Dec 01, 2013 11:53 am | Philip Weiss
Gideon Levy calls for international sanctions against Israel to end the occupation. He says the Iran case proves that sanctions work. And that John Kerry should end the masquerade of peace talks, which only he believes in, because Israel will never give up territory without pressure — including, by the way, “occupied East Jerusalem.” How often do these arguments appear in the mainstream American press, or the words “occupied East Jerusalem”? (Almost never, and yes the “shrill U.S. Jewish lobby,” words that also do not appear under threat of censure, is the main reason). Levy:
It appears that international sanctions work and that a boycott is a tool like no other. Even Israel’s prime minister has admitted this; he has called on the world not to ease the sanctions and to even intensify them, and following his lead is the shrill U.S. Jewish lobby.
This being the case, the moral is clear: This is the way to act with recalcitrant states. This applies not only to Iran, where the theory is being proved before our eyes, but with another country that does not obey the decisions of the international community.
Israel has signed the Horizon 2020 agreement for scientific research with the EU barring funding from companies or institutions with ties to the settlements. This is irrefutable proof that a boycott threat works well with Israel, too.
The truth is hard to miss. By signing the agreement, Israel gave a hand to the first official international boycott of the settlements…
Levy notes the “hypocrisy of boycotting just the settlements.”
Every Israeli organization, institution or authority is somehow involved with what’s going on beyond the Green Line. Every bank, university, supermarket chain or medical institution has branches, employees or clients who are settlers. The settlements are an all-Israeli project and the boycott can’t be limited to them, just as the boycott of apartheid-era South Africa couldn’t be limited to the institutions of apartheid.
There everything was apartheid, and here everything is tainted by occupation. Israel funds, protects and nurtures the settlements, so all of Israel is responsible for their existence. It’s unfair to boycott just the settlers. We’re all guilty. …
So the time has come for sanctions. When these are felt in Israel, only then should an international committee be formed, whether in Geneva, Jerusalem, Oslo or Ramallah, where the world will translate economic sanctions into political achievements.
This worked with Iran, and it will work with Israel and prevent bloodshed. There’s no reason to continue the masquerade of peace talks that, with the exception of one American, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, no one takes seriously. Even he will eventually come around because as long as Israelis don’t pay a price for the occupation or are blind to it, they won’t end it. That’s the truth.