Changing Israel



Defeating Israel does not sit well with the American public. Although defeat does not seem possible, the word intimates the destruction of all Israelis. Changing Israel into a nation that preserves some of the characteristics that guided many to embrace an earlier expressed vision — creation of a nation that is a light upon all nations — albeit a difficult proposition, is possible, and a necessary condition for Isarel to survive.

Changing the darkness of present day militarist and nationalist Israel, its theft of Palestinian lands, killings of Palestinian peoples, virtual imprisonment of Palestinians in their own lands, dictating and shaping Palestinian past, present and future into a bright Israel that recognizes the injustices it inflicts upon others, subdues its over-extended nationalism, and no longer hinders the self-determination and progress of the Palestinian people has a chance, and only if a world understands the exacting nature of the crisis and is willing to actively resolve it.

Understanding has a challenge, doing more than gracing the media with harsh measures done to the Palestinians but presenting what can be done by the world community to convert Israel, a tribal state without borders, into a nation that assures justice for all ethnicities within well-defined and internationally accepted frontiers.  Exposing the real Israel and countering the public relations efforts that Israel uses to present itself as a victim has started to be successful. For ultimate success, four prominent topics demand immediate attention and adequate explanations in order to demolish Israel’s spurious portrayal of these issues. These topics are:

  1. Significance of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
  2. Israel as a spurious Democracy
  3. The hypocrisy of Zionism
  4. The false issue of Anti-Semitism

A four-part article will discuss each topic and present a refreshing discourse that strives to be original and add more to the discussion than has already been said. The conversation transforms tacit acceptance of Israel’s oblique use of these topics in order to defend its oppressive policies into a vigorous offense that shatters Israel’s defense.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
Israel cannot be subdued on the battlefield or in the political arena. Halting its economic chicanery, which consists of stealing land and water resorces from the Palestinians, disabling competition from Palestinian services and businesses, and maintaining Palestinians as cheap labor, and preventing its territorial expansion can freeze Israel’s forward drive. Due to its “all or nothing” bulldozer philosophy, a frozen Israel may not thaw too easily. BDS is a physically non-violent and viable method for partially accomplishing these valuable purposes — it uses tools that have proven effective against other oppressive nations, gives a unique focus for those enlisted in the common cause of combating Israel aggressions and oppressions, exposes Israel’s lies, deceits and tyrannical nature, and paves a route for further actions that will derail Israel from its corrupt destiny.

BDS importance is apparent — it has been able to gather together those who sympathize with the Palestinian cause and those opposed to Israel actions into a common activity that has captured worldwide attention. Despite its physical non-violent nature and similarity to previously recommended boycott actions of oppressive countries, BDS has detractors from those who are ardent supporters of the Palestinian cause. Their complaints, which must be addressed, include

  1. BDS distracts from the peace process.

This would be true, except there is not now or has ever been an Israeli sanctioned peace process. The words “peace process” and “two-state solution” have been used to provide false avenues of hope to those who want a just peace to the crisis, and these false avenues have distracted from the avenues that arrive at a just solution.

  1. BDS will backfire on the Palestinian people, similar to the 1933 American Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany that placed German Jews in greater stress.

Two distinct differences — this boycott is not being made by the same group that receives the lash of oppression and Palestinians do not have the material well-being and positions that German Jews had in Germany. Besides they have nothing to lose that they will not eventually lose.

  1. BDS will negatively affect Palestinian Israelis and the Palestinian economy.

There is a tradeoff — a little loss in the present for prevention of a total loss in the future.

  1. BDS defies the Palestinian Authority (PA) and criticizes PA security and economic collaboration with Israel’s military administration.

Good reason for BDS.

  1. BDS has encroached on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) position as the internationally recognized advocate and representative of Palestinians worldwide.

Does this mean that only The African National Congress (ANC) should have assisted the South African Blacks?

  1. BDS has unleashed a ferocious counter-campaign by Israel and its supporters that will exasperate what is left of the Israeli peace camp, will push Palestinians away from an anti-occupation struggle and towards an anti-apartheid one, will induce an anti-democratic counter-campaign by the Israeli government that will make Israeli liberals fear for the future of their country. It has caused problems for Palestinians’  donor governments in Europe, which are being pressured by Israel not to work with BDS-supporting organizations in the Palestinian territories.

Efforts that have served as band-aids for Palestinian suffering and not resolved the decades of injustices and oppression will now be replaced by a more unified effort that can grow into a liberating force.

  1. BDS is anti-Israel.

People can be anti-American, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, anti-Saudi, and anti-Vatican but anti-Israel (which only means being against Israel’s oppressive policies) is given unique significance. Legitimate grievances against Israel must be heard, and if not corrected, many more will join the anti-Israel bandwagon.

