codify abortion through 18 weeks of pregnancy, far short of the generally accepted 24-week mark for viability (when a fetus can survive outside the uterus). Roe had allowed abortion up to 24 weeks.

Arkansas currently bans all abortion, with only narrow exceptions to save the life of the pregnant person. Democratic attempts to pass laws expanding abortion access have failed. AR People’s executive director, Gennie Diaz, told Slate her group created a ballot measure they believe both sides can ultimately accept as a more moderate approach.

Even though the measure clearly allows the state to continue banning abortion, just at a later point, Diaz argued the measure is “threading the needle with Arkansas voters on what they view as limited government.”

“It’s not meant to be a parlor trick,” she said, arguing that adding some restrictions would appeal to people who consider themselves “pro-life.” “Honestly, it’s not palatable to either end of the spectrum, and that’s intentional.”

But if the ballot measure was drafted with anti-abortion voters in mind, it doesn’t seem to have worked. The group Arkansas Right to Life is already slamming the measure as allowing “abortions up to the moment of birth.” Of course, that’s completely inaccurate on two counts. First, abortions do not occur up to the moment of birth. Second, a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, whereas the measure bans abortion after only 18. Still, it’s a sign of what anti-abortion Arkansans really think of the measure.

AFLG, meanwhile, is not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, nor is it publicly supported by any abortion providers or ob-gyns. Diaz said they consulted reproductive health experts on the ballot measure, but abortion rights experts say the initiative could do more harm than good.

Erika Christensen of the group Patient Forward, which supports broad abortion protections, said limiting abortion to a specific point is “willfully ignorant.” She pointed out that a pregnancy can turn fatal for either the fetus or the patient at any point. What’s more, abortion restrictions of any kind stigmatize the procedure and allow the state to monitor and even criminalize pregnancy outcomes. And as with all abortion limitations, the “most under-resourced and over-policed” people, such as women of color, will be hit hardest.

There is also rapidly growing evidence that complete abortion access might actually stand a chance on the Arkansas ballot. Since Roe was overturned, multiple Republican-led states have put the question of abortion on the ballot—and every single time, voters choose to dramatically increase protections. Trying to roll back the 24-week abortion standard could set a dangerous precedent for other red states.

Tresa Undem, who co-founded the nonpartisan polling firm PerryUndem, has followed abortion opinions for two decades. She warned that even though AFLG said its ballot measure language had polling support, it’s possible the questions asked didn’t capture the whole picture.

What’s more, Undem conducted a national poll over the summer to see if voters were more likely to support a ballot initiative proposal that mentioned viability versus one that didn’t. She found voters preferred complete, expansive access by 15 points.

“I was kind of blown away, frankly,” she told Slate. “That’s a pretty new sentiment.”

And that’s why, “in the post-Dobbs world, I just think anyone who’s working on this issue needs to really be careful about assumptions,” Undem said. “People can die.”

Trump’s Two-Year Take From Foreign Governments While He Was President Is Staggering

A new report details how much Trump made in just half of his presidency—and which countries paid him.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you still had any doubts as to whether Donald Trump had self-serving motivations as the nation’s forty-fifth president, then a new report detailing the millions of dollars he received from foreign governments should make it clear it definitely wasn’t America he was putting first.

Trump’s businesses received at least $7.8 million from nearly two dozen foreign governments during his presidency, according to documents released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. The pocket-lining funds include money Trump received from some of the “world’s most unsavory regimes,” without ever asking for congressional approval as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

The report, titled “White House for Sale: How Princes, Prime Ministers, and Premiers Paid Off President Trump,” notes that it is likely an inconclusive analysis. It details just two years of Trump’s presidency and transactions between just four of his businesses, of which he owns more than 500, with 20 countries.

The biggest spenders included China, which gave Trump the largest sum out of all the nations—$5.5 million from entities including China’s Embassy in the United States, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Hainan Airlines Holding Company—as well as Saudi Arabia, which gave Trump $615,000. Other nations on the list include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malaysia, Albania, Kosovo, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, India, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Thailand, the Self-Declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mongolia, Lebanon, Latvia, Turkey, Hungary, and Cyprus.

