Germany's Fight Against Anti-Israeli Content and Pro-Palestinian Activists

Published May 18th, 2021 - 11:00 GMT
Germany accused of censoring Israeli-Palestinian content and restricting activists?
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Why is Germany censoring Israeli-Palestinian content and restricting activists?

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s governmental Media company, shared a new ideology with its journalists, writers and employees in terms of covering stories on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the reporting guide from the DW’s editor in chief, writers should not refer to Israel as an apartheid country. As written in the documents: “Apartheid: We never refer to an Israeli 'apartheid' or an 'apartheid regime' in Israel. We also avoid referring to 'colonialism' or 'colonialists'”.

Despite the note on the top of the documents that reads: “We respect freedom of speech and opinion and people’s rights to criticize any of the sides involved,” the German news agency highlighted that Hamas should be referred to as a terrorist organization; as recognized by the national government, the EU, the US and some Arab countries.

Furthermore, the DW announced that journalists do have the right to criticize the Israeli policy. For territory, this term must be used for the West Bank or Gaza, or the Palestinian territories in “reference to both.”

The German government is accused of standing by the Israeli side not only after the DW’s new guideline on the Palestinian cause and the conflict with Israel, but also after a Syrian activist was fired from his governmental position due to showing support for Palestine.

Mouatasem Alrifai, a Syrian Human Rights Activist, who has been living in Germany since 2016, said he was removed from his governmental position after revealing his support for the Palestinian cause.

In 2016, Alrifai traveled to Germany from Syria fleeing the war and became a master in the German language, then he obtained the membership of the Youth Advisory Council after a series of volunteer initiatives.

He announced through his Facebook page: “The Presidency of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development withdrew my appointment as a member of the Youth Advisory Council, after a torrent of pressure that I was subjected to from the Zionist lobby in Germany.”

The hashtags “#I_stand_with_mo and #متضامن_مع_معتصم”  were released to support Moutasem in face of the German suppression as the famous Syrian wrote calling all his friends to join their voices for Alrifai.

On the other hand, social media has been censoring and deleting all pro-Palestinian content; However, activists and users found other ways to continue their support such as the dotless words which makes it impossible for the publishing algorithms to read.

Activists and social media users have been badly rating some of the platforms on Google Play such as the Facebook, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, which stood at 1.5 out of 5 following the huge drop in rating votes by pro-Palestinian users.

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