U.S. court rejects lawsuit against Joe Biden but does not rule out Israel is committing genocide

Edited by Ed Newman
2024-02-01 23:22:35


San Francisco, February 2 (RHC)-- A U.S. federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Palestinian Americans against U.S. President Joe Biden and other officials for failing to prevent genocide in Gaza. 

Filed late last year by human rights groups and individual Palestinians affected by the war, the complaint accused Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin of failing to fulfil their responsibilities under international and domestic law to prevent genocide.

The United States, which provides Israel with billions of dollars in military aid annually, was obligated to “exercise its clear and considerable influence on Israel”, the lawsuit argued.  It also pointed to “dehumanising” remarks by senior Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to illustrate an intent to pursue the “erasure and destruction of Palestinians.”

While Israel has rejected the charge, international law experts have said the bombardment of Gaza and restrictions on the entry of water, food and other humanitarian supplies could amount to genocide.

The 1948 Genocide Convention, which the U.S. ratified, states that “genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which [state parties] undertake to prevent and to punish”. It also outlines that “complicity in genocide” is a punishable act.

Katherine Gallagher, senior staff lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a nonprofit involved in the case, said the judge’s ruling “affirmed that what the Palestinian population in Gaza is enduring is a campaign to eradicate a whole people — genocide”.

The decision, Gallagher said in a statement, also affirmed “that the United States’ unflagging support for Israel is enabling the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians and the famine facing millions”.

“While we strongly disagree with the court’s ultimate jurisdictional ruling, we urge the Biden administration to heed the judge’s call to examine and end its deadly course of action.  Together with our plaintiffs, we will pursue all legal avenues to stop the genocide and save Palestinian lives.”


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