Gantz: I’ve convinced American, international colleagues not to use term ‘settler violence’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

National Unity chair Benny Gantz holds a Zoom meeting with executives of American Jewish organizations on November 9, 2023. (Screen capture/Israel Hayom)
National Unity chair Benny Gantz holds a Zoom meeting with executives of American Jewish organizations on November 9, 2023. (Screen capture/Israel Hayom)

National Unity chairman and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz says during a Zoom meeting yesterday with executives of legacy American Jewish organizations, I believe I’ve succeeded in convincing my American colleagues and international colleagues not to use the phrase settler violence anymore.

“Because 99% or more of the settlers are law-abiding people living in the settlements driving in the roads,” he asserts in a clip leaked to the Israel Hayom daily.

While Gantz says he has succeeded in the effort, it is unclear which colleagues he is referring to as the State Department continues to use the term and the European Union has begun describing the phenomenon as “settler terrorism.”

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly urged Netanyahu to clamp down on the recent uptick of violence by “extremist settlers.”

For his part, Gantz says on the Zoom that settlers make up a disproportionate number of those who have been killed fighting for the IDF in Gaza.

“I don’t want to sweep under the rug the fact that a small, extremist group who [is taking] actions against Palestinians. We are operating against it, we are using police forces and [the Shin Bet] against it,” Gantz adds.

The Yesh Din rights group said last week that there had been over 172 incidents of settler violence and harassment against Palestinians in at least 84 Palestinian towns and communities in the West Bank since Hamas’s terror onslaught.

These actions have resulted in the displacement of nearly 600 Palestinians from 13 communities who were forced to abandon their homes due to fear of settler attacks, the B’Tselem rights group says.

Most Popular