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German broadcaster suspends four workers amid antisemitism probe

Social media posts by members of Deutsche Welle’s Arabic service appeared to downplay the Holocaust or perpetuate anti-Jewish stereotypes

The building of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany, July 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, File)
The building of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany, July 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, File)

BERLIN  — 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 anti-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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