EU Lays Basis for Sanctions Against Israel
In late Apartheid-era South Africa, the momentum among the international community shifted inexorably toward toppling the discriminatory system. Crippling sanctions took their toll on the country’s economy and psyche. While the white regime clung desperately to power, finally a spark of realism emerged within the ruling party which allowed the rise of a leader like F.W. de Klerk, who negotiated a peaceful transition to democracy and majority rule.
In the past few months, a similar process has emerged outside Israel with multiple Latin American nations (the latest being Chile) recognizing a Palestinian state within 1967 borders. Now, Haaretz reports on a sensitive new EU report drafted by consuls general in Jerusalem and Ramallah which would lay the groundwork for a possible EU sanctions regime against Israel as long as it continues the Occupation and rejects a Palestinian state.
Among the recommendations:
1. a boycott of all Israeli products, services and businesses operating outside the Green Line including East Jerusalem
2. refusal to attend meetings with Israeli officials outside the Green Line (including East Jerusalem)
3. creating a settler black list forbidding entry to EU countries of those suspected of committing violent acts against Palestinians
4. discouraging citizens of EU countries (most likely directed at European Jews) from purchasing property in East Jerusalem
Returning to the South African analogy, the chief difference is that there seems to be no realism whatsoever within the Israeli political system nor any moderate or pragmatic leader capable of being the Israeli de Klerk. In that event, it seems that Israel’s future is deeply clouded. Without political leadership, and with the gathering storm of opprobrium against the Occupation and denial of Palestinian national rights, it seems something has to give. It could be an international diktat jointly negotiated by the U.S., EU, and Quartet compelling Israel to yield. Or it could take some other form. But it appears more and more likely that Israel simply cannot come to terms with what it must do and that the rest of the world must help or even force Israel to get where it needs to be so that both that country and the rest of the region can find stability and peace.
35 thoughts on “EU Lays Basis for Sanctions Against Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Israel has jailed more than one Nelson Mandela-to be. No need to reinvent the wheel here. No need to try to fake the wheel either — again, the world is not as stupid as Israel thinks it to be many times. Indeed, the one with the dunce cap is not 190 nations strong. Introspective is a good thing, not a sign of weakness.
“EU Lays Basis for Sanctions Against Israel”
I like your optimism Richard and wish I could share it.
So far all we have is a report and respective recommendations from the local representatives of EU states submitted to the EU’s Political and Security Committee. To what extent this submission will influence actual EU policy depends on a ton of factors, including what member state is in charge of the EU’s presidency.
There I am not sure if either of the two states which are/will be at the EU’s helm this year will be too enthusiastic about making the enforcement of these recommendations a priority, but we shall find out!
Sanctions are bad, whether they are Israel’s siege of Gaza, Iran’s sanctions, or possible sanctions imposed on Israel. They are all forms of collective punishment used to further a political agenda.
Please don’t compare the siege on Gaza with any type of legal sanction, boycott or divestment. We’re talking about controlled borders, sea, land and airspace. We’re talking about punishing rations in food, medicine, medical equipment, construction supplies denied to a destroyed city, and economic santions. To compare what is a crime against humanity to BDS is totally insulting.
Secondly, Israel will never experience the kind of sanctions that have been imposed on Iran; not even close. So to parallel BDS with the sanctions Iranians are suffering is totally ridiculous.
I know you’re against BDS, but try not to insult anyone’s intelligence in your effort to condemn it.
I want to add to the above comment, regarding Gaza:
Gaza is a city, full of impoverished refugees who were scraping a living BEFORE the blockade. 80% of Gazans lived below the poverty level BEFORE the blockade. To imply that Israel, which has a booming economy and escaped the recession, would collapse as a result of BDS, or to compare it to Gaza and the punishing sanctions imposed on Iran is laughable! Absolutely ludicrous and insulting.
I know you want to spare Israel BDS but at least make a credible argument. Honestly.
Just so you know, BDS worked in South Africa and I believe it’s the only solution against Israeli occupation and settlement expansion and racism.
It should begin with the cultural/entertainment boycott against Israel and it should be implemented immediately by every country in the world.
