In an interview yesterday with the liberal daily Haaretz (Hebrew), Defense Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged the impact of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement on Israel and the unsustainable nature of Israeli Occupation.
Barak believes that a UN declaration of Palestinian statehood without a prior Israeli political initiative will paint Israel into a corner previously occupied by South Africa during the apartheid era. His admonition is pungent and scathing: “There are elements in the world, quite powerful, in various countries, including friendly ones, in trade unions, [among] academics, consumers, green political parties”, he warns, “and this impetus has culminated in a broad movement called BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) which is what was done with South Africa. This will not happen overnight. The day after September, people will say: ‘so now October has come, the sky hasn’t fallen, nothing has happened’. This is not true .
Will this happen in December or January?
It will start coming at us like a glacier, from all corners. There are people in the European Council that deal with export and import, and they are capable, without any government decision, of inflicting significant damage on the Israeli economy. We will see this taking place in academia, we will see this taking place in dockworker unions, consumer groups, and this will seep into governments. This is unwise [apparently referring to Israeli policies which will bring about this outcome]. To me, this uncontrollable process looks more dangerous than what the [Israeli] public perceives at the moment. We have been ruling over another nation for 43 years, this is unprecedented. Perhaps China can allow itself to control some small nations in various corners of its empire, and perhaps Russia can [failing to discern that Tibetans and Chechens have citizenship]. We cannot, there is no chance that the world will accept this. The far right is exposing Israel to dangerous and unwarranted isolation.
Looks like senior Israeli officials fully understand and are scared of the nonviolent movement as well as endless occupation.
Section translated by Ofer Neiman.