Israel Won’t Submit to Boycott Threats

benThe speech given by Secretary of State John Kerry at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, February 1, 2014, created quite a stir in Israel. The media debated Kerry’s intent and politicians from across the political spectrum reacted to what they perceived as threats of boycotts against Israel. It is clear that Kerry’s statements were intended to intimidate the Israeli leadership into falling in line with the framework for peace he will be delivering in the near future.

In Munich, Kerry stated, “Everywhere I go in the world, wherever I go – I promise you, no exaggeration, the Far East, Africa, Latin America – one of the first questions out of the mouths of a foreign minister or a prime minister or a president is, ‘Can’t you guys do something to help bring an end to this conflict between Palestinians and Israelis?’ Indonesia – people care about it because it’s become either in some places an excuse or in other places an organizing principle for efforts that can be very troubling in certain places.  I believe that – and you see for Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kind of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?”

Secretary of State Kerry spoke of consequences for Israel should the current peace talks fail. He warned that “Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary…”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Sunday, February 2, 2014 to Kerry’s speech. He said, “Boycott attempts are immoral, unjust, and will not achieve their goal.” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz argued that “Israel can’t conduct negotiations with a gun pointed to its head.” He went on to say that Kerry’s comments were “offensive.”  Naftali Bennett, the Economics Minister, charged that Kerry’s statements show him as siding with Israel’s foes. “We expect our friends around the world to stand beside us, against anti-Semitic efforts targeting Israel, and not for them to be their amplifier.” Ethiopian-born Member of Knesset Pnina Tamano-Shata, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, observed that Kerry’s statements at the Munich Conference “are irresponsible in my view and harm the State of Israel.”

Israeli voices on the political left including Justice Minister Tzipi Livni defended Kerry saying, “When the leader says to us friends, the reality is going to change in the event of a political deal, this does not constitute a threat to the State of Israel, but rather defines reality as it is.”

What Livni neglected to explain however, is why Kerry failed to mention what consequences the Palestinians would suffer if the talks failed. It is the Palestinians under Mahmoud Abbas (not to mention the Palestinians of Hamas in Gaza) who have been the rejectionist party in these negotiations (scheduled to end on April 29, 2014, unless extended). In an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, February 2, 2014, Abbas was asked by a reporter about recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. He replied, “This is out of the question,” noting that “Jordan and Egypt were not asked to do so when they signed peace treaties with Israel.”

According to Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who also spoke at the Munich Security Conference, “(Israel) was not willing to talk about giving up one inch unless the Palestinians agree that at the end of the process, the framework of the negotiations will include the recognition of our right to exist as a nation-state of the Jewish people, a finality of claims, (meaning an end of conflict-JP), giving up the right of return, (of Palestinian refugees to Israel-JP) and addressing our security needs.”  Yaalon added, “Hopefully we’ll get it, if not, we will manage.”

It is unlikely that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians will compromise on the “right of return,” which might be a deal breaker. They know full well that such an agreement would be akin to Israel committing demographic suicide. Nor will the Palestinians show flexibility with recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Mahmoud Abbas told the NY Times that Israeli soldiers could remain in the West Bank for up to five years and that Jewish settlements should be phased out of the new Palestinian state. He proposed that NATO forces should be responsible for security on the West Bank and in preventing terror attacks against Israel. He also promised a demilitarized Palestinian state with only “police” forces to keep order.

Israel’s experience with foreign forces policing against terror or preventing war is rather bitter. In Lebanon, UNIFIL forces enabled Hezbollah to accumulate over 100,000 missiles now aimed at Israel, and allowed Hezbollah terrorists to fire at Israeli communities across the border. In the Sinai, UN troops folded as soon as Nasser ordered them out in May, 1967. And, NATO forces did little to prevent the bloodletting in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. Even if Israel agreed to the infringement on its right to self-defense and accepted NATO forces, the Palestinians will not compromise on all the other issues mentioned by Yaalon.