Jesus christ, way to take things out of proportion. First of all, I wasn’t trying to compare Israel’s siege of Gaza and the sanctions on Iran other than implying that they are both collective punishment, just as sanctions on Israel will be. It is true I want to spare Israel BDS but I also want to spare Gaza and Iran as well. And just because BDS works doesn’t make it legitimate. Nuking the entire Middle East would also work as far as ending the conflict goes.
And personally, I really doubt BDS would work on Israel. You say yourself that it would not even get close to Iran’s sanctions. And that Israel has a “booming economy”. That means Israel would have little reason to bend over and BDS would likely only make it more persistent AND give it reason to disregard public opinion (“they’re already our enemies”).
During the apartheid years there was support for BDS amongst white South Africans of conscience, as they recognised that irrespective of their own political views, they profited from apartheid. They profited simply because they were white. Privilege was like amniotic fluid to them, literally. When their mothers became pregnant, they had access to the best prenatal care in the best hospitals, because they were white. (Meanwhile, black South African women gave birth in terrible conditions in underfunded hospitals and had maternal/baby mortality rates to reflect their circumstances.) These white children had access to all the best schools. The best play areas. The best everything. As they grew up they benefited from cheap black labour, whether they agreed with it or not. And this is why they came to support BDS as adults: they recognised that this tool had the potential to force their government into change. They also knew that their own quality of living would decrease because of BDS – but they accepted this as a reasonable price to pay to help get rid of apartheid’s injustice. After all, whatever difficulties they encountered as a result of BDS would be minor compared to the everyday suffering endured by the residents of the bantustans.
Today there are Israelis who support BDS for these exact same reasons. It’s not collective punishment. It’s a recognition that even though they are not personally racist, and even though they themselves do not support occupation, they profit from the racism that is ingrained in the state’s fabric. They benefit from the occupation. They benefit from it every time they turn on a tap. According to a report published by the World Bank in 2008, 80% of the West Bank’s water is routed into Israel. No Israeli Jew ever has to choose between having enough water to slake the day’s thirst and having enough to wash in – they can even take green lawns and swimming pools for granted. The Palestinian residents of the West Bank don’t have that luxury. Israelis who call for BDS are acknowledging that while they didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be thieves, they benefit from theft nonetheless. So they are aiming to put an end to the crime, even if that means sharing in a small part (a VERY small part) of the hardship experienced by their Palestinian neighbours. Let’s face it – no Israeli is going to die or become seriously ill as a result of the BDS campaign. (No white South African ever did either.) The Palestinians haven’t been so fortunate.
So yes, BDS is a legitimate tactic. It also has the potential to be very effective if enough people get behind it, although it can never be the sole means of confronting Israeli injustice. But no one ever suggested that it should be. It is one method amongst many. It could also be a very good way of fostering solidarity between Palestinians and sympathetic Israelis, which would provide a strong basis for further peace activism of all different kinds.
Israel is also loosing a great deal of money and no few lives from the occupation, which does not hurt it’s resolve. In this sense south africa is a bad comparison, since this isn’t just profit from racism vs. loss from BDS – the occupation is a largly irrational thing from the get go.
Also, in a few years israelies who support BDS will be shot in the town squere, which does not “provide a strong basis for further peace activism of all different kinds”.
So because some view it as a righteous act it means that it’s not collective punishment? And because some believe it is legitimate that’s what makes it so?
Well some (most) people aren’t ready to pay that price. For them it’s punishment. Refer to duck’s comment. I agree with him.
I expect that many, if not most white S. Africans viewed sanctions & boycott against them the same way. That’s doesn’t make the strategy wrong or illegitimate. If a nation perpetrates an injustice as vile as apartheid or the Occupation do they deserve to be asked whether the response in the form of boycott or sanctions is amenable or reasonable to them? I think not.
Duck, apartheid in South Africa was not simply racism vs. loss from BDS. Like Israel, it was also based upon colonialism, occupation, and racial theology, i.e. The pro-government newspaper Die Transvaler explained that “The people of Israel appeals to the Old Testament as its reason for not mixing with other peoples. The Afrikaner also does this.”
BDS is a combination of private undertakings and government action. Western governments (the US, Canada, and the EU) prevented the UN from adopting sanctions against South Africa for decades. They are still preventing the UN from adopting sanctions against Israel.
