US-Israel Relationship

Congress Members Write Pompeo, Urging Action Against Anti-Israel Bias at International Criminal Court

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate sent similar letters on Wednesday to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling on him to combat the International Criminal Court’s alleged anti-Israel bias.

Out of the 100 members of the Senate, its letter was signed by 69 of them, 43 Republicans and 26 Democrats, while the House version was signed by 262 members—approximately 93 Democrats and 169 Republicans—roughly 60 percent of the lower chamber.

The letters come in the wake of ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announcing in December that, at the request of the Palestinian Authority, she has opened an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the 2014 Gaza war (the Israel Defense Forces’ “Operation Protective Edge”), in addition to alleged crimes in the West Bank’s disputed territories.

“By accepting Palestinian territorial claims over the West Bank, East[ern] Jerusalem and Gaza, the Prosecutor is making a political judgment that biases any subsequent investigation or trial,” states the Senate letter. “Establishing the boundaries of any future Palestinian state is a political decision that must be determined through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Any ICC determination regarding its jurisdiction over the disputed territories or investigation of Israel would further hinder the path to peace.”