Israel’s Foreign Ministry Accuses Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of Legitimizing Boycott Movement Against Israel
Senior Israeli Foreign Ministry officials asserted on Thursday that oft-repeated statements by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, in which she warns that Israel will be boycotted by the international community if no progress is made in ongoing peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, are “playing into the hands of fringe groups,” Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.
According to the officials, Livni’s political agenda actually legitimizes the extreme views of a numerically insignificant yet nonetheless vocal group, Ma’ariv said. The Justice Minister’s constantly quoted doomsday scenario of the entire world turning against Israel only serves to, “…reinforce those who want to boycott Israel,” say the Foreign Ministry representatives cited by Ma’ariv.
Expanding on the criticism of Livni’s statements, Foreign Ministry experts claim that the Justice Minister has not only validated the fringe BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement in Europe and the United States but has also inadvertently given it broad exposure that it never could have attracted without a senior level government minister mentioning it repeatedly, Ma’ariv said.
Foreign Ministry sources explained on Thursday that for several years the official government policy has been to essentially ignore the spasmodic outbursts of the worldwide BDS campaign, Ma’ariv said. Such an approach was adopted after foreign policy and public relations experts concluded that engaging with the radicals would in fact be doing them a great favor.
In response to the strong words leveled against the Justice Minster, Livni’s office said: “Anonymous elements have contrived a policy that is meant to serve the purposes of those who have no interest in a political settlement [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority]…The citizens of Israel need to be told the truth: without a diplomatic resolution, there is a clear danger looming to the Israeli economy.”