Israel announced that it intended to "restrict these online activists’ circle of influence..so activists think their message is reaching others when in fact it is being contained", according to Elad Ratson of Israel’s Foreign Ministry at a cybersecurity forum in January 2016. The move was in response to the growing BDS movement
Thousands of full-time staff in Israel - one estimate in the Hebrew language media suggests over 6,000 - are organised to harass, damage and impede the activites of BDS campaigners, backed by a huge budget allocation from the Israeli government. Evidence is increasingly emerging of Israel's powerful cyber capability working just as Ratson threatened.
SPSC emailings to supporters are being surreptitiously blocked to prevent most - but not all - reaching their intended recipients. While snipers kill Palestinians peacefully demonstrating for their legally enshrined rights to return, thousands of Israeli keyboards reach into our computers to reduce the effectiveness of our efforts to build solidarity with the Palestinian people.
We can't rule out the possibility that the same tactic is being used with some Facebook messages..
The most recent email that was substantially blocked by an external hand is a call to support the forthcoming series of talks by Prof Andrew Ross on the lives and struggles of Palestinian workers under Israeli occupation and apartheid. We need your help to fight this cyber-attack. Please share widely:
There is no point in getting angry at Israel's dirty tricks, whether it be smearing opponents as racists, £1m from the Israeli Embassy to Labour Friends of Israel for the smear campaign, Friends of Israel groups getting Palestine supporters turned back at Tel Aviv airport or, now, blocking our communications or reaching into our computers. They said they would.
Save outrage for the crimes they commit in Palestine with support from Johnson, Patel and Co, and Tom Watson. The question is how to respond; since we don't have the funds they have, we need to organise to counteract these attacks, which will only increase.
One effective response is to communicate on multiple channels, using various means to ensure a message gets through when it is blocked on one channel.
Wherever you are reading this - please
- bookmark, use and share the material on the SPSC website www.scottishpsc.org.uk
- sign up here for a monthly email from SPSC (after we deal with Israel'sblocking attack).
- 'like' the SPSC National Facebook page to be notified of important developments
- 'like' the SPSC Facebook page for your own local Government area, e.g. Shetland or Dumfries & Galloway and all points in between.
- Follow SPSC on Twitter @scottishpsc
- join a low-volume WhatsApp list and sms list for occasional notifications
Details will be posted here shortly
- Pick up the phone to discuss how you can help in your locality - Mick 0795 800 2591
We need to repond to these attacks - join the fightback.