Biden Sanctions Violent Israeli Settlers To Oust Netanyahu

The first-of-its-kind move aims to divide Netanyahu’s government.

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order last week to sanction Israelis who are involved in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, an unprecedented action by a U.S. administration.

Details: If certain federal agencies decide an individual has, in any way, taken part in such violence against either Palestinian civilians or property, they will not be allowed to enter the U.S. It also puts financial institutions who do business with those individuals at risk.

  • Context: Since October 7, eight Palestinian civilians have been killed and more than 115 have been injured in attacks by Jewish extremists — some in response to Palestinian terror attacks in the area. Biden says the levels of settler violence have become “intolerable.”

Beyond the headlines: This is the latest move in President Biden’s intent to create a wedge between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right coalition partners.

The strategy: Journalist Yair Rosenberg explains Biden’s strategy: “Biden has opted to challenge Netanyahu on issues that splinter his support rather than consolidate it. In practice, this means strategically targeting policies where Netanyahu is on the wrong side of Israeli public opinion and forcing him to choose between his hard-right partners and the rest of the country.”

  • The reason: Biden wants Netanyahu to isolate his coalition partners and ultimately be ousted from his position as prime minister.

Also: Amid increasing anger from members of the far-left and Muslim communities over his support for Israel — leading some to question whether they will vote for him in November — Biden wants to show he can be tough on Israel, too.

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