12 GOP Senators pen ‘mob-style’ threat to ICC over Israeli arrest warrants

A letter signed by 12 US Senators to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan. Photo: Zeteo Substack

In a shocking development, 12 sitting US Senators threatened the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor and his family with sanctions in the event that any Israeli official be arrested as a result of alleged acts of genocide in Gaza.

  • The threat appears to inform ICC prosecutor Karim Khan that any attempt to place Netanyahu or his colleagues into custody over their actions in Gaza will be interpreted as “a threat to Israel’s sovereignty” and the “sovereignty of the United States.”
  • It also blames the ICC for attempting to “punish Israel” for taking so-called “self-defense” steps and to arrest any Israeli over the war’s events that would implicate the ICC as allies to “the largest state sponsor of terrorism and its proxy.”
  • The letter’s cosigners included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tim Scott (R-SC), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Katie Boyd Britt (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC) and Rick Scott (R-FL).

What’s being said: On Friday, Khan had warned the US and Israel of attempting to manipulate or dissuade the ICC’s legal process, and specifically mentioned threats and retaliation as something to be avoided.

  • “That independence and impartiality are undermined, however, when individuals threaten to retaliate… should the office, in fulfillment of its mandate, make decisions about investigations or cases falling within its jurisdiction,” he added, demanding that “all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately.”

Meanwhile, the letter issued by US Senators—which was received by Kahn a week earlier—appeared to do just that while also accusing the ICC of questioning Israel’s “democratic process.”

  • “You yourself have said that ‘Israel has trained lawyers who advise commanders and a robust system intended to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law.’ By issuing warrants, you would be calling into question the legitimacy of Israel’s laws, legal system, and democratic form of government,” the senators wrote.

Why it’s important: The United States continues to assist Israel in executing its expansive military campaign on Gaza, offering material, financial, political, and rhetorical support whenever it possibly can.

Despite “plausible” accusations of genocide and other war crimes, major US politicians have only reaffirmed their “unwavering support” for the regime in Tel Aviv, while simultaneously cracking down on Israel’s critics using overwhelming force.

By the numbers: In Washington DC, the Israel lobby has ensured that support for its war effort continues despite international condemnation.

  • All twelve Republican Senators who co-signed the threat to the ICC are eager beneficiaries of AIPAC political donations.
  • According to Track AIPAC, a non-profit shedding light on Israeli money in US politics, the Israeli lobby is estimated to have invested over $6,836,000 to advance Zionist interests at the time of press.
  • The ICC—per the Rome Statute of 2002—has the authority to charge those suspected to be involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Israel has faced accusations of all three of these violations and has reportedly taken steps to counter any possible arrests it might face.
Infographic: TrackAIPAC.com

In the headlines: Despite Western aid, Israel has faced several PR disasters and troubling military hurdles in its ongoing quest to “destroy” the duly-elected Hamas, ever since the war began on October 7th.

  • On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greenlit artillery and warplane strikes against the southern Gaza city of Rafah, mere moments after Hamas had officially agreed to the terms of an Egyptian and Qatari-brokered ceasefire. The move sparked international debate and outrage, as Rafah currently hosts 1.7 million innocent civilians.
  • In April, the United States found five units of the Israeli Defense Forces to be guilty of flagrant human rights violations in the Palestinian territories, forcing Israel to take necessary “remediation steps” or lose access to some amount of aid.
  • In March, a “wave” of high-profile resignations rocked the IDF, with former officers complaining about a lack of promotions and other incentives. Additionally, the son of a high-ranking Israeli Diplomat made headlines in America after he attempted to use “diplomatic immunity” to skirt accountability in a hit-and-run incident targeting a Miami cop.

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