Israel: U.S. Sanctions on ‘Settler Violence’ Are ‘Extreme,’ Don’t Make Sense

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL -- JANUARY 24, 2024: Protesters hold up signs for hostages in Gaza and c
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New sanctions by the United States against Israelis accused of so-called “settler violence” are “extreme,” and don’t “make sense,” according to an Israeli government spokesman who briefed journalists on Thursday.

Reports emerged Wednesday that the Biden administration is considering a second round of such sanctions after applying them to four individuals who live in the area known to Israelis as Judea and Samaria (and known to Palestinians as the West Bank), though none had been convicted of any crime.

Acts of violence by Jewish settlers against local Palestinian Arabs occur, but they are rare. As Caroline Glick has pointed out at the Jewish News Syndicate, the claim of “settler violence” is largely fictitious. Activist groups instigate confrontations with Jewish residents of the area, especially shepherds, then report any resulting conflict as “setter violence,” even if the Jewish targets act in self-defense. The United Nations, too, admits that it includes self-defense by Jews against Palestinians as “settler violence.”

The number of violent attacks by Palestinian Arabs against local Jewish residents dwarfs the number of attacks by Jews against Arabs by an order of magnitude, yet the U.S. has not sought similar sanctions against Palestinians. Moreover, the number of attacks by Arabs, such as Thursday morning’s deadly terror attack near Jerusalem, has increased since the October 7 terror attack by Hamas against Israel, while the number of attacks by Jews in the area has actually decreased.

And as Breitbart News has pointed out, the language of the sanctions is so vague that it allows the U.S. to punish all Israelis in the area — a gift to the anti-Israel “boycott, divestment, sanctions” movement. Many other countries have followed in Biden’s wake with similar sanctions.

Israeli government spokesman Avi Hyman, when asked by Breitbart News about the impending second round of sanctions, said: “We think this doesn’t make sense. You’re talking about a population, depending on how you count them, that is between 500,000 to 800,000 residents of Judea and Samaria, the overwhelming majority of which are law-abiding citizens. So to point to a handful of people that are allegedly breaking the law out of a population so large seems somewhat extreme. And we don’t understand it.

“As far as Israel is concerned, we have mechanisms, we have laws in place, and a very good police force, and if there are issue with people breaking the law, the police will deal with them directly,” Hyman added.

Notably, the Biden administration has not sought to tighten sanctions on the Iranian regime, which arms and funds terrorism against Israel, whether by the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or by the Lebanese Shiite militia known as Hezbollah.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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