Germany disciplines diplomats over anti-Israel and antisemitic “likes”

Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has instituted new social media guidelines and disciplined personnel after anti-Israel and antisemitic tweets were “liked” by the official Twitter account of the German mission to the Palestinian territories.

The heart icon for several tweets criticising Jews and Israel was clicked some two weeks ago an account belonging to Germany’s envoy to the Palestinian territories, Christian Clages. The tweets included a video praising attacks on IDF soldiers as well as footage of David Duke – former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and Holocaust denier – discuss an “allege” massacre of Jews.

The Foreign Ministry stated that 10 people had access to the “Germany in Ramallah” Twitter account and it was not clear who clicked the “likes.” The ministry says the account wasn’t secured against unauthorised users.

It says the head of Germany’s office in Ramallah, Christian Clages, and others were disciplined. The social media guidance sent to all diplomatic posts clarifies “that even ‘likes’ are understood as expressions of opinion of the German government” and now require the approval of two people.

The ministry says it “publicly made it clear the contents of the tweets concerned are unacceptable, contradict the attitude of the German government, and are not tolerated.”

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