Lawmakers push State Department to strongly oppose International Court of Justice investigation of Israel

Letter urges State to ‘submit a strong brief to the ICJ opposing an advisory opinion against Israel’ and seek similar briefs from U.S. allies

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International Court of Justice, or Peace Palace, in The Hague, Holland

In a letter sent on Tuesday, a bipartisan group of 35 lawmakers urged the administration to push back against the International Court of Justice’s investigation of Israel.

The ICJ investigation comes following a United Nations General Assembly vote to seek an advisory opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, urges Secretary of State Tony Blinken to “submit a strong brief to the ICJ opposing an advisory opinion against Israel” that both presses the ICJ to reject the case and defends Israel “on the merits.” It also urges Blinken to seek similar briefs from allies who opposed the UNGA resolution.

“This is but the latest in a series of escalating attacks on Israel in the UN system, initiated by the Palestinian Authority, to unfairly and disproportionately single out the Jewish State. We urge you to vigorously support Israel as it defends itself against this proceeding,” the letter reads. “Though non-binding under international law, a negative advisory opinion — a practically assured outcome — would almost certainly be used to further the propaganda assault and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel while simultaneously undermining the credibility and effectiveness of UN human rights bodies.”

The signatories added that the investigation, and the U.N.’s focus on Israel, are detrimental to the cause of peace and “[distract] attention and resources from grave human rights abuses and violations of international law committed by UN members such as Iran, China, Myanmar, and Russia.”

The lawmakers wrote that the brief should defend Israel’s right to self-defense and the merits of a negotiated two-state solution. 

And, they added, “other countries’ representatives should be reminded that the US takes into consideration support for U.S. positions at the UN in our bilateral relationships.”

The letter was led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and co-signed by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Don Davis (D-NC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Grace Meng (D-NY), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Glenn Ivey (D-MD), Jared Golden (D-ME), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Ben Cline (R-VA), David Trone (D-MD), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Susie Lee (D-NV), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Young Kim (R-CA), Tom Kean (R-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marc Molinaro (R-NY).

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