Unprecedented criminalization of the Palestine movement in Germany
The solidarity movement for Palestine has experienced an unprecedented wave of repressions and criminalizations in the last week. Since October 7, when Hamas broke out of the world’s largest open-air prison – Gaza – the state of Israel has responded by beginning to commit genocide in Gaza. Israel had already dropped 6,000 bombs on Gaza on October 12th, murdering more than 2,600 people in the last few days. The Israeli Defense Minister declared that they were fighting “animals” in Gaza and that any reaction by Israel was legitimate. Israeli MPs are calling for a second Nakba, i.e. the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
In Germany, the discourse on Palestine is always racist, but in recent days the hate campaign against Palestinians and the solidarity movement with Palestine has reached unprecedented levels. Every television station and every party is making statements at this hour that Israel “must defend itself” and calling for the deportations of “terror supporters”.
The German federal government is currently considering whether it wants to provide ammunition for Israeli warships.
Some German journalists assert that although they find it a shame that the Gaza Strip with its two million inhabitants has to be razed to the ground, there is no other solution. Others write that the presence of Arab, Muslim fellow citizens in Germany means that “the barbarians are among us”.
On October 12th, all parties in the Bundestag – from the AfD (Fascists) to the CDU (Christian Democrats), to the FDP (Liberals), to the Grünen (Greens) to the SPD (Social Democrats) to DIE LINKE (the reformist Left party) – unanimously voted for a motion that calls for the ban on Palestinian organizations such as the prisoner solidarity network Samidoun as well as Hamas and threatens those who support such “terror organizations with “residence law measures”, i.e. deportations. The motion makes no mention of the bombing, let alone the blockade of Gaza.
The reformist Left Party has thus announced its final declaration of bankruptcy by voting, together with the fascists from the AfD, not only for the criminalization of the Palestine movement in Germany but also by supporting deportations. The Left Party is therefore not on the side of the oppressed, but also on the side of the oppressor.
The Left Party is thus participating in a smear campaign in Germany that is dehumanizing the Palestinian resistance in order to justify the brutal reaction of the Israeli occupying power. The suffering of the Palestinian people is ignored, as are the causes of the current situation.
However, there are a few German left-wing organisations that are independent of the reformist Left Party and that show clear solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle, such as the newly founded Revolutionary Left.
Palestine has been occupied, brutally ethnically cleansed and colonized for over 100 years. First by the British, then by the Zionists. The Gaza Strip has been under a blockade by the Israeli state for 16 years. The population of Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, has no regular access to water or electricity and is repeatedly bombed by Israel. This is a constant state of war under which no population can live. The cause of the violence is Zionist settlement colonialism itself. The counter-violence on the part of the colonized is a reaction to the decades-long, overwhelming violence of the Israeli state.
To this day, any rallies or demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine were banned in Berlin. Demonstrations were also banned in other cities and there was massive police violence. Egyptian revolutionary socialists took to the streets across Germany to demonstrate their solidarity with Palestine. In Berlin we saw people being beaten up and arrested by the police simply for wearing a Palestinian kuffiya, waving a Palestine flag or shouting for the freedom of Palestine in the streets. A child aged nine was even arrested by the police. In areas of Berlin like Neukölln, where many people with Arab roots live, there has always been racial profiling by the police. Since October 7th it has reached unprecedented levels.
Through the smear campaign against and defamation of the Palestinian resistance, the German state now has the pretext to further surveil, criminalize and deport Arab, Palestinian and Muslim communities. By showing unconditional solidarity with the colonial state of Israel, Germany is not only making itself partly responsible for the genocide currently happening in Gaza, but also it is using this situation to expand its repressive mechanisms domestically.
It’s a 9/11 2.0 and the consequences of it are getting worse every day.