Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, confers with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, during their meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, left, to discuss the war between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Pool Photo via AP)

President Biden’s “ironclad” defense of Israel in the face of International Criminal Court charges against Zionist leaders are the words of a co-conspirator in crimes that much of the world has already condemned.

When you are giving Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu billions of U.S. tax dollars, 2,000 lb. bombs that devastate refugee camps, villages and cities, backing an assault that has taken thousands of Palestinian lives, and watching as famine and death stalk a defenseless population, what can you do but denounce those calling out atrocities that you are a part of?

“We reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. Whatever these warrants may imply, there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. … Contrary to allegations against Israel … what’s happening is not genocide,” President Biden said to cheers and applause during a May 20 Rose Garden reception to mark Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced applications for arrest warrants the same day against Israeli and Hamas leaders for alleged war crimes.


Mr. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are charged with: “Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare as a war crime;” “Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;” “Wilful killing … or Murder as a war crime;”

“Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population;” “Extermination and/or murder … including in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity;” “Persecution as a crime against humanity;” and “Other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.”

The war crimes happened during armed, international conflict between Israel and Palestine, and “non-international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (together with other Palestinian Armed Groups) running in parallel,” said the prosecutor.

Evidence collected from “interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, authenticated video, photo and audio material, satellite imagery and statements from the alleged perpetrator group, shows that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival,” he added.

There was a total siege over Gaza with the complete closing of border crossings at Rafah, Kerem Shalom and Erez beginning October 8, 2023, said the ICC. Then “arbitrarily restricting the transfer of essential supplies—including food and medicine—through the border crossings after they were reopened.

The siege also included cutting off cross-border water pipelines from Israel to Gaza–Gazans’ principal source of clean water … and cutting off and hindering electricity supplies from at least 8 October 2023 until today.

This took place alongside other attacks on civilians, including those queuing for food; obstruction of aid delivery by humanitarian agencies; and attacks on and killing of aid workers, which forced many agencies to cease or limit their operations in Gaza.”

Mr. Khan also applied for arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders—Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri (also known as Deif), and Ismail Haniyeh—for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hamas objected to the charges, declaring the charges against its leadership “equates the victim with the executioner.” Hamas said it had the right to resist Israeli occupation, including “armed resistance.”

“Although the ICC is not a UN organization, it has an agreement of cooperation with the United Nations. And when a situation is not within the court’s jurisdiction, the UN Security Council can refer the situation to the ICC, granting it jurisdiction,” UN News explained.

UN News continued: “The effects of Israel’s policy were ‘acute, visible and widely known,’ Mr. Khan said, noting the UN Secretary-General’s warning some two months ago that ‘1.1 million people in Gaza are facing catastrophic hunger—the highest number of people ever recorded anywhere, anytime’ as a result of an ‘entirely man-made disaster. ’ ”

“Although Israel has the right to defend itself under international law, Mr. Khan insisted that ‘intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering’ to civilians were clear breaches of the ICC’s foundational charter, signed in Rome in 2002. Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute while Palestine is.”

“I have consistently emphasized that international humanitarian law demands that Israel take urgent action to immediately allow access to humanitarian aid in Gaza at scale, I specifically underlined that starvation as a method of war and the denial of humanitarian relief constitute Rome Statute offences,” said the prosecutor.

“Today, we once again underline that international law and the laws of armed conflict apply to all. No foot soldier, no commander, no civilian leader—no one—can act with impunity,” Mr. Khan said, while also highlighting his concern over escalating violence in the West Bank, according to UN News.

“Unlike the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—which is the UN’s principal judicial organ for settling disputes between countries—the ICC tries individuals. The ICC is a permanent court based in The Hague, unlike temporary tribunals such as those set up to try grave crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda,” said UN News.

“According to ICC documentation, the court’s policy is to focus on those who ‘bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes’ committed. No one is exempt from prosecution and there is no exemption for heads of State of Government.”

Neither Israel nor America are members of the ICC and they do not recognize its jurisdiction.

The response from Israeli officials and their American defenders has been arrogant and bombastic, declaring Israel’s holiness during war despite horrors we see before our eyes.

Outside of a few politicians, like the progressive Black and Latino federal lawmakers known as “The Squad,” there has been largely bi-partisan backing of death and destruction suffered by Palestinians at the hands of Israeli leaders. There were the usual false charges of “Jew-hating” while Mr. Netanyahu boldly declared nothing would deter Israel from her one-sided war.

In May, the UN forecast famine for 2.3 million people unless fighting stops and aid shipments increase.

At least 1,139 people were killed in the Hamas-led attack on Israel, according to an Al Jazeera tally based on Israeli statistics, and around 250 others were taken hostage.

Over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel with thousands more buried under rubble, injured and displaced. There has also been detentions, arrests and torture of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Force.

The ICC’s actions are significant as questions about responsibility and right and wrong have been deflected by the Israelis and their American backers. U.S. lawmakers have written congressional legislation targeting members of the ICC for trying to bring some level of accountability.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said the legislation will “protect Israel and our allies from baseless attacks from the ICC.” Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate.

The Holy Qur’an, the scripture of the Muslims, warns that on the Day of Judgment, each nation will be seen with their own book detailing their deeds—evil and good—and suffering the consequences thereof. What the ICC may not be able to achieve, despite its best efforts, Allah (God) is well able to do. It is His power and judgment that the evil doers in the United States and Israel should fear.

—Naba’a Muhammad, editor,
The Final Call