The colonialism and apartheid in South Africa and Namibia were definitely irrational too. Here are some sources of additional information:
J.A. Loubser, “Apartheid Theology: A “Contextual” Theology Gone Wrong?”, J. of Church and State (1996) 38 (2): 321-337.
Hannah Arendt argued that there were continuities between the age of European imperialism and the age of fascism in Europe in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” (1951), reprinted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994
Benjamin Madley, “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe,” European History Quarterly.2005; 35: 429-464
Richard H. King, Dan Stone (eds), “Hannah Arendt and the uses of history: imperialism, nation, race, and genocide”,
Berghahn Books, 2008, ISBN 1845455894
BBC, “Namibia – Genocide and the second Reich”, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-899627923732856130&hl=en#
Shai, Boycott and divestment are private decisions regarding commerce that do not violate any legally guaranteed rights. “Collective punishment” is a legal term of art for a sanctions regime that violates conventional or customary international law in some way. Adopting a regime of sanctions against the State of Israel as a legal consequence of its wrongful acts would not automatically constitute a form of collective punishment.
“So because some view it as a righteous act it means that it’s not collective punishment? And because some believe it is legitimate that’s what makes it so?”
Every single Israeli Jew benefits in some tangible way from occupation and disposession, whether they agree with it or not. This is what makes the comparison with South Africa valid, and this is what undermines the comparison with Iran and Gaza. This is also what makes BDS a reasonable response, as it is it is one of the few options that Israelis have open to them when it comes to cutting themselves loose from their government’s policies and all the privileges they receive because of those policies. Can you think of another way for them to do it?
Richard is right. The majority of white South Africans (including many who claimed they did not agree with apartheid) were upset by the whole idea of BDS. They felt that they were being treated unfairly. This is an attitude that I encounter quite frequently in Israel: “I don’t agree with the occupation, and I don’t want Palestinians to suffer, but I want all this to change at no cost to myself, otherwise it’s not fair on ME.”
Unfortunately it is not possible to play an active role in the Palestinian struggle for justice and peace without incurring a cost to yourself. Some Palestinians have paid with their lives. Others have paid with their liberty. There are currently seven students of Bethlehem University in Israeli prisons who were arrested without charge and detained indefinitely for participating in ‘student activities’. (Membership of student organisations is forbidden in the West Bank under military law.) An eighth, Samer Khalil, was released in 2009. He had been in jail for six years and repeatedly tortured. For getting involved in student politics. For calling for non-violent resistance to the occupation. He’s back at university now, determined to finish the course that was interrupted by six years of unlawful detention. Meanwhile, what price are Samer’s would-be supporters in Israel prepared to pay? I hope that things in Israel never deteriorate to the point where Israeli proponents in BDS are rounded up and shot, but I can see that prison is a distinct possibility, and so is the likelihood of being driven out of your job or becoming a target for vigilante violence. This happened to white South Africans who supported BDS, and it happened to white Americans who opposed segregation (through boycott amongst other things). I can understand why Israelis are afraid of this. I also understand why Palestinians tend to be initially sceptical of any Israeli who claims to support them – because they hear this person saying all the right things, but they don’t see him acting on his words. Ultimately he’s not going to take any risks on their behalf, and they know it. Trust builds up when they meet Israelis who are prepared to take an equal share in the responsibility (and the risks) that come with doing the right thing. From what I’ve seen in the West Bank, BDS is an excellent way of fostering such trust, and this does benefit the peace movement as a whole.
Israeli activists take a lot of risks. I take the risk of arrest every time I protest in siekh jarrah. Others risk serious harm in bilin.
The question is not personal harm and personal risk. The question is supporting harm to the country. This is much more complicated. Infact, as many activists are well to do economically, BDS would have a lesser impact on them.
There is a huge gap between fighting other political groups within the country and asking other nations to harm our nation on behalf of another nation.
This makes little sense to me. Do you not fail to recognize the harm that your nation is doing to that “other nation” (this is, Palestine)? Do you really believe that other nations should sit back & allow your nation to continue harming Palestine and invoke no penalty for doing so? Sorry, but yr argument doesn’t pass the smell test.
My argument is that opposition to BDS doesn’t have to come from self-interest.
Taking personal risks is easy, risking others is hard.
BDS IS collective punishment. It’s easy to justify, since the overwhelming majority of israelies are actively or passively support the occupation. It’s also the only likely solution.
Still, supporting BDS feels treacherous. How can I argue about the steps the gov’t should take to restore our economy if I’m trying to harm said economy?
Also, any attempt to coerce israel into stopping the occupation means giving up on any peaceful solution. From that point israel becomes the enemy of the world – internally, that means a fascist takeover.
If Israel negotiated a real peace w. the Arab world it’s economy would expand 10 fold over its current rate of growth. I think you’ve got to fix the major problem before you address domestic issues like the economy. Besides it seems to me that it can take care of itself for a while at least.
I think Israel will end up being coerced to agree to a solution. And no it won’t lead to a fascist takeover. Israelis are at the end of the day realists. They know what they’d like to get, but if they realize they can’t get it, they settle for the best they can get. All the world needs to do is tell them what they can get & what they can’t. I think Israelis will settle.
I really hope your’e right, but I fear that the more pressure we get from the world, the more racist and militant the country will become. If peace is forced, it will probably lead to even more hatred. Realists is the last thing I’ll call israelis.
Not that I have a better idea.
Your feelings are understandable. Governments customarily do consider it an act of treason whenever a citizen adheres to an “enemy cause”. The Knesset has already started the process of criminalizing nonviolent economic pressure against the occupation.
In the “Targeted Killings” case, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a continuous state of international armed conflict has existed between Israel and terrorists organizations in the areas of the West Bank and Gaza since the first intifada. In the Beit Sourik Village Council case it ruled that the West Bank has been under belligerent occupation ever since 1967. The Knesset has even enacted legislation that designated the Gaza Strip “an enemy entity”.
The term enemy is usually not restricted to the enemy government or its armed forces. For example, in cases of fraternization or running away before the enemy, various military codes, such as the Articles of War and UCMJ have utilized the term to include both the (protected) civilian population, military organized forces of the enemy in time of war, and any opposing hostile bodies including “rebellious mobs” or “bands of renegades”.
Prior to the Six Day War, UN Security Council resolution 228 (1966) condemned the attack on the Hebron area as “a carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel.” The United Nations had accepted the credentials of the Jordanian delegation to represent the residents of the West Bank territory for nearly two decades. During the 2004 Wall case, Israel said “Despite having ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has not incorporated it into its domestic legislation. Nor does it agree that the Convention is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, citing the lack of recognition of the territory as sovereign prior to its annexation by Jordan and Egypt and, therefore, not a territory of a High Contracting Party as required by the Convention.” See Annex I http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/A5A017029C05606B85256DEC00626057
There exists in international law a universally recognized principle that a gap or deficiency in a state’s municipal law or lack of national legislation does not relieve a state of its international obligations. In fact, any attempt to excuse non-fulfillment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law actually constitutes a breach of those obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia nv, 2001, ISBN 9050951414, page 134, para 39 http://books.google.com/books?id=kwR88-rsWaoC&lpg=PA137&ots=yHOMdQ1T4I&pg=PA137#v=onepage&q&f=false
The ICJ dismissed the argument that Jordan had not been a High Contracting party to the Geneva Convention (paras 91 and 92. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf It found that both the construction of the wall and the associated military administrative regime were illegal (paras 85 and 134).
It said that all states had an international obligation not to recognize the illegal situation that Israel had created by rendering it aid or assistance in maintaining the situation. In addition the Court said that all States parties to the Geneva Convention had an international obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.
During a high level plenary meeting of the General Assembly in September of 2005 the Heads of state and government agreed to the text of the “Responsibility to Protect” law norm. See the Commission report http://www.iciss.ca/menu-en.asp To me it “feels treacherous” that States are still doing business as usual with Israel and blocking any sanctions in the Security Council. They are also failing to fulfill their international obligations, despite the fact that they pay lip service to “the illegitimacy” of Israel’s actions (which violate a multitude of international criminal, humanitarian, and human rights laws.
Thanks for that tremendous expertise. I think the sanctions issue will change over time making it more & more acceptable/palatable to nations & world bodies to impose sanctions on Israel.
