Netanyahu's arrest warrant highlights contrast with Putin, other leaders ICC didn't prosecute

The warrants raise questions about why leaders such as Putin, Bashar Al-Assad, Xi Jinping and others have been treated differently.
Left to Right: Xi Jinping, Bashar Al-Assad, Ebrahim Raisi, JTN Edit

The International Criminal Court's decision Monday to apply for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant caused critics of the decision to highlight the people who have not been indicted by the ICC.

"We rightfully sanctioned the #ICC in the last Admin. It is a sham court. They’ve always wanted to go after democratic nations that uphold the Rule of Law - US and Israel. Yet they turn a blind eye to the crimes of Xi, Assad, the Ayatollah, Un, and Maduro," former Trump State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on X, referring to how the Trump administration took a hard line against ICC investigators.

All of the leaders listed by Ortagus – Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro – have been accused of egregious human rights violations. 

Although Maduro has been accused by the United Nations of overseeing thousands of deaths at the hands of police forces, Venezuela is the only aforementioned country to have signed and ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that establishes the ICC. The other countries have a more complicated history. 

For example, Israel signed the treaty and later declared that it did not intend to ratify it, which is the same thing that Russia, Sudan and the U.S. did. 

Meanwhile, Syria and Iran both signed the Rome Statute and did not ratify the treaty, but neither nation expressed that they no longer intended to ratify the treaty. China and North Korea neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

The ICC has said it is unable to investigate allegations that China committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups because Beijing is not a signatory to the Rome Statute. The United Nations asked North Korea to be referred to the ICC, but the court did not act because the communist country has not signed the treaty.

The ICC also issued arrest warrants Monday for Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, even though only the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, signed the treaty. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, did not agree to the treaty.

Gabriel Noronha, a former Trump State Department adviser on Iran, made a list on X of the foreign leaders who have not been prosecuted by the ICC. His list stated

"▶️ Bashar al Assad, who slaughtered 500,000+ Syrians
▶️ Xi Jinping, who locked a million Uyghurs in concentration camps
▶️ Nicolas Maduro, whom the UN reported committed 'Crimes Against Humanity'
▶️ Ali Khamenei, the Dictator of Iran"

Before Monday, the only serving national leaders who had been issued such ICC warrants are Russian President Vladimir Putin on two charges, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on two charges and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on ten charges, including genocide.

The decision also caused other critics to point out how the arrest warrant issued against Putin and his colleagues has effectively done nothing to slow down the Ukraine war. Like Israel, Russia signed the Rome Statute but no longer intends to ratify the treaty. The United States made the same decision.

"Putin was indicted by the ICC last year. That's why since then Russia has lost the war and Putin is now rotting away in a jail cell. No wait that's not what happened. The war was unaffected, and nobody even remembers that this happened," commentator Richard Hanania said on X. 

Some commentators noted that the indictment seemed even more dystopian when considering unrelated events that were occurring, such as how the United Nations honored Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with a moment of silence even though as leader of Iran's "Death Panel" he presided over the deaths of up to 30,000 people, including some children, in 1988 and continued a brutal crackdown on dissent into his presidency. Additionally, Iran is a major financier of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

"Condolences for the Nazis. Indictments for the Jews. That's Europe today," Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Adviser Richard Goldberg said

"The UN's ICC accusing Israel of war crimes while supporting the murdering rapists of Hamas & honoring this murdering terrorist is insane," Ari Hoffman, an editor of The Post Millennial, said on X. 

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.