From Israel : “The Pernicious Lies of “Settler Violence”!!”

There are so many instances of distortion in the media that present a false, negative picture of Israel that I could easily write a book on the subject.

But I want to focus here on the charges of “settler violence,” which are both fallacious and damaging.  


Many, if not most, of the charges of “settler violence” originated with agencies and organizations (either outside of Israel or receiving funds from sources outside of Israel) that are strongly predisposed against Israel:

One example among several is B’Tselem, registered as an Israeli NGO but funded to a significant degree by the EU, Sweden, New Israel Fund, Norway, the Ford Foundation and other (left-wing) non-Israeli sources. Representing itself as a “human rights organization,” it pursues a blatantly political agenda.  

According to NGO Monitor, “B’Tselem is part of a network of NGOs that promote artificial and manufactured definitions of apartheid to extend the ongoing campaigns that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel.” (Emphasis added)


In 2020-2021, B’Tselem received funding from the EU for information on settler violence in Israel.

In 2021, B’Tselem wrote: “Settler violence against Palestinians is part of the strategy employed by Israel’s apartheid regime, which seeks to take over more and more West Bank land.”


This charge is ludicrous, as it is Palestinian Arabs who have been illegally usurping Israeli land in Area C.

For more on this see: https://www.regavim.org/category/battle-for-area-c/


And then there is the UN, which is strongly predisposed against Israel.  OHCHR – the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – released a report just over a year ago that included this:

“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.” 


Incredible!  Outrageous!  A pastiche of lies.

OHCHR cites three “experts” who provided the information on “settler violence.” The very first one of those listed is “Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.”

Albanese recently defended the Hamas massacre, distorting the facts in the process:


Previously, she had spoken in defense of Palestinian Arab violence: “an occupation requires violence and generates violence. Palestinians have no other room for dissent than violence.”


It makes a mockery of the entire report, that OHCHR relied upon the “expertise” of this biased woman with regard to charges of “settler violence.”

Credit: Lucas Koch/AAP


Charges made by these anti-Israel sources and others – notably Breaking the Silence, which receives foreign funding and worked with B’Tselem on its report on “settler violence” – have been picked up more broadly by mainstream media sources, many of which tilt against Israel as a matter of course.  They have been shared in so many venues that they have become accepted as “fact.”  But they are not fact.

Unfortunately, Joe Biden has chosen to take on this issue.  Not only has he spoken about the problem of “settler violence,” the US government is acting in response to this alleged violence.

In early December, the Biden administration announced intention to implement visa bans on Israelis viewed as “extremist settlers” in the West Bank (that is, Judea & Samaria).

“State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller (pictured) said the U.S. is in the process of sanctioning people… 

“Under the policy, any Israeli citizen deemed to be committing acts of violence or undermining peace and security in the West Bank, particularly against Palestinians, will be banned from entering the U.S.”


Credit: State Department

This is a terribly wrong-headed policy, obviously political in its underpinning.  

We might note, first, that this visa ban is directed against Jews selectively.  A policy that was equitable would require that Palestinian Arabs living in Judea & Samaria would also be banned from entering the US if they committed acts of violence against Jews or undermined peace.  But then again, if it were applied equitably, no one representing the PA, which pays terrorists and their families (surely an act that undermines peace), would be permitted into the US.  And that would never do.

What is more, the identification of those to be banned is too general, too broad. What does it mean to “undermine peace” and precisely who will determine who these individuals allegedly doing so are?

Use of the term “deemed” is problematic. To “deem” is to believe or consider.  No concrete proof will be required?  

Those who in the end will be denied visas are small in number – Miller acknowledged as much in his announcement.  They are not going to be denied entry into the US because they present a danger or are enemies of the US, but rather because of the political statements the US seeks to make.  


We come then to the question of precisely what political statements.

Credit: Politico

Biden is attempting to show progressives/leftists in the electorate that he can be tough on Israel.  Why did he charge that Israel was doing ”indiscriminate” bombing in Gaza when he had to know better?  It is of a piece, I believe, as he enters an election year.  

Part of what he is doing is adopting a position of moral equivalency: Yea, yea, the Palestinian Arabs do some bad stuff, but look at what the Jews are doing. But don’t worry, he will deal with them.

And yet, there is something else going on that is even more significant.

Biden is pushing hard for that “two-state-solution.”  This requires, in his fantasies, a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.  And that means that Palestinian Arabs must control most – if not all – of Judea & Samaria.  For that to happen, the Jews living in that area must be delegitimized.  “Settlers” is a derisive term, in this context.


David Weinberg, a senior fellow at The Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy, has a slightly different take:

Essentially, this is an effort to limit sympathy for Israel and to backhandedly excuse Hamas atrocities… 

“To the Biden administration I say: Stop throwing ‘settler violence’ in Israel’s face as it fights for its very life against the genocidal Hamas. At best, this is a red herring issue. At worst, it is an ugly attempt to discredit the righteousness of Israel’s war effort.”  (Emphasis added)


Credit: JNS


Before we look at some of the data, I wish to make a point about the definition of “violence.”  If every incident on the Israeli side, regardless of its severity, is calculated as being equivalent to every incident on the Arab side, a distortion of the reality will take place. There is a small number of hilltop youth in Judea & Samaria who have been prone to doing “price tag” attacks (although such attacks are fewer in number these days).  Much of the time this involved vandalism.  Not acceptable, not to be excused. But neither is it to be equated – incident to incident – with Arab attacks that maim or take life.  

