Outgoing Yamina manager Shimrit Meir commented on the Biden administration's stance on construction in Judea and Samaria to Yediot Aharonot. "The issue of settlements is much more important to [US President Joe] Biden than [former US President Barack] Obama. Obama. It's something they consider a borderline war crime. They really don't like settlements, because they correspond with the progressive base, which is moving to the left. Biden himself does not like settlements at all. I was at the forefront of this matter with the Americans, and it was extremely unpleasant. I was called for rebuke on Friday afternoon at times."
Walla! News journalist Barak Ravid took to Twitter to denounce the assertion.
"I read the first part of the interview with Shimrit Meir and I came across this passage in her remarks about the Biden administration being tougher on the settlement issue than the Obama administration during the Netanyahu era. The truth is I was amazed by this claim of Shimrit Meir that is, to put it plainly, nonsense."
"The Obama administration and the Netanyahu government negotiated a 10-month construction freeze. The Obama administration also demanded a freeze on construction in eastern Jerusalem. This was one of the reasons for the crisis during Vice President Biden's visit in 2010.
"Behind the scenes, the Obama administration has encouraged the European Union to take action against the settlements, such as labeling products and introducing a territorial clause in all agreements with Israel.
"The Obama administration issued hundreds of statements condemning the settlements during its eight years in office, some of them in very sharp language. The Obama administration summoned the Israeli ambassador to Washington several times for reprimand regarding this matter. Obama advisers called Netanyahu 'chicken', in part because of what he did for the Palestinian issue and regarding the settlements."
"After all this, there is no escape from the thought that either Shimrit Meir does not know all this and thinks that history began on the day she entered the Prime Minister's Office, or worse - she knows all this but prefers to present things differently for reasons that are not entirely clear to me (maybe to glorify someone or something? I couldn't say…)."
"The Biden administration, of course, did not support the settlements, but pursued a policy that was less aggressive and rigid than that of the Obama administration and in a gentle and caressing style. During the Biden era the Bennett government received VIP treatment from the White House regarding settlements because they wanted to maintain Bennett's stability. At least three senior members of the Biden administration have admitted this to me."
"Throughout the past year the Biden administration has issued one proactive statement on the settlements using the word 'condemnation,' when the government approved the construction of more housing units than it originally revealed to the White House. For the rest of the year, the Biden administration's public response to the settlement issue was weak."
"I could go on and on about this but it seems to me that it's already quite clear. This is an example that I think says a lot about Shimrit Meir's reality and the way she presents to the public what happened in the Prime Minister's Office - at least in the political areas with which she was entrusted."