Photo Credit: Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Williamson
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julius Perry fires an M16 rifle

The Biden administration is once again holding up licenses for selling more than 20,000 US-made M16 rifles to Israel on the charge that they would be distributed to “violent extremist” settlers, Axios reported Wednesday night.

The decision to withhold the sale came after Israel had already guaranteed back on November 6 that none of these weapons would go to the settlers, violent or otherwise. Ravid cited US officials who told him that after the deal had been approved, the State Department decided to “slow-walk the process,” demanding a new review of the licenses. Ravid claims that this renewed concern was the handiwork of a sworn enemy of the Jewish settlement enterprise, Central Command Commander General Yehuda Fox.


Let’s unpack.

The sale is crucial not only to the settlers, who are only scantily armed and whose able-bodied men are serving, and dying, in Gaza. Israeli communities inside the Green Line, in the south, the north, but mostly in the center, are still vulnerable to terrorist attacks and deploy local standby response teams made up of local residents. They receive their weapons and training from the Police, and their need far outweighs the supply.

Axios reporter Barak Ravid speculated that the new delay is connected to a recent statement by President Biden that with the current makeup of his government, Prime Minister Netanyahu would not be able to deliver on a Palestinian State. Never mind that Netanyahu himself has declared no such delivery is coming.

The two personae non-gratae the Biden White House has been targeting since inauguration day are Itamar ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who are sworn enemies of any concession to the “Palestinians,” never mind statehood. Ben Gvir, as National Security Minister, is in charge of the Israel Police, which in turn distributes the weapons. The Americans expect that once the weapons were delivered, nothing could prevent Ben Gvir from handing them to settlers.

Major General Yehuda Fox / IDF Spokesperson’s Unit photographer

Enter General Fox, who, according to a News12 November 23 report, authored a document warning that the police do not deal with Jewish terrorism in the territories because they follow a directive from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

News12 dyed-in-the-wool leftist journalist Ayala Dayan, winner of a 2008 New Israel Fund award for her “contribution to the promotion of human and civil rights in Israel,” suggested that the Fox document was classified, known to only a select few, but managed nevertheless to report that General Fox attached to his document the opinion of senior Shin Bet officials, including Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar, all of whom agreed with Fox that the police hardly enforces the law against “nationalist crime.” The Shin Bet cited conversations with senior police officials from which it appears that there exists a directive from the minister to the senior officials of the Judea and Samaria police district to avoid enforcement against extreme right-wing elements.

Ayala Dayan interviewing then-Chief Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, December 14, 2010. / IDF

Is it any wonder that the Biden administration, already residing on a planet where bands of armed Jews go out every night to eat Arab babies, was alarmed by the News12 report that confirmed all their suspicions without offering a scintilla of hard evidence?

It didn’t make a difference that the Israel Police, in its response that was included in the News12 segment, pointed out that “since the beginning of the war, there has been a 50% decrease in incidents that are included in nationalist crime compared to the same period last year, and there is an increase of about 30% in the number of cases opened by the joint activity of the police, the IDF, and other security agencies. The Israel Police, the Judea and Samaria District, and the rest of the security agencies will continue to act at all times against terrorist incidents.”

The police also noted that during the same period, the Judea and Samaria police officers “have been engaged in intense activity against terrorism and terrorist incidents, and illegal weapons arrests, and dozens of terrorist operatives and hundreds of suspects in incitement incidents have been arrested” – in the Arab population, a far more enthusiastic spreader of violence.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir handing long weapons to Israeli standby squads, November 8, 2023. / Courtesy

But the Biden folks are not going to be confused by the facts. As the same US official told Ravid: “This deal isn’t moving anywhere at the moment. We need more assurances from Israel about the steps it is going to take to curb attacks by violent settlers and to make sure no new US weapons will reach settlers in the West Bank.”

I’ll tell you a secret: the only assurance the Biden administration will accept is Netanyahu’s sacking of Itamar Ben Gvir.

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David writes news at