US Complicity in Gaza Case Gets June Appeal Date

While welcoming the news, the head of Defense for Children International-Palestine said that “each day that passes without an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign results in catastrophe for Palestinian children in Gaza.”

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. (Ken Lund, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Jessica Corbett
Common Dreams

As over 100,000 Michiganders signaled to President Joe Biden that they oppose U.S. support for Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, a federal court this week granted a motion to expedite the appeal of a recently dismissed lawsuit against senior U.S. officials including the president.

Just over a month into Israel’s retaliatory assault on Gaza for the Oct.  7 Hamas-led attack, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on behalf of the groups Al-Haq and Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) as well as Palestinians in Gaza and the United States.

CCR sought an emergency injunction to stop the Biden administration from aiding the Israeli assault and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held a hearing last month.

While Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the suit falls “outside the court’s limited jurisdiction” and must be dismissed, he also found that Israel’s military campaign “plausibly” amounts to genocide, echoing a recent conclusion at the International Court of Justice, where a case is ongoing.

“Since the filing of this lawsuit in November, the death toll in Gaza has nearly tripled, and all the while, the United States has continued to accelerate Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people of Gaza with its unconditional material, financial, and diplomatic assistance and cover,” Sadaf Doost, an attorney and Bertha Justice fellow at CCR, noted in a statement Wednesday.

In response to the dismissal, CCR and co-counsel at Van Der Hout LLP asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to expedite their appeal. Doost stressed that “our expedited appeal to the 9th Circuit — seeking judicial review to make clear that no individual, not even the president of the United States, is above the law and all must comply with obligations to stop genocide — comes as the carnage and devastation in Gaza has reached unprecedented levels and requires urgent attention.”

According to the legal group, the appellate court agreed to set an early June date for oral arguments in San Francisco.

“The 9th Circuit’s grant of our motion to expedite is important, as the dire and unlivable conditions in Gaza must be addressed urgently,” said Johnny Sinodis of Van Der Hout LLP. “Each day that the U.S. continues its unrestrained support of Israel, more and more innocent women and children are slaughtered by Israel’s assault and indiscriminate bombing campaign.” 

“We are hopeful that the court will ultimately order the U.S. to fulfill its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention to prevent, and not be complicit in, the genocide that the world is witnessing taking place in Gaza,” Sinodis explained.

Blinken, Biden and  Austin at a press event in January 2023. (White House, Cameron Smith)

Since Oct. 7, while Biden has urged Israel to stop indiscriminately bombing Gaza, his administration has also blocked and opposed United Nations cease-fire resolutions, bypassed Congress to arm Israeli forces, and sought a package worth more than $14 billion—on top of the $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid to the Middle East nation. 

The Israeli bombardment and blockade have killed approximately 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza and displaced the majority of the Hamas-governed enclave’s 2.3 million residents, who now face limited access to food, water, healthcare, and shelter.

“Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children and their families at an unprecedented rate with President Biden’s full support,” DCIP general director Khaled Quzmar declared Wednesday. “Palestinian children that survive bombardment face death by starvation and disease as a direct result of Israeli government policies to deny humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.” 

“While we welcome the expedited appeal,” Quzmar added, “each day that passes without an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign results in catastrophe for Palestinian children in Gaza.”

Jessica Corbett is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

6 comments for “US Complicity in Gaza Case Gets June Appeal Date

  1. March 3, 2024 at 10:36

    June is “expedited”? Are you kidding me?

    Gaza will be gone by then and tens of thousands of civilians dead, critically wounded, starved, diseased, and ethnically cleansed.

    Can someone explain to me how this is legally is a “political question” outside the Court’s jurisdiction when there are Senate approved binding treaties (the highest law of the land under the US Constitution) and black letter federal law that apply?

    • Brian Bixby
      March 3, 2024 at 18:44

      “Gaza will be gone by then”

      Yes, and that’s the intent, to delay until the question is no longer relevant.

  2. Richard Burrill
    March 2, 2024 at 11:04

    The photo above should be accompanied by an audio of Bob Dylan’s great song “Master’s of War.”

    • WillD
      March 2, 2024 at 22:49

      Yes, with all three of them in handcuffs and a Hague courtroom backdrop.

  3. JonnyJames
    March 1, 2024 at 16:41

    We can only hope, but things don’t look good if we consider the flagrant lies and crimes of Bush Jr., Tony Blair, and the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama said that we had to “look forward, not backward” and that no investigation of misconduct or crime of the Bush Jr. admin would happen. Bush/Blair are free men, making money selling public speaking engagements, selling books, paintings etc., influence peddling. They are lauded as senior statesmen.

    And the perpetrators of the largest financial crimes in US history, by orders of magnitude (according to financial crime expert prof. W.K. Black) who are laughing all the way to the offshore tax havens. I recall the US AG Holder on TV saying that these “financial institutions” were “systemically important” and they are “too big to fail” and therefore would be immune from investigation, let alone prosecution.
    When the AG effectively tells us that the big guys are above the law, and that he will protect them, it should not be easily forgotten. Apparently the law (and taxes) are “only for the little people”.

    • Paula
      March 2, 2024 at 22:54

      Yeah, that’s the way it was then but times they are a changin. Look at the recent win of George Galloway.

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