B’Tselem is an Israeli “Human Rights” Organization whose full name is The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Just by it use of the phrase Occupied Territories you can tell its politics (even the most liberal Israelis I have spoken to call them the Disputed Territories). This NGO group’s goals are some where between “Peace Now” and Fatah. Their official goal “to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories” and they do it anyway possible.
They are probably most famous for the bogus guide to civilian casualties they publish every year. The totals in their annual report are correct, but their classification methods are a bit on the “funky” side. For an example they define civilian casualties as whether casualties were involved in fighting at the time of their death. So lets say someone launches a rocket at Sedrot, then puts the launcher in the truck and hears the call to prayer. So he throws down the rug and starts praying. Lets also say that at the same time the IDF is honing in on where the missile was launched and sends retaliatory fire. That terrorist is considered a civilian because he wasn’t launching missiles at the time, he was praying. And that is just one example. The worldwide press uses and believes their numbers as if they came down from Sinai.
Last week B´tselem issued a report saying that that Israeli Secret Service regularly tortures prisoners. You have to give this organization some credit for imagination. Some of their report is actually comical. My favorite part is when they said that Israel makes the food look totally disgusting so the detainees wont eat it. I say let them eat the same crappy airport food as the rest of us !
Claims in B´tselem/Hamoked report lack credibility
May 07, 2007
On May 6, 2007, Israeli NGOs B’tselem and HaMoked released a lengthy report claiming that the Israel Security Agency continues to torture security detainees in violation of a 1999 High Court decision. (NGO Monitor has documented the activities and credibility problems in previous reports published by these politicized NGOs, whose many donors include European governments and the New Israel Fund.)
In response to the report, the Israeli Ministry of Justice (MOJ) issued a nine page letter (Hebrew, English) detailing the questionable methodology and lack of verifiable sources. The letter notes that the report is “fraught with mistakes, groundless claims and inaccuracies.” This public rebuttal reflects an important development in Israeli government policy with respect to such politicized NGO reports.
* “The report was based upon a non-representative sample that seems to have been deliberately chosen which distorts the reality prevailing in the course of arrest and interrogation of security prisoners.”
* The report “includes description of cases with no identifying details and without allowing the relevant authorities . . . to review those specific cases.” Such failure “effectively denies the authorities the opportunity to examine the claims raised in the report.”
* “Every case of deviation from the rules of conduct . . . is examined and treated . . . additional information about the cases mentioned in the report would have allowed the IDF to check each such individual case.”
* The report includes “bizarre claims” such as that the Israel Security Agency “design[s] the appearance” of food given to detainees “to create disgust and deterrence.”
* “The report itself refers to a group which is named in the report as ‘ordinary’ detainees, concerning interogatees which were arrested between 13 -17 of July 2005 when on the day of July 12, 2005, there was a terrorist attack in the city of Netanya, that caused the death of five people and the injury of many others . . . as a result of the interrogations, the perpetrators of the attack . . . were exposed. In addition, more terrorist units were exposed and weapons that were to be put to use in future terrorist attacks were handed over.”
* Contrary to claims in the report, “the opening of criminal investigation files against soldiers . . .is not subject to the Military Attorney General’s pre-affirmation. Military police investigation files are frequently opened immediately upon complaints’ submission.” Moreover, severe punishments are meted out to soldiers who engage in unjustified violence. For example, a soldier convicted of beating a detainee was given a seven month prison sentence.
To read the MOJ’s letter in full, click for English, Hebrew.You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide you lyin’ eyes