It is possible that world opinion is gradually accumulating sympathy for the Palestinians, and a diminishing of same for Netanyahu.
I will give hotlinks to four instances, with small quotes to pique your interest.
First, the European Union (EU) has issued guidelines on labelling products produced in occupied areas of Palestine. It will no longer be permissible to label them as being produced in Israel, for example. Here is the hotlink. Quotes follow, emphasis mine.
The European Union has issued new guidelines for the labelling of products from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, after years of deliberation and in the teeth of fierce Israeli opposition.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, made a personal appeal to a number of key European figures in the runup to the decision, in which he said the plan was discriminatory, indicative of double standards, and would embolden those who seek to “eliminate” Israel.
On Tuesday, a letter leaked to the Guardian showed that Netanyahu had written or spoken to a number of senior European figures, including European parliament president Martin Schulz, asking for their help to block the move.
However, a petition signed by more than 500 prominent Israeli figures, including former ambassadors, Israeli prize winners, and former MPs, welcomed the measures.
Second, Israel’s prime minister suffered a personal setback on a deal to produce, and sell, natural gas under the Mediterranean Sea. Apparently there’s a large quantity there, and the deal (with at least one American firm) was dependent on the Israeli government agreeing not to change any relevant laws before 2025.
Here is a pointer to what happened in the top court of Israel. I will give a few quotes, emphasis mine.
The gas trove, called Leviathan, has the potential to transform Israel into an exporter of the fuel, but it has been plagued by delays.
The court specifically objected to a part of the agreement between the government and the project’s developers, which are led by Noble Energy, that prohibits changes to regulations affecting the project for 10 years.
Plans to bring Leviathan’s gas to market have been slowed by a series of roadblocks, including a decision in 2014 by Israel’s antitrust commissioner that Noble and its partners would have too much power over the Israeli energy market. That ruling led Mr. Netanyahu to devise a deal under which Noble and its partners would divest part of their Israeli holdings, but now the court has objected to that arrangement.
Predictably, the Israeli government reacted with dismay to the court decision.
“The High Court of Justice decision severely threatens the development of the gas reserves of the State of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu said in a statement. “Certainly, nobody has any reason to celebrate that the gas is liable to remain in the depths of the sea and that hundreds billions of shekels will not reach the citizens of Israel.”
Third, something odd happened in Brazil. The proposed ambassador from Israel was objected to because he had led a settler group. As always, emphasis mine.
Israel has reassigned its nominee for ambassador to Brazil, whose appointment Brasilia refused to accept, apparently because he is a former settler leader.
Dani Dayan will now become Israel’s consul general in New York, ending a seven-month diplomatic stand-off.
Israel had previously said it would not replace Mr Dayan as its nominee.
Mr Dayan’s appointment caused outrage among left-wing groups in Brazil, which lobbied President Dilma Rousseff to reject it.
The Argentina-born official was chairman of the Yesha Council, an umbrella group representing Jewish settlers in the occupied territories, from 2007 to 2013.
Brazil is Israel’s largest trading partner in South America, but relations have been tense since 2010, when Brazil said it recognised Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
They soured further in 2014 when Brazil recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest at what it called the “disproportionate use of force” by Israel in its summer offensive in Gaza.
Sadly, this same individual is now an ambassador to the United States in New York – probably with more influence than in Brazil.
Fourth, apparently there soon could be a database online of businesses working in the occupied territories. Here are a few quotes, emphasis mine:
Thirty-two of the 47 members of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to adopt the motion calling for the establishment of the database.
None voted against the motion, while 15, mostly European nations, abstained.
The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says the database will provide a resource for any organisation wanting to divest from companies involved in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
The Palestinians have been campaigning for tougher sanctions against settlements.
The Palestinian envoy to the UN said that the passage of this resolution and others by the Human Rights Council were a “message of hope” to his people.
“Israel continues to systematically violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinians while enjoying impunity from the international community,” Ibrahim Khreisheh added.
It is impossible not to find oneself ‘taking sides’ in the ongoing, unending, Israel/Palestine ‘situation.’ I think the Israelis hold most of the winning cards, being able to withhold tax revenues, expropriate houses, build walls, and occasionally bomb entire neighbourhoods. Sadly, the Palestinians will out-reproduce them, and are becoming more willing to do scary sacrifices.
May God, Allah, and Jehovah have mercy on us all.