Deutsche Welle antisemitism allegations to be investigated

A German newspaper raises antisemitism allegations against the Deutsche Welle media company. Several employees are alleged to have made anti-Israeli statements.

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
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE)

The German media outlet Deutsche Welle is facing accusations of Antisemitism. According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, several employees of the news channel's Arabic editorial team have allegedly made anti-Israeli or antisemitic remarks. The accusations are the result of a large-scale investigation and evaluation of social media posts and articles published in Arab media.

For example, one editor is said to have called the Holocaust an "artificial product" on Facebook, and said that Jews would continue to control "people's brains through art, media, and music." Another statement, according to the report, said that "everyone involved with the Israelis is a collaborator and every recruit in the ranks of their army is a traitor and must be executed."

Now Deutsche Welle plans to launch a full investigation into the allegations.

"On the orders of the Intendant, Deutsche Welle will immediately commission an independent external investigation," the German foreign broadcaster announced.

Deutsche Welle's code of conduct, it said, clearly stipulates the values that all of the station's employees must respect and represent both internally and externally. The editor-in-chief's code shows which journalistic principles must be observed when dealing with antisemitism.

Deutsche Welle's content is produced in a total of 32 languages. Around 3,000 permanent and freelance employees from 60 nations work at its sites in Bonn and Berlin. Deutsche Welle sees itself as an independent media company that presents Germany to the world with journalistic reporting "as a liberal democracy rooted in European culture" (its own statement).

A newspaper rack in the United Kingdom (credit: REUTERS)A newspaper rack in the United Kingdom (credit: REUTERS)

There are only four full TV programs; in addition to German, English, and Spanish channels, there is also an Arabic one, DW Arabia. With a total of more than 200 employees and freelancers, the Arabic program is one of the largest editorial teams, and, by its own account, it is also one of the station's most successful offerings.