Despite a pause in Israel’s military assault on Gaza, there is a legal case being made that the United States is complicit in enabling Israeli genocide against Palestinians. The U.S. sends Israel billions in military aid each year, and President Joe Biden’s administration has been an enthusiastic supporter of this decades-long trend.
Now, according to a new lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), “The United States is not only failing to uphold its obligation to prevent the commission of genocide, but there is a plausible and credible case to be made that the United States’ actions to further the Israeli military operation, closure, and campaign against the Palestinian population in Gaza, rise to the level of complicity in the crime under international law.”
One of the plaintiffs in CCR’s lawsuit is Palestinian American Laila El-Haddad, an award-winning writer, social activist, policy analyst, and journalist. She is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between, co-author of the critically acclaimed The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey, and co-editor of the anthology Gaza Unsilenced. El-Haddad, who has lost five family members to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES Presents: Rising Up With Sonali about the lawsuit.
Sonali Kolhatkar joined YES! in summer 2021, building on a long and decorated career in broadcast and print journalism. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and host and creator of YES! Presents: Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. She is also Senior Correspondent with the Independent Media Institute’s Economy for All project where she writes a weekly column. She is the author of Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (2023) and Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (2005). Her forthcoming book is called Talking About Abolition (Seven Stories Press, 2025). Sonali is co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women’s Mission which she helped to co-found in 2000. She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Sonali reflects on “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host” in her 2014 TEDx talk of the same name.