Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists joined the mass #Unteilbar (“Indivisible”) demonstration in Berlin, Germany on 13 October, organizing a contingent in support of the Palestinian struggle against racism, colonialism and oppression and for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners.
The mass demonstration, which estimates indicate drew upwards of 200,000 people to the streets of Berlin in protest of racism, fascism and the far right, included many contingents. The Palestine bloc marched in a left/revolutionary group with the Internationalist Alliance, including the MLPD (Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany), Rebell youth organization, ATIF (Association of Turkish Workers in Germany) and many other groups. The Palestine contingent was organized by the Democratic Palestine Committees, the Palestinian youth organization Hirak e.V. and a number of Palestine activists.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network participated in the contingent, carrying signs and posters demanding freedom for all Palestinian prisoners. The protest action also came as part of the week of action for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Arab Communist struggler for Palestine jailed in France for 34 years, with actions in cities across Europe, in Palestine, Lebanon and throughout the Arab world.
BDS Berlin activists marched for Palestine as part of the bloc, while organizers from Coup Pour Coup 31 in Toulouse, France, joined the protest in Berlin, carrying signs and posters for Georges Abdallah. Palestinian youth led the contingent, carrying the Palestinian flag high while carrying the group’s lead banner calling for Abdallah’s liberation.
A speaker representing Palestinian youth and the community in the Internationalist Alliance addressed the demonstrators, calling for real anti-racist, anti-fascist organizing in Germany that supports the rights of the Palestinian people and their liberation from a racist, oppressive system.
Charlotte Kates of Samidoun also spoke at the protest, emphasizing the importance of supporting the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners on the front lines of the international movement for liberation. She especially noted the case of Georges Abdallah in France and carried a sign calling for freedom for Raja Eghbarieh, the Abnaa el-Balad leader in Palestine ’48 arrested for his writings and speeches on Palestine. The speeches on Palestine were followed by a musical performance of “We Will Not Go Down in Gaza Tonight.”
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network comment on right-wing attacks:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Palestinian and Palestine solidarity presence in the manifestation has come under attack from the right-wing Israeli and German press. Bild, a tabloid published by Axel Springer AG and often criticized for its role in sensationalizing news and stirring up hatred against migrants and refugees in the country, attacked the demonstration first for including “Israel-hate.” It was shortly followed by competing right-wing tabloid BZ, runnng a nearly identical article.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post – itself known for its strong support of the Israeli far-right and its international campaigns against Palestine solidarity – also chimed in to denounce the participation of Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists in the march. The Jerusalem Post has been directly involved in attempts to shut down Palestine solidarity organizations in Germany and close their bank accounts; it had to back down on earlier attacks against the MLPD, one of the organizers of the Internationalist contingent in the march. Even Michael Blume, who himself has attacked the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and Palestinian advocacy in his position as the Baden-Wurttemburg anti-Semitism commissioner, expressed his frustration with Jerusalem Post writer Benjamin Weinthal’s crusades.
Of course, such allegations come as no surprise; they emerge in response to the visible involvement of Palestinians and Palestine solidarity organizers in the anti-racist movement in Germany. This role is entirely natural, given that Palestinians and Arabs are frequent and some of the most visible targets of racism and hatred in Germany, from state levels to street fascists. In addition, the Palestinian struggle itself is one that confronts institutionalized state racism, dispossession and oppression, and Palestinians have for generations played an integral role in international movements confronting colonialism, racism and imperialism.
Supporters of apartheid and Israeli state racism in Germany have played on the horrific crimes of German Nazism and fascism to redirect anti-fascist and anti-Nazi anger from right-wing Germans toward suppressing Palestinian participation. So-called “leftists” have even attacked migrant and refugee community centers for hosting Palestinian speakers or attempted to bar discussion of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS). Meanwhile, the AfD and other far-right forces in Germany have cozied up to their natural partners in the Israeli state, as Palestinians and Arab migrants face scrutiny and exclusion in Germany for their criticism of the state responsible for their dispossession. .html
Indeed, Beatrix von Storch – an AfD leader, the granddaughter of an aristocratic Nazi finance minister and a frequent promoter of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda – has called Israel “a role model for Germany.” She was a co-founder of the “Friends of Judea and Samaria,” meant to promote far-right illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank. Settler violence is a mainstay of Palestinian life, with 48-year-old Aisha Rabi’ the last Palestinian civilian called by a settler attack, when the mother of 8 was murdered by settlers pelting her vehicle with rocks.
The media attack on Palestinian participation in this anti-racism rally – something natural and apparent in every rally around the world confronting fascism, from New York to San Francisco to London to Athens to Milan to Paris to Brussels to yes, Berlin – seems to come clearly as an attempt to once again force the Palestinian narrative from the scene. It should also be noted that it is an attempt to prevent the emergence of a strong anti-fascist, anti-racist movement that fights the right wing not by silencing Palestinians and acceding to right-wing, Zionist demands, but instead by building alliances of struggle between movements of people directly affected by racist, imperialist and capitalist oppression.
Wherever people fight racism, Palestine is there. Wherever people fight imperialism, Palestine is there. And whenever the Palestinian people achieve a victory, it is a victory for all who struggle for justice and liberation.