Democrats are fighting over sanctions on the international court

The Hill

The bipartisan effort to punish the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its proposal to charge Israeli leaders with war crimes is splintering Democrats in the House, where liberal human-rights advocates are defending the world court against party leaders poised to slap it with sanctions.
“So with respect to the ICC’s alleged equation of Hamas with Netanyahu, I think that’s a red herring.
“It’s profoundly disturbing,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters when asked about Democratic and Republican leaders, and Biden, deriding the ICC’s decision.
“It is an alarming precedent to set to attack institutions of international business who are responsible for really litigating international law and considering international law,” she added.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, delivered a similar defense of the ICC’s global role.
“The actions by the prosecutor — we’ll see what happens with these judges — really threatens the credibility of the court,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), a staunch Israel ally.
“All nations that have not signed onto the treaty that establishes the jurisdiction of that court should be signed on,” Johnson said.
“I don’t think there’s a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said.

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Liberal human-rights advocates are standing up for the international court against party leaders who want to punish it, but the bipartisan attempt to punish the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its plan to charge Israeli leaders with war crimes is fracturing Democrats in the House.

The argument is lopsided in that most Democrats seem willing to back ICC sanctions should the bill come up for a vote, which could happen as early as the first week of June. However, the ICC’s liberal supporters are a vocal bunch that doesn’t hold back when applauding the court’s charges of crimes against humanity against Netanyahu and his defense minister.

It is not permissible to discriminate based on the parties and nations that the ICC would have jurisdiction over. You cannot simply pick and choose who you want to target,” Rep. George H. Johnson (D-Ga. ] stated. Thus, I believe the ICC’s claim that Hamas and Netanyahu are synonymous is a red herring. Ultimately, the reason they were both charged is because they both violated human rights. “.

Progressives who have responded in a more strident manner have defended the ICC while simultaneously slamming President Biden and other opponents of the court’s action.

“I find it extremely unsettling,” Rep. Delegate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N. You Y. ridiculed the ICC’s ruling, as he told reporters when questioned about Republican and Democratic leaders as well as Biden.

She continued, “It is an alarming precedent to set to attack international business institutions that are really in charge of litigating international law and taking international law into consideration.”.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash). chief of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, made a comparable argument in favor of the international role of the ICC.

She declared, “The ICC is an independent court that will make its own decisions and has consulted with an expert panel.”. And I believe that this is a matter that needs to be taken extremely seriously. “.

The remarks made by Biden, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, and a long list of ordinary Democrats criticizing the court’s decision to single out Netanyahu as an unwarranted attack on the sole surviving democracy in the Middle East, contrast sharply with the liberal support for the global court.

Biden referred to the suggested charges as “outrageous.”. And other legislators haven’t wasted any time in echoing that outrage.

Rep. said, “What the ICC did needs to be condemned by both parties.”. Greg Stanton (Democratic Party of Arizona). ), a participant in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. “The elected government of Israel cannot be compared to a terrorist organization. “.

Since neither Israel nor the United States have ratified the ICC’s charter, the court has limited authority to pursue claims of crimes made by residents of those nations. However, the court’s detractors claim that the suggested charges against Netanyahu send a dangerous message to Israel’s adversaries and support the US decision to reject the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Rep. claimed that the prosecutor’s actions “really threaten the credibility of the court; we’ll see what happens with these judges.”. Democrats Brad Schneider (Ill. (a devoted supporter of Israel). “This essentially provides you with the rationale for our decision to not support the ICC.”.

Leader of the House Minority, Hakeem Jeffries (D-N. Y. ] this week presented a comparable evaluation.

He stated, “I think it’s appropriate that the United States… is not a member of the International Criminal Court at this time. “.

Several members of his caucus, however, disagree, arguing that Washington’s refusal to support the ICC amounts to a failure to exercise global leadership on human rights.

“It is imperative that all nations that have not ratified the treaty establishing the jurisdiction of that court do so,” stated Johnson. Ironically, America establishes international norms. “.

Ever since British human rights lawyer and chief prosecutor Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed applications for arrest warrants for prominent Israeli and Hamas figures on Monday, the intense debate has been boiling over, causing outrage ranging from Tel Aviv to Washington. A number of war crimes, including the use of starvation as a weapon in Gaza, were alleged to be committed by Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, according to the court.

The judges in the court will now determine whether to issue the arrest warrants.

In the meantime, leading Republicans have promised to start debating a bill that would penalize the criminal court for its actions, which is sure to spark a contentious debate over the ICC’s explosive endeavor early next month.

Rep. On June 3, the first day the House reconvenes, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stated he would like the panel to mark up a bill regarding ICC sanctions.

The goal of the bill, according to McCaul, is to dissuade ICC judges from approving the arrest warrants. McCaul emphasized that the legislation must be bipartisan in order for it to reach Biden’s desk.

McCaul stated on Thursday, “This is really for deterrence purposes.”. “A disincentive to grant the request for an arrest warrant. “.

McCaul continues to speak with several Democrats, such as Rep. Gregory N. Meeks (D-N. Y. Ranking committee member on foreign affairs, Sen. Ben Cardin, the Democratic Senator from Maryland. the Foreign Relations Committee chair, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who indicates that the administration is willing to take punitive action in response to the ICC’s suggested charges.

It’s still unclear exactly what the sanctions entail. However, proponents of the idea in both parties are pushing for their severity to send a strong deterrent message.

Stanton stated, “We’re hoping for a strong pushback.”.

That plan, however, goes against the views of many progressive Democrats, who feel that the court ought to have the authority to decide for itself whether or not to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, and Hamas leaders.

“I don’t believe that Israel and Hamas are morally equal,” Rep. The Democratic Senator from California, Ro Khanna. ] declared. “However, I believe they ought to be permitted to examine the proof to determine which laws were broken. “.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, “this is more about respecting the independence of the court and less about lobbying towards one decision or another.”. “I accept the independence of the court in reaching its ruling. “.

The discussion about the ICC takes place as congressional leaders get closer to bringing Netanyahu to the nation’s capital for a joint session of Congress speech that has been planned for weeks.

Mike Johnson, the Republican from Louisiana. ) has written a letter inviting Netanyahu to Washington; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has not yet signed it. Y. ). The New York Democrat is the most senior Jewish official in the United States. s. history — said to reporters this week that he and the Speaker are “talking” about the possibility.

The idea of the prime minister visiting the Capitol has drawn criticism from progressives, who have long opposed Netanyahu’s conservative government and have become even more vocal in the wake of Israel’s war against Hamas. Some of them have even vowed to boycott the occasion.

These lawmakers have become more critical of Netanyahu in the wake of the ICC’s action against him, claiming that the accusations made by the court further justify the Israeli prime minister’s avoidance of speaking before Congress at this time.

Rep. Mark Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat. ), a scathing critic of Netanyahu and the former leader of the Progressive Caucus, stated that only one good thing could result from such a visit.

Pocan joked, “It’s a good chance for the ICC to serve a warrant.”. I’ll choose to look at the bright side of it. “.

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