Israeli ministers fire back after being targeted for Biden’s sanctions list

‘Biden administration is collaborating with immoral BDS campaign spreading antisemitic lies,’ says Israeli minister.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israeli ministers who had reportedly been considered for an American sanctions list against “radical settlers” took aim at the Biden administration, hours after President Joe Biden signed an executive order blacklisting four Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.

On Thursday, Biden imposed sanctions on David Chai Chasdai, Einan Tanjil, and Yinon Levi, freezing any assets held in the United States barring financial transactions with the four, and prohibiting their entry into the United States.

In a statement released by the State Department, the administration claimed it targeted the four over their alleged attacks on Palestinian Arabs and far-left activists in Judea and Samaria. The charges include inciting a riot, involvement in stone-throwing, assault, breaking car windows, and “creating an atmosphere of fear.”

The White House had considered far broader sanctions, however, including measures against two senior Israeli government ministers: Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party) and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Later on Thursday, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich fired back at the Biden administration, castigating the White House for the executive order.

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“The time has come for America to rethink its policies in Judea and Samaria,” Ben-Gvir tweeted. “President Biden is making a mistake with regards to Israeli citizens and our heroic settlers. They are the ones who are under attack, who are assaulted by stones in an attempt to murder them – they, the heroic settlers of Judea and Samaria.”

Finance Minister Smotrich accused the Biden administration of “collaborating” with an “antisemitic” campaign against Israel.

“The ‘violent settlers’ campaign is an antisemitic canard being spread by Israel’s enemies in order to smear our settler pioneers and the settlement enterprise and to hurt them, and by hurting them smear the entire State of Israel,” Smotrich tweeted.

“This is the immoral campaign of the BDS movement, which turns the victim into the aggressor.”

“It is a shame that the Biden administration is collaborating with this at a time when the settlers are paying with the blood of their best sons in the war in Gaza.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also responded to Biden’s executive order Thursday, defending Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.

“The overwhelming majority of residents in Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are currently fighting – as conscripts and reservists – to defend Israel.”

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“Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary.”

Gush Etzion Regional Council Mayor and Yesha Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman excoriated the Biden administration over the sanctions, calling them a “heap of antisemitism.”

“A heap of antisemitism birthed falsehoods. After launching a vicious campaign and through great effort, the United States has located only four people who they believe deserve to be sanctioned.”

“This makes it clear that there is no phenomenon of violence, as the radical left-wing organizations were claiming.”

“And yet the Biden administration chooses to play their game and draw a comparison between the actions of Hamas Nazis against Israelis in Judea and Samaria and our residents. This is an embarrassment to our intelligence and a disgrace to the values of the free world.”

“We demand that the Israeli government not lend a hand in this ugly game and continue to develop the enterprise of communities in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli government should not assist in the discrimination of our population. The residents of Judea and Samaria are a national source of pride and a symbol of beautiful Israel, which is strong and brave. Together we will win [the war].”