Each year, the Dutch government awards the Human Right Tulip, a €100,000 prize to an individual or organization that promotes human rights around the world. The award is for the organization to “further develop or expand the scale of its work for human rights”. The winner is decided by people around the world voting online for who they consider worthy of the award.
A top contender for the prize was the Israeli organization B’tzelem, a radical left-wing propaganda machine known for its harassment of IDF soldiers and ‘lawfare’ tactics – a strategy whereby they use excessive court orders and lawsuits to harass and intimidate both soldiers and ordinary Israelis who just happen to be living over the Green Line. B’tzelem is a self-proclaimed ‘Human Rights’ organization largely funded by European donors, and was widely criticized for having anti-Semitic members, as well as a lead researcher who is a known holocaust denier.
News of B’tzelem’s entering the competition was picked up by activist Baruch Marzel and others, and soon was raging throughout the right-leaning Israeli blogosphere and social media. The consensus is to vote for Phyoe Phyoe Aung, a 26-year old student leader and reformer for free education in Burma, who was polling second in the ranking, right behind B’tzelem.
As of this morning, it seems their strategy has been working. Phyoe Phyoe Aung is now the leading contender with 20,329 votes cast, and Maziar Bahari, a campeighner for human rights in Iran, is polling second with 6,414 votes. B’tzelem ranks a distant third with 4731 votes.
B’tzelem should not be underestimated. It is known to have a well-funded and highly competent PR organization, and it is expected to mobilize thousands in the coming days to try and win this award.
Still, they can be beaten. If we all coalesce around Phyoe Phyoe Aung and vote only for her, B’tzelem will go down in humiliating defeat.
It is very important to make sure not to vote for B’tselem nor Adalah.
Voting is open until Wednesday, September 16, 6:00pm EST.
If you have an email address, you can vote. Vote Here