organization:strategic affairs ministry

  • Comment les services de renseignement israéliens collaborent à la lutte contre #BDS à travers le monde

    Mossad involved in anti-boycott activity, Israeli minister’s datebooks reveal - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-mossad-involved-in-anti-boycott-activity-israeli-minister-s-diarie

    The datebooks of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan for 2018 reveal that he cooperated with the Mossad in the fight against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

    The diaries, which were released in response to a Freedom of Information request, show that Erdan met with Mossad head Yossi Cohen about “the struggle against the boycott.” The request was made by the Hatzlaha movement, an organization promoting a fair society and economy, to all ministers, deputy ministers and ministry directors-general.

    Officials in the Strategic Affairs Ministry are proud of their work with the state’s security agencies, but hide the content and full scope of these activities on grounds that if these would be revealed, it would undermine the covert efforts being made against BDS and its leaders. Officials in Erdan’s office said that the meeting with Cohen was merely a “review,” but sources familiar with the ministry’s activities told Haaretz that the ministry indeed cooperates with the Mossad.

    Erdan’s datebooks also show meetings with the head of the National Security Council and the head of the NSC’s intelligence branch, as well as meetings with representatives of numerous Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Congress, the umbrella organization of French Jewry, the U.S. Reform Movement and others. There are also logs of various meetings and phone calls that Erdan’s chief of staff held with foreign leaders and diplomats, as well as meetings with settler leaders, including the heads of the Samaria Regional Council and the Hebron Hills Regional Council.

    Many of Erdan’s meetings in 2018 were devoted to establishing a public benefit corporation which at first was called Kella Shlomo but whose name was later changed to Concert. Its aim was to covertly advance “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the campaign to delegitimize” Israel globally. This corporation, which received 128 million shekels (about $36 million) in government funding and was to also collect 128 million shekels in private contributions, is not subject to the Freedom of Information Law.

    In early 2018 Haaretz published the list of shareholders and directors in the company, which include former Strategic Affairs Ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; former UN ambassador Ron Prosor; businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Amos Yadlin, who heads Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies; Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War; former National Security Council chief Yaakov Amidror; and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council.
    Demonstrators wear shirts reading “Boycott Israel” during a protest in Paris, Dec. 9, 2017.
    Demonstrators wear shirts reading “Boycott Israel” during a protest in Paris, Dec. 9, 2017. AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu

    According to a government resolution, the funding was granted to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the fights against delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel. It says the company would raise the private portion of its financing for the initiative from philanthropic sources or pro-Israel organizations. A steering committee was to be appointed for the initiative to comprise representatives of the government and the other funding partners.
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    According to a ministry document revealed by The Seventh Eye website, the organization was expected to carry out mass awareness activities and work to exploit the wisdom of crowds, “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”

    Elad Mann, Hatzlacha’s legal adviser, said, “Revealing the date books of senior and elected officials is crucial to understanding how the government system works and it has great value taken together with other details of information. This is how to monitor the government and its priorities or the actions it takes with more efficiency and transparency.”

    Erdan’s office said that he “met during this past term with heads of the security echelons to give them a survey of the ministry’s activities in the struggle against the delegitimization and boycott of Israel.”

    Josh Breiner contributed to this report.


  • Official documents prove: Israel bans young Americans based on Canary Mission website - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Some Americans detained upon arrival in Israel reported being questioned about their political activity based on ’profiles’ on the controversial website Canary Mission. Documents obtained by Haaretz now clearly show that is indeed a source of information for decisions to bar entry

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-official-documents-prove-israel-bans-young-americans-based-on-cana

    The Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is using simple Google searches, mainly the controversial American right-wing website Canary Mission, to bar political activists from entering Israel, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    >>Israeli court rejects American visa-holding student’s appeal; to be deported for backing BDS
    The internal documents, some of which were submitted to the appeals tribunal in the appeal against the deportation of American student Lara Alqasem, show that officials briefly interviewed Alqasem, 22, at Ben-Gurion International Airport on her arrival Tuesday night, then passed her name on for “continued handling” by the ministry because of “suspicion of boycott activity.” Israel recently passed a law banning the entry of foreign nationals who engage in such activity.

