House GOP members pull out all the stops to protect Israel but do very little to denounce lawfare tactics targeting Trump
By Belle Carter // May 17, 2024

U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are reportedly gearing up for a bill that would bestow sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC), should it proceed to issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials due to crimes they are committing in Gaza.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) acknowledged on Tuesday that legislation imposing sanctions is in the drafting stage. According to him, the move is merely precautionary at the moment. "We want to emphasize to him that going down this road of arrest warrants is a really bad idea and it's going to blow up the relationship," McCaul said. "We're not sure if the arrest warrants are imminent, but it's sort of a precaution to let them know that, if they do, we have this legislation ready to go. It won't be put on the floor unless we have to."

He also said that lawmakers continue to communicate with ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, stressing the repercussions should the ICC proceed with warrants. McCaul said the House sanctions legislation would be an extension of a Senate bill introduced last year that targets ICC officials involved in investigating U.S. allies who are not members of the international court, including Israel.

McCaul said the bill would be a House companion to Sen. Tom Cotton's (R-AK.) legislation, introduced last February, to sanction ICC officials involved in probes of U.S. allies who are not ICC members, such as Israel, Axios reported. Cotton, along with a dozen of his Senate Republican colleagues, issued a letter to Khan on Monday warning him against prosecuting Israeli officials. According to him, Khan, his staff and his family could all be the targets of sanctions and barred from entering the United States.

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The news outlet further reported that a bipartisan group of senators held a virtual meeting with ICC officials last week to express concerns about the possible arrest warrants. (Related: Like THUGS, members of U.S. Congress make threats against ICC if arrest warrants are issued against Netanyahu for Israeli war crimes.)

On the other side, Khan said in a statement last Friday that his office seeks to engage constructively with all stakeholders whenever such dialogue is consistent with its mandate so that it acts independently and impartially. "That independence and impartiality are undermined, however, when individuals threaten to retaliate against the Court or Court personnel," he said. "The Office insists that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately."

Meanwhile, conservatives are pointing out how the United States lawmakers, especially from the right wing, are focusing on fiercer legislation to protect genocidal Israel compared to their efforts to stop the lawfare against former President Donald Trump.

Palestinian American representative urges ICC to arrest Netanyahu, officials

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only Palestinian American in Congress, called on the ICC to proceed with the issuance of arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials after Israel’s military seized control of the Rafah crossing, the entry point for aid and major lifeline thoroughfare between Gaza and Egypt, a few days ago.

"I urge the ICC to swiftly issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials to finally hold them accountable for this genocide, as is obviously warranted by these well-documented violations of the Genocide Convention under international law," Tlaib said in a statement. She also called for a cease-fire and to halt all military funding to Israel.

"It is now more apparent than ever that we must end all U.S. military funding for the Israeli apartheid regime, and demand that President Biden facilitate an immediate, permanent ceasefire that includes a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians," she added.

Meanwhile, there were reports that the idea of being issued with an arrest warrant made Netanyahu stressed out and "scared." He even asked U.S. President Joe Biden for assistance during a phone call back in April. The officials said Netanyahu expressed his concern to Biden. During the call, the two leaders also discussed hostage negotiations, Israel's defense against Iran's missile attack and the need to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to the White House.

"Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense," Netanyahu said back then. "While the ICC will not affect Israel's actions, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism and wanton aggression."

Read more situational updates about Israel and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East at IsraelCollapse.com.

Sources for this article include:

TheNationalPulse.com

Axios.com

TheHill.com



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