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“We cannot be both against occupation, and for it. We cannot be both for freedom, and against it. And we cannot be for a better world, while contributing to one that is materially worse,” writes Josh Paul in his letter of resignation. After 11 years in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs — the entity most responsible for arms transfers to allies and partners — Paul quit October 18, over increased, “indeed expedited” arms sales to Israel. In this conversation, one of the first full-length interviews with Paul since his resignation, he sits down with Laura Flanders to discuss why he resigned, his concerns about how the weapons will be used, the unique way that Israel is treated when it comes to US arms sales and why the US approach to creating peace in the Middle East is clearly not working. US double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to human rights crimes, he says, are dangerous for all concerned. All that, plus a commentary for Laura on the war economy.
“The impact of the operation may be to kill terrorists, but it will also raise another generation who has no confidence in the peace process . . . This is not a recipe for lasting peace.” – Josh Paul
“There is just an unwillingness to criticize Israel . . . There are many reasons for that, some of them legitimate, but what it means at the end of the day is I think if you don’t have a global standard, you don’t have a standard . . . ” – Josh Paul
- Josh Paul: Former State Department Director, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Portions of this interview are featured in our episode, “Josh Paul’s Breaking Point: Resigns State Dept. Over Arms to Israel”.