- Written by Ali Abunimah Ali Abunimah
- Published: 04 December 2017 04 December 2017
Key Israel lobby groups have conceded that they have failed to counter the Palestine solidarity movement, despite vastly increasing their spending. The admission is contained in a secret report that The Electronic Intifada has obtained.
The report, published here in full for the first time, outlines Israel’s failure to stem the “impressive growth” and “significant successes” of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.
It also sets out strategies, endorsed by the Israeli government, aimed at reversing the deterioration in Israel’s position.
But while calling for harsher measures against the Palestine solidarity movement, the report offers no new ideas to deal with how Israel is beset not by an image problem but a reality problem: its regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is increasingly viewed around the world as reprehensible and unsustainable, even by many of Israel’s defenders.
The report nevertheless identifies key concerns and likely targets of Israel’s propaganda planners.
Even while attempting to come up with a formula to defeat it, the report admits that the movement for Palestinian rights is based on “appealing and sophisticated” arguments which Israel has so far failed to match.
The “20X question”
The report is spurred by what it calls the “20X question” – the fact that pro-Israel groups have increased their spending to combat the Palestine solidarity movement twenty-fold over the last six years and yet despite these tens of millions of dollars, “results remain elusive.”
The existence of the report had been revealed in February by The Jewish Daily Forward.
It was prepared by the Anti-Defamation League and the Reut Institute, an Israeli think tank founded by former government adviser Gidi Grinstein, with the help of “experts” from Israel lobby groups and the Israeli goverment.
According to the Forward, Reut and the ADL were “only circulating print copies of the report” among selected pro-Israel operatives, and the newspaper had received it on condition that it not be published in its entirety.
The full document can be read below.
Key findings of the ADL-Reut report include:
Palestine solidarity activists can boast “significant successes,” including creating an “unfavorable zeitgeist around Israel” in many parts of the world.
The Palestine solidarity movement has “expanded from Europe to the US and many other locations worldwide” and has “deepened its alliances with major minority groups and social justice coalitions.”
Palestine solidarity has “migrated into mainstream left-wing parties in Europe” and “may be gaining traction” in the US.
Israel’s repeated wars in Gaza – in 2009, 2012 and 2014 – have “boosted” support for the “delegitimization” of Israel.
“The targeted boycott effort against Israel’s continued presence in the West Bank, and particularly the settlements, is gaining momentum.”
Most of the “collateral damage” being done to Israel by the BDS movement is a result of a growing “silent boycott” – groups, individuals and companies who make undeclared decisions to refrain from engaging with Israel, either because of their support for Palestinian rights, or simply to “avoid unnecessary problems and criticisms.”