WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement on the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to unilaterally declare “Palestine” a member state and investigate Israel, which is not a member and therefore outside of its legal authority.
“The International Criminal Court’s discriminatory decision on Friday to assert jurisdiction over Israel is extremely disturbing. The jurisdiction of the ICC is clearly limited to Member States and to countries referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council, and Israel is neither. By deeming ‘Palestine’ a State for the Court’s purposes, the ICC has unilaterally recognized Palestinian claims to disputed territories. As 68 Senators joined me in articulating last year, establishing the boundaries of any future Palestinian state is a political decision that must be determined through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This move by the ICC undermines the path towards peace and erodes the Court’s credibility as an impartial champion of justice. I urge Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to refrain from moving forward with this investigation.”