MJ Rosenberg, a Mideast analyst I’ve respected for years, has just written a powerful blog post entitled, “Are Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Finished?” His words are particularly meaningful, I believe, coming from someone who is firmly ensconced in the mainstream liberal Zionist camp.
He opens with an all-too familiar concern: that Israel’s suicidal path of settlement expansion will soon make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state impossible (if it hasn’t already).
Then he takes this concern to its next logical conclusion, articulating what most two-staters are generally too frightened to say out loud:
What would happen is that the Palestinians would go to the United Nations, to the European Union, and even to the United States to seek ..consequences. And these would most likely come in the demand for sanctions. There is already a burgeoning BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement that is seeking to bring down the occupation the way a similar movement brought down apartheid.
Is this what Israelis want? Do they really want those concerned about the occupation to be forced to turn to an option this extreme?
I know that the last thing I want is a successful international movement that would boycott and sanction Israel as if it was apartheid South Africa. But it’s probably inevitable unless Israelis come to their senses and begin the process of ending the occupation while the decision is still theirs to make.
In other words, sooner than later we’ll have to choose between a Jewish state and basic, fundamental human rights. It’s not the first time we’ve heard sentiments such as this, but when they come from people like Rosenberg, it’s a sign that the lines on this issue are inexorably shifting.