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(Washington, D.C., April 1, 2021) Over two dozen Republican House members: Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), lead the letter which was co-signed by Randy K. Weber (R-TX), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), James R. Baird (R-IN), Brian Babin (R-TX), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Chuck Fleischman (R-TN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Andrew R. Garbarino (R-NY), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Bill Posey (R-FL), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Ted Budd (R-NC), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jody Hice (R-GA), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), Bob Good (R-VA) and Michael Cloud (R-TX). The letter was addressed to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to express opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation of Israel and to urge the United States government to uphold the relevant law conditioning aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Given that neither the United States nor Israel are parties to the Rome Statute, the ICC has no authority over either country. Furthermore, when Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the language specifically forbade funding for the Palestinian Authority if it were to initiate an ICC investigation into Israel or actively support one.

By submitting a formal referral to the ICC in 2018, the PA has clearly violated the first condition. By repeated submission of ostensible “evidence” to the ICC, and official visits and communications with the ICC Prosecutor and staff, the PA has also actively supported the Court’s investigation, violating the second condition as well.

“It is equally important to adhere firmly to established law that already provides an unambiguous response to efforts to use the ICC to challenge our sovereignty, our defense, and that of our ally Israel,” the letter states.

Said Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET, “This effort to investigate Israel, which has clearly been supported, if not initiated, by the Palestinians, is a transparent attempt to utilize the International Criminal Court  to weaponize a purely political agenda, and represents a total defilement of the original noble purposes of the Court.”

Stern added that “the genocide of the Holocaust was part of the original impetus to establish the Court, and its documents cite the Convention for the Prevention of Genocide of 1948, and  calls “attempts to investigate the United States and Israel an egregious misuse of the original, honorable intention.”

“If the Palestinians are going to pursue this tactic to undermine Israel, we are legally forbidden, under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 from funding the Palestinians. This law has been on the books since 2014, and has been passed on a bipartisan basis,” Stern said. “EMET deeply applauds Rep. Jeff Duncan and the 24 other signatories to this excellent letter for elucidating the fact that the Palestinians and their enablers on the International Criminal Court cannot have it both ways. We cannot both watch them proceed with their lawfare against our ally, Israel, and simultaneously provide economic assistance to the Palestinians. That constitutes a clear violation of American law.”

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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