B’Tselem and the Great Return March — Waning Influence?
The anti-Israel Israeli NGO, B’Tselem, has a new Facebook campaign in their continuing efforts to delegitimize Israel, this time concerning a report on the “Great Return March”.
Are they achieving their goal? A look at the comments under each post illustrates that the organization may have lost its lustre in the eyes of the public (if not in the eyes of the academics who quote them as reliable sources for academic articles — for example, here — or in the eyes of politicians who are happy for the material they provide for their antisemitic beliefs and behaviours — for example, here).
On 2 December 2021, B’Tselem presented their “report” on the Israeli investigation into the actions of the IDF during the Great Return March. This supposedly “peaceful” demonstration included the burning of tires, approaching the border fence in the attempt to storm it, and more (read my debunking of a “touching” article published in the NYT at the time). The March, itself, had the purpose of inciting against the very existence of the Jewish state.
Their initial post is followed by a series in which they republish the link to their report in order to draw more traffic to it because one post will certainly not get onto the feeds of most Facebook consumers. Accompanying each new post is an image and a quote, alternatively by an injured Gazan or by an Israeli sniper (as reported on Israeli television). Below each post are varying numbers of comments. These comments show the way the B’Tselem posts are received by those who took the time to write something. I examined them as a whole and bring my findings to you below the series of FB posts.
I categorized the comments as either being in support of the B’Tselem post concerning their report on the Great Return March or opposed to it. I did not include multiple comments by the same person on the same thread and there were about five comments that I did not really understand. I included only major comments and not those in threads, some of which became quite long. At the beginning, I opened threads but this proved to be unmanageable. There were back and forth comments among a small number of commenters who just repeated themselves over and over again. Some of these threads turned quite viciously antisemitic while in general the major comments in support of B’Tselem were remarkably not vile.
Adding up all comments for all posts we get the following sums: 73 in support of B’Tselem and 359 opposed. This is true as of 8:30 am on 22 December 2021. I do not intend to update this.
The negative comments comprised mostly criticisms of B’Tselem itself, suggestions that B’Tselem blame Hamas and not Israel, arguments that the March was not peaceful in any way, suggestions that if someone does not want to get hurt or killed, they should stay away from such events, and suggestions that Israel should have hurt or killed more demonstrators/terrorists.
Here is a small selection of pro-B’tselem comments:
#FreePalestineHomeland [yes, this is the entire comment — more succinctly put than some more long-winded comments of this nature]
Its a crime to kill unarmed civilians, how can anyone participate in such sick crimes?
Thank-you for telling what happened to you. The Israeli people have turned to evil barbaric acts. Keep telling the truth. Shout it out so no one will go without knowing what Israel is doing, crime upon crime.
One can only hope payback is near. Americans who fund apartheid are now seeing the result of where the money went. Soon the lapdog government will have to choose.
And here is a selection of comments criticizing the B’Tselem posts:
I’ll just be diplomatic and ask it this way: How in the FFF did anything from ‘betselem’ end up on my fb feed??
Was he playing Monopoly when a bullet reached him?
When you go to the border and it’s a a war zone there is a chance you will get shot or killed don’t come to a war zone you won’t get shot simple
This is once again masqueraded antisemitism and a carte blanche for terrorists.
Shame on you.
“I was a teen and wasn’t dangerous”
99% of those rioting and throwing molotov cocktails/rocks/burning tires/acting for plywood are all teen… Teens are the ones that are ambushing cars ever day in Israel with rocks… I’m NOT sure what you consider not dangerous… Age doesn’t make you not dangerous
Her suffer is the result of Palestinian leaders own mistakes. [posted by someone with name in Arabic]
Well, considering the fact that he was de-facto declaring war on Israel by trying to invade its territory by force in order to throw out the Israeli civilians from their houses, I would say Israel was very generous by letting him live!
He can turn to his leaders in the Hammas. They are the ones who sent him to these marches, therefore they are the ones committed to his wellbeing.
So much BS in one little post . B’tselem- Liar liar pants on fire
It was encouraging to read the large number of comments calling out B’Tselem for their lies, their support of terrorists, their attempts to pull the rug out from under the Jewish state. It was curious to me that such a “famous” (or infamous) organization as this did not get more traffic and shares for these posts. After all, so many of those in opposition to the settlement policies in Judea-Samaria use B’Tselem propaganda to defend their positions. The organization seems also to be legitimate in the eyes of academia, foreign politicians, our own media. What needs to be done to change that?