Today, there will be a discussion in the UN Security Council about the “Situation in the Middle East.” Predictably, the discussion will not focus on Hamas’s terrorism and firing rockets into Beersheva in the middle of the night, or the arson balloons that land throughout Israel. It will not address the chemical attacks in Syria, the hanging of opponents and homosexuals in Iran, nor the government-sanctioned incitement in the Palestinian Authority.
Instead, the discussion will turn into an attack on the only free and democratic country in the Middle East. And lending his voice to this attack will be Hagai El-Ad, the Executive Director of B’Tselem.
El-Ad was invited to speak by the Bolivian ambassador. This is not an unlikely alliance, as the two share a contempt for the IDF: the ambassador once referred to our soldiers as “murderers” and El-Ad has called them “war criminals.” When he enters the Council chamber, Palestinian and European representatives will greet El-Ad with open arms, for it is they who pay his salary: according to a recent publication, between 2012 and 2016, nearly 65 percent of B’Tselem’s funding came from foreign governments. This is tens of thousands of euros dedicated to the spreading of hatred of IDF soldiers and the State of Israel.
El-Ad’s presence will prove one thing: that he is nothing more than a puppet. He is the token Israeli our enemies use to pretend that their efforts to defame and slander Israel are legitimate and have domestic support.
However, nothing is further from the truth. The Israeli public opposes B’Tselem’s policies and, more importantly, its activities. While our vibrant and healthy democracy allows for a wide range of opinions, we take great care to keep our debates within our borders. Learning from our history, Israelis are rightfully wary of foreign powers who want to inject themselves into our internal affairs. And we eye with deep suspicion those who consort with and help these powers.
Yet, El-Ad is doing just that. He is joining our enemies on the biggest international stage, and enabling their campaign of lies. Like some Arab MKs and other radical leftist organizations, he is bringing his grievances to the UN, instead of trying to convince the Israeli public of the justness of his cause.
El-Ad wrote that his “resistance is nowhere near strong enough to play a significant role” in Israeli policy and decision-making. This is because B’Tselem has already lost: Israelis across the political spectrum reject its actions and ideology. We reject a civil society organization that denigrates our soldiers, slanders the IDF, and refuses to call Hamas a terror organization.
That is why El-Ad is going to the UN. He joins the Arab and European countries because they are the only ones that will welcome him. To his everlasting shame, he is joining our enemies on the world stage to demonize Israel.
Two Israelis will sit around the Security Council table today. On the side of our enemies will sit a representative of B’Tselem. He will sit next to a representative of the Palestinian Authority, the same organization that allocates 7% of its budget to terrorize and murder Jews.
I will sit opposite. I will sit on the side that is against Palestinian incitement, that is against organizations that ignite the flames of hatred against Israel, that is against the disgraceful lies of B’Tselem.
I will sit on the side of truth.