Netanyahu: ICC warrant bid is ‘the new antisemitism,’ flowing from college campuses to The Hague

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a video address on May 20, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a video address on May 20, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)

In a video statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the “absurd and false” warrant from the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor is “directed against the entire State of Israel.”

“It is directed against the IDF soldiers, who are fighting with supreme heroism against the vile Hamas murderers,” he says.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan has not issued arrest warrants but, rather, announced his intention earlier today to seek them from the court for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, alongside Hamas’s three top leaders.

“With what chutzpah do you dare compare the monsters of Hamas to the soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world?” Netanyahu asks. “With what audacity do you compare between the Hamas that murdered, burned, butchered, raped, and kidnapped our brothers and sisters, and the IDF soldiers who are fighting a just war that is unparalleled, with a morality that is unmatched?”

Netanyahu says he rejects “with disgust” Khan’s ostensible comparison, calling it “an utter distortion of the reality,” and says it is an example of “the new antisemitism” that has moved from college campuses to The Hague.

The premier promises the Israeli public that the ICC’s “effort to tie our hands will fail,” that no international forum will “prevent us from hitting those who seek our destruction,” and that Israel will topple Hamas and achieve “total victory.”

Asked whether the US also views Khan’s decision to be antisemitic, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller responds that this is not a conclusion that the Biden administration has reached.

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