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Conference of Presidents Outraged by ICC Decision to Request Arrest Warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

New York, NY… Harriet P. Schleifer, Chair, and William C. Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is outraged and appalled by the decision of International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan to request arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“Like all nations, Israel has a right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Following the Hamas terror army’s attack on October 7, during which Hamas murdered 1200 innocent people and took over 240 hostages, Israel is waging war under a military code of conduct and rules of engagement that actively seek to minimize civilian casualties.

“As the Biden administration and its predecessors have noted, the ICC lacks any authority to pursue these warrants. Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute and therefore not under ICC jurisdiction. Additionally, no mechanism in the Rome Statute has been initiated that would allow the Court to consider the jurisdictional merits of this case.

“Furthermore, Israel possesses an internationally respected independent judiciary fully capable of addressing any alleged misconduct committed by its forces or officials. Mr. Khan’s decision to request arrest warrants targeting Israelis flouts the principle of complementarity that underpins the Rome Statute, which serves as the basis of the ICC’s existence. Under its own mandate, the ICC is a court of limited jurisdiction and last resort, which should only act when the states with the primary responsibility are unable or unwilling to do so. Mr. Khan himself has admitted that “Israel has trained lawyers who advise commanders and a robust system intended to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law.”

“Finally, in pursuing simultaneous warrants against Hamas leaders, the prosecutor creates a false equivalence between leaders of a democratic country and a genocidal terrorist organization, which is deeply offensive and stands as further evidence of the illegitimacy of this pursuit and of the ICC itself. In condemning the actions of the ICC today, President Biden rightly affirmed, “whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.” Moreover, Mr. Khan’s actions imperil ongoing efforts to reach an agreement that would release the hostages and continue the flow of humanitarian assistance.

“This clear railroading of a democratic, American ally only serves to embolden terrorists and despots around the world. There exists no factual or legal basis for these filings – they are driven solely by politics and antisemitism. World leaders should treat Mr. Khan’s actions for what they are: an act of lawfare and an antisemitic vendetta masking itself as a legal proceeding.”


The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the recognized central coordinating body representing 50 diverse national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern.

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