ICC’s Targeting of Netanyahu Draws Strong Criticism From Tom Cotton

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has condemned the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its decision to pursue Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, labeling it as an “outrageous moral equivalence” during a recent appearance on FNC’s “Special Report.”

Cotton criticized the ICC’s actions, particularly its allegations against Israel, stating, “It’s an outrageous moral equivalence, which the president acknowledged that tells you how far to the left the International Criminal Court has gone.” He expressed disappointment in the Biden administration’s response, urging stronger condemnation of what he deemed as baseless accusations against Israel and vowing to put forward legislation to punish the court for its actions.

The senator highlighted his legislative efforts to impose sanctions on the ICC and its prosecutors, citing past instances where American soldiers had been targeted by the court. Cotton emphasized the need for Congress to protect American interests and allies from what he characterized as unjustified attacks by the ICC.

“The civilian suffering happening in Gaza, which is real, is happening solely because of Hamas [which] is using those civilians as human shields or props for international political strategies,” Cotton said. “I do have legislation that would impose sanctions on this rogue prosecutor and those in his office who have not just targeted Prime Minister Netanyahu now but also in the past targeted American soldiers as well. We’re working with the Republican leadership in the House to try to pass that bill promptly and hopefully force Chuck Schumer’s hand to bring it up in the Senate, because he also condemned the International Criminal Court today.”

The Arkansas senator also pointed out that the ICC is “a rogue court,” arguing that the only reason Congress is planning to pursue sanctions against the court is because President “Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump’s decision to sanction this very office and this very court in the past.”

“This is a rogue court that Congress has previously given the president power to stand up to. Joe Biden hasn’t used that power. Donald Trump did,” he added.

Netanyahu, in response to the ICC’s request for arrest warrants over alleged war crimes in Gaza, denounced the decision as a “moral outrage of historic proportions.” He rejected the ICC’s claims, accusing prosecutor Karim Khan of fueling antisemitism by targeting Israel and distorting the truth.

Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to defending itself against Hamas aggression while upholding international law. He pledged to continue fighting terrorism while safeguarding the rights of Israeli citizens and maintaining the country’s sovereignty.

The ICC’s actions have reignited debates over its jurisdiction and impartiality, with critics like Cotton condemning what they perceive as political bias and selective targeting of Israel. As tensions escalate, the international community faces mounting pressure to address the ICC’s role and ensure justice for all parties involved.