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BETSELEM (B'TSELEM) Printer Friendly Page

Betselem: The Ambiguous Boundary Between Public Education and Political Activism
By NGO Monitor
October 4, 2003

NGO Monitor's Analysis of B'Tselem's Annual Report for 2007
By NGO Monitor
March 13, 2008

B'Tselem: Key Publications in 2007 Reveal Primacy of Political Campaigning Over Accuracy
By NGO Monitor
March 13, 2008

B'Tselem's Gaza Report - Ideology Instead of Facts
By NGO Monitor
March 13, 2008

In 2007, B'Tselem Casualty Count Doesn't Add Up
By Tamar Sternthal
September 4, 2008

Human Rights Group B’Tselem’s Statistics Are Far from Being Trustworthy
By Tamar Sternthal
September 24, 2008

Eleventh Plague Deadly to Israel
By John R. Houk
April 25, 2007

United Nations Human Rights Body Considers Divisive Report on Israel and Gaza
By Patrick Goodenough
September 29, 2009

Betrayed by Silence: NGOs Ignore Gilad Shalit´s Rights
By NGO Monitor
March 26, 2009

Norwegian NGO Funding: Boycotts and Apartheid Rhetoric instead of Peace and Coexistence
By NGO Monitor
March 12, 2009

EU and NIF-funded NGOs Lead Condemnations in Gaza Conflict
By NGO Monitor
December 31, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
October 7, 2008

Misguided 'Shooting Back' Puts Palestinian Kids in Danger
By Jim Hubbard
September 17, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
August 7, 2008

Israel to Destroy Attacker's Home
By BBC
July 4, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
July 3, 2008

Response to Nicolas Kristof's op-ed "The Two Israels"
By Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
June 23, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
June 5, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
May 7, 2008

Gush Shalom and B'Tselem 'Invent' Palestinian Victims
By Richard Landes
April 14, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
April 10, 2008

NGO Gaza Campaign as Prelude to the 2009 Durban Review Conference
By NGO Monitor
February 3, 2008

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
February 3, 2008

NGO Bias in Pre-Annapolis Political Statements on Gaza
By NGO Monitor
November 26, 2007

Adalah, ICAHD, and Other Political NGOs Promoted in University of Denver GSIS / Hebrew University "Human Rights" Program
By NGO Monitor
October 11, 2007

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
October 1, 2007

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
September 2, 2007

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
August 1, 2007

One on One: Occupational Hazards
By Ruthie Blum
July 18, 2007

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
July 2, 2007

"EU-Funded NGOs Lead Anti-Israel Events on Anniversary of 1967 War"
By NGO Monitor
June 5, 2007

NGO News in Brief
By NGO Monitor
May 30, 2007

World Bank Report on Palestinians Based on False NGO Reports and Anti-Israel Bias
By NGO Monitor
May 16, 2007

Claims in B'tselem/Hamoked Report Lack Credibility
By NGO Monitor
May 7, 2007

NGO Activity in Brief
By NGO Monitor
April 18, 2007

NGO Activity in Brief
By NGO Monitor
February 19, 2007

Norwegian Funding for Politicized NGOs
By NGO Monitor
January 4, 2007

B'Tselem's Annual Casualty Figures Questioned
By Tamar Sternthal
January 3, 2007

NGO Activity in Brief
By NGO Monitor
December 21, 2006

NGO Monitor Analysis Cited by UK Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Aid to Palestinian NGOs
By NGO Monitor
November 20, 2006

NGOs in the Lebanon War - Update 3
By NGO Monitor
August 9, 2006

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
By NGO Monitor
August 2, 2006

Gaza Crisis and NGO Responses
By NGO Monitor
July 17, 2006

NGO Activity in Brief
By NGO Monitor
July 17, 2006

NGOs Condemn Court Ruling on "Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law"
By NGO Monitor
June 12, 2006

Civilians in Cross-Hairs: What to Do?
By Susan Martin
May 24, 2006

Political Activities of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs - II
By NGO Monitor
May 16, 2006

B'Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) Accuse Israel of Violating Geneva Convention
By NGO Monitor
April 2006

Israeli State Prosecutor Recognises Bias of Israeli Human Rights NGOs, HaMoked and B'Tselem
By NGO Monitor
March 23, 2006

B'Tselem and Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
By NGO Monitor
March 23, 2006

