OpinionIsrael News

The ‘settler violence’ myth

Don’t be fooled by a fraudulent PR distraction.

People at the newly recognized Evyatar outpost, June 22, 2023. Photo: Flash90.
People at the newly recognized Evyatar outpost, June 22, 2023. Photo: Flash90.
Shlomo Ne'eman
Shlomo Ne'eman is mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and chairman of the Yesha Council representing the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

History has taught us that the Jewish people are the canary in the coal mine. If Israel does not wipe out Hamas in its just war, the threats the Jewish state faces today will become global threats tomorrow.

Despite this fact, world attention has somewhat shifted from Israel’s justified war against terror to “settler violence”—alleged anti-Arab attacks carried out by the Jews of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

Over the past several weeks, the U.S., the U.K. and France have all issued vague statements threatening to ban, restrict or sanction Jews living in certain parts of Israel based solely on their geographic location.

Yes, even as Israel is fighting a war against Hamas following the rape, torture and massacre of 1,200 of her citizens, somehow the conversation has shifted to the Jews of Judea.

It is mind-boggling that at this very moment, just over three months since Hamas’s heinous attack, when one side (Israel) represents the light in this world and the other (Hamas) represents the darkness, many are greying an issue that is absolutely black and white.

As mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, my office has fielded dozens of calls from media outlets around the world with reporters on the ground in Israel who are supposed to be covering the war. They constantly ask if they can discuss the phenomenon of “setter violence” with me.

Ironically, not a single journalist has asked about a much more serious problem: Daily Arab terrorism targeting the Jewish population of the area.

According to the Rescuers Without Borders emergency medical first response organization, from Oct. 7 to Dec. 7, 2023, there were over 1,000 Arab terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, according to the Israel Police and the IDF, the number of “settler” attacks against Arabs in the month following the Oct. 7 massacre was down 50% compared to the same period in 2022. You can count the number of these attacks on one hand.

The reality is that the 500,000 Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding, peaceful and loyal citizens of the State of Israel. But the propaganda campaign directed against us has certainly gotten the attention of foreign governments, which have taken the time or wasted characters on X to condemn this phantom menace.

I wonder if any of the above-mentioned nations have threatened to deny entry or issue bans on citizens of any other country who were allegedly in violence; or if their threats are reserved for Jews from Judea. I imagine the latter is the case.

These nations must understand that, from a moral perspective, the focus must remain on Israel’s justified campaign to rid humanity of the evil that is Hamas. This is an important goal, not only for Israel but for the entire world. One should not be fooled by a fraudulent PR distraction.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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