Here’s a riddle: what exactly is Israel afraid of when it backs down from its own defensive interests under pressure from UN and EU displeasure? What does Israel have to lose, given that these same bodies are already hostile to Israel and have proved themselves again and again to be wimps? Where real atrocities are happening, they wring their hands and do nothing, or they dream up incentives to make malevolent groups behave better. Heck, there’s every reason to think Israel could win carrots from the international community by behaving really badly. It worked for Iran and N. Korea, not to mention the “suffering Palestinians.” The worse nations behave, the more money the civilized world sends.
Do those grass-roots boycott Israel movements with their anti-Zionist street demonstrations really have any power to harm Israel? The only thinking I can think of is in their ability to harass diaspora Jews — something that happens in any case.
Seriously, aside from the old saw about “virtue being its own reward,” is there any reason why a Machiavellian Israel wouldn’t be in a better position than today’s perpetually apologetic, uber-ethical one?