November 23, 2009

Fear of a BDS planet

It's getting hard to keep track of Israeli press mentions of the boycott, divestment & sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Their frequency & tenor bespeaks a growing alarm at the BDS threat — notably, amongst establishment journos. To whit:

Sever Plocker, Chief Economics Editor and Commentator for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's largest daily, in an article noting "Israel in midst of freefall on global front," Nov. 3:

By coincidence, or not, large foreign investors are pulling out of Israel.

Another Yedioth journo, Ron Yishai, on Oct. 14, on "Israel's growing isolation" :

We are seeing an anti-Israeli tide in Europe and in South America as well that at times gives rise to latent anti-Semitism. The list is long: Ranging from the media-covered conflict with Sweden over the “harvesting of body parts” affair (which was needlessly inflated by us) to the Norwegian decision to boycott the stocks of Elbit. It continued with the embargo imposed by Britain on the importation of spare parts to the Israeli Navy and the boycott on goods produced in the territories...

We are dealing with an accumulation of positions, declarations, and actions adopted by organizations and governments worldwide with growing intensity, in the aims of isolating Israel and thereby pressuring it to modify is political positions and force military restraint upon it. And this is the good case scenario.

 According to the more negative scenario, they are trying to brand Israel as a “pariah state,” undermine the legitimacy of its very existence, and revoke its natural right and duty to defend its citizens – similarly to the manner in which the international community “took care” of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Ari Shavit in Ha'aretz, Oct. 15:

But things are not all right - they really are not. Why? Because underneath those still waters on which Israel's ship is sailing lurks an iceberg.

The Goldstone report marked the iceberg's first appearance. Turkey turning its back on Israel was the second. Attempts by European courts to try Israel Defense Forces officers were the third; the boycott of Israeli products and companies in various places round the world was the fourth; and global indifference to the nuclearization of a regional power that threatens to wipe Israel off the map is the fifth. Every week, almost every day, the iceberg peeks above the surface. And when one takes a good look over the railing of this pleasure cruise, one can see exactly what it is: The iceberg is the loss of the State of Israel's legitimacy.

Amir Oren in Ha'aretz, Nov. 22:

In the years in which it moved toward peace and security in exchange for land, Israel managed to overcome the Arab boycott. It's now facing a Western boycott - a product of the ongoing settlement project supported by the Israel Defense Forces.

Daniel Levy in Ha'aretz, Nov. 20:

Palestinian civil society, for instance, has long ceased to rely on its leadership's strategies for achieving de-occupation. Inside the territories, nonviolent resistance, notably to the separation barrier, continues to gather adherents and momentum. Outside, the campaigns for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel are growing to dimensions that should make Israel's leaders sit up and take notice.



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