(JNS.org) The left-wing Israeli NGO B’Tselem has issued an apology for filmed remarks of one of its staffers denying the Holocaust. Last month, Israel’s Channel 2 aired a segment on B’Tselem researcher Atef Abu-Alrub, who was filmed by undercover reporter Tuvia Tenenbom while saying that the Holocaust “is a lie” during a B’Tselem-sponsored visit to a West Bank Bedouin village. After the report emerged, B’Tselem initially defended Abu-Alrub, saying that the full context of the interview was needed and that he was referring to a question asked off-camera. But after Channel 2 aired an extended version of the interview, B’Tselem admitted that the researcher did utter the Holocaust-denying comments and the group rejected his remarks.
“Several days ago, a longer segment of the footage was made public. … In view of this new information, we would like to amend our response on the matter, which we had made in good faith,” a B’Tselem spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon.
“We wish to state plainly that a B’Tselem employee did in fact make the statements of his own volition, and we wholeheartedly abhor and reject the sentiments he expressed,” said the NGO, which stopped short of saying it would no longer work with Abu-Alrub.
Founded in 1989, B’Tselem’s stated mission is to “document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories.” The group often takes journalists and officials to the West Bank in order to argue its case against Israel’s policies there.