Daniel Killy, former Executive Managing Editor of Bremen’s Weser-Kurier, who became the victim of threats and abuse for writing about Jewish issues and Israel and was fired shortly after, has been accused of “playing the victim” by the German daily newspaper Junge Welt.
In November, Killy reported to Arutz Sheva that he discovered a Nazi-style denunciation of his life and work, written by a former editor at the paper (himself the son of a Nazi), had been circulated amongst Bremen’s politicians.
According to Killy’s account, he received a letter from his Chief Executive Officer at the paper’s publisher, Bremer Tageszeitungen AG, officially forbidding him from engaging in voluntary work for the Jewish Community. In a meeting with his CEO, Killy says that he was warned: “Mr. Killy, you need to understand that we as Bremen’s monopoly paper can’t afford to be considered pro-Jewish.” When Killy responded that this explanation was perhaps seventy years too late, he said that his CEO replied: “No, no, of course I didn’t mean it like that” and assured him that there was no longer a problem.
Six weeks later he was fired.
In an article on their website, Junge Welt describes Killy’s report to Arutz Sheva as being “clearly intended to incite controversy amongst an Israeli and international audience regarding how a Jewish editor is treated by a German newspaper.” Quoting Meedia, Germany’s largest news agency, they restate Bremer Tageszeitungen AG’s position that, as an active member of Hamburg’s Jewish community, Killy’s lacked necessary journalistic neutrality.
In his interview with Arutz Sheva, Killy remarks that, “this instruction [to cease writing on Jewish and Israeli issues] went against Germany’s official state doctrine. Germany is a steadfast friend of Israel and protector of its Jewish population. To be forbidden, as a journalist, to take a stand for Jewish issues, is a demonstration of blunt anti-Semitism, and does not stem from media neutrality.”
Junge Welt reports that, in addition to Killy’s “neutrality” being questionable, he had also neglected to acquire written permission prior to engaging in voluntary work as press spokesperson for Hamburg’s Jewish community, thereby breaching the terms of his contract with the Weser-Kurier.
Junge Welt goes on to report the upset accusations of antisemitism caused at Weser-Kurier and writes that management called into question the quality of Killy’s journalism. Editor-in-chief Moritz Döbler stated, “We were forever arguing over the position of the paper,” and Ruth Gerbracht, chair of Bremer Tageszeitungen AG, is reported to have been “appalled at how Killy was damaging our paper.”
Junge Welt concludes by stating, “Criticism against Israel does not necessarily equal antisemitism and firing an editor with Jewish beliefs is not automatically motivated by antisemitism.”
Sources: Junge Welt, Arutz Sheva