“These payments were made while these governments were promoting specific foreign policy goals with the Trump Administration and even, at times, with President Trump himself, and as they were requesting specific actions from the United States to advance their own national policy objectives,” the report notes.

“That narrative is insane,” Eric Trump told The New York Times, adding that “there is no president in United States history who was tougher on China than Donald Trump.”

The junior Trump brother also explained to the Times that the Trump Organization did “not have the ability or viability to stop someone from booking through third parties” at the hotel.

Republicans have tried to wipe away the report, amplifying their own double standard by claiming that the money stemmed from legitimate business interests, all while pushing an impeachment case against President Joe Biden on the basis of the Biden family’s own business dealings, which even some Republicans have admitted is a meritless cause.

In December, Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters that he felt the caucus had failed to provide any evidence pointing to wrongdoing on the sitting president’s part.

If only they looked inward.

The Far Right Has a Bonkers New Conspiracy Theory on Epstein and Jimmy Kimmel

Why the hell is the far right suddenly obsessed with Jimmy Kimmel?

Jimmy Kimmel
Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic

People on the far right are aggressively pushing a bonkers new conspiracy theory: that comedian Jimmy Kimmel was on the list of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s associates. And the biggest question seems to be … why?

A federal court began releasing documents related to Epstein late Wednesday. The disgraced financier was charged in 2019 with sex trafficking minors, but he killed himself in prison before he could stand trial. The more than 900 pages of documents list names of people associated with Epstein and his former partner Ghislaine Maxwell.

Although the documents name a wide range of politicians, academics, and celebrities, Kimmel is not among them.

But that hasn’t stopped multiple fake versions of the list that include Kimmel’s name from circulating on X (formerly Twitter).

The conspiracy to include Kimmel started earlier this week when New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday. When McAfee’s co-host brought up the Epstein list, Rodgers said, “There’s a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, are really hoping that doesn’t come out.”

Kimmel threatened to sue Rodgers over the heinous joke, posting on X, “For the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein, nor will you find my name on any ‘list’ other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality. Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court.”

Rodgers has not apologized for the comments, which appear to stem from bad blood between the two men. Kimmel made fun of Rodgers’s anti-vax opinions and called him a “tinfoil-hatter” when the quarterback previously brought up the Epstein list in February.

When Rodgers mentioned Kimmel on Tuesday, McAfee said, “Jimmy mocked him for it, and Aaron has not forgotten about it.”

There has been no indication whatsoever that Kimmel would be mentioned on the list. But despite that fact—and the clear animosity behind Rodgers’s terrible quip—conservatives have pushed the Kimmel conspiracy with mind-boggling enthusiasm.

If people want to use the Epstein list to back up their QAnon theory that liberal elites run a global child sex trafficking ring, it’s unclear why they have decided to make Kimmel the poster boy. There are plenty of other names that appear on the list (which, to be clear, is not proof of any legal wrongdoing) that would prove their case much better than a mid-tier late-night comedian.

Here’s How Trump Is Responding to Being Named in Epstein Documents

It’s finally out.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The first series of Jeffrey Epstein documents have been released, and as expected they name Donald Trump. And how is the country’s social media–obsessed former president responding? Well he’s gone surprisingly mute.

Donald Trump’s last slew of posts on his Twitter-dupe social media platform TruthSocial seemed like an effort to flood his MAGA followers’ timelines with unrelated content. In a series of rapid-fire posts Thursday morning, Trump shared endorsements for his presidential campaign as well as a slew of videos from news outlets validating his legal strategy in his upcoming criminal trials. He also made more than two dozen posts attacking E. Jean Carroll, all within the span of half an hour.

Despite the flurry of activity, there are absolutely zero mentions of the revelatory unsealing of nearly 900 pages of a lawsuit launched by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, nearly a decade ago, even though she’s one of Trump’s former employees, meeting Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell roughly two weeks into her employment at Trump’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, according to court documents.

