Day 40 roundtable: Palestinians sue Biden for genocide

Palestinians are suing US President Joe Biden and the secretaries of state and defense to stop them from further aiding and abetting Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The lawsuit lays out “the day-by-day accounts of Israeli official statements, showcasing their intent, showcasing the fact that they are calling for the complete destruction of Gaza, for the elimination of Palestinians,” attorney Sadaf Doost told us on Wednesday’s livestream.

Doost is a legal fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the civil liberties group that filed the complaint in a federal court on Monday.

The suit was filed on behalf of the human rights groups Defense for Children International-Palestine and Al-Haq and several Palestinians who are inside Gaza or are US citizens with family there.

A preliminary injunction was also filed, asking the court to put in place an order to end “US military and diplomatic support to Israel.”

Among the plaintiffs is The Electronic Intifada contributor Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the founders of Gaza’s Great March of Return protests, whose nearly 13-year-old son Abdullah was killed in an Israeli airstrike on 24 October.

“I am not aware of a case where a sitting United States president has had a lawsuit brought because of their complicity in genocide and their failure to prevent genocide,” Doost explained.

“This preliminary injunction and the lawsuit asks for the intervention of courts to ensure that the United States does fulfill their legal obligations,” she added.

We were also joined by Abdaljawad Omar, a lecturer at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank.

“The West Bank has been suffering from an intensive offensive campaign by the Israeli military and settlers since the October 7 events,” he said.

“And they’ve included the militarization and the increased militarization of the settlers themselves, the cutting [off] of cities and towns, the return of the checkpoints and cutting various towns from each other.”

He also discussed the internal political situation as the Palestinian Authority continues to collaborate with the Israelis.

Omar recently published an essay in Mondoweiss on the Western perception of the Palestinian people as perpetual, tragic victims.

The Electronic Intifada’s contributing editor Jon Elmer discussed the Israeli attacks on the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City and the ongoing lack of Israel’s military successes.

“It’s just unbelievable to watch the assault on the hospital. The Palestinians needed five days to get a bulldozer in to dig a mass grave on al-Shifa property because the Israelis were attacking the bulldozers that were doing that – the level of depravity is just unbelievable,” he said.

“It doesn’t come with any military successes that we’re seeing – we’re just hearing fake numbers by the Israelis, and we’re seeing video evidence of them blowing up buildings that they’ve already hit with airstrikes and then shelled and then now they blow them up with their tanks with a pride flag on the beach,” Elmer said.

And in his opening remarks, our executive director Ali Abunimah dissected Israeli propaganda campaigns around the brutal siege and invasion of al-Shifa hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza City, as well as the Rantisi children’s hospital.

He talked about Israel’s flagrant fabrications of “evidence” presented to the world as justification for war crimes.
Watch the entire broadcast above or listen via Soundcloud below.


Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).