One of the refrains from Chris Matthews and other establishment types who want to softly criticize the occupation is that criticism of Israel inside Israel is far more vigorous than it is in our discourse. And yes this is true. But so what; it’s a nonsensical argument. I thought we were sovereign? Since when do we need permission from the Pope to criticize the Catholics, or the French to criticize France, or from any Israeli to criticize Israel?
That being said, all those who need permission to boycott Israel from mainstream Israelis now get it from the novelist and poet Yitzhak Laor in Haaretz, who explains that his society is now so profoundly right wing and off the rails (just what we’ve been telling you, and David Remnick too) that only real international pressure will save it. Laor mentions boycott and sanctions, and implies that the boycott should be aimed at Israel, not just the settlements. He speaks of the ’67 lines, as if the Arab Peace Initiative can somehow be revived:
The tendency to blame the Palestinians for failing to compromise is part of the colonialist hauteur. We imprison Palestinians, torture, steal, spread out on their land and ask them to compromise with us? In the name of what? In the name of fear of the extreme right?
Now Avigdor Lieberman comes along and declares that a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians is impossible and everyone is silent. The Palestinians are actually offering a peace deal. The big obstacle and the one that grows from year to year is the settlement enterprise, which promises that no solution will be achieved until it sinks us all.
In order to put pressure on the government, it is worthwhile learning from Beitar Jerusalem and its fans’ racist war: The fear of international sanctions work. The time has come to encourage the international community to fight Israeli intransigence and pressure Israel to give up on the occupied territories and its residents, who lack a voice from the perspective of our democracy. The “La Familia” government will surrender.
The 1967 borders are the goal, and for that we need to boycott not just Ariel College. All this will have to start from within us. After his speech in the Knesset, Obama will return to dine in the White House. We will stay to eat our spoiled fruit, fertilized like Naftali Bennett or Yair Lapid.