In a significant legal development, the Biden administration has filed a motion in federal court seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing President Joe Biden and his team of failing to an act of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The move has ignited criticism from human rights groups, with accusations that the administration is attempting to evade legal responsibility for Israel's actions in Gaza while simultaneously emphasizing close U.S.-Israel coordination. This happened after few hours of The United States' recent veto of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Palestine crisis. The veto came after 13 Security Council members supported the resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, while the United Kingdom abstained.
The Center for Constitutional Rights who is a party of the suit issued the following statement on 9th December in response of the motion of Biden administration in the Court:
"The U.S. government’s filing came hours after it vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire. The U.S. government’s filing is no less disappointing for being predictable. President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and Secretary Austin are attempting to evade legal responsibility for their failure to prevent – and complicity in – Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Their lawyers focus on jurisdictional issues rather than the substance of the lawsuit, which was brought by Palestinian human rights groups, Palestinians who live in Gaza, and Palestinians in the U.S. with family members who live in Gaza. On their behalf, we are seeking an emergency court order to halt U.S. support for Israel’s unrelenting assault and brutal siege. The complaint presents extensive and powerful evidence that Israel is committing genocide: acting on clearly articulated genocidal intent, Israel’s political leaders are overseeing and escalating a military campaign that is targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure and denying all residents of Gaza food, water, and other necessities. Since October 7, Israel has killed more than 21,000 people in Gaza, including more than 6,500 children. In fact, Israel is killing children at a rate unseen anywhere in the world in recent years. Both the Red Cross and the United Nations report that there is no safe place for civilians in Gaza. Israel could not be conducting this genocidal campaign without the unconditional diplomatic and military support of the United States. The United States boasts about its close coordination with Israel, yet in its filing, it attempts to evade responsibility by underscoring Israel’s independence.
The government’s response is all the more notable because of its timing. The 75th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention, the world’s first human rights treaty, which the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted in 1948 in response to the horror of the Holocaust. The treaty defines genocide as acts committed “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group” and obligates states to prevent it. In his declaration submitted in support of the lawsuit, Williams Schabas, widely regarded as the world’s leading legal expert on genocide, says the United States was obligated to use its considerable influence over Israel to prevent genocide the instant it became aware there was a risk of it taking place. President Biden and other high-level officials have not only failed to prevent genocide, they have abetted it, in violation of the Genocide Convention and customary international law.
The case proceeds. The Center for Constitutional Rights pursues it with urgency on behalf of our clients, who, along with millions of others, are enduring the devastating effects of Israel’s rampage..."
It is clear from the above statement that where the Lawyers for Biden administration sought for lack of jurisdiction, the lawyers of plaintiff relied on US laws that state that federal courts have jurisdiction over matters in relation with the violation of international law or treaties.
The suit was originally filed in federal court of northern California with an serious allegation against the President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin of failing to prevent an genocide against the Palestinian people amid Israel's assault on Gaza.
Now with the progress of lawsuit through the U.S. court system, President Biden faces mounting discontent from the general Americans and within his own administration over his policy approach to the Palestine crisis. The crisis, ongoing since October 7th, has resulted in significant casualties and displacement, with accusations of genocide prompting legal action against the U.S. government. As a result now the slogans such as “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide!” , “We charge you with genocide!” are getting momentum in the US.
The views and informations expressed in the article are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect the views of The International. We believe in providing a platform for a range of viewpoints from the left.
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