This entire issue of charging Jews with violence against Arabs is very deeply disturbing when – even before the massacre of October 7 – we were dealing with frequent terror attacks that killed innocent Jews.  (More on this below.)


Another problem in securing accurate data is the question of what is identified as a “settler attack.”

Ariel Kahana (pictured below), writing in Israel Hayom at the end of December,  looks at some problematic instances:

According to the police, the agency that is officially tasked with collecting the data, there were instances in which rapid response teams in settlements were involved in incidents that were believed to be “settler violence.”  On high alert following the Hamas attack, they tended to respond aggressively.  The IDF erroneously identified these incidents as “settler violence,” but have now adjusted their data to conform with that of the police.

The police argue that the IDF method of counting incidents was inaccurate, and has damaged Israel’s international image.

According  to the commander of the Israel Police Judea and Samaria District, Uzi Levy, following discussions with settler leaders, IDF Major General Fox had been misled by “extremist left-wing anarchists who have been deliberately creating friction so that the Arabs clash with settlers, and ultimately lay the blame on the settlers – but in many cases they are the ones causing the incidents.”  

The police and the IDF have now adjusted data so that it is synchronized.  The data indicates that during the second month of the Gaza war, there was a significant decline in what has been termed “nationalistic incidents” perpetrated by Israelis in the West Bank.

According to police data, this is the second consecutive month with a decline of about 50% in incidents compared to the equivalent period in 2022. This amounts to about 50 incidents on average per month, compared to a figure twice the size during the same months in 2022. 

“Fox says in closed briefings that ‘99.9% of the half a million residents of the West Bank are normative law-abiding citizens, many of whom are currently being called into the Gaza war effort,’ and has also emphasized that the violent individuals are ’a handful of felons.’”


Credit: PR


On Sunday, 23 MKs, all members of Israel’s Knesset and the Knesset Caucus to Combat Antisemitism and Delegitimization, wrote a letter to President Biden.  The letter was initiated by the chairman of the lobby, MK Ariel Kallner (Likud), who calls the charges a “modern blood libel.”

Kellner laments a disproportionate focus on settlers that all but ignores the innate hatred toward Jews across Palestinian society: “This blood libel needs to be cut off at the root. The Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria have for years been subject to violent attacks by an Arab society that largely also supports the October 7 events.”


I cite David Weinberg above and provide his comments from another article of his here.  The issue is the threat to many Israeli communities, including those in Judea & Samaria, of attack by Palestinian Arabs (emphasis added):

“Most stark of all is the threat of Palestinian swarm attacks on settlement communities in Judea and Samaria and on cities straddling the Green Line in the center of the country like those in the Emek Hefer region. This is not an imaginary scenario. It is a clear and present danger

In the nine weeks since Hamas launched its cross-border attack from the Gaza Strip, there have been 1,388 Palestinian terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, including 569 stoning assaults, 287 attacks with explosives, 143 fire-bombings, and 70 drive-by shooting attacks. Three Israelis (a civilian, a soldier, and a Border Police officer) have been murdered in Judea and Samaria since October 7 and at least 52 Israelis sustained injuries.”

Read this in its entirety.  It is blood-curdling.  The suggestion from the world community that “the problem” is “settler violence” is enraging.


And consider this, from December 14:

“The Biden administration is blocking a shipment of more than 27,000 US-made rifles for the Israel Police out of fear they could make their way into the hands of ‘extremist Israeli settlers,’ US officials said.

“Three cases of firearms, including M-16 and M-4 rifles, have been waiting for the State Department’s required approval and notification to Congress for more than a month, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The Biden administration told the Israeli government this month that it won’t transfer the rifles until they’ve received sufficient assurances from Israel that the guns will only be used by police, the officials said.”


These insufferable fools have it all wrong.


Please, it is urgent that this information be shared broadly. Use it to refute the libel and alert people to the real dangers.


The Beautiful People of Israel story of the day:

In a manner that is true of no other fighting force in the world, the IDF is concerned with reassuring the mothers of their soldiers. Those who are fighting in Gaza are not able to use their cell phones, and their mothers can go many days without word.  Sometimes commanders message them to say that their sons are well.

Recently, someone I am close to, the mother of two young soldiers in Gaza, received a message from the commander of one of her sons.  He is well, the commander told her.  If she wanted to bake cookies for him and get them to a designated delivery point a distance away (outside of Gaza) by the following morning, they would be brought to her son.

She received the message at night and knew it was impossible, as she had no car, to get it to the delivery point by designated time in the morning. When she told this to the commander, he assured her she should not worry. He charged someone at the designated delivery point with buying some cookies for this woman’s son, which would be carried into Gaza with other cookies. Later in the day, she received a picture from the commander of her son enjoying the cookies.  

Where else?


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.