A US federal court has rejected a case accusing President Joe Biden and other senior US officials of being complicit in Israel’s alleged genocide in Gaza.
However, the court’s decision (PDF) urged Biden and his colleagues to examine “the results of their unwavering support” for Israel, including its human rights implications.
On Wednesday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White dismissed the case on procedural grounds, citing the division of powers under the U.S. Constitution. It said in its ruling that “disputes over foreign policy are considered non-justiciable political matters” and do not fall within its jurisdiction.
“There are rare cases in which the desired result is inaccessible to the Court. This is one of those cases. The Court is required by precedent and the division of our coordinated branches of government to refrain from exercising jurisdiction in this matter,” he wrote.
But White added that, as the The International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared in an interim ruling last month, “it is plausible that Israel’s conduct amounts to genocide.”
“This Court implores the defendants to examine the results of their unwavering support for the military siege against Palestinians in Gaza. »
The lawsuit comes as the Biden administration faces growing pressure to end unwavering U.S. support for Israel in its war on Gaza, which has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians since the beginning of October.
Filed late last year by human rights groups and war-affected Palestinians, the suit accused Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin of failing to take responsibility their responsibilities under international and national law to prevent genocide.
The United States, which provides Israel with billions of dollars in military aid each year, was obligated “to exercise its clear and considerable influence over Israel,” the lawsuit claims.
He also highlighted “dehumanizing” remarks from senior Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to illustrate an intent to continue the “erasure and destruction of Palestinians.”
Although Israel has rejected the accusation, international law experts have said the bombing of Gaza and restrictions on the entry of water, food and other humanitarian supplies could amount to genocide.
The 1948 Genocide Convention, which the United States has ratified, states that “genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law that (States Parties ) undertake to prevent and punish.” He also emphasizes that “complicity in genocide” is a punishable act.
“End this murderous course of action”
Katherine Gallagher, senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a nonprofit involved in the case, said the judge’s ruling “affirms that what the Palestinian population in Gaza is enduring is a campaign aimed at to eradicate an entire people – a genocide.”
The decision, Gallagher said in a statementalso claimed “that the United States’ unwavering support for Israel enables the massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinians and the starvation of millions.”
“While we strongly disagree with the court’s final ruling on jurisdiction, we urge the Biden administration to heed the judge’s call to review and end his deadly course of action. Together with our plaintiffs, we will pursue all legal avenues to end the genocide and save Palestinian lives.
The Biden administration, which is under widespread pressure due to its unwavering support for Israelrequested that the lawsuit be dismissed.
In December, government lawyers argued that the court was being asked to “interfere in matters within the political branches of government and violate the constitutional separation of powers.”
THE @leCCR The team knew this from the start, so the result (expelled for PQD) is not surprising. The most significant result was that the Palestinians shared their story and forced the judge to note that the “facts are indisputable” and plausibly demonstrate that Israel is engaged. #genocide.
-Noura Erakat (@4noura) February 1, 2024
Despite Wednesday’s ruling, the plaintiffs and their supporters said the court’s ruling hear their arguments marked an important milestone. A hearing was held last Friday in California, and Palestinians testified about the dire situation in Gaza.
“It is important that the court recognizes that the United States provides unconditional support for the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza and that a federal court hears Palestinian voices for the first time,” said Mohammed Monadel Herzallah, a Palestinian American whose the family is in Gaza, the statement said. RCC statement. He was one of the plaintiffs in this case.
“But we are still devastated that the court did not take the important step to prevent the Biden administration from continuing to support the massacre of the Palestinian people,” Herzallah continued.
“Currently, my family lacks food, medicine and basic necessities to survive. As Palestinians, we know this is an uphill struggle, and as plaintiffs, we will continue to do everything in our power to save the lives of our people.