• 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: 2012 annual budget of NIS 8,966,042 (latest available; accessed August 20, 2014). 
  • Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, B’Tselem received NIS 1,023,086 from foreign governmental bodies in the first quarter of 2014, NIS 5,541,998 in 2013, and 6,714,025 in 2012 (accessed August 20, 2014).
  • 2012-14 donors include: European Union, France, DanChurch Aid (Denmark), Diakonia (Sweden), Norway, Christian Aid Ireland, EED (Germany), UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services (US), World Vision, NDC (joint government funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), UK, the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund. (See chart below for detailed funding information). 
  • In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,381,969 to B’Tselem (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
  • 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 (amounts in NIS)

Donor 2014 2013 2012
EU 334,024 383,966 575,950
NDC   583,149 1,011,621
EED 111,957 523,788 1,192,609
Catholic Relief Services 427,105   281,737
DanChurch Aid   732,227 1,192,331
UNDP   717,358 151,120
UNICEF 150,000    
Diakonia   271,631 287,321
France   47,619  
UK   326,160 88,330
World Vision   70,351  

 

B'Tselem Further Reading: