Israel

Israeli Government Approves $72 Million To Fight Campaign to Boycott Jewish State

The Israeli government has approved a $72 million plan to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the public domain, The Times of Israel reported on Friday.

The initiative, which was approved by an executive decree last week, marks the largest monetary investment yet by Israel toward combating the BDS movement against the Jewish State. The plan calls for setting up a non-profit organization managed by a board comprised of government officials and private donors from Israel and abroad.

The board will oversee the first major “civil-society infrastructure servicing the State of Israel and the pro-Israel community in the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel,” according to a notice sent to government officials.

The multi million project will be funded partly by the government and partly by Jewish philanthropists and communities abroad. $36 million for the plan will come from the Israeli Public Diplomacy Ministry, while the rest will be fundraised by private donors, some of whom have pledged “to give $2 and $3 to any dollar put in by the Israeli government beyond the initial funding.”

The Times of Israel reported that the new organization would initiate “public campaigns, lobbying, arranging for solidarity visits to Israel by opinion shapers,” as well as “establishing new and social media presence, and interacting with pro-Israel organizations worldwide for coordinated action with a focus on Europe.”

The announcement comes a week after New Zealand pop superstar Lorde decided to cancel her performance in Tel Aviv in June 2018 after pressure from supporters of the BDS campaign. According to the Israeli government, the new organization would seek to counter such efforts and encourage artists to come and perform in the Jewish State.

The project also seeks to give Israel a global voice in the face of terrorist attacks and anti-Israel votes at international forums. The government hopes that by privatizing such efforts, Israel’s response can be quicker and more efficient.

[Photo: Philip Brewer / Flickr]