Daily Israel Report

Anti-Israel Organization Marks 20 Years

The ultra-left B’Tselem human rights organization has publicized some anti-Israel statistics to mark 20 years since its founding.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 11/22/2009, 3:00 PM / Last Update: 11/22/2009, 3:25 PM

The ultra-left B’Tselem human rights organization has publicized some anti-Israel statistics to mark 20 years since its founding.

The statistics state how many Arabs of the Palestinian Authority have been killed over the past 20 years in clashes with the IDF, in comparison with the number of Israelis murdered by terrorists during the same period. “IDF soldiers killed 7,398 Palestinians,” the report states, while “Palestinians killed 1,483 Israelis.” The latter number includes 995 civilians murdered in terrorist attacks, and another 488 soldiers and security personnel. The year 2002 was the worst year for Israelis: 420 dead in terrorist attacks. Israel National News statistics actually show that 446 were murdered that year.

The report also shows that the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria has more than quadrupled over the past 20 years. B'Tselem says that just under 70,000 “settlers” lived in these areas in 1989, and that the number is now more than 300,000.

There has been an “improvement” in the number of Arabs imprisoned under administrative detention, B'Tselem says. In place of 1,794 such cases 20 years ago, there are now only 335.

Dayan: B'tselem Funded by Europe to Weaken Israel
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan told Army Radio, “Though B’tselem started 20 years ago with people who had good intentions, but unfortunately it has deteriorated greatly since then, and now stands at the forefront of the European-funded international struggle to weaken the State of Israel. For instance, it might be enlightening to know that for five of these 20 years, Prof. Anat Biletsky of Tel Aviv University was the head of B’tselem – a woman who openly supported the Arab ‘right of return’ which, she said, would help neutralize the Jewish character of the State of Israel.”

Dayan noted that Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - "the commander-in-chief of Hamas who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis - is categorized as someone who is not a definite combatant. This shows the level of accuracy of B'tselem. In addition, B'tselem is the 'father' of the Goldstone report, in that it is quoted no fewer than 53 times in it."

Forced to Retract
B'Tselem has been in the news recently with claims that it either was forced to retract or that contradicted Israeli reports. For instance, B'Tselem claimed that nearly 60% of the Arab victims during Israel’s anti-terrorist Operation Cast Lead nearly a year ago were non-combatants.  B’Tselem, whose figures were similar to those of Hamas, admitted that it included in the non-combatant category 248 Hamas “policemen” who were killed in the beginning of Cast Lead, explaining that since they were dead, they took no part in the combat.

The IDF, on the other hand, reported 1,166 Gaza residents killed during Cast Lead: 709 guerillas and other fighters, 295 civilians, and 162 people who may or may not have been involved in fighting. The IDF was supported by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (IITC) at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, which reported in April, based on data gathered from Gaza organizations, that most Arab casualties during the fighting were in fact terrorists.

The IITC report slammed those who claimed most of the deaths as civilian casualties. “Any black-and-white categorization scheme … is bound to be ludicrously inadequate in characterizing a conflict where fighters do not wear uniforms, where combatants are intimately (and deliberately) commingled with noncombatant civilians, and where many unaffiliated civilians become actively involved in confronting invading forces and thus become 'ad hoc combatants',” IITC researchers wrote.

Some three months ago, B’Tselem quietly retracted a five-year-old report accusing the IDF of killing innocent Arab civilians. The story was first broken by Middle East expert and terror researcher Lt.-Col. (res.) Yehonatan Dehoah-HaLevy.  B’Tselem long accused the IDF of war crimes by “butchering innocent Arabs” in a 2004 incident, but just recently changed its reportage and called it a legitimate Israeli “attack on a military target.”

Dehoah-HaLevy notes that on the very day of the attack, Hamas itself made an official announcement stating that the bombed target was a training camp, and that the 14 dead Arabs were Hamas Al-Kassam military brigade members.