Biden Targets Israelis With Executive Order

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President Biden has targeted certain Israeli West Bank settlers with sanctions. They will be banned from traveling to the United States and using the US financial system.

Biden’s decision is a political gift to Arab and Muslim Americans, who make up an increasing share of the Democrat coalition. The NY Times reports:

President Biden on Thursday ordered broad financial and travel sanctions on Israeli settlers accused of violent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, a forceful gesture aimed in part at Arab American voters in the United States who have expressed fury about the president’s backing of Israel’s war in Gaza.

Mr. Biden authorized the sanctions with an executive order that goes further than a directive issued in December by the State Department, which imposed visa bans on dozens of Israeli settlers who have committed acts of violence in the West Bank. The sanctions will initially be imposed on four Israelis, who will be cut off from the U.S. financial system and from accessing any American assets or property. They also will be prevented from traveling to the United States or engaging in any commerce with people in the United States.

Settlers are Israelis living in the Palestinian areas, which are policed by the IDF. Netanyahu has generally been supportive of settlements, but some are not even legal according to Israeli law. The Guardian explains:

The US and the UK, among other states, have long held up the goal of a Palestinian state as part of a negotiated peace process but recent moves in the midst of the Gaza war have highlighted the increasing sense of international frustration with Netanyahu, who has long worked to prevent a Palestinian state.

The Israeli prime minister has in recent weeks spoken of an extended period of military security control by Israel in Gaza while rejecting a role for any revitalised Palestinian Authority.

Israel now has to navigate a torn US government no longer willing to fully support it. Netanyahu’s now rocky relationship with Trump is another challenge that Israel will have to overcome.

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