Yesterday Israel barred US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ihan Omar from entering Israel since they support Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel”, announced Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely.
But then there’s some less noted news relating to BDS, and it came in a little earlier in the week.
Twenty-one Israeli right-wing lawmakers sent a letter to US congress, expressing grave concern over a recently-passed anti-BDS resolution. At first this may sound counterintuitive. Their concern was not the Congressional condemnation of BDS – but rather that the resolution contained talk of a “two-state solution”.
“We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,”
Signatories include Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (United Right), Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud), and MK Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) – the latter is number 5 on the Likud slate. The letter was promoted by settler-council leader Yossi Dagan.
That “two-state” talk in the anti-BDS House resolution was what got a lot of Democrats on board, ending up with 175 Republicans and 174 Democrats supporting it. Although in its essence the bill violates the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, its formulation with that “two-state” mentioning seemed to sweeten the pill for many liberals. But the Israeli lawmakers are saying to the US, no thank you! To wit:
As politicians, we understand that these resolutions are accompanied by many compromises along the way in order to reach a language agreed upon by a majority. However, the affirmation of support for establishing a Palestinian state is so dangerous that we respectfully request that you take that into consideration, and in the future avoid determining that establishing an additional Arab state on territory that is the Land of Israel is part of the solution to the dispute.
The letter emphasizes that “the establishment of an additional Arab (so-called Palestinian) state in the region would severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States”, and that “such a state would undoubtedly be a dysfunctional terrorist state”.
Settler-leader Dagan emphasizes that the two-state concept is not the policy of Israel nor the US, and he also openly criticizes AIPAC for promoting it:
AIPAC portrays the two-state concept as an Israeli interest to elected officials in America and as the official position of the Israeli government, even though this is untrue. The two-state concept is not the policy of the current government coalition, nor is it stated policy in the agreements between the coalition partners. Furthermore, this is not the policy of the Trump administration, which has even removed it from the National Security Strategic Report.
So, talk of a two-state solution is no longer allowed. But, the BDS movement is also often being chided for its supposed support of a ‘one-state solution’, although it is officially agnostic on the question. In fact, this criticism was seen in AIPAC’s condemnation of Omar and Tlaib from yesterday:
“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution”.
So a “one-state solution” should not be talked about, or even suggested, when it involves equal rights to Palestinians – that’s considered “anti-Israel”. In return, politicians will often then repeat the “two-state solution” talk, because they think it makes them liberals, and it’s the standard fig leaf when you vote against BDS – Germany used the same trick in its recent anti-BDS resolution.
But now, Israeli lawmakers are saying they don’t want that talk anymore — it’s even more dangerous than BDS itself!
Israeli politicians are saying that they don’t mind walking the talk naked, they don’t need that fig leaf and they don’t want it. They want the talk to shift to an absolute support for the One State – the one state of Israel, on the whole “Land of Israel”, which is implicitly an Apartheid state.
Tzipi Hotovely said back in 2015:
This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.
And that’s becoming the new Israeli talking point – stop apologizing with your “two-state” talk, nobody needs it anymore, and it doesn’t even help Israel.
Some of us have been saying that a Palestinian state was always to remain fiction for Zionists. Some have apparently found maintenance of the illusion useful. Now the staunchest Zionists are saying they don’t need or want that illusion maintained anymore, and that it’s dangerous.
Maybe, before long, Israel will upgrade the danger assessment on such talk as a “strategic threat”, like it did with BDS in 2015. Before we know it, Israel may update its 2017 ban on BDS supporters from abroad, to include supporters of a two-state solution. I can imagine the interrogations at Ben Gurion Airport:
“Do you support BDS?”… “No way!”… “Ok, do you support a two-state solution?”… “No way – only a one state!”… “You mean, a Jewish state, yes?”… “Yes, only Jewish and democratic!”… “OK, OK, you can pass – but don’t worry about the ‘democratic’, we’re not so strict on that one anymore” . . .