B'Tselem rep refuses to call Hamas terror group

'You're trying to smear us as terror-sympathizers,' claims spokeswoman for left-wing NGO as she refuses to call Hamas a terror organization.

David Rosenberg,

Hamas rally in Gaza
Hamas rally in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The far-left NGO B’Tselem drew criticism Tuesday for its apparent refusal to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization, as a B’Tselem representative repeatedly refused to describe characterize Hamas as a terror group during an interview with J-TV.

Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for the group, appeared on J-TV on Tuesday, speaking with Alan Mendoza, director of the Henry Jackson Society, a British think-tank.

While discussing human rights violations by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Michaeli emphasized that “as an Israeli organization, the bulk of our research and our work and our effort goes at self-criticism – looking at our own government and our own army.”

Michaeli did acknowledge that Hamas “engages in clear terrorist acts when it bombs Israeli civilians”, but evaded Mendoza’s repeated attempts to elicit a clear response from her regarding B’Tselem’s stance on Hamas.

“Is Hamas a terrorist organization?” Mendoza queried.

Michaeli quickly became defensive, denouncing what she described as an attempt “to smear us as terrorist-sympathizers, which is unacceptable.”

The B’Tselem rep also referenced a 2014 interview then-journalist and now former Yisrael Beytenu MK Sharon Gal held with B’Tselem director Haggai Elad. When presented with the same question, Elad also refused to characterize Hamas as a terrorist organization.

“We’re talking about armed Palestinian organizations; that is the professional term, and we criticize their activities when they are illegal.”

Michaeli blasted Gal as “an Israeli extremist right-wing Member of Knesset”.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has been labelled a terrorist organization by not only the Israeli government, but the US, UK, EU, Egypt, Japan, Jordan, and a number of Gulf states.




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