Activism

It’s the borders, stupid (forget the BDS hysteria)

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Benjamin Netanyahu and his partner in crime Sheldon Adelson have been pulling out all the stops lately against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, ratcheting up the demonization of BDS’ers. We’re anti-Semites, the same people who gave you the blood libel and 9/11. Or we are calling  for “the elimination of Israel.”

One of Netanyahu’s new talking points, a variation of “no partner for peace” (rehashed because nothing is new in hasbara-land, propaganda gets recycled) is how he really wants a peace process and Palestine is refusing to negotiate. The other day the Prime Minister said the Palestinians “refuse to negotiate and then try to get boycotts on Israel for there not being negotiations, which they refuse to enter. Catch 22.”

Or as Abe Foxman put it a day or so later in New York: Israel needs to “come up with some creative dynamic approach for peace.”

How do you fit a square peg in a round hole? The sad truth, for all those scurrying around having conferences to tank BDS, is (as Ronen Bergman writes):

“The main problem in the fight against the boycott is not the marketing but the product. In the world of 2015, occupation would never be accepted.

So forget the new packaging. It’s the borders, stupid. I know how Netanyahu could get our attention. Name the borders for this pie-in-the-sky two state solution. You want negotiations? Cough up your proposal up front for a Palestinian State. No more “without preconditions,” or “final status issues” pushed down the road.

Cut to the chase, and if you want “negotiations” (which we all know you could care jack about except that it will enhance your image and drag out these last months of the Obama presidency), actually lay your cards on the table, tell us where your borders are, and what those wonderful landswaps are. Because American memories are short, but they’re not that short.

The truth is, they’ve got nothing. Fresh off Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban’s Las Vegas weekend, we’re already starting to see the fruits of their labor roll in and there’s nothing but a bunch of handwringers trying to find a way to get Americans to like them. Foxman said, “There needs to be a lot more sensitivity” from Israel to the U.S. Really. Well: How about not flinging anti-Semite ad hominems at your adversaries, or playing the victim card while expanding settlement construction, or killing Palestinian children, or threatening to kill more Lebanese civilians, or helping Saudi Arabia crush Yemen. Oh, and making stupid (albeit truthful) speeches that expose your racism.

It’s all so… last century. There’s nothing fresh. No, other than promoting the meme that they’re just at the edge of their seats and eager to start another round of negotiations. #Fail.

Which leaves the ball in the Palestinians’ court.

Editor’s note: This piece has been edited to remove a statement Netanyahu made at a press appearance, “Justice and freedom for Palestinians are incompatible with Israel’s existence,” which was later quoted by AFP (and others) as being Netanyahu’s own statement.  The PM was actually quoting California State University Stanislaus professor As’ad AbuKhalil, also the author of The Angry Arab News Service.

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When a reporter asked Saban, at that Crazy Uncle conference, if Israeli policies might be fueling BDS he said that he was not going to get into whether particular policies were go or bad. Then he launched into a condemnation of anti Semitism. They KNOW this is about wretched government… Read more »

Kerpow! Way to go, Annie! Thanks so much for profiling his sanction- worthy statement: “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel” Taken together with the 95% of Israelis that supported the massacre last summer, the majority that reelected Netanyahu, his pre-… Read more »

Thanks Annie. Terrific article. You tell it like it is No they will never discuss the actual borders because those borders they really want have the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Jordan river to the east and a big chunk of southern lebanon in the north including the Syrian… Read more »

“its Israel’s fault that there is no Palestinian State”

Right! Correct!

“just like its Israel’s fault the Chicago Cubs haven’t been in the World Series since 1945 or won the World Series since 1908.”

Wrong! Incorrect!

You got it half right

Want to know how to freak out an Israeli diplomat? Hand him or her a pencil and a piece of paper and say “would you please draw us a rough outline of the borders of the country you want the world to recognize as Israel. I’ll wait.” Why has no… Read more »