Israeli intelligence arm Mossad has worked with the BDS-fighting Strategic Affairs Ministry to counter the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, government diaries reveal.
The Strategic Affairs Ministry has been referred to as Israel’s ‘anti-BDS start up,’ and was behind the blacklist of 20 international BDS groups. It also set up the secretive Kella Shlomo corporation –now called Concert– with $36 million in government funding to carry out covert “mass awareness activities” and online engagement efforts to counter boycotts supporting Palestinians and the “delegitimization” of Israel.
The 2018 diaries of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan reveal he met with Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency Mossad, to discuss “the struggle against the boycott.”
The diaries were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Hatzlaha movement which requested the same information from all ministers. Erdan’s office told Haaretz the meeting was just a “review,” but its sources confirmed the ministry works with the Mossad.
Further to the Mossad revelation, Erdan held meetings with the head of Israel’s National Security Council and its intelligence branch. The diaries show that the minister also met with a number of US Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the US Reform Movement.
His chief of staff, meanwhile, met and had phone calls with a number of foreign leaders and diplomats, as well as with leaders of Israeli settlements.
Many of Erdan’s meetings were reportedly about Concert, which is exempt from Israel’s freedom of information law.