B’Tselem, a Jerusalem-based non-profit founded in 1989, documents human rights abuses in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, promotes human rights in Israel, and operates as B’Tselem USA in Washington, D.C., drawing diverse reactions within Israel. While B’Tselem’s reports are often cited by the United Nations (U.N.) such as here, in 2011, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the organization and other human rights groups, calling for a parliamentary investigation and accusing them of spreading lies, slander, inciting against Israel, abetting terrorism, and undermining the country. Left-wing activist, writer, and editor Orly Noy is the organization’s chair.
Funded by / Ownership
B’Tselem’s operations are funded through donations, including grants from European and North American foundations advocating for global human rights and substantial contributions from private individuals in Israel and internationally. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a law that seeks to limit financial support for NGOs critical of the Israeli government, including B’Tselem. The legislation is currently being reviewed by the Israeli High Court, sparking a debate on NGO funding and freedom of expression in Israel.
Analysis / Bias
According to a Haaretz report in January 2021, B’Tselem released a report characterizing Israel as an ‘Apartheid’ State. B’Tselem publishes human rights reports focusing on documenting and addressing violations and challenges Palestinians face in the Israeli-occupied territories. Their reports cover a range of issues, including forced evictions and displacements, such as the planned eviction of 1,000 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, as highlighted in a U.N. report. These reports aim to raise awareness and advocate for justice and human rights accountability in the region.
We reviewed the article “Parched: Israel’s Policy of water deprivation in the West Bank.” It discusses the significant water usage disparity between Israelis and Palestinians, attributing it to Israel’s discriminatory policy. The body and the headline use strong, emotionally loaded language, indicating a clear bias against the Israeli government’s policies. The headline suggests that Israel’s water deprivation in the West Bank is deliberate, setting a critical tone towards these policies. Upon selecting and downloading the complete report from the publications section, you can access the references used in the study. These include resources from Gov.il, the official website for Israel’s government services and information, and the European Environment Agency (EEA), an entity of the European Union, available at (EEA.europa.eu.)
Another article, titled “Planning Policy in the West Bank,” offers an in-depth examination of the West Bank’s planning policy. Despite not providing direct hyperlinks to external sources within the text, it does link to related topics, videos, and publications on the website’s left sidebar. However, the sources of the statistics presented in the article are not explicitly mentioned. In general, B’Tselem holds a left-leaning political orientation based on editorial positions that favor liberal policy. They are also reasonably fact-based but sometimes do not provide the sources of information they present.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate B’Tselem Left Biased based on story selection and editorial positions that favor the left. We also rate them as mostly factual in reporting due to not always sourcing information. (M. Huitsing 07/02/2023)
Last Updated on July 2, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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