Ministry of Strategic Affairs
|המשרד לנושאים אסטרטגיים|
Emblem of Israel
|Jurisdiction||Government of Israel|
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs (Hebrew: המשרד לנושאים אסטרטגיים, HaMisrad LeNos'im Astrategi'im) is an Israeli government ministry. The ministry was created in 2006 for Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu party had just joined the governing coalition. Lieberman had demanded the Internal Security post, but at the time was under police investigation, and the post was already held by Avi Dichter. As a result, a new post and ministry were created, with the role of co-ordinating security, intelligence and diplomatic initiatives regarding Iran and other strategic threats, reporting to Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. Lieberman left the government on 18 January 2008, and the ministry was closed down in April 2008. In 2009, it was resurrected and repurposed under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It is currently headed by Orit Farkash-Hacohen.
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs believes that state propaganda is less effective in persuading the public than institutions and individuals perceived as independent of the state. For this reason, the Ministry created a “network” of domestic and international organizations to advance the state's "message." Starting in summer 2017, the ministry launched an ILS 7 million campaign to influence major Israeli newspapers, including Yedioth Ahronoth and The Jerusalem Post. The Ministry secretly gave millions of dollars to large circulation Hebrew-language and English-language newspapers in exchange for advertising, news articles providing "favorable coverage" of the state's anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign, "softball questions" asked to state officials in interviews for publication, and newspaper conferences in which a video produced by the state was screened and state officials presented. Thereafter, the Jerusalem Post published many articles and opinion pieces regarding the “links between BDS and anti-Semitism.” The newspaper and the Ministry denied any connection between the funding provided by the Ministry and the articles.
List of ministers
|#||Minister||Party||Government||Term start||Term end||Notes|
|1||Avigdor Lieberman||Yisrael Beiteinu||31||30 October 2006||18 January 2008|
|2||Ehud Olmert||Kadima||31||18 January 2008||13 April 2008||Serving Prime Minister|
|3||Moshe Ya'alon||Likud||32||31 March 2009||18 March 2013|
|4||Yuval Steinitz||Likud||33||18 March 2013||14 May 2015|
|5||Ze'ev Elkin||Likud||34||14 May 2015||25 May 2015|
|6||Gilad Erdan||Likud||34||25 May 2015||17 May 2020|
|7||Orit Farkash-Hacohen||Blue and White||35||17 May 2020|
- Gov't shuts down Strategic Affairs Ministry The Jerusalem Post, 13 April 2008
- Security and Defense: Who's in charge of whom and over what? The Jerusalem Post, 2 April 2009
- +972 Magazine, 14 Jan. 2020 "Israeli Ministry Paying for Anti-BDS Propaganda in Major News Outlets: The Strategic Affairs Ministry, which is Leading the International Campaign against BDS, Is Buying Space in Mainstream Israeli Newspapers to Promote its Messages under the Guise of Published Articles"; Original Hebrew-language article on "Seventh Eye" website published 19 Dec. 2019