Foreign Influence: How Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs Funded Lobbying & Extremism in the U.S.

Oct 1 2020


The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) invites you to attend

Foreign Influence: How Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs Funded Lobbying & Extremism in the U.S.

Full video of webinar available via Facebook (here – better quality) or via YouTube, below.

Thursday, October 1st

11am – 12:15 EDT


Itamar Benzaquen (The Seventh Eye)

Noa Landau (Ha’aretz)

Or Sadan (Movement for Freedom of Information) 


Lara Friedman (FMEP) 

Newly-released documents – revealed in The Forward, Ha’aretz, and The Seventh Eye – confirm longstanding suspicions that the Israeli government — via a hitherto opaque body known as the “Ministry of Strategic Affairs” (MSA) — has invested millions of dollars in advocacy and lobbying in countries around the world, including in the United States, with the goal of influencing laws and policies and strengthening organizations that act as standard bearers for the Israeli government line.

The documents show that Israel’s investments in the U.S. include direct funding to train advocates and promote laws targeting boycotts of Israel and settlements. The documents also lay out how the MSA established a special vehicle to deliver such funding, for the express purpose of circumventing scrutiny under the U.S. law known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

To discuss these issues, as well as other matters related to MSA efforts in the U.S. and around the world, join Lara Friedman from the Foundation for Middle East Peace for a conversation with Or Sadan of the Movement for Freedom of Information (MFI) and Itamar Benzaquen of The Seventh Eye; together, MFI and The Seventh Eye secured the release of these blockbuster documents. Also joining is Noa Landau, diplomatic reporter at Ha’aretz, who has long reported on the MSA and who covered the documents extensively.


Itamar Benzaquen (BAZ) is an investigative reporter on The Seventh Eye, an independent magazine that covers the media sphere: journalism, new media, propaganda, transparency, online privacy and more. One of the projects he spearheaded was uncovering the activities and money trail of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and its affiliated NGOs.

Noa Landau is Haaretz’s diplomatic reporter, who covers Israel’s foreign relations, and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. Prior to this, she served as head of the news department and editor of Haaretz English Edition. Before joining Haaretz, Landau worked as a news reporter and editor for Galei-Tzahal, Channel 10 and Maariv. She is also an Advisory Board member at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where she studied the rise of gag orders in Israel. 

Or Sadan is a lawyer with the Movement for Freedom of Information. He is a Clinical Instructor in the Clinic for Freedom of Information at Striks Law School, the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion, Israel. 


Lara Friedman is the president of FMEP and a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer. With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Friedman is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad.


Resources shared during the webinar include: 

Israel Set Up a Front Company to Boost Image and Fight BDS. This Is How It Failed, by Noa Landau, 7/29/2020

How the Flagship Project of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs Failed, by Itamar BZ (Hebrew), 7/29/2020

U.S. Pro-Israel Groups Failed to Disclose Grants from the Israeli Government, by Aiden Pink, 8/31/2020

Israel Approved Grant to Tennessee Anti-Muslim “Hate Group,” by Aiden Pink, 8/31/2020

Think tank Failed to Disclose Six Figure Grant from Israeli Government, by Aiden Pink, 8/31/2020

The American Money Behind the “Mass Consciousness Activities” of the Israeli Government, by Itamar BZ (Hebrew), 9/26/2018

Israeli Government Teams Up with Far-Right Jewish Funders for Anti-BDS Effort, by Josh Nathan-Kazis, 9/26/2018

Did this Pro-Israel Superstar Work as a Secret Agent on College Campuses? by Aiden Pink, 10/23/2018

Jewish Groups Reject Israel Funding for Fear of Being Branded Foreign Agents, by Josh Nathan-Kazis, 5/29/2018

Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist: These are the 20 Groups Whose Members Will Be Denied Entry, by Noa Landau, 1/16/2018

Inside the Clandestine World of Israel’s ‘BDS-busting’ Ministry by Uri Blau, 9/26/2017

How an App Funded by Sheldon Adelson is Covertly Influencing the Online Conversation about Israel, by Ishmael N. Daro, 9/20/2018