Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 26, 2024

Live: Biden Genocide Case in Federal Court Oakland, California

Outside the federal court in Oakland, California the case is underway naming President Biden and cabinet members complicit with genocide. Photo AROC Free Palestine Twitter/X

Photo by San Francisco Chronicle. On the street as federal court was underway.

LIVE COVERAGE: In Federal Court in Oakland, California, U.S. Attorneys and Palestinians said today: Biden is Complicit in Genocide

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, Jan. 26, 2024
Video of court hearing now available:

OAKLAND, California -- The final testimony concludes now in today's hearing of President Biden's complicity with genocide. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Palestinians in U.S. federal court in Oakland, California.

The Center for Constitutional Rights said Biden has failed to uphold the Genocide Convention. "Not only has the U.S. failed to prevent, but has actively advanced the gravest of crimes."

Biden and cabinet members sought today to halt the case from moving forward in U.S. federal court. However, Senior District Judge Jeffrey S. White consistently overruled Biden's attorney and allowed the testimony today.

Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, Wake Forest University’s presidential chair of Jewish history in North Carolina, and a scholar on the Holocaust and genocide, testified for the plaintiffs as an expert scholar.

“Genocides destroy their own evidence," Trachtenberg told the court, pointing out in cases of genocide, that archives, historical artifacts and “people themselves" are destroyed by those carrying out genocide.

Biden's attorney attempted to prevent Trachtenberg's testimony, but the presiding federal judge, Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White, overruled Biden's attorney's objections and allowed the scholar's testimony.

Scholar Trachtenberg is speaking on the issues of "action and intent," regarding genocide. He quotes Israeli officials who said that no water, or food will be allowed until Gazans disappear entirely.

Trachtenberg refers to these statements of intent. He points out that in cases of genocide, intent is not usually as openly stated as is being done by Israeli officials. 

The scholar quotes Israel's President: “All Gazans are responsible." And t
he Israeli defense minister: “No food, water or electricity.”

He also quoted the Israeli energy minister: “No water, not a single battery will be given.”

"Everything that we feared, and more is unfolding," Trachtenberg testified.

Now, over 26,000 people are dead.

He said the violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention, which was adopted by the United Nations, include denying food and water to the people.

Trachtenberg said the tunnels are being flooded.

"They are salting the earth, which will prevent food from growing," he said, adding that this will prevent Palestinians from growing food and surviving on the land.

The bombs they are dropping are from the United States, we can intervene in that, the scholar said.

Hellfire missiles, 2,000-pound bombs, are being sent by the United States.

"Contrary to the intent of Congress," he said, adding that Biden seems to be supporting a war without Congressional approval.

Biden's attorney objected to this testimony, but Judge White overruled the objection and allowed the scholar's testimony.

"We don't want that to happen again," Trachtenberg said, speaking of the Holocaust and pointing out there is a Holocaust museum on the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

After the plaintiffs finished testifying, Judge White asked what the court could do, and should do.

"Just since we've been here today, people have lost family members," the plaintiff's attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights responded.

Senior Staff Attorney Pam Spees said, that when this case was filed the Palestinian death toll was 11,000.

Now, as the court acknowledged today, it’s over 25,000. 

"The unfolding genocide has broken the scales that the law has asked this court to balance."

Spees pointed out the massive number of media and health workers that have been killed.

Now, Palestinians are facing catastrophic famine.

She said the U.S. is playing a role in Israel's denial of humanitarian aid and food, as well as providing weapons.

The bombs have all come from the United States.

An attorney for Biden argues that this case can not proceed and claims that the court lacks jurisdiction in the matter.

In closing, Judge White said the details described are "horrific," and there are no words to describe it.

Judge White said the scholar's testimony is now on record regarding genocide.
The judge said this is his most difficult case ever, both factually and legally.

What are the limits of the court's power, in terms of the Constitution, he said.
The court has taken the case under advisement.

During the four-hour hearing, Palestinians testified about the murder of their family members by Israeli bombs and weapons.

Inside the courtroom, by Zoom, a member of Defense for Children in Palestine is testifying.

"All the hospitals are being attacked." There is no food, no water. 

Khaled Quzmar testifies on behalf of Mohammad Abu Rukbeh, Defense for Children field researcher and a plaintiff: "When Israeli forces shot Mohammad's mother, I tried with every humanitarian organization to get her out. But there are 1000s of injured people, and doctors had to cut off her leg."

"Gaza has become a graveyard for children."

In Gaza, now the children do not dream, do not think of the future, they only think of keeping alive.

The Defense for Children said today, "Mohammad is a plaintiff in the case but could not join the hearing today as he and his family are living in a tent in southern Gaza. We are not able to maintain regular contact with him, and sometimes wait a week between updates."

Palestinian American Basim Elkarra testified that family members are being killed today.

