IGN AGAINST ISRAEL’S LEGITIMACY
many instances, criticism has stretched beyond legitimate discourse regarding Israeli policy to afundam
ental challenge to Israel‘s
right to exist.
There are two reasons why the UN has been at the center of the campaign to delegitim-ize Israel. First, it is the principal provider
and hence denier
of international legitimacy.Second, the membership
at the UN provides Israel‘s adversaries with an overwhelming numer
i-cal advantage, which they use to wage a relentless political campaign against the Jewish state.Israel is the only UN member not fully included in the regional grouping system; it is subjectedeach year to a series of anti-Israel resolutions by the UN General Assembly and to relentlessscrutiny by entities within the UN system whose specific mandate is to promote the Palestiniancause against Israel; and it has been repeatedly singled out and censured by the Human RightsCouncil. The Arab group and its allies at the UN consider Middle East-related resolutions as in-dicators of
―international legitimacy,‖ meaning that these resolutions
are tools to delegitimize thepolicies of the targeted party
Israel. Repeated condemnations delegitimize
not only Israel‘s po
l-icies, but ultimately Israel itself.
In recent years, some Palestinian and non-Palestinian intellectuals havebegun talking openly about a one-state solution for the area between the Jordan River and theMediterranean. NYU historian Tony Judt has been a leading figure in this group. In an articlepublished in
New York Review of Books
in 2003, he argued that
―The very idea of a ‗Je
a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded
is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is ananachronism.
tional consensus,‖ he wrote, favors a two
-state solution, but it is now
―too late‖ for
because there are ―too many settlements
, [and] too many Jew
whowill not agree to live in a Palestinian Arab state, and no Israeli leader will have the courage, orthe political power, to uproot them. Therefore, he concluded
, the solution lies in ―a single, int
e-grated, binational state of
Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.‖
Michael Walzer, a politicalscientist at Princeton, responded that the problem with
is that it did not point theway to a binational state, but rather to
the replacement of one nation-state with another,
forwithin a decade Arabs would outnumber Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.The result of
Judt‘s binational polity
, then, would be another Arab nation-state. Leon Wieseltierargued that Judt had
―crossed the line‖ from ―criticism of Israel policy to the criticism of Israel‘s
are not satisfied with verbal and written attacks. Some of them, claimingthat Israel is guilty of major human rights violations, engage in activities designed to inflict realharm upon the Jewish state. The best-known example is BDS
Boycott, Divestment and Sanc-tion for Palestine
an international coalition that seeks to boycott Israeli academicians and art-ists, remove Israeli films from international festivals, prevent or cancel the participation of inter-national stars in concerts in Israel; and divest from Israeli companies. So far, the movement hasnot done Israel any serious overt damage, but it is clear that the goal is to undermine its legitima-cy.
Tony Judt, ―Israel: The Alternative,‖
The New York Review of Books
, October 23, 2003.
See Benny Morris,
One State, Two States
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 6-13.