Writing in the left-wing Internet magazine +972, Derfner includes the text of an email he wrote to a supporter who was lamenting the improbability of an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank due to the entrenchment of the “right wing and settlers.”
“I think that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to follow the S. African precedent – years of build-up of pressure until the Israeli public says enough,” he wrote. Adding later, “I think this is going to take a good few years of softening up Israelis until they’re ready.”
Derfner calls it “The BDS Long Game.” The message is consistent with an earlier piece he wrote for the same publication describing the impact of BDS as a psychological war against Israel.
The boycott doesn’t have to bring the Israeli economy to its knees, or anything close, for the Israeli body politic – the public, the opinion-makers and the decision-makers – to decide to end the occupation. All the boycott has to do is keep growing, drop by drop – yes, like Chinese water torture – for it to succeed. Because finally, the boycott is not an economic war against Israel, it’s a psychological war
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Derfner’s Long Game is really a war of attrition against the Israeli people. That message was reinforced this week by another critic of Israel, Harriet Sherwood, who used to cover Israel for the Guardian.
Israel frequently proclaims itself to be the only true democracy in the Middle East. Should its citizens demand an end to policies that have brought them economic pain, isolation and global opprobrium, their government will surely be forced to take notice.
At least Derfner and Sherwood are honest about the BDS and how it seeks “economic pain” for the people of Israel. In any other context, the left would deride this approach as collective punishment. But not when the BDS has the noble goal of “ending the occupation.” And for that, any means necessary are acceptable.
Image: CC BY-SA flickr/tottehoff.