Friday, 13 Dec 2019 - 15 of Kislev, 5780

Der Spiegel article: ‘The antisemitic canard that politicians are puppets of secret behind-the-scenes powers is abhorrent and timeless’

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 Der Spiegel‘s coverage of Israel has long been problematic. Headlines and articles regularly portray the Jewish state as aggressive, militaristic, and vengeful. Israel is always portrayed as the aggressor, the Palestinians as victims, and any peace initiative as having failed due to stubborn nationalists in Jerusalem.”

BERLIN—The leading political magazine in Germany, Der Spiegel, published last month a three-page article headlined ‘’Lobbying in the Bundestag : how two organizations control Germany’s Middle East policy’’.

According to this article, written by a team of six journalists, two organizations based in Germany – Values Initiative and The Middle East Peace Forum (Naffo) – are “controlling German Middle East policy.”

The  publication of the article on Jewish-Zionist influence followed the vote by the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, of a resolution condemning  BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions campaign as being antisemitic and seeking the destruction of the Jewish state.

The reporters in the article claimed that the rejection of BDS across the political spectrum in Germany was due to the sinister influence of the two NGOs, and not because German politicians believe in combating antisemitism in all its forms, including BDS.

Der Spiegel claimed that members of parliament did “not want to reject the resolution out of fear of being labeled an antisemite.”

The website of Values Initiative published a detailed question-and-answer section on Sunday in response to the Spiegel article, which claimed that the organizations run a “network” and wield outsized “influence.”

“Both Naffo and the Value Initiative have contacts with specialist politicians in the relevant areas (foreign policy/domestic policy) and meet them for talks, send position papers or invite them to thematically oriented events,” Values Initiative wrote.

‘’The antisemitic canard that politicians are puppets of secret behind-the-scenes powers is abhorrent and timeless,’’ commented Remko Leemhuis, Deputy Director of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin.

‘’ Der Spiegel‘s coverage of Israel has long been problematic. Headlines and articles regularly portray the Jewish state as aggressive, militaristic, and vengeful. Israel is always portrayed as the aggressor, the Palestinians as victims, and any peace initiative as having failed due to stubborn nationalists in Jerusalem,’’ he added.

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