Update: Yikes! BTL had already covered this and I missed it. He gets up way too early… I have a slightly different take, so I’ll leave it up.
Some of you may wonder where I got the obscure story about some meaningless town near Sydney, Australia (see below) and their struggles with money and Jew hatred. “Aggie, where do you find this weird stuff?” you query.
Caroline Glick fills me in.
The beginning of this article is definitely worth a trip to the link. She points out the irrationality of giving the Palestinians anything in advance of the September vote at the UN. She pokes fun at Netanyahu and at all the Nervous Nellies who worry that the rest of the world hates Israel. (I say that we can’t change their hearts, only our Creator can do that, but in the mean time, we might as well enjoy life. And the Israelis are enjoying life.)
Happily, these warnings are completely ridiculous. UN General Assembly resolutions have no legal weight. Even if every General Assembly member except Israel votes in favor of a resolution recognizing “Palestine,” all the Palestinians will have achieved is another non-binding resolution, with no force of law, asserting the same thing that thousands of UN resolutions already assert. Namely, it will claim falsely that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza are Palestinian territory to which Israel has no right. Israel will be free to ignore this resolution, just as it has been free to ignore its predecessors.
The threat of international isolation is also wildly exaggerated. Today, Israel is more diplomatically isolated than it has been at any time in its 63-year history. With the Obama administration treating the construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem as a greater affront to the cause of world peace than the wholesale massacre of hundreds of Iranian and Syrian protesters by regime goons, Israel has never faced a more hostile international climate. And yet, despite its frosty reception from the White House to Whitehall, life in Israel has never been better.
According to the latest data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s economy grew 7.8 percent in the last quarter of 2010.
International trade is rising steeply. In the first quarter of 2011, exports rose 27.3%. They grew 19.9% in the final quarter of last year. Imports rose 34.7% between January and March, and 38.9% in the last quarter of 2010.
The Israel-bashing EU remains Israel’s largest trading partner. And even as Turkey embraced Hamas and Iran as allies, its trade with Israel reached an all time high last year.
These trade data expose a truth that the doom and gloomers are unwilling to notice: For the vast majority of Israelis the threat of international isolation is empty.
The same people telling us to commit suicide now lest we face the firing squad in September would also have us believe that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is the single greatest threat to the economy. But that lie was put paid this month with the demise of the Australian town of Marrickville’s BDS-inspired boycott.
Last December, the anti-Israel coalition running the town council voted to institute a trade, sports and academic boycott against Israel. Two weeks ago the council was forced to cancel its decision after it learned that it would cost $3.4 million to institute it. Cheaper Israeli products and services would have to be replaced with more expensive non-Israeli ones. [Heh. - Aggie]
Both Israel’s booming foreign trade and the swift demise of the Marrickville boycott movement demonstrate that the specter of international isolation in the event that Israel extricates itself from the Palestinian peace process charade is nothing more than a bluff. The notion that Israel will be worse off it Netanyahu admits that Abbas has again chosen war against the Jews over peace with us has no credibility.
SO WHAT is preventing Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government from acknowledging this happy truth? Two factors are at play here. The first is our inability to understand power politics. Our leaders believe that the likes of Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel are serious when they tell us that Israel needs to prove it is serious about peace in order to enable them to vote against a Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN. But they are not serious. Nothing that Israel does will have any impact on their votes.
So what is the problem? The problem is the United States of America in the Age of Obama.
When the Europeans forge their policies towards Israel they are moved by one thing only: the US.
Since 1967, the Europeans have consistently been more pro-Palestinian than the US. Now, with the Obama administration demonstrating unprecedented hostility towards Israel, there is no way that the Europeans will suddenly shift to Israel’s side. So when European leaders tell Israelis that we need to convince them we are serious about peace, they aren’t being serious. They are looking for an excuse to be even more hostile. If Israel offers the store to Abbas, then the likes of Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy will not only recognize “Palestine” at the UN, (because after all, they cannot be expected to be more pro-Israel than the Israeli government that just surrendered), they will recognize Hamas. Because that’s the next step.
… The only group of Israelis directly impacted by the BDS movement is the Israeli Left. Its members – from university lecturers to anti-Zionist has-been politicians, artists, actors and hack writers – are the only members of Israeli society who have a personal stake in a decision by their leftist counterparts in the US or Europe or Australia or any other pretty vacation/sabbatical spots to boycott Israelis. [This is a beautiful thing, as Martha would say. Do you realize how badly this group wanted Obama elected? Their dreams came true. - Aggie]
And because the movement threatens them, they have taken it upon themselves to scare the rest of us into taking this ridiculous charade seriously. ….
The time has come for the vast majority of Israelis who aren’t interested in the Nobel Prize for Literature or a sabbatical at Berkeley or the University of Trondheim to call a spade a spade. The BDS haters have no leverage. A degree from Bar-Ilan is more valuable than a degree from Oxford. And no matter how much these people hate Israel, they will continue to buy our technologies and contract our researchers, because Cambridge is no longer capable of producing the same quality of scholarship as the Technion. [I wonder if a degree from the Technion is more valuable than a degree from MIT? - Aggie]
I sure hope she’s right. it is such a happy image, isn’t it? I can tell you for sure that the economic malaise that we are suffering here in the US is absent from Israel. When I first visited, in the early ’70s, they were a poor country. You could feel it in the quality of food, particularly in the meats. Today, it is a thriving, happy place with all sorts of fascinating cuisines and an exciting culture built on the preferences of Jews who have fled there from all over the world. Good for them. I can think of no other people who deserve this good fortune more than the Israelis.