Is Israel under a diplomatic attack? Of course. But is it questioning Israel’s right to exist as we are led to believe by mainstream media and government officials? Hardly. It is questioning the legitimacy of the Occupation and Settlements complex, which is more than welcome.
One of the most prominent movements associated with the anti-Israeli international trend in Israeli public discourse is BDS. The main argument heard in Israel is that this movement calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state. While there are members of this group that did make statements of this nature in the past, they are not as pivotal to the organization as it is presented in Israeli media. The organization calls for boycott of any items and goods associated directly and indirectly with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank – be that manufactured consumer goods, vegetables, flowers, etc.
What is disturbing in the current public discourse in Israel is that it ignores the overall trend of the Palestinians realizing that the settlements are Israel’s international weak spot and aim all their attacks towards that point. The PLO’s FIFA motion wasn’t about the legitimacy of Israel’s national football team but about that of professional Israeli football clubs based in the West Bank (on that issue – Israeli politicians hail the Palestinians withdrawal of the motion as a diplomatic success when in fact the reason they withdrew it was that Israel agreed to all their demands – freedom of movement for football players and releasing funds for football clubs – but one, regarding settlements football teams. And FIFA has announced a committee to look into it. So much for a diplomatic win). But not once during the discussion leading up to the now canceled vote was Israel’s legitimacy questioned, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a member of FIFA to begin with.
Israel isn’t at risk from losing the right to exist – but it is at risk of heading down a path that was taken by Yugoslavia and South Africa in the 90’s. The international community deemed what was going on in those countries – civil war and ethnic cleansing in one, apartheid in the other – illegal, and did what it could do to change that. It began with boycotts and sanctions and ended with a NATO military operation, in that case where initial actions proved ineffective. After the violations of human rights ended, the international community left those countries to be, and integrated them back to ‘society’. Are we at risk of being attacked by NATO? probably not. But we can already start feeling the heat of the international community taking matters into their hands, and that means that we must brace ourselves – sanctions are coming.