War of Words. Are Sanctions Next?

The international war of words as reflected by almost all European major newspapers is growing daily.

Will it lead to sanctions against Israel? Picture this: a plane carrying 225 passengers leaves Tel-Aviv for a flight to London or to Paris. Several hours in the air the captain makes an announcement.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. I regret to inform you that we must return to BenGurion airport. All flights to and from Israel are banned from landing in France or England and several other countries are considering joining the ban”.

Do you think this is a fantasy or “fake news”? Read the British, French, German and Dutch newspapers. See what he world thinks of us now.

Sanctions are being considered, says Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Great Britain. France will join with Britain. Others in the European Union will follow suit.

Once the UN and the EU declare that Israel is in violation of international law, which is their intention, Bibi’s nightmare will explode.

And who will suffer most of all? We. The ordinary citizens. Prices will sky-rocket due to market increases.

To annex land which, by established treaty and international law, is considered a crime whereupon Israel can be condemned by the World Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.

Israelis may be “tarred and feathered”, to use an old phrase, and will be refused services when they travel in foreign countries. Hotels may choose not to offer them a room. “Sorry. We’re all filled up”.

British, Canadian and American Jews, a majority of them, have opposed annexation and plan to withhold or to diminish contributions to Israeli institutions.

Our place in the Middle East will now be called the Muddled East and we, not only Iran, will be the cause of it.

If in the earlier years of our statehood we had been successful in conquering the West Bank territory, it might have not caused friction with the member states of the United Nations. At that time there was no talk about a future Palestinian state and recovering land in Judea and Samaria would be considered as an act of war.

When Sadat of Egypt made peace with us we returned the Sinai. If the Palestinians had made peace with us and ceased from all terrorist activities, it may have likewise followed our arrangement with Egypt.

But the Palestinians are deaf, blind, and dumb. Not “dumb” in the sense of lacking wisdom alone but being unable to speak for peace at a conference to end our seventy-two year old conflict.

The Palestinians, as Golda Meier once said, never fail to miss an opportunity to live peacefully with us.

Our economy, according to TASE (TelAviv stock exchange) and the World Bank and Wall Street, is not as good as it had previously been. Ask any householder how much more they have to pay for food at a supermarket, and don’t faint when you hear what they tell you.

Not that we are going back to the days of “Tzena” with coupons, God forbid, but on today’s salary it makes things far more difficult than under a previous government.

A foreign visitor whom I met asked me why Israelis can’t do something about Netanyahu. Why can’t we demand that since he is under indictment he must step down.?

I replied that we have no option of an impeachment and the High Court has ruled that an indicted prime minister can hold his office unless he is convicted.

Meanwhile, the war of words goes on. Not only in international circles but in our own Knesset. The inability of Likud’s big shots to embrace Yesh Atid’s Naftali Bennet and his party now forces Yamina to join the left-wing opposition.

Bitter words. Failed friendships. Broken promises. That is what is on today’s menu. And tomorrow it will be the same menu until the parties grow tired and bored of having to eat the same “foods” day by day..

The words of the world will end soon enough. And then the sanctions will begin. Will the Hague court find us guilty of non-compliance or will Bibi smooth-talk them out of sanctioning us?

Don’t sanction Israel, I will tell them. Sanction only prime minister Netanyahu and close the welcome doors.

May God save us from the hasty decisions of a prime minister interested solely for his personal legacy.

What consolation will he cook up to bereaved families of dead soldiers killed in the forthcoming battle for a bit more ancient history?

Let wiser heads prevail to keep us at peace and tranquility. No more wars. No more unnecessary deaths of our brave defenders.

Legacy be damned !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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