A peace process "failure" with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts would be bad for Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel (he did not issue the same warning to the Palestinians). But such "failure" would actually allow Israel to avoid a trap.
Warning Israel was Kerry's "wink-wink" to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, essentially giving her the green light to tighten the EU's boycott noose around Israel. In fact, Kerry was engaged in an age-old anti-Semitic tactic: make the Jews feel the pinch in their pocket. The same Europeans whose nations had rampant anti-Semitism, and allowed the horrors of the Inquisition and the Holocaust to continue unabated, are now all too happy to embrace the boycott against Israel; their determination is matched only by their desire to see the sanctions on their enemies relaxed so that business relations could continue. This is evident in their keen interest to renew ties with Iran and their continued monetary support of the Palestinian rejectionist from Ramallah.
As usual, there are some Jews who want more boycott and pressure. They are determined to hype them with a scare campaign.
Among coalition members there are Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. Opposition members include Labor Chairman Isaac (Buji) Herzog and left-leaning business leaders. Even as they try to take into account the economic impact of the boycott, they have yet to do the math when it comes to the astronomical price of "peace," should it, God forbid, be reached. Luckily, we would never be able to see a peace deal implemented. The checks Kerry and Livni have signed are going to bounce. Abbas should be made aware of that. In other words: there will be no transfer of Jews.
In fact, Kerry has been telling the Europeans (through his mouthpiece in The New York Times, Thomas Friedman) that they should launch a third Oslo War (or as the Arabs would call it, the Third Intifada) in which they would impose morally unjust pressure Israel that would have Israel cave and do as and its detractors want.
But Israel should send a clear message in Europe's way, using its own language. If Israel wants to make it clear that it would not commit suicide for the sake of "peace," it should point out that any financial penalty would hurt the Europeans' darling in Ramallah more than anyone else. They must realize that the boycott weapon, should they use it, would be a double-edged sword. The enemy would be hurt more than Israel.
Israel must specify which actions it would take in the event it faces more pressure; it should list the measure it would invoke to deflect that pressure to Ramallah. Abbas' regime relies on the Israeli Defense Forces' might, but also on the Israeli economy.
If the Europeans hurt the Israeli economy, Abbas' people would have to pay the price. They would be denied working permits for employment inside Israel; communities in Judea and Samaria would not hire them; Israelis would no longer buy goods in Ramallah and Nablus; the Palestinian construction projects that are meant to serve as "facts on the ground" would be halted, including Rawabi, the new would-be city that has continued to grow even as Jewish construction was frozen.
Israeli taxpayers would no longer pay the Palestinians' water and utility bills; enemy VIPs would no longer be allowed access to Israeli highways; European officials would no longer be allowed into Judea and Samaria or to wire funds; Europe would no longer be able to bankroll auto-anti-Semitic organizations and foundations that want to weaken Israel from within and inundate it with African infiltrators. Abbas would no longer be able to travel around the world inciting. Just as his predecessor, he would have to stay within the confines of his Ramallah headquarters. Until the boycott will have passed.
Professor Ron Breiman is the former chairman of Professors for a Strong Israel.