German Broadcaster Suspends Workers amid anti-Israel, Antisemitism Probe

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 12: The broadcast tower at Alexanderplatz is seen behind a statue adorning the Reichstag on July 12, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The tower is among Berlin's most famous landmarks. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty

BERLIN (AP) — German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Friday it is suspending four employees and one freelancer during an investigation into allegations that they expressed anti-Israel and antisemitic views.

Munich daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung this week quoted social media comments allegedly made by members of DW’s Arabic service, including some that appeared to downplay the Holocaust or perpetuate ant-Jewish stereotypes.

DW said in a statement that it requested an independent external investigation into the allegations. The probe will be conducted by former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and psychologist Ahmad Mansour.

The broadcaster, which is funded by the German government, said all employees are required to abide by DW’s values and principles, which include a clear commitment to Israel’s right to exist and a rejection of antisemitism. The policy applies to employees’ private social media accounts.

DW said the affected employees would be suspended for the duration of the investigation and that it would “immediately draw the necessary consequences” once the review is completed.

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