Israeli Foreign Ministry falls short of goals in BDS fight, government report says



A BDS protest in Australia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( A new report issued by the Israeli state comptroller says that the country’s Foreign Ministry is failing to achieve its “designated goals” in the fight against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. 

“Foreign Ministry projects meant to improve Israel’s image in target communities around the world are lacking in their planning, management, and implementation, and are failing to achieve their designated goals,” said the report, issued by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira. 

While there have been some efforts to combat the BDS movement, overall the Foreign Ministry “has a hard time presenting achievements relating to efforts to delegitimize Israel around the world: in academic circles, culture, trade unions, and the general public in the target countries,” the report said.

The report specified a number of failed strategies, including those of Israel’s relatively new Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Relations, which was tasked in 2013 with countering the BDS movement and has had problems cooperating with the Foreign Ministry.

“As of 2015, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Relations has still not put into place its own operational work plans and still lacks the operational advantages that are built into the Foreign Ministry, including the professional knowledge and experience…required to manage a campaign effectively against BDS,” the report said, adding, “Reports from missions abroad have made it clear that the problems in this area have steadily exacerbated.”

The report also said that only about 8 percent of the Foreign Ministry’s annual budget is used for diplomatic activity, including development aid, conference, and hasbara (public diplomacy). 

Posted on May 24, 2016 .