Senior Israeli politician warns the growing boycott is serious

One by one, Israeli officials are facing up to the inevitability of Abraham Lincoln’s utterance ”You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

The Electronic Intifada website reports that Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid has voiced his anxiety about the serious impact of the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting Israel.

Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid faction, is the senior coalition partner of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In an interview with the Hebrew edition of the Israeli news website Ynet, he said, as cited by Electronic Intifada,

The world seems to be losing patience with us…

In the case of Horizon 2020 [a scientific collaboration with Europe], we managed to avert the damage, and then all of a sudden, a boycott in American academia. We haven’t managed to create an effect around the Iranian agreement, because our voice was not sufficiently heard, because our standing is not as it should be. If we don’t make progress with the Palestinians, we will lose the support of the world and our legitimacy…

We have formulated complete scenarios as to what will happen if the boycott continues and exports are hurt. In all scenarios, things do not look good. The status quo will hit each of us in the pocket, will hurt every Israeli. We are export-oriented, and this [export trade] depends on our global standing.

Lapid’s comments come days after one of Europe’s largest pension fund administrators, PGGM, announced that it will divest from five Israeli banks over their activity in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

It is worth noting that Lapid, although sometimes portrayed in the media as a centrist, is a racist and certainly no fan of peace and justice for the Palestinians. Not only has he habitually made anti-Arab comments but, as Uri Avnery notes, in the January 2013 Israeli parliamentary elections he chose to open his campaign in Ariel “University”, the “flagship of the settlers”, and he promised that Jerusalem would never be divided. Moreover, Avnery adds: “On the morrow of the election Lapid struck his deal of unbreakable and unshakable brotherhood with [Naftali] Bennett, the extreme rightist. As the classic Hebrew saying goes: ‘Not for nothing did the sparrow go to the raven’.”

So, if Lapid is worried about the impact of the boycott, divestment and sanctions, you can be sure he is not doing so as a way of putting pressure on his government to start talking seriously and earnestly about a just peace with the Palestinians. He is seriously worried.

Lapid joins other Israeli politicians who have warned about the looming threat of boycott.

Following last December’s decision by the American Studies Association to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Israel Radio “we need to prepare for the danger that it [the boycott call] will pass to other, more serious academic forums”, the Israeli news website Ynet reported at the time.

Recently, Electronic Intifada reports, the chair of the governing coalition’s Habayit Hayehudi party said the boycott was the “greatest threat” Israel faced.

Justice Minister and war crimes suspect Tzipi Livni also warned that the boycott “is moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially… Those who don’t want to see it, will end up feeling it.”

There is no doubt the bell is tolling loud and clear for the racist, Zionist state. But despite the bleating, it will do nothing to address the causes until it is forced down onto its knees, just as happened with the apartheid regime in South Africa.

So, let the boycott, divestment and sanctions redouble until justice is delivered to the Palestinian people.

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