Netanyahu Says ICC Arrest Warrant Would Be an ‘Antisemitic Hate Crime’

The US says it opposes an arrest warrant for Netanyahu and other Israelis despite backing the ICC against Russia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that if the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for him and other Israeli leaders over the genocidal campaign in Gaza, it would be an “antisemitic hate crime.”

Reports first surfaced over the weekend that the ICC might issue arrest warrants for Israeli leadership. “If this does happen, it will be an indelible stain on humanity. It would be an unprecedented antisemitic hate crime that would add fuel to the antisemitic incitement that is already raging in the world,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu added that other world leaders should come out against the ICC’s investigation of Israel. “Israel expects the leaders of the free world to come out strongly against this scandalous step, a step that will harm the self-defense not only of the State of Israel, but of all democracies,” he said.

The White House has come out against the ICC investigation of Israel and is working against the effort. “We’ve been really clear about the ICC investigation, that we don’t support it, we don’t believe that they have the jurisdiction,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Russia has called the US out for hypocrisy since the Biden administration backed the ICC when it issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. “Washington fully supported, if not stimulated, the issuance of ICC warrants against the Russian leadership,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “The American political system does not recognize the legitimacy of this structure in relation to itself and its satellites.”

The US has opposed previous efforts by the ICC to investigate Israel and US actions in Afghanistan. The US’s position is that the ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction since the US and Israel are not parties to the court, but neither is Russia nor Ukraine.

In 2002, then-President George W. Bush signed a bill into law that would authorize the use of force to free any US service members or government officials brought to the ICC, which is based in the Hauge.

The controversial law, known as the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, authorizes the US to use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the” ICC, and is nicknamed the Hague Invasion Act.

The ICC investigates individuals, while the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is overseeing South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, settles disputes between states. The US has rejected the ICJ’s ruling that it’s “plausible” Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.