German antisemitism condoned by the state

Deutsche Welle (DW) is the German government’s radio and TV broadcaster for foreign countries. Its mission is to present a realistic picture of the German state and its policies and to promote freedom and democracy. As this is a state task, the radio and TV broadcaster, founded in 1953, is fully funded by German taxpayers.

At the end of November, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper was the first to report that the broadcaster had dismissed five of its staff for, among other things, calling the Shoah an „artificial creation” and claiming that „through art, media and music, the Jews continue to dominate people’s minds.” DW’s correspondent in Beirut said that anyone who “has any connection with Israelis” is a collaborator and that all members of the Israeli Defense Forces are “traitors who must be executed.” A permanent staffer at the station spoke of his willingness to join the Islamic State if it finally chased „the Israelis out of the Holy Land.”

Peter Limbourg, DW’s director-general, immediately tried to spin it, saying it has a strict set of values that binds all of its employees. The broadcaster’s council, delegated by the state, also found „nothing wrong” with the actions of the staff and even questioned „making generalized accusations” against them. But in the meantime, the scandal has grown, with a commission of inquiry headed by former Free Democrat Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and German-Israeli psychologist Ahmad Manzour recently publishing its report.

According to the commission, at least five employees have made clearly intolerable antisemitic statements and will be dismissed. A further 11 employees are still under investigation. The head of the Arab station himself offered to leave, which DW accepted.

As Peter Limbourg aptly put it, „Even the suspicion that antisemitism exists in a German taxpayer-funded institution is certainly intolerable for Jews in Germany and around the world.”

Unfortunately, this profound realization did not lead to Limbourg’s resignation, although that would have been the only acceptable conclusion.

The weekly newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag investigated the matter itself before the investigation and concluded that antisemitism was more widespread among the station’s editors and staff than the management was willing to admit.

The paper reported on the „structural antisemitism” at the broadcaster, as it found numerous anti-Israel and antisemitic interviews, articles and Facebook posts with the DW logo.

To give just a few examples, Yasser Abunuailek, a reporter for Deutsche Welle, who among other things hosts a science program, wrote in a post that it is common knowledge that Israel kills children and criticized the fact that in Germany the slogan „child-killer Israel” is considered antisemitic. On another occasion, he compared Israel to Hitler’s Germany, stating, „Now we know why Israel is killing Palestinians in Gaza … it reminds me of a certain regime that worked on similar final solutions.”

Another editor, Zahi Alawi, called Israel a „terrorist state” in several posts and called on the Palestinian leadership to withdraw its recognition of the state of Israel. The same editor was quoted as an expert by the Arabic online magazine Arabi21, where he said that „many German institutions are controlled by the Jewish lobby” and thus succeed in preventing criticism of Israel. DW producer Asmaa Al-Khaledi, a DW Academy trainer, is a sympathizer of the Hamas terrorist organization and the Al-Qassam Brigades. On her Facebook page, she hailed Islamic jihad fighters who managed to break out of their Israeli jails as „our heroes” and called the United Arab Emirates „the United Zionist Emirate” after the Israeli peace agreement.

One could go on and on, with countless posts and facts proving that antisemitism was not only tolerated but also approved of by DW’s Arab editorial staff.

One of the most glaring examples of this was a TV interview last week, during which Turkish journalist Hamza Tekin refused to appear on camera with Israeli Shlomo Ganor because, as he said, he “does not perform with Israelis.” After this scandal, DW continued to invite Tekin to appear on the program; the editor-in-chief wrote to the staff to keep an eye on the possible “radical” background of invitees in the future — not to avoid inviting them in the future, but to “prevent similar incidents.”

Antisemitism is not solely an issue for state-funded institutions. The exhibition called “documenta,” held in Kassel every five years and supposedly the world’s largest showcase of contemporary art, invited several artists to this year’s event who signed open letters and petitions calling Israel an apartheid state, accusing it of mass murder, and who belong to the BDS movement, which has been condemned by the German parliament.

To give just a few examples, Yazan Khalili, a spokesperson for an invited artists’ collective, called a few years ago for a boycott of the State of Israel, with the ultimate aim of „dissolving” Israel. Several members of the Indonesian collective Ruangrupa, the main guest of the art show, are also close to the BDS movement, with one of their works referring to Jerusalem as part of Palestine. However, the Green Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth, sees no problem in this in the name of „artistic freedom” — why should she, when the Green Party is still an important ideological and financial supporter of the „Palestinian resistance.”

The extent to which antisemitic, anti-Israel propaganda and migrant-infiltrated Islamic antisemitism has permeated German society is demonstrated by an almost tragicomic case. In the past week, many have noticed that the editors of Duden, the most important German dictionary, have recently added a “special reference” to the term “Jude,”  or Jew, in the online version of the dictionary, specifically: “The term Jude, Jüdin (Jew, Jewish woman) is perceived by some as a negative distinction because it reminds them of the national socialist vocabulary. In such cases, the term Jewish people, Jewish citizens or people of the Jewish religion is recommended.”

The new reference is revealing and certainly points to a real phenomenon, especially among young people of Islamic origin, if not the intention. If, in the meantime, the term “Jew” has once again become a stigma in Germany, as the editorial staff of the dictionary rightly perceives, then perhaps instead of avoiding it, we should ask ourselves why this is so.

The ensuing outrage in the political bubble was, of course, not directed against the spread of left-wing and Islamic antisemitism, but against the unfortunate editors who had inadvertently spoken the truth.

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