    >> Are you next? Know your rights if detained at Israel’s border

    Links to Canary Mission and Facebook posts are seen on an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs document.
    The ministry then sent the officials at the airport an official report classified “sensitive” about Alqasem’s supposed political activities, which included information from five links – four from Facebook and one, the main source, from the Canary Mission site, which follows pro-Palestinian activists on U.S. campuses.
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    A decision on Alqasem’s appeal against her deportation was expected Thursday afternoon.
    Canary Mission, now the subject of major controversy in the American Jewish community, has been collecting information since 2015 about BDS activists at universities, and sends the information to potential employers. Pro-Israel students have also criticized their activities.

    Lara Alqasem.
    This week, the American Jewish news site The Forward reported that at least $100,000 of Canary Mission’s budget had been contributed through the San Francisco Jewish Federation and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which donates to Jewish education. The donation was handed to a group registered in Beit Shemesh called Megamot Shalom, specifically stating that it was for Canary Mission. A few hours after the report was published, the federation announced that it would no longer fund the group.
    Over the past few months some of the Americans who have been detained for questioning upon arrival in Israel have reported that they were questioned about their political activity based on “profiles” about them published on Canary Mission. The documents obtained by Haaretz now show clearly that the site is indeed the No. 1 source of information for the decision to bar entry to Alqasem.
    According to the links that were the basis for the decision to suspend the student visa that Alqasem had been granted by the Israeli Consulate in Miami, she was president of the Florida chapter of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, information quoted directly from the Canary Mission. The national arm of that organization, National Students for Justice in Palestine, is indeed on the list of 20 groups that the Strategic Affairs Ministry compiled as criteria to invoke the anti-boycott law. However, Alqasem was not a member at the national level, but rather a local activist. She told the appeals tribunal that the local chapter had only a few members.

    Canary Mission’s profile of Lara Alqasem.
    The ministry also cited as a reason for barring Alqasem’s entry to Israel a Facebook post showing that “In April 2016 [her] chapter conducted an ongoing campaign calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus, the American version of Hummus Tzabar, because Strauss, which owns Tzabar, funds the Golani Brigade.” Alqasem told the tribunal that she had not taken an active part in this campaign. Another link was about a writers’ petition calling on a cultural center to refuse sponsorship by Israel for its activities. Yet another post, by the local Students for Justice in Palestine, praised the fact that an international security company had stopped operations in Israel. None of these links quoted Alqasem.
    She told the tribunal that she is not currently a member of any pro-boycott group and would not come to study for her M.A. in Israel if she were.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry report on Alqasem is so meager that its writers mentioned it themselves: “It should be noted that in this case we rely on a relatively small number of sources found on the Internet.” Over the past few months Haaretz has been following up reports of this nature that have been the basis for denying entry to activists, and found that in many other cases the material consisted of superficial Google searches and that the ministry, by admission of its own senior officials, does not collect information from non-public sources.
    skip - Facebook post calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus

    The ministry’s criteria for invoking the anti-boycott law state clearly that in order to bar entry to political activists, they must “hold senior or significant positions in the organizations,” including “official senior roles in prominent groups (such as board members).”
    But the report on Alqasem does not indicate that she met the criterion of “senior” official in the national movement, nor was this the case for other young people questioned recently at the airport. In some cases it was the Shin Bet security service that questioned people due to past participation in activities such as demonstrations in the territories, and not BDS activities.
    “Key activists,” according to the ministry’s criteria, also means people who “consistently take part in promoting BDS in the framework of prominent delegitimization groups or independently, and not, for example, an activist who comes as part of a delegation.” In Alqasem’s case, however, her visa was issued after she was accepted for study at Hebrew University.


  • BDS success stories - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

    More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 05, 2018

    Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.
    More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.
    The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.
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    In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.
    The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.


