The International Criminal Court building
The International Criminal Court building Reuters

The leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Wednesday denounced the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch a war crimes probe against Israel.

"We strongly object to the decision by the out-going International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to begin an investigation in cases brought by the Palestinian Authority. The ICC’s effort to intrude into matters outside its mandate undermine its credibility and legitimacy, and cast significant doubt on its future as an unbiased judicial forum,” said Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“It is irrefutable that the ICC does not have jurisdiction in any dispute between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. As an interim governing body, and not a state, the Palestinian Authority does not have standing before the ICC and therefore cannot bring cases for it to adjudicate,” they added.

“For the ICC to claim otherwise reflects the demonstrated anti-Israel bias of out-going Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who is seeking to use the ICC to single out the Jewish State for discriminatory treatment. Her zealousness in pursuing this endeavor is underscored by the fact that her successor, Karim Khan, will take her place in June. Bensouda’s insistence on denying Khan the opportunity to make this decision clearly shows that she is politically motivated and unfit to serve in a role that is meant to be neutral,” said the statement.

“By continuing these efforts to weaponize a judicial institution for political purposes, the Palestinian Authority inflames existing tensions and obstructs the path to peace. The only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties involved. We call on the international community to speak out in forceful objection to this disgraceful action by the ICC,” the leaders concluded.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denounced the decision and called it “absurd”, adding, “It's undiluted anti-Semitism and the height of hypocrisy.”

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett responded to the ICC decision and called it a "farce."

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the Biden administration opposes and is disappointed with the ICC’s decision.

Price told reporters the ICC has “no jurisdiction over this matter," which he said "unfairly" targets Israel.

“Israel is not a party to the ICC, and it has not consented to the court's jurisdiction and we have serious concerns about the ICC's attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” Price said.