Palestinian NGO’s and labor unions initiated the call for Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel in 2005, and managed to bring anti-Semites, and extreme-leftist groups in Europe and America under their umbrella. Ironically, while in South Africa (a BDS movement stronghold) for the funeral of Nelson Mandela last December, President of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas said that he does not support a boycott against Israel.

The mere mention of boycotts by Kerry was a way of taking sides – the Palestinian side. Boycotts, however, are nothing new. The Jews in Palestine lived with them even before the Jewish state was established. Much like in Nazi Germany, Zionist institutions and Jewish businesses were boycotted by the Arab establishment in Mandatory Palestine. Soon after Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Arab League imposed its boycott, which lasted until the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. In 1994, the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries ended their boycott of Israel.

On campuses across the country there are two specific groups responsible for waging BDS campaigns: The Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). What goes unreported and what Kerry neglects to acknowledge is that 85% of Palestinian residents on the West Bank are interested in economic cooperation with Israel.

Then, there are Europe’s traditional anti-Semites in academia and business who have embraced the opportunity to harm the Jewish state, allegedly in the name of peace. European bankers are now queuing up in Tehran for post-sanctions business, while at the same time, boycotting Israeli banks that do business on the West Bank. They should be publicly shamed and targeted for counter-boycotts.

The Arab/Muslim world has tried war, terror, and economic warfare against Israel and has failed. The Jewish state is more prosperous now than ever, while the Arab world is mired in poverty and misery. The Europeans murdered Six Million Jews, but failed to destroy the Jewish people. A strong and flourishing Israel is an anathema to the Europeans, and to the anti-Semites on campuses in Europe and America. John Kerry must understand that his insinuation of the boycott threat against Israel can only evoke the dark memories of the past, and will not bring Israel to submission, or force it to sacrifice its vital interests.


Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Mudar Zahran, a secular leader of Palestinians in Jordan who has been living in exile in the UK since 2010. He calls out John Kerry on his Mideast  “Peace” Plan — and asks why a U.S. Secretary of State is threatening Israel to commit suicide:

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  • Dan Mesa/AZ

    Israel is God’s eye twinkling at us….a country of incredible people doing amazing things in the middle of a hornets nest full of evil. The Jews make be want to become a better Catholic.

    The last paragraph of this great article should be plastered everywhere.

    • Danny

      It’s touching that you said that, and as an Israeli-born Jew, I appreciate it. More importantly, I believe our purpose to spread God’s message includes helping Christians become more holy and devout.

  • Dan Mesa/AZ

    not make ‘be’…but make me.

    • StanleyT

      Dan, thanks for your support. BTW, you can edit your posts – just click on “edit” underneath.

      • Dan Mesa/AZ

        Thank you StanleyT! I pulled the trigger a little quick.

  • mcbee555

    Breaking the will of Israel is strictly an ego-trip for John Kerry. Any residual difficulties from the arrangement Kerry is attempting to foist upon Netanyahu would be insignificant to Kerry or Obama. Netanyahu won’t do that. The main focus of all the Kerry maneuverings is to get Israel to yield to Oval Office pressures. Not only is the Obama regime intent upon controlling the American people at home, but exercising control over allies is also on the regime’s agenda.
    Obama’s idea is to get the Arab West Bank in Israel now to become part of Jordan. The population of Jordan is already 88% Palestinian, as it is. But, that 88% are Jordanian citizens, West Bank Arabs are not. Palestinians are discriminated against in Jordan, despite the 88%, they are kept down. Jordan is a Hashemite kingdom. One example of that discrimination is Palestinian difficulty in being accepted to Jordanian universities. Palestinians from the West Bank are admitted to Israeli universities.
    If Jordan was to acquire the Palestinian West Bank, the present Israeli businesses and factories there would be lost to their present Palestinian work force, which the W.B. Palestinians don’t want to happen. Those people work for livings and feed their families well. They are satisfied with the status quo.
    Next week, Obama is to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan in his CA visit. The discussion will center upon Jordan absorbing the people of the West Bank. There is 55 billion U.S. dollars to be involved in that negotiation, Abdullah needs that money, his kingdom is economically faltering. So, that is the bait. Obama has already forgotten that he couldn’t “buy” Egypt. He lost Egypt as a result.
    We’ll see how the meeting goes, Obama will pressure Abdullah with money, but then Obama-Kerry are taking for granted that they can bully Netanyahu afterward, and it’s doubtful that Obama-Kerry understand enough about the nuances of Israel-Jordan relationship to make that happen.

