Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan spoke on Tuesday to a group of US and Canadian IDF veterans participating in a two-day training seminar organized by Reservists on Duty, an anti-BDS group.
The initiative, code named “Project Gideon,” was launched in collaboration with the Lone Soldier Center and aims to enlist American IDF reservists to implement the principles and tactics employed by Reservists on Duty in their fight against BDS on university and college campuses across North America.
“When it comes to Hasbara, all options for final agreements are on the table for Israel,” Erdan said. “But without direct negotiations [with the Palestinians], no agreement can be reached.
“If you really want to build peace, then boycotts are the last thing that you need, because you are just pushing the two peoples apart.”
Erdan told the reservists, who will be flying to the US at the end of March to visit 10 campuses, that BDS groups have attempted to “seize and monopolize the discussion on human rights and use it as a weapon to delegitimize Israel.”
“Today we also have social media and smartphones, which are being used to disseminate lies and incite terrorism,” he said. “This is a campaign operating in a lot of arenas and using new technologies. The intention is to incite the next generation of Western countries on international campuses – a future threat that can turn into a strategic threat.”
Erdan said the government has finally realized, albeit a bit late, the importance of investing resources in the fight against delegitimization.