Debate about Al-Kuds demo: El-Hassan is not allowed to moderate on WDR

Al-Kuds demo debate
El-Hassan is not allowed to moderate on WDR

A WDR journalist hit the headlines because she took part in an anti-Israel demonstration several years ago. Actually, she was supposed to moderate the show “Quarks”, but nothing comes of it for now.

The WDR is suspending the planned start of the moderation of Nemi El-Hassan in the science program “Quarks” for the time being. This was announced by the public broadcaster in Cologne. Actually, the 28-year-old should have started in November. The background to this is the announcement of her participation in an Al-Kuds demo in Berlin a few years ago. The WDR said: “The allegations against her weigh heavily. But it is also difficult to deny a young journalist a professional development. Therefore a careful examination is necessary.”

Nemi El-Hassan described the demo visit as a mistake. Sometimes she appears with and sometimes without a headscarf.

(Photo: dpa)

The “Bild” newspaper reported on the demo participation in Berlin in the context of El-Hassan’s new task for the public broadcaster. Thereupon El-Hassan distanced himself from the demo and said: “To take part in the Al-Kuds demos in Berlin seven years ago was a mistake.” At the annual Al-Kuds demonstrations in Berlin, anti-Semitic slogans were repeatedly shouted and symbols of the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah movement were shown. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has issued a ban on Hezbollah.

Central Council of Jews with “serious concerns”

On Al-Kuds Day, which falls at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Iran calls for the conquest of Jerusalem every year. The background is the occupation of East Jerusalem by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. Al-Kuds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. The statement by the journalist, media maker and doctor said about her participation at the time: “Under no circumstances did I utter anti-Semitic slogans during the demonstration, nor did I physically attack people of Jewish faith.” She was not present during riots.

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, announced: “The waves in the case of the journalist Nemi El-Hassan are high and unfortunately also reveal Islamophobia.” It is therefore important now to deal objectively with the question of whether she would be suitable as a WDR presenter despite her participation in the march. “The public broadcaster has a great responsibility not to present anyone on the screen who could spread hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism.” This must also be ensured with El-Hassan. There are currently significant concerns.