Finally: Israel decides that serving B'Tselem is not serving the State
It took way too long to happen, but the State of Israel has finally concluded that serving the 'human rights' group B'Tselem does not constitute service to the State. Working at B'Tselem will no longer count as 'national service
.' I'm amazed it ever did.
National Civilian Service
Administration Director Sar-Shalom Jerbi informed B'Tselem Director
Hagai El-Ad of the decision to strip the group of its "operating
organization" certification on Wednesday, via a letter.
"After reviewing the matter with several other
operating organizations, and given [B'Tselem's] activities against
Israel and IDF troops, I have decided to revoke your participation in
the National-Civilian Service Volunteer Program; especially during this
period of time, when Israel is engaged in neutralizing the threat of
rocket fire looming over millions of its citizens."
Jerbi's letter to El-Ad continued, "As you
know, Israel is currently dealing with an international delegitimization
campaign, which includes gross incitement against the IDF -- the most
ethical military in the world. Unfortunately, B'Tselem is a party to
this smear campaign. The information released by the organization and
its expressed positions encourage our enemies worldwide and prompt
anti-Semitic expressions against Israel, as well as anti-Semitic attacks
A B'Tselem statement issued Wednesday read,
"B'Tselem maintains that protecting human rights is a vital democratic
action done in the best interest of Israeli society. Sar-Shalom Jerbi's
decision, which we doubt he has the authority to make, is an abuse of
his administrative power for the sake of political gain. It constitutes
political and governmental persecution of a human rights group.
"Mr. Jerbi goes as far as to allude that
releasing information about human rights violations during wartime
constitutes treason, thus fanning the flames of intolerance, which have
already poisoned the political atmosphere. He has included himself in
the dubious club of those who incite against anyone expressing any
criticism" of the Gaza operation.
The decision to exclude B'Tselem from the
national service volunteer program "allows the government to bar any
organization whose positions it does not approve of, form employing
those seeking to perform national service. This action contradicts both
the principles of democracy and proper administration norms."
I'm amazed we ever called working for B'Tselem 'national service.' Good riddance!
Labels: anti-Israeli Israelis, B'Tselem, Gaza, Goldstone Report, William Schabas