Germany's Deutsche Welle stokes antisemitism, says CAMERA

The media outlet used term "Israel lobbyists" to describe its critics.

The German flag is pictured at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2017 (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE)
The German flag is pictured at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2017
ATHENS – A row erupted between the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) and the German news outlet Deutsche Welle after the media watchdog organization accused the publicly funded media group of stoking antisemitism.
It came after DW corrected an error in an article that stated 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005 and, since then, no Jews live in the coastal enclave.
Ines Pohl, the editor-in-chief of DW, tweeted on Thursday that, “Because of a translation error, the DW has for days been exposed to massive criticism of so-called Israel lobbyists. We strongly reject this accusation. Nevertheless, the mistake should not have happened – and we apologize for that.”
CAMERA said it took issue with being called "Israel lobbyists", even though DW said that the the mistake in translation was pointed out to the paper by the Israel Embassy in Berlin and not by CAMERA. The original text, written in German, did not carry the mistake, which was inserted, the paper said, mistakenly when the article was translated into English.
“We’re appalled for a few reasons,” CAMERA's Jonah Cohen told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “One, we simply pointed out a factual error in their reporting, and their response has been to attack us for it. Two, we’re not a lobby, which would have taken almost no research to discover. And, three, the phrase ‘Israel Lobbyists’ has antisemitic connotations in German discourse. Only Israel is singled out as having lobbyists.”
Christoph Jumpelt, a spokesman for DW, told the Post on Tuesday: “We generally comment on specific questions regarding our reporting,” adding that he “flatly rejects the accusation," presumably the charge of antisemitism leveled by CAMERA.
Jumpelt said that, “concerning the correction of a translation error, I would like to say that the correction was made at the time when some publications claimed that they had detected this mistake.”
The Post reported on the error in November. Pohl and Jumpelt declined to say who the “so-called Israel lobbyists” are, and who wrote the correction article accusing its critics of being “Israel lobbyists.” Pohl’s tweet electrified Twitter, with critics like the prominent German journalist Mirjam Fischer asking Pohl about her use of “Israel lobbyists.”
Vijeta Uniyal, an analyst of DW reporting on Israel who is widely considered one of the leading experts on Israel-India relations, told the Post: “It is disingenuous of Deutsche Welle to paint this as an isolated incident. In recent months alone, the broadcaster has been called out multiple times for its apparent antisemitic coverage. The broadcaster has repeatedly resorted to antisemitic tropes and dog whistles to slander independent journalists and those pointing out its bias.”