RELEASE: Gottheimer, Kean Lead Bipartisan Letter Thanking Germany for Supporting Israel’s right to Self-Defense

Mar 13, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Tom Kean (NJ-7) led a letter signed by a bipartisan group of more than twenty Members of Congress thanking German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for announcing his country’s intention to intervene on Israel’s behalf and for supporting Israel’s right to self-defense in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case brought by South Africa. 

It is crucial that the international community address the misleading, meritless, and untruthful nature of South Africa’s accusations, seemingly designed to hinder Israel from acting in self-defense in response to the heinous terrorist attacks on October 7. South Africa’s claim barely acknowledges the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists’ who murdered, decapitated, burned alive, and raped more than 1,200 innocent men, women, and children. 

The signatory list of twenty-five bipartisan Members of Congress includes Reps. Gottheimer (NJ-5), Kean (NJ-7), Bacon (NE-2), Costa (CA-21), Davis (NC-1), D’Esposito (NY-4), Frankel (FL-22), Kim (CA-40), Golden (ME-2), Lawler (NY-17), Manning (NC-6), Molinaro (NY-19), Moskowitz (FL-23), Nickel (NC-13), Schiff (CA-30), Schneider (IL-10), Sherman (CA-32), Steel (CA-45), Stevens (MI-11), Tenney (NY-22), Torres (NY-15), Titus (NV-1), Wagner (MO-2),Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), and Wilson (SC-2).

In January, Gottheimer signed a bipartisan letter with 210 Members of Congress denouncing South Africa’s claims against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

“It is crucial that the international community address the misleading, meritless, and untruthful nature of South Africa’s accusations, seemingly designed to hinder Israel from acting in self-defense in response to the heinous terrorist attacks on October 7,” wrote twenty-five bipartisan Members of Congress in a letter to German Chancellor Scholz. “These meritless claims set a dangerous precedent, politicize the court, and could impact the on-going fight against authoritarianism and terrorism that the democracies of the world are currently confronting. It is our hope that the court drops this unfounded case against Israel.”

The members continued, “[Germany]’s decision to stand by Israel’s side will not be forgotten. The United States, Germany, and Israel share the same foundational values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that so many global forces today seek to dismantle. In a time when the pillars of the free world are facing threats across the globe, Germany has continued to embrace the painful lessons of history’s past to stand up for what is right.”

Full text of the letter sent to German Chancellor Scholz can be found here and below:

March 13, 2024

The Honorable Olaf Scholz 

Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Bundeskanzleramt

Willy-Brandt-Straße 1

10557 Berlin

Dear Chancellor Scholz,

We write to you to thank you for announcing your country’s intention to intervene on Israel’s behalf as a third party against the accusations of genocide brought up by South Africa in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). October 7, 2023 was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the end of the Holocaust. We applaud your decision to stand beside Israel against these baseless claims made in the international arena by South Africa. 

It is crucial that the international community address the misleading, meritless, and untruthful nature of South Africa’s accusations, seemingly designed to hinder Israel from acting in self- defense in response to the heinous terrorist attacks on October 7. Unsurprisingly, South Africa’s claim barely acknowledges the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists’ who murdered, decapitated, burned alive, and raped over 1,200 innocent men, women, and children. Hamas terrorists tore families apart, taking more than 240 people hostage, over 130 of which remain in Gaza, including Americans and Germans.

These baseless accusations jeopardize Israel’s ability to respond to threats from those seeking its destruction. It is deeply wrong to conflate Israel’s actions, taken in self-defense, with genocide, especially when Hamas leaders have openly admitted that “there will be a second, a third, a fourth” wave of violence against Israel. Sadly, and ironically, it is Hamas’ founding document   that in fact calls for Jihad against Jews and says that Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it.

These meritless claims set a dangerous precedent, politicize the court, and could impact the on-going fight against authoritarianism and terrorism that the democracies of the world are currently confronting. It is our hope that the court drops this unfounded case against Israel. 

Your country’s decision to stand by Israel’s side will not be forgotten. The United States, Germany, and Israel share the same foundational values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that so many global forces today seek to dismantle. In a time when the pillars of the free world are facing threats across the globe, Germany has continued to embrace the painful lessons of history’s past to stand up for what is right.

We thank you again for your actions to defend Israel against these baseless and untruth claims on the world stage.

Sincerely,

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

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