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.
Germany's Deutsche Welle has fired Palestinian journalist Maram Salem over alleged Facebook post critical of Israeli regime. #savepalestine #savesheikhjarrah #free_palestine🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸 #freedom pic.twitter.com/XxyIz054jT
— DAYS OF PALESTINEᅠ (@DaysOfPal) February 7, 2022
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.
Here's an inside memo sent around to people at Deutsche Welle concerning how to talk (or rather not) about Palestine and Israel's ongoing brutalization against Palestinians. All in response to @AliAbunimah Truly disgusting from German media. pic.twitter.com/p04u7MyNwF
— Corner Späti (@cornerspaeti) May 15, 2021
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”.
(EXCLUSIVE) “I’m not antisemitic. I am someone who believes in freedom of speech”
Palestinian journalist Maram Salem, after being fired from Deutsche Welle for alleged antisemitic views, strongly criticized the management for censoring freedom of speech https://t.co/0NzEOMDn3K pic.twitter.com/wXjZicOMx8
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) February 10, 2022
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”.
Palestinian journalist Maram Salem, who posted about "free speech in Europe," says her employer Deutsche Welle conducted a "sham" probe into anti-Semitism allegations before terminating herhttps://t.co/VjgQYzZ1Sd
— TRT World (@trtworld) February 11, 2022
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”.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)