Europe

Germany’s Deutsche Welle censors critical reporting of Israel

Broadcaster bans reporters from covering Israel’s ‘colonialism’, crimes of ‘apartheid’, persecution of Palestinians

17.05.2021
Germany’s Deutsche Welle censors critical reporting of Israel

BERLIN 

Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has restricted critical reporting of Israel citing the country’s special responsibility for the Jewish state due to the Holocaust.


DW’s editorial board has banned its reporters and editors from covering Israeli government’s crimes of “apartheid” and persecution of Palestinians, in a new reporting guide sent to the staff amid recent escalation in the region.


The two-page internal document, which has been leaked and shared on social media, has underlined that the Holocaust’s legacy and Germany’s special responsibility towards Israel remain cornerstones of the country’s constitution and its foreign policy.


“As DW, we never question Israel’s right to exist as a state or allow people in our coverage to do so,” the broadcaster’s Editor-in-Chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge told the staff.


“We never refer to an Israeli ‘apartheid’ or an ‘apartheid regime’ in Israel. We also avoid referring to ‘colonialism’ or ‘colonialists’,” the document noted.

“We respect freedom of speech and opinion and people’s right to criticize any of the sides involved. However, criticism of Israel becomes antisemitism when it attempts to tarnish, discredit and delegitimize the state of Israel or Jewish people and culture per se,” it added.


Deutsche Welle has long been criticized for its biased reporting on Israeli government’s aggression against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

HRW accuses Israel of apartheid


International human rights organizations continue to accuse Israeli government of apartheid, systematic oppression and inhumane acts against Palestinians.


In a recent report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Israeli authorities are committing crimes against humanity, and crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.


“The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem,” the HRW said in its 213-page report, released last month.


“In the occupied territory, the severity of the repression, including the imposition of draconian military rule on Palestinians while affording Jewish Israelis living in a segregated manner in the same territory their full rights under Israel’s rights-respecting civil law, amounts to the systematic oppression required for apartheid,” the HRW said.

Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza


At least 200 Palestinians have been killed, including 59 children and 35 women, in Israeli attacks in Gaza since last week, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 1,305 people have also been injured and tens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli offensive.


Ten Israelis have also been killed by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.


The recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.


Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.​​​​​​​

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