Republicans Press Senate to Act on Bill Sanctioning ICC Over Netanyahu Arrest Warrants

The Republican-led House passed a bill called the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, which aims to sanction the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC recently announced plans to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, as well as Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Although the White House originally opposed the bill, there were 42 Democrats who supported it. Now, the bill faces resistance in the Democratically-controlled Senate, with Republican Senator Jim Risch insisting on addressing the issue.

Senator Risch has refused to allow the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to proceed with any legislation or nominations until there is progress on the ICC bill. Republicans argue that Democrats are not taking the issue seriously and are trying to protect the White House, which opposes sanctions. They also point to the bipartisan support for the bill in the House as a reason to push for action in the Senate.

Democrats, on the other hand, accuse Republicans of using Israel as a political weapon and assert that the House-passed bill does not represent a bipartisan compromise. Senator Risch’s stance has caused tensions within the committee, with Democrats maintaining that the bill needs further bipartisan negotiation.

The White House’s opposition to the bill is seen as an attempt to avoid it reaching President Biden’s desk. Democratic Senator Ben Cardin has expressed disappointment in the Republican approach to the bill and emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation.

The bill’s supporters argue that the ICC’s actions against Israel threaten American interests and that the United States must protect its allies. They highlight that the United States and Israel are not even members of the ICC and describe the case against Israel as a farce. They believe the bill would allow the US to sanction the ICC when it attempts to target the US or its allies.

Overall, the disagreement over the ICC bill reflects broader tensions regarding US support for Israel and the Biden administration’s stance on the issue.

Written by Staff Reports

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