Biden wants to 'punish Israeli settlers in the West Bank'


It would appear that the pressure from the left has truly gotten to Joe Biden and he’s going find a way to demonstrate that he’s ready to “get tough” on Israel. But if this recent report from Politico is accurate, he’s decided on a very odd method of doing it. His executive order will reportedly “punish Israeli settlers in the West Bank” who have attacked or come into conflict with the Palestinians living there. Granted, the West Bank has been a sore spot for Israel for a long time now and Israel’s moves to expand their own settlements in the region have led to some conflicts. But no matter your feelings about those interactions, when did that become our business? And how does Biden propose to identify and impose sanctions on individual Jewish settlers? I suppose this might pacify some of his prospective supporters on the left, but it just sounds like yet another knife in the back to one of our closest allies.

President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order Thursday that aims to punish Israeli settlers who have been attacking Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to documents seen by POLITICO, two U.S. officials and a congressional aide.

As part of the rollout, the Biden administration will announce it is imposing sanctions on individuals who have engaged in such violence, which has killed or displaced many Palestinians from their lands, the documents say.

The National Security Council declined to comment.

The order comes as Biden is under growing pressure, including from Democrats, to be tougher on Israel as critics say its military campaign against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is a disproportionate reaction to the Hamas attack of Oct. 7.

There are repeated references made to “extremist Israeli settlers.” Biden wants to impose visa restrictions on them. Of course, no mention is made of the number of Palestinians who have had to be locked up because of their repeated attacks on Israeli settlers.

Even if this seemed like a good idea (it doesn’t), the White House doesn’t appear to be talking about sanctions against the government of Israel. These would be sanctions on individuals. You can understand sanctions on Iranian oil barons or Russian oligarchs, but a bunch of Israeli settlers?

Politico’s analysis notes that Joe Biden had previously sought to influence policy in that country using “carrots rather than sticks.” They note that he largely attempted to resist the appearance that he was looking “to interfere with internal Israeli politics.” Well, that’s actually a pretty good policy if you ask me. We don’t ask Israel to come over here and handle our border invasion or disputes between the states over issues like abortion. If they tried to do so, we would be justified in pushing back. So when did that policy change? How is the handling of the West Bank settlements suddenly up to us? The answer is that it’s not.

Joe Biden appears to be attempting to have his cake and eat it too. On the surface, he continues to mouth the correct words and say that we have Israel’s back. But the more his poll numbers sink and the more leftists who show up at his campaign events calling him “Genocide Joe,” the more pressure he feels to do something “tough” toward Israel. This sanctions scheme against West Bank settlers is apparently the best they could come up with.

This is bound to backfire with the Democrats’ base as well. What they are objecting to is the number of deaths of Palestinians in Gaza at the hands of the IDF. A slight change in policy regarding the West Bank isn’t going to impact that situation. As long as Netanyahu continues to prosecute this war against Hamas, there will continue to be collateral damage among the Palestinians, most of whom have already been indoctrinated to hate the Jews anyway. If Biden isn’t careful, all he’s going to wind up doing is alienating one of our remaining close allies while not buying himself any more approval from the American left.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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