Perhaps Btselem was an important element to have in Israeli society. Even when I was a soldier I respected the need for a watch group. However, over time the increasingly moved away from legitimate criticism, in favor of demonization of soldiers, Israelis, and Israel.
Today they have shown that they are no longer a rights group, but a political group that is against the state of Israel and the right of Jewish self-determination itself.

Their newest policy paper is an announcement that they have adopted a antagonistic mindset.
They claim that the entire history of Israel and all the policies and actions that occurred from it have stemmed from a principle of Jewish Supremacy. They of course mean Zionism, and I expect in future statements they will conflate the two.
Jewish Supremacy is a term long used by white supremacist, Neo-Nazi, and Antizionist groups as a talking point. Btselem has fully adopted it. It contends that Jews are racist supremacists seeking to oppress others. This is simply false framing, and is not a position held by many.
The idea that all the Israel does is under a single principle is inane to anyone who has met an Israeli. Firstly, it implies that politicians, different parties, different people, have been acting in accordance to a general plan. Israeli governments barely plan for the year.
But in all seriousness, ascribing a general will to a people is dangerous and harmful. I’m careful not to do the same to the Palestinians, because it is simply false. Even in different organizations, even like Hamas, there are competing ideologies and factions.
Saying there is an evil principle that defines Israelis and all of Israeli actions ignores all the competing factors in society, all the legitimate external and internal challenges, and dumbs it down to a false history of malicious will.
This is the same type of general malicious will that antisemites of all variant ascribe to all the Jewish people, and Btselem successfully taps into that in their final fall into antagonism.
Btselem loves generalizations in its new policy. It sees all of the southern Levant as the same thing so it can get away with sweeping generalizations and otherwise geo-graphically limited statements. It treats Gaza, Israel proper, and the disputed territories as the same.
Btselem blurs away the difference in circumstances, and completely removes the concept of citizenship for a more ambiguous concept. It claims that Gaza is part of Israel, and that it controls all aspects of it, despite that being markedly untrue from any administration standard.
Gaza has long been under control of Hamas. A blockade is not tantamount to administration. It’s not even enough to be considered military occupation, in situations where the Israel blinders aren’t on.
Saying the disputed territories is the same as a de facto hostile state, and the same as an established state, is simply disingenuous. Yes, it is under militarily administration, of course it operates under different rules, most of them being based heavily on International law.
It is not based on Israeli law. Israeli citizens are still subject to many Israeli laws regardless of where they are in the world. They don’t cease to be citizens, and in a place of Israeli administration more so. Israel cannot fully exert its system over these territories.
That would be annexation, and they would be upset if that was done. Moreover, these territories are supposed to be under delayed negotiation. That is the principle under which these territories operate, not some invented malicious will.
They should be advocating for resumption of those negotiations, facilitating talks, promoting policies that bring about final resolutions to the status. Instead they are demonizing. What will come of it? Not negotiating. Not peace talks. Only more polarization and attacks.
One of the biggest things that Btselem attacks is Jewish immigration. The realization of Jewish self-determination and a Safe Haven for Jewish people is only possible by allowing all Jewish people to make Aliyah. It is an immigration policy no different to other states.
External policies are not the same as internal policies. States have a right to choose who joins the club and obtain membership. Btselem compares movement from DT and Gaza as the same as obtaining citizenship. Can Btselem actually not see the issue of movement from Gaza to Israel
Movement from a de facto enemy state is obviously restricted. As is all entry from non-citizens. Of course Palestinian and Arab citizens of Israel can go in and out of Israel and those who are not are limited. This should not be alien to anyone who lives in a state.
Yes, the conditions are slightly different because borders are not finalized, but Btselem is lying by saying these geo-political divisions do not exist. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t be so zealous about the 1947 armistice lines.
I think all Israelis can agree that the land and residency systems need to be reformed. But to paint all the existent policies and historical actions as stemming from a single principle is simply a fairy tale.
They have come about from many different actors either pursuing immediate personal interests, or responding to crisis like warfare. They are not some long term evil plan. Again, the idea the governments of Israel are capable of long term planning is laughable.
Lastly, Btselem perpetuates the ridiculous notion that Israel is not democratic because Palestinians living in Gaza and the DT do not have a right to vote in Israelis elections. Of course in all territories, only citizens have the right to vote.
This is not different from any other state. Other peoples under military administration have not magically gained the right to vote when controlled by other democratic states. German and Japanese citizens did not get the right to vote in US elections when occupied by the US.
Further, in Gaza and DT there are political groups that represent the Palestinian people. They do a terrible job in that capacity, but that’s why they need to be improved and democratized and deradicalized so that they can step up and do so.
Instead, Btselem finds itself easier to blame the general malicious will of Israel. Because it’s easier. Because it’s lucrative. Because they’re not interested in conflict resolution and peace. They’re against Israel. They’re against Israelis. They’re against you.
Sorry for the mess of a thread. I’m sure that there are comments out of order. This was not an organized rant. I was dismayed at the end of human rights as a principle, and it’s complete weaponization by organizations that once seemed to hold it in esteem.
In conclusion, Btselem is not a human rights group. It is a political group that uses that skin to attack Israeli society, state, and people. Everyone should be aware. They have declared their intent toward you.

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