Israel is already facing a third intifada, influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman claims in an article published on Wednesday
Writing from Ramallah, Friedman states, "Being here, it’s obvious that a Third Intifada is underway. It’s the one that Israel always feared most — not an intifada with stones or suicide bombers, but one propelled by nonviolent resistance and economic boycott."
Friedman contends that the leaders of this uprising are not even Palestinians, saying that this intifada is led "by the European Union in Brussels and other opponents of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank across the globe. Regardless of origin, though, it’s becoming a real source of leverage for the Palestinians in their negotiations with Israel."
The Times columnist points out that US Secretary of State John Kerry already exposed this threat when he recently warned that a campaign to boycott and delegitimize Israel threatens to gain momentum if peace talks fail.
Friedman also noted that Israel is correct to see some boycott campaigners as finding a new guise for anti-Semitism. However, he emphasizes that ignoring foreign trends and opinions by continuing building in the settlements is not the way to go about things.
Moreover, Friedman remarks that current calls by Israel for measures of security may be falling on deaf ears as this intifada employs a "strategy of making Israelis feel strategically secure but morally insecure." He brings up how historically when Israel felt its security threatened, the Israeli public felt no regret fighting back as in response to rocket attacks from Gaza after unilateral disengagement. However, in situations where Israel has achieved security, as in after pushing Egypt out of Sinai and surrounding the 'third army' in 1973, Egyptian diplomacy moved Israel to feel morally insecure with its gains.
Friedman warns, "This incessant trashing of Kerry by Israeli ministers, and their demand that Palestinians halt all “incitement” — but that Israel be free to keep building settlements in their face — is not winning Israel friends in Europe or America. It is only energizing the boycotters."
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