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US Senators Threaten Criminal Court & Advise Israel to Nuke Gaza

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 2024 (IPS) - As the ancient Greek saying goes: those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first drive them mad. Perhaps destruction is too far-fetched here, but madness is closer home—in Washington DC

With the 7-month-old Israeli-Gaza conflict showing no positive signs of a permanent solution, there is a lingering sense of growing political craziness in Capitol Hill, the seat of the US government, once described as Israeli-occupied territory.

Last week Lindsey Graham, a senior Republican senator from South Carolina, who once chaired the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, implicitly advised Israel it should drop nuclear bombs over Gaza—perhaps ignorant of the fact that a nuclear fallout will also destroy parts of Israel.

In a TV interview, Graham advised Israel: “Do whatever you have to do to survive as a Jewish state”—as he compared Israel’s war on Gaza to the US war with Japan during World War II.

“When we were faced with destruction as a nation after Pearl Harbor, fighting the Germans and the Japanese, we decided to end the war by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons,” Graham said in an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press.

Meanwhile, Tim Walberg, a Republican House member said wiping out Gaza “should be like Hiroshima and Nagasaki” “Get it over quick”, he advised Israel.

Ramzy Baroud, a journalist and Editor of The Palestine Chronicle told IPS: “Sure, Israel is yet to drop a nuclear bomb, but it has dropped enough US bombs over the besieged Strip to create the impact of nuclear weapons.”

He pointed out that 75 percent of Gaza has been destroyed, and about 5 percent of the population have been killed or wounded. This was done by Biden and his supposedly softer approach, if compared to Graham, to the war.

“This is indeed madness, but, in a sense, it also reflects a degree of desperation,” said Baroud.

Meanwhile, 12 US Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have openly threatened the International Criminal Court (ICC) with sanctions if they target Israeli officials.

The threat is directed at both ICC officials and their family members — if and when, the Court moves forward with international arrest warrants against Israeli leaders over the war in Gaza.

“Target Israel and we will target you. If you move forward with the measures indicated in the report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and associates, and bar you and your families from the United States,” read the April 24 letter.

“You have been warned,” the letter added.

Norman Solomon, executive director, Institute for Public Accuracy, told IPS the goal posts on the USA’s political field have been dragged rightward since last autumn by the combined forces of standard militarism, craven political jockeying, biased mass-media coverage and ferocious pro-Israel messaging.

The countervailing force in the United States is coming from grassroots opposition to Israel’s mass murder and rejection of its support provided by the U.S. political establishment.

Often led by activists in such organizations as Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now, the highly visible protests last fall and winter seeded the ground for the upsurge in student-led protests in recent weeks on U.S. college campuses, he said.

This nonviolent grassroots resistance to Israeli genocide and oppression of Palestinian people has shocked the traditional American Zionist establishment and its allies in the leadership of the Democratic Party.

“The growing resistance has also provoked an extreme reactionary response from right-wing media outlets such as Fox News and many dozens of Republicans in Congress who have vocally and mendaciously denounced efforts to end the slaughter, which is subsidized by U.S. taxpayers to the benefit of both the fascistic Israeli government and military contractors based in the United States”, he argued.

“The flagrantly racist and ethnocentric reactions of Republican leaders, combined with the rhetorical Democratic vacillation that continues to support the Israeli-inflicted carnage in Gaza, comprise the two wings of U.S. governance. Most young Americans, in particular, are now emphatically opposed to both wings enabling the genocide,” he noted.

This is an ongoing political struggle over whether the U.S. government will continue to support Israel as it pursues its systematic slaughter of civilians in Gaza, declared Solomon, national director, and author of, “War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine.”

Meanwhile, according to the World Nuclear Association, the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.

The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment, with the deposition of radioactive materials in many parts of Europe.

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation concluded in 2006 that, apart from some 5000 thyroid cancers (resulting in 15 fatalities), “there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident.”

“And some 350,000 people were evacuated as a result of the accident, but resettlement of areas from which people were relocated is ongoing”.

In their letter to Karim A. Khan, ICC Prosecutor, the 12 Senators say: “We write regarding reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) may be considering issuing international arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Such actions are illegitimate and lack legal basis, and if carried out will result in severe sanctions against you and your institution”.

By issuing warrants, you would be calling into question the legitimacy of Israel’s laws, legal system, and democratic form of government. Issuing arrest warrants for the leaders of Israel would not only be unjustified, it would expose your organization’s hypocrisy and double standards.

“Neither Israel nor the United States are members of the ICC and are therefore outside of your organization’s supposed jurisdiction. If you issue a warrant for the arrest of the Israeli leadership, we will interpret this not only as a threat to Israel’s sovereignty but to the sovereignty of the United States.”

IPS UN Bureau Report


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