BDS campaign creating growing panic in Israel

Israel aparthied wall. Hugo Sanchez © Gulf News
Hugo Sanchez © Gulf News

6 June, 2014 Gulf News
Tel Aviv ought to realise that expanding existing colonies and building new ones on Palestinian Occupied Territories cannot be an agenda for peace.

With the troubled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations continuing to cast its long shadow on peace prospects, US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that a breakdown could “threaten Israel’s economic prosperity and safety”. He recently told a Security Conference in Germany that “today’s status quo, to a certainty, I promise you 100 per cent cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable, it’s illusionary. There’s a momentary prosperity, there’s a momentary peace”.

Kerry even went further saying: “If negotiations failed, Israel would never stay a democratic country within a framework of dual ethnicity because people (Palestinians) will demand their full civil rights as enjoyed by its Jewish citizens”. Kerry spoke of a “de-legitimisation campaign building up” and “talk of boycotts and other kinds of things” against Israel if the current government does not seriously work to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians. As to his comment on “momentary security”, Kerry could be referring to the fact that Al Qaida is now at Israel’s borders on the Golan Heights and in Sinai with its ‘takfiri’ doctrine that permits it to use all means, including chemical and radiated materials to eradicate Israel, without feeling concern of any possible retaliation, whatsoever. Israel, in this case, has no defence or security strategy that could effectively face up to the takfiri hordes gathering near its borders.

What seems to worry Israel now is the economic boycott that is steadily gathering momentum across the world against its racist policies and construction of colonies on Palestinian lands. In Europe, a boycott movement is growing, led by companies and mega funds with billions of dollars. The Palestinian grassroots nonviolent movement BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel with campaigns in western countries has been gaining support for its call for the end of Israel’s 1967 occupation and for the recognition of the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to attain full equality as well as the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands, which they were forced to leave in 1948.

Indeed, the nonviolent strategy used by this movement has also found support from many Jews around the world and even Israelis who are “fed up” with the ‘religious right’ that has supremacy in the Zionist state. Such a ‘right’ will ultimately make Israel “an exclusionary Jewish state” eradicating democracy because its non-Jewish citizens will not have equal rights. This very exclusionary principle when applied in Germany to make it “an Aryan State” for “the white Christian race” as a condition for full citizenship caused the Jews tremendous loss of life and property and now a similar attitude is being invoked by none other than the Zionist state itself!!! Many Jews of conscience are absolutely certain that “an exclusionary Jewish State” will usher the end of Israel, without doubt.

The BDS campaigns are creating a growing panic in Israel and a conflict between its foreign ministry and the ministry of strategic affairs. The latter has developed a plan to face and challenge the BDS’ campaigns around the world and asked for a large budget. The plan will be based on accusing BDS of anti-Semitism and aiming to delegitimise Israel as a state. The ministry’s answer to BDS will be carried by worldwide campaigns using and activating organisations and news media outlets friendly to the Zionist state. The Israeli foreign ministry opposes this plan because “it would make the problem much worse”! There seems to be a growing concern that the cost of the campaign launched by the BDS is high. According to a recent report by Yediot Ahronot, “the Israeli losses resulting from this boycott affecting factories within the settlements [colonies] and Israeli farmers in the Jordan Valley are approaching $20 billion (Dh73.56 billion) coupled with the loss of employment of more than 10,000 workers”.

Israeli colonial policies are not only catastrophic to Israelis and Jews only, but to western countries and the US as well. The ‘takfiri’ western fighters of Al Qaida gaining military experience in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, to mention a few, will eventually return to their homelands. The latest bombings in Russia are just a prelude to what is coming to Europe and the US. That is why the US secretary of state is pushing for a peaceful settlement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), but he has been facing the wall of absolute Israeli intransigence and opposition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is adamant on rejecting the proposed American framework plan and is demanding that negotiations should continue for one more year. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an Israeli demand to recognise a ‘Jewish state’ and called for a further release of Palestinian prisoners and a halt to construction and expansion of Jewish colonies. In the late March crisis, Israel refused to release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners — a move that pushed the Palestinian president to join (15) UN conventions, which — again — resulted in a series of Israeli “punishments” against the PNA.

Whatever US President Barack Obama is capable of doing to convince Israel is left to be seen. Expanding existing colonies and building new ones on Palestinian Occupied Territories is not an agenda for peace or achievement of a two-state solution, but one leading to disasters affecting all, including the western world.

Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.

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