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Who Is Helping Israel's 'Cyber War' Against The BDS Movement?

Israel Defense's Cybertech Conference Focuses On Countering Pro-Palestinian Internet Activism

by Daniel Johnson

The website heading
The website heading
Cybertech's sponsers list features many well known logos...
Cybertech's sponsers list features many well known logos...
Sponsers for the Canadian Cybertech Conference in Toronto, Dec. 2015
Sponsers for the Canadian Cybertech Conference in Toronto, Dec. 2015

According to it's official website, "Cybertech is the most significant conference and exhibition of cyber technologies outside of the United States."

The main event is held in Tel Aviv, Israel, but there are spin off events in Canada, the US and Singapore.

A quick glance at the different event websites tells us that all of the Cybertech Conferences, including the event in Canada that ran on December 9, 2015 in Toronto, are run by the State Of Israel Foreign Affairs, and the Tel Aviv event is run by Israel Defense. The Canadian conference was also sponsered by the Government Of Ontario, the City Of Toronto, Israeli Aerospace Industries and several companies. 

The website description of the main event continues;

"Cybertech provided attendees with a unique and special opportunity to get acquainted with the latest innovations and solutions featured by the international cyber community. The conference's main focuses are on networking, strengthening alliances and forming new connections. Cybertechalso provided an incredible platform for Business to Business interaction."

The conference brought together many of the world's leading multi-national corporations, in addition to many  private and corporate investors, venture capital firms and more.

But there was another side to to the Cybertech 2016 conference.

There are many business conferences around the world, centered on various industries, organized by governments, but the focus of government officials speaking at those events is usually related to increasing investment, offering support, etc.

Corporations often use these events to lobby governments for changes that benefit their industry, it's not often that governments organize such conferences to lobby businesses. 

But Cybertech 2016 in Tel Aviv was all about mobilizing the industry leaders to help Israel in defending it's image abroad, especially coming in the wake of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's recent criticism of Isreali policies. 

Major speakers included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Eviatar Matania, who is Head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau. 

Israel's Minister Of Security and Internal Affairs, Gilad Erdan, was very much involved in the conference, though not as a featured speaker. During the conference, Erdan did an interview where he outlined Israel's online strategy against the Boycott Divestment And Sanctions (BDS) movement, stating “BDS should be forced to defend themselves and not to attack Israel,". 

He said that Israel would be investing more than 100 million shekels ($25 million) for its "electronic war" against the BDS movement. 

In a speech at the conference, the head of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, General Amos Yadlin, said: "The most dangerous country in the Middle East is the state of Facebook.", and in reference to many North American university campus BDS and pro-Palestinian groups, bemoaned the fact that "Those who will lead the United States in 20 years’ time are learning today in universities where anti-Israel propaganda exists.”

The list of sponsers is extensive, and many well known logos are on it. 


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