German news anchor suspended after calling for boycott of Israeli products

Syrian-German journalist and activist Helen Fares called on her 100,000 Instagram followers to use an app that identifies Israeli products so they can avoid buying them; German channel SWR suspended her from her digital talk show program 'Mix Talk'
Zeev Avrahami, Berlin|
The German channel SWR, which is partially funded by the government and public funds, suspended the popular news anchor and host Helen Fares, who has Syrian roots, from her job after she called for a boycott of Israeli products.
Fares published a video on her private Instagram channel (where she is known as Mrs. Baklava), which has over 100,000 followers, in which she introduced an app called "No Thanks" created by Ahmed Bashbash, a Palestinian man living in Hungary, which can be used to scan product barcodes in supermarkets to check whether the products on the shelf were made in Israel or whether the companies or company owners support Israel.
"Don't buy from Jews, version 2024," wrote an antisemitism monitoring organization in Germany on its X account (formerly Twitter) in response to the disclosure.
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 TV host and activist Helen Fares on Instagram pushing a boycott of Israeli products
 TV host and activist Helen Fares on Instagram pushing a boycott of Israeli products
TV host and activist Helen Fares on Instagram pushing a boycott of Israeli products
(Photo: Screenshot of Helen Fares' Instagram account)
Fares did not stop there; She also announced that she has stopped using Alpro products, despite her fondness for the company's chocolate milk, after it became clear to her that the owner invests in Israeli startups and in the Israeli economy.
Alpro is a subsidiary of Danone, a company founded by the Jewish-Spanish Carasso family. Daniel, the son of the founder, escaped from Paris to the U.S. in 1941 in order to not fall into the hands of the Wehrmacht forces.
A quick look into Fares' X account reveals regular antisemitic content. She calls the regime in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "fascists," and she calls Israel an "apartheid state" that commits "genocide." In addition to an economic boycott, she also calls for a cultural boycott of Israel, such as its suspension from the Eurovision Song Contest.
The fact that she did this and promoted a BDS platform as an employee of a public station shows how far personalities in media and culture in Germany have gone in their venomous and inflammatory criticism of Israel without fear of being harmed. "I would like an app that tells me who is antisemitic in public stations so I can boycott them," wrote a German citizen on X. "It's just crazy that exactly half a year after Hamas terrorists murdered, raped and kidnapped Israeli citizens, a broadcaster on public broadcasting is showing content reminiscent of Nazi calls for the boycott of Jewish products."
The station itself separated itself from her statements, claiming that her words were not spoken within the content context of her work there, and emphasized that a host of a digital talk show like Fares, 29, who hosts the program "Mix Talk," must remain neutral.
Christian Baldauf of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, told the Bild newspaper that this is not the first case of antisemitic statements and content by station employees, and that the company may need to refresh its rule book and make sure that all its employees know the procedures and understand that they cannot express themselves in an antisemitic manner.
The station reportedly only suspended Fars from the talk show, though some reports say she was fired.
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