More than 74 family members have been murdered since October. He just received news today that more family members have been killed. Elders, over 90 years old, are dying.

They are the carriers of traditions and culture and die from lack of food and water. People are dying from the health problems of the unsanitary conditions. Water is contaminated. Graveyards are being bulldozed, and people will not know where their relatives are buried.

"Now two-ton bombs are being dropped." These were dropped in Vietnam, but not directly on people. Now these are being dropped on hospitals and refugee camps.

These bombs are manufactured here and paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars.
More bombs have been dropped on Gaza than on Hiroshima.

"It hurts deeply," he said of Biden's presidency.

Entire families are being wiped out. 

Elkarra said being in America, he feels tremendous guilt because the bombs are coming from here, the United States.

He said Israel has called for the slaughter of men, women, and children, even animals. And yet Biden's press spokespeople continue to try and justify this.

Ancient churches and mosques are being destroyed. Antiquities are being destroyed, and they are being looted. Biden and the U.S. are not only failing to prevent genocide but are entirely complicit.

Basim Elkarra, a civil rights leader, is the director of the Sacramento, California, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

One Palestinian American testified that more than 100 members of his family had been killed in Palestine. He is describing the bombing and deaths of his family members.

"It is horrifying."

One of the mothers in the family described to him how her son was still under the rubble. The people have been digging with their hands, "but there is only so much you can do."

Israel is making Palestine unliveable. The people fear death and starvation, and, if they leave, they fear not being able to return.

"We are witnessing an unfolding genocide."

"The killing continues."

"The people in power who can stop it are complicit."

"The people are trapped in a killing field."

He is urging Biden and cabinet members to do what they can to stop this killing field.
U.S. federal court in northern California, Oakland, California. (11:35 Pacific time.
Friday, January 26, 2024)

Post-Hearing Press Conference: Watch now

                                  "It was a chance to be heard," said Laila El-Haddad.
Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, a genocide scholar, says we have the chance to stop a genocide that is unfolding before our very eyes.

News reports

Journalist Dena Takruri reports:

"Dr. Omar Al-Najjar who is joining remotely from Rafah is now testifying in this U.S. federal court in a case accusing Biden, Blinken and Austin of failure to prevent and complicity in Israel’s genocide against Palestinians in Gaza."

“Cases of childbirth in the streets are widespread at this time,"' said Dr. Omar Al-Najjar testifying from Rafah, Gaza Strip.

The Intercept reports:

Omar Al-Najjar, a 24-year-old doctor called into the hearing from a hospital hallway in Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

Wearing scrubs, he described a medical infrastructure that is overwhelmed and on the brink of collapse, heavy shelling and gun fighting near medical facilities, and medical workers coming under attack in areas the Israeli military had declared safe.
“I have lost everything in this war … I have nothing but my grief,” he told the court. “This is what Israel and its supporters have done to us.”

Ahmed Abofoul, a Palestinian lawyer and legal researcher at Al-Haq, testified from the courthouse that he lost 60 relatives on his father’s side of the family alone, 15 in a single airstrike, and that many of their bodies remain under the rubble. His cousin, he said, has been unable to retrieve the bodies of his five children, as the Israeli military fires at him whenever he tries to approach his destroyed home. Abofoul described not being able to get in touch with some family members after the war started and other relatives, including children, with no access to food and water.

“People are struggling to have anything to survive on,” he said. “Those who survive the bombing most likely will not survive staying in this condition.”

Continue reading The Intercept:

San Francisco Chronicle reports:

One plaintiff, Laila Elhaddad, a journalist in Maryland whose parents are from Gaza, said she had lost nearly 90 members of her extended family to Israeli attacks, and described how one relative had bled to death in the arms of another family member.

As a taxpayer, “my money is complicit in this ongoing genocide and destruction of Gaza,” Elhaddad testified. “President Biden could, with one phone call, put an end to this.”

Courthouse News in Oakland reports:

‘Living nightmare’: Suit accusing White House of violating Genocide Convention brings constitutional questions

The Biden administration says judicial review of current foreign policy matters involving Israel would violate constitutional doctrines.

Judge White said as the hearing closed: “There is now on the record at least from the opinion of scholars, that they believe there has been a genocide. In 27 years on the bench, this is probably the most difficult case this court has ever had, and one of the most difficult cases legally."

Outside the federal court, Palestinians and attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights. Pointing out that Federal Judge Jeffrey White took the case very seriously today: 'The whole world wants this genocide to stop, and we are the people to make it stop."

Today in Gaza
Breaking | The Israeli artillery is shelling the eastern areas of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

Outside the federal court in Oakland, California


Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News. Content may not be used without written permission, from the author, or the creator of the content

1 comment:

Yvonne Swan said...

This is madness and the US President must stop advocating genocide now! He should be impeached!