A civil facade in which Israel disguises itself to promote its lies What do we know about “Kella Shlomo”? : Amal Rantisi (trt) A civil facade in which Israel disguises itself to promote its lies What do we know about “Kella Shlomo”? : Amal Rantisi (trt)

A civil facade in which Israel disguises itself to promote its lies What do we know about “Kella Shlomo”? : Amal Rantisi (trt)

A civil facade in which Israel disguises itself to promote its lies What do we know about “Kella Shlomo”? : Amal Rantisi (trt)

As protests continue in the West against the war in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government is seeking to restore support in its favor by allocating millions of dollars to wide-ranging programs aimed at countering the Palestinian narrative and reprojecting Israel's positive image in the West.
An extensive report by the British newspaper “The Guardian” on June 24 revealed that Israeli Minister of Social Equality Amichai Shekli led a campaign directed at Israel’s critics, based on “evidence showing that Israel has relaunched a controversial entity as part of a broader public relations campaign to target American universities and restore, Definition of anti-Semitism in American law.

The entity is the company or association "Kila Shlomo" (Shlomo's Slingshot), designed to carry out what Israel called "mass awareness activities" targeting, to a large extent, the United States and Europe.

What is "Kella Shlomo"?

The Israeli government's program to influence Western audiences was initially known as Kela Shlomo's Slingshot, then became known as Concert, and then as Voices of Israel. The company engages in campaigns designed to counter what it sees as "rising hostility toward Israel in the United States."

According to the Times of Israel website, Kela Shlomo is a public benefit corporation established in 2017 to raise and allocate funds to help protect Israel from those who seek to “demonize and delegitimize it,” as it claims.

The British newspaper The Guardian, in its latest report, said that in November, just weeks after the war on the Gaza Strip, the “reckless minister” in the Likud Party, Amichai Shekli, was summoned to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) to inform legislators of what could be done regarding the escalation of hostility towards Israel, i.e. Anti-war protests by youth across the United States, especially at elite universities.

Shikli told lawmakers in the Knesset: “I have said it before, and I will say it again now, and I believe that we, especially in the United States, should be on the offensive.”

Since then, Shekli has led a campaign to confront Israel's critics, and the Guardian has uncovered evidence showing how Israel relaunched the controversial entity Concert as part of a wider PR campaign to target universities and redefine anti-Semitism.

The Israeli minister assured lawmakers that new money was in the budget for this deterrence campaign, which was separate from traditional public relations and paid advertising content produced by the government, adding that the campaign included 80 programs being implemented for advocacy efforts “that will be implemented in the manner of a Concert program.”

Concert, now known as Voices of Israel, previously worked with groups leading the anti-BDS campaign to pass laws in every state in the United States that would punish Americans who participate in boycotts. Or other non-violent protests against Israel, according to what the Guardian newspaper reported.

The latest findings from this program are part of a "hard-line and secretive" operation by the Israeli government to respond to student protests, human rights organizations and other opposition voices.

During the period from October to last May, Shikli oversaw at least 32 million shekels, or about 8.6 million dollars, spent on the Israeli government’s efforts to “reframe the public debate” and attempt to promote the Israeli narrative.

Promotion and advertising operations

In this regard, the researcher in Israeli affairs, Abdel Qader Badawi, explains that the association or company “Kela Shlomo”, which has taken more than one name over the past ten years and has been affiliated with more than one government ministry, is practically “representing the Israeli government but in civilian garb”, as the association helps in the “Hasbara” process and Israeli promotion and propaganda to confront all the processes of delegitimizing Israel or confronting the “BDS” movement.

In an interview with TRT Arabic, Badawi said that the association, which was founded in 2017, changed its name in the recent period. In the beginning, it was called “Shlomo’s Slingshot.” ​​At the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, a new association or company was founded under the name “Concert,” but It is a continuation of the same company, as it was established at the initiative of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, in which Minister Gilad Erdan held the position of minister, and today he holds the position of Israel's representative to the United Nations.

This association or company aimed to recruit organizations and influencers through various media platforms and social networks, in order to stand in solidarity with Israel and stand by it in the media and digital space, and also to fight and delegitimize all anti-Israel campaigns, according to Al-Badawi.

