BDS, Israel, and the World System
This article analyzes Israel’s actions and policies within a predominantly neorealist framework. Accordingly, it argues that U.S. domestic factors as well as Israeli domestic factors and political culture play little to no role in Israel’s foreign policy decisions, which are instead largely determined by John Mearsheimer’s five neorealist principles that drive all states. Additionally, the article discusses political economic factors and specifically addresses the claims made in Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler’s The Global Political Economy of Israel. Here the argument supplements neorealism by focusing on economics as a historically specific vehicle of modern power. It concludes that the root of Israeli violence and impunity is the international system itself and criticizes the Left and the BDS movement for not adequately grappling with this fact.
Joshua Sperber is a doctoral candidate in the political science department at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.