Sunday, April 29, 2018

Germany: Gov't company fires employee for 'antisemitic' social media posts

Via Jerusalem Post:
The German Corporation for International Cooperation said on Friday that it had fired one employee and disciplined two additional workers in response to scores of allegations of antisemitic Facebook posts by the company's staff, including at their location in Jordan, which were first revealed by The Jerusalem Post.

"Meetings were held with the eight employees whose posts had been criticized to clarify each specific case, and the outcome was carefully considered on an individual basis. As a result, there has been a dismissal, a written warning and a reprimand," said the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in a statement.


The GIZ headquarters is located in the West German city of Bonn and it describes itself as a "federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions."

Mohammed al-Mutawakel, who is currently a project manager at GIZ's headquarters in Bonn and was previously a project manager in Jordan, compared Israel to the Nazi movement. He posted an Israeli flag on Facebook and replaced the Star of David with a swastika. “I hate Israel,” he wrote. GIZ declined to disclose to the Post if al-Mutawakel had been fired and would not provide the name of the other disciplined employees.

Ulrich Nitschke, a senior GIZ employee in the Middle East, praised, according to the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, the nomination of the BDS movement for the Nobel Peace Prize. The BDS movement advocates boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

Tobias Thiel, who heads GIZ's Strengthening Reform Initiatives project, said Israel does not have the right to defend itself and shared articles that Israel committed a “deliberate massacre” in the Gaza Strip.

Prior to the GIZ decision to discipline employees, the whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, said GIZ's workplace culture is saturated with antisemitism. The source told the Post that Rudolf Rogg, who oversees the corporation's Middle East department, has “three Facebook accounts with anti-Israeli agitation.”

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