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The government’s of Belgium and France broke ranks with the United States and Great Britain, and came out defending the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Germany on the other hand, according to NBC News, made a valiant effort to straddle the fence: “Germany said it had some concerns, particularly regarding the decision to issue a `simultaneous application’ for arrest warrants for Israel and Hamas, which its foreign ministry said gave `the false impression of equivalence,’ German newspaper Deutsche Welle reported. But ultimately, the U.S. ally said it respected the independence of the court.”

Kenneth Roth, the former executive director of Human Rights Watch, told NBC News that “Biden’s response was deeply disappointing…. These charges are not about Israel’s right to defend itself, which no one questions. They’re about how Israel has chosen to defend itself and no cause, no matter how just, can be used as an excuse to commit war crimes,” Roth said. He also commented on the obvious double-standard applied by the U.S. to the Putin and Netanyahu cases: “The different response speaks more to the lack of principle in the U.S. government’s purported respect for the rule of law. It’s not the rule of law when it applies only to one’s adversaries and not to one’s friends.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov limited himself to saying that America’s “attitude and their readiness to use sanctions even against the ICC” was “more than curious.” Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov wrote on the embassy’s Facebook page in response to a statement by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who said that the U.S. will continue to support the ICC with respect to the situation in Ukraine, despite the court’s seeking to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “This is another example of double standards and a parade of American hypocrisy. The U.S. authorities deny the legitimacy of the ICC and intimidate this structure with sanctions when it comes to the interests of Washington itself and its allies. At the same time they brazenly use this pseudolegal instrument against their alleged enemies.
“No one in the world should have any illusions about the blasphemous policy of the U.S., which exploits human rights issues for a single purpose: to take revenge on unwelcome states. Apparently, this is a manifestation of the so-called ‘rules-based order.’”