  • Eurovision’s demands should serve as wake-up call for Israel - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/eurovision-s-demands-should-serve-as-wake-up-call-for-israel-1.6450815

    In a different time, the demands of the European Broadcasting Union, the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, would have been received in Israel with a shrug, as self-evident.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    According to a report by the Israel Television News Corporation, the broadcasting union is asking for an Israeli authority, preferably the prime minister, to promise that Israel will grant entry visas for the event regardless of applicants’ political opinions; that visitors be able to tour the country regardless of their political opinions, religion or sexual orientation; that there be freedom of the press and complete freedom of expression for all participants; that there be no religious restrictions on rehearsals on Saturday; and that Israel’s public broadcasting company, Kan, be given complete independence in editing the broadcasts.

    • D’après cet article de Haaretz :
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-eurovision-organizers-set-conditions-for-contest-to-be-held-in-isr

      1) l’Eurovision demande qu’israel s’engage par écrit à laisser entrer tous les spectateurs, quelque soient leurs opinions (y compris s’ils soutiennent BDS), donc critique les nouvelles pratiques de sélection à l’entrée du pays sur des bases politiques

      2) l’Eurovision demande une complète liberté d’expression et de circulation pour les participants, les délégations et la presse

      3) l’Eurovision demande que les répétitions aient lieu le samedi (shabbat)

      4) plusieurs membres du gouvernement appellent Netanyahu à refuser ces conditions

      5) la télé israélienne demande une rallonge financière du ministère des finances qui pour l’instant refuse

      #Palestine #Eurovision #BDS #Boycott_culturel

    • BDS success stories
      More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.
      Gideon Levy | Sep. 5, 2018 | 11:16 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

      Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.

      More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

      Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.

      The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.

      In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.

      The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

      The government has torn off the mask. Not only BDS, but all supporters of human rights, should be grateful to it. The war on BDS, a legitimate, nonviolent protest movement, has dragged Israel into new territory. Omar Barghouti and his colleagues can rub their hands together in satisfaction and pride. They have begun to dismantle the regime inside Israel as well. No democracy has a strategic affairs ministry that spies on critics of the state and its government worldwide and draws up blacklists of people who are banned from entry on account of their worldview or political activities. No democracy asks its guests for their opinions at its borders, as a condition for entry. No democracy searches its visitors’ computers and their lifestyles when they enter and leave. Perhaps Ukraine and Azerbaijan do, Turkey and Russia too.

      It could have, and should have, been argued previously as well that Israel did not deserve to be seen as democracy, on account of the occupation. But now Israel has crossed the line. It hasn’t erased only the Green Line, it has begun to the task of annexation, including a gradual westward movement of the regime in the West Bank. The gap between the two regimes, in the occupied territories and in Israel, is still huge, but laws passed in recent years have narrowed it.

      The state’s fancy display window, with all the bright neon and rustling cellophane of freedom and equality; of Arab MKs and pharmacists; gay-friendly, with a vibrant night life and all the other shiny objects, is beginning to crack. The Eurovision organizers recognize this.


  • Israel sets up secret firm with top ex-generals, envoys for online ’mass awareness’ campaign ’to fight delegitimization’

    Among the shareholders are former UN ambassador Dore Gold and ex-generals Amos Yadlin and Yaakov Amidror. The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law

    Noa Landau Jan 09, 2018 3:26 PM
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.833817

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
    Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
    The government recently allocated 128 million shekels ($37 million) to the initiative, in addition to the 128 million shekels it will raise from private donors around the world.
    The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law, in accordance with the secrecy policy of the ministry, which refuses to release detailed information about its activities.
    The shareholders and directors include former ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, who is also a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and former UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

    Reuven Rivlin with Amos Yadlin. Mark Neiman

    FILE PHOTO: Protestors march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, southern France, on June 13, 2015George Robert / AP
    They also include businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute for National Security Studies; and Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War.
    skip - Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist

    Also on the list are a former National Security Council chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council, which has casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as a major supporter.

