Beinart’s heart may be in the right place, but with all due respect (and I don’t think very much respect is due here), his head isn’t in the game. In his op-ed, Beinart’s train of thought is rolling along nicely, as he talks about how the pro-settler Israeli regime and the BDS movement are paving the way for a one-state solution, each in opposite but equally terrifying ways. Both sides use propaganda to mislead the uneducated as to the true history of the region. Don’t say “West Bank,” and don’t say “Judea & Samaria;” rather, say “nondemocratic Israel.” Clearly the solution is to financially strangle the “bad” Israelis, while rewarding the good ones who stay inside the Green Line. Where this train of thought derails, is when he attempts to answer this question: “(M)any companies profit from the occupation without being based on occupied land. Why shouldn’t we boycott them, too?”
“The answer,” claims Beinart, “is that boycotting anything inside the green line invites ambiguity about the boycott’s ultimate goal – whether it seeks to end Israeli’s occupation or Israel’s existence?”
I get the Beinart is trying to distinguish between Israelis that follow the rules that he wants them to follow, and the ones that don’t, and in so doing discourage the behavior that he believes is an impediment to peace, and encourage that which is conducive to peace. The problem is that he assumes that his fellow BDSers are also striving to end the occupation, not Israel’s existence. And this is his tragic mistake.
To Israel’s enemies, including the most vocal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, the problem is not just the Israeli occupation of “Palestinian land,” it’s the Israeli occupation of Israel. Israel’s existence is the occupation. Don’t believe me? Just look at any Palestinian-made map of Palestine. Don’t have one handy? Well, suffice it to say that they don’t consider the ’67 lines to constitute any sort of legitimate borders. Hey, I guess that’s something the Palestinians and the settlers have in common.
If only Beinart was as insistent on reining in Palestinian machinations as he was those of the “nondemocratic Israelis.” And how about those double standards? Cleansing Jewish populations from Palestinian land is an obvious and natural step in paving the way for a two-state solution, a democratic Jewish state (which of course grants its Arab citizens equal protections under the law), and a democratic Palestinian one (which, again, must be completely Judenrein). Of course, no expectations are given for the Palestinians. No concern is raised over the non-democratic character of the Palestinian Authority (there’s not even a “democratic PA” and a “nondemocratic PA,” there are the terrorists (Fatah), and the even worse terrorists (Hamas); it’s all just one big thugocracy.
Beinart talks about the importance of “keeping the possibility of a two-state solution alive.” The two-state solution is in a persistent vegetative state, and it’s not the Israelis who put it there. Do us all a favor and DO NOT RESCUSITATE!