Israel will invest NIS 50 million in combating Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) attempted to delegitimize Israel and more than NIS 10 million in support for Ukrainian Jewish communities, Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli revealed during a meeting at Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Monday.
Regarding the Jewish community in Ukraine, which has been at the center of a war between their country and Russia for more than a year, Avi Cohen Scali, the director-general of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, said that there will be an investment of between NIS 10 million to NIS 12 million in a number of projects in the Ukrainian Jewish community, such as the protection of Jewish institutions, mental and emotional response, summer camps for children and teenagers through an appeal by Mosaic United, as well as the re-building of these Jewish communities that have been influenced by the war.
The investments in Ukraine, according to Chikli, will be made through the Jewish Agency, Chabad and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in cooperation with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).
BDS combatting used to be handled by Foreign Ministry
Chikli added that the ministry will invest NIS 50 million in combating antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel abroad. This is a new project for the ministry since it was recently run by the Foreign Ministry.
Chairman of the committee Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) congratulated Chikli for his work in this field and said that he also appreciates the investment in projects promoting Zionism. Forer asked that the minister speak up against the amendment of Israel’s Law of Return and the triumph of the government, according to his claims, to minimize aliyah from former Soviet Union countries. Forer also urged Chikli to invest in the Zionist youth movements in the Diaspora.
Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark thanked Chikli for his assistance to promote the signing of the extension of the agreement between the government and his organization. Mark said that “we will soon finally be signing an agreement with the government and I thank you for your efforts.” He added that “we had to reduce the number of our participants since there is an increase in prices in Israel of about 35%in tourism.”