German publishing giant tells pro-Palestine employees to 'find new job'

German publishing giant tells pro-Palestine employees to 'find new job'
Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner told employees to 'look for a new job' if they disagreed with the flying of the Israeli flag during the Jewish state's assault on Gaza.
2 min read
25 June, 2021
Axel Springer owns several news publications, including Bild, Die Welt, Business Insider and Politico Europe [Getty]

The head Europe's largest digital publishing house has told the firm's 16,000 staff to find employment elsewhere if they take issue with the flying of an Israeli flag outside its building in Berlin.

Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner made the threat after several staff members reportedly complained about the company's raising of an Israeli flag during Tel Aviv's 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip in May.

"I think, and I'm being very frank with you, a person who has an issue with an Israeli flag being raised for one week here, after antisemitic demonstrations, should look for a new job," Döpfner said in an internal video conference with employees last week.

"After these weeks of terrible antisemitic demonstrations, we at our building headquarters said next to the European flag, and the German flag and the Berlin flag, let's raise for one week the Israeli flag as a gesture of solidarity. We do not accept these kinds of aggressive antisemitic movements," he added, in reference to Palestine solidarity marches, which had taken place across the country to demonstrate Israel's bombardment of the besieged enclave.

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Last month, protests took place across the world, including in Western capitals, against Israel's attempts to forcibly expel Palestinians from their West Banks homes and the Jewish state's bombardment of Gaza.

At least 295 Palestinians, including 42 women and 73 children, were killed by Israeli security forces during this period, while 10,149 were injured during demonstrations, search-and-arrest operations, air strikes and shelling.

It was against this backdrop of global outrage at Israel's actions that Axel Springer decided to raise an Israeli flag outside its headquarters.

Founded in 1946, Axel Springer owns several local and international news publications, including BildDie WeltBusiness Insider and Politico Europe.

The firm states support for "the Jewish people and the right of existence of the State of Israel" as one of its five core values.