We Will Sanction You, Withdraw Support – US Senators Threaten ICC Over Planned Arrest Warrant On Netanyahu

We Will Sanction You, Withdraw Support – US Senators Threaten ICC Over Planned Arrest Warrant On Netanyahu

United States senators have issued a stern warning to the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning potential arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

In a letter dated April 24, 2024, addressed to Mr. Karin A. A. Khan KC of the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, the lawmakers expressed concerns over the ICC’s purported intention to target Israel for its defensive actions against Iranian-backed threats. They emphasized that such actions lack legal justification and could face severe consequences, including sanctions against Khan and the ICC.

Signed by 12 senators, the letter highlighted the senators’ stance against what they deemed as unjustifiable actions by the ICC, questioning the moral equivalence drawn between Israel’s response to aggression and the terrorist activities of its adversaries. Additionally, the senators pointed out the ICC’s charter restrictions, which mandate that it can only intervene when governments fail to address crimes themselves.

Moreover, the senators criticized the ICC’s alleged double standards by highlighting its failure to issue arrest warrants against other leaders accused of grave violations, such as Iran’s Supreme Leader and China’s General Secretary. They underscored the importance of respecting Israel’s sovereignty and reiterated their commitment to safeguarding it, warning of potential repercussions if the ICC proceeds with its proposed measures.

Finally, the senators concluded by affirming the United States’ stance against politicized attacks on its allies and threatened to withdraw support for the ICC, impose sanctions, and restrict access to the United States for Khan and his associates if the ICC moves forward with its plans.

According to the letter as endorsed by about 12 Senators:

“We write regarding the reports that the international Criminal Court (ICC) may be considering issuing international arrest warrants against the Prime Minister.     “Such actions are illegitimate and lack legal basis, and if carried out will result in severe sanctions against you and your institution.     “The ICC is attempting to punish Israel for taking legitimate actions of self-defense against their Iranian-backed aggressors. In fact, in your own words, you witnessed scenes of calculated cruelty” conducted by Hamas in Israel following the October 7 attacks.      “These arrest warrants would align the ICC with the largest state sponsor of terrorism and its proxy. To be clear, there is no moral equivalence between Hamas’s terrorism and Israel’s justified response.     “The ICC is also prohibited by its charter from proceeding in any case unless the relevant government is unwilling or unable to police themselves.     “You yourself have said that ‘Israel has trained lawyers who advise commanders and a robust system intended to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law.’     “By issuing warrants, you would be calling into question the legitimacy of Israel’s laws, legal system, and democratic form of government.     “Issuing arrest warrants for the leaders of Israel would not only be unjustified, it would expose your organisation’s hypocrisy and double standards.      “Your office has not issued arrest warrants for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenci or any other Iranian official, Syrian President Bashar al Assad or any other Syrian official, or Hamas leader Ismail Haniych or any other Hamas official, nor have you issued an arrest warrant for the genocidal General Secretary of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, or any other Chinese official.     “Finally, neither Israel nor the United States are members of the ICC and are therefore outside of your organisation’s supposed jurisdiction.      “If you issue a warrant for the arrest of the Israeli leadership, we will interpret this not only as a threat to Israel’s sovereignty but to the sovereignty of the United States.      “Our country demonstrated in the American Service-Members’ Protection Act the lengths to which we will go to protect that sovereignty.     “The United States will not tolerate politicised attacks by the ICC on our allies. Target Israel and we will target you.      “If you move forward with the measures indicated in the report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and associates, and bar you and your families from the United States. You have been warned.”