Deutsche Welle suspends cooperation with Jordan broadcaster
BERLIN (AP) — German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Sunday it is suspending cooperation with a Jordanian partner, Roya TV, because of concerns about anti-Israeli and antisemitic content and caricatures on its social media.
Deutsche Welle said it had entered a partnership with Roya TV because the broadcaster addressed issues such as gender equality, the rights of minorities in Jordan and promoting young people’s media literacy.
But Guido Baumhauer, a senior executive with the German company, said it will have to re-evaluate the cooperation because “several pieces of content disseminated via the broadcaster’s social media channels are definitely not consistent with the values of DW.” He added in a statement: “We are truly sorry that we did not notice these disgusting images.”
The company said it “vehemently” distances itself from such content and “regrets its initial assessment that Roya TV is not anti-Israel.”
There was no immediate comment from Roya TV officials.
The German public broadcaster’s partnership arrangements involve Deutsche Welle supplying journalistic content.
Israel and Jordan made peace in 1994 and have close security ties. However, diplomatic relations have been strained in recent years over tensions at the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, and Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
On Friday, Deutsche Welle said in a separate case that it was suspending four employees and one freelancer during an investigation into allegations that they expressed anti-Israel and antisemitic views.
German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung had quoted social media comments allegedly made by members of DW’s Arabic service, including some that appeared to downplay the Holocaust or perpetuate anti-Jewish stereotypes.
DW said it requested an independent external investigation. The probe will be conducted by former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and psychologist Ahmad Mansour.