By Asa Winstanley | 25 June 2019
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs is dedicated to a global “war” against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.
To conceal its involvement, the ministry has admitted to working through front groups that “do not want to expose their connection with the state.”
The troll army Act.IL is one of many such groups. It focuses on spreading Israeli propaganda online.
What does it do with its million dollar budget?
Act.IL is run by a former Israeli spy who has argued that his outfit is involved in “a new kind of war.”
While Act.IL publicly denies being supported by the Israeli government, the group’s chief executive has admitted in Hebrew to working closely with Israeli ministries, and in English that his staff are mostly former Israeli spies.
His name is Yarden Ben Yosef. Last year, he explained his group’s methods in an article for a journal aimed at Israeli diplomats. He lamented that – in Gaza that May – “the Palestinian narrative prevailed in world media over the Israeli one.”
Israeli snipers had massacred more than 60 unarmed Palestinian protesters on a single day during the Great March of Return protests, injuring thousands more.
Ben Yosef advocated for “inserting ourselves” into online discussions, because readers nowadays see the comments section under articles published by websites as part of the story. […]