    Most refused to discuss the initiative and referred questions to the office of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
    The most recent data from the Companies Authority shows that the last report the company submitted to the authority came this past October. On December 28, the cabinet approved an allocation of 128 million shekels to the company over three years. The decision to provide the funding was made by the special procedure under which a government resolution is distributed to the ministers and goes into effect automatically if no one objects or demands a discussion.
    According to the government resolution, the funding was granted “to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the struggle against the phenomena of delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel.” It says the agency will work to raise its portion of the financing for the initiative (around half) from “philanthropic sources” or “pro-Israel organizations.” A steering committee will be appointed for the initiative to comprise government representatives and representatives of the other funding partners.

    Ron Prosor at the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon oath ceremony forr his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for second termShachar Ezran
    Itamar Baz of the media watchdog website The Seventh Eye has been covering the Strategic Affairs Ministry, most of whose activities are concealed from the public. He reported Monday that while ministry officials have for months been advancing legislation that would exclude the company from being subject to the Freedom of Information Law, the law in any case does not apply to this new agency so its activities will be easy to hide.
    He also revealed that Liat Glazer, the ministry’s legal adviser, wrote in a legal opinion that the activities conducted through the company would be “those that require ‘non-governmental’ discussions with various target audiences.”
    According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.” Similarly, the document, published by The Seventh Eye, says the organization was expected to carry out “mass awareness activities” and work to “exploit the wisdom of crowds,” an activity defined as “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”
    A report in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth the day after the cabinet approved the funding described the initiative positively, saying it would “raise the level of efforts in the struggle against BDS” — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Yedioth said the new company would “provide a speedy and coordinated response to efforts to stain Israel’s image around the world,” for example, in the event of a military operation, terror attacks or UN votes against government policies.
    This would be done by launching online campaigns, lobbying, engaging organizations abroad and bringing delegations to Israel.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry declined to clarify whether the company would act in accordance with the principles of the Freedom of Information Law.
    “This is a joint initiative that meets all the requirements of the law for this type of engagement and is similar to other government initiatives like Taglit [Birthright] and Masa,” the ministry said.
    “In the agreement with [the company] there are distinct control procedures, as defined by the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry during the joint work with them on setting up the project. It will be subject to auditing by the state comptroller,” it added.
    “In addition, as the ministry leading the initiative, one that attributes great importance to it as part of the campaign against the delegitimization of Israel, the ministry has allocated additional control tools and functions to what is required. Both the ministry’s legal adviser and its controller will sit on the steering committee managing the project.”
    skip - WTF is BDS?


  • Honor roll: Israel’s BDS blacklist
    The blacklist’s authors are preparing the ground for worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against Palestinians.
    Amira Hass Jan 08, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.833810

    The ban on entering the country that was imposed on activists from 20 international organizations is a badge of honor for them. For all the differences among these organizations in size, experience and background, and for all the political disagreements among them and with them, they deserve praise. They are successfully sabotaging the tendency to present the Palestinian problem as a purely humanitarian one, or as a symmetrical conflict between two supposedly equal powers.

    That this blacklist was prepared by an Israeli ministry already proves one of the organizations’ claims: Israel isn’t a democratic state. A state that has ruled for 50 years already over millions of people who have no right to vote and are denied basic human rights like freedom of movement, the right to earn a living and freedom to demonstrate, doesn’t deserve the name democracy, even if its Jewish citizens can write for Haaretz and protest against corruption.

    Israel’s sadistic rule over the Palestinians (including those within the pre-1967 lines) has millions of agents and tools. Human rights organizations can’t compete with all the resources of the state, which have been invested in agents and methods of dispossession. So the political call for sanctions and boycotts makes the necessary leap and proposes a single, conclusive and suitable response to Israeli oppression and persecution.

    It is unlikely that the Strategic Affairs Ministry bureaucrats deluded themselves that a ban on entering Israel and the occupied territories would stop these organizations from continuing to call for international boycotts and sanctions against Israel, or against the settlements and their produce. After all, the activists base their political analysis and their program for stopping Israeli colonialism on information and testimony from readily available sources, and those sources will continue to be available even without the activists’ physical presence in the country.

