#34 Sima Vaknin Gill - A former brigadier-general’s battle against BDS

Her goal? To ensure that in the future no one will ever question the Jewish state's right to exist.

Sima Vaknin-Gill speaking on television (Credit: Youtube/ boycott apartheid)
As the director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, former Air Force intelligence Brig-Gen. Sima Vaknin Gill is dedicated to stymie, and ultimately, eradicate the potency of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel. Vaknin Gill previously worked as the IDF’s chief censor. Boosted by a deep understanding of the inner workings of the modern media, her goal is to create a “community of warriors” in the ministry.
What animates her anti-BDS philosophy is hama’aracha (the battle). This helps to explain the mix of military, intelligence and savvy media skills she brings to the ministry. Strategic Affairs was allocated a biennial budget of nearly NIS 250 million.
Her anti-BDS tool kit confronts fabricated and misleading information and activity from the BDS movement. A broad-based anti-boycott campaign that spans the political spectrum is the name of the game for her strategic affairs work.
Last year, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan asked Vaknin-Gil to serve as general director. She told a Knesset hearing in the same year: “Our objective is that in 2025 nobody in the world will raise the question ‘does Israel have the right to exist?’” Vaknin Gill’s strategy is macro. She wants to breathe fire and life into debunking anti-Israel BDS narratives. Her language captures the military ethos of constant offense against BDS opponents: “We are moving from restraining and responding to initiating and attacking,” she said at the Knesset hearing.
In her previous role as chief military censor for a decade, she urged a modernization of the censor to adapt to the new media landscape. She retired from the position, where she oversaw a staff of 35, in the summer of 2015.