(October 15, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a conference of Christian media gathered in Israel on Sunday night that the anti-Israeli army group B’Tselem is a “disgrace,” ahead of the group’s leader addressing the U.N. Security Council this week.
In response to a question by Israel Hayom editor-in-chief Boaz Bismuth, the prime minister said, “How do I define B’Tselem? It’s a disgrace. That is how I define B’Tselem.”
B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad is expected to address the U.N. Security Council’s monthly meeting on the Middle East on Thursday, led by Bolivia as it holds the rotating UNSC presidency this month. Although he addressed an informal gathering of the chamber in 2016 along with the radical group Americans for Peace Now, the upcoming address will be his first formal speech in front of the council.
U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov will give a synopsis of the latest in the region. Also invited to speak are Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon; Palestinian observer in the United Nations Riyad Mansour; and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Haley announced last week that she will leave her role at the end of the year.
“This is not only a shame and a disgrace for the organization, but it also crosses red lines for those foreign countries with an anti-Israel agenda that finance and then invite [B’Tselem] to give testimony again us,” said Danon in a statement. “We will expose not only Palestinian incitement and lies, but also those of Hagai El-Ad and B’Tselem. We will continue to defend Israel and the truth.”
B’Tselem, founded in 1989, responded that it would “continue to document and publish the reality of the occupation which the government tries to hide, including this week, in which Israel intends on committing the war crime of demolishing Khan al-Ahmar and forcibly transferring its residents.”
“Robbing millions of people of their political rights and holding them under military rule for generations is not a domestic issue,” added the organization, “but one of international consequences and concerns.”