From Israel: “Livid!!”

We are seeing pronouncements and actions by Joe Biden vis-à-vis Israel that are both highly inappropriate and deeply offensive. They put the lie to his image as a friend of Israel.

Credit: The Australian


Please share this broadly.

This past Thursday Biden signed an executive order.  The core of it reads (my emphasis added):

I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, find that the situation in the West Bank — in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction — has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, and the broader Middle East region.  These actions undermine the foreign policy objectives of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution and ensuring Israelis and Palestinians can attain equal measures of security, prosperity, and freedom.  They also undermine the security of Israel and have the potential to lead to broader regional destabilization across the Middle East, threatening United States personnel and interests.  For these reasons, these actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.  I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.  Accordingly, I hereby order…


Those wishing to see the full executive order can find it here:


It lays out the parameters for applying sanctions against persons who are determined to be behaving in Judea & Samaria (aka the West Bank) in a fashion that constitutes a threat to peace and stability.  Sanctions include freezing of funds.


There are a great many things wrong with this executive order, but the most significant problem is that it is all about Jews.  The order does not focus on “individuals” who are violent or undermine peace, but, rather, settlers.


This is what Professor of Law Eugene Kontorovich wrote about the order:

“The new sanctions tools against Israelis announced by the Biden Administration is not about settler violence.  First, it does not require acts of violence – anyone vaguely involved in doing or not doing anything the WH thinks undermines “peace” and “security” in WB qualifies.

“As to violence, the language of the Order applies to anyone complicit in acts of violence in WB – which should mean the entire PA government should have their accounts frozen because of Pay-for-Slay, which federal law has already determined to be complicity in violence.  But we know that won’t happen, because this is really a set of sanctions on Jews the Administration doesn’t like – a revolting response to Oct. 7…”


Credit: @EVKontorovich


The second problem is with the invective term “settler violence” itself, as it implies that violence by “settlers,” Jews living in Judea & Samaria, is commonplace and a serious problem.

Not new, this term is a highly politicized attempt to delegitimize Jews living in Judea & Samaria, which the Biden Administration would prefer to see form the heart of a Palestinian state.  We heard about “settler violence” with regard to an announcement by the US that visas would be denied to “violent” settlers, and when an American shipment of rifles was held back because some of them might get into the hands of those settlers.  Now Biden has elevated the response.

The problem is that there is no major problem of “settler violence”! Some 99.9% of the Jews living in Judea & Samaria are peaceful.  In fact, in recent years the level of violence by Jews in J&S has dropped, a fact that head of the IDF Central Command, Major General Yehuda Fox, attests to.  



According to Naomi Kahn, Director of the International Division at Regavim, a research-based think tank:

“The incidence of actual violence instigated by Jews in the ‘West Bank’ is actually incredibly small – smaller than in any Western society in the world. In fact, if you are a resident of an American city of similar size and population to the Jewish community in Area C (500,000 people), you are 300 times more likely to be the victim of violence than if you are an Arab in Area C.” (Emphasis added)

Credit: Mizrachi


We then must examine the question of how “violence” is defined.  A major problem in this regard is that every “violent” event is equated with every other one.  

Most attacks by Jews in J&S are perpetrated by renegade youth, often identified as hilltop youth. In a majority of these cases the “violence” consists of vandalism – perhaps graffiti, perhaps destruction of property.  The youth do not go out and kill Arabs. Yet statistically, these incidents of vandalism, etc. are equated with Palestinian Arab violence aimed at maiming or killing Jews.  

Ezri Tubi addresses this serious inequity in a video you can find here.  Be sure to see it:


Credit: @tubieazy


Add to this the fact that many of the incidents counted as “settler violence” for statistical purposes are actually not.  Analysis of National Police data shows that many of the incidents have been spurred by Arabs or foreign agitators who provoke a response by Jews.  In some instances, Jews defending themselves against Arab attacks are identified as “violent.”


The Jewish Press has shared an excellent example of an incident against Jews that is represented as action by Jews against Arabs:

“A group calling itself ‘Staring into the Eyes of the Occupation’ (Mistaklim La’Kibush Ba’Einayim) on Saturday provided a stunning example of the blood libel that’s being conjured in collaboration between Arab terrorists, Israeli anti-Zionist NGOs, and the Biden administration, depicting ‘Settler violence.’

