President Blinken Considers Sanctions Against ICC Over Arrest Warrants for Israeli Officials

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indicated a willingness to collaborate with lawmakers on possible sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC). This comes after the ICC’s prosecutor sought arrest warrants for high-ranking Israeli officials.

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During a congressional hearing, Blinken described the ICC’s decision as “profoundly wrong-headed” and expressed his commitment to taking action. This aligns with Republican efforts to impose sanctions on ICC officials, with a vote potentially happening this week.

Despite the US not being an ICC member, it has supported previous prosecutions, including the court’s warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Republican James Risch questioned Blinken about supporting legislation to address the ICC’s involvement in countries with legitimate judicial systems.

“We want to work with you on a bipartisan basis to find an appropriate response. I’m committed to doing that,” Blinken responded, emphasizing the need to address what he considers a misguided decision.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas officials. President Joe Biden called the warrants “outrageous,” asserting that there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

Republican lawmakers have introduced measures to sanction the ICC, including a bill by Texas Republican Chip Roy that targets ICC officials involved in the case against Israel. The bill has garnered support from at least 37 Republican lawmakers.

While Democratic support remains uncertain, moderate Democrats like Ohio’s Greg Landsman advocate for a bipartisan response to the ICC’s decision. However, some left-wing Democrats, such as Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, support the ICC’s actions, highlighting the court’s role in upholding international law.

The outcome of the sanctions effort is still unclear, with discussions ongoing among lawmakers and the White House

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