Stop Exaggerating Settler Violence

Last week, Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev met with a senior U.S. diplomat in Jerusalem. According to Bar-Lev, the two discussed “settler violence” and Israel’s efforts to control it. These remarks caused some controversy within the Jewish state, especially given recent terrorist attacks on Jews. The next day Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded, without mentioning Bar-Lev by name, by commenting on the need to protect the settlers. Jonathan Tobin observes:

The question we should be asking . . . is not whether it’s true that a small percentage of residents in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have engaged in confrontations with Palestinians or that some have broken the law by committing acts of violence. It’s whether the decision on the part of activist groups and some in the media to treat these incidents as emblematic of why it is wrong for Jews to live in the territories is justified, as well as why the focus on settler violence is almost always bereft of the broader context of what is going on in the West Bank on a far more frequent basis: daily attacks on Jews by Arabs, including murder.

All of the several hundred thousand Israelis who live in what the international community considers to be “occupied territory” and, by extension, the entire Jewish population of the country is somehow held responsible for the crimes of a few. Yet at the same time an exponentially greater volume of Palestinian violence is considered either unremarkable or somehow justified. If so, then it’s clear that the subject here is not so much the conduct of the settlers as it is the delegitimization of Jews.

One of the reasons for the obsessive focus on settler violence is . . . the lower standard by which Palestinian Arabs are always judged. Though those who are angered by attacks on them claim the moral high ground, the pass they give the Arabs for their far more frequent practice of terrorism speaks to a kind of racist condescension, rather than respect or concern for their well-being.

In fact, Tobin notes, Jewish-on-Arab crime has decreased precipitously in the West Bank in the last two years—while there has been a sharp uptick in terrorist attacks by Palestinians in the past several weeks.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Naftali Bennett, Palestinian terror, Settlements, West Bank

 

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy