B’Tselem Defiant on Security Council Appearance

YERUSHALAYIM -

The left-wing B’Tselem rights group has defied condemnations from senior Israeli officials over its acceptance of an invitation to speak at the U.N. Security Council where its representatives will present its case against Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented on Sunday, saying, “How do I define B’Tselem. A disgrace! That’s how I define B’Tselem,” he said during a media conference in Yerushalayim.

U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon accused the organization of “cooperating with Israel’s enemies.”

“B’Tselem, which has proved in the past that it cooperates with Israel’s enemies, is doing it this time with a nation that has called IDF soldiers ‘murderers.’ This is not only shameful for the organization but a crossing of red lines by foreign countries with an anti-Israeli agenda,” Danon said.

In response, the group’s executive director Hagai El-Ad said “I am going to talk about the reality in the territories” in Yehudah and Shomron.

B’Tselem also issued a statement, vowing that it “will continue to document the reality of occupation which the government is trying so hard to conceal.”

This will not be El-Ad’s first time at the Security Council. In 2016, he urged the U.N. to take action against the Jewish presence in Yehudah and Shomron, and denounced the “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave.”

Last April, a B’Tselem call for Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to shoot at Palestinians engaged in violent activity at the Gaza border drew a sharp response from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

He said he asked the attorney general to investigate them.

“This subversive and marginal organization, together with haters of Israel and the international media, are trying to delegitimize our soldiers, whose behavior is both legal and moral in an extremely complex situation,” Liberman said. “We will put an end to this.”