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B’Tselem demands a halt to baseless assault by Rights and Democracy chair

February 7, 2010

B’Tselem has written to demand that Board members of the Canadian organization Rights and Democracy stop maligning B'Tselem's name. In a letter by B’Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell, to Aurel Braun, Chairman of Rights and Democracy, Montell demands that he cease his
ongoing public attacks on the Israeli human rights NGO.

B’Tselem read in the Canadian press that the board of Rights and Democracy voted to "repudiate" its grant to the organization. “We were outraged to read quotes in the press in which some members of the Board cast baseless aspersions on B'Tselem and the integrity of our work”, writes Montell. “These statements reveal profound, even offensive ignorance about B'Tselem's work and its role in Israeli society”.

In its twenty years of activity, B'Tselem has earned a reputation both in Israel and around the world as the most reliable source for information on human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Leading journalists, policymakers and academics consistently cite B'Tselem as their primary
source for reliable information about human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. B'Tselem is proud of its role in generating Israeli public discussion regarding human rights, and in fostering real
improvements in Israel 's human rights policies.

In addition to its documentation and advocacy activities, B'Tselem works closely with the Israeli military authorities in order to promote accountability. Israel 's Judge-Advocate General has repeatedly praised his cooperation with B'Tselem, including _in a recent feature_ in Israel's Haaretz newspaper: "My goal is to get at the truth, and they definitely help us do that. The cooperation with B'Tselem stands out in particular. They help us speak to witness, to examine complaints. They do their job and I do mine. The interests are not identical, but with all the criticism of these organizations of us, their goal is to seek out the truth."

B'Tselem is motivated by a deep commitment to Israeli society, as well as a commitment to universal human rights principles. It strives for a future in which Israelis and Palestinians alike will live in freedom and dignity.

Two Palestinian organizations – al-Haq and al-Mezan – were similarly attacked in the Canadian press. B'Tselem also protested these attacks, citing the reputation both organizations have earned for their courageous work against human rights violations by Israeli as well as Palestinian

For more information contact:
Sarit Michael
Phone: +972 (0)50-5387230

Mitchell Plitnick
Director of US Communications
Phone: 1-202-783-0629

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