In Haaretz’s lengthy interview with B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad, he described an organization that operates primarily in the international realm, inviting the United Nations and European governments to pressure Israel. Within Israel, B’Tselem is on the fringes, openly rejecting cooperation with vital democratic institutions, including the courts and the army’s investigatory bodies, that El-Ad accuses of being complicit in “the occupation.”
El-Ad and B’Tselem, after being unable to convince the Israeli public to accept their views, have elected to go outside, by lobbying European governments and the UN to impose their views on the Israeli people (and the Palestinians, for that matter).
In an age of political polarization, the disdain and radicalization of El-Ad’s B’Tselem, aided by distant and unaccountable European officials, have become par for the course. Making demands are much easier than offering anything of value or a constructive way forward.