In Haaretz, Nehemia Shtrasler writes:
The world is changing before our eyes. Five years ago the anti-Israel movement may have been marginal. Now it is growing into an economic problem.
Until now boycott organizers had been on the far left. They have a new ally: Islamic organizations that have strengthened greatly throughout Europe in the past two decades. The upshot is a red and green alliance with a significant power base. The red side has a name for championing human rights, while the green side has money. Their union is what led to the success of the Turkish flotilla.
They note that boycott is an especially effective weapon against Israel because Israel is a small country, dependent on exports and imports. They also point to the success of the economic boycott against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
The anti-Israel tide rose right after Operation Cast Lead, as the world watched Israel pound Gaza with bombs on live television. No public-relations machine in the world could explain the deaths of hundreds of children, the destruction of neighborhoods and the grinding poverty afflicting a people under curfew for years. They weren’t even allowed to bring in screws to build school desks. Then came the flotilla, complete with prominent peace activists, which ended in nine deaths, adding fuel to the fire.
But underlying the anger against Israel lies disappointment. Since the establishment of the state, and before, we demanded special terms of the world. We played on their feelings of guilt, for standing idle while six million Jews were murdered.
David Ben-Gurion called us a light unto the nations and we stood tall and said, we, little David, would stand strong and righteous against the great evil Goliath.
The world appreciated that message and even, according to the foreign press, enabled us to develop the atom bomb in order to prevent a second Holocaust.
But then came the occupation, which turned us into the evil Goliath, the cruel oppressor, a darkness on the nations. And now we are paying the price of presenting ourselves as righteous and causing disappointment: boycott.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reports:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday fiercely attacked the diplomatic process with the Palestinians that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began in Washington last week, telling Israel Beiteinu activists in the capital that a peace deal is “unachievable.”
In a lengthy address to more than a thousand supporters at the Rimonim (formerly Shalom) Hotel, Lieberman criticized previous governments and his own for not learning the lessons of 17 years of failed diplomatic negotiations.
He said he gets asked all the time why he is against hope, and he responds that he is for hope but against illusions.
“It must be understood that signing a comprehensive agreement in which both sides agree to end the conflict and end all of their claims and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a goal that is not achievable in the next year or in the next generation, so any historic compromises or painful concessions won’t help,” he said.
The best that could come out of the talks was a long-term interim agreement with the Palestinians, Lieberman said.
He promised that his party would fight against further construction freezes and unilateral concessions.
“Seventeen years should be enough time to realize what is and is not possible. I know there is pressure to continue the freeze, but I don’t know a single reason to do so.