Republicans Are Losing It After ICC Netanyahu Arrest Warrant News

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After the International Criminal Court announced Monday morning that it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and other senior Israeli and Hamas leaders, Republicans immediately began attacking the court and pledging swift action against it.

“This outrageous decision is truly a slap in the face to the independent judiciary of Israel, which is renowned for their independence,” said Senator Lindsey Graham in a statement. “We must not forget as a nation the International Criminal Court threatened to bring action against American forces in Afghanistan—and we are a non-member.”

“I will feverishly work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers to levy damning sanctions against the ICC,” he added.

Representative Brian Mast, a fervent pro-Israel hawk who has said Palestinian babies aren’t innocent and compared all Palestinians to Nazis, said in a statement that he, along with Representative Chip Roy and Senator Tom Cotton, will pursue sanctions against the ICC and its justices, preventing them from traveling to the United States.

Cotton echoed that call, saying the news of a possible warrant “shows what a farce the International Criminal Court is.”

Senator Rick Scott similarly declared, “The ICC has embarrassed itself with these sham charges against Israel’s leadership. America stands with Israel. 🇺🇸 🇮🇱”

Even conservatives who are not on good terms with the wider Republican Party voiced their support for Israel and opposition to the ICC. John Bolton, a former Trump and Bush administration official, said on X that the court had “proven its fundamental illegitimacy by seeking arrest warrants against Israeli officials in the middle of a war.”

“To aid our ally Israel, the U.S. should take steps both in Congress and in the White House to condemn the ICC and impose sanctions, as I have previously suggested,” Bolton posted.

For some Republicans, the attacks on the ICC are a sharp reversal from their previous stances when the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2023. Back then, Graham said, “Here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do.”

Earlier this month, 12 Republican senators, including Cotton and Scott, warned the ICC against issuing warrants for any Israel officials, saying that they “will interpret this not only as a threat to Israel’s sovereignty but to the sovereignty of the United States.” On Monday morning, they appear to follow up on that threat.