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Deutsche Welle dismisses Palestinian journalist

Maram Salem says she was fired for being Palestinian.

Jerusalem24 – German media outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) fired four Arab and Palestinian journalists in its employment and cut ties with a fifth Palestinian involved in training courses with the organization on grounds of anti-Semitism.

Jerusalem24 attempted to contact DW to answer a few questions. The only response was to a press statement published last week on the outlet’s website. Saying that a team of independent experts presented their findings on Monday after reports of “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel” remarks made by some employees at DW.

The investigation concluded that there is no structural antisemitism issue in DW, but that measures in training and recruitment must be taken to avoid further individual cases. While DW Director General Peter Limbourg said that as a result of the investigations, five employees will no longer work for DW.

“I was mostly asked about my Palestinian identity and my childhood in Palestine and not about my work in Deutsche Welle.”

Maram Salem (Source: Facebook)

One of the dismissed journalists, Maram Salem took to Facebook protesting the decision of her dismissal. In her post, she said, “in my case, my post had no expression explicit or implicit of Anti-Semitism and did not mention Israel at all. My post only spoke of the freedom of expression in Europe.”

In a statement published yesterday, Wednesday, the Human Rights watchdog Euro-Med expressed concern regarding the dismissal of the journalists of Arab origins. Calling the two-month investigation into them biased.

Salem echoed the statements that the investigation was biased. She told Jerusalem24 that the external investigation was biased by the line of questioning. She said, “I was mostly asked about my Palestinian identity and my childhood in Palestine and not about my work in Deutsche Welle.”

Euro-Med said that the investigation’s report entails numerous Israeli talking points. The report criticized DW for publishing multiple articles on the “Great March of Return” for referring to them as “protests at the Gaza Strip-Israel Border instead of riots. Here the investigators presented debunked Israeli talking points as facts.

A page from the reporting guide from Deutsche Welle’s editor-in-chief.

The investigation also stated that the mention of the Palestinian Nakba when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced in 1948 as anti-Semitic, that Israeli settlements – which are illegal under international law – should not be blamed for the failure of the two-state solution.

Last year, during the events that took place in May in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, an internal memo was distributed among DW staff. According to DW, “We never refer to an Israeli ‘apartheid’ or an ‘apartheid regime’ in Israel. We also avoid referring to ‘colonialism’ or ‘colonialists’.

This came despite several reports regarding Israeli apartheid released by Human Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Israeli watchdog organization B’tselem who at the time stated and more recently Amnesty International all published reports regarding Israel’s practice of Apartheid.

You can hear the entire interview with Maram Salem on Wake Up Palestine below.

Wake-Up Palestine broadcasts every day from Sunday to Thursday at 9:15 AM on Jerusalem24 106.1 FM

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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