Israel’s angry response to the UN Security Resolution on Israeli settlements, and the abstention (de facto support) of the Obama administration is understandable, but it is unlikely to be very helpful and is probably counterproductive.
In formulating realistic and rational responses, in this case as in others, Israeli leaders should first assess the potential damage and then find ways to reduce this impact. The main dangers are from further demonization and delegitimization, via boycotts (BDS) and lawfare. Indeed, the leaders of BDS campaigns are celebrating what they correctly see as a major, if temporary, victory.
The network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’tselem, Breaking the Silence and many more – largely financed by European governments and radical foundations such as the Soros group and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund – has promoted anti-Israel Security Council resolutions for at least 16 years – since the infamous UN Durban Conference of 2001. The NGO Forum at Durban marked the launch of BDS and the political war to demonize Israel, and the widely publicized propaganda presentation of Hagai Elad, the head of B’tselem, in what was supposed to be a closed Security Council consultation on October 14, marked the latest “victory.” For the self-proclaimed human rights community, Israel is “low hanging fruit” ripe for the picking, in comparison to the impotence of efforts to prevent real and monstrous war crimes in Syria, among other venues.
To be effective, and go beyond expressions of anger and frustration, Israeli leaders are going to have to counter the sources of the demonization systematically and competently.
Barring foreign BDS leaders from conducting tours in Israel that contribute to incitement and antisemitism, and negotiating guidelines with European governments for funding NGOs claiming to promote human rights are important strategies.