This piece is briefly promising, then it has a relapse. The end result is something which, in the detail, is a departure from the slothful and facile PACBI boycott call and instead a call for something smarter (“sanctions should be applied to practices rather than opinions”), less pompous, more effortful, and more involving of Israeli academics and students. However, his proposals completely fail to engage with Israel’s larger predicament – its enemies, its defencists with their insistence that unilateral withdrawal will not earn respite from attacks. In this respect Ran Greenstein, with his common-sense condemnation of Israel and selective espousal of “pressure”, turns out to be just as good as any PACBI boycotter at ghosting out the implacable elminationist, inciteful, sometimes genocidal, tendencies within what is often taken for Palestinian resistance.
Advocates for Palestinians need to realise that concentrating only on what Israel should do serves to entrench the dichotomy between Israelis and Palestinians. This is not to deny the asymmetry between the force that Israelis and Palestinians level at each other – it is to argue that there are two sides to this conflict and the way out of the occupation cannot be unilateral.