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From the field

Response to accusations regarding former B'Tselem's field Researcher 'Atef Abu a-Rub

7 October 2014

Before the holiday we promised to update regarding the results of the process. With the conclusion of the investigation into the matter a decision was made to terminate the employment of Mr. Abu a-Rub.

Several weeks ago, Ulpan Shishi, the Friday evening week in review program of Israel TV’s Channel Two News, aired a piece by Tuvia Tenenbom. According to the piece, B’Tselem field researcher ‘Atef Abu a-Rub said in a conversation recorded by Tenenbom that he does not believe that the Holocaust actually occurred. B’Tselem undertook to get to the bottom of the matter. To that end, B’Tselem spoke with the field researcher several times. At the same time, B’Tselem applied to Ulpan Shishi for the complete raw footage used in the piece. The newsroom board refused B’Tselem’s request.

In response to our inquiries to Mr. Abu a-Rub as well as in a letter he sent to B’Tselem’s staff, he stated unequivocally that the Holocaust is a horrendous crime against the Jewish people. With regard to the aired footage, he explained that the few seconds broadcast on Channel Two in fact showed him giving an oral translation of statements made by another person present on site.

Several days ago, a longer segment of the footage was made public. Most of the conversation captured on film is indeed the field researcher’s translation of statements made by a third party. Yet, the video also indicates that contrary to the above-mentioned account, the relevant statements were not a translation of sentiments expressed by a third party and were made explicitly and directly by Mr. Abu a-Rub. In view of this new information, we would like to amend our response on the matter, which we had made in good faith. 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.

B’Tselem takes great pains to maintain credibility and accuracy in its work and its publications. Consequently, we pledge to complete the process of investigating this matter as soon as possible. Once the process is concluded, we will publish our resulting decision.

Link to original post by Lilac Sigan‎‏