May 08, 2011
- Website: www.btselem.org
- B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was 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.” B’Tselem does not report on human rights violations within Israel.
- In 2006-2009, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $897,007 to B’Tselem (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
- Main funders include: the EU; the governments of Holland, Norway, and the UK (£135,000 in 2010-11); church groups Christian Aid (UK), DanChurchAid, Diakonia (Sweden) and others; and Ford Foundation. In 2007, B’Tselem’s budget was 7.8 million shekels (approx. $2 million; information received from the Israeli Registry of Non-Profits.)
- B’Tselem’s reports are repeated by international NGO superpowers such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Palestinian NGOs. B’Tselem also presses its political agenda actively in the Israeli courts and the Knesset.
- B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics (including casualty lists). Relies on statistics and reports of other NGOs, despite the political agendas and credibility problems of these other groups.
- B’Tselem categorizes suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians as “war crimes” and “a grave breach of the right to life,” according to international humanitarian law.
Regularly minimizes Israeli security concerns, and ignores the fact that checkpoints, for example, have been instrumental in preventing attacks against civilians within Israel.
- CEO Jessica Montell: “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, B’Tselem 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.”
- B’Tselem Chair of the Board Oren Yiftachel has been criticized for calling for sanctions against Israel and his support for the Palestinian “right of return.”
- IDF Response to B'Tselem on Crowd Control Weapons, January 31, 2013
- The B'Tselem Witch Trials, Noah Pollak, Commentary, May 2011
- Ynet Does B'Tselem's Work Instead of Its Own, CAMERA, March 1, 2011
- Agents of Influence, Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2011
- 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, January 7, 2010
- 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