Joe Biden Condemns International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Pursuit Of Arrest Warrant Against Israeli Leaders: “What’s Happening Is Not Genocide”

President Joe Biden condemned by the move by the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, saying that there was “no equivalence” between that country’s actions and those of Hamas.

Earlier today, the ICC issued a legal report in which a panel of international law experts supported a prosecutor’s conclusion that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and minister of defense Yoav Gallant committed war crimes, in addition to leaders of Hamas. Among the experts was Amal Clooney, a special adviser to the prosecutor and wife of actor George Clooney.

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The ICC’s move to seek arrest warrants drew immediate pushback from Biden and leaders of both parties in Congress.

Speaking in the Rose Garden at a ceremony to recognize Jewish American Heritage Month, Biden said, “Let me be clear: We reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. Whatever these warrants imply, there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. It’s clear Israel must do all it can to ensure civilian protect, but let me be clear: Contrary allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what is happening is not genocide. I reject that. We will always stand with Israel and its threats against its security.”

In a statement, posted in the Clooney Foundation website, Amal Clooney said that the prosecutor had asked her to review “evidence of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Gaza. I agreed and joined a panel of international legal experts to undertake this task. Together we have engaged in an extensive process of evidence review and legal analysis including at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

“Despite our diverse personal backgrounds, our legal findings are unanimous,” Clooney said. “We have unanimously determined that the Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Palestine and by Palestinian nationals. We unanimously conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including hostage-taking, murder and crimes of sexual violence. We unanimously conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity including starvation as a method of warfare, murder, persecution and extermination.”

Amal Clooney has come under some criticism in recent months by pro-Palestinian protesters for not speaking out on the situation in Gaza. The protests have underscored a split in the Democratic coalition over support for Israel in its war with Hamas, with Biden, Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries criticizing the ICC’s action as a false equivalence, while figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the prosecutor “is right to take these actions.”

Clooney’s husband has been a longtime supporter of Democrats and of Biden, and is planning to be among the headliners at a fundraiser for the president’s reelection campaign at a fundraiser in Los Angeles next month.

At the Rose Garden event, Biden also condemned anti-semitism and violence on college campuses. He told the gathering that “there’s no place in any campus in America, any place in America, for anti-semitism or hate speech of any kind that threatens violence of any kind against Jews or anyone else.”

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