‘The Israeli government recently paid tens of thousands of shekels to the Jerusalem Post in order to publish a series of articles connecting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) to anti-Semitism, according to the government’s own procurement department.
The articles were part of a “package” purchased by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs that included branding, advertising, a slot at a recent Jerusalem Post conference, and the articles themselves, which appeared in the run-up to the conference. The Jerusalem Post denied that the articles had been paid for.
The Strategic Affairs Ministry, headed by Likud minister Gilad Erdan, has for years been spearheading an international campaign to counter what it sees as “de-legitimization” of the State of Israel. This project has, in large part, involved providing funds and handing down directives to non-governmental organizations and journalists in order to enlist them in the fight against BDS.
The ministry prides itself on having created a “network” of domestic and international organizations to implement its policies. Believing that official government propaganda is ineffective, the ministry instead funnels its messaging via individuals and institutions who are perceived as unconnected to the state. The ministry has refused to release the list of entities belonging to this network, although some of them were revealed in a 2017 investigation by The Seventh Eye.
Leading the anti-BDS network is “Concert” (previously “Solomon’s Sling”), a company that is supposed to receive 128 million shekels in order to conduct “mass consciousness activities,” although the organization received far less due to fundraising difficulties.
Media outlets occupy the outer reaches of the network, receiving funds from the ministry in order to effectively provide PR services to the various organizations and individuals involved, including Strategic Affairs Ministry officials — chief among them Tzachi Gabrieli, the “campaign manager” who was appointed director-general of the ministry last year.’