80+ Groups Urge Biden to ‘Reverse Course Before Thousands More Die’ in Gaza

"Risking your presidential legacy and the reputation of our nation around the world to enable the Netanyahu government's genocide has been a disastrous decision."

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More than 80 U.S. Muslim, Palestinian, and allied groups on Wednesday implored President Joe Biden to pursue a “concrete change in policy” that includes the suspension of arms transfers to Israel as it wages a genocidal war on Gaza.

“The National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services prohibits our government from transferring arms to nations that violate international law or obstruct U.S. humanitarian aid,” the groups wrote in a letter to the U.S. president. “Furthermore, the Leahy Law forbids our government from providing military assistance to military units in foreign nations involved in human rights abuses.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that the far-right Netanyahu government has spent months engaging in such abuses by blocking access to humanitarian aid and indiscriminately bombing civilians across Gaza, your administration has claimed that Israel is complying with U.S. laws,” the letter states, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The groups called the Biden administration’s claim of Israeli legal compliance “simply put, false.”

The letter continues:

The Israeli government’s bombing campaign, which you have described as “indiscriminate” in private, has slaughtered over 32,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children. The Israeli army has also obstructed humanitarian aid deliveries, allowed settlers to block aid trucks, massacred Palestinians gathering to collect aid, and assassinated Palestinians charged with coordinating aid deliveries.

Just this week, the Israeli military deliberately attacked three different clearly marked vehicles in a World Central Kitchen convoy, killing seven foreign aid workers – including an American citizen.

“We knew early on that the Israeli government would deliberately and systematically commit war crimes during its military invasion of Gaza because Israeli officials openly promised to do so,” the groups wrote, highlighting some of the sanguinary statements made by the country’s leaders following the October 7 attacks.

“It is obvious to every neutral observer that the Israeli government has spent the past five months acting on those ominous, genocidal words,” the letter says. “In January, the International Court of Justice released a preliminary ruling deeming South Africa’s accusation of genocide against the Israeli government plausible. On March 26, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on Palestine released a report which identified ‘reasonable grounds’ to assert that Israel is perpetrating genocide in Gaza.”

“Your administration’s plan to certify Israel’s compliance with U.S. requirements despite these clear facts is both unlawful and morally indefensible,” the signers argued. “As former State Department official Annelle Shelline said after resigning, ‘To say this when Israel is preventing the adequate entrance of humanitarian aid and the U.S. is being forced to airdrop to starving Gazans, this finding makes a mockery of the administration’s claims to care about the law or the fate of innocent Palestinians.'”

The letter’s signers are asking Biden to:

  • Recognize that the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza violate U.S. law and your national security memorandum;
  • Suspend the transfer of all weapons to the Israeli government as required by U.S. law and your national security memorandum;
  • Use American leverage to secure an immediate, permanent cease-fire, the unimpeded opening of all land crossings to humanitarian aid, the release of all hostages and political prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza; and
  • Pursue a just and lasting peace through an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies.

“The American people do not want a change in rhetoric. The American people want a concrete change in policy,” the letter concludes. “Risking your presidential legacy and the reputation of our nation around the world to enable the Netanyahu government’s genocide has been a disastrous decision. We implore you to reverse course before thousands more die.”

Brett Wilkins is is staff writer for Common Dreams. Based in San Francisco, his work covers issues of social justice, human rights and war and peace. This originally appeared at CommonDreams and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

3 thoughts on “80+ Groups Urge Biden to ‘Reverse Course Before Thousands More Die’ in Gaza”

  1. Biden is not going to reverse course, neither is Trump if he is elected. Nothing will make Biden change course. He’s more interested in being re-elected than in doing what’s right even if he won’t be re-elected.

  2. Biden has failed in Ukraine and Gaza. Utter failure as a President. Lied about returning to JCPOA. Lied about tackling climate change. Does nothing to protect Social Security and Medicare. Signs off on more spending on the MIC wish list. Speaks platitudes, does opposite. Just another GD politician, having daily meeting with “advisers” to decide the “word” for the day, without meaning. Trump is worse, the other half of the plate of sh*t referred to by Nina Turner. There is our choice for the useless election in November, 2024.

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