The website News 0404 revealed on Sunday that while extreme-left NGOs are doing plenty to sabotage Israeli security, some of the complaints should be directed at an unexpected culprit. A document obtained by News 0404 has revealed the IDF and the radical B’Tselem have maintained close working relations for years.
The document reveals that the Military Advocate General and B’Tselem have maintained “joint working procedures” and “a productive dialogue with the common interest of enforcement in respect of complaints against IDF soldiers.”
The document was revealed in the case of a Border Guard officer who is accused of killing a stone throwing Arab in Beitunia, an Arab city 1.8 miles west of Ramallah and 8.7 miles north of Jerusalem. In the document, which is a letter addressed to Hagai Elad, the director of B’Tselem, from Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch, a former Military Advocate for Operational Affairs (MAOA), Hirsch laments the fact that B’Tselem had leaked a draft document the organization received as part of the “ongoing dialogue” between the two parties as part of conducting an investigation into the shooting of two Arab rioters.
After Hirsch claims that he was surprised by the conduct of B’Tselem, he details the relationship between the military prosecution and the extreme-left NGO.
“I have been serving as MAOA for nearly four years,” writes Lt. Col. Hirsch. “During these years, we have deepened the productive dialogue with the organization B’Tselem, we formulated procedures for joint activities and maintained strict norms of conduct and proper ethics, all of it out of consideration of our common interest to have an effective operational enforcement of complaints relating to the activity of IDF soldiers.”
Established in 1989 by “a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members,” largely from the Meretz and Labor Parties, B’Tselem “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.”
But B’Tselem does not receive its funding from Israeli patriots, left, right or center. It is, for all intents and purposes, a foreign agency funded by a long list of foreign countries and organizations. According to NGO Monitor, based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, B’Tselem received $563,740 from foreign governmental bodies in the first half of 2015, $1,090,865 in 2014, and $1,426,807 in 2013. The idea that an entire department of the IDF maintain a tight relationship with such an agency, including providing it with secret information regarding ongoing investigations of soldiers—brings into question the security integrity of the entire military prosecution.
The IDF was rewarded by B’Tselem’s lining up at the head of a list of extreme left-wing NGOs eager to report to the UN Human Rights Commission of the 2014 Gaza war, offering half truths and outright lies, mostly cited from Palestinian sources without a shred of confirmation.
Attorney Zion Amir, who represents the Border Guard officer being discussed in the Hirsch letter, told News 0404: “While studying the case materials, we were exposed to documents indicating the existence of an apparen continuous contact over a long period of time between B’Tselem and military and police outfits. The documents indicate that during the investigation of the case of the Border Guard officer involving a military operation against rioters, the Israel police sought the intervention of B’Tselem to obtain various exhibits, such as a bullet that allegedly hit a Palestinian. Another document that aroused our attention refers to a letter released by an IDF entity in the Prosecutor’s Office to B’Tselem from which one can learn about the close connection that had existed between them over time. The involvement of various entities that are not part of the investigation and enforcement agencies such as the police and the army turned on a red light for me. In my humble opinion we should examine very carefully the way the police and perhaps others received evidence from Palestinian entities … suggesting that maybe, God forbid, these exhibits and evidence were tainted before they were transferred to the Israeli authorities. We are in the midst of examining these things opposite prosecution officials.”