Early this month, Stephane Richards, the chairman of the telecommunications company Orange, announced that his company would cease its brand-licensing agreement with the Israeli company, Partner. At the time, he said this: “Our intention is to withdraw from Israel. It will take time. For sure we will do it… I am ready to do this tomorrow morning… but without exposing Orange to huge risks.”
Needless to say, this caused a major uproar in Israel, where the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement, along with international businesses being cautioned by their governments about doing business with Israeli companies illegally located in the occupied West Bank, is causing major concern. Even Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of this issue, calling the international boycott of Israel as bad as the Holocaust.
Following Mr. Richards’ announcement, his personal information was posted online by an Israeli hacker and militant Zionist, and Mr. Richards and those close to him received numerous death threats, and hundreds of menacing calls. Mr. Richards has filed suit against ‘persons unknown’ as a result.
Prior to the announcement of his lawsuit, but following the start of the harassment, Mr. Richards groveled before Mr. Netanyahu, saying he would never support a boycott of Israel. One finds the flow of events interesting: 1) Orange announces it will cease its partnership with an Israeli company; 2) Mr. Richards’ personal information is posted to a Zionist website; 3) Mr. Richards and those close to him receive hundreds of threatening calls; 4) Mr. Richards demeans himself before the Israeli Prime Murderer, ‘explaining’ that he never meant to support a boycott of Israel.
The meeting with Mr. Netanyahu was itself noteworthy. During that meeting, the Prime Murderer made these astounding statements: “Israel is the one country in the Middle East that guarantees full civic rights. It’s the one county in the Middle East where everyone is protected under the law equally. We seek a genuine and secure peace with our Palestinian neighbors….”
Let us break that remarkable statement down to its component parts, and see if we can possibly make any sense of it.
* “Israel is the one country in the Middle East that guarantees full civic rights.” This is most puzzling in view of many laws, but we will look at just two for the moment. In 2011, a law was passed that empowers hundreds of local Jewish communities to exclude applicants based on ethnicity or religion. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in September 2014.
Another law passed in 2011 seems to belie Mr. Netanyahu’s words. This law prohibits “anyone from calling for a boycott of Israel, its institutions, or any person because of their affiliation with Israel, including the settlements in the occupied territories.” So much for ‘full civic rights’. 
* “It’s the one county in the Middle East where everyone is protected under the law equally.”
A 1950 Law of Return stipulates that every Jewish person can immigrate to Israel. This “extends to the children and grandchildren of Jews, as well as their spouses, and the spouses of their children and grandchildren. The flip side of this is that the rights of Palestinians and others to enter the state and become citizens, even if they were born in the area that is now the State of Israel, are extremely restrictive.” 
The ‘ban on family unification’ law of 2003 prohibits citizens of Israel from reuniting with Palestinian spouses living in the West Bank or Gaza. There is a law that bans any political party that denies the existence of Israel as a “Jewish” state. Other laws establish separate educational systems which are then unequally administered. 
* “We seek a genuine and secure peace with our Palestinian neighbors.” As amazing as Mr. Netanyahu’s other statements may be, this one is the most astounding of all. During his campaign for re-election earlier this year, he said that there would never be an independent Palestine while he was prime minister. He has accelerated land theft in the West Bank and the expansion of settlements, which are illegal under international law and condemned around the world. Newly-appointed Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, responsible for ‘administering’ the occupied territories, said this in 2013: “[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human.” The new Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, called Palestinian children ‘little snakes’. She further said that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for the complete destruction of Palestine, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” 
Additionally, Mr. Netanyahu says that peace will only come about through negotiations, and demands a completely demilitarized Palestine. This writer hesitates to point out once again that negotiations can only take place between two parties when each has something the other wants, that can only be obtained by surrendering something it has. Israel takes what it wants from Palestine with complete impunity, so negotiations cannot occur. Also, such ‘negotiations’ would be akin to a bank negotiating with a bank robber for the return of some of its money, with the police sponsoring the meetings. It makes no logical sense.
Further, Israel has one of the world’s most powerful military systems, provided by the United States. Why should a country adjacent to it, who has experienced decades-long violence from Israel, not be allowed to protect itself? Again, the idea of reason and logic is completely lacking.
Recent polling indicates that about two-thirds of Israelis feel that the world is against them. How long they have held that belief is unknown, but it is possible that today it is accurate. People around the world see the brutal, unspeakable oppression of the Palestinians, and actively oppose it, often by the boycotts that Mr. Netanyahu so despises.
But what is Israel’s response? If reason and logic were to apply, Israel would adhere to international law, remove its half-million-plus illegal settlers and all its terrorists (generally referred to by Israel as soldiers), end the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and recognize the nation of Palestine. But no, reality and Israel are only marginally acquainted, and their relationship is none too good. So instead, Israel does more of the same: flout international law, increase settlement construction, terrorize and oppress Palestinians, and basically flip the bird to the world.
There is an old cliché that says that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, but expecting a different result. Based on this, Israel is an insane society.
But it has its international devotees, mainly in the U.S., where AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee) funnels large sums of money into the campaign coffers of those politicians who do its bloody bidding. But it does appear that much of the rest of the world has grown tired of Israel’s murder of men, women and children; its bombing of hospitals, mosques and United Nations refugee centers; its brutal blockade of the Gaza Strip; the numerous internal checkpoints in the West Bank, the sole purpose of which is to demoralize the population, and the arrests and incarceration without charge of Palestinians, including children. The United States is happy to finance all this, as long as AIPAC continues its role of campaign benefactor. But increasingly, the U.S. is the outlier, the one other nation, along with Israel, that is blind to Israeli genocide.
The insanity may run deep, but it is not contagious. Around the world, people are demanding human rights for the Palestinians. Mr. Netanyahu’s nonsensical rantings, and the funding of the United States, will not silence them.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).
Published in Counterpunch.org, June 19 – 21, 2015