“We Charge Genocide” District Federal Court in Oakland Hears Palestinian Suit vs. Biden Administration Over Gaza Genocide


For immediate release

“We Charge Genocide”
District Federal Court in Oakland Hears Palestinian Suit vs. Biden Administration Over Gaza Genocide

Plaintiffs include Bay Area residents from Gaza; Thousands Demonstrate after hearing. A ruling is expected in the near future

For visuals of the action, use this link:
To read and Center for Constitutional Rights Press release use this link: bit.ly/GazaGenocidevBidenPR

OAKLAND – Today, the court heard the oral arguments and live testimony for the preliminary injunction barring the U.S. from providing military, financial, and diplomatic support for Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. The lawsuit is brought by Ahmed Abu Artema, founder of the 2018 Great March of Return, Dr. Omar Al-Najjar, a physician who’s been working at hospitals in Gaza, and Mohammed Ahmed Abu Rokbeh, a local human rights field researcher. Mohammad Monadel Herzallah, Laila Elhaddad, Waeil Elbhassi, Basim Elkarra, and “A.N.” are Palestinian-Americans in the U.S. with families in Gaza. Together, the individual plaintiffs counted over 115 members of their families killed at the time of filing. The case is also brought by Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCIP) and Al-Haq, both leading Palestinian human rights organizations. The Center for Constitutional Rights and Van Der Hout LLP are representing the plaintiffs in this case.

Following the hearing, a multi-racial coalition of over 1,000 community organizations rallied together to support the plaintiffs. Large scale art installations took place outside of the federal building, including a block long street mural on Clay street, a list of the 30,000 Palestinans killed by Israel got unrolled onto 14th street surrounded by hundreds of people in colored shirts representing the Palestinian flag, a giant ten-foot-tall puppet performance, hundreds of shoes to represent the over 9,000 children who have been killed, and a large floating banner.

“On the heels of South Africa’s historic case charging Israel with genocide at the International Court of Justice, this lawsuit happening right here in our backyard is a historic opportunity for Palestinian people to directly confront the Executive Branch of the Biden Administration, the most powerful decision makers responsible for the US-backed Israeli genocide,” said Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. “All the solidarity that has poured into the streets today is especially important to us, as members of our community are plaintiffs in this case. This war is not only devastating for our loved ones in Palestine, but is devastating for our loved ones right here in the Bay Area. An immediate ceasefire is the only way to end our peoples’ suffering.”

The plaintiffs argue that the U.S. has been obligated, since learning of the serious risk of genocide, to exercise its considerable influence on Israel to prevent it. Instead, the U.S. has continued to provide unconditional support to Israel. This elevates U.S. actions to the level of complicity in Israel’s atrocities in Gaza. The defendants argue that the court can’t review their conduct since U.S. support for Israel is a “foreign policy” question not a legal matter for the court to decide (known legally as the “political question doctrine”). Plaintiffs argue that they are not challenging discretionary policy choices, but defendants’ violation of a legal duty to prevent, not further, genocide. It is within the court’s power to hold the Administration to its legal obligations.