Baltimore, MD, Feb. 17, 2021 — The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1500 traditional, Orthodox Rabbis in public policy, today denounced calls by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on a Qatari TV channel for the prosecution of Israeli leaders before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced an ICC investigation of Israel for fake "war crimes" as “pure anti-Semitism,” which the rabbis called “entirely applicable” to Omar’s support.
In a 2-1 decision earlier this month, the ICC claimed jurisdiction in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which would allow it to prosecute Israeli leaders for acting to halt terrorism, and even for permitting Jews to live in the Jewish homeland. Although the U.S. State Department immediately objected on legal grounds, Omar declared her support, and further claimed it would "delegitimize the ICC" to expect it to operate in accordance with its mission and governing statutes.
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“This is the same Member of Congress who accused Jewish Americans of ‘allegiance to a foreign country,’ claimed that Israel, rather than its Arab neighbors, engages in ‘ethnic cleansing,’ and even called for the UN Human Rights Council to investigate her own US Department of Homeland Security for ‘egregious human rights abuses’” said Rabbi Dov Fischer, Western Regional Vice President of the CJV. “Her hatred would be less dangerous were Congressional leaders not openly tolerating and elevating it."
Legal scholars argue that the ICC decision is not only illegitimate, but threatens peace in the region by targeting those aiming to restore it. This decision has a chilling impact on peacekeepers, making them fearful of neutralizing terrorists lest they be targeted for prosecution, risking further loss of innocent lives.
"We sincerely thank President Biden, the US State Department, and the many nations that have declared the ICC's action invalid," said Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Vice President of the CJV, "but for Rep. Omar, who previously slandered Israel as an 'apartheid regime' and referred to its defending innocent lives as 'evil doings,' Jewish guilt is pre-determined. The fact that she is only rewarded as she targets Jews remains an unconscionable stain upon Congress, which must immediately strip her of committee assignments for claims to oppose hate to have any substance."
Just two days ago, the CJV noted that elevating Omar to Vice Chair of a key House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee governing global human rights demonstrated that Anti-Semitism is now accepted in Congress. "Rep. Omar has proven our analysis correct," concluded Rabbi Schonfeld. "The only surprise is that her latest outburst came so soon."
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America, articulates and advocates for public policy positions based upon traditional Jewish thought.