Germany’s foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) announced on Sunday it has halted its partnership with a Jordanian TV channel Roya after discovering that the station was spreading anti-Semitic comments and cartoons on social media channels.
Stressing the regrets over the fact that DW’s previous assessment had found no anti-Israel bias on the Amman-based privately-owned channel, DW managing director Guido Baumhauer apologized, underscoring that from now on, they’ll review internally their partner selection even more critically, especially with regard to anti-Semitism and racism.
The German State-owned broadcaster has also pledged to crack down on anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment among its own ranks while investigating allegedly bigoted commentary by some of its own employees.
Süddeutsche Zeitung reported last week reported that several DW employees of its Arabic news service editorial staff including Beirut bureau chief Bassel Aridi, had downplayed the Holocaust with their comments and repeated stereotypes about Jews and anti-Semitic slurs.
Among the alleged comments, there’s a calling to execute any “traitor” who engaged with Israelis, with one staffer expressing readiness to join the Islamic State in a potential war to oust Israel from the Holy Land and another editor reportedly bragging after breaking off a conversation with a Jewish woman after discovering who she was, calling the Holocaust a “fabrication.”
DW Director General Peter Limbourg stressed the zero-tolerance policy toward antisemitism at the media outlet, underlying that the quoted private statements by some DW employees are incompatible with the values the DW stands for.
While the investigation will continue to examine DW employees’ comments in other media and on their personal social media profiles, the staffers accused of anti-Semitism had been suspended pending an independent investigation of the matter.
Emphasizing the independence of the investigation, DW pointed it had appointed former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and psychologist Ahmad Mansour, both specialists with particularly high-level expertise for this task.