Israeli Officials Say Americans Obsessed with ‘Settler Violence’

YERUSHALAYIM -
File photo of a car damaged by rock throwing on Route 55, near the Jewish town of Karnei Shomron. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

A day after a comment about violence committed by Israelis against Palestinians in Yehuda and Shomron from Israel’s public security minister set off a furor, Israeli officials have said that American officials focus on the matter as much as they do on the Iranian nuclear threat.

“The Americans bring up ‘settler violence’ all the time, obsessively,” a senior diplomatic source in Yerushalayim was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev’s tweet saying that Israel is working to curb “settler violence” was in response to a query put to him by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland in a meeting in Yerushalayim on Sunday.

When Defense Minister Benny Gantz was in Washington last week to argue for a tougher stance against Iran, Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted they devote equal time to discussing violence in Yehuda and Shomron as to Iran, which left Israeli diplomas nonplussed, according to the report.

Blinken told Gantz that the Israeli government’s activity in the region is “destroying the chance of a two-state solution.”

 

A senior Israeli diplomatic source was quoted as conceding that the violence is a real problem, but that it’s blown out of proportion, and objected to the label “settler violence.”

 

“We need to solve the problem. It’s serious. But the Americans keep pushing, and it’s not helpful,” the source said.