Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy has launched a global campaign to counter the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and other efforts at anti-Israel propaganda and delegitimization.
“The state of Israel is under constant attack by de-legitimizers working to demonize Israel online and undermine our legitimacy as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said. “For this reason, I am initiating an international effort to unite Israel’s supporters around the globe and provide them with a platform that strengthens their activities, with tools that will help all of us fight hatred together and with resources to spread the truth.”
The Israeli government began its 4IL campaign by going live Sunday, June 4, with the website www.4il.org.il/eng, which offers videos, graphics, articles and other corrective content because “every two minutes, a new lie about Israel is spread online.”
At the same time, the Israeli American Council and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya launched the Act.il app and website, which provide simple but effective online tasks for anyone who wishes to stand up for Israel. These tasks take less than two minutes a day to complete, but their impact is wide-ranging.
The free Act.il app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The 4IL campaign was kicked off in New York with a series of events, beginning with the Celebrate Israel Parade along Fifth Avenue, an annual event that began in 1965. The parade, hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, drew more than 40,000 people while marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
About 100 people representing organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow demonstrated against and attempted to disrupt the parade, arguing that it showed support for occupation. Some protesters targeted exchange programs between American and Israeli police; others accused Israel of apartheid.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Erdan led the parade, which included Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, as many as nine Knesset members, members of Congress and other elected officials.
A ceremony launching 4IL took place during the afternoon’s Celebrate Israel Festival, and 4,000 members of the Jewish and Israeli communities completed the first task of the campaign, dedicated to the city of Jerusalem.
Erdan presented 4IL to the next generation of pro-Israel activists during the IAC Dor Chadash Rooftop Party for Young Professionals.
The campaign launched simultaneously in the United States and Israel and soon will spread to Europe and other countries.
The intention is to create an online community to combat online lies, boycott calls and delegitimization efforts targeting Israel.
“We believe that this will be a game-changer in defending Israel online and around the world,” Erdan said.
Leading the public diplomacy campaign are former beauty queen Titi Aynaw and “Greenhouse” actress Ariel Mortman. A video featuring the two women will encourage people in the United States and Israel to join the movement.