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Israeli foreign ministry chief says anti-BDS officials operating without transparency

Activists attend a pro BDS march [Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr]

The director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem, “escalated its spat with the Strategic Affairs Ministry on Monday, accusing it of operating in the dark, reported Haaretz.

At a Knesset committee meeting, “Rotem charged that the staff of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which is headed at the cabinet level by Likud Knesset member Gilad Erdan, insist on joining overseas delegations and then hide what they’re doing”.

“The people at the Strategic Affairs Ministry join Foreign Ministry delegations, then when they get there, they disappear. They don’t report on their actions, they hide the content of their actions and it’s impossible to know what they did and where they went”, Rotem said.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry said in response that it knows “nothing about ministry people joining Foreign Ministry delegations and certainly about them disappearing”.

Read: Israel moves to create punitive ‘blacklist’ of citizens who back BDS

“We thank the director general of the Foreign Ministry for his concern”, the ministry added, “and can report that the ministry people are present and working zealously against the boycott and legitimization movements [BDS], according to the mandate given them by government”.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has been tasked with spearheading an offensive, locally and internationally, against the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

At the committee meeting, Rotem said that, as far as the Foreign Ministry is concerned, “the BDS movement should be ignored”.

In reality, Israeli diplomats posted abroad are often front and centre of efforts to undermine Palestine solidarity activism and BDS campaigning.

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