    But the authors of this blacklist aren’t stupid people bent on macho vengeance. They, too, are political thinkers, and they are continuing to prepare the ground for even worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against the Palestinian people.

    Publication of the blacklist puts the countries where these organizations are based to a new test. Israel has been preventing their citizens from entering the West Bank and Gaza Strip (and not just its own sovereign territory) for a long time now, even if they never supported the BDS movement. It’s enough for them to be of Palestinian origin and to have relatives and property in the West Bank, or to want to study or teach at educational institutions in the West Bank, for their entry to be banned.

    Many of the people who have been denied entry are American or Jordanian citizens. But the United States, Europe and Jordan haven’t made much effort to defend two basic principles: equal treatment for their citizens regardless of differences in their ethnicity, i.e. Jews versus non-Jews, or differences in the purpose of their visit, i.e. a visit to Ramallah versus a visit to the settlement of Beit El; and symmetrical application of the right of visa-free entry. After all, millions of Israelis enter Europe and Jordan with no problem, including some who were involved in perpetrating war crimes or other violations of international law: pilots, army commanders, settlers.

    Donald Trump’s America won’t be shocked if Jewish members of the pacifist organization Code Pink or Quaker Christians are barred from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. But what about France, England, Norway and other European countries? Several European countries, under pressure from or at the instigation of Israeli and Jewish lobbies, already ban democratic calls for sanctions on Israel due to the disgraceful equation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. It’s hard to imagine them taking action against the new blacklist.

    Israel is taking the international community’s pulse. The measuring device is the sanctions against these organizations, and the goal is our freedom to uproot people, to demolish and steal. In this shrewd manner, Israel is examining how it can deprive the Palestinians of additional basic rights – including through mass expulsions – without the so-called democratic world stopping it.

    #BDS


  • Israel publishes BDS blacklist : These are the 20 groups whose members will be denied entry -
    Noa Landau Jan 07, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.833502

    Israel published on Sunday the full list of organizations whose activists will be barred from entering the country. The so-called BDS blacklist was released by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

    Members of the 20 organizations on the list will not be allowed to enter the country due to their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The list primarily includes European and American organizations as well as groups from Latin America, a group from South Africa and an international umbrella organization.
    (...)
    The full list

    European organizations:

    ■ The France Association Palestine Solidarity

    ■ BDS France

    ■ BDS Italy

    ■ The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine

    ■ Friends of Al-Aqsa

    ■ Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

    ■ The Palestine Committee of Norway

    ■ Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden

    ■ Palestine Solidarity Campaign

    ■ War on Want

    ■ BDS Kampagne

    American organizations:

    ■ American Friends Service Committee

    ■ American Muslims for Palestine

    ■ Code Pink

    ■ Jewish Voice for Peace

    ■ National Students for Justice in Palestine

    ■ US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

    Other groups:

    ■ BDS Chile

    ■ BDS South Africa

    ■ BDS National Committee

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    Israël donne son accord pour un projet anti-BDS de 72 millions de dollars
    2 janvier | JTA & The Times of Israel |Traduction LGr pour l’AURDIP
    http://www.aurdip.fr/israel-donne-son-accord-pour-un.html

    Financée par le gouvernement et par des donateurs juifs, la nouvelle organisation supervisera la lutte contre le boycott via une diplomatie publique

    #BDS



  • Israel secretly using U.S. law firm to fight BDS activists in Europe, North America -

    Israeli government hired lawyers to counter BDS; nature of work is kept a secret, and defined as ’extremely sensitive’

    Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid Oct 25, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.818938

