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DW sacks more Palestinian journalists on 7 years old posts criticising Israel

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BERLIN: Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW), has sacked two more Palestinian journalists for alleged anti-Semitic comments made some seven years ago.

The dismissals of Zahi Alawi and Yasser Abu Muailek came after social media posts from 2014 surfaced that were allegedly anti-Semitic, according to reports in German media.

The dismissals on Tuesday come one week after the news organisation let go of five Arabic staffers.

The posts in question referred to Facebook posts by Alawi and Abu Muailek that condemned the Israeli offensive on the blockaded Gaza in 2014.

“What the terrorist state of Israel is doing to the Palestinians is a repeated Holocaust,” Alawi wrote on his Facebook page in July 2014.

DW announced last week that it fired five journalists from its Arabic service after a two-month investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism.

The organisation has long been criticised for biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But management at DW has argued that Germany bears special responsibility for the country, due to Nazi crimes committed against Jews during World War II.

Last year, DW’s editorial board sent a new reporting guide to staff further restricting critical reporting of Israel and, according to a new statement, it is now planning to sharpen its code of conduct with more focus on anti-Semitism, Israel’s right to exist and Germany’s historical responsibility.

Sacked journalists have pointed out that anti-Semitism allegations were often used to limit freedom of expression and restrict criticism of Israel’s policies and actions.

“There’s a lot of red lines that you really can’t talk about it here when it comes to Israel. And I think it’s absurd, at least (for me) as a Palestinian who lived in the (occupied) West Bank for most of her life, that even saying normal stuff about what Israel is doing in the West Bank and (blockaded) Gaza, can be and will be held against me in Germany,” Maram Salem, who DW fired recently, said.

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