  1. BDS will not greatly disturb the Israel economy, cannot succeed, and will eventually dissipate.

The Israel economy is more vulnerable than realized. The “ecnomic miracle” was a desperate survival in an economy subsidized by Holocaust reparations, German economic assistance, U.S. aid that built an Israeli armaments industry, institutional and facility constructions by a host of sympathetic nations, donations from Religious Right groups, billions of shekels from worldwide Jewry, scientific advancements from Soviet immigrants and research facilities supported by foreign firms. Add the theft of Palestinian land and use of cheap Palestinian labor. imagine the problems the Israel economy would have had if it could not house its immigrants in dwellings stolen from the displaced Palestninians, many completely furnished with living room curtains.

Take away many of these subsidies and, if the average Israeli standard of living starts to decline, then he/she might no longer enjoy living by theft, oppressing others, and financing a non-working religious orthodox population, and might consider leaving for more honorable and economically viable surroundings.

Frankly, the complaints against BDS come mainly from those who will assist the Palestinians if the efforts do no harm to Israel. This was apparent in Eric Alterman’s case against BDS in a July op-ed in the New York Times.

As a liberal Jew who agonizes over what this endless occupation is doing – not only to the Palestinians but also the Jews, both here and in Israel – I wish I could find a movement that actually sought to help Israel realize the folly of the self-destructive path it is currently on and simultaneously advance the cause of a peaceful state for the Palestinians. Unfortunately, I can’t find one, on either side of the B.D.S. divide.

Detractors to valid operations that are welcomed and supported by many, and, who do not provide alternative paths for solutions to a problem, serve no purpose and create discomfort and discord. BDS solicits only one debate, how can it be made more effective? References to its efforts and accomplishments are found in the literature at:

The BDS movement has unique considerations and serious difficulties.
It is not generally possible for an outside force to move a foreign government without assistance from another strong government. However, several chinks in the Israeli armor can be noted:

  1. Israel, with its undefined borders and growing theocratic nature is not a nation, more like an extended tribe with a contingent of worldwide supporters. Therefore, the battle is not nation against nation; it is oppressed with their sympathizers against oppressors with their allies,.Oppressor Israelis have their native population, and an assembly of allied Jews, Christian evangelists, ultra-nationalists that adhere to its racist policies, and an army of supporters who have succumbed to the Israeli public relations effort — guess at a total figure of 100-200 million support for Oppressor Israelis. Oppressed Palestinians have support from most of the rest of the world — guess one billion for assisting the arguments of Oppressed Palestinians. Oppressor Israelis are better organized and financed. Oppressed Palestinians and their followers can overcome the limitations with.more efficient use of their overwhelming numbers. Harnessing those numbers into autonomous and cohesive working units in a myriad of projects is the most fundamental challenge for the Oppressed Palestinians. It is the key to success or failure of their movement.
  2. Only US vetoes have prevented the Palestinians from winning significant victories and gaining advantages. Will those US vetoes continue forever?
  3. Palestinians inhabit the high moral ground and have endured decades of suffering and repression. Their valor and ability to live in the harsh conditions are gaining admiration and sustenance from the world’s peoples.
  4. History is on the side of the Palestinians. Their support in numbers will grow faster than those of the Israelis. However, a dangerous situation comes into play; if Israel determines the pendulum is swinging toward the Palestinians, its repression will become more severe, unbearably severe.

A serious difficulty that BDS faces concerns its administration, its necessity to maintain attention to those who subscribe to BDS while soliciting new subscribers. Its administration and finances must continually grow while it provides constant defense to attacks that will grow more vicious and in higher numbers in unison with BDS advances.

Successful implementation of the worldwide supported BDS endeavor serves as a springboard for future endeavors. Imagine efforts for lessening tourism to Israel, promoting tourism to the West Bank and Gaza that uses only Palestinian facilities, reviving worldwide protests for western countries to reevaluate their policies toward Israel, gaining and more effectively using support from institutions and individuals that subscribe to the Palestinian cause and can influence world leaders, expediting the slowly shifting Democratic Party attitude toward Israel, combating on a mass scale those who skew the appearance of the Middle East crisis, enhancing student bodies throughout the world to be more active in demanding a just solution to the Middle East crisis, and rallying those who believe in peace and justice to entertain bolder programs.

BDS is a beginning and a changed Israel is its ending.
The alternative — mass killings that will destroy the Jewish and Palestinian communities.

Dan Lieberman edits Alternative Insight, a commentary on foreign policy, economics, and politics. He is author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America, a Kindle: The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name). Dan can be reached at [email protected] 




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