On November 16, Deutsche Welle published a guest opinion piece titled “Terrorists and settlers” Middle East expert Rainer Hermann, translated into English from the original that had been published in Hermann’s home paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The DW editors’ statement that followed the publication was the definition of perplexed: “Unfortunately, DW made a grave mistake in the translation into English. It gave the impression that there are currently 600,000 Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip. The original naturally referred to 600,000 Jewish settlers in Israeli-occupied areas.”
That’s one precious typo. In context, Hermann was commenting on the targeted assassination of an Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, which was followed by retaliation in the form of more than 400 rockets fired at Israeli civilians.
Now the offending paragraph:
“Both events shine a light on two reasons the conflict remains unresolved: The situation in Gaza, which has become a breeding ground for terrorism, and also the 600.000 Jewish settlers, who have built residences on what is internationally recognized as territory belonging to the Palestinian National Authority mainly in the West Bank area.”
And now, some perplexed German reaction for your reading pleasure:
“It is absurd that this mistake led to accusations that Deutsche Welle, as Germany’s international broadcaster, adheres to an anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic agenda. It is even more absurd to accuse the author Rainer Hermann from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of such a stance.
“He is not at fault in any way. His original German text was faultless and beyond any reproach. We are more annoyed than anyone by our own mistake. However, we completely refute all the accusations and skepticism leveled against us and our guest author Rainer Hermann by various publications in recent days.”
By the way, Hermann actually agrees with Israel’s need to employ its great intelligence prowess in taking out bad Arab terrorists. He even admires her for this ability. But then he reverts to the predictable liberal line that misery begets terrorism:
“But terrorism in Gaza will not be vanquished militarily. The Gaza Strip is almost entirely cut off from the world, and 80% of its 2 million residents are dependent upon international assistance for survival. There are few places in the world where unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is higher than in Gaza. Moreover, the area is one of the most densely populated in the region. Unless life there improves dramatically, the business of terror will continue to blossom.”
Yada, yada, yada. Terrorism in Gaza and the PA was at its highest when things were much better economically, before the decade of restricted access that followed Hamas’s takeover of the Strip. The fact is Arab terrorists will continue to try to kill Jews regardless of their economic situation, as has been proven during the “knives intifada” that started in 2015 in Judea and Samaria and is still going out in spurts. Those terrorists came from mostly good homes, with running water and uninterrupted electricity, as well as fast Internet service. It didn’t make a difference.
The only reason terrorism has been more subdued in the PA than in Gaza has to do with the fact that the IDF has destroyed the terror infrastructure in the PA, has maintained its direct control there, and has been utilizing its intelligence to arrest dozens of suspects every week.
And, no, we don’t think Deutsche Welle are anti-Semites. Just a little fragile…