By obscuring the uniqueness of the Israeli colonialist regime, BDS is giving Israel an escape hatch; instead, boycott movement must focus on occupation and settlements, stop blurring lines between Israel and Territories.
If the BDS movement didn’t exist, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of occupation and settlement would have had to invent it. For contrary to the popular notion in Israel, on the international scene BDS is serving as one of the most effective factors in perpetuating the Palestinians’ national enslavement.
Both the boycott movement and the present Israeli government – as made clear in Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s fundamentalist speech to Israeli diplomats – are striving to imprint in international consciousness the inherent identification between the State of Israel and the Israeli military regime in the occupied territories, a single organic Israeli unit. Put another way: There is basic consent between the BDS movement and the Israeli government regarding the conception of the geopolitical space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, as a single state called Israel.
The dispute between the boycott movement and the occupation and settlement government has to do with the moral character of that single “Israel” between the river and the sea. While BDS describes it as a criminal colonialist entity whose international legitimacy is in doubt, the Israeli government sees it as a legitimate partner in the family of nations that gives just expression to the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.