Along with Trump’s, some of the major names that jump off the pages range from some of the world’s biggest politicos to show-stopping entertainers. They include former President Bill Clinton, British Prince Andrew, Epstein, and Trump legal ally Alan Dershowitz, Michael Jackson, David Copperfield, and Stephen Hawking.

Their presence in the documents is not proof of any legal wrongdoing.

A Clinton spokesperson has redirected attention to a 2019 statement put out on behalf of the forty-second president denying any knowledge of Epstein’s pedophilic, sex-trafficking empire.

“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation,” read the statement.

The list of Jane and John Does, which was formed nine years ago, after Giuffre filed a defamation claim against Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, was partially released on Wednesday. More of the documents could be unsealed sometime today.

Many of the names are expected to be publicly known Epstein associates, including employees of the financier. Other possible names to be unveiled could include Epstein’s clients and perpetrators, though the judge has specified that the identities of minors or sexual assault victims will not be released.

Second Biden Official Resigns Over War in Gaza: “I Cannot Be Quietly Complicit”

Tariq Habash, the only Palestinian American political appointee in his department, has left the Biden administration.

Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images

A senior Education Department official and the department’s only Palestinian American political appointee has resigned over Joe Biden’s response to the war in Gaza.

Tariq Habash, who sent his resignation letter on Wednesday, is at least the second high-ranking Biden administration official to resign in protest over the Israel-Palestine war.

“The actions of the Biden-Harris Administration have put millions of innocent lives in danger, most immediately for the 2.3 million Palestinian civilians living in Gaza who remain under continuous assault and ethnic cleansing by the Israeli government. Therefore, I must resign,” Habash said in his letter.

“I mourn each and every loss, Israeli and Palestinian. But I cannot represent an administration that does not value all human life equally.”

Nearly all of the 2.3 million people living in the Gaza Strip have been displaced due to Israel’s unrelenting bombardment of the region. Palestinians were forced to flee to designated “safe zones,” only for Israel to bomb those areas as well. Almost 22,500 Palestinians have been killed, the majority women and children. Some organizations, such as the nonprofit Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, put the death toll at nearly 30,000.

South Africa asked the International Court of Justice in late December for an urgent order declaring that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in its nearly three-month assault on the Gaza Strip. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby criticized South Africa’s lawsuit on Wednesday as “meritless, counterproductive, and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.”

“I cannot be quietly complicit as this administration fails to leverage its influence as Israel’s strongest ally to halt the abusive and ongoing collective punishment tactics that have cut off Palestinians in Gaza from food, water, electricity, fuel, and medical supplies, leading to widespread disease and starvation,” Habash said in his letter.

Over the last three months, our government has aided in the indiscriminate violence against Palestinians in Gaza—over 22,000 civilians killed, thousands more buried under rubble, and the vast majority displaced from their homes. Despite claims that Israel’s focus is on Hamas, its military actions simultaneously persist across the West Bank where there is no Hamas governing presence, with hundreds of Palestinians killed in the West Bank before October and hundreds more killed since. Additionally, thousands of Palestinians have been detained, arrested, and held without charge or trial—a violation of international humanitarian law. Meanwhile, the President has publicly questioned the integrity of Palestinian death counts frequently used by our own State Department, the United Nations, and numerous humanitarian non-governmental organizations. Our representatives at the United Nations have repeatedly voted against the vast majority of the international community, including vetoing resolutions calling for a ceasefire. And administration leaders have even repeated unverified claims that systematically dehumanize Palestinians.

Habash is now the second Biden official known to have resigned in protest over the administration’s response to the situation in Gaza. Josh Paul, who had worked at the State Department for 11 years, resigned in October, slamming the government for its “one-sided” policy that prioritized Israel at the expense of Palestinian civilians.

“I cannot work in support of a set of major policy decisions, including rushing more arms to one side of the conflict, that I believe to be short-sighted, destructive, unjust and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse,” Paul said in a statement.

Also in October, a director of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights resigned, condemning the organization, the U.S., and Western media for their stance on the war. Craig Mokhiber, who had worked with the U.N. for more than three decades, called the situation in Gaza a “text-book case of genocide.”

“Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it,” he said.

Read Tariq Habash’s full letter here.