Open Letter to President Biden re: United States aiding and abetting mass starvation and war crimes in Gaza
- 03/14/2024 by Ralph Nader (Scheerpost)

Protestors outside of President Biden's State of the Union address holding up a sign that says "Biden's Legacy is Genocide" (screenshot)
Dear Mr. President:   Willful avoidance does not exculpate your responsibility. There is no exception for the Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel is bound by the Geneva Conventions to provide for the health and safety of 2.3 million Palestinians in Israeli-occupied Gaza. Geneva Convention IV, Article 55, specifically stipulates: “To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.” A violation of Article 55 is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In open and notorious violation of Article 55, Israel is thwarting rather than assisting desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian infants, women, and men. Starvation levels are likely to reach 500,000 within a few short months. Israelis are blocking humanitarian aid trucks from border crossings with little or no interference by the IDF. Let the abbreviated life of Sahar al-Zebda speak for the voiceless and defenseless. As reported in The Washington Post (“In Gaza, young lives cut short—by hunger,” March 8, 2024), Sahar was born in a hospital without electricity and died 47 days later. Malnutrition was a material cause. Her parents had been displaced five times over five months since October 7.

Sahar was born on January 11, delivered by Caesarean section under battery-powered lights. She was underweight, suffering from a chest infection. There was no room for her to remain in the hospital.

Food was dwindling while prices were soaring. Sahar’s father secured three cartons of formula during the seven weeks she lived. The mother was able to breastfeed fitfully and then not at all.

Sahar’s weight plunged. Her facial features became distorted. Her lips became blue. Her eyes bulged. Her immune system was badly compromised. Her chest infection worsened. Doctors recommended prayer. Sahar died a few days later.

Sahar is but the tip of the genocide. Her death is not a statistic. It is a moral and legal reproach of the United States.

You and your administration have aided and abetted the starvation of Sahar and her likes by unconditionally supplying Israel, the occupying power in Gaza, with military, financial, and diplomatic assistance in its misnamed war against Hamas. The Washington Post reported on March 8, 2024 (“Israel’s war zone awash in U.S. arms”), that your administration has “approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since the Gaza war began Oct. 7, amounting to thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms, and other lethal aid.”

October 7 was viewed as a pretext for Israel to seek to exterminate Palestinians not only in Gaza but the West Bank. The evidence is in plain view. Ministers or Knesset members of the government histrionically and regularly sally forth with statements that Palestinians are subhuman and that Israel should annex the twin Palestinian territories.

Your public exhortations to Israel to comply with international law, to endorse a two-state solution, to lift punishing restrictions on humanitarian aid to Gaza, and to renounce Israeli sovereignty in the territory have been notoriously repudiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with impunity. Your unconditional military weapons shipments, (in violation of five federal laws:, and financial, and diplomatic assistance to Israel remains undiminished. Your words are contradicted by your daily deeds.

If you want to be remembered as the President who orchestrated the starvation deaths of Sahar and thousands of other newborns in collaboration with Israel, continue to do what you are doing. If you wish for a superior memory, however, qualified by your decisions to date, you need to stand by your words and immediately force Israel to operate in compliance with international law, including the Geneva Conventions.

For every hour little lives are expiring!


Ralph Nader, Esq.
Bruce Fein, Esq.

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