(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli government ministers are increasing their efforts to fight academic, consumer, cultural, and sports boycotts against Israel in what has become a significant diplomatic priority for the Jewish state.
Last Friday, Israel was able to thwart a Palestinian motion asking FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, to suspend the Jewish state from its ranks. Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon plans to convene the heads of Israel’s universities next week to discuss how to defeat boycotts against Israeli academics, scientists, and researchers.
Danon said Monday that Israeli researchers seeking recognition from leading institutions overseas must often contend with “passive rejection,” meaning they are politely deferred or ignored.
“We must forge a united front and fight the boycott attempts against Israeli researchers and scientists,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have to deal with organizations and agencies that have made it their mission to undermine Israel rather than promote research and development.”
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said her ministry will form a special task force to prevent and counter boycotts against Israel.
“[Pro-Palestinian groups] urge economic, academic, cultural, and sports boycotts, and to them it is ‘right’ and ‘moral’ to wage a libelous propaganda campaign against Israel’s economy, and the wonderful intellectuals and artists based in Israel and abroad,” Regev said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that Israel “has to fight for what it believes is right, with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue as well. Let [pro-Palestinian groups] check who it was that slammed the door in [President Barack] Obama’s face [during U.S.-brokered peace talks]—it wasn’t Netanyahu, it was [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas.”