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George Clooney called Biden advisor to complain of US targeting of ICC

June 9, 2024 at 9:07 am

George Clooney is seen on movie set of the ‘Wolves’ on February 08, 2023 in New York City [Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images]

American actor George Clooney reportedly called an advisor of US president Joe Biden to complain about his targeting of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it sought arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant over war crimes, potentially putting a Hollywood star at odds with the Biden administration.

According to the Washington Post, which cited three unnamed sources familiar with the conversation, Clooney last month called Steve Ricchetti, a counselor to the president, to complain about Biden’s criticism of the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant. Having described the effort as “outrageous” at the time, the president insisted that “there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

Clooney’s complaint was reportedly due to the fact that his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, was one of those who had worked on the ICC’s case. According to the report, the actor’s fear was that if the Biden administration were to impose sanctions on the ICC, its prosecutor, and others associated with the case, then his wife may be directly affected by that.

The US House this month voted to impose sanctions against the ICC, and although it was initially open to that, it has recently said it “strongly opposes” the bill.

Clooney’s complaint to the Biden advisor is yet another sign of discontent among prominent figures regarding the US government’s handling of Israel’s war crimes and its offensive in Gaza. Despite the lack of any outright condemnation of the administration by the actor, it may risk support for Biden from a longstanding supporter of his presidency, with Clooney having been scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Biden in Los Angeles on June 15.

READ: The US role in Israel’s genocide in Gaza