Press Release

May 21, 2024
Cardin, Bipartisan Group of Senators Condemn ICC Action Against Israel

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Fetterman (D-Penn.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Katie Britt (R-Ala.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement in response to the International Criminal Court (ICC) announcing the decision to apply for arrest warrants for democratically-elected Israeli officials.

“These actions by the ICC jeopardize efforts to bring about sustainable peace in the Middle East. It puts at risk sensitive negotiations to bring home hostages, including Americans, and surge humanitarian assistance.

“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. To state the obvious: Israel is a functioning democracy, while Hamas is a terrorist organization.

“Representatives of the ICC were supposed to be in Israel today to set up meetings between Israeli officials and ICC Prosecutor Khan’s team next week to discuss allegations and concerns. This was a process we encouraged, as it is consistent with the principle of complementarity.

“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. We 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.

“Acting today without engaging the Israeli government on these specific concerns calls into question the unbiased approach ICC investigations are supposed to have.

“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.”