Army officer resigns due to US support for Israel’s war in Gaza

‘Shame and guilt’ drove Major Harrison Mann to quit in November, but he was ‘afraid’ of expressing it earlier.

The US is providing Israel with weapons and intelligence [File: AFP]Published On 14 May 202414 May 2024

A former officer of the United States Army has explained that his resignation several months ago was prompted by his country’s “unqualified support” for Israel’s war in Gaza.

Major Harrison Mann expressed “incredible shame and guilt” in a letter posted on LinkedIn on Monday. He resigned from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in November.

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Several other US military personnel have quit since the war in Gaza was sparked by an attack on southern Israel by Hamas in October. That operation saw about 1,139 people killed in Israel and about 240 taken captive.

Israel’s seven-month-long war has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, with most of the enclave’s 2.3-million-strong population displaced and short of food and medicine. The US continues to provide weapons and intelligence support to Israel.

Most of those who quit the US military have publicly deplored Washington’s role at the time, rather than waiting months to explain their departure. US airman Aaron Bushnell died after setting himself on fire in protest outside Israel’s embassy in Washington, DC in February.

Mann said in his letter that he had been afraid of giving his reasons for his resignation.

“I was afraid. Afraid of violating our professional norms. Afraid of disappointing officers I respect. Afraid you would feel betrayed. I’m sure some of you will feel that way reading this,” he wrote.

Mann shared the note with colleagues last month before publishing it on his LinkedIn profile. He wrote that he felt shame and guilt for helping advance US policy that he said contributed to the mass killing of Palestinians.

“At some point – whatever the justification – you’re either advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children, or you’re not,” he said.

“Employee resignations are a routine occurrence at DIA as they are at other employers, and employees resign their positions for any number of reasons and motivations,” a DIA official told the Reuters news agency.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies