Netanyahu launches anti-BDS drive



The Israeli government has announced it is embarking on a crusade against the boycott movement, which may also have implications for Israeli diplomacy in Britain.

Ambassador Daniel Taub is being mentioned as a candidate to lead the government's anti-BDS efforts.

The enhanced campaign against the BDS movement began last week in the wake of the attempt to secure a vote on expelling Israel from international football at the Fifa Congress, and intensified following the NUS vote on BDS and the announcement by Orange CEO Stephane Richard that the company would like to pull out of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ratcheted up the rhetoric this week when he said on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting that he was designing a "framework that will first of all go on the offensive to battle the boycott".

Among plans being mooted are a NIS 100m budget for fighting BDS, and additional funding from Jewish organisations and donors around the world.

On this issue, there is little opposition towards Mr Netanyahu in Israeli politics. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said at conference in New York on Sunday that the BDS organisers were "out-and-out antisemites". Labour leader Isaac Herzog called BDS "a diplomatic intifada of Israel-haters".

Mr Taub's tenure as envoy to Britain is expected to be extended for a year and it is unclear whether a different BDS adviser will be appointed or if the ambassador will fill both roles.

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