update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Sanders states support for ICC arrest threat against Netanyahu, Gallant

The independent senator from Vermont said the prosecutor “is right to take these actions.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks about Israel and Gaza on the Senate floor on Oct. 25, 2023. Source: C-SPAN.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks about Israel and Gaza on the Senate floor on Oct. 25, 2023. Source: C-SPAN.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has stated his support for recent efforts by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

In a statement on Monday, Sanders cast Netanyahu with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. He charged that Netanyahu had “waged an unprecedented war of destruction against the entire Palestinian people, which has killed or injured over five percent of the population.”

Stating that “the ICC prosecutor is right to take these actions,” Sanders called it “imperative that the global community uphold international law. Without these standards of decency and morality, this planet may rapidly descend into anarchy, never-ending wars and barbarism.”

Other senators had significantly different opinions on the matter.

Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) wrote on X that the court had “destroyed any shred of legitimacy it ever had”—that equating “Israeli Prime Minister with Hamas terrorists is truly despicable, and we should consider sanctions in response.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) asserted that “there’s zero moral equivalence between Hamas’s terrorism and Israel’s right to self-defense. With these false accusations against Israel, the ICC is showing that it is a tool for antisemitic propaganda and shouldn’t be taken seriously.”

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