by Center for Constitutional Rights
Today, Palestinians asked a federal court to enjoin President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin from providing further arms, money, and diplomatic support to Israel on grounds that there is an unfolding genocide by the State of Israel against the civilian population of Gaza and the U.S. officials have a legal duty to prevent, and not further, this most serious of crimes.
Biden, Blinken, and Austin, as outlined in the complaint, are sued in their official capacity for failing to prevent an unfolding genocide where they have influence over the State of Israel to do so, and directly abetting its development with weapons, funds, and diplomatic cover, in breach of duties enshrined in the Genocide Convention and customary international law. The filing is accompanied by a declaration from the leading legal expert on genocide, William Schabas, who identifies features of the Israeli government’s statements, deadly military assault, and total siege as signs of genocide and affirms the United States’ breach of its legal duty to prevent genocide. A separate expert declaration by the genocide and Holocaust scholars Drs. John Cox, Victoria Sanford, and Barry Trachtenberg, explains how the genocidal intentions and actions of Israeli leadership resemble other genocides in recent history.
The complaint, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, cites the U.S. government’s unconditional support for Israel as it bombs the people of Gaza and deprives them of food, water, and other necessities. The complaint states that even the crimes committed by the military wing of Hamas on October 7th that killed an estimated 1,200 Israeli people, including many civilians, and kidnapped 240, cannot legally justify the forms of targeting an entire population and collective punishment meted out by the Israeli government, let alone genocide. Since October 8th, Israel has killed over 11,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – mostly civilians, including more than 4,600 children – and displaced 1.5 million. Thousands of Palestinians remain missing, and Israel’s destruction of hospitals, schools, and most infrastructure in Gaza – as well as intentional deprivation of access to food, water, electricity, and medicine – has rendered life in Gaza impossible.
“To be honest, it’s difficult to revisit all the scenes of the past weeks…Continue Reading