We support that – we do not support that.Controversy erupted last week when French telecom giant “Orange” announced its desire to withdraw from the Israeli market. The company seemed be sending a message to Israel about settlement construction while lending further prominence to the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) Movement, which may be picking up some global steam. With Bibi and other Israeli politicians outraged, Orange has scrambled to address the controversy claiming that its stance on leaving Israel was financially – and not politically – motivated. Still, the incident sheds light on how the United States sees Israeli settlements and the boycott movement. In regards to these issues, the U.S. State Department and Congress seem to be on two different pages. Currently, two AIPAC-endorsed bills making their way through the House and Senate would, for the first time in history, affirm America’s official support of Israeli settlements – this is despite the bills’ deceitful cloaking in “anti-boycott” language. But it is also telling when State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf acknowledged that America is not necessarily urging other countries and companies not to boycott Israel. In response to the question of why the U.S. is pressing others to stay in business with Israel: Harf responded: “Well, I’m not sure that we are.” Harf’s statement brings to mind Obama’s recent interview on Israeli TV, where he hinted that the U.S. may not be able to continue blocking other countries’ bids at the UN for the creation of a Palestinian state. Well then, which one is it: are we pro-boycott, anti-boycott, even pro-settlement? It seems as though the U.S. has two options: legitimize settlements and permanently smother the two-state solution, or – on the other side of the spectrum – allow the framework for a Palestinian state to pass in the UN. Stay tuned.

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