May 20, 2024

By Zach Kessel


Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday shortly before the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor, Karim Ahmad Khan, requested warrants for the arrests of Netanyahu and Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant.

Khan claimed that Netanyahu and Gallant have committed a list of war crimes in their prosecution of Israel’s retaliatory war against Hamas, allegations which Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz described as a “historic disgrace that will be remembered forever.”

After her meeting with Netanyahu, Stefanik emphasized the near-unanimous commitment to Israel’s defense among GOP members of the House of Representatives.

“I had an important and productive meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today highlighting House Republicans’ unwavering support for Israel, our most precious ally,” Stefanik wrote in a post on X. “Netanyahu’s work with President Trump to bring about the Abraham Accords marked a monumental step toward peace in the region. As Bibi leads Israel through one of the darkest moments in its history, we must stand unequivocally with Israel against Iran and their proxies who seek to destroy the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Stefanik said in a statement to National Review that the court has no real authority and that the United States should sanction the organization for its targeting of Israeli officials.

“The ICC is an illegitimate court that equivocates a peaceful nation protecting its right to exist with radical terror groups that commit genocide,” Stefanik said. “Congress must pass my bill with Congressman Chip Roy, the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, that will punish those in the ICC that made this baseless undemocratic decision.”

That bill, which Stefanik and Representative Chip Roy (R., Texas) introduced in the House earlier in May, would have the U.S. impose sanctions on individuals who have “directly engaged in or otherwise aided any effort by the International Criminal Court to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person,” which includes leaders of allied governments, or who have acted on behalf of those aiding the ICC’s efforts. It would block U.S.-based property transactions for those on the sanctions list and prohibit them from receiving visas or other documentation allowing them to enter the U.S. and revoke already existing visas.

Those sanctions, which the bill would empower the White House to impose, could be terminated if the president certifies that the ICC “has ceased engaging in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute all protected persons” and that it “has permanently closed, withdrawn, ended, and otherwise terminated any preliminary examination, investigation, or any other effort by the International Criminal Court to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute all protected persons.”

Noting that the Trump administration had already enacted sanctions and visa restrictions against ICC personnel — which the Biden administration ended in April 2021 — Roy wrote in a post on X that the “ICC is an illegitimate court that represents a massive threat to US sovereignty” and that the House must “reimpose Trump Era sanctions on the ICC if they dare go after US citizens, servicemembers, or our allies.”