Biden remains silent as Israel's latest threat comes from international court

Biden remains silent as Israel's latest threat comes from international court

Biden remains silent as Israel's latest threat comes from international court

The latest threat faced by the nation of Israel isn't from Iran, Hamas or any other overt terrorist organization. It's from a body pledged to uphold the rule of law – the International Criminal Court.

According to various news reports, ICC arrest warrants targeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior level officials are imminent. Such arrest warrants, according to Netanyahu, would constitute an "unprecedented anti-Semitic hate crime." The Court is also believed to be preparing arrest warrants for Hamas leaders.

Caroline Glick, the senior contributing editor for the Jewish News Syndicate, said President Joe Biden could use U.S. influence with the Court and eliminate the threat of arrest for the Israelis. Biden, however, has remained silent on the issue.

The conflict began with Hamas' unprovoked attacks against Israeli citizens last Oct. 7. Israeli officials told The New York Times that their officials could be accused by the Court of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza and for an overly aggressive response to the deaths of an estimated 1,200 Israeli civilians on that day.

Hamas terrorists abducted more than 250 hostages, and a New York Times investigation found seven locations just across the Gaza border in which Israeli women were raped, sexually assaulted and mutilated. Those are the crimes to which Israel is responding.

The Gaza health ministry, which is operated by the group that attacked Israel and continues to hold hostages, reports that more than 34,000 Palestinians have died in Israel's response. Israel reports at least 1,700 deaths during the war.

No representatives of ICC are expected to travel to Israel and attempt to arrest Netanyahu or other government officials. But that could happen when these men and women travel internationally.

Israeli officials have said they fear that aid to Palestinians in Gaza falls into the hands of Hamas, which is the governing authority of Gaza.

"There's another aspect to this," Glick explained on Washington Watch Monday. "… They can issue and seal arrest warrants and not tell the subjects of those arrest warrants. Then you travel abroad and essentially are kidnapped because you're nabbed at an airport without even knowing somebody wants to arrest you."

Glick: High-ranking officials tip of iceberg

Glick told show host Tony Perkins that Israeli government officials fear that senior-level members would be only the tip of the iceberg. Once arrest warrants start, the operation will expand, they believe.

Glick, Caroline Glick

"Then we would see division commanders and brigade commanders, even regular reserve soldiers who carry out operations in Rafa, that they would end up getting arrested. So, the fear isn't so much for the people at the top level of government in the military, but rather the people who are in the mid-level or even just line soldiers," Glick said.

The ICC came about from the Rome Statute, a meeting of diplomats in city in the late 1990s. It took effect in 2002.  One-hundred and twenty-four governments have signed on to give the court jurisdiction in prosecuting genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.

"The purpose of the Court really stems from the Nuremberg trials, the Tokyo trials, where the United States, after World War II, held trials to hand out justice to individuals who committed at the time what people called war crimes," said attorney and law professor Michael Donnelly Tuesday on American Family Radio.

"The Nazis killed the Jews and committed the Holocaust, the atrocities that happened in Asia under Japan's invasion of China, there were individuals who did things that were so heinous that the United States wanted to hold these individuals accountable and not just as a victor," Donnelly added.

The ICC's apparent pursuit of Israel has jurisdictional issues, Donnelly told show host Jenna Ellis.

Though Palestine has no official state status with the U.S. and the United Nations, it is recognized by the ICC and became the Court's 123rd member state in 2015. The Court has claimed jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian territory since then. That includes East Jerusalem.

"The United States and Israel actually originally signed on to the Rome Statute, which I prefer to call a treaty; but then subsequently withdrew their signatures. So, neither the United States nor Israel are currently parties to the treaty," Donnelly said.

Donnelly, Michael (attorney) Donnelly

Conflicting status with ICC of the warring parties muddies the issue, but more attention needs to be focused on the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, Donnelly argued.

"I think there's a lot of people who would point at Palestine and say, 'Hold up, if you guys are going to be recognized as a state, what you did on Oct. 7 also needs to be in the mix.' As much as people want to talk about Israel, they're defending themselves. But what about what Palestine did? I'd like to hear people talking about that."

Trump provided blueprint on dealing with ICC

Glick said President Biden could remove the ICC from Israel's crowded plate. The strong stance taken by former President Donald Trump shows the ICC will bend to U.S. pressure, she explained.

"The only person who can stop this is President Biden. President Biden stood behind the appointment of the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, and if Biden put his foot down and said this cannot stand, then it wouldn't," she said.

"Just as when President Trump issued the executive order causing strangling sanctions against the ICC if they went against U.S. military personnel or allied military personnel, so too Biden could do it tomorrow [or today] if he wanted…. But he hasn't done so," Glick pointed out.