    The government has been secretly using a U.S. law firm to help it fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Europe, North America and elsewhere, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    The government has hired the Chicago-based firm Sidley Austin to prepare legal opinions and handle court proceedings. The Justice Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry have declined to reveal the nature of these activities, for which the state has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past two years. The ministries call the activities “diplomatically extremely sensitive.”
    About two years ago, the security cabinet made the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsible for coordinating the fight against “delegitimization” and earmarked major resources for these efforts. The Strategic Affairs Ministry transfers some of the money to the Foreign Ministry in various places worldwide and some money has been given to Jewish organizations overseas for public relations work on campuses and elsewhere.
    But the Strategic Affairs Ministry is also operating on these matters in ways that have not been made public. In the past, the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin, told the Knesset that it is involved in “gathering intelligence and attacking.”
    Over the past year, attorney Eitay Mack has asked government ministries in the name of human rights activists to receive information on all the contracts signed with bodies overseas involving anti-BDS activities. The Foreign Ministry said it had no such contractual obligations, but the Justice Ministry provided censored documents.
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    The documents show that the special-tasks department in the State Prosecutor’s Office, which is responsible for dealing with matters of national security – in cooperation with the Strategic Affairs Ministry – called for bids in early 2016 from international law firms.
    This was for “preparing documents and legal opinions, handling legal proceedings (suits or representation) to the extent needed battling the BDS phenomenon in particular concerning calls and initiatives to impose boycotts and sanctions against Israeli companies and businesses, as well as against foreign companies that have business operations in Israel.”
    The detailed description of the services was censored from the document. The Justice Ministry said the details were redacted because their publication could lead to “damage to the country’s foreign relations and damage to the ability of these bodies to provide the requested service.”
    In February 2016, the Justice Ministry contracted with a law firm, but in May the ministry asked to switch firms after the original outfit was found to have a possible conflict of interest.
    A contract with a different law firm for 290,000 euros was then approved, with the option of increasing the amount by another 200,000 euros for additional work. Another expansion of the original contract was later approved, this time for another 437,000 euros, making a total contract value of 925,000 euros, or 4 million shekels ($1.1 million).
    The tenders committee decided not to publicize the contracts in the government’s Manof information system because of the sensitivity of the matter to Israel’s foreign relations.
    The secrecy surrounding the contracts raises the suspicion that the work involves not only writing legal opinions but also preparing lawsuits against BDS supporters, as Israel does not want to be revealed as supporting such actions, to avoid the perception that it is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
    The money is disbursed as budgetary allocations for international contracts. The Justice Ministry’s report on such contracts shows that the government contracted with Sidley Austin in March 2016 for consulting services, without issuing a tender for competitive bidding. In the first half of 2017, the firm received $219,000 in payments. No other law firms were paid under the same budgetary section.
    Sidley Austin did not reply to questions on whether it was working for the Israeli government.
    Sidley Austin is one of the largest American law firms and employs 1,900 lawyers. It is the firm where a young lawyer, Michelle Robinson, met a summer intern named Barack Obama. The firm has four offices in Europe: in Brussels, London, Munich and Geneva.

    Chaim Levinson
    Haaretz Correspondent


  • Inside the clandestine world of Israel’s ’BDS-busting’ ministry

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry’s leaders see themselves as the heads of a commando unit, gathering and disseminating information about ’supporters of the delegitimization of Israel’ – and they prefer their actions be kept secret.
    By Uri Blau Mar 26, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.779434

    The Haaretz report that Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who support the BDS movement has led to questions about the boundaries of freedom of expression and the government’s use of its resources to surveille people of differing opinions. The report also shone a light on the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which Erdan heads, and cast doubt about its ambiguous activities and goals.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Jewish World: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Now, through official documents, Haaretz reveals some elements of the ministry’s clandestine activities, whereby even its location is a secret, described only as “greater Tel Aviv.” Its internal terminology comes from the world of espionage and security; its leading figures appear to see themselves as the heads of a public affairs commando unit engaged in multiple fronts, gathering and disseminating information about people they define as “supporters of the delegitimization of Israel.”
    That definition does not necessarily include only supporters of BDS, but intentional ambiguity remains, alongside campaigns and public diplomacy activities against these individuals in Israel and abroad.

    Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Olivier Fitoussi
    “If you want to win the campaign you have to do it with a great deal of ambiguity," the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin-Gil, who is a former IDF chief censor, explained to a Knesset panel recently. “The way I worked with military issues like Hezbollah or terror funds or Syria or any other country against which I conducted a campaign as an intelligence officer – we didn’t tell the other side what we intended to do; we left it ambiguous.”
    The ministry spends tens of millions of shekels on cooperative efforts with the Histadrut labor federation, the Jewish Agency and various nongovernmental organizations in training representatives of the “true pluralistic face” of Israel in various forums.

