Amos Oz will win the BDS campaign’s man of the year award. It’s strange, because the Israeli author is against the BDS movement. But he recently announced that he would boycott state-sponsored events around the world.
There is nothing original about this move. Oz is joining a new trend of a small and noisy minority among US Jews: We love Israel, we are Zionist, but we are basically joining the boycott against Israel. It’s true that the leaders of the boycott campaign are against peace, it’s true that they are against two states, it’s true that they object to the actual existence of the State of Israel, it’s true that they mainly identify with Hamas – but does that really matter? Intellectuals, as much as others, must join trends. Now Oz is one of them, and it’s sad.
During Operation Protective Edge, Oz made sensible comments which angered the radical left. Oz delivered two important lectures this year and combined them into one article, in which he laments what we are going through. He does not share the left’s illusions on the Palestinians. He does not disregard the right’s fears over what will happen here if there is an agreement. And he reaches the conclusion that there is no escape from pursuing an agreement and a separation. For our sake, he argues, for our sake. It’s a national interest. I support almost every sentence in the article. Occasionally, maybe not as often as I should, I write it myself.
And this is where the tragedy lies: Because the voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. You can’t make rebuking comments of a loving person, which can be accepted by most Israelis, including a large part of right-wing voters, and at the same time join Israel haters’ operation pattern.
And that’s the exact story of a large part of the Israeli left: It’s okay to criticize the government. It’s okay to warn of wrongs. It’s okay to equip hundreds of Palestinians with cameras, so that once in a few months someone will be able to catch a soldier beating or cursing a Palestinian. But when this “criticism” is mainly used by the campaign for Israel’s destruction – you become part of it.
Worse: The Palestinians have repeatedly turned down serious offers for an agreement, but instead of condemning them you have excused and justified them. You are not bringing the reconciliation closer. You are turning Israel into a monster. And if Israel is a monster, then BDS is the right answer.
Now it’s Oz. He loves Israel but is basically supporting BDS. What will intellectuals invited to cultural events at an Israeli embassy say? Like Oz, they love Israel, but are critical towards it. If one of the most important writers in Israel boycotts the embassy, why should they act any differently? They too will explain their move in the important newspapers. And the explanation, as we know, will be based on the publications of the propaganda of lies, which are turning Israel into a fascist and criminal state.
It’s true that NATO, UN, British and US soldiers have hurt civilians in conflict areas, in a relative and absolute manner, much more than IDF soldiers have hurt the Palestinians (I present these figures from every possible stage). It’s true that the Palestinians have repeatedly turned down any offer based on two states for two people. It’s true that they are not stopping the incitement campaign for a moment. But that doesn’t really matter, as long as Breaking the Silence activists run from one campus to another to recruit more people.
I feel sorry for Amos Oz. I feel sorry for the camp which used to be a peace camp. It has failed to bring peace closer, but has succeeded in bolstering the Palestinian rejectionist camp and the campaign for Israel’s destruction.
Reprinted with author’s permission from YNet News.com