B’Tselem’s stated aim is to "document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel." On its website, its listed donors include Christian Aid (UK), European Commission, DanChurchAid, Diakonia (Sweden), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland , Ford Foundation, International Commission of Jurists – Swedish Section, New Israel Fund, Norwegian Foreign Ministry and Trocaire.
B’Tselem’s file at the Israeli Ministry of Justice’s regulatory body for nonprofit organizations (Rasham Ha-Amutot) declares the following donations in 2006 (this is the most current information available, the list is not exhaustive):
- €100,000 from the European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy (EIDHR),
- Two grants worth €54,000 and €164,090 from the European Commission
- CHF 99,983 (or 349,728 NIS) from the Swiss department of Foreign Affairs,
- $45,961 (or 193,167 NIS) from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry,
- $5,000 (or 23,000 NIS) from The New Israel Fund.
- Two separate donations from the Ford Foundation:
- $100,000 (or 449,500 NIS), to be spent over 2006 and 2007
- $24,774 (or 115,000 NIS) for use in 2006.
NGO Monitor’s analyses of two key B’Tselem publications in 2007, demonstrate the NGO’s dubious methodology, its misuse of international legal terms, and selective reporting in order to promote a political agenda:
Summary: B’Tselem’s lengthy 2007 Annual Report (47 pages in Hebrew and 54 pages in the English version) reflects this NGO’s dubious methodology, its misuse of international legal terms, and selective reporting in order to promote a political agenda. Many of the factual allegations are anecdotal and unverifiable, based on inconsistent methodology, contradictory claims, and the intra-Palestinian violence is given very limited attention. However, B’tselem is has also increased its condemnation of suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, calling these actions "war crimes" and "a grave breach of the right to life", according to international humanitarian law.
Read NGO Monitor’s report
Summary: B’Tselem’s summer 2007 booklet "The Gaza Strip – One Big Prison" paints a picture of Israel as an aggressor and occupier with full control of the Gaza Strip, that does not perform its humanitarian responsibility to the Palestinians and imprisons them in their own land. To its credit, B’Tselem has occasionally included the context of terror and acknowledged Israel’s security concerns, but its selective choice of facts, disproportionate focus, and the use of one-sided photographs, demonstrates the primacy it places on ideological campaigning over accuracy.
Read NGO Monitor’s report