For according to every source and interpretation, one of the things holding the Israeli’s back from immediately retaliating against an enemy opening fire at its civilian population (something any other nation in the world would do immediately and unquestionably) is fear of massive protests that would appear instantly across the world, leading to a new round of condemnations from international bodies.
Of course, Hamas – the people who decided to start firing those rockets – fear no such protests or condemnations, understanding that people taking to the street in various US and European cities are part of their arsenal, a deterrent that allows them to push the limits of how many missiles and mortars and terror attacks they can subject Israelis civilians to without triggering a massive response.
In other words, far from representing a “peace movement,” BDS et al represent a weapons system, in this case acting as the propaganda arm of a party to the conflict. And while this weapon system might, if backed into a corner, choke out a few mealy mouthed words along the lines of: “Yes, firing missiles at Israeli schools is terrible, BUT…[Seige! Occupation!! Leiberman!!!],” once Israelis return fire they will somehow find their voice, taking to the streets in the hundreds and thousands calling for an immediate cease fire (all in the name of “human rights” and “justice,” of course).
Keep in mind that if the Israelis ever decide they cannot accept that one of their borders will be perpetually showered in rockets, that this will inevitably lead to the deaths of Palestinians on whose behalf the BDSers claim to be fighting. So even if Palestinians (vs. Israeli) lives are the only things these groups count as precious, the Hamas-instigated violence at the border all but guarantees the loss of these lives.
And, ironically, there actually is something the BDS and associated “movements” could do to prevent such a tragedy. They could, for example, publicly announce that Hamas must stop firing missiles at civilians (a reasonable thing for a peace movement to say) and that, this time, they will NOT take to the streets if Israel decides to do something about said rocket fire. They could call an end to the flotillas, a termination of visits, a refusal to continue their anti-Israeli campaigns in any way unless and until Hamas stops putting Israeli and Palestinian lives at risk by ending their senseless cross-border attacks.
If immediate anti-Israel protests were not inevitable, this would require Hamas to recalculate its risks with an understanding that they may not be provided the cover they expect if their target decides to retaliate. In other words, those who claim as their moral lodestone the preciousness of Palestinian life are in a position to actually limit loss of that life by simply doing what any genuine peace movement would do immediately and unquestionably: fight for peace.
But expecting this to happen is as realistic as expecting a nation’s navy to start firing on its own army. For as the BDSers have proven again and again, their movement is simply one more armament, deployed to give those who actually pull the trigger maximum military maneuvering room.
In fact, reality might be considerably creepier than this, with the boycotters actually looking forward to a shooting war (regardless of the cost to both Israeli and Palestinian populations). For its only after a Gaza or Lebanon crisis that the ranks of the BDSers swell and they get to take to the streets in fits of self-righteous fury, something they love beyond all else – including beyond the value of human life (especially someone else’s).
Einstein once famously said that “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” But I suspect that even his genius couldn’t explain a “movement” that contributes to ensuring war escalates and never ends while simultaneously insisting everyone treat it as a “peace movement”