Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer announced that, as a deliberate effort to snub the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, all of the holiday gifts he's sending will be from the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.
In a letter posted Monday on social media he writes: "This holiday season I decided to send a gift that would also help combat the latest effort by Israel's enemies to destroy the one and only Jewish state. That effort is called the BDS movement."
The BDS movement, started in 2005, demands that Israel comply with international law and uphold Palestinians' fundamental rights.
Dermer's letter calls BDS supporters "fanatics and fools [that] are simply promoting a new anti-Semitism," and says the campaign is an "effort to cast a beacon of freedom, tolerance and decency as a pariah state."
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The letter also describes as "unfair" and "shameful" the European Union's decision last month to label products from territories illegally occupied by Israel so they include the term "Israeli settlement."
The Telegraph reports that the letter accompanied gifts, which included wine, olive oil, halva, and body lotion, and were distributed to senior U.S. officials, members of Congress, and diplomats.
Dermer lobbied U.S. Congress vigorously to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, and is described as "Bibi's brain," a reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yochi Dreazen and Colum Lynch wrote at Foreign Policy earlier this year that "[i]n his current post, Dermer stands apart from the Washington diplomatic set, a source of envy among his counterparts, who can only marvel at his close access to Washington's power brokers."