The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a civil liberties organization based in New York, has sued US President Biden for complicity in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.
A lawsuit has been filed against the US president and two cabinet officials for their alleged failure to stop and encourage “genocide” in Gaza.
President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin are accused in a federal complaint (pdf below) filed on Monday of “failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide.”
The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a civil liberties organization based in New York, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations, Palestinians living in Gaza, and US citizens who have family living in the besieged area that has been under constant bombardment by Israel—an entity that receives financial support and armaments from the US government—for more than a month.
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Since Israel began attacking Gaza on October 7, more than 11,200 Palestinians have died there. This came after a Hamas strike that claimed over 1,200 lives in Israel.
“Numerous Israeli government leaders have expressed clear genocidal intentions and deployed dehumanizing characterizations of Palestinians, including ‘human animals’,” the CCR wrote in the introduction to its complaint.
It claimed that the “mass killing” of Palestinians and those “statements of intent” demonstrate “evidence of an unfolding crime of genocide.”
Humanitarians, legal experts, and rights organizations have all referred to Israel’s conduct in Gaza as genocide.
‘I paid for Israel to kill my cousins’
“Immediately after the launch of Israel’s unprecedented bombing campaign on Gaza, President Biden offered ‘unwavering’ support for Israel, which he and administration officials have consistently repeated and backed up with military, financial, and political support, even as mass civilian casualties escalated alongside Israeli genocidal rhetoric,” the CCR said.
According to the complaint, the US is Israel’s closest ally, staunchest defender, and largest military aid supplier; Israel has received the greatest total amount of US foreign aid from the US since World War II. It stated that as a result, the US could be able to “deter Israeli officials from pursuing genocidal acts against the Palestinian people.”
Instead, the group claimed that by continuing to give Israel unrestricted military and diplomatic backing while undermining attempts by the international community to halt Israel’s bombardment, Biden, Blinken, and Austin “have helped advance the gravest of crimes.”
“They have a significant responsibility under customary international law, under federal law, to prevent this genocide, to stop supporting this genocide,” stated Astha Sharma Pokharel, a lawyer with the CCR. They have failed at every turn and at every stage of the process. They have been covering Israel, they have kept giving it material assistance, and they currently plan to send Israel additional cash and weaponry.
US citizen Laila al-Haddad, one of the case’s plaintiffs, has lost five relatives in Gaza as a result of Israel’s attacks.
“I paid for Israel to kill my cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it,” she told Al Jazeera. “It was my tax dollars that did that, that sent those bombs to Israel to kill my family. And so I feel I and all other American taxpayers have a very unique responsibility to hold our government and our elected officials responsible.”
The complaint also demands a stop to the US’s $3.8 billion yearly military aid to Israel.
Read the complaint given below: