In its recent decision to impose sanctions on Israeli activity across the pre-1967 lines, EU bureaucracy is merely acting as a pawn, albeit neither unwitting nor unwilling, for malicious domestic forces within Israel.
It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments…faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. I am convinced that outside pressure is the only answer. I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists.
— Neve Gordon, “Boycott Israel,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2009
It’s difficult and painful, almost impossibly so, for an Israeli to call for such a boycott…The change won’t come from within. Change will only come from the outside. The call for an economic boycott has become a patriotic requirement.
— Gideon Levy, “The Israeli patriot’s final refuge: boycott,” Haaretz, July 16, 2013
The European Union’s decision to boycott the settlements struck the Israeli government like a bolt of lightning on a clear blue day; it’s a shame that there are some on the Israeli Left who longed for this day and blessed the EU decision.
— Dan Margalit, “A yellow star for settlers,” Israel Hayom, July 17, 2013
Last week the EU dropped an allegedly unexpected bombshell, when it announced, with exquisitely poor timing and impeccably poor taste (on the fast of Tisha Be’av, one of the most solemn days in the Jewish calendar, commemorating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem), that it was suspending any involvement in economic, social or academic ventures with Israeli institutions situated across the pre-1967 lines. The new punitive resolution, which reportedly could cost Israel billions of dollars, is to go into effect in 2014.
Unsurprisingly, the odious EU initiative provoked a spate of protests from Israeli officialdom and numerous right-of-center commentators. They aptly berated the Europeans for their egregious double standards, condemned their blatant anti-Israel bias, and denounced the discriminatory boycott as a reflection of the longstanding and loathsome European tradition of Judeophobia, indeed of Judeocide
However, as compelling and cogent this censure might be, to a large degree, it misses the point — or at least misses identifying an even more insidious factor which, to a large measure, underlies the EU decision.
This is the array of domestic elements in Israel that are pleased as punch at the EU decision. For as vindictive as it may be, they see in it the vindication of their political views, and proof positive of the position they have been advocating over the years, despite its repeated rejection at the polls.
This group includes a diverse collection of ideo-political persuasions — from hardline radical post-(read “anti-”) Zionists, to allegedly pro-Zionist left-of-center activists — who, despite the mountain of accumulating evidence as to its disastrous infeasibility, still doggedly (read “obsessively”) cling to their cherished delusion of a two-state-solution. There is, however, one common denominator shared by all: A pathological — almost visceral — aversion to the Jewish communities across the …read more