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Washington, D.C. –  Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 8282, the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act. In his remarks, Chairman McCaul criticized the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) baseless decision to pursue arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and reaffirmed U.S. support for our friend and ally Israel. Chairman McCaul also drew attention to the pervasive anti-Israel bias that has infected the ICC and the international community. 

— Remarks as delivered — 

Mr. Speaker, we are at a moment in history when our long-held fears are being realized. The International Criminal Court has overstepped its authority and set a dangerous precedent by seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and Israel’s Defense Minister [Yoav] Gallant, alongside Hamas terrorists.

I want to be clear – the case against Israel is baseless.
[Ranking Member] Meeks and I wanted – in good faith – to make this a bipartisan bill, and I thank him for that. Initially the White House supported this idea.
However, on May 28th they did a 180-degree turn.
In response, even Democratic Senator Cardin has criticized the administration saying, “I’m disappointed. I thought they were going to try and work on a bipartisan bill.” And I agree with Mr. Cardin and I agree with Mr. Meeks, as we tried to make this bipartisan.
The United States and Israel are not members of the ICC.
The ICC itself was created as a court of last resort, if national governments are unwilling or unable to try cases in their jurisdiction.
The United States and Israel do not fall into that category.
Despite this, the ICC prosecutor’s statement on the warrant applications contains several allegations that are directly contradicted by the Biden administration’s recent report pursuant to National Security Memorandum-20.
I have many problems with National Security Memorandum-20.
But this report clearly stated, “We do not currently assess that the Israeli government is prohibiting or otherwise restricting the transport or delivery of U.S. humanitarian assistance.”
It also described – in significant detail – Israel’s own systems for ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law, and for investigating possible violations of international humanitarian law.
Moreover, comparing the legitimate, democratically elected officials in Israel who were thrust into a war – that they didn’t ask for and that they didn’t start – to Hamas terrorists only highlights the complete disconnect of this politicized international body.
This is a war Hamas started.
Israel was forced into a war they didn’t want [but] have no choice to finish it.
And Hamas is making it infinitely worse because they use human shields.

They hide behind [their] control-and-command centers. They hide behind hospitals and schools, and they put civilians in harm’s way.
There are many, many unspeakable tragedies in this war.
I have seen videos of Hamas terrorists killing innocent Palestinians simply trying to access humanitarian aid.
Hamas does not care about civilian casualties.
Their only objective is to remove Israel from the map.
Israel is fighting in what is most likely the most difficult urban warfare landscape that has ever existed.
And, they have done everything in their power to limit casualties and facilitate humanitarian aid.
The same cannot be said of Hamas.
It is absolutely outrageous for the ICC to be pursuing arrest warrants against Israeli officials and announcing it on CNN even before a decision has been made.
Mr. Meeks and I are prosecutors. We would never announce arrest warrants on national television on CNN.
Failing to act here in the Congress, would make us complicit with the ICC’s illegitimate actions.
We must not stay silent.
We must stand with our allies.
If the ICC is advancing a case against an American, or an allied country who is not party to the ICC, this bill will impose sanctions on the ICC officials and others supporting that case.
And we need to act quickly, because this case is already advancing much faster than expected.
Even the ICC’s own staff did not know the warrant applications would be going ahead at this pace.
That is why we are advancing this bill straight to the Floor.
Mr. Speaker, it’s time stand up to international bullies who seek to undermine international law under the false pretext of justice.

For what happens if Americans are next as they looked at Americans on the battlefield in Afghanistan?

This is a dangerous precedent.

Where now it is Israeli officials, tomorrow it could be American. A very dangerous precedent, Mr. Speaker.