Israel’s Anti-Boycott Campaign Shrouded in Secrecy

YERUSHALAYIM -

The head of Israel’s anti-deligitimization campaign declined to give details of its work in a Knesset meeting on Sunday, saying that the information was classified, Haaretz reported.

When asked for an account of budgeting and strategy, Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Sima Vaknin would only divulge to the Special Committee for Transparency the overall budget. The ministry’s day-to-day budget amounts to 44 million shekels ($11.4 million) for 2016; specific allocation for fighting delegitimization in 2016 was 128 million shekels.

But Vaknin would divulge no further details. The former chief censor of the IDF told committee chairwoman MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Camp) that details could only be shared in a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“We want most of the Strategic Affairs Ministry’s work to be classified,” she said. “There is great sensitivity and I can’t even discuss in an open forum why there’s sensitivity… A large part of what we do is under the radar.”

“There is strategic competition between us and our opponents,” said Vaknin. “We are shifting from containment and reaction to initiative and attack… BDS activists are on the defensive because we announced publicly and showed through back channels that we will fight back.”

Outlining the ministry’s goals and strategy in general terms, she said: “Victory for me will be a change of narrative in the world toward Israel – that the narrative in the world won’t be that Israel equals apartheid,” Vaknin said. “[T]oday in the countries of the world, Israel is a pariah state. Our goal is that in 2025 no one in the world will question Israel’s right to exist.”