BDS IN THE PEWS
November 19, 2013
- Website: www.btselem.org
- Established in 1989 by “a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members,” largely from the Meretz and Labor Parties.
- States that it “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.”
- Funding: Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, B’Tselem received NIS 2,215,123 from foreign governmental bodies in the first three quarters of 2013.
- 2012 Donors include: Norway, European Union, NGO Development Center (Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland), Germany (EED), ICCO (Netherlands), Diakonia (Sweden), Trocaire, United Nations Development Programme, United Kingdom, Christian Aid, and the Ford Foundation.
- In 2008-2012, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,274,921 to B’Tselem (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
- Actively pursues its political agenda in the Israeli courts and the Knesset.
- Has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics.
- Accuses Israel of “apartheid,” perpetrating “war crimes,” “beating and abus[ing]” Palestinians, “demolition of [Palestinian] houses as punishment,” and forced “deportations.”
- On May 9, 2013, issued a 30-page report headlined “Human Rights Violations during Operation Pillar of Defense 14-21 November 2012,” together with an accompanying press release. The claims in the press release, however, were inconsistent with the actual report, creating misleading perceptions in the media that the Israeli military, among other allegations, “violated International Humanitarian Law.”
- On January 14, 2009, issued a press release “An Israeli Call for Urgent Humanitarian Action In Gaza,” accusing Israel of “grave violations of international humanitarian law,” “wanton use of lethal force,” and “disproportionate harm to civilians,” completely disregarding Israeli security concerns and Hamas’ indiscriminate terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
- Departing CEO Jessica Montell has said: “I think the word apartheid is useful for mobilizing people because of its emotional power. In some cases, the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid in South Africa.”
- In April 2010, staff member and NGO activist Lizi Sagie resigned after the organization came under pressure for statements made on her personal blog, including: “The IDF Memorial Day is a pornographic circus of glorifying grief and silencing voices,” “Israel is committing Humanity’s worst atrocities...Israel is proving its devotion to Nazi values...Israel exploits the Holocaust to reap international benefits.”
Foreign donations based on reports to Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits in 2013 (amounts in NIS)
|Catholic Relief Services
|United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
|NGO Development Centre (NDC)
- B'Tselem Acknowledges Inability to Assess Palestinian Allegations, NGO Monitor Reports, May 9, 2013
- IDF Response to B'Tselem on Crowd Control Weapons, January 31, 2013
- The B'Tselem Witch Trials, Noah Pollak, Commentary, May 2011
- B'Tselem: Human Rights and Terrorism, NGO Monitor Press Release, June 14, 2010
- B´Tselem Accepts BDS Money: Behind the "Bubbes and Zaydes" Façade, NGO Monitor Reports, November 4, 2010
- Calculating Civilian Conflict Fatalities: A Demographic Analysis of Palestinian Conflict Fatalities during the al-Aqsa Intifada (29 September 2000 to 26 December 2008), Jordan Birenbaum
- B’Tselem’s One-Way Looking Glass, NGO Monitor Reports, January 7, 2010
- Lizi Sagie (B'tselem/Missawa/CWP) Compares Israel to Nazis, NGO Monitor Press Release, April 19, 2010
- B'tselem and PCHR Reports on Gaza War Casualties Are Not Credible, NGO Monitor Press Release, September 9, 2009
- Comments on B’Tselem’s Civilian Casualty Estimates in Operation Cast Lead, Professor Elihu D Richter MD MPH and Dr. Yael Stein MD, September 14, 2009
- B'tselem's Gaza Report- Ideology Instead of Facts, NGO Monitor Reports, March 13, 2008