Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon slammed B’Tselem for providing “moral cover for anti-Israel activities at the United Nations.”
By: Adina Katz, World Israel News
Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, an Israel-based NGO known for condemning Jerusalem’s policies with regard to the Palestinians, will appear before the United Nations Security Council in what Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon has labeled a “disgrace.”
The Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly discussion about the Middle East on Thursday. It will include an overview of the current situation by the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, as well as speeches by Danon, Palestinian Permanent Observer to the U.N. Riyad Mansour and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who will participate for her last time in this debate, having resigned from her position last week.
El-Ad’s opportunity to address the meeting, as a representative of civil society, came at the invitation of Bolivian Ambassador to the U.N. Sacha Llorenty, who is also serving as president of the Security Council this month.
B’Tselem, a left-wing Israeli organization, is known to organize demonstrations and disseminate material attacking the IDF and the Jewish state. NGO Monitor, a pro-Israel watchdog that demands transparency from NGOs and government funders, says that B’Tselem’s claims are marked by major omissions and distortions.
Danon: ‘Crossing a Red Line’
“B’Tselem, which has already proven that it cooperates with Israel’s enemies, is now working with a country that has called IDF soldiers ‘murderers,’” the Israeli envoy stated.
“This is a shame and a disgrace for the organization. It is also crossing a red line for foreign countries with anti-Israel agendas to finance and invite this organization to deliver ‘testimony’ against us,” he continued.
“Therefore, in this discussion, we will expose not only the lies and incitement of the Palestinians, but also those of Hagai El-Ad and B’Tselem. We will continue to defend Israel and the truth,” Danon declared.
In 2016, El-Ad joined harsh criticism of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria at a special meeting of the Security Council. “With every breath the Palestinians take they are breathing an occupation. Israel cannot call itself a democracy while occupying another people,” he claimed.
At that meeting, El-Ad called on the Council to take action against Israel, citing unsubstantiated claims by enemies of the Jewish state that Israeli security forces mistreat Palestinian civilians. Danon accused the B’Tselem director of providing “moral cover for anti-Israel activities at the United Nations.”
B’Tselem: Israel committing a ‘war crime’
In response to Danon’s comments, El-Ad vowed that his organization “will continue to document the reality of occupation which the government is trying so hard to conceal,” The Times of Israel reported. “It will do so this week as well, when Israel plans to commit the war crime of destroying the community of Khan al-Ahmar and expelling its residents. Withholding political rights from millions of people and holding them under military rule for generations is not an internal Israeli matter, it’s a clear international issue.”
The High Court of Justice, in agreement with the Civil Administration that no permission had been granted for building the illegal structures, recently ordered the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin hamlet situated near the Jewish city of Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.
The location of the illegal structures is hazardous due to its proximity to a major highway. Khan al Ahmar is adjacent and overlooking the highway that connects Jerusalem to the south of Israel in a strategic area that bisects the country.
The state has offered alternative sites for the residents to relocate with an emphasis on keeping the community intact, but they have rejected all of them and any other compromises on the issue.