Tuesday, February 14, 2017

German News Agency 'regrets' antisemitic conspiracy about Trump

The German press agency DPA apologized Tuesday after writing in an article ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump that important Jewish donors catapulted Trump into the presidency. Daniel Killy, a spokesman for the Hamburg Jewish community, told the Post “It's not a statement of the neo-fascist NPD party. It's the German Press Agency spreading ‘Jewish lobby-‘ and other antisemitic clichés - truly unbelievable!." Killy is a member of the German-Israel friendship society in Hamburg. The Hamburg-based DPA wrote, “Trump was elevated onto the throne by influential Jewish party sponsors.” Chris Melzer, a spokesman for DPA told the Post, that “the article should not have been published and we regret that.” He added that DPA is working on a new article that “within minutes will be published.” Volker Beck, a Green Party MP who heads the German-Israel parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the Post that the article shows "the fantasies about Jewish money that controls the world...One sees antisemitic ideas belong to part of the culture.That shows how important education remains about antisemitic cliches and prejudices." Ulrich Sahm, a veteran German journalist based in Jerusalem, told the Post: “This article should be added to 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'” The document “The Protocols of the Elder of Zion” asserted an international Jewish conspiracy in Europe and has been widely condemned as an antisemitic publication. Twitter was abuzz with criticism of the DPA report on Tuesday. The DPA article’s focus covered the Jewish background of the Trump administration's representatives. Critics say the article suggested a conspiratorial world view that American Jews are pulling the strings behind the Trump administration. The report said Trump “installed David Friedman as ambassador to Israel…the son of a rabbi who is known as a hard-liner in questions regarding the Middle East.” The article said Trump’s advisor Jared Kushner is a “scion of a strictly religious Jewish family” and has decision-making weight with Trump. Sheldon Adelson, a US businessman who supports Israel, was cited as an “ultra-rich casino owner.” The DPA article’s dateline was Tel Aviv and Washington and the report was a joint-byline dispatch by Stefanie Järkel und Michael Donhauser. The DPA has news bureaus in roughly 100 countries and 50 offices in Germany. Järkel sent the Post a link to a DPA tweet stating: "Some of the formulations do not conform to DPA-standards."Järkel declined to answer specific Post questions about her role in the article. Donhauser did not immediately responds to a Post query. Melzer told the Post that the reporters were not disciplined, but they did have a "critical conversation" about the article.

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