Republican Senators Threaten ICC: ‘Target Israel and We Will Target You’

The senators threatened 'severe sanctions' and referenced a law that would allow the US to use force against the court

A group of 12 Republican senators sent a letter to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that threatens “severe sanctions” and hints at other action if the court issues arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

The letter, dated April 24, was obtained by Zeteo and says that action against Israeli officials would result in “severe sanctions.” The senators referenced the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, a law that authorizes the president to use any means to free any US or allied personnel detained by the ICC. The law is nicknamed the Hague Invasion Act.

“If you issue a warrant for the arrest of the Israeli, we will interpret this not only as a threat to Israel’s sovereignty but as a threat to the sovereignty of the United States. Our country demonstrated in the American Service-Members’ Protection Act the lengths to which we will go to protect that sovereignty,” the letter reads.

The senators said the ICC didn’t have jurisdiction to issue warrants since neither the US nor Israel are members of the court. But the State of Palestine, which includes Gaza and the West Bank, was accepted as a member of the ICC in 2015, and any warrant would be related to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The letter concludes: “The United States will not tolerate politicized attacks by the ICC on our allies. Target Israel and we will target you. If you move forward with the measures indicated in this report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and your associates, and bar you and your family from the United States. You have been warned.”

On May 3, the ICC issued a statement condemning threats against the court and said attempts to “impede, intimidate, or improperly influence” ICC officials must “cease immediately.”

Netanyahu has been calling for other countries to work against the warrant and said that if one is issued over his genocidal war in Gaza, it would be an “unprecedented antisemitic hate crime.”

The 12 Republican senators who sent the letter include Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Katie Boyd Britt, Ted Budd, Kevin Cramer, Ted Cruz, Bill Hagerty, Pete Ricketts, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Tim Scott.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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