B’Tselem proud of its activities and completely transparent. The Knesset’s decision is what harms Israel’s international status

Published: 
5 Jan 2011

In reaction to the Knesset's decision to establish a parliamentary committee of enquiry to "examine the activities of Israeli organizations involved with the collection of information about soldiers and follow their funding sources”, B'Tselem, one of the organizations named in the decision, says:

We are proud of our work to promote human rights in the Occupied Territories, which is conducted legally and with complete transparency. Persecution and attempts at silencing will not stop us. In a democracy, criticism of the government is not only legitimate – it is essential. B'Tselem calls on all members of Knesset to hold an informed debate on the information provided by human rights organizations, instead of harassing and smearing those who dare to question and criticize.

It is absurd to claim that a committee of enquiry with no real powers can uncover information unknown to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits. The purpose of the inquiry is not to establish the facts, they are well known. B'Tselem's list of donors is available online. Our financial reports are available at the office of the NGO Registrar, which just recently issued B'Tselem a Certification of Proper Administration. Therefore, it is clear that the motive behind the investigation is an attempt to hinder our work through smears and incitement.

If the Members of Knesset who supported this decision genuinely care about Israel's international standing, they should stop promoting parliamentary initiatives that will only cause it to plummet even further.