PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool/Yediot Aharonoth)
Netanyahu condemned statements by B’Tselem’s Hagai El-Ad before the UN Security Council as “an attempt to help Israel’s enemies.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Hagai El-Ad and the anti-IDF organization he leads, B’Tselem, following El-Ad’s speech at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.
In the address, El-Ad vilified the Jewish state’s policies toward the Palestinians, comparing Israeli policy to South Africa’s apartheid regime and the US’ Jim Crow laws, a popular tactic among anti-Israel activists.
“B’Tselem’s conduct is a disgrace that will be remembered as a short and temporary episode in our nation’s history,” Netanyahu responded.
“As our soldiers prepare to defend Israel’s security, [the] B’Tselem director chooses to deliver a speech full of lies at the UN in an attempt to help Israel’s enemies,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
This was El-Ad’s first speech to the Security Council, which he used to focus on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, claiming that Israeli towns in those areas “split up an entire people, fragmenting their land and disrupting their lives.”
Following El-Ad’s speech, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon addressed the Security Council, intoning, “Shame on you! Mr. El-Ad, you are an Israeli citizen who is serving our enemies. They’re using you against us. The soldiers of the IDF are protecting you and you are here to incriminate them.”
Other Israeli leaders joined Netanyahu and Danon in condemning El-Ad B’Tselem, including Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.
“The [spread] of lies by [the] director-general of B’Tselem won’t change the fact that Israel will continue to be a democratic and moral country,” Hotovely said in a statement.
“Someone who chooses to protect those who chose a terrorist organization for leaders is an immoral person. We need to act to end the international funding for the B’Tselem organization,” she concluded.
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev also voiced concern about B’Tselem, calling the group “shameful” and “despicable” on Twitter and warning that its goal is “to harm IDF soldiers and harm the State of Israel.”