The world has imposed severe sanctions on Iran for allegedly attempting to build a weapon which hasn’t harmed anyone, while Israel has killed tens of thousands during war and peacetime since 1948 including its illgegal Occupation & yet no sanctions (yet). Why the double standard?
Kalea you are avoiding the real question here.
Supporting BDS is only worthwhile if we go with the faint hope that it will ever turn into real sanctions. It will only work if it gets VERY VERY bad. It will only work when the pressure of the world becomes the single most important subject in everyones daily life. Then, it could be compared to iran and gaza.
So for me the question of supporting BDS is the question of whether I, as an israeli, am willing to have that kind of damage done to my country. Very serious question. This is also the question we should ask ourselves when supporting sanctions against other countries – iran, north korea, sudan…
I have no answer to this question.
I find your post quite disingenous, or maybe you’re over-dramatizing what BDS is.
South Africa definitely survived BDS and Israel will survive it even more.
I believe the point is to “alienate” a country that is hurting other people, more than it is to do severe damage and collapse it’s economy.
It should begin with total cultural boycott, boycott of different Israeli products especially products produced in the West Bank, divestment and restricting military aid and military imports.
Sorry, it’s time to stop mollycoddling a crime against Palestinians.
Israel won’t buckle to anything short of serious damaging sanctions. “Alienating” won’t do a thing.
Until israelis feel sanctions heavely in their lives they won’t give a damn about murdered arabs or what the world thinks about them. Many israelis already think that “the world is antisemitic”.
Not that such sanctions will happen any time soon.
The sad thing is, the more time passes, the deeper the commitment to occupation becomes. 20 years ago even light sanctions would have done the trick. 20 years from now even total devastating sanctions might not work.
For some reason I just now found myself remembering something that happened to me over sixty years ago.
I had sustained, as small boys sometimes do, a cut or some such on my upper lip. It had become badly infected and so my mother took me to our local health clinic. There my condition was assessed, treated and a thick sticking plaster of the type then in use was placed on the affected area. For some days afterwards, and much to my annoyance, I sported what looked for all the world like a pale brown and somewhat bedraggled moustache.
Then my mother took me back to the clinic. I stood in front of the nurse, staring up at her, not quite knowing what to expect. If any preliminary examination was made, I wasn’t aware of it but, with a sudden movement of her hand, she grasped one end of the plaster and tore it from off my face. Even to this day I can still recall the shock of that moment. But, strangely enough, none of the pain.
On reflection, it was the kindest method to use and something for which I will always be grateful.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has infected the conscience of the world for much longer than a few days. Talks about resolving the matter, debates and deliberations, summit meetings, accords and get-togethers, these have all been tried but little or no progress has ever been achieved. In light of this, BDS may now be coming to the fore as the latest cure for the condition. Perhaps it can work but the process looks to be a lengthy one, with no guarantee of a quick or amicable settlement waiting just around the corner.
Yet the need for speedy and certain resolution in this matter is overwhelming. Each new dawn seems to see a peaceful outcome receding further into the distance. If BDS is going to be applied to the situation, it had better be done in a way that leaves no room for error or misjudgment. Above all, it must be not be too slow, no hanging about, no more picking at the problem such as in the past.
Let’s not make the mistake of trying to tease the sticking plaster off this one.
The kindest method here may also require it to be the fastest.
The shock may be more but the pain will be less.
What methods would you use to end the occupation of Palestine?
That is a good question, and if I had the answer to it I would do more than post my opinions on a blog.
How about ending the Occupation & recognizing a Palestinian state? That would be a good start.
That’s not a method. That’s the goal. Kenneth is asking how would you pressure Israelis to end the occupation?
They definitely won’t do it by merely being asked.
I was being facetious. I don’t like big questions asked of me which demand an answer al regel achat (“on one foot”). I don’t know what the guy meant so I’ll wait to see if he returns to clarify himself.
‘I firmly believe that most Israelis would leave all occupied territories tonight if they felt the Palestinians would be good peaceful neighbours. As long as this lack of confidence exists (rightly based or not), peace talks will fail and mutual violence will prevail.’
A lack of confidence is certainly the case here, applicable to both sides and in pretty much equal measure.
