Biden rejects ICC allegations against Israel: 'What's happening is not genocide'

President Biden on Monday said he rejects allegations by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel’s conduct amid its war against Hamas as the ICC seeks to pursue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders and the top echelon of the terrorist group. 

Biden was speaking in the White House Rose Garden with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff during a celebration for Jewish American Heritage Month when he addressed the ICC arrest warrant request for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, military commander Mohammed Deif, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes during the ongoing conflict. 

“We reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders,” Biden said. “Whatever these warrants may imply. There is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. And it’s clear Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection.”

“But let me be clear,” he added. “Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that. We’re going to always stand with Israel and the threats against their security.”


Critics of Israel have accused its leaders of committing genocide against Palestinians living in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip and failing to ensure the protection of innocent civilians during military operations. Hamas routinely embeds its terrorist fighters in civilian population centers and uses civilian structures to launch attacks, Israel has said. 


The ICC has accused Hamas of a range of crimes, including hostage-taking, murder and crimes of sexual violence. Israel has also committed crimes, including “starvation as a method of warfare, murder, persecution and extermination,” said Amal Clooney, the wife of actor George Clooney, who advised ICC prosecutors in seeking the arrest warrants. 

Biden’s remarks came after weeks of anti-Israel protests on college campuses across the country. He also noted that antisemitism has increased since Israel was attacked on Oct. 7. 

“On our streets, our social media and college campuses,” he said. “It’s amazing it’s happening. It’s absolutely despicable. It’s wrong. And it must stop.”

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