Israeli Foreign Ministry Failing in Fight Against BDS, Report Says

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is badly mismanaging the fight against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, according to a state comptroller’s report.

In a report released Tuesday, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira criticized the ministry for its lack of strategy and funds, according to the Times of Israel.

In particular, the report blasted the ministry for mishandling communications during the 2014 Gaza war, an operation in which more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and which spurred an outpouring of anti-Israel activity around the world.

“A lack of cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and the army spokesman, and a lack of speed in getting information to the media, brought about an advocacy failure” during the war, the report said.

The report also noted that Foreign Ministry efforts to improve Israel’s image in numerous communities worldwide “are lacking in their planning, management and implementation, and are failing to achieve their designated goals.”

One reason for the problem, according to the report, is that the role of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Relations in relation to the Foreign Ministry was poorly defined. In 2013, the strategic affairs ministry was given responsibility for addressing BDS.

“Not only was there no cooperation between the new [ministry] and the Foreign Ministry, but there was an active power struggle between the two over responsibilities and resources,” the report said.

The Foreign Ministry has not had a full-time executive for the past year; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubles as the foreign minister.

The report also recommended an increase in funding for the ministry. Citing statistics from a May meeting of the Knesset subcommittee on foreign affairs and public diplomacy, the Times of Israel reported that only about 8 percent of the Foreign Ministry’s annual budget is used for diplomatic activity, with the rest devoted to security and overhead costs.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israeli Foreign Ministry Failing in Fight Against BDS, Report Says

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close