P.O. Box 53132, Jerusalem 9153002, Israel
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B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories strives for a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all people, Palestinian and Jewish alike, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Such a future will only be possible when the Israeli occupation and apartheid regime end. That is the future we are working towards. B’Tselem (in Hebrew literally: in the image of), the name chosen for the organization by the late Member of Knesset Yossi Sarid, is an allusion to Genesis 1:27: “And God created humankind in His image. In the image of God did He create them.” The name expresses the universal and Jewish moral edict to respect and uphold the human rights of all people.
Since B’Tselem’s inception in 1989, we have been documenting, researching and publishing statistics, testimonies, video footage, position papers and reports on human rights violations committed by Israel in the Occupied Territories. The initial mandate we took upon ourselves focused on the occupation regime in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and in the Gaza Strip. However, over the years, it has become clear that the concept of two parallel regimes operating between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River – a permanent democracy west of the Green Line and a temporary military occupation to the east of it – is divorced from reality. The entire area that Israel controls is ruled by a single apartheid regime, governing the lives of all people living in it and operating according to one organizing principle: establishing and perpetuating the control of one group of people – Jews – over another – Palestinians – through laws, practices and state violence.
In more than 30 years of work, B'Tselem has earned a place of honor in the local and international human rights community, and has received various awards, including the Carter-Menil Award for Human Rights (1989, jointly with Al-Haq); the Danish PL Foundation Human Rights Award (2011, jointly with Al-Haq); the Stockholm Human Rights Award (2014); and the Human Rights Award of the French Republic (2018, jointly with Al-Haq). B’Tselem’s video project has also received various awards, including the British One World Media Award (2009) and the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum Award (2012).
B’Tselem is an independent, non-partisan organization. It is funded solely by donations: grants from European and North American foundations that support human rights activity worldwide, and generous contributions by private individuals in Israel and abroad.
The essence of the apartheid regime in place between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is to promote and perpetuate the supremacy of one group over another. B'Tselem works to change this reality, recognizing that this is the only way to realize a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all human beings living here, Palestinians and Jews alike.
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