German Government ramps up arms exports to Israel
The number of murdered Palestinians in the Gaza-Strip has now exceeded 11,000. The ongoing genocide in Gaza has emboldened the German state‘s interests in lucrative profits in the arms sector. 2023 saw a tenfold increase in arms exports to Israel from Germany. While German arms exports to Israel encompassed 32 million Euros in 2022, in 2023 this figure rose to 303 million Euros. The German government has even gone so far as to demand that the German military should be able to give weapons to Israel for free.
This comes in light of an ongoing hate campaign against Palestine solidarity and Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in particular in the German political scene and mainstream media. On the 17th of November the conservative Christian Democrats brought in two racist bills in parliament. The first bill would see harsher punishment of “Antisemitism and terrorism”. The second bill would see the termination of residency for “Antisemitic foreigners” as well as the denial of naturalization for foreigners applying to the German nationality who do not openly profess “Israel’s right to exist” and who have “gone against Israel’s right to exist in the past”. Naturalized Germans who commit an “antisemitic crime” would be prone to lose their German nationality and be imprisoned for a year. After the debate in parliament, both bills were referred to parliamentary committees for further discussion.
Since activists holding signs that read “From the River to the Sea, we demand equality” have been charged with Volksverhetzung (Incitement to hate crimes) one can only speculate that “antisemitic crimes” mean any call for Palestinians to live – an absolute trivilaization of the real danger of Antisemitism coming from the far right.
Such racist bills have been framed by fascist language used by politicians and representatives of the media. The former head of the German secret services and member of the CDU, Hans Georg Maaßen, has written in fascist langague that Germany needs a “chemotherapy” when it comes to migration and a serious “operation” to take care of the lingering danger of migrants in the midst of Germany.
While the German reformist Left party DIE LINKE had its party congress over the weekend, where a “two state solution” was once again regurgitated and the term “genocide” to describe the conditions in Gaza was rejected, other Leftist groups and organisations beyond the decaying DIE LINKE have continued to take to the streets in solidarity with Palestine. Resistance to the ongoing state repressions continues and pro-Palestine activists continue to take the streets Germany-wide, despite the heavy police violence and state repressions.
Simultaneously there are also international calls to action, which German activists might also get involved in. In the middle of November, the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate started an international call for people in solidarity worldwide to join a “convoy of conscience” to the Rafah border crossing on the 25th of November. The demand is for people worldwide to travel together to the Egyptian-Gazan border and demand that the border crossing be open for medics and humanitarian aid to enter. The call to action was translated into various languages and spread widely online. Yet it remains unclear if the convoy will be able to arrive at the Rafah crossing in light of repressions by the Egyptian state.