Americans stand with Israel and we need to prove it to the world

I’m in Israel for the fifth time since the October 7 attack. I have been working with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Biden administration on efforts to normalize relationships between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which would be a game changer for the region and the world. Equally important, the people of Israel have to be reminded that the majority of Americans are behind them 100% because, right now, it seems like the world is against them. 

If you think the world has turned upside down, you’re right. Since Hamas’ barbaric attack on the state of Israel, the absurd and disgusting have become normal. 

College campuses across the U.S. are rampant with abhorrent antisemitic rhetoric and chants of “Death to America” while flags and banners from radical Islamist terror groups fly freely. 

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ), a United Nations-associated court, has issued an injunction to try to stop Israel from destroying Hamas’ last four battalions in Rafah. I am certain Israel will and should ignore the ICJ’s outrageous action. 

This comes as the International Criminal Court (ICC) has tried to equate Israel’s democratically elected leaders with leaders of Hamas, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, by announcing arrest warrants for them all. 

Making matters worse, Ireland, Norway and Spain all officially recognized a Palestinian state, with no clear definition of borders and no indication of who they recognize as Palestinian leaders. 

What is the proper response to Hamas’ October 7 attack? Hamas has vowed to attack the state of Israel again and again. Their chief goal is to destroy the only Jewish state. Israel has the right to defend itself without apology, and we should give them the weapons and ammunition they need to survive. But while it is certainly fair to debate how Israel responds, the last thing the civilized world should do is reward a horrific act of terrorism. 

When you reward behavior, you get more of it. That’s basic psychology. 

The ICJ, ICC, Ireland, Norway and Spain are incentivizing continued attacks on the Jewish state and fueling antisemitism, and are not operating within the bounds of reality. 

The ICC was created to reign in rogue nations like Vladimir Putin’s Russia and bring about justice in ungoverned spaces. It is bound by the Rome statute, which includes the principle of complementarity. Complementarity limits ICC jurisdiction to situations when a nation is unable or unwilling to proceed with an investigation or if the investigation is conducted in bad faith. 

But with these arrest warrants, the ICC acted before Israel’s own judiciary, violating its own statute. Not only is Israel not a party to the ICC, but they have a long history as a functioning democracy with a robust, independent judiciary and military justice system. 

To put it plainly, Israel is not Russia, and Israel’s democratically elected leaders are not Hamas. The ICC should be applying for warrants to arrest despotic dictators such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un – not the democratically elected prime minister and defense minister of Israel. 

Before the arrest warrants were announced, I was encouraged to hear that the ICC was going to visit Israel on May 20 to set up further meetings with the appropriate legal officials within Israel. 

But the scheduled meeting never happened, and the decision to apply for arrest warrants for the prime minister and the defense minister was announced on CNN without any consultation with Israel. 

It is clear now that the ICC never intended to cooperate with Israel and hear their side of the story as the CNN interview was taped before the meeting took place. 

The ICC has gone rogue. 

Meanwhile, Ireland, Norway and Spain’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state is appalling and dangerous, and it leaves several questions unanswered. What are the boundaries of the Palestinian state these countries recognized? What is its governing model? Who is the president? Is there a prime minister? Is it a democracy? Is it their policy to destroy the state of Israel the same as Hamas’? 

By unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state – without definition – these countries have thrown gasoline on the raging fire of antisemitism and made every problem in the Middle East worse. 

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Now, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are emboldened. Bad actors in Russia, China and North Korea remain unchecked. And the radical ideology spreading across college campuses only continues. 

If there is anything positive, it is that there was swift and strong bipartisan condemnation of the ICC’s action against Israel – from the U.S. president and secretary of State, to my colleagues in the capitol. 

It is now time for the United States Congress to go on record with sanctions against the ICC. If we don’t, we’re next. 

I will work with my Democrat and Republican colleagues to sanction the ICC and anyone who cooperates with them against Israel. 

Supporting Israel unequivocally is the United States’ best interest. 

We will fight back. 

It is time to stop the madness. Murderous, religiously fanatic terrorists are the problem, not Israel. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM

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