Israeli fight against BDS to be kept under wraps

Erdan: BDS campaign of falsehoods is a battlefront like any other.

July 18, 2017 09:59
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel BDS

Anti-Israel demonstrators march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, June 13.. (photo credit: GEORGES ROBERT / AFP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Legislation that would exempt the government’s efforts to combat boycotts and delegitimization from the Freedom of Information Law passed a first reading in the Knesset on Monday.

The Freedom of Information Law allows people to apply for information from government that is not readily available.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry, which is in charge of the government’s efforts at fighting delegitimization, seeks to have its actions be an exception to that law, the way many security agencies are. The exemption would not apply to its budget.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told the Knesset that “boycott organizations are spread out geographically and act in different areas. The organizations built a network of activity and act in coordination with the Palestinian Authority. They have a campaign of falsehoods fueling hate.

“Since this is a battlefront like any other, the ministry put together a strategy for running the campaign against this phenomenon,” he continued. “One of the principles for success is keeping our methods of action secret... Since most of the ministry’s actions are not of the ministry, but through bodies around the world that do not want to expose their connection with the state, we must protect information whose exposure could harm the struggle.”

In the past, Erdan was very open about his plans. In 2016, he gave The Jerusalem Post details about a conference held with 50 pro-Israel organizations from around the world, and showing research by American pollster Frank Luntz about the kind of language that would be most effective for the NGOs to use.

The organizations participating in the conference had sought to keep it a secret.

Erdan said in his speech on Monday that “after thinking,” he decided that his work in this area should not be public.

The minister declined to comment on the reasons for the change, but a senior source close to him said that he had “made mistakes” and “learned a few things.”

Several Zionist Union MKs came out against the bill.

Nachman Shai called it “censorship in a costume.”

“If it’s that secretive, you can use the censor. Why wasn’t a law passed for the campaign against Iran? I didn’t notice that the fight against BDS was so secretive. The exceptions [to the Freedom of Information Law] can already be done so through the law,” Shai argued.

Related Content

Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney speaks during a news conference in Dublin, Ireland
July 11, 2018
Israel summons Irish ambassador over settlement criminalization bill vote