Tuesday, September 06, 2016

"Israel using “black ops” against BDS, says veteran analyst"

"A veteran Israeli intelligence analyst is linking recent attacks and harassment campaigns against Palestinian activists and human rights organizations to so-called “black ops” by Israel’s intelligence agencies.
Writing in the Maariv newspaper on Sunday, Yossi Melman, who has covered Israel’s spy agencies for decades, reveals telling details about Israel’s ramped up fight against the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
The fight is being led by Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs. According to Melman, Erdan’s ministry is gearing up to face BDS as if it were a military challenge.
“We want most of the ministry’s work to be classified,” its director general Sima Vaknin-Gil recently told the transparency committee of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
“There are many sensitivities, and I can’t even explain in an open forum why there are such sensitivities,” Vaknin-Gil said. “A major part of what we do stays under the radar.”
Vaknin-Gil added that the ministry aims to “build a community of warriors.”
According to Melman, the ministry has recently hired 25 workers whose names are classified. It has an intelligence section run by a former security services operative and receives assistance from “a special unit” within Israeli military intelligence and from the Shin Bet secret police.
This report from Israel’s state broadcaster, subtitled in English by activist Ronnie Barkan, shows Vaknin-Gil vowing to defeat the BDS movement in her testimony to the Knesset committee. It also shows the committee’s chair, Stav Shaffir, complaining that the government is revealing almost nothing about how it is spending the huge sums allocated to the anti-BDS effort. "