Discussing Palestine in Germany
Time & Location
About the Event
On May 17th 2019, the German Bundestag passed a resolution condemning the BDS campaign to boycott Israel. The resolution threatened to cut off funding to anyone who “actively supports” the BDS movement. The resolution was not legally binding, but has been followed by an increase in the number of bans and withdrawal of invites to people speaking about Israel and Palestine.
One response to the resolution was the Initiative GG 5.3 Weltoffenheit (GG 5.3). GG 5.3 was organised by a wide range of mainstream academics and cultural figures, and called the BDS resolution “unproductive, even detrimental to the democratic public sphere”. The Initiative does not support BDS. but insists that discussion must be possible.
On the second anniversary of the Bundestag resolution, the LINKE Berlin Internationals invite you to a meeting about how Palestine is discussed in Germany. Why is it more difficult to discuss the Middle East here, and must things be like this? How influential are the so-called Antideutsche? To what extent is it possible for the German Left to discuss the Middle East? Why have speaker bans increased recently – in Germany, as well as other countries?
To help us through the discussion, we have invited 3 women who have taken a position in this debate:
- Susan Neiman is the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam and a member of Initiative GG 5.3 Weltoffentheit. At their press conference, she remarked that under the terms of the Bundestag resolution, Hannah Arendt and Einstein himself would be banned from speaking in Germany.
- Haneen Zoabi was the first Palestinian woman to serve as a member of the Israeli Knesset. After10 years in parliament – where she was subjected to unprecedented abuse – she withdrew to spend more time in political activism.
- Christine Buchholz is Member of the German Parliament for die LINKE, for whom she is a member of the national executive the speaker for the parliamentary fraction on religious politics.
We invite everyone who is interested in the discussion to join us at the meeting, which will be livestreamed on www.theleftberlin.com.
If you'd like to prepare for the meeting, here's some recent articles on the current debate in Germany:
- The Bundestag and Israel Boycott – leading cultural institutions respond
- Judgement for the freedom of speech
- The BDS Crisis. Israel and Freedom of Speech in Germany
- How Palestine solidarity became a political litmus test in Germany
- “They're also accusing Jewish people of antisemitism"
- Victory for the Humboldt 3!
- Germans on Israel
- Yehudit Yinhar on Unlearning Zionism
- Wieland Hoban’s interview with Ramsis Kilani, part 1, part 2 and part 3
- Bundestag 3 for Palestine website
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