Letter from the Editors, 25th January 2024

Eye Witness from Gaza speaks in Berlin


Hello everyone,

Apologies to anyone who didn’t get the Newsletter last week. We are having technical problems with our server and a minority of readers didn’t receive anything last week. We apologise for this, and hope that the problem has now been fixed. Middle-term we are moving to more consistent software which will hopefully eradicate all problems.

This afternoon (Thursday), the Student Coalition Berlin is organising a meeeting with Dr Norman Finkelstein on A Critical Examination of the Role of German Academia in the Midst of Genocide. In this conversation with Prof. Finkelstein we will dive into the complex geopolitical landscape surrounding the ongoing and escalating genocide in Gaza. Germany’s continued unwavering support for Israel, stemming from both historical ties (Israel as Germany’s “Staatsräson”) as well as an ongoing commitment to “security”, is exemplified in Germany’s recent stance against South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice. The meeting starts at 6pm and can be viewed in person at Mozaik Centre, Grunewaldstraße 87, or online via Zoom. Follow the link for more information.

On Friday, theleftberlin is organising an Eye Witness Report from Gaza with Duha Almusaddar, Project Manger of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Gaza. Duha recently left Gaza and will talk about the situation on ground. The meeting starts at 7pm, and will be taking place in Oyoun, Lucy Lameck-Straße 32. Please note that after the Berliner Senat evicted the Oyoun building, there will only be a limited number of chairs so come early to get a seat. Floor seating will also be available to latecomers. We want to organise a second event with Duha in February, with proper seating and translation into German.

This week’s demonstrations for Palestine include the following:

On Saturday evening, Indian socialists are showing the film Ram Ke Naam (In the Name of God). This Monday (22.01.2024), the Prime Minister of India inaugurated a grand temple — the Ram Mandir — in the north Indian city of Ayodhya. The temple stands exactly at the site of the destroyed Babri Masjid — a 400 year old heritage site and place of worship. The film documents this rallying of armed Hindu nationalist mobs, and the destruction of the mosque that followed. The film screening is in the Rosa Luxemburg Saal of Karl Liebknecht Haus on Rosa Luxemburg Platz.

As of this week, our weeklyPalestine Reading Group will be on alternate Sundays and Fridays at the AGIT offices, Nansenstraße 2. This is to accommodate people who could not make our previous regular date of Friday evenings. The next meeting is on Sunday, January 28th at 7pm. The subject is Post-colonialism, colonialism and settler colonialism. Follow the link to register and to find the recommended reading. We are currently running a poll to decide the subject of future reading groups. To join the poll, and to keep up-to-date with the latest from the Reading Group, you can join our Telegram group here.

On Monday, Moviemento is showing the film We Are Here – Young Gaza on Stage against the backdrop of the devastating war in Gaza. Especially now, we want to show people’s lives in Gaza, to give «Gaza» a face or in this particular case the many faces of the actors, their stories and their longing for a life in peace, security and dignity. The film, which was produced in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Palestine Office, is followed by a film talk with the director Sabrina Dittus and Ali Al-Hasani, a member of the theater ensemble from Gaza. Afterwards Duha Almussadar, RLS Palestine and Jordan Office programme manager (who is also speaking at theleftberlin meeting on Friday), will join us to speak about the current situation.

There is much more going on in Berlin. 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 in here.

A reminder that you have a week more to vote for the workshop that you want to have at the LINKE Berlin Internationals annual Summer Camp. This year’s Summer Camp will be on 29th-30th June in the Naturfreundehaus Hermsdorf, near Berlin. There will be keynote meetings from Ferat Kocak and activists from Italy and Poland on the rise of the far right in Europe, and Hossam el-Hamalawy and others on Palestine, the Arab States and the Arab Street. The voteends on January 31st. Survey results will be used to make a decision at the next LINKE Internationals open meeting on 5th February.

This week’s Campaign of the Week is Appointment in Samarra, a new blog by Berlin-based Egyptian journalist Simsim Abdo. Follow this link to subscribe.

If you are looking for Resources on Palestine, we have just 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.

In News from Berlin, hundreds of thousands demonstrate against the AfD – but the police exclude the Palestine block, Berlin politicians distance themselves from the AfD, and DJs boycott Berghain in solidarity with Palestine.

In News from Germany, massive rent rises in Bavaria, demonstrations against the far right are being registered every day throughout Germany, some German MPs join the call for a ceasefire in Gaza, and Hamburg stands up against right-wing extremism.

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

New on theleftberlin, Nathaniel Flakin argues that present government policy is paving the way to the rise of the far right, the Antifascist Music Alliance report on a possible culture boycott of Germany because of censorship on Palestine, we publish the first contribution to It’s So Berlin! – a photographic and cartoon intervention by Palestinian artists Rasha al-Jundi and Michael Jabareen, Sarah Adler interview Jewish anti-Zionist artists Joanna Rajkowska and Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman, we report on last week’s protests against anti-Palestine censorship outside the Gorki theatre, the Bloque Latinamericano explain what’s going on in Ecuador, and Dave Gilchrist looks at Germany, Gaza, and last-week’s massive demonstrations against the AfD.

Our Video of the Week is the recording of our meeting last week on Apartheid Israel with Nadija Samour (Palestinian lawyer), Patrick Bond (South African academic and activist) and Barbara Schreiner (South African activist and Executive Director of the Water Integrity Network). Click on the picture of the speakers below to view the video.

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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