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Lawfare against Israel is again raising its head in the United States.

A federal judge in northern California has ruled that Israel is “plausibly engaging in genocide of the Palestinian people” and that the United States is providing “unflagging support” for Israeli operations in Gaza — but dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds.


The Center for Constitutional Rights, along with co-counsel Van Der Hout, LLP of San Francisco, filed the case on behalf of the plaintiffs against President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, claiming “violations of customary international law, codified in the 1948 Genocide Convention and the corresponding Genocide Convention Implementation Act (18 U.S.C. § 1091) passed by the US Congress in 1988.”

The San Francisco law firm of Van Der Hout LLP was co-counsel in the case.

The plaintiffs claimed in “Defense for Children International – Palestine v. Biden,4:23-cv-05829-JSW, Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief, Civil Rights” that the January 26, 2024 interim ruling of the International Court of Justice at The Hague had determined “it is plausible that Israel’s conduct amounts to genocide”.

The motion sought an emergency order to prohibit any further US military and diplomatic support to Israel while the case is being considered. They also asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief with an order an end to US military and diplomatic support to Israel, urging the judge to rule three top Biden administration officials failed to prevent and are aiding and abetting genocide.

Judge Jeffrey S. White presided over the hearing in Oakland, California.

Interested readers canwatch the proceedings here.

The lawsuit cited what plaintiffs claimed was “a history of Israeli actions against the Palestinian people, starting with the Nakba in 1948.”

They accused the Biden Administration of “undermining efforts by the international community to stop Israel’s unrelenting and unprecedented bombing campaign and total siege of Gaza,” according to a release by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

Witnesses included seven Palestinian Arabs, including one from Gaza and one from Ramallah, both of whom claimed they had lost family members and saw others displaced during Israeli military counter terror operations, according to CCR.

The judge, clearly opposed to Israel’s defensive war against Hamas-led terrorists who tortured and slaughtered more than 1,200 people in an invasion on October 7, 2023 while kidnapping 253 others, ruled that “the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the Court” and found it lacked power to resolve the case because it implicated executive decision-making in the area of foreign policy.

“Both the uncontroverted testimony of the Plaintiffs and the expert opinion proffered at the hearing on these motions as well as statements made by various officers of the Israeli government indicate that the ongoing military siege in Gaza is intended to eradicate a whole people and therefore plausibly falls within the international prohibition against genocide,” the Court wrote in its ruling.

“The Court implores Defendants to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza … It is every individual’s obligation to confront the current siege in Gaza,” the judge wrote.

CCR Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher, who argued the case before the court, said in a statement following the ruling, “The court affirmed that what the Palestinian population in Gaza is enduring is a campaign to eradicate a whole people – genocide – and that the United States’ unflagging support for Israel is enabling the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians and the famine facing millions.

“While we strongly disagree with the court’s ultimate jurisdictional ruling, we urge the Biden administration to heed the judge’s call to examine and end its deadly course of action. Together with our plaintiffs, we will pursue all legal avenues to stop the genocide and save Palestinian lives.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.