The CEO of a German media giant had a very pointed message for employees who complained that the company raised the Israeli flag outside their offices to show solidarity with the Jewish people and Israel as anti-Semitic demonstrations unfolded last month, saying that they should find new jobs.
The remarks by Axel Springer SE CEO Mathias Döpfner were made during a meeting last Thursday for the company’s 16,000 employees where he addressed complaints from some employees that the company had raised an Israeli flag outside company headquarters in Berlin.
“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 anti-Semitic demonstrations, should look for a new job,” Döpfner said. “After these weeks of terrible antisemitic demonstrations, we at our building headquarters raised next to the European flag, and the German flag, [and] the Berlin flag, said let’s raise for 1 week the Israeli flag as a gesture of solidarity. We do not accept this kind of aggressive anti-Semitic movements.”
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Berlin-based Axel Springer is the largest digital publisher in Europe, which owns Bild, Die Welt, Business Insider, Politico Europe and many other news brands, as well as Israel’s largest classified ads website, Yad2. …
Axel Springer put the Israeli flag up in front of its headquarters in May, following antisemitic displays at pro-Palestinian demonstrations across Germany, including marches to synagogues, shouting slogans against Jews, attacks on Jewish institutions and the burning of Israeli flags.
Döpfner reportedly said that some people did not want to work for the company if the company flew the Israeli flag and that those people did “not fit the company and its values.”
Axel Springer was founded post-WWII in 1946 in the western German city of Hamburg. The company’s top-5 “Essentials” includes standing up for the Jewish people and Israel’s right to exist.
The company’s top-5 Essentials include:
- We stand up for freedom, the rule of law, democracy and a united Europe.
- We support the Jewish people and the right of the State of Israel to exist.
- We support the transatlantic alliance between the United States of America and Europe.
- We are committed to a free and social market economy.
- We reject political and religious extremism and any kind of racism and sexual discrimination.
Anti-Semitic demonstrations and attacks on Jews skyrocketed last month after Israel repeatedly defended itself from Palestinian terrorist attacks from Gaza. Palestinian terrorists fired thousands of rockets at Israel and Israel responded by devastating terrorist infrastructure, including over 60 miles of underground tunnels, inside Gaza. Israel also said it killed more than two hundred terrorists. Out of the estimated 4,350 rockets fired at Israel, approximately 650 fell inside Gaza and Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted roughly 90% of the remaining rockets.
“The public doesn’t know everything yet, nor does Hamas. Our accomplishments will be revealed in time,” said former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May. “We caused maximum damage to Hamas with minimal casualties on the Israeli side, and of course we grieve all loss of human life.”