It is important to recognize, however, that the unimpeded growth of settlements will eventually foreclose the option of a two-state solution, if it hasn’t already done so, as it will eliminate any possibility of contiguous and economically viable Palestinian state.
The path of change inevitably progresses through the formation of new alliances with marginalized populations, and in cultivating the deep conviction that our interests are not conflicting but rather common.
Defenses of Israeli human rights workers and condemnations of Im Tirtzu have come not only from the Israeli left and its supporters, but also from key officials in the Israeli government, military and intelligence communities.
Hateful attacks like the one launched by Im Tirzu undermine those values. The activists named in the video represent the best of an open, democratic civil society, something of which all Israelis should be proud, just as we at FMEP are proud to share in the common work of advancing human rights in our societies.
It will be crucial for Americans who recognize the settlements as a problem to bring greater attention to how the US tax code being used to entrench Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. In order to facilitate that discussion, FMEP has assembled the resources below.
Throughout his tenure as Secretary of State, John Kerry has repeatedly explained his commitment to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement partly in terms of what could happen…
“We at B’Tselem have an uncompromising position against violence against innocent civilians. But the government in Israel imagines that the recent violence came out of nowhere, and if there is any context, it is only Palestinian incitement and anti-Semitism. We also reject that notion. The context of what we are witnessing is the occupation.”
Settlements are not a fait accompli, but an Israeli gain for which the Palestinians much be compensated fairly, and not merely by Israel agreeing to meet its pre-existing commitments, as Netanyahu is now offering. Anything less would merely reinforce the current dynamic of Israeli impunity, and further entrench the one-state reality.
Labeling settlement products is a legitimate way for Israel’s largest trade partner to make clear its objection to the growing settlements which, in both the European and American view, are endangering the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Differentiating between the legitimate State of Israel and the illegitimate settlements counters those who would use Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank to de-legitimize the entire country. It is not a boycott of Israel, or even of the settlements, and should not be treated as one.
As long as the moral and political questions of ending the occupation revolve so strongly about Israel’s concerns, legitimate though those may be, Netanyahu can find his justification for advocating occupation without end. And he will find an audience that will not berate him for it. Once the question is properly framed around both Israeli security and Palestinian rights and freedom, such options cannot be considered, and progress can reasonably be expected.