US lawyers: Fight against Biden’s role in Gaza genocide is ongoing

Even though a federal judge ruled that the court had no jurisdiction over the case, he implied that this was not the court’s preferred outcome.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators march on Black Friday, a popular US shopping day after Thanksgiving, at a shopping center Friday, November 24, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP)

On Wednesday, a federal judge announced that “Israel is plausibly engaging in genocide in Gaza” and urged the Biden administration to reconsider its “unflagging support” for the occupation’s genocide on Palestinians.

The comments occurred in a ruling in response to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights representing two Palestinian human rights organizations in Gaza against the US administration. The Center accused Joe Biden and senior administration officials of complicity in and failure to prevent “Israel’s” genocidal acts, as required by both international and US law.

No Jurisdiction does not refute genocide

Even though Judge Jeffrey S. White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, dismissed the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds based on a legal doctrine that “prevents the judiciary from interfering in matters of foreign policy,” his statement and extremely rare decision of allowing more than three hours of testimony from Palestinian plaintiffs, including a doctor who joined virtually from Gaza were unprecedented. The hearing was last week in Oakland only a few hours after the ICJ ruled against “Israel”. 

In what he described as the “most difficult” case in his career, Judge Jeffery stated in his ruling “It is every individual’s obligation to confront the current siege in Gaza, but it [is] also this Court’s obligation to remain within the metes and bounds of its jurisdictional scope,” adding, “There are rare cases where the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the Court. This is one of those cases.”

State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, refusing to comment on the lawsuit and the judge’s ruling stated, “it remains our conclusion that the allegations of genocide are unfounded,” during a press conference held yesterday.

Judge’s words help isolate ‘Israel’s’ actions

On the other hand, Brad Parker, a senior adviser at Defense for Children International Palestine, one of the two organizational plaintiffs in the case, described the decision as “disappointing,” but stressed that the judge’s findings and the case’s existence in a US courtroom in the first place are of “significant, historic meaning.”

Parker told The Intercept, “We know that U.S. weapons are integral in the genocide that we’re documenting as a Palestinian human rights organization,” emphasizing, “But similar to the historic ICJ decision and the increasing recognition that what Israel is carrying out is a genocide and the U.S. is complicit in those genocidal acts, I think the strong language from a U.S. federal court judge increasingly works to isolate Israel’s actions and also bring pressure on the Biden administration to change course.” 

“It’s clear what President Biden’s complicity is in the destruction of Palestinian life,” he added. “And we’re committed to doing everything that we can to end that complicity, and ultimately end the genocide.” 

During the press conference on Thursday, Ahmed Abofoul, a Palestinian attorney at Al Haq, the second organizational plaintiff, stated that this decision “doesn’t mean that this was not a victory,” stressing that “The judge acknowledged that genocide is being committed and basically what he was saying is just that his hands are tied.”  He previously testified in court last week about the killing of more than 80 of his relatives since the beginning of the Israeli genocide in Gaza.

The world v. the Biden administration 

In November, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a complaint in federal court in California, on behalf of several Palestinian groups and individuals, aiming to sue US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for failing their legal obligations to prevent a developing genocide committed by the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip.

According to the CCR’s statement, the complaint aims to halt further provision of arms, financial aid, and diplomatic support to the entity, as advocates argue that US officials have a moral and legal obligation to prevent such atrocities and abstain from enabling them.

This legal action, which specifically targets Biden, Blinken, and Austin in their official capacity, says that the three individuals did not utilize the influence they have over “Israel” and are “directly abetting the [genocide’s] progression with arms, funds, and diplomatic cover, in breach of duties enshrined in the Genocide Convention and customary international law.”

The lawsuit was filed by 77 groups, representing tens of thousands of lawyers and civil society leaders globally. These groups include Palestinian human rights organizations, US citizens impacted by “Israel’s” aggression, and residents of Gaza. 

Furthermore, the suit outlines genocidal expressions by Israeli officials, including Security Minister Yoav Gallant ordering a complete Gaza siege, stating, “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited a biblical verse to justify killing Palestinians, and instances of Israeli officials inciting genocide are documented.

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