Israel has launched a smear campaign against activists affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, labeling them “terrorists in suits”.
Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry launched the campaign this weekend with a series of posters depicting prominent BDS activists as “terrorists”, using the hashtag #TerroristsInSuits to smear the individuals’ professional credibility and the BDS movement as a whole.
— Rebel Voice (@RebelVoiceblog) February 4, 2019
Among the activists targeted were French-Palestinian activist and research at Adameer Salah Hamouri, general-director of Al-Haq Shawan Jabarin, and Palestinian icon Leila Khaled. In one image, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Rani Sourani is shown smiling in a suit, juxtaposed with an image of a man armed with a machine gun and clad in a kuffiyeh (traditional Palestinian headdress) in an image meant to portray his “terrorist” alter ego.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Israel’s Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, who said it “reveals the true nature and goals of the BDS movement and its connection to terrorism and antisemitism,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
— parekh (@parekh_time) February 3, 2019
“When people talk about the goals of the BDS movement, they don’t bother to read official statements from its leaders. If you do, it becomes clear that the goals of its leaders are the same as those of the leaders of Palestinian terror organizations. BDS rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within any borders. They want to see Israel wiped off the map. Promoting boycotts is [just] a different means to achieve this goal.”
Erdan has effectively waged war against BDS during his term as strategic affairs minister. In May 2017 Israel introduced a law blacklisting NGOs and forbidding entry visas and residency rights to foreign nationals who support BDS. Erdan has since been at the forefront of efforts to ban Spanish, Jewish-American and British activists and has also overseen the deportation of prominent human rights activists already stationed in Israel, including director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Omar Shakir.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)