Conference to support Palestinians violently shut down in Germany

By Adam Carlton

Last week, German government worked overtime to prevent a conference organised by Jewish organisations from taking place. Outright lies were used to justify suppression of free speech, and it attracted little comment from the governments and media of western nations. Is this a glimpse of where are heading towards?

International guests, including former Finance Minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis, Irene Montero a former minister in the Spanish government were blocked from entering the country. Palestinian lawyer and representative was apprehended at the airport along with those who were waiting for him there. He was branded a dangerous person. Ghassan Abu Sitta, rector of the University of Glasgow, who had worked at the destroyed hospital in Gaza City for 44 days saving lives was also among those denied entry in Germany.

Interior minister Nancy Faeser then publicly declared that “it is correct and necessary for Berlin’s police to take all necessary measures to prevent” this congress in support of Palestine. She added that “we will not tolerate Islamic propaganda and hate against the Jews.”

She forgot to mention that this was a congress organised by Jews.

BANNED from Germany for speaking out for Palestine — with Yanis Varoufakis

Video from DiEM25

The minister’s words were supported by Berlin’s mayor, who labelled the congress as an act of hate.

In his own public statement chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted that “Israel is a democracy. And we will emphasise this There is no doubt about this at every conversation. And this has to be said very clearly at every opportunity that this is our view. Israel is a country that is committed to human rights and international law and acts accordingly. This is why the accusations made against Israel are absurd. And there can be no doubt about this. Israel is a democracy…”

Photo by Maya Alleruzzo/ Reuters: Olaf Shotz showing his support to Israeli attack on Gaza to strongman Benjamin Netanyahu on 17 October

Police raided the congress venue when the conference was about to start and arrested many of those who had come to take part. About 2,500 police surrounded the building. The used German law was used to charge the detained with antisemitism. You read this right. Jews were charged with antisemitism.

This follows ongoing suppression of pro-Palestinian activities at Germany’s universities.

The German government’s assault has been accompanied by a media propaganda barrage that that would have made the Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reiche’s minister for propaganda jealous. One headline in Dar Spiegel called for a “ban on Terrorism in Berlin,” in a story about the congress. Another claimed, “antisemites planning hate in Berlin.” Another suggested “the antisemites of the world want to come together in Berlin.” happens that Germany is the second biggest arms supplier to Israel after the United States. This lends to the accusation of being more concerned about the economic gain than human rights.

Germany arrests Jewish activists, shuts down Palestine Congress. acts deranged

Video from Owen Jones

There is a deeper motivation. Germany is saddled with a coalition government made up of the three biggest political parties, that is, the Social Democrats, Greens, and the right wing Free Democratic Party. This is the result of the collapse of the longstanding two party system.

Since the coalition came into office in 2021, the remaining support base for the three parties has shrunken markedly. For the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats to 16 and 5 percent respectively according to the polls. The Greens have fared a little better. Their support is down a percentage point to 12 percent. If there was an election today, only 33 percent of Germans would vote for this coalition.

Against this the right wing Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria coalition is polling 30 percent and the far-right far right Alternative for Germany 22 percent. On the other side of the political fence is the Alliance for Reason and Fairness, founded on 8 January this year and expected to draw many disaffected not its orbit.

The tractional political establishment is running scared. Israel’s attack on Gaza threatens to cut further into the stability of the coalition government, and the support for Israel has the mark of an attempt to appeal to the base of the political right.

The attack on the conference organised by Jewish organisations and the way it has been carried out signals a new worrying political direction into which Germany is being dragged.

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