|Israel - Boycott, divest, sanction (Photo credit: Takver)|
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, the indefatigable mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, is showing signs of frustration. Past US mediators in this conflict also started off with great enthusiasm, only to throw in the towel.
New revelations of the "settlement enterprise" in the occupied territories has come to light. The ultra-Orthodox Haredi Parties are out of the coalition, the right wing illegal settler Bayit Hayehudi Party under Naftali Bennet has replaced them. The taxpayer is now footing the bill for the building of illegal settlements for the right wing religious Zionists who are having a field day with a right wing government coalition sympathetic to their cause.
It was reported on Israel Channel 2 Television that there seem to be illegal transfer of funds to the Yesha Council for settlements. It was reported that local councils in the West Bank receive state funds to compensate them for losses incurred because of Israel's freeze on settlement building.
The Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, suspended funding as a result of information that these funds are not being used for their original purpose, such as security and maintenance of kindergartens, but rather being transferred to the Yesha Council and its bunch of right wing croneys for political purposes. This of course means financing pro-settlement propaganda which means another stab at a two-state solution of this festering conflict. At the moment this issue is being investigated. Naturally the Yesha Council denies any misappropriation of funds and they argue that they have not broken the law. Would they say that they are breaking the law?
With this cloud of corruption hanging over the Yesha Council and the tacit support of extreme right wing members of the coalition, it would be in the best interests of peace if Yesh Atid would resign from the coalition. Bennet and Lapid are not "brothers" anymore as they claimed after both were elected to the Knesset.
It is very difficult to understand what is happening in the peace process. Nothing has changed except the tactics but the accusations and counter accusations go on as if both sides do not wish to see progress towards peace. It is an exercise in squirming and trying to satisfy John Kerry. Each side accuses the other for the failure of the peace negotiations. This has been going on over many years. The players change but the excuses and lack of trust remains the same.
John Kerry, the indefatigable mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, is showing signs of frustration as his predecessors at the lack of progress. The paranoid Israeli Government accuses him of being anti-Semitic because he made some remarks about failure of progress towards an agreement with the Palestinians would lead to a boycott of trade and business with Israel. He expressed an opinion which is legitimate. The conflict is a festering sore that does not heal. One of the symptoms that prevents healing is the illegal settlement enterprise that seems to expand.
Why is it that when John Kerry says that if the talks fail and he warns Israel about the EU boycott of Israel is he accused of being anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic? The same goes for President Obama as well. Israel's most reliable and trusted friend in the world is the US. It is in US interests as well as European interests that the occupation is ended. It is in Israel's interest as well though the illegal settler friendly government of Netanyahu fail to realize this.
There is a cancer eating into Israeli society. This cancer is alive and kicking in the extreme right wing flank of the Coalition Government. It turns a blind eye to Price Tag attacks against Christian and Muslim holy places and property. It coddles the kippa, tzizit and peiyot dangling hill-top youth - allies of violence. The cancer is also found in the increase of illegal settlement activity in areas in the Palestinian state-to-be if it will ever occur in the future. The cure to this widespread cancer in Israel is BDS. The inability of the Israeli Police to arrest Price Tag terrorists is an ominous sign of indifference towards terrorism and vandalism. The self-righteous, paranoid rhetoric is coming from the right wing and extreme right-wing, defining antisemitism as criticism of Israel's occupation is very dangerous and is not in Israel's interest. It gives leeway to fascism which is gaining ground.
The Israeli Government attitude towards John Kerry can be summed up in the statement by Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Ayalon, as very unfortunate. Ayalon apologized for his statement under pressure. Kerry is now persona non grata in the eyes of the right wing because he warned Israel that failure to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians would lead to a boycott of Israel. He never stated that he supported a BDS. The contrary is true. It just illustrates how the Israeli Government is manipulating the people to believe that Kerry is an anti-Semite despite him being a true friend of Israel. In the the eyes of the right and extreme right, the whole world is anti-Semitic and ganging up to boycott Israel in order to destroy the Jewish State.
They sing the same song of the evil going on in Syria which the UN and much of the world are turning a blind eye. True! Much evil is happening in Syria and nothing is done. This is disgusting and abhorrent. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is also abhorrent no less. Israel's justification of colonization of the West Bank on the ground by building settlements turns the two-state solution into a bi-national state solution. There is no other way of looking at it.