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry was established mainly as a consolation prize for ministers when the need arose to pad them with a semi-security portfolio during the formation of governing coalitions, and has taken on various forms. It was founded in 2006 as a portfolio tailored to Avigdor Lieberman. It was dismantled two years later and reestablished in 2009 in a different format. Under each ministry it was given new meaning and content.

    Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Sima Vaknin. Alon Ron
    During Lieberman’s tenure, its authority was defined mainly as “thwarting the Iranian nuclear program.” In addition, Nativ, which maintained contact with Jews in Eastern Europe during the Cold War and encouraged aliyah, came under its aegis. Then, under Moshe Ya’alon (2009-2013), the ministry focused on “Palestinian incitement” as well as the Iranian threat. During the term of Yuval Steinitz (2013-2015), the ministry was unified with the Intelligence Affairs Ministry into the “Intelligence Ministry.” In May 2015, it was once again separated out and given to Erdan, incorporating the Public Diplomacy Ministry, which had been removed from the Prime Minister’s Office.
    A harsh state comptroller’s report in 2016 concerning the “diplomatic-media struggle against the boycott movement and manifestations of anti-Semitism abroad,” noted that the transfer of authority to fight BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry was damaging to the powers of the Foreign Ministry and created unnecessary duplication that paralyzed government action in that area, as Barak Ravid reported extensively at the time.
    According to the comptroller, after years of contention and mutual entrenchment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given in to pressure and shifted more powers for fighting BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, together with major funding.
    In October 2015, the security cabinet finally gave the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsibility to “guide, coordinate and integrate the activities of all the ministers and the government and of civil entities in Israel and abroad on the subject of the struggle against attempts to delegitimize Israel and the boycott movement.”
    Nevertheless, tensions with the Foreign Ministry remained. The reason for this might also be a difference in approach. According to the comptroller’s report, the Foreign Ministry’s strategy of action against BDS “focuses on expanding dialogue with individuals, bodies, organizations, corporations and institutions abroad” – i.e., dialogue – as opposed to surveillance and more aggressive public diplomacy activities by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

    Tzahi Gavrieli. Tomer Appelbaum


  • In first, Israel denies entry to religious official citing support of BDS movement - Israel News -
    Haaretz.com | Ilan Lior Dec 06, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.757208
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.757208

    Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri (right) with Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in Jerusalem, 2015. Credit Marianne Ejdersten / WCC

    The World Council of Churches is vehemently protesting Israel’s refusal to allow one of its executives to enter the country, charging that officials wrongly accused her of supporting the anti-Israel BDS movement.

    It is the first time Israel has deported someone on the grounds that the person supported the Israel boycott, according to Israeli officials.

    Israel interrogated and deported Dr. Isabel Apawo Phiri, a Malawi citizen who serves as the council’s associate general secretary, after her arrival Monday at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Interior Minister Arye Dery decided against issuing the visa following consultations with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who is also in charge of the Strategic Affairs Ministry - tasked with countering anti-Israel boycotts. Phiri was sent back Monday night to Germany, from where she had originally departed for Israel.

    #BDS


  • Man behind Israeli report on infamous killing of Mohammed al-Dura has right-wing ties - National Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/man-behind-israeli-report-on-infamous-killing-of-mohammed-al-dura-has-right

    The man behind a recent government report calling into question Israel’s responsibility for the iconic death of a Palestinian boy at the start of the second intifada worked for a right-wing group that sought to prevent the reporter who broke the story from continuing to work in Israel.

    Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, the director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, was employed by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, which has pressed the Supreme Court to revoke the press passes of French journalist Charles Enderlin and his employer, the France 2 television network, for alleged ethical violations in reporting the incident. The report does not fully disclose this information, despite mentioning Enderlin. Further, it does not include the testimony of the only Israeli official to say the army fired on the boy and is unclear about the nature of the committee that wrote it.