  • wileyvet

    Israel is the success that it is because the Jews had a vision for the future. The only vision Palestinians have is of dead Jews at their feet as they dance and celebrate. Their leadership, if you can call it that, has been promising to drive the Jews into the sea since at least May 14, 1948. It was the clear intent of 5 Arab armies to exterminate the newly proclaimed State of Israel, when they invaded in that year, promising the spoils to the Arabs who had been dislocated during the conflict, once victory was achieved. This coming after the full extent of The Holocaust was known, perpetrated by Third Reich supporting Arabs, intent on completing the job left unfinished by the destruction of Nazism. These are a people with no conscience whatsoever and are asking for a country of their own, to be built over the bodies of 5 million Jews. Absolutely despicable.

  • Bob Bartlett

    Who are our enemies? Muslim countries that demonstrates against the little Satan (Israel) and the great Satan (USA) and chants death to America? Or the only democratic country in the Middle East?


    BDS=anti-Semitism 101.


    Should a nation and people simply submit to a movement to de-legitimize them for simply existing? This boycott movement is simply the next tactic for Israel’s enemies to eradicate them entirely-not just force a withdrawal from so-called “Palestinian lands.” To the Muslim world, ALL of Israel is “Palestinian land.” This is a battle fro Israel’s very survival and for the Jewish people. This is a war they cannot afford to lose.

  • Marshall

    It’s illusionary!
    You certainly know all about that John Kerry, You and your boofhead boss along with that despot Abbas. Just who do you mob think you are, sanctimonious, self serving, educated fools?, well that’s my interpretation .
    You lot are the ones who are illusionary, Too wrapped up in your own delusions of grandeur and self importance, with no interest in what is the truth. But then it might be that if truth was a heavy metal bar that smacked you between the eyes, it would probably just be like water off a ducks back. Now that is arrogance’.
    What goes around comes around Kerry. You and your boss are playing a deadly game, and playing these insidious power games with Israel, you have picked a fight you most definitely can not and will not win. You are digging a very deep hole for yourselves and in the not to distant future you all will surely know just how insignificant and irrelevant that you really are. Making yourselves to be important, but at the end of the day, you are just not important. You need to mind your own business and get your own backyard in order, and isn’t that the truth. Israel are very capable of looking after their own business without your bad advice and interference. As for the other mob, well stop pandering to the demands of these despots who constantly tell the world that they want Israel in the sea. It says a lot about your morals and integrity to be constantly seeing this vile lot as victims in all of this. Does history mean nothing to you. Apparently not , before your finished you will have rewritten it.( history) If you lie with dogs you will be infested with fleas. Do you understand now, I certainly won’t put my house on it.

  • Bob Bartlett

    Obama and his administration are the clowns of the world. They make threats that the other nations laughs at as they know that there would be no actions to back up their words. Remember don’t cross the line Iran. Ok since you did we will free up a lot of money for you?

  • Ganesha_akbar

    Breaking: Maryland proposes boycott of ASA wacademic anti-Semites

    A state bill would prohibit state dollars from funding activities such as travel or membership dues tied to the American Studies Association, which passed a resolution in December to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The almost 5,000-member organization is devoted to American studies but also has taken a position on foreign policy regarding Israel that state officials said conflicts with the state’s stance.

    The bill’s sponsor, Del. Benjamin Kramer (D-Montgomery), said it would be inconsistent for the state to continue to support Israel in trade and agricultural and economic development while also funding organizations like the ASA. He called the ASA’s boycott a “discriminatory position.”