B’Tselem OK again as Israel national service stop

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem will again be allowed to receive national service volunteers.

On Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber overturned the ban instituted on the group in August by the head of Israel’s national service program. Sar-Shalom Jerbi objected to B’Tselem’s actions during the Gaza conflict.

The program coordinates placements for young Israelis doing national civilian service as an alternative to military service.

Earlier this year, Jerbi said national civilian service would be available “only to bodies that do not subvert the existence of the state as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Zilber said that Jerbi can only remove national service volunteers if the organization rejects Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, incites to violence, terror or racism, or supports terrorism or armed struggle against Israel, Haaretz reported.

B’Tselem has received one volunteer each year through the program since 2012, according to Haaretz.