Josh Paul

Josh Paul, former State Department official who resigned to protest the shipment of arms to Israel was awarded the Thirty-Fourth Annual Joe A. Callaway Award For Civic Courage.

Mr. Paul resigned in October 2023 from his post as director of congressional and public affairs at the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, to protest the ongoing U.S. military assistance to Israel that was fueling its genocidal campaign in Gaza.

In a two-page resignation letter, Paul said he made a promise to himself when he joined the State Department over a decade ago that he would stay “as long as I felt the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do.” “I am leaving today because I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued – indeed, expanded and expedited – provision of lethal arms to Israel – I have reached the end of that bargain,” Paul wrote.

On Democracy Now, Paul said that he resigned first because “U.S.-provided arms should not be used to massacre civilians” and second because “there is no military solution” to the Israel/Palestine conflict. “When I tried to raise both of these concerns with State Department leadership, there was no appetite for discussion, no opportunity to look at any of the potential arms sales and raise concerns about them, simply a directive to move forward as quickly as possible,” Paul said. “And so I felt I had to resign.”

Claire Nader, who administers the award said, “The entire human rights community and the public are deeply indebted to Josh Paul for his courageous public act that garnered worldwide media attention and for speaking out in the face of the U.S. government’s indifference to the siege of Gaza.”