Israelis, Listen to the World

No election campaign can blur the international reality: The world has had enough of Israeli occupation.

Amos Biderman

As Israel turns its attention inward to an election campaign, the world is continuing to take steps against Israel’s obstinacy to make peace and its ongoing occupation and settlement building.

Barak Ravid reported in Thursday’s Haaretz that the Obama administration is considering taking stronger measures against construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements. A few weeks ago, the administration discussed the possibility of moving from denunciations to taking action, the report said. U.S. steps may include not vetoing resolutions denouncing the settlements in the UN Security Council, and more.

Similar winds are blowing in the European Union. The union’s three most significant countries – Britain, France and Germany – have recently begun drafting a resolution proposal for the Security Council, outlining principles and a two-year schedule for completing negotiations on an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The parliaments of Sweden, Britain, France and Spain have already decided to recognize the Palestinian state, albeit symbolically in most cases.

No election campaign can blur this new international reality, which clearly indicates that the world has had enough of the Israeli occupation and the settlements that strengthen and deepen it.

The world’s message must become an important issue in the election campaign. Israelis will be required to choose between a government that increases Israel’s isolation and one that brings Israel back to the family of nations. The end of the occupation is crucial, of course, for internal reasons as well – freeing resources for Israelis’ welfare and reinstating the state’s democratic and moral character.

It is up to Israel. If the next government shows a real commitment to ending the occupation and stopping construction in the settlements, the measures planned against Israel globally will not be implemented. On the other hand, another government of radical peace rejectionism, led by Habayit Hayehudi and Likud, may harm not only Israel’s national interests but every single Israeli.

The world is signaling to Israelis to choose between two roads. This can no longer be ignored. Israelis had better take this into account, among other considerations, when casting their votes.