J Street Welcomes Executive Order Addressing Settler Violence

February 1, 2024

J Street welcomes the extraordinarily significant Executive Order issued today by President Biden addressing the situation in the West Bank, including settler violence, which the President has determined “constitute[s] an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” 

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “This significant Executive Order provides American officials with powerful tools to deter further violence and extremism, prevent escalation and better ensure the safety of everyone living in both Israel and the West Bank. The Biden Administration is sending a clear message to extremists in the West Bank: There will be consequences.

“Just as the United States has rightly doubled down on sanctioning terrorists and terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah that have targeted Israelis for decades, so too must it take steps against those who engage in terrorism against Palestinians. The situation on the West Bank cries out for justice and accountability, and this is a major step in the right direction.”

J Street agrees with President Biden that “the situation in the West Bank – in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction – has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, and the broader Middle East region.” 

The measures announced today will rightly begin to treat individuals responsible for settler violence like the terrorists they are – freezing their US assets and prohibiting financial transactions with them and donations to them, among other sanctions. 

These steps should also send a clear message to the Israeli government that there will be real consequences for its continued failure to meet its obligations under international law to protect Palestinian civilians and their communities in the West Bank, including direct potential consequences for government officials. We applaud the Biden Administration for taking these concrete measures to prevent violence against Palestinian civilians, and call for them to be vigorously and consistently enforced.