Friday, April 16, 2021

(JNS) Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are urging U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken to take a stronger position against the International Criminal Court’s ruling that it has jurisdiction to open a war crimes investigation against Israel.

In a letter circulating among their colleagues and obtained by Haaretz, the two senators said Blinken should “issue a more forceful condemnation of the court’s actions” after the ICC announced on Feb. 5 that it has territorial jurisdiction to investigate Israel for committing war crimes in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The U.S. State Department came out with a statement expressing “serious concerns” about the ruling and opposing the court’s “attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”

“We also urge you to work with like-minded international partners to steer the ICC away from further actions that could damage the court’s credibility by giving the appearance of political bias,” said the letter. “We ask that you give this matter your full attention and that you continue to defend Israel against discriminatory attacks in all international fora.”

Cardin and Portman said they are “concerned that the court’s recent actions” have “inappropriately infused politics into the judicial process.”