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November 3, 2021 3:26 pm

German Public Broadcaster Declines to Work With Palestinian Science Journalist Accused of Antisemitism

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The headquarters of German public broadcaster WDR in the city of Cologne. Photo: Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

One of Germany’s leading broadcasters confirmed on Tuesday that it would not proceed with the employment of a journalist with a record of anti-Zionist and antisemitic comments, citing issues around trust as the reason.

In a statement, the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR), which is part of a consortium of public broadcasters throughout Germany, said that it would not be working with the German-Palestinian journalist Nemi El-Hassan because “there is no longer any trust for future cooperation.”

El-Hassan had been due to begin presenting a science program, “Quarks,” later this month. However, an expose of her pro-Palestinian activities by the right-wing tabloid Bild revealed that she had attended the annual “Quds (Jerusalem) Day” demonstration in Berlin in 2014.

Organized and promoted by the Iranian regime, the Lebanese Shi’a terrorist group Hezbollah and other Iranian allies in the region, “Quds Day” events around the world traditionally feature virulently antisemitic and anti-Zionist speeches, Hezbollah flags and ceremonial burnings of the Israeli flag. For the last two years, local authorities in Berlin have banned the “Quds Day” demonstration, citing its antisemitic content.

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Bild also sifted through El-Hassan’s social media posts, discovering that she had expressed support for the anti-Israel BDS campaign and “liked” posts glorifying terrorism.

In an article for the Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Tuesday, El-Hassan argued that WDR had treated her as “the supposedly antisemitic and Islamist moderator with Palestinian roots, who allegedly lacks the ability to think scientifically because she is Muslim.”

El Hassan’s piece — entitled “I’m a Palestinian, deal with it” — went on to assert that German guilt over the Holocaust was also a factor. “The last few weeks have shown that in the land of the perpetrators, I should be declared an antisemite by birth,” she wrote.

The head of Germany’s main Jewish organization welcomed WDR’s decision not to employ El-Hassan, but warned against anti-Muslim generalizations.

“The doubts about the fundamental positions of Ms. El-Hassan were evidently justified,” Josef Schuster — president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — told the Judische Allgemeine newspaper on Wednesday.

“Any general suspicion of Muslims is completely unacceptable,” Schuster added.

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