Mike Pompeo – the Secretary of State who is trying to become the world leader in subverting democracy – went to Israel to put some finishing touches on his disastrous term in office. He visited a settlement, a first for a US Secretary of State. He said settlement products can be labeled “Made In Israel,” erasing a major piece of the line between Israel and the occupied West Bank. And then he said that BDS is a “cancer” and is “antisemitism.”
I recommend you check out this piece by Khaled Elgindy for a great overview of Pompeo’s actions this week. For my part, I decided to focus on the BDS piece.
BDS cannot be defended only as noxious free speech. Even if you oppose applying BDS to Israel, basic reality demands that we all acknowledge that the call for economic pressure on Israel, given its decades of intransigence, of land absorption, of violations of international law, and its denial of basic rights to millions of Palestinians is a reasonable argument to make. Disagree if you like, but then argue against BDS on the merits, explain why Israel should not face the consequences of its actions or why it is justified in the measures it takes against Palestinians. I expand the argument at Responsible Statecraft.