ZOA National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
Especially dangerous during this era of surging Jew-hatred, we condemn President Biden’s recently issued unprecedented, outrageous, antisemitic Executive Order that is being used to single out Jews in Judea/Samaria for severe financial and travel sanctions and demonization. The Biden order’s broad language threatens to harm hundreds of thousands of innocent Israeli citizens, groups and government bodies who disagree with Biden’s false premise that the presence of Jews living in the Jewish homelands of Judea/Samaria “threatens peace.” Notably, Biden’s order ignores the real problems in Judea/Samaria – namely, that a dozen times every day Arab terrorists attempt to or actually knife, shoot, ram, throw Molotov-cocktails, throw boulder-sized rocks, and commit other murderous terror attacks against innocent Jews; incentivized by the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s “pay-to-slay” incentive payments and non-stop incitement to murder Jews.
Biden’s order entitled, “Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions on Persons Undermining Peace, Security, and Stability in the West Bank,” foments antisemitism by proclaiming the blood libel that “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.”
Notably, the only “high level” of “extremist settler violence” that the Biden witch hunt could find among the 500,000 peaceful, law-abiding Jews living in the lawful Jewish homelands of Judea/Samaria was four young Jews, such as an outraged young Jewish man who allegedly burned cars in a parking lot in Huwara after Arab terrorists from Huwara gunned down and murdered two innocent Jewish brothers who were simply passing by on a highway. The Biden State Department’s simultaneous “Announcement of Further Measures to Promote Peace, Security, and Stability in the West Bank,” which named the four Jews that Biden is sanctioning, did not mention and ignored that Huwara Arab terrorists murdered innocent Jews just prior to the car burning retaliation.
Biden’s one-sided discriminatory sanctions are also an unnecessary and insulting interference with Israel’s domestic law enforcement. In the rare instances when a Jew allegedly perpetrates any violence or unlawful retaliation against Arabs, Israel investigates the incident, and if warranted, arrests, tries and punishes the perpetrator. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office stated:
“The vast majority of residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are fighting right now in active and reserve duty to protect Israel. Israel acts against all violators of the law in all places, and therefore there is no place for drastic steps on this matter.”
Moreover, because the Biden administration wrongly condemns lawful, essential-to-Israel’s-security Jewish communities in the lawful Jewish homelands of Judea/Samaria as threats to peace, it is very concerning that Biden’s Executive Order also calls for sanctioning anyone whom the Biden administration deems to be “directing, enacting, implementing, enforcing, or failing to enforce policies — that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the West Bank.” Biden’s order also widely expands on this by calling for sanctioning entities – including government entities – that have a member that engages in any of the foregoing; as well as sanctioning anyone who provides goods or services to any of the foregoing.
In other words, Biden’s antisemitic State Department could use his order to severely sanction any and every Jew in Judea/Samaria or elsewhere who does business with anyone there; every government and other entity there, and the Israeli government itself.
Biden’s Executive Order could also be used to sanction anyone carrying out or involved in the lawful demolition of illegal Arab homes and Arab terrorists’ buildings. There are over 80,000 illegal Arab structures in Area C – the portion of Judea/Samaria that the Oslo Accords designate for total Israeli administration and control. Many of these illegal Arab structures were built in the middle of nature reserves, on Israeli military ranges or alongside roads, where they can block traffic or be used to shoot at Israelis traveling along the roads. In other words, Biden’s Executive Order could sanction lawful Israeli actions to reduce Palestinian Arab terrorism and Palestinian Arab lawlessness.
Biden’s order moreover insults the Jewish people – who have the legal, historical and religious right to Judea/Samaria – by calling them “settlers.”
Another outrage in Biden’s Executive Order is that it specifically exempts from sanctions actions by the “United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof.” It is contemptible that Biden is providing such an exemption the very same week that new details emerged about UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) employees participating in the October 7th massacre, including taking hostages; distributing ammunition; coordinating vehicles, and bringing rocket-propelled grenades that were stored in their homes; in addition to the longstanding problems with UNRWA employing and being controlled by Hamas and indoctrinating Arab children to hate and murder Jews.
If Biden is sincere about reducing violence and instability in Judea/Samaria, he should stop ignoring and enforce sanctions against Iran; discontinue his calls for a Palestinian state (which would be an Iranian-proxy terror state); discontinue $800 million funding that benefits the PA and enables its “pay-to-slay” incentives to murder Jews; and sanction the Palestinian Authority and the thousands of Arabs who perpetrate violence against innocent Jews every day.