If You Love Israel, Don't Boycott It

(Washington Post) Elliott Abrams - We love Israel. That's why we must do all we can to destroy its economy. That is the message of the bizarre Oct. 25 column in the Washington Post by professors Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl. History reveals two recent attempts by Israeli leaders to negotiate a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians - by prime ministers Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 - which were rejected by Palestine Liberation Organization leaders Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Of this, Levitsky and Weyl say nothing. They also do not mention Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, seeming to regard it as "occupied" even though not a single Israeli soldier or civilian lives there. The professors note that the "peace movement" in Israel has been weakened. But the reason is the conduct of Palestinians. The Palestinian refusal of negotiations is not mentioned. The waves of terror - from Arafat's intifadas to today's stabbings - are barely mentioned. Sadly, Palestinian "violence," which the professors scrupulously avoid calling terrorism, long predated the "occupation." Decades of Palestinian terrorism was meant to stop Jews from coming to Israel and from establishing their state, and then continued from 1948 to 1967. The fundamental problem is the widespread Palestinian rejection not of Israeli settlements but of the existence of the State of Israel. Particularly striking is what the professors demand of Palestinians: nothing. They do not demand that the Palestinians negotiate. They do not even demand an end to terrorism, not even during a month of terror by stabbing. To them, Palestinians are apparently like small children, unable to reason or control their actions. While some people boycott Israel out of hatred, the professors will do it out of "love for Israel and the desire to save it." In taking this position, they reject the views of the vast majority of "progressive" Israelis they claim to support and align themselves with every enemy of the Jewish state. The writer is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2015-10-29 00:00:00

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