US State Department misled Congress about Gaza aid

Stacy Gilbert informed the media she resigned over a report that claimed Israel did not restrain American aid from Palestinans

The US Department of State lied to Congress when it stated Israel wasn’t limiting the flow of aid into Gaza, a former official has alleged after resigning in protest.

Stacy Gilbert provided services in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for 20 years. She left her position as a senior advisor on Tuesday, citing objections in relation to a 46-page memo titled NSM-20, which was made available to US lawmakers on May 10, she told Reuters and The Guardian.

Within the memo, the State Department stated Israel hadn’t transgressed a US law that prohibits the provision of arms to nations that limit American humanitarian aid.

Gilbert was one of the specialists consulted for the report and states the conclusion did not correspond to reality.

“It is most definitely the opinion of the humanitarian subject matter experts within the State Department, and not merely in my bureau – individuals who examine this from the intelligence community as well as other bureaus,” she stated regarding her position. She described NSM-20 as “blatantly false” in comments to the British newspaper.

The draft report was taken out of expert hands and altered at a higher level, she explained. She informed her colleagues that she would be resigning after reading what Congress was ultimately told. According to internal sources, her departure was confirmed to the Washington Post. On Thursday, the department maintained NSM-20 but declined to comment on Gilbert’s role.

Alexander Smith, a contractor for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), also reportedly resigned due to his opposition to Gaza policy. Last week, he said that the agency leadership had canceled his presentation on maternal and child mortality among Palestinians.

“I cannot perform my job in an environment where particular individuals cannot be regarded as fully human,” he told the same source. Smith and Gilbert are among nine US officials known to have resigned in protest at Washington’s policy since Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza last October in retaliation for the lethal raid by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Josh Paul, who was among the first to resign just several weeks into the conflict, told the Washington Post that since October, at least two dozen more US officials have quietly resigned.

US President Joe Biden has said there are no “red lines” for Washington’s support of Israel, even as aid organizations warned that people trapped in the enclave face starvation, lack of medical care, and other life-threatening conditions.