Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is less than a month old, but it’s already apparent that it is different from its predecessors. And if it continues on its current diplomatic trajectory, it may do something that its six predecessors failed to accomplish. Netanyahu’s new government may improve Israel’s position internationally.
The stakes are high. Over the years, Israel has largely concentrated its efforts on developing the tools to contend with its military challenges. But as we have seen over the past decade and a half, Israel’s capacity to fight and defeat its enemies is not limited principally by the IDF’s war-fighting capabilities.
Israel’s ability to defend itself and its citizens is constrained first and foremost by its shrinking capacity to defend itself diplomatically. Its enemies in the diplomatic arena have met with great success in their use of diplomatic condemnation and intimidation to force Israel to limit its military operations to the point where it is incapable of defeating its enemies outright.
The flagship of the diplomatic war against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
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Participants in the movement propagate and disseminate the libelous claim that Israel’s use of force in self-defense is inherently immoral and illegal. Over the years BDS activists’ assaults on Israel’s right to exist have become ever more shrill and radical. So, too, whereas just a few years ago their operations tended to be concentrated around military confrontations, today they are everyday occurrences. And their demands become greater and more openly anti-Semitic from week to week and day to day.
At the outset of this week’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu spoke out angrily and specifically against the BDS movement and warned that Israel must not blame itself for the BDS haters’ assaults against it.
As he put it,
“The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred. We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy.”
The BDS movement is a proxy war. It is being waged against Israel not only by deep-pocketed Arab governments which fund the NGOs that carry the battle to the streets. It is also being waged by hypocritical leftist donors in the US and by supposedly friendly European governments.