IMRA Takes Issue With Betselem Casualty Figures
By NGO Monitor
January 15, 2005

B'Tselem and IDF: Unlikely Partners
By Liora Norwich
December 5, 2004

Betselem: Report Uses Outdated Sources and the Rhetoric of Demonization
By NGO Monitor
August 15, 2004

Summary of EU Funding of Politicized NGOs 
By NGO Monitor
April 22, 2004

Abuse of Palestinian Children
By NGO Monitor
March 31, 2004

 


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P.O. Box 53132
Jerusalem
91531
URL: Website
Betselem (B'tselem)'s Visual Map


  • Anti-Israel NGO


Betselem (alternately "B'Tselem"), which dubs itself "The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories," was established in 1989 by a group of academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. Betselem in Hebrew literally means "in the image of," and is taken from Genesis 1:27, which reads, "And God created humans in His image. In the image of God did He create him."

In Betselem's view, the state of Israel egregiously violates the injunction to treat people—in this case, the Palestinians, as though they were fashioned in the image of God. Therefore, Betselem's mission 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."

Toward this end, Betselem produces a large number of reports, published in both Hebrew and English, condemning Israel's purported human rights abuses. Originating from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, these reports are regularly cited by international NGOs such as Amnesty InternationalChristian Aid, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Human Rights Watch, and MIFTAH, as well as numerous Palestinian NGOs. Among the specific topics the reports address are the Separation Barrier under construction by Israel; the "Road Map to Peace"; Israeli medical personnel accused of being unresponsive to, and disrespectful of, Palestinians in need of their services; Israel's "punitive house demolitions"; "restrictions on movement" that prevent Palestinians from traveling freely; and Israeli "security force violence." In each case, Betselem's allegations of Israeli transgressions entirely ignore the context established by Palestinian terrorism.

To further disseminate its message, Betselem works extensively with the media, issuing press releases, accompanying journalists into the field, and giving interviews on the aforementioned topics -- efforts that have landed the organization's spokespeople hundreds of citations and appearances in the local and foreign press. Betselem also provides periodic updates to local policymakers and diplomats "on human rights developments in the Occupied Territories," and gives presentations to visiting foreign policymakers and delegations from around the world.

In contrast to other human rights NGOs that are based outside of Israel and thus have limited knowledge of the situation on the ground, Betselem is situated in Israel and its researchers speak both Hebrew and Arabic. The organization has a trilingual website that receives more than 1,500 visitors per day, and transmits a monthly email newspaper to some 8,500 subscribers.

Affiliated with blatantly anti-Israel political organizations such as the Palestine Center for Human Rights and Miftah, Betselem initiated a campaign in 2003 to deploy Israelis to IDF checkpoints to "document, intervene, and prevent human rights violations." These deployments frequently drew immense media attention.

Also in 2003, Betselem launched a major campaign against what it termed Israel's "siege policy," aiming to "raise awareness among the Israeli public and policymakers about the devastating effects of the checkpoints and roadblocks inside the West Bank."

The following year, Betselem released a music video titled "Eyes Wide Open," featuring performances by popular Israeli entertainers as a backdrop to film footage of alleged Israeli abuses that had occurred at West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints. Moreover, to coincide with the release of "a report on Israel's policy of punitive house demolitions," Betselem produced a video chronicling how Israel's demolition policy had harmed innocent children. More than 30,000 people viewed each of these videos on the Betselem website, and thousands more saw them in movie theaters across Israel.

In 2005 Betselem released four publications denouncing alleged Israeli injustices. They were titled: (a) Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable the Expansion of Israeli Settlements in the West Bank;  (b) Means of Expulsion: Violence, Harassment and Lawlessness Toward Palestinians in the Southern Hebron Hills; (c) Take No Prisoners: The Fatal Shooting of Palestinians by Israeli Security Forces during "Arrest Operations"; and (d) One Big Prison: Freedom of Movement to and from the Gaza Strip on the Eve of the Disengagement Plan.

Betselem has an impressive range of funders, including Christian Aid; the Commission of the European Communities; DanChurchAid; the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland; the Ford Foundation; the International Commission of Jurists; the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; the New Israel Fund; the Norwegian Foreign Ministry; Novib; and the Shefa Fund.


This profile is adapted, with permission, from the NGO Monitor
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