WASHINGTON (JTA) – Two congressmen have introduced legislation aimed
at pressuring any country harboring Nazi war criminals.
Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) proposed legislation
in the House of Representatives Wednesday that would prohibit defense
sales to any country offering safe harbor to Nazis or any modern-day
“We must let the world know that we will do everything
in our power to pursue justice against the monstrous acts perpetrated
by Nazi criminals and modern day war criminals,” Israel said in a
statement to JTA.
Under the War Crimes Accountability Act of 2012, it
would be illegal to conduct defense sales with any country that refuses
to deport, prosecute or enforce an arrest warrant against such criminals.
The bill “puts pressure on countries that harbor these
criminals and ensures that they will pay a price for housing these
murderers,” Israel said.
“I hope that this bill will make countries think twice
before giving refuge to war criminals,” Berman said.
A spokesperson from Israel's office said the legislation
is not aimed at any specific country.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, known for tracking down
Nazi war criminals and working to bring them to justice, has cited
what it says is a lack of political will in many countries as a major
obstacle to the prosecution of former Nazis.