Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to implement the recommendations of a prominent think tank with regards to countering international “delegitimization” and boycott initiatives.
Speaking at the launch of the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI)’s report, “Israel and the Jewish People: Geopolitics, 2012-2013,” Netanyahu described “a campaign of incitement” targeting “the State of Israel as the Jewish nation state” as a “wave which has been on the rise.” Netanyahu continued:
Throughout a long period, efforts have been made, by the Israeli government as well as NGOs [non-governmental organizations] in Israel and all over the world, to counter this. However, in order to optimize the efforts, we need to improve coordination between various institutions active in this field, through a comprehensive action plan.
The prime minister declared that he had “assigned the overall responsibility for the campaign against delegitimization to the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, including the coordination of efforts with NGOs in Israel and all over the world,” a role which will include “the establishment of a professional special staff for countering delegitimization.”
The JPPI calls itself “an independent professional policy planning think tank” whose mission is “to ensure the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization by engaging in professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world Jewry.” It was established in 2002 by the Jewish Agency, and its board of directors is co-chaired by Dennis Ross.
JPPI’s report states that “anti-Israel sentiment on the settlements issue is gathering momentum throughout Europe” and that “the diplomatic stalemate provides a supportive backdrop to the embargo efforts against Israel.” Citing Stephen Hawking’s boycott of the Facing Tomorrow - Israeli Presidential Conference as an example, JPPI notes an “erosion of Israel’s international standing” and that “de-legitimization … remains a major challenge to Israel and to Diaspora Jewry.”
Meanwhile, prominent Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth this week that at the recent Facing Tomorrow conference, “Netanyahu called a meeting with a small group of Jewish millionaires” where “he sought to raise their money and use their connections for the war against the anti-Israel boycott movement.”
News of these new efforts to fight the Palestine solidarity movement comes just weeks after a conference convened by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs advocated a number of tactics to target boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigners and human rights advocates, including the “professional humiliation” of “scholars attacking Israel.”