German magazine accused of anti-Israel bias, turns terrorist into victim

“How many Jews have to die for 'Spiegel' to name a terrorist as such?”

Attempted ramming attack at the Kiosk Checkpoint near Ma'aleh Adumim, June 23, 2020 (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Attempted ramming attack at the Kiosk Checkpoint near Ma'aleh Adumim, June 23, 2020
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The Hamburg-based magazine Der Spiegel last week was catapulted into a fresh anti-Israel scandal when it published an article allegedly blaming Israeli police for shooting a Palestinian terrorist.
The Spiegel article was titled: “Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian at border crossing.”
A video showed alleged Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Mustafa Erekat ramming his car into soldiers. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Erekat “drove his vehicle quickly toward the direction of a female Border Police officer, who was injured lightly.”
When asked if the headline was anti-Israel, Anja zum Hingst, a spokeswoman for the paper, told The Jerusalem Post: “No, in this case Spiegel took over a news story from AFP news agency, as clearly shown under the post, which is recognizable. It is based on official Israeli information.”
When she was pressed by the Post as to whether Spiegel plans to correct the headline, zum Hingst said: “The first sentence of the lead says that the Palestinian quickly approached an official... the report is based on official Israeli information. Of course we don’t see anything anti-Israel or antisemitic in this.”
Other media outlets, however, indicated that an alleged Palestinian terrorist was involved in an attack. AP titled its article: “Palestinian Driver Killed In Alleged Attack On Israeli Guard,” and an Israeli media outlet’s headline said: “Driver tries to ram cops near Jerusalem, is shot and killed – police.”
“The magazine Der Spiegel obviously has a serious Israel problem,” Uwe Becker, commissioner of the German Hessian state government for combating antisemitism, told the Post on Saturday. “In a car-ramming attack, a Palestinian terrorist had tried to kill Israeli security forces with his vehicle. The lead story evokes a completely different picture, as if the nephew of a Palestinian politician was kind of randomly killed by Israeli forces.”
“The ongoing repetition of an anti-Israeli” content in Spiegel articles spreads “a massive anti-Israeli atmosphere in Germany,” he said.
Bild journalist Filipp Piatov wrote on Twitter in response to the Spiegel headline: “How many Jews have to die for Spiegel to name a terrorist as such?”
In an article on the Mena-Watch website, German journalist Alex Feuerherdt accused the paper of “double standards” against the Jewish state. He wrote that “an editorially edited agency announcement appears on the Spiegel website with the headline: ‘Man is said to have stabbed police officers in Glasgow.”’ The attack in Glasgow, Scotland took place on Friday. “This double standard is no exception, but it can be observed very regularly in reporting on Israel, not only at Der Spiegel,” he wrote.
Spiegel faced intense criticism in March for headlining a story on Israel’s fight against the coronavirus as the first “Corona Dictatorship,” led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The paper’s Middle East journalist, Christoph Sydow, who authored the article, later regretted the headline, writing on Twitter: “If I wrote the text again today, I would not use the word ‘dictatorship’ again. I stick to the assessment that the damage that has been done to the democratic system and that may be further inflicted is immense and will have ramifications for the country.”
Sydow, who was accused of antisemitism in two articles, committed suicide in early June.