Exposing the unholy trinity of BDS, terror and anti-Semitism

Likud minister Erdan discusses the motivations and effects of the boycott movement, and its connection to terror and anti-Semitism.

Chana Roberts,

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at the conference
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at the conference
Spokesperson

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Tuesday spoke at "the most important gathering of the pro-Israel and anti-BDS community."

The conference, hosted by the Global Coalition for Israel and the Legal Network included over 300 Jewish and pro-Israel leaders and legal experts from over 30 countries around the world."

"We do have a lot to be proud of tonight," Erdan noted. "We have had many accomplishments, some of which would have been difficult to imagine only a few years ago. We did what we said we were going to do: We moved from defense to offense and put BDS on the defensive. We built the network to fight the network. And we pulled off the BDS mask and exposed its true face."

"First and foremost, we're exposing the unholy trinity of BDS, terror and anti-Semitism. The more we dig, the more connections we find. Our research on the BDS-terror connection, which culminated in the 'Terrorists in Suits' report, exposed over one hundred links between BDS leaders and designated terrorist groups... The growing awareness of these links is making BDS terrorists unwanted in civilized countries.

"We're also exposing the anti-Semitic nature of the BDS campaign, the way in which it injects anti-Semitism into mainstream discourse and creates a hostile atmosphere for Jews," he added. "More and more countries and institutions are adopting the IHRA and State Department definitions of anti-Semitism, which incorporate both classic and new anti-Semitism. The ground-breaking resolution of the Bundestag recognizing the anti-Semitic nature of BDS was the most important step yet."

He added that the main goal is "preventing anti-Semitism and racisim, disguised as BDS, from threatening and silencing Jewish students and supporters of Israel."

"Twenty-seven US States, Congress and the UK Government have adopted legislation and regulations against BDS. Courts in Spain and France have ruled anti-Israel boycotts illegal, and convicted BDS activists. There have been more than fifty lawsuits against BDS over the last several years, many of which have been successful. The power of legislation and legal action was seen in the successful efforts, led by people sitting here, to reverse Airbnb's boycott. And the BDS' most intense campaign, against the Eurovision, failed to convince a single artist or country to boycott.

"All of these accomplishments and victories didn't happen on their own. They happened because of your commitment, dedication, and tireless efforts, together with those of my ministry and all of the relevant bodies in the Israeli government. They happened because of the synergy between us. Because of the mutual support and cross-country collaboration which you led. Because of the success and strength of the GC4I, LNI, and Digitell networks."

However, Erdan warned, "we must not be complacent."

"The BDS campaign may be on the defensive, but they certainly haven't given up. They're adapting new strategies and targeting new populations.

"Their true goal is to isolate Israel, undermine Israel's economy and security, and bring about the end of its existence as a Jewish state. Their claim to focus on the settlements is simply a 'gateway drug' to recruit well-meaning but naive 'useful idiots' to their cause... But obviously, anyone trying to drive major multi-national companies out of Israel, Or to blacklist Israel's banking system, is aiming to undermine the country as a whole."

Peace, Erdan said, must be something that comes from the people - not the leaders: "I deeply believe that peace can only be built bottom-up. The joint industrial zones are the best model of co-existence. Those who oppose them oppose the basis for a viable peace."

"When Sodastream closed its factory in Mishor Adumim, the only result was that five hundred Palestinians lost their jobs, and five hundred Israeli Bedouin citizens became employed."

"National authorities should investigate the activities of terror-linked BDS groups, and financial institutions should take into account the risks involved in doing business with them. No one should do business with terror," he emphasized.

"Perhaps the greatest danger we face is the BDS' aggressive efforts to target minorities and progressive groups with their campaigns of lies. We've seen how this effort has slowly been creeping into parts of the Democratic party. We must urgently focus efforts and resources on engaging these groups in open and honest ways, and bringing them to Israel to see the country with their own eyes. And we need to continue building our capacities, in order to expand our successful activities."

Noting the rise in anti-Semitic incidents, Erdan concluded, "We must stand together in the face of rising anti-Semitism in all its forms. The shooters in Pittsburgh and Poway didn't care whether their victims were Reform or Orthodox, Republican or Democrat."

"BDS seeks to weaken our belief in Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.

"We will renew our commitment to Israel's future, even as we debate its present policy. BDS seeks to distance young Jews from Israel. We must draw them closer. It seeks to divide us. We will grow more united."




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