Duss Boosts Omar Tweet Praising Court Decision to Investigate Israeli 'War Crimes'

Matt Duss / YouTube screenshot
February 10, 2021

The Bernie Sanders aide rumored to be in line for a State Department job has refrained from tweeting for several days, but has taken the time to boost a tweet from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) praising an International Criminal Court decision to investigate Israel over alleged war crimes.

Matt Duss, who has come under fire for criticizing the Jewish state in terms that watchdog groups have called anti-Semitic, has not tweeted in five days. He "liked" Omar’s Monday tweet, however, urging the Biden administration to back the ICC’s bid to prosecute alleged Israel war crimes—an investigation that Israel and the Trump administration said is politically motivated.

"If the U.S. doesn’t support the International Criminal Court's investigations into alleged war crimes, where should people go for recourse?" Omar wrote. "When we try to block peaceful means of pursuing justice, it undermines any claims of credibility we have on human rights."

Duss’s recent silence on Twitter is likely related to the renewed scrutiny he has faced after Politico reported earlier this month that he was leaving the Sanders team to join the State Department. The Washington Free Beacon has reported extensively on Duss’s ties to the anti-Israel movement and activists who promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

The ICC on Friday decided to officially investigate what it claims are Israeli war crimes committed in the West Bank and other Palestinian territories. The Israeli government, which has long boycotted the ICC over its anti-Israel bias and lack of jurisdiction to prosecute crimes, slammed the court’s decision. The Trump administration also boycotted the court and criticized its efforts to launch a probe into Israel.

Duss's positive views of the ICC investigation could set up a conflict with others at the State Department, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who reportedly provided assurances to Israeli leaders the United States will help combat the probe. The Biden administration expressed initial concern over the court’s decision, also citing jurisdictional issues, but has yet to flatly reject its investigation.

"We have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel," State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Friday, when the court first announced its decision. "The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it or that are referred by the U.N. Security Council."

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that Duss has been critical of President Joe Biden’s pro-Israel views and has bashed pro-Israel Democrats for their opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.