He points out that this project was aimed at disseminating Israeli government propaganda, but in civilian clothing and with bodies being presented to the global public as civilian bodies, and this was aimed at overcoming two issues or dilemmas. The first is that registering the association as a governmental association would have put an end to its American donations in view of American laws.

The second dilemma is that there was a perception at the official level in Israel, specifically among the right-wing elites, that the official spokesmen for the Israeli government or even the official representatives of Israel could not achieve the desired effect in the public space and influence the Western citizen, and therefore the perception was that it would be better to carry out Operation Hasbara. The Israeli government is an ordinary citizen, not a government official, by pushing for the passage of Israel’s governmental political agenda.

But Al-Badawi confirms that “this project failed miserably because, according to the official Israeli narrative and some documents revealed by some human rights centers in Israel, the association failed to raise the required sums of money, as Shlomo Sling failed to raise the required or approved sum of 128 million shekels through foreign donations, on the condition that the Israeli government would provide them with the same sum if they succeeded in raising this sum.”

He adds that there were accusations between the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Shlomo Slingshot in the task of collecting donations, as the latter accused the ministry of not transferring the required budgets and causing serious damage to the entire project, which led to the project stopping completely. It is worth noting that Shlomo's Slingshot received funding worth 7.3 million shekels from the Central Fund of Israel, an American fund involved in financing right-wing associations and organizations in Israel.

What role have you played since October 7th?

Badawi confirms that, according to data and investigations, since the beginning of the war, the company’s work has focused on spreading the false Israeli narrative and lies about the events of last October 7, accusing the Palestinians and the Hamas movement of committing crimes including sexual crimes and killing children, and all the false Israeli narrative that was transmitted and broadcast via Different platforms.

He adds that this movement later moved to confront all the mass movements, specifically in the United States of America and in European countries, against Israel and its policies, the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, and demands to stop the war.

Then the movement moved on to lead smear operations against some political figures in the United States of America because of their positions on the war or against the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, in addition to launching smear campaigns against Palestinians among students, and accusing Arabs and Palestinians of enslaving blacks in Africa and other regions. Meaning, there was a broadcast of misleading messages through various social media outlets.

According to Al-Badawi, the association works through civil platforms that were able to buy many fake accounts on social media platforms and trustworthy accounts with huge sums of money.

He says: “The goal is to convey the Israeli narrative and work through some elites, influencers and some acceptable figures in these societies. In order to provide misleading information about the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, and to try to create legitimacy for this war and confront all campaigns of delegitimization and opposition to Israel and its criminal policy against the Palestinians, specifically in the Gaza Strip.”

The Guardian newspaper highlighted the role played by “Israel Voices” through one of the American advocacy groups that coordinates closely with the Shikley Ministry, the “Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Global Politics” (ISGAP), which was able to “achieve a strong victory” in a short time.

At a congressional hearing last December on alleged anti-Semitism among student anti-war demonstrators in Gaza, several Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives explicitly cited research from the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy in their questioning of university presidents.

The Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Politics continued to influence Congressional action on the grounds that the protests against Israel are motivated by anti-Semitism, and also participated in a campaign aimed at enacting new laws that redefine anti-Semitism, criminalizing certain forms of speech critical of Jews and Israel.

The Guardian newspaper reported that among other American groups linked to “Israel Voices” was the “National Council for Black Empowerment,” which published an open letter signed by black Democratic politicians pledging solidarity with Israel.

Another group also linked to Voices of Israel is CyberWell, a pro-Israel “anti-disinformation” group led by former Israeli military intelligence officials that has established itself as an official “trusted partner” for TikTok and Meta, helping both platforms. Social media organizations have to examine and edit content, as a recent report by CyberWell called on Meta to suppress the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be liberated.”

Likewise, CyberWell, a pro-Israel group, carried out a campaign that it claimed was “to combat media misinformation,” based on understandings between it and “Meta” and “Tik Tok.” A recent report by the group called “Meta,” which owns Facebook, to combat the slogan “From The river to the sea, Palestine will be liberated."

The Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" and the American "New York Times" recently revealed that Shekley's ministry used a public relations company to secretly pressure American lawmakers. The company also used hundreds of fake accounts that publish pro-Israel or anti-Muslim content on the X platform. ), Facebook, and Instagram.

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