The lead article on the opinion page of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper seemingly compared Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the 1940 Nazi movie ‘The Eternal Jew’.
The article was titled in the paper “The Eternal Netanyahu” in a word play in connection with director Fritz Hippler’s antisemitic pseudo-documentary, based on the medieval legend of the wandering Jew, that served as a cinematographic justification for the Holocaust.
The anti-Netanyahu headline lit up German Twitter, with accusations of antisemitism directed at the left-leaning paper that is read by many social democrat voters.
Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels organised the production of the film The Eternal Jew, widely-considered to be the most violent anti-Jewish film ever made.
After intense protests on Twitter, the Frankfurter Rundschau issued a statement that “The first version of the title of our editorial on Israel’s election results provoked a controversy – and rightly so. We wanted to point to the term of office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and we did not consider that the Nazis in 1940 with the antisemitic propaganda film ‘The Eternal Jew’ agitated against Jews.”
The paper wrote: “The FR apologises for the historical amnesia.” The initial online article read “The Eternal Bibi” and was changed to: “The Eternal Netanyahu.” The online headline now reads “The irreplaceable Netanyahu.”