Palestinian terror organizations, such as Hamas and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), have infiltrated civil society organizations in recent years in order to advance the boycott of Israel as part of the overall strategy of its struggle against Israel, according to a new report.
According to the report, titled Terrorists in Suits, by the Ministry for Strategic Affairs, headed by Gilad Erdan, a recent study examined 13 international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions movement) organizations and found 30 terror activists, past and current, twenty of whom were in prison and some of them murderers and senior terrorists with senior positions in the BDS organizations.
The report, conducted by the research division of the ministry, was released in several languages and will be sent to world leaders and global financial players in order to better combat the BDS organizations.
The report states that Israeli courts have labeled some of the activists as posing significant danger to the public. It further noted that terror organizations view BDS as an additional tactic to be used for the destruction of Israel and that the civil organizations serve as an incubator for their activities.
The report points to a web of global interconnections between BDS and terror organizations. More than 100 connections were identified including joint campaigns, manpower and financial assistance.
The report found that convicted terrorists, who maintain their organizational, financial and operative connections with terror groups, serve in senior positions in BDS organizations while trying to keep a low profile by, among other methods, using titles such as journalist, author, dancer, etc.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) views itself as leading the global BDS campaign. Its cultural and academic arms aggressively advance cultural boycotts and often resort to violence and intimidation against cultural entities that maintain ties with Israel, according to the report.
The BNC includes nationalist and Islamic members including members of Hamas and the PFLP. Recently, following information conveyed by the ministry, the crowdfunding site DonorBox blocked the BNC from using its platform to collect donations.
As an example: the Palestinian “human rights” organization al-Haq is headed by convicted PFLP terrorist Shawan Jabarin. The report states that Jabarin travels Europe gaining legitimacy from western governments and raises large amounts of money for BDS operations against Israel while being lauded as a human rights advocate.
The report also points to Leila Khaled, the female PFLP terrorist who took part in the hijacking of a TWA airliner in 1969 and was also involved in a 1970 attempt to hijack an El Al plane. Khaled promotes and raises money for BDS while still active in illegal terror organizations.
The report describes a meeting between Khaled and another PFLP terrorist Mustafa Awad at the EU Parliament. They were there advocating for the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons under the auspices of a human rights organization. Awad was sentenced to one year in prison last July for membership in a terror organization including contacts with Hezbollah.
The BDS organizations listed in the report receive millions of Euros in funding from European countries and philanthropic foundations. They also receive access to banking and financial services.
In light of the release of the report, Minister Erdan said: “The terrorist and boycott organizations are united in their goal of destroying Israel and see de-legitimization and boycotts against Israel as a complementary means to the armed struggle. I expect that following the exposure of the ties between the boycott organizations and the terrorist organizations, the European Union and the sponsoring countries will reconsider their steps regarding the legitimacy and funding they grant BDS organizations."