Israel’s new coalition government is beginning to take shape and Gilad Erdan will have two roles. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has selected the outgoing Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs to become ambassador to the United Nations and the United States. In his previous role, Erdan led Israel’s fight against the BDS movement.
At a Jerusalem Post conference in New York last year, Erdan bragged about the Israeli effort to combat the BDS movement and took credit for inspiring U.S. states to adopt their own anti-BDS laws:
When I was charged with leading this fight, BDS leaders operated freely and were largely successful in disguising themselves as human rights organizations… We tore off their masks. We exposed their ties to terror, we exposed their deeprooted antisemitism, we exposed their opposition to peace, and we exposed of course their hypocrisy. They couldn’t care less about the real human rights violations, for example in Syria and Iran. All they care about is demonizing and delegitimizing the world’s only Jewish and democratic state…..Our efforts are producing results. 27 US states now have counter-BDS legislation. Let’s give a hand to all the governors and state legislators who supported this law. They deserve it.
At the conference, Erdan also called for even more aggressive anti-BDS policies to be implemented:
We need to take the fight against BDS to the next level. We must encourage investigations of terror-linked BDS groups and promote legislation that counters all forms of anti-Semitism including of course the anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel.
In 2017, Erdan said that his ministry wanted to create a database of Israelis that supported the BDS movement. “It is not at all surprising that Mr. Erdan and his government should spy on Israeli citizens, whether Jewish or Palestinian, or set up a database of those supporting BDS in order to target anyone working for the freedom, justice and equality of Palestinians,” said General Coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee Mahmoud Nawajaa at the time, “Support for the BDS movement has been growing around the globe in recent years, as more and more people recognize the brutal reality of Israel’s apartheid regime and nearly 50-year-old military occupation of Palestinian lands.”
Erdan also helped coordinate the move to bar Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from entering Israel last year.