“On Saturday, Jewish farmers, alongside the Israel Police and the IDF found and retrieved a herd of sheep that had been stolen by Bedouins. Throughout the event, the thieving Bedouins threw stones at the rightful owners of the herd, and anarchists took pictures.

“A tweet by the left-wing organization intended for Biden and the White House: ‘Armed settlers invade barns to loot sheep under the auspices of the security forces.’”



That libelous charges are leveled against Jews precisely when Jews are enduring heavy murderous attacks by Palestinian Arabs in Judea & Samaria is an outrage.

And so, we ask, where is the US government getting its information about “settler violence”?

What we are looking at are a number of ostensibly credible Israeli NGOs that in actuality tilt strongly against Israel and in some instances are paid by the European Union to create that narrative of “settler violence.”

In 2020-21 B’Tselem received EU money to generate a report on “settler violence.” Breaking the Silence worked with B’Tselem on this report.  There are groups such as Adalah, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and several others that have a similar anti-Israel orientation.

Of particular note in this regard is OCHA – the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which purportedly is objective and upon which the US government relies heavily for information.  However, as Naomi Kahn explains:

“OCHA’s website states that their data is collected by their own field operatives. A careful look at precisely who these people are is enlightening…All of OCHA’s ‘verifying sources’ are founders and operatives of the very same Arab ‘non-profit’ organizations funded by the UN and the EU.”  It is an incestuous relationship, or, as Kahn describes it, an “echo chamber.”

Please see an earlier post of mine regarding the lies of “settler violence.”  It describes sources that OCHA relied upon for a report who were over-the-top in their bias against Israel.  That report, released at the end of 2022, included this incredible allegation:

“Armed and masked Israeli settlers are attacking Palestinians in their homes, attacking children on their way to school, destroying property and burning olive groves, and terrorising entire communities with complete impunity.” 



An additional problem with Biden’s Executive Order is that it inappropriately presumes the right to take action against Jews in Judea & Samaria who are violent (or ostensibly act against peace), when in fact this falls within the jurisdiction of the Israeli government.  Nor are we speaking only of American citizens living in J&S – this presumed right to act applies to Israeli citizens as well.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has tweeted:

 “Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary.”  @IsraeliPM

At present, four Israelis have been identified by the US for sanctioning: David Chai Chasdai, Einan Tanjil, Shalom Zicherman and Yinon Levi.  To the best of my knowledge, none are US citizens.

Yinon Levi has had his accounts frozen by Bank Leumi.  The Israeli postal bank has also taken action against him.

According to the State Department Levi “led a group of settlers who engaged in actions creating an atmosphere of fear in the West Bank. He regularly led groups of settlers from the Meitarim Farm outpost that assaulted Palestinian and Bedouin civilians, threatened them with additional violence if they did not leave their homes, burned their fields, and destroyed their property. Levi and other settlers at Meitarim Farm have repeatedly attacked multiple communities within the West Bank.”

Levi denies the charges.



Many of us here in Israel were bewildered and startled by the readiness of an Israeli bank to act in accordance with a decision made in the US against an Israeli citizen.

My best understanding of the situation is that the bank was not legally obliged to do this because of signed understandings with the US, but that there were agreements which could be undermined by the US if there were not cooperation on this matter.  

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, as well as others in the Knesset, are incensed. I assure you that we have not heard the end of this.


That Biden is acting out of political considerations is obvious.  Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman calls it “pure politics”:

“Meanwhile, Biden is permitting hundreds of people on the Terror Watch List to enter the USA illegally and refuses to enforce sanctions on Iran. This order represents a huge hit to the prestige of the presidency. No one is falling for it.”


Michigan, which has the largest Arab-American population in the US, is holding its presidential primary on February 27.  The state is registering falling support for Biden because of his backing of Israel’s war against Hamas, and he is now eager to shore it up.  On Thursday he paid a visit to the state.

The widely held understanding is that the president is prepared to throw Israel under the bus for electoral gain.


Keep praying to Heaven for Israel, my friends.  Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our boys, and for the rescue of our hostages.  Pray with a heart filled with hope.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.