Washington, D.C. – Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement that the United States will oppose the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) long-awaited investigations into possible war crimes committed in Palestine is a clear attempt by the Biden administration to continue the U.S. practice of shielding the Israeli government from any form of accountability for its human rights violations against Palestinians.
The announcement comes amid a litany of disturbing statements from Biden administration officials targeting the Palestinian rights movement. This includes committing to oppose United Nations resolutions around Israeli government human rights violations, smearing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as antisemitic, embracing the controversial and dangerous International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and a complete refusal to even consider conditions on the annual $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel.
While the Biden administration has promised a foreign policy that will center human rights, it is becoming clear that there will be an exception — once again — for Palestinians.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s March 3 announcement that the court would open an investigation into possible war crimes in Palestine since 2014, was a welcome move signaling a new avenue for an end to impunity for Israeli government human rights violations against Palestinians. The court is widely expected to consider possible war crimes during the 2014 Israeli military assault in Gaza, and the illegal construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
“An International Criminal Court investigation is a welcome and necessary step toward holding the Israeli government accountable for its egregious and ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and international law. Regardless of how the Biden administration attempts to maintain Israeli government impunity, the grassroots power of the Palestinian rights movement is growing every day. We will continue to struggle for an end to Israeli apartheid rule and for a future in which all Palestinians and Israelis live with equality, freedom, and justice. ” Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of JVP Action
“The Biden administration has yet to name one single method of Palestinian protest that it finds ‘acceptable’. The baffling rejection of the ICC investigation into war crimes is simply the latest example. In truth, this administration believes its role is to continue the longstanding U.S. practice of funding and protecting Israeli apartheid.” Beth Miller, Senior Government Affairs Manager for JVP Action
Ms. Fox and Ms. Miller are available for interviews.
JVP Action is an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) political and advocacy partner organization of Jewish Voice for Peace. It is a multiracial, intergenerational movement of Jews and allies working towards justice and equality in Israel/Palestine by transforming U.S. policy.