Thursday, August 11, 2016

Encountering Peace: The waiting game

Gershon Baskin, "Encountering Peace: The waiting game," The Jerusalem Post

image (not from article) from
As far as I can see, even if the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is being presented by the Israeli government as an existential threat and serious resources are being dedicated to fighting it, the unprofessional nature of the way that fight is being conducted is indicative of the reality: BDS is much more of a smoke screen than a real threat. While it is true that individual companies working in occupied areas have been targeted and those attacks have succeeded (several companies have relocated from the West Bank to inside of Israel), in the grand scheme Israel is significantly insulated from the effects of boycotts.
There is a larger threat of growing delegitimization of Israel’s existence around the world, especially at the level of civil society, but the only real way of derailing that is to end the occupation and Israel’s control over the Palestinian people.
It is not about “public diplomacy” (hasbara), it is about reality.
The continued belief that someone from the outside, such as the US president, the Quartet, the Saudis or someone else will resolve our conflict has enabled both Israelis and Palestinians and their leaders to escape the responsibility of taking charge, sitting down and figuring out how to do it. There is no avoiding the reality and the urgency of finding solutions, even if implementing the solutions takes years. This conflict has no chance of ending without sitting down together and reaching agreements. No one is going to do it in our place.
The author is founder and co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives.

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