While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli government officials were full of condemnation for the willingness of radical left-wing NGO B’tselem to speak out against the Jewish State last week at the UN Security Council, Washington seems to have taken a completely opposite approach.
Edgar Vasquez, a spokesperson for the US State Department, told Yediot Achronot that he was, on the contrary, “grateful” for B’tselem’s participation at the UN Security Council meeting, and for its efforts to prevent Jewish building in Judea and Samaria - what he ominously termed “the Settlement Enterprise.”
“In general, we believe that a free and unhindered citizen population is an essential ingredient in a democracy [...] As we have said many times in the past, we believe that it is important for governments to preserve freedom of expression and create an atmosphere in which voices can be heard [...]”
“[W]e are grateful for the efforts of Israeli and American NGOs, including ‘Americans for Peace Now’ and B’tselem, for continuing to inform us about significant matters happening in the field - including the Settlement Enterprise. As you know, we continue to be worried about the continued activity of the Settlements.
“We completely oppose, in a clear and consistent fashion, this activity, which eats away at efforts for peace.”
Following B’tselem’s appearance at the UN, PM Netanyahu had called B’tselem “delusional.”
In an interview with Channel 2, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had said that B’tselem was “cooperating with our enemies in the political terror waged against us in the UN,” and that the NGO had committed an “illegitimate and disgraceful act.”