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German court overturns DW decision to dismiss Palestinian journalist

March 21, 2023 at 11:59 am

Zahi Alawi [Twitter]

A German court has overturned the decision made by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle to dismiss a Palestinian journalist who was accused of anti-Semitism in February.

Zahi Alawi returned to work on 20 March.

I’m back! After more than a year… the labour court rejected the dismissal decision which came under the pretext of anti-Semitism. A strange feeling, but a victory for what is right, nevertheless. Thank you to everyone who stood by me over the past months.

Alawi was fired after an inquiry found that in 2014 he wrote social media posts that were considered anti-Semitic under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Critics have said that the IHRA definition equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

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The posts in question condemned the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2014 in which over 2,000 Palestinians were killed. “What the terrorist state of Israel is doing to the Palestinians is a repeated Holocaust,” Alawi wrote on his Facebook page that same year.

In total, in February 2022, seven Arab journalists were fired, four of them Palestinian, following a two-month investigation.

In 2021 the German broadcaster banned journalists from describing Israel as an apartheid state and advised them not to use the term colonialism.

In July 2022, a German court found that Deutsche Welle unlawfully fired Maram Salem, who was among the seven journalists who were sacked, and dismissed the anti-Semitism accusations.

“The Facebook posts she was accused of were not anti-Semitic and the termination was unlawful,” said a court in Bonn.