Friday, June 21, 2019

Indian reporter accuses German news site of citing antisemitic politician

The Deutsche Welle, Germany's public international broadcaster, is accused of blocking on Tuesday a prominent Indian journalist on its Twitter feed because he criticized a DW article that quoted an antisemitic Muslim politician in India. Vijeta Uniyal, who is widely considered one of the leading experts on Israeli-India relations, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: "As an Indian journalist living in Germany, I regularly analyze German media coverage. In past, I have repeatedly tweeted about the anti-Israel bias in Deutsche Welle’s coverage. Last month, I was appalled to see an Indian politician with a track record of making antisemitic remarks being quoted by the broadcaster as a representative of the Indian Muslims." He continued "I approached Deutsche Welle in a private message on Twitter. Instead of taking any action on my complaint, they decided to block me. I don’t buy their lame apology. I was deliberately blocked to prevent me from tracking their future coverage. Apparently, someone at Deutsche Welle wasn’t comfortable with me sifting through their work." The Post contacted DW on Tuesday and a spokeswoman in the city of Bonn said the news outlet would research the case. On Wednesday, DW sent Uniyal a Tweet stating: "Hello @iUniyal, blocking people goes against our own DW social media standards - so it seems we blocked you by mistake. We've unblocked you now. Please accept our apologies."DW published an article on May 28, titled :Narendra Modi's victory worries Indian Muslims." Modi was reelected in a landslide victory in May. The DW article quoted Asaduddin Owaisi, a Muslim politician from the Muslim party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. Uniyal pointed out Owaisi's antisemitic comments to DW on Twitter. Owaisi has written on Twitter: "Zionists & Sanghis Natual Allies made for each other common hatred for Muslims." Embedded in Owaisi's antisemitic Tweet is a picture of Modi wearing a kippa with a Star of David on it and a yellow Star of David imposed on a crowd in the background.The DW made no reference to Owaisi's history of Jew-hatred in its article. Uniyal, who has written extensively about antisemitism, said to DW that this "despicable antisemite is your source." DW was embroiled in alleged anti-Israel scandal last year for publishing an antisemitic commentary against the Jewish state. According to Values Initiative, a German Jewish group, and Israeli critics, Bettina Marx, the head of the Ramallah office of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, who has faced criticism over the years for alleged hardcore anti-Israel sentiments, wrote a one-sided June 9 commentary in DW, blaming only Israel for a collapse in peace talks with the Palestinians. Values Initiative listed a series of alleged factual errors in Marx’s text. Marx claimed Israel “annexed” West Jordan and the Gaza Strip in 1967, while Adler and Sandra Kreisler from Values Initiative wrote that Israel’s seizure of West Jordan and the Gaza Strip took place in the context of a war launched by Jordan and Egypt.

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