Already more than 1/3 of Israel’s Knesset members have signed a petition calling for a boycott of British products, including airline companies occasionally used for official visits. One of the petition’s organizers, MP Ronit Tirosh from the Kadima party, urged “official Israeli representatives to abstain from using British airlines as long as the British government treats Israel as though two states existed, one within the green line and another outside.”
Make no mistake about it: This Israeli-led effort intends nothing less than the wholesale delegitimation and ultimate destruction of Her Majesty’s kingdom. Tapping into a dark but rich history of anti-Anglo sentiment and blood libels, the Israelis have disingenously reframed their long-standing prejudice into the modern language of rights, although their real intent is to undermine the UK’s legitimacy. We should not be so fooled.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Not in the chutzpah-filled worlds of Israeli psychology. The minor behavior that Israel is opportunistically using to attack the very foundations of the United Kingdom is revealing: several British officials were pushing for a labeling scheme on produce coming from the occupied territories that would identify the produce as being from either the Jewish settlements or from Palestinian farmers. Thus, Tirosh’s comment about treating the occupied territories as a state distinct from Israel (obivously Tirosh confuses, as do many Israelis, what country the settlers live in).
In response to Israeli hysteria about the labeling scheme, the UK Foreign Office provided an enlightening non-sequitur: “We believe consumers should be able to choose for themselves what produce they buy. We have been very clear both in public and in private that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.”
This gesture—the simple labeling of produce from Palestinian territories that Israel occupies—is interpreted by Israel to be such an egregious assault on Jews (“We intend to protest anything that singles out Jews as this kind of method brings back very bad memories”) that it warrants an actual boycott on Britain. You catch that? Labeling produce as coming from settlements or Palestinian farms is considered a racist attempt to destroy Israel’s right to exist, but an actual call for a boycott of Britain is a standard and reasonable response to British aggression.