B’Tselem slams Israel at French human rights award ceremony

“The occupation is organized, continuing state violence that leads to dispossession, killing and oppression,” El-Ad said at the French Justice Ministry.

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December 10, 2018 16:14
1 minute read.
 B’Tselem CEO Hagai El-Ad in his acceptance speech for the Human Rights Awards of the French Republi

B’Tselem CEO Hagai El-Ad in his acceptance speech for the Human Rights Awards of the French Republic in Paris December 19, 2018. (photo credit: B'TSELEM)

 
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Israel is in a state of “lies, propaganda and threats,” B’Tselem CEO Hagai El-Ad said in his acceptance speech for the Human Rights Awards of the French Republic in Paris Monday.

“The occupation is organized, continuing state violence that leads to dispossession, killing and oppression,” El-Ad said at the French Justice Ministry. “All of the mechanisms of the state are partners in it: The ministers and the judges, the officers and the planners, the MKs and bureaucrats. Those who lead the resistance to this unjust reality are the human rights organizations, because we completely oppose violence and harm to civilians.”

B’Tselem, which calls itself calls itself “the Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories,” shared the award with Al-Haq, a Palestinian organization whose leadership has ties to the terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Al-Haq is a leader in calling for anti-Israel boycotts and in lawfare, petitioning foreign courts against Israel.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, the organized French Jewish community and Meyer Habib, a French lawmaker representing expats, including those in Israel, spoke out against the award. Habib pointed out that boycotts are illegal in France, and yet the Justice Ministry is giving these organizations an award for supporting something that breaks French law.

French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet withdrew from presenting the award in light of the controversy, but the organizations still received the prize.

El-Ad addressed the pressure to withdraw the prize, calling it “hysterical” and saying it shows “the reality in which we work: propaganda, lies and fear-mongering attempts by the government, which believes that silencing and whitewashing will allow them to continue to harm human rights.”

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