Channel 10, one of Israel’s three TV channels, aired a report this week that surely frightened a lot of viewers. Its title was “Who Is Organizing the Worldwide Hatred of Israel Movement?” and its subject was the dozens of groups in various countries which are conducting a vigorous propaganda campaign for the Palestinians and against Israel.
The activists interviewed, both male and female, young and old – quite a number of them Jews – demonstrate at supermarkets against the products of the settlements and/or of Israel in general, organize mass meetings, make speeches, mobilize trade unions, file lawsuits against Israeli politicians and generals.
Throughout the debate, Golda Meir – as was her wont – stood at the door of the plenum hall, chain-smoking. Summing up, she answered every speaker in turn, ignoring my speech. I thought that she had decided to boycott me, when – after a dramatic pause – she turned in my direction. “Deputy Avnery thinks that they hate us because of what we do. He does not know the goyim. The goyim love the Jews when they are beaten and miserable. They hate the Jews when they are victorious and successful.” If clapping were allowed in the Knesset, the whole house would have burst into thunderous applause.
There is a danger that the current worldwide protest will meet the same reaction: that the Israeli public will unite against the evil goyim, instead of uniting against the settlers.
The first thing is to clearly differentiate between the boycott of the settlements and a general boycott of Israel.
If the world protest is clearly focused on the settlements, it will indeed cause many Israelis to realize that there is a clear line between the legitimate state of Israel and the illegitimate occupation.
Today a large majority of Israelis say that they want peace and are ready to pay the price,but that, unfortunately, the Arabs don’t want peace. The mainstream peace camp, which could once bring hundreds of thousands onto the street, is in a state of depression.