Boycotting Israel Doesn't Help Palestinians

Feb. 26 2016

On Tuesday, the Canadian House of Commons passed a resolution condemning the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). Terry Glavin, while praising the decision, notes that the surrounding debate ignored what he considers the most important question:

As always, . . . the one question about the international BDS campaign never got a proper look-in: does the BDS strategy truly hold out the promise of improving the lives of the long-suffering Palestinian people, or advance the prospects for peace, or serve the cause of a democratic Palestinian state emerging from decades of antagonism to coexist alongside Israel?

You might not be surprised at who . . . came up with the most convincing answers to that question when I was asking around this week. But if you’ve absorbed the usual popular assumptions that underlie the debates about the Israeli-Palestinian agony, you will be surprised by what he has to say.

Bassem Eid is a prominent Palestinian human-rights activist who lives with his wife and four children in the ancient West Bank city of Hebron. . . . According to Eid, the “BDS campaign is completely contradictory to the Palestinian cause. We will never build peace this way. . . . The agenda of the BDS campaign is to try to destroy Israel.” . . .

To recap the history of BDS, without getting into any of the unambiguously anti-Semitic boycott-Jews associations from Europe’s recent past: the movement kicked off before Israel was born, with a pre-emptive campaign waged by the Arab League against the Jewish population of Palestine in 1945. The campaign was formalized after Israel’s birth in 1948; . . . it was [later] revived at the notorious Durban conference in 2001, which cast boycotts, divestments, and sanctions within a suite of strategies—including the “apartheid” smear—explicitly designed to isolate and marginalize Israel.

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Read more at Ottawa Citizen

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Canada, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians

Israeli Indecision on the Palestinian Issue Is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Oct. 11 2019

In their recent book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky—who both have had long careers as Middle East experts inside and outside the U.S. government—analyze the “courageous decisions” made by David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzḥak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon. Not coincidentally, three of these four decisions involved territorial concessions. Ross and Makovsky use the book’s final chapter to compare their profiles in courage with Benjamin Netanyahu’s cautious approach on the Palestinian front. Calling this an “almost cartoonish juxtaposition,” Haviv Rettig Gur writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli history, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict