Biden's Secretary of State Blinken Signals Administration Will Support Push to Sanction the ICC


Congressional fury over the International Criminal Court’s call for arresting Israeli leaders, as well as those of Hamas, could have the support of the Biden administration, which in its early days removed sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

On Monday, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan said he wanted arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three senior Hamas leaders, according to Axios.

“In the absence of leadership from the White House, Congress is reviewing all options, including sanctions, to punish the ICC and ensure its leadership faces consequences if they proceed. If the ICC is allowed to threaten Israeli leaders, ours could be next,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said Monday, according to CNN.

Republicans have indicated they are willing to bring Democrats on board.

“I am talking with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with the administration to see if there could be bipartisan support for an ICC sanctions bill,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said in response, according to Axios.

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On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Biden administration needs to get on board.

“I want to take actions, not just words,” Graham said, according to RTE.

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“Will you support the bipartisan effort to sanction the ICC, not only for the outrage against Israel but to protect in the future our own interest?” he said.

“I welcome working with you on that,” Blinken said.

“Given the events of yesterday, I think we have to look at the appropriate steps to take to deal with again, what is a profoundly wrongheaded decision,” Blinken said, according to CNN.

The ICC crossed swords with the Trump administration in 2020 when it kicked off an investigation into whether Americans committed war crimes in Afghanistan, according to Reuters.

In response, the Trump administration hit ICC officials with asset freezes and travel bans.

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President Joe Biden ended the sanctions in April 2021, at which time Blinken called them “inappropriate.”

In a Tuesday interview on ABC, Netanyahu rejected the allegations, in which Khan claimed Israel was intentionally starving civilians, causing great suffering and committing “inhumane acts.”

“We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy,” Khan said in a statement. “These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day.”

Netanyahu said Khan has it wrong.

“We are supplying now nearly half of the water of Gaza. We supplied only 7 percent before the war. This is completely opposite of what he’s saying. He’s saying we’re starving people?” Netanyahu said. “We have supplied half million tons of food and medicine with 20,000 trucks. This guy is out to demonize Israel. He’s doing a hit job.”

He said Israel’s policy is “to allow maximum humanitarian aid to get people out of harm’s way, while Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way at gunpoint.”

Netanyahu said a good life for the people of Gaza only comes when Hamas is defeated.

“There is peace and stability and prosperity only through victory. The road to peace goes through victory over Hamas,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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