Research Highlights Prominent Role of the PA and Hamas in Leading BDS, Certain BDS Organizations’ Ties to Terror Groups

Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan:
“The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally. I will continue to go after the perpetrators of this anti-Semitic hate campaign stemming from Gaza and Ramallah.”

Jerusalem, Israel ― June 19, 2018 ― Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan revealed for the first time the “Network of Hate”. This map showcases the network of ties between 42 of the most prominent BDS organizations― ten of which have ties with the internationally recognized terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Minister Erdan presented the information at this year’s Global Coalition 4 Israel Forum (GC4I), an event focused on strategies for countering BDS and anti-Israel delegitimization.

Additional data presented:

• The Ministry of Strategic Affairs asserts boycott organizations are relying heavily on falsified propaganda disseminated by Hamas and the PA, with a quarter of them shown to have ties to the terrorist organizations PFLP and Hamas.
• BDS organizations are interconnected and operate together as an integral network directed from Ramallah and the BDS National Committee (BNC).
• The next boycott target: Israel’s military arms trade.
• There are currently an estimated 300 organizations calling for a boycott of Israel.

In his speech on the opening night of the conference, Minister Erdan said that as a result of his ministry going on the offensive over the last two years, the boycott movement is now on the defensive. “Just recently, we have revealed to the European Union that part of the money that it supposedly transfers to ‘human rights organizations’ is in fact transferred to groups that maintain ties with terrorist organizations.”
“The perpetrators of this hate-filled campaign, who derive their ideology from the PA and Hamas, are united in their goal of attacking Israel, and are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts. Under the guise of ‘civil activities’, a coordinated and financed network of organizations is led from Ramallah and Gaza, a quarter of which have links to terrorist organizations, including Hamas and the PFLP.”

The minister went on to note that Hamas and the PFLP openly support and embrace the BDS movement. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated, “We support the BDS movement” in July 2017, and his movement repeated it only last month. Other examples include: Senior members of Palestinian organizations Al-Haq, DCI-P and Addameer having either had or have active roles in the PFLP, whereas Ramallah-based Shawan Jabarin, the General Director of Al-Haq and a leader in multiple legal campaigns against Israel, served 13 years in prison in Israel for his involvement in the military wing of PFLP. Lila Khaled participated in the fundraising campaign for BDS South Africa, and ties between the American boycott organization “Semidoun” and the PFLP were also found. Additionally, the BDS organization PRC promotes Hamas’s interests in Europe and members of the British PSC and FOA held meetings with senior Hamas figures in the Gaza Strip and recently held a demonstration in Downing 10 in support of Hamas’s recent “March of Return” campaign.

Minister Erdan also blamed the Palestinian Authority, which has been a long-time advocate for boycotting Israel, for officially adopting the principles of thr boycott movement in its Palestinian National Council last May. “We saw attempts by senior PA officials to suspend Israel from FIFA and to promote the ‘black lists’ formulated by the UN Human Rights Council. All of these campaigns, exposed by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, were extensively promoted by the BDS organizations.

Minister Erdan also observed the political environment is decidedly against the boycott movement, noting anti-boycott legislation has already been passed in 25 US states, and boycott activity in Europe has been thwarted thanks to the exposure of its discriminatory elements against both Jews and the State of Israel.

Recently, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs has identified a rise in the content and audiences to which BDS groups directing their activities. Boycott organizations have recently called for a halt to trade agreements with Israel and to business cooperation with Israel’s defense industries.

Minister Erdan noted that this campaign is no longer held only among civil society organizations, but recently the boycott organizations have begun to lobby MPs in various parts of the world. The opening of the first branch of the BNC this year in India may be part of the strategic goal of the boycott movement against Israel’s arms trade.

Minister Erdan concluded, “The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally. I will continue to go after the leaders of this hate-filled campaign emanating from Gaza and Ramallah.”

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