Britain is joining the United States in sanctioning a group of Israeli residents in Judea and Samaria as part of a cross-Atlantic campaign of harassment that appears to be aimed at pressuring the Netanyahu government into accepting a Palestinian Authority terrorist state on its borders.
The UK sanctioned four Israelis on Monday, accusing them of “egregious abuses of human rights” and imposing strict financial and travel restrictions on all of them.
Moshe Sharvit, Yinon Levy, Zvi Bar Yosef and Ely Federman were identified as having been barred from entering Britain as part of the sanctions.
Sharvit and Levy have also been subjected to visa sanctions and had their assets frozen by the United States as well.
According to a government notice, the sanctions were imposed under Britain’s Global Human Rights sanctions mechanism.
“Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs,” claimed British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. He did not quote any source nor provide any evidence to back up the accusation.
“This behavior is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through,” Cameron added.
The UK’s Foreign Office claimed that over the past year there have been “unprecedented” levels of violence by “settlers” in Judea and Samaria. No evidence was presented to back up the accusations.
It’s doubtful that Britain has ever contemplated imposing sanctions against any of the thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs who carry out daily stone-throwing and other terror attacks against their Israeli neighbors in Judea and Samaria. The United States likewise has refrained from holding Palestinian Authority citizens accountable for their actions with consequences such as freezing their bank accounts and restricting travel.
Earlier this month, the US government imposed sanctions on four Israelis also accused of “settler violence” in Judea and Samaria.
The four men were slapped with financial sanctions and visa restrictions, freezing their US assets and barring Americans from conducting business with them. Three Israeli banks froze the accounts of the Israelis as well.
“Violence in the West Bank surged to alarming levels in 2023. This includes unprecedented levels of violence by Israeli extremist settlers targeting Palestinians and their property, as well as violence by Palestinian extremist militants against Israeli civilians,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller told reporters at a Feb. 1 briefing.
“Today’s action follows on the step we took in December to impose visa restrictions on dozens of individuals for contributing to violence and instability in the West Bank. There is no justification for extremist violence against civilians, whatever their national origin, ethnicity, or religion.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office condemned the sanctions, saying in a Feb. 1 statement, “The vast majority of residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are fighting right now in active and reserve duty to protect Israel.”
“Israel acts against all violators of the law in all places and therefore there is no place for drastic steps on this matter.”
As mentioned above, Palestinian Authority citizens who attack Israelis rarely merit such a scolding, and to date have never been subjected by the Biden Administration to the draconian measures taken against Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.
Incredibly, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that same day that the sanctions “seek to promote peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the move.
“Biden’s order is a very serious matter,” Netanyahu told reporters at a briefing. “It is inappropriate and harms a big group of law-abiding settlers.
“If the US wanted to use it in an equal manner it would have imposed sanctions on hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. I told [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken it is a highly problematic thing,” he said.