US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday at a joint briefing with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he and the prime minister discussed ways to “prevent actions on all sides that could raise tensions.”

The statement came just a few hours before two Arab terrorists killed two Israeli police officers and critically wounded four more in a shooting attack that took place Sunday evening in Hadera, and 5 days after the terror attack in Be’er Sheva that left 4 Israelis dead and 2 more wounded.


“Israelis and Palestinians deserve to enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity, and dignity,” Blinken told reporters in Jerusalem, adding that’s “one of the principal reasons we support a negotiated two-state solution.”

The Secretary’s definition of actions to be “prevented” that “raise tensions,” included a list of no no’s mostly for Israel, with two items tossed in for action by the Palestinian Authority, probably to maintain the guise of moral equivalency.

Neither of those two items for the Palestinian Authority, however, was discussed or even mentioned publicly following Blinken’s late-day meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. In fact, Blinken issued no statement at all after leaving Ramallah, nor did he address reporters at a joint news conference.

US Action List for Israel
The action list handed to Bennett by Blinken, largely an attack on Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, came while the two men discussed “ways to foster a peaceful Passover, Ramadan and Easter across Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, particularly in Jerusalem,” the Secretary said.

That, he said, “means working to prevent actions on all sides that could raise tensions, including:

  • settlement expansion,
  • settler violence,
  • incitement to violence,
  • demolitions,
  • payments to individuals convicted of terrorism,
  • evictions of families from homes they’ve lived in for decades.

Let’s take the list item by item.

Settlement Expansion? Really?
The claim of “settlement expansion” is an absolute lie intended to whip up sympathy for Palestinian Authority Arabs who hope to seize territory in Area C – the area designated for total Israeli control, authority and security by the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords, which appear to have been largely forgotten by the world leaders who so lavishly praised the document when it was signed.

There has been no real settlement “expansion” in years.

As for construction within the municipal boundaries of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (Bennett’s “West Bank”), building has been frozen by the Bennett-Lapid-Gantz government since last year.

A construction freeze in Judea and Samaria includes the simple act of a Jewish family closing in one’s porch, building a pergola over one’s patio, or fixing one’s private driveway – let alone building a new library or kindergarten to address the growing population of a community.

Settler Violence, Leftist Mantra & Campaign
So-called “settler violence” – a lie chanted ad nauseum as part of an organized delegitimization campaign by the Israeli left and funded by its foreign backers.

Let’s Talk About Violence, Then
By contrast, there were 902 Arab terrorist attacks on Israelis in the short period between March 2021 and September 2021, not including the 4,500 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli civilians by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization during its war on Israel in May 2021, and not including subsequent attacks from Gaza.

One person was killed and 10 more Israelis were wounded, including several with serious injuries, in that five month period.

The above list does not include most of the daily cases of Palestinian Authority Arab riots, rock-throwing attacks – also designed and intended to kill – and Molotov cocktail / firebombing attacks on Israelis.

During May 2021, a total of 15 people were killed in terror-related incidents, including 13 that were directly related to the rocket arracks from Gaza. In addition, there were 168 non-fatal injuries during the round of fighting and other terror incidents.

Demolitions — of Jewish Housing?
As regards “demolitions” – perhaps Secretary Blinken is referring to the repeated destruction of Jewish housing in Area C?

Illegal Arab housing, part of the Fayyad Plan – including that funded and aided by the European Union – not only goes untouched but is often expanded within the space of a single night.

Repeated calls by Israeli nongovernmental watchdog organizations for the Bennett-Lapid administration to enforce the laws already on the books are ignored until brought to a court of law – and then decisions are delayed and delayed again.

The only “demolitions” of Arab housing carried out by the Israeli government are those of the living quarters belonging to convicted terrorist murderers. Those ARE demolished, after repeated struggles in court to issue the order, fight the terrorist family’s appeal and issue the order again. And again.

Which Evictions?
As for “evictions of families from homes they’ve lived in for decades” surely the good Secretary could not be referring to the evictions of those Arab families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood who have refused to pay rent to their Jewish owners for decades.

Or perhaps he is referring to the legal eviction of Bedouin families from the illegally-built village of Khan Al Almar in a particularly dangerous – and strategic – location along a major highway outside of Jerusalem.

That case has been back and forth in a courtroom for years, and finally even the court lost patience and ordered the state to enforce its own laws. This, after the residents of the illegal structures were offered newly built homes, complete with infrastructure they lack in their current location, just a bare few miles from the site.

Jewish Israeli residents of demolished communities in Judea and Samaria are rarely, if ever, granted such privileges.

This is “a message that I’ll be underscoring in all of my meetings on this trip,” Blinken promised.

Did Blinken Discuss His List with Mahmoud Abbas?
As for “incitement to violence” and “payments to individuals convicted of terrorism” – the Secretary must have been referring to the official Palestinian Authority policy of encouraging terrorism, and its official “pay to slay” policy, reinforced, praised, and promised forever by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

But he offered no specifics on whether or how he planned to deliver that list to Abbas, with whom he met in Ramallah following his meetings with Israeli officials in Jerusalem, or if he even planned to discuss any list of demands at all.

Of more interest is the fact that Blinken’s State Department issued a transcript of statements by him and by Abbas following their meeting at 10 pm local time, long after the dinner the launched the Negev Summit the Secretary was to have been attending.

“We’ve been focused on concrete ways to help improve the lives of Palestinians,” Blinken said, but added that American support is “more than simply economic. We’re focused on advancing Palestinian civil and human rights, supporting civil society,” he reminded the PA leader, adding that during their talks, “we also emphasized the imperative of having a peaceful Ramadan, Easter, Passover, all of which come together in a month’s time.”

He made no mention of last week’s terror attack in Be’er Sheva, nor did he mention the terror attack that took place this evening, two hours before he spoke with reporters, and which he had to have been aware of.

Nor did Abbas, typically, mention either attack. His silence spoke volumes.

Prior to the statement, Blinken had already issued a brief statement lavishly praising the “partnerships between Palestinian and Israeli grassroots organizations, businesses, young people, other parts of society through a five-year $250 million Nita M. Lowey Middle East partnership for peace act,” which kicked off at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem.

“Efforts like this will not only improve people’s lives but build relationships that can help defuse tensions and violence and ultimately, lay a foundation for dialogue and for peace,” he said.

Terrorism Survives Nice Programs
The fact that such programs have yet to prevent any terror attacks from being perpetrated by vicious murderers officially encouraged, egged on and rewarded by the very same government leaders with whom he was meeting in Ramallah appeared to escape Blinken’s notice, not to mention that of the entire Biden administration.

During his remarks with Bennett, the Secretary made no reference to last week’s deadly attack in Be’er Sheva by a convicted terrorist that left four people dead – including a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi – and seriously wounded two others.

Blinken left his sole one-sentence condemnation of that attack for delivery at a separate, later news briefing with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Where Was Bennett?
But one has to ask why Israel’s prime minister remained silent, in the face of what he must have known were spurious accusations and lies.

Could Bennett be hoping his silence would help persuade the US to ignore Iran’s demand to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list in exchange for signing the JCPOA nuclear deal?

That’s not likely, Prime Minister.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.