House GOP Readies Bill to Sanction International Criminal Court

( – House Republicans have prepared legislation threatening sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it pursues arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his officials. GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson called it “disgraceful” that the ICC is threatening to seek “baseless and illegitimate” legal action against Israel, insisting it would place US national security in peril.

Johnson believes the ICC action would create a precedent, leaving countries, including the US, vulnerable to prosecution for defending their interests, and would elevate the international body above America’s representatives. Furthermore, he argued that the ICC would be better advised to pursue Iran and Hamas for “horrific war crimes.”

The House legislation follows similar proposals put forward by Senators in February. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, with Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, proposed sanctioning or revoking the visas of any ICC employee who investigates or attempts to prosecute any official or armed forces member of the United States or its allies. The bill would also revoke visas from family members of the relevant ICC employees.

The Senators said that the ICC has no legitimate jurisdiction over the United States or any nation that does not recognize its authority, and their bill condemned the Biden administration for appeasing the international institution.

House Republican action comes just days after the ICC said it planned to issue indictments against leaders it considers responsible for war crimes and hinted that Mr. Netanyahu could be among them.

The Israeli leader described the revelation that ICC officials have been investigating Israel for three years as “an outrage of historic proportion.” He said the court, based in the Netherlands, is attempting to prevent Israel from defending itself.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan visited Israel in December and described the Hamas attack as among the most “serious international crimes that shock the conscience of humanity,” but insisted Israel’s military campaign must be conducted in line with the legal parameters that “govern armed conflict.”

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