Headline RoundupMay 20th, 2024

American, Israeli Leaders Denounce ICC Warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu

Summary from the AllSides News Team

American and Israeli politicians are reacting to reports that the International Criminal Court is seeking an arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

For Context: The ICC is seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's leader in Gaza, for potential war crimes and crimes against humanity. Purported Israeli crimes included systematically depriving civilians of “objects indispensable to human survival,” including food, water, medicine, and energy.

Congress: United States House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) threatened to hold a vote to impose sanctions on the ICC in response to the warrant on Netanyahu. Johnston released a statement reading, “Congress is reviewing all options, including sanctions, to punish the ICC and ensure its leadership faces consequences if they proceed.”

White House: President Joe Biden released a statement criticizing the ICC and voicing support for Netanyahu, stating, “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.  We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the ICC has “no jurisdiction over this matter” and is interfering with ceasefire negotiations. 

Israel: Netanyahu called the warrant “an absurd and false order” and “an absurd and false order.” He accused the ICC prosecutor of “callously pouring gasoline on the fires of antisemitism that are raging across the world.” Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the warrant a “historical disgrace that will be remembered forever.”

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