Israel's strategic affairs minister heads to London on BDS-fighting mission

“Great Britain is the world center of the anti-Israel BDS campaign,” says Erdan.

September 4, 2016 16:28
1 minute read.

Hundreds of demonstrators march up Whitehall, in central London, as they protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza on July 19, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)

As part of his efforts to fight boycotts, delegitimization of Israel and related online incitement, Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan flew to London on Sunday to discuss those issues with top officials there.

“Great Britain is the world center of the anti-Israel BDS campaign,” Erdan said. “I’m going there to battle the boycott and delegitimization in every arena, and to discuss with members of the British government – which is also committed to fighting boycotts – ways to strengthen our cooperation against the anti-Semitic boycott campaign.”

The UK and Israel are both fighting radical Islamic terrorism, which is often encouraged by online incitement, the minister said.

“I will meet with government officials and law enforcement in order to form a front of democratic countries against the worldwide threat, which includes targeted action against incitement on the Internet,” he said.

Erdan will meet with Sajid Javid, minister for communities and local government, to discuss local governments in Britain which boycott Israel. He will also meet with Jo Johnson, minister for universities and science, to discuss boycotts and anti-Israel actions on British campuses, as well as ways to strengthen academic ties between the UK and Israel in response to boycott efforts.

The minister is also expected to meet with Jewish community leaders and heads of pro-Israel organizations to discuss challenges of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and to present his ministry’s strategy for battling the phenomenon. He also plans to address the Union of Jewish Students.

Erdan has scheduled a series of high-profile discussions in his capacity as public security minister. Those include meetings with Ben Wallace, minister of state for security at the Home Office and with Baroness Joanna Shields, minister for Internet safety and security. Additional time is planned with leaders at Scotland Yard, to include a tour of its Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit and learn how UK police use advanced technologies.

The minister plans to discuss ways to cooperate with the British Home Office in fighting cyber-crimes, terrorism and incitement on social media and online in general.

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