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Fathom | Two Views on Israeli Human Rights NGO B’Tselem

Hagai El-Ad is the Executive Director of B’Tselem The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Alan Johnson is the editor of Fathom. The pair sat down earlier this year for an in-depth discussion. What does El-Ad think has been the impact of the occupation not just on the Palestinians but on Israeli democracy and society? Why does B’Tselem insist that the occupation is a human rights issue? How does he understand the relationship between politics and human rights? How does he respond to the storm of criticism of B’Tselem from the Israeli Right? Why did he decide to make a speech against Israeli settlement policy to the UN in 2016, prompting the Israeli prime minister to say he had joined the ‘chorus of mudslinging’ against Israel? What is B’Tselem’s report card on Israeli democracy? READ HERE.

In April 2017 the social democratic German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel decided to meet with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, two Israeli NGOs, while he was visiting Israel. He did so knowing that this would result in the Israeli prime minster refusing to meet with him. Self-confessed Israeli ‘leftist’ Gadi Taub examines the political meaning of ‘the Gabriel Affair’. Why did the prime minister make it a matter of ‘B’Tselem or me’ and was he right to do so? How should Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem be characterised – as legitimate human rights organisations or as demonisers of the State of Israel? And what should be the proper relationship between human rights advocacy and the unresolved national question in Israel and Palestine? READ HERE.