Recent inflammatory remarks made by Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, asserting that some of his rights outweigh those of Palestinians, have been criticized by the United States State Department on Friday, August 25, 2023.
“[The US] strongly condemn[s] Minister Ben-Gvir’s inflammatory comments on the freedom of movement of Palestinian residents of the West Bank,” the spokesperson said.
During an interview with Channel 12 on Wednesday, Ben-Gvir emphasized his right to secure travel as being more significant than that of Palestinians, advocating for enhanced security for Jewish settlers.
He used Jewish nationalist terminology for parts of the occupied West Bank, saying, “My right, and my wife’s and my children’s right to get around on the roads in Judea and Samaria, is more important than the right to movement for Arabs.”
While the US State Department has criticized Ben-Gvir’s policies and actions previously, this marks the first occasion where they have explicitly named the Israeli politician.
The State Department also condemned “all racist rhetoric,” though it stopped short of directly labeling Ben-Gvir as racist. The statement emphasized that such messages, especially when emanating from leadership figures, are detrimental to promoting universal human rights respect.
Since the inception of the new Israeli government, a surge in such remarks has been observed. These comments have been widely criticized for their divisive nature and their potential to exacerbate tensions