But is this state of affairs to continue indefinitely? It’s been in place now for the span of three generations, maybe longer. By any reckoning, it must be considered well entrenched, a given in terms of the overall performance that is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
So, as regards confidence building, can the situation still be rescued by any new development in that area? As it stands, the odds are heavily stacked against the possibility, a possibility that is vanishingly small already and looks to remain so unless something quite extraordinary happens along.
Everything comes to an end, all things must pass, nothing lasts forever.
Even this epic struggle between Israelis and Palestinians cannot be eternal. It finishes someday. But how, when and where it finishes can only be determined by all of us. If we leave it to the combatants themselves, there is no hope of closure, no final victory.
Only if the world as a whole really gets behind something that is guaranteed to make that kind of difference can we ever hope to alter the course of this impending catastophe, emerging from it with anything like the satisfaction of a job well done.
Richard is actually correct. Recognition of Palestinian statehood “with all of the rights and duties determined by international law” would be the next logical step to end the conflict. Under the public international law of the Americas, it has been illegal for a state to occupy the territory of another state here in the Western hemisphere for decades. See Article 21 of the OAS Charter. http://www.oas.org/dil/treaties_A-41_Charter_of_the_Organization_of_American_States.htm#ch4
The recent review conference for the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted a definition of the crime of aggression which includes “The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;”
Israel relies upon the laws of war applicable to an international armed conflict between two states to justify its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It is a matter of great doctrinal concern that Israel believes that a recognized state enjoys the freedom to abuse an unrecognized community in a manner which international law would bar against another state. Articles VI(b) and VI(c) of “The Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal” held that certain acts were war crimes or crimes against humanity when the are committed against “any civilian population”. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/390-550006?OpenDocument
Decades ago the representative of the Soviet Union criticized the attempts of some delegations in the Security Council to assert that the State of Israel did not exist; and to say that it had no territory, no people, no frontiers, and no Government. He said
Too little; too late. This isn’t even a slap on the wrist. Those sanctions are going to have to be way more muscular to be effective. However, if these efforts lead to tougher measures then more power to them.
Sorry that last question was for Shai about sactions being bad.
Also, for the EU sanctions to work, the US must agree to it as well.
Let’s get something straight here: there’s a big difference between “collective punishment” in the sense of a crime against humanity and sanctions or BDS!
To say that sanctions or BDS constitute collective punishment in the sense of human rights violations is complete and utter manipulation of the truth and propaganda meant to demonize and derail the BDS movement.
I am 100% with BDS as a means to end an injustice which in itself constitutes COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT.
israel has become the Monster and the Likkudnik zionist fascists who now rule don’t feel they can ever drop that guise and behave again as human beings without their loss of total control and subjugation leading to their destruction – paranoia has taken over and there has never ever been good will on the israeli side to do what is right or fair … israel will be dragged kicking and screaming by the world (yes, indeed, even America will turn on you once we pry the zionist fingers from out levers of power) and we will collectively force israel to honor their agreements and behave again as humans … they’d better find a de Klerk soon
This is the best quality discussion I’ve come across on this very difficult problem. It’s almost entirely free of the silly insults and put-downs so commonly encountered from – it has to be said – many who support Israel’s position right or wrong. So I want to applaud the patience, and intelligence, and factual research almost all contributors have shown. And I include Shai in her initiating contribution, tho’ I don’t think she offers any solution except to simply hope the problem will go away…
My own view is that BDS seems the only route to a solution. Israel’s Governments seem unable to deal with their West Bank neighbours’ justified complaints except by increasing their military repression of them, the while steadily building more and more settlement ‘facts on the ground’ to bolster their take-over.
They cannot go on ‘justifying’ their quiet take-over of the land by claiming it is self-protection from Palestinian ‘aggression’: if you insist on suppressing me by your superior might, what else can I do but kick back by whatever limited means I can find?
I fear my fellow Jews in Israel are burying their heads in the sand by ignoring the hostility they are themselves creating. And much of that sand, regrettably, is supplied by the USA at $3billion a year – recently increased by a further $3bn of fighter planes and associated armaments.
What else can the rest of the world do, except apply more and more sanctions until the mighty but self-blinding nation accepts its selfish behaviour can no longer be tolerated?