Political, Ideological Approach of Hagai El-Ad at B'Tselem
- Hagai El-Ad became Executive Director of B’Tselem in June 2014, after six years in that position at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). In a blog post written at the end of his tenure at ACRI, he articulated his “hope for civil society in Israel”: “together with an enhanced sense of strength new, bolder strategies will be acted upon, withstanding the to-be-expected backlash. It will take nothing less to impact significant change where current policies most prevent it.”
- Specific to B’Tselem, El-Ad wrote, “I believe that the struggle against the prolonged occupation is critical; that clearly for that aim B’Tselem is critically important; and that to this end I want to dedicate my skills, together with the great team at B’Tselem, in the coming years.”
- The centrality of political activism and opposition was seen in an email from El-Ad to B’Tselem’s supporters, early during the conflict (July 14). He emphasized that “As missiles ‘knock on the roof’, little room is left among the Israeli public to allow for criticism of government policy. Yet the missiles don’t merely “knock” on the roofs; they bring death and destruction. This means that now, more than ever, is the time for us to document, analyze and voice dissent.” (emphasis added).
- Another example of oppositional politics and “bolder strategies” was B’Tselem’s cynical and immoral campaign “Hitching a ride” (launched June 22), condemning Israel’s efforts to find the three kidnapped (and murdered) teenagers … B’Tselem accused Israel of exploiting the deep concern for the abducted teens” to “implement sweeping actions which intensify harm to the human rights of Palestinians.” The campaign featured a poster with pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon – highlighting the partisan, political agenda under the façade of human rights.
Click here to read NGO Monitor’s analysis on B’Tselem’s Callous and Tasteless Campaign on the Kidnapping Operation.