Photo Credit: C-span screenshot
President Biden speaking at Jewish American Heritage Month Celebration, May 20, 2024.

President Joe Biden on Monday voiced strong opposition to the decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to pursue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on allegations of crimes against humanity. His remarks came during a White House Rose Garden event commemorating Jewish Heritage Month. The ICC prosecutor also requested arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders on similar accusations, and Biden condemned the comparison.

“Let me be clear, we reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders,” Biden said, stressing, “Whatever these warrants may imply, there’s no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.”

Advertisement




“What’s happening is not genocide. We reject that,” Biden said.

He also vowed, “I will always ensure Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas and all their enemies… We stand with Israel to take out Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas. We want Hamas defeated; we will work with Israel to make that happen.”

Biden’s official response, posted on the White House website, reads: “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby told reporters on Friday that “IDF soldiers are not waking up in the morning, putting their boots on the ground with direct orders to go kill innocent civilians in Gaza. And the larger issue here is: As I’ve said earlier, and as was in our statements, we don’t believe the ICC has any jurisdiction here with respect to what’s going on in Gaza.”

Politico suggested that President Biden’s speech at the Jewish Heritage Month celebration appeared aimed at mending his increasingly tense relationship with the Jewish community. For months, he has grappled with the complex domestic political dynamics surrounding the Israel-Hamas war. His initial unwavering support for PM Netanyahu drew criticism from progressives, while his later decision to withhold a shipment of heavy bombs to Israel, arguing it would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, angered pro-Israel Democrats. The president seems to be walking a tightrope in addressing this contentious issue while striving to rebuild bonds with the Jewish community.

REPUBLICAN JEWS REVVING UP THEIR ANTI-BIDEN CAMPAIGN

Speaking of rebuilding bonds with American Jews, the Republican Jewish Coalition on Monday announced a $50,000 digital ad buy in key battleground states targeting Jewish voters, ahead of the November presidential election. If you think $50K is too little for an effective campaign, why not send them your contribution?

According to the RJC, this opening salvo of hyper-targeted digital ads will run in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan, targeting Jewish voters by deploying the most cutting-edge data operation in Jewish politics.

The first ad highlights Biden stabbing Israel in the back by withholding urgently needed military aid as it is fighting for its survival, suggesting the president is effectively siding with Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and putting the hostages at risk.

The second ad showcases Biden’s hypocrisy: he said in 2019 that it would be “preposterous” to withhold military aid from our ally Israel but in 2024, that is exactly what he’s doing.

“We need strong leaders who will stand up for Israel, stand up for freedom, and defeat terrorism. We need President Donald Trump back in the White House,” the RJC said on Monday.

STATE DEPT. MAKING GOOD POINTS

Finally, on Monday, State Dept. Spokesman Matthew Miller was making extremely cogent points regarding the ICC prosecutor’s comparing Netanyahu and Gallant to the three Hamas Hitler-level war criminals:

“The ICC was established by its state parties as a court of limited jurisdiction. These limits are rooted in principles of complementarity, which do not appear to have been applied here amid the prosecutor’s rush to seek these arrest warrants, rather than allowing the Israeli legal system a full and timely opportunity to proceed.

“In other situations, the prosecutor deferred to national investigations and worked with states to allow them time to investigate. The prosecutor did not afford the same opportunity to Israel in this case, which has ongoing investigations into allegations against its personnel.

“There are also deeply troubling process questions. Despite not being a member of the court, Israel was prepared to cooperate with the prosecutor and had made that clear. In fact, the prosecutor himself was scheduled to visit Israel as early as next week to discuss the investigation and hear from the Israeli Government. The prosecutor’s staff was supposed to land in Israel today to coordinate the visit, and instead, Israel was informed that the prosecutor’s staff didn’t get on their flight around the same time that the prosecutor himself went on television to announce these charges. These circumstances call into question the legitimacy and credibility of this investigation.

“Finally, this decision does nothing to help – and could jeopardize – ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement that would get hostages out of Gaza and surge humanitarian assistance in. Those are the goals that the United States is pursuing and will continue to pursue despite these actions by the ICC prosecutor.”

WHAT WOULD B’TSELEM DO?

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, B’Tselem, which like the rest of the mad left has been growing more vicious and antisemitic with every passing day since October 7, celebrated the ICC prosecutor’s decision.

The NGO, which in 2022 received NIS 11 million (~$3 million) from the European Union, Norway, the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, DanChurchAid (Denmark), Trocaire (Ireland), Catholic Relief Services (US), Christian Aid Ireland, Diakonia (Sweden), Bread for the World- EED (Germany), ZIVIK (Germany), the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund, UNICEF, and UNDP, announced:

“The time of immunity from prosecution for Israeli decision-makers and policymakers has ended. The request by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to issue arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on suspicion of committing war crimes in Gaza marks Israel’s accelerated deterioration to a moral abyss.

“The international community sends a message to Israel that it cannot continue on the same path of violence, killing, and destruction without being called to account for its actions.”

If this does not brand B’Tselem as a collaborator with and a hired gun in the service of Israel’s worst enemies, I expect nothing will.

Advertisement

SHARE
Previous articleDouble Standard on Campus Speech
Next articleTo the Young: A Challenge
David writes news at JewishPress.com.