Senators Issue Warning to ICC Chief Prosecutor Over Potential Netanyahu Arrest

A group of Republican Senators sent a warning to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan over potential arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials of Israel.

The arrest arrests are believed to be in connection to alleged war crimes.

Israel is not a member of the ICC.

The senators wrote that the potential arrest warrants are “illegitimate and lack legal basis, and if carried out will result in severe sanctions against you and your institution.”

“The ICC is attempting to punish Israel for taking legitimate actions of self-defense against their Iranian-backed aggressors,” the senators continued. “In fact, in your own words, you witnessed ‘scenes of calculated cruelty’ conducted by Hamas in Israel following the October 7 attacks. These arrest warrants would align the ICC with the largest state sponsor of terrorism and its proxy. To be clear, there is no moral equivalence between Hamas’s terrorism and Israel’s justified response.”

“By issuing warrants, you would be calling into question the legitimacy of Israel’s laws, legal system, and democratic form of government,” they noted.

Issuing arrest warrants would also “expose” the ICC’s “hypocrisy and double standards,” according to the senators. “Your office has not issued arrest warrants for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or any other Iranian official, Syrian President Bashar al Assad or any other Syrian official, or Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh or any other Hamas official. Nor have you issued an arrest warrant for the genocidal General Secretary of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, or any other Chinese official,” they explained.

“Target Israel and we will target you,” the senators warned. “If you move forward with the measures indicated in the report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and associates, and bar you and your families from the United States.”

“You have been warned,” the Republicans concluded.

The letter was signed by Sens. Tom Cotton (AR), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Ted Budd (NC), Ted Cruz (TX), Pete Ricketts (NE), Rick Scott (FL), Mitch McConnell (KY), Katie Boyd Britt (AL), Kevin Cramer (ND), Bill Hagerty (TN), Marco Rubio (FL), and Tim Scott (SC).

Netanyahu responded to the threat of arrest in a video statement, saying such a move would be an “outrage of historic proportions.”

“International bodies like the ICC arose in the wake of the Holocaust committed against the Jewish people. They were set up to prevent such horrors, to prevent future genocides. Yet now, the international court is trying to put Israel in the dark.”

“Branding Israel’s leaders and soldiers as war criminals will pour jet fuel on the fires of anti-Semitism, those fires that are already raging on the campuses of America and across capitals around the world,” he added. “It will also be the first time that a democratic country, fighting for its life according to the rules of war, is itself accused of war crimes.”

“Israel expects the leaders of the free world to stand firmly against the ICC’s outrageous assault on Israel’s inherent right to self-defense