Our esteemed colleague Dr Muriel Asseburg has recently been subjected to personal defamation and unfounded allegations relating to a long-form interview on the topic of “Escalation in the Middle East” (in German) conducted by Tilo Jung in his series “Jung & Naiv”. As Dr Asseburg’s employer, The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) issues the following statement:
As an institution, we attach great importance to genuine discussion and debate of our researchers’ work. Seeking dialogue without shying away from controversy is a central feature of our work in providing policy advise which is grounded in research.
Dr Muriel Asseburg is one of our experts on the Middle East. She is an experienced and respected researcher with a thirty-year track record. During that time she has published more than one hundred academic and policy-oriented papers, articles, and books and has collaborated regularly with Israeli colleagues. She has eagerly engaged in debates about controversial topics, and diverging positions, whether in academic or public circles.
Yet, the current accusations levelled against her have a different quality. When quotations are shortened or distorted and what has been said is interpreted deliberately in a way so as to stir up outrage, then these accusations are inappropriate in substance and tone. In particular, we resolutely reject the accusation of antisemitism.
The public response has included a great deal of support for Dr Asseburg’s work, as well as constructive criticism. For this we would like to express our gratitude.