The New York Times editorial page stages a very circumscribed debate about boycotting Israel between… two Zionist Jews. The questions the Times asks are:
“[W]hat about a boycott of the territories, and all activity within them, to end the occupation? Would that be in the best interest of Israel and the most likely path to peace?”
The debaters are Lara Friedman of the liberal Zionist group Peace Now and Daniel Gordis of the conservative Shalem University.
Gordis is given room to trot out rightwing Israeli talking points: that the Jewish settlement program that surrounds East Jerusalem is just “urban sprawl or thriving cities” (he cites Gilo, above, and Ma’ale Adumim, site of Scarlett Johansson’s favorite business, SodaStream); that “boycotts undermine the peace process;” and that “Palestinian Intransigence Is the Obstacle.”
The Times editors dispense with the broader boycott-divestment-sanctions campaign (BDS) in this manner:
“Even many supporters of the two-state solution, though, condemn the [BDS] movement because it attacks Israel itself and supports the right of refugees to return to homes in Israel that were theirs before its creation.”
That language seems a little over the top, “attacks Israel itself.” Though yes, BDS folks oppose Jewish privilege– but when do they get to participate in a debate?