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Bipartisan senators condemn ICC, call for complementarity to be honored
May 21, 2024


By: Hannah Sarisohn

The senators claim the ICC decision will jeopardize peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Eight senators released a statement on Tuesday morning slamming the ICC for jeopardizing efforts to bring about sustainable peace to the Middle East and risking negotiations to secure a hostage deal. 

“The application for arrest warrants also draws a false equivalence between Israel with its longstanding commitment to the rule of law, and Hamas’ theocratic, autocratic, and unaccountable rule over Gaza,” according to the statement. “To state the obvious: Israel is a functioning democracy, while Hamas is a terrorist organization.

The statement, signed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Fetterman (D-PA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Katie Britt (R-AL) and John Thune (R-SD), said ICC representatives were supposed to be meeting with Israeli officials today to discuss allegations and concerns. 

Israel is democracy

“The ICC’s precipitous action in applying for arrest warrants in this instance runs contrary to the promotion of rule of law globally; Israel has a long history as a functioning democracy, with an independent judiciary and military justice system,” the Senators said. 

The Senators said they have “great confidence” in the Israeli judicial system’s ability to administer justice. 

“The principle of complementarity should be honored, allowing a nation’s legal system to act first,” according to the statement. 

The Senators said acting without engaging the Israeli government on these specific concerns calls into question the unbiased approach ICC investigations are supposed to have. 

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“We will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to strenuously object to the ICC’s actions against our ally, Israel, and take appropriate steps to help Israel and protect American personnel from future ICC action,” according to the statement.