Watching the watchdogs: The media downplays a big legal story at its peril

April 25, 2024
Al Jazeera

...In November, the respected Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit in a California court on behalf of Palestinian families in Gaza and the United States, accusing President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin of failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. They sought a court decision to order the US government to end military and diplomatic support to Israel while the genocide continues.

The court found that Israeli actions “plausibly constitute genocide” and implored Biden to examine the unwavering US support for it but decided it was unable to rule on the matter because foreign policy is an executive branch prerogative.

In March, CCR filed an appeal supported by more than 100 attorneys, experts and human rights organisations, arguing that stopping genocide is legally mandatory, not optional, in US and international law. The appeals court is set to hold an initial hearing in June.

CCR Senior Staff Attorney Diala Shamas, who works on the organisation’s anti-genocide cases and was in The Hague for the ICJ sessions, told me in an interview last week that different parties are exploring using a variety of legal avenues to halt the genocide as quickly as possible.

“The law’s promise is precisely to stop this kind of criminal action. What’s significant about the genocide issue is how states are required to act on the fundamental international norm,” she said.

Belief in this promise and this legal requirement to act has driven other actors to file legal challenges aimed at halting Western support for the Israeli genocide...

Read the full piece here.

Last modified 

April 25, 2024