German State Broadcaster Fires Palestinian, Arab Employees after ‘Flawed Antisemitism Probe’
The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has suspended five of its employees, all of Palestinian and Arab descent, after accusations of ‘antisemitism’, but critics have accused the channel of anti-Arab bias in handling the matter, The New Arab reported.
The decision followed the publication of an article in the German press, claiming that a number of DW journalists had shared ‘antisemitic’ comments on their personal social media accounts.
However, some of the journalists affected have denied the accusation and attacked the channel for silencing valid criticism of Israel.
DW announced on Monday that its investigation found that “the comments by five DW employees clearly amounted to antisemitism, Holocaust denial or Holocaust relativism, as well as statements that denied Israel’s right to exist,” saying the suspension of these five employees was “justified.”
The article also mentioned a Palestinian journalist, Maram Salem, who was also suspended from DW.
Salem told The New Arab that “there are no clear lines at DW to define antisemitism”. “You could be accused of antisemitism for anything at all. It is blurry and elastic”, she added.
Salem noted that “at the external investigation I was faced with questions exclusively about my Palestinian background. I was questioned about my family, my bringing up as a Palestinian and my views about the Palestinian question. Some questions were so inappropriate I was surprised that they actually made them”.
Salem said that she will take her case to German courts, “not to get my job back, but to defend the Palestinian voices, especially that there seems to be a new wave of suspensions against Arab and Palestinian journalists at DW”.
The New Arab contacted DW’s spokesperson, Christoph Jumpelt, who refused to comment on Maram Salem’s claims. He affirmed, however, that DW adopts a clear definition of ‘antisemitism’, which is that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA.
On Wednesday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor criticized the results of DW’s investigation and outcomes, calling it “biased, flawed and dangerous”.
Adapted from: https://www.palestinechronicle.com/german-state-broadcaster-fires-palestinian-arab-employees-after-flawed-antisemitism-probe/
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