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Sen. Britt, Rep. Carl criticize Biden and ICC’s treatment of Israeli prime minister

The two Alabama politicians have questioned the International Criminal Court’s ability to investigate the Israeli prime minister.

Sen. Katie Britt speaking during a committee hearing on oversight of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
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On May 20, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan applied for arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli minister of defense, Yoav Gallant, as well as several members of Hamas leadership, on charges of war crimes.

Khan is investigating Netanyahu and Gallant for “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population,” and several other practices in violation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Members of Netanyahu’s government have repeatedly made statements in support of ethnic cleansing and other war crimes. During a far-right march on May 14, the Israeli communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, said that Israel “must resettle Gaza with security forces and settlers that will embrace the land with love.” At the same event, minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, stated that it is moral to “encourage the voluntary emigration of the residents of Gaza.”

Ben-Gvir is also a harsh critic of allowing aid trucks with needed medical supplies and food into Gaza.

In April, Alabama Senator Katie Britt signed onto a letter from Republican senators to Khan stating that any arrest warrants for Israel officials would be “illegitimate and lack legal basis, and if carried out will result in severe sanctions against you and your institution.” The letter stated “Target Israel and we will target you,” and threatened to bar Khan and his family from the United States.

Rep. Jerry Carl of Alabama’s 1st Congressional District was also very critical of Khan’s decision in a tweet on Monday.

“The International Criminal Court has no authority to seek arrest warrants for Israel’s democratically elected officials who are defending themselves against ruthless terrorists,” Carl said. “We must continue to stand strong with Israel as they fight for their survival.”

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Britt has also been very critical of President Joe Biden’s handling of the ongoing war in Gaza. Speaking on the conservative television channel Newsmax, Britt said that “it seems that this president [Biden] is intent on cutting Israel’s legs out from under her at every turn.”

Britt asked: “When you heard the president over the weekend, did you hear him one time mention those hostages, talk about a deal to bring them home?” 

Despite Britt’s obvious implication, Biden did discuss the hostages this past weekend, during a commencement speech at Morehouse College. In his speech Biden referenced “Hamas’s vicious attack on Israel, killing innocent lives and holding people hostage.”

“That’s why I’ve called for an immediate ceasefire — an immediate ceasefire to stop the fighting — bring the hostages home,” he said.

Britt continued by calling for Biden to take more drastic action in defense of Israel. “He needs to be doing everything in his power to stand firmly with the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and make sure that we take Hamas out,” she said.

Britt specifically called for Biden to use sanctions to “[squeeze] Iran dry financially” for funding Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was guesting on Newsmax alongside Britt, called the ICC’s recent behavior a “grotesque abuse of power” and the ICC itself “pits of vicious antisemitism and virulent hatred of Israel.”

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Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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