Letter from the Editors: 16th May 2024

Nakba Nakba Nakba


Tonight (Thursday) it’s the latest meeting of the Right2TheCity Reading Group – English in Berlin. Tonight the group is reading an essay — really a conversation between two very smart people — about the trouble of English in Berlin. Political geographer Sinthujan Varatharajah and artist Moshtari Hilal explore: “Who speaks English in Berlin and who is excluded from doing so? … They uncover the underlying double standards and capital interests of the German mainstream society, trace the links with gentrification and asylum policy, and search for forms of equitable cultural work.“ It all starts at 7pm at Viktoriapark. We’ll meet at the “Viktoriapark” bus stop then find a place to sit!

On Friday and Saturday, it’s the International People’s Tribunal about the alleged war crimes and violations of international human law committed by the US-supported Marcos and Duterte regimes in the Phillipines. The tribunal will examine various cases to be filed against the defendants including political killings, torture, enforced disappearances, mass arrests, indiscriminate firing, aerial bombings of communities and other forms of political suppression tantamount to crimes against humanity. The tribunal will be livestreamed here on Friday and Saturday. The International People’s Tribunal is our Campaign of the Week.

Friday also sees our latest Palestine Reading Group, where we’ll be discussing Iran and Israel.  You can find the selected reading here. The Palestine Reading Group takes place every week, on either Friday or Sunday. Check the page of Events we organise for the coming dates and discussion topics. If you’d like to get more involved in the group, you can join our Telegram group and follow the channel Reading group. The Reading Group starts at 7pm, and there is a meeting for Moderators at 6.30pm open to everyone who’s interested. At the end of this week’s Reading Group, we’ll be collecting suggestions for what we should discuss in the future.

On Saturday, there will be the Nakba Day demonstration, starting at Oranienplatz at 2pm. As we witness ethnic cleansing, erasure and genocide in Gaza, we condemn the complicity of the German State with the genocidal violence of the State of Israel. We pause and declare: We will not forget one single life that was taken during this genocide. This Nakba Day, we demonstrate that no bans, no persecution, no repression can stop us from demanding justice and liberation. We are not free until Palestine is free. This demonstration has been banned in Berlin for the past 2 years, so it’s important to turn up to defend the right to protest. There will be cultural and political events around Oranienplatz all day. Please plan to stay and attend.

On Monday, there’s a Children’s and family festival in solidarity with families in Gaza!. We are inviting everyone to come and join us for our fundraising event for Gaza and celebrate Palestinian culture with us. There will be plenty of food, music, a bazaar and many activities and workshops for kids. The festival takes place between 2pm and 6pm at the Elele Neighbourhood Centre, Hobrechtstraße 55.

On Tuesday, Professor Avi Shlaim will be talking about Zionism and the Jews of Iraq in the FU, Room 2 – 2058. Avi Shlaim is an Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (1988); War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995); The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000, updated edition 2014); Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace (2007); Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations (2009); and Three Worlds: Memoir of an Arab-Jew (2023). The meeting starts at 6.15pm.

There is much more going on in Berlin this week. To find out what’s happening, go to our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events in which we are directly involved here.

If you are looking for Resources on Palestine, we have set up a page with useful links. We will be continually updating the page, so if you would like to recommend other links, please contact us on team@theleftberlin.com. You can also find all the reading from our Palestine Reading Groups here. You can also visit the Palestine film evening every Wednesday at 8.30pm in Al Hamra. The title of the film is usually released too late for us to name it in this Newsletter, but you can stay informed by following Al Hamra on Instagram and facebook.

In News from Berlin, criticism of the Israel 1948 brochure which is being distributed in schools, and police charge pro-Palestine demonstrators.

In News from Germany, Pulitzer Prize winner banned from speaking in Frankfurt-Main, AfD’s appeal against being labelled as right-wing extremists is rejected, protestors storm Tesla factory, German government’s plan to tackle homelessness is criticised by charities, payment card for asylum seekers introduced in Brandenburg, and Germany’s forests are dying because of climate change.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

New on theleftberlin, Olivia Giovetti, who reported for the London Review of Books on the Palestine Congress, explains why she has left the trade union ver.di because it refused to support her, Linke leadership member Christine Buchholz explains why the party is wrong to stay silent on the congress ban, Eleri Connick reports from the Netherlands on the brutal repression of Palestine demos, Ilya Kharkow explains why books are important, Isobel Knight looks at the AfD’s support for Israel, we publish an open letter from Berlin educator’s against repression of Palestine protests at the FU, Dmitra Kyrillou in Athens argues that it’s wrong to compare the Greek campaign against Golden Dawn with calls for a state ban of the AfD, and we publish photos from last week-end’s Palivision concert.

This week’s Video of the Week was also taken at the Palivision concert. It is the speech by Palestinian lawyer Nadija Samour. In the video, Nadija talks about BDS and about the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC) for who we have raised €2000 so far. We will be releasing more videos from Palivision over the week-end. Check theleftberlin.com and https://www.youtube.com/@TheLeftBerlin/videos for more information.

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If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at team@theleftberlin.com. And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board