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Board of Deputies chief attends Israel minister’s anti-BDS gathering

The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Chief Executive Gillian Merron with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan at an anti-BDS conference on 19 June 2018 [BoardofDeputies/Twitter]
The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Chief Executive Gillian Merron (R) with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (C) at an anti-BDS conference on 19 June 2018 [BoardofDeputies/Twitter]

The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Chief Executive Gillian Merron on Tuesday attended an Israeli government-hosted conference intended to mobilise and strategise efforts to undermine and sabotage the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

According to an update published by the Board, recently-inaugurated chief executive Merron “was in Israel this week for the Global Coalition for Israel (GC4I) at which representatives from across the world discussed ways of countering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

Merron was pictured alongside Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, whose purview includes coordinating Israeli government efforts to fight the non-violent, civil society-based BDS campaign.

Speaking at the conference, Erdan attempted to link the boycott campaign to “terrorism”, including attacks on UK-based organisations such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want, and the Palestinian Return Centre.

Read: Israeli government intensifies efforts to link BDS to ‘terrorism’

The Israeli minister claimed that “because of the policies we have led on this issue, millions of dollars, the fuel of the boycott movement, have been stopped in recent years, whether by international organisations or by states.”

According to the report, “Erdan also noted that the boycott campaign has been ramping up its activities of late, and have been lobbying politicians in various countries, and working towards trade embargoes of Israel, including halting cooperation with Israel’s defence industries,.”

“The relationship between terrorist organisations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally. I will continue to go after the perpetrators of this antisemitic hate campaign stemming from Gaza and Ramallah,” Erdan said.

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