In the article “IDF Recognizes Help From Israeli Human Rights Group,” (Nathan Jeffay, The Forward, July 14, 2010) my detailed assessment of B’Tselem was greatly simplified and highly distorted. As I told Nathan Jeffay in our lengthy discussion of this issue, the IDF Advocate General relied on B’Tselem for the limited task of identifying and interviewing Palestinians involved in the relevant incidents.
This does not constitute an endorsement of B’tselem’s main activities, the publications, promotion of the Goldstone report (including the lobbying office in Washington) or its dominant political agenda, and the bias that results. In this interview, I also noted the need to examine the testimony at the forthcoming trials in these cases, in comparison with the reports published by B’Tselem. In the past, B’Tselem has included members of terror groups under the category of civilians, erased evidence that is inconsistent with the political bias, and has repeated unverifiable claims by Palestinians. Unfortunately, all of these points were not included in this article.
Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
President, NGO Monitor