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Adelson-funded anti-BDS group sets sight on European campuses

Sheldon Adelson, US business magnate on 20 November 2013 [East Coast Gambler/Flickr]
Sheldon Adelson, US business magnate on 20 November 2013 [East Coast Gambler/Flickr]

A pro-Israel advocacy group funded by notorious right-wing donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson is expanding its operations to European university campuses, reported US-based news site JNS.

The Maccabee Task Force (MTF), launched in 2015, is focused on fighting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and boosting support for Israel amongst students.

According to CEO David Brog – formerly of Christians United for Israel – having been active on over 100 North American campuses, MTF will now expand into 11 universities in six European countries.

“What we saw abroad was a significant need,” said Brog, who told JNS that MTF focuses on campuses with a “serious” BDS threat and ones producing “tomorrow’s leaders and influencers”.

READ: ‘Boycott Puma’ BDS posters removed from London trains

While revealing that MTF will start on 11 campuses in Europe, JNS reported that “Brog declined to name the six countries and campuses ahead of time, citing the desire to avoid ‘inadvertently making life more difficult for our partners abroad’”.

Brog believes that there is potential for MTF to make an impact in the fight against BDS in Europe.

“We found that most Israel groups had incredibly low budgets and were resource-poor. We saw immediately an opportunity that we didn’t realize exists. We hope to have an outsized influence for our investment,” he said.

The MTF head will soon go on a “fact-finding” trip to European universities.

“I am very curious to learn about the situations on their campuses, to hear what they think will be effective on their campuses. And like North America, to fund the groups for what they want to do.”

READ: US diplomats pressure Europe lawmakers to oppose BDS

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Asia & AmericasBDSEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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