International News Jun 20, 2021 10:37 PM EST

German media giant CEO slams employees against company's display of Israeli flag: 'If you're anti-Israel, don't work for us'

The CEO of Axel Springer SE, a German media brand, said in a meeting Thursday that employees who had complained about the Israeli flag flying outside the company's headquarters in Berlin should find a new job.

German media giant CEO slams employees against company's display of Israeli flag: 'If you're anti-Israel, don't work for us'
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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The CEO of Axel Springer SE, a German media brand, said in a meeting Thursday that employees who had complained about the Israeli flag flying outside the company's headquarters in Berlin should find a new job.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the flag was raised last month in a move of solidarity with Israel and Jewish people as antisemitic demonstrations and acts of violence spread amidst tensions between Israel and Hamas.

Mathias Döpfner, addressing the company's 16,00 employees, touched upon complaints from several staff members about the flag's display.

"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," he continued.

Listed as one of the company's five essential values on its website is the support of Israel and Jewish people. "We support the Jewish people and the right of existence of the State of Israel," states the site.

Several individuals, according to the Jerusalem Post, said that they wouldn't want to work for a company that displayed the flag. "So, I think that is also a good point ... This person does not fit the company and its values," he said. "It's very simple."

Döpfner said he welcomed "critical questions" and that some of the voicing complaints had good points, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"But this fundamental opposition to it leaves the spectrum" of acceptable responses, Döpfner stated.

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