‘No legitimate jurisdiction’ – US lawmakers move to sanction Int’l Criminal Court associates

Republican senators cite ICC’s “politically-motivated attacks” against Israel as reason for punitive measures.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill last week that would sanction representatives of the International Criminal Court involved in investigations against the U.S. or its allies that do not recognize the ICC’s authority, including Israel.

The move comes almost two years after the Biden administration ended a Trump-era policy that saw ICC employees and officials subject to sanctions and denied U.S. visas.

“The ICC has no legitimate jurisdiction over the United States or any country that does not recognize the ICC’s authority,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was quoted as saying by Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).

”This legislation rejects the Biden administration’s appeasement of the ICC. It also protects our service members, officials and allies against the court’s politically motivated attacks, as we’ve seen the court do time and again with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Israeli efforts to defend themselves from terrorist aggression,” he added.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

“We must protect our men and women in uniform from investigations or prosecutions conducted by an international court and judges who are not accountable to the American people,” Rubio said in a media statement.

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In a press statement, Cruz reiterated that the ICC “has no authority over the sovereignty and security of our citizens.”

He added that he is “proud to co-sponsor this legislation sanctioning the ICC if it persecutes our troops, officials or allies.”

The legislation would see ICC personnel involved in investigating Americans or citizens of American allied countries – specifically named as Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, and Finland – denied entry to the U.S. and their U.S.-based assets seized.

In April 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement announcing the end of the policy barring ICC staff from U.S. visas and assets, saying that an “assessment” found “that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective.”

In December 2022, Qatari-controlled news outlet Al Jazeera announced that it was filing a complaint at the ICC against Israel regarding the shooting death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly called for ICC investigations into alleged Israeli war crimes. Jerusalem has never signed a treaty recognizing the authority of the ICC and has consistently maintained that the entity has no jurisdiction over the Jewish State.