“Every interaction that we have enters into the secretary’s thinking,” Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Blinken is hardly the first secretary of state to suffer personal animus over a foreign conflict, although he may be experiencing more intensely than any of his predecessors since Condoleezza Rice, who held the position in the second term of the Bush administration. During a House hearing in 2007, a woman opposed to the U.S. occupation of Iraq approached Ms. Rice and held hands covered in red paint within inches of her face.
During a visit to Britain the previous year, Ms. Rice was confronted by protesters — “Hey, Condi, hey, how many kids did you kill today?” some chanted — and was forced to cancel a planned stop at a mosque. In June 2004, as many as 1,300 people marched to the home of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood.
Benjamin J. Rhodes, who was a national security adviser in the Obama administration, recalled that protesters angry about U.S. drone strikes against suspected terrorists knocked on the front door of John Brennan, then the White House director of counterterrorism.
“Anything at your home does make you feel like you’re never really off work or away from controversy,” and exposes family members, Mr. Rhodes said.
Mr. Rhodes said he doubted that individual protests over Gaza would shape U.S. policy but added that the number and variety of demonstrations underway might have an effect “because it’s a sign of the depth of hostility to the policy.”