The road to justice and peace lies through boycotting Israel

Barring a dramatic change in the military balance in the Middle East, it would seem that only sanctions are likely to deliver anything approximating a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

According to an opinion poll carried out by the Israeli Geocartography Institute and cited by the Middle East Monitor website, 67 per cent of Israelis believe that the threat of several European countries to boycott Israel economically would harm their families in one way or another.

The website quoted the institute’s director, who oversaw the poll, as saying that “the Israeli public seriously fears the European actions against Israel”. He pointed out that the concern is spread across most of Israeli socio-economic groups, especially the residents of the northern region, as well as the lower middle class and those with average incomes ranging between 9,000 and 13,000 shekels (that is, 2,547-3,680 US dollars).

The conclusion is clear. If you’re interested in a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians, then boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is the only path.

As the British legislator Gerald Kaufman told the lower chamber of the UK parliament on 5 February, most Israelis have no empathy with others as long as they are comfortable and secure:

Go to Tel Aviv, as I did not long ago, and watch them sitting complacently outside their pavement cafés. They do not give a damn about their fellow human beings perhaps half an hour away.

There are only two ways to change that attitude. The first is the threat of overwhelming and sustained force, which for now is not possible. This leaves BDS as the only realistic path to peace and justice in the short and medium terms.

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