From The Hague to California, Courts Must Stop Israel’s U.S.-Backed Genocide Against Palestinians

January 10, New York, The Hague – In support of South Africa’s case before the International Court of Justice this week charging Israel with genocide, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

South Africa’s legal initiative to hold Israel to its obligations under the Genocide Convention is an urgent and historic case with broad-based international support. We expect the International Court of Justice to find that South Africa’s comprehensive application detailing Israel’s genocidal actions meets the standards to issue provisional measures for Israel to end the military assault on Gaza and desist from killing, forcibly displacing, and denying basic necessities of life for Palestinians in Gaza – in effect, ordering measures to stop an unfolding genocide. 

Two weeks after the ICJ hearings, the Center for Constitutional Rights will be in U.S. federal court in our own case suing President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and Secretary Austin for their failure to prevent – and complicity in – the genocide. While previously supporting efforts at the ICJ to prevent genocide in the case of Ukraine v. Russia, the Biden administration has denounced the proceedings in The Hague and is seeking to have the U.S. case dismissed. Such double standards are unfortunately what we have come to expect from Israel’s chief accomplice: Israel could not be committing genocide without the unconditional military and diplomatic support of the U.S. government. It is time for the United States to stop its selective support for international law and instead comply with its own obligations to prevent and punish genocide in all cases.

On January 26, a federal court in Oakland will hear the case we brought on behalf of Palestinian human rights groups and individuals. Any findings by the ICJ against Israel will have implications for other State parties – including the U.S. – who have failed to prevent or have been complicit in the genocide, which the Genocide Convention prohibits. We expect the U.S. district court will take very seriously any findings from the ICJ – the world court – in determining the U.S.’s obligations under international and U.S. law. We are asking the court to order the U.S. government to stop providing Israel with any further military, financial, or other assistance in the attacks and total siege on Palestinians in Gaza. 

While the world watches the decimation of Gaza in horror, from The Hague to California, the courts have a duty to uphold the law and put a stop to genocide.

Center for Constitutional Rights attorneys and clients in the U.S. case, the directors and staff of Defense for Children International - Palestine and Al Haq, are in The Hague for the ICJ case and are available for comment.

For more information, visit the Center for Constitutional Right case page for Defense for Children International-Palestine v. Biden

The San Francisco law firm of Van Der Hout LLP is co-counsel on Defense for Children International-Palestine v. Biden. 


The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

January 10, 2024