“How does the commitment to Israel fit together with a broadcaster that doesn’t even want to call Israel by name?”
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
Germany’s public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, is severing ties with Jordan’s Roya TV after a German website exposed antisemitic and Israel-bashing news coverage and social media posts. DW announced the decision in a press release on Sunday.
“We are truly sorry that we did not notice these disgusting images. Following the posts in question by Roya TV we must re-evaluate our cooperation,” said Guido Baumhauer, the network’s Managing Director Distribution, Marketing and Technology.
“Several pieces of content disseminated via the broadcaster’s social media channels are definitely not consistent with the values of DW. We will now even more critically review our partner selection internally, especially with regard to antisemitism and racism.”
The posts, which appeared on Roya TV’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, were uncovered by Vice’s German website. Vice found that, among other things:
• Roya’s news reports never refer to Israel by name, but as “the Israeli occupation.”
• Roya called Israeli victims of Hamas rockets “settlers of the Israeli occupation” on Instagram.
• Roya gives disproportionate coverage to Jordanian opposition normalized relations with Israel.
Furthermore, a cartoon that Roya TV posted on Twitter featured pigs with Jewish stars on their backs being stabbed on the Temple Mount.
Schweine, mit Davidstern auf dem Rücken, die abgestochen werden. Vom Karikaturisten von @RoyaNews, dem Partnersender der @DeutscheWelle in Jordanien, der laut DW-Verantwortlichen “definitiv nicht israelfeindlich” ist. Mehr Beispiele im Thread. https://t.co/tkB6AsiMDs pic.twitter.com/FtDs2575vX
— Felix Dachsel (@xileffff) December 5, 2021
“How does the commitment to Israel fit together with a broadcaster that doesn’t even want to call Israel by name?” Vice asked Deutsche Welle.
DW said it originally entered into a collaborative partnership with Roya TV in May of 2020, “because the broadcaster addresses and supports in its programming topics such as promotion of media literacy of young people, equal rights for women and the rights of minorities in Jordan.”
A spokesman for Deutsche Welle initially told Vice Germany that Roya couldn’t be termed “hostile to Israel,” but DW backtracked soon afterwards.
On Friday, Deutsche Welle said in a separate case that it was suspending four employees and one freelancer during an investigation into allegations that they expressed anti-Israel and antisemitic views.
German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung had quoted social media comments allegedly made by members of DW’s Arabic service, including some that appeared to downplay the Holocaust or perpetuate anti-Jewish stereotypes.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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