The Fraudulent Case Against "Violent Settlers"

(Tablet) Liel Leibovitz - U.S. officials are using pro-Palestinian NGO sources to back a controversial effort aimed at punishing the Jewish state. In November, a month after Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped hundreds more, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog attended a meeting on Capitol Hill. Instead of focusing on Hamas or Hizbullah, the lawmakers, including senior-ranking senators from both parties, wanted to focus on the risks posed by roving bands of allegedly violent settlers in the West Bank. Much of the information they were citing came from a single, ostensibly impartial source: Lt.-Gen. Michael R. Fenzel, who currently serves as the U.S. security coordinator to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC). The USSC is well-known for its regular briefings and reports about "extremist settlers," which it provides to members of Congress. According to sources in and out of the U.S. government familiar with Fenzel's reports, nearly every claim presented as fact seems to have been lifted directly, sometimes verbatim, from the websites of highly partisan pro-Palestinian organizations. In the past 12 months, 13 Israelis were murdered by Palestinians in Jerusalem and 17 in the West Bank - not counting those slaughtered on Oct. 7, 2023 - while doing nothing more provocative than driving home or stopping for gas. The number of Palestinian civilians who have been killed by Israelis under such conditions over the same time period is zero. But the story the administration has been telling anyone who will listen is very different. By scrubbing any mention of the daily violence directed by Palestinian terror operatives against Jewish civilians living in the West Bank from his reports, Fenzel has eliminated the clear retaliatory motive for the vast majority of attacks by Israelis against West Bank Palestinians. Thinly laundered reports from expressly anti-Israel organizations, designed to support an illusion of innocent Palestinians being violently attacked by bloodthirsty Israelis, paint a picture of an Israeli equivalent to the Palestinian atrocities of Oct. 7, lending itself an easy "both-sides" posture. The Biden administration wants to isolate so-called "extremist settlers" as a major threat to regional stability. Biden's new executive order says they constitute "a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, and the broader Middle East region...[and are] threatening United States personnel and interests." Palestinian terrorism regularly attacking Israelis in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, and elsewhere went unmentioned.

2024-02-08 00:00:00

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