U.S. Congress threatens ICC over Israel arrest warrants

    In what appears to be a blatant blackmail attempt of international justice and a hideous crime in itself, the U.S. lawmakers have warned of retaliation if the Hague-based court pursues war crimes charges.

    The World News Herald
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    Republican and Democrat US lawmakers have called for retaliation against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it issues arrest warrants for senior Israeli figures over their roles in alleged war crimes against the Palestinians.

    The US lawmakers have issued a statement warning of “consequences,” in response to media reports that the Hague-based tribunal will issue warrants for the arrests of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. US Representative Brad Sherman (D-California) laid out his opposition to any ICC moves against the Jewish state’s leaders.

    “The ICC considers warrants on Israeli leaders for legitimate self-defence,” the 14-term congressman said. Sherman argued that such a move would turn the tribunal into a “kangaroo court,” adding, “President [Joe Biden] must condemn this, and I know Congress will ensure consequences for such an absurd decision.”

    The potential arrest warrants are connected to the ICC’s investigation of alleged atrocities by the Israeli military and Palestinian militant groups dating back to 2014 as well as the more recent ones in Gaza strip. Netanyahu had asked Biden to stop the ICC from trying to prosecute him or other officials in his government.

    The potential arrest warrants are for alleged war crimes and genocide, not for the Israeli right to defend itself. An attempt to divert the facts is a mere following for Netanyahu’s bid for support. Opposing the AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby organisation in the U.S., is a sure political suicide for anyone, hence the entire House of Representatives is singing in kanon while Netanyahu waves the conductor’s baton. The United States seems to be led from abroad while President Biden continues his gaffes.

    Although West Jerusalem is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, arrest warrants might deter Israeli leaders from travelling to any of the 124 countries that recognise the court’s authority.


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