Letter from the Editors, 29th February 2024

No lies about Palestine in our schools


Hello everyone,

Friday sees the next national climate strike organised by Fridays for Future. This month’s stike is organised in cooperation with transport workers in the trade union ver.di. In recent months, a climate activists and trade unionists have built a strong alliance under the slogan Wir fahren zusammen (we’re travelling together). We have built bridges, listened to each other, swapped ideas and learned from one another. And we have forged plans: we are building a movement which is fighting for climate protection and social justice. In Berlin, strikers and activists will be gathering in Invalidenpark at 10am.

A new pamphlet containing myths about the formation of the State of Israel is going to be distributed in schools. This pamphlet, which falsifies history and denies the historic suffering of Palestinians, has no place in schools. The pamphlet has been supported by the Berlin office for political education and will be used in Neukölln schools after a vote by the CDU and SPD members of the local parliament. The Greens abstained, and die LINKE opposed the proposal. A protest against this falsification of history has been called by Kifaya and the Palestine Campaign. It will take place on Friday at 4pm outside the Rathaus Neukölln.

On Saturday, the Global South Unites alliance has called a Joint Demo for Palestine. Resistance gives us meaning. Resistance is an on-going purpose. From Gaza to Algolan Heights, from Jenin to Idlib, from Al-Quds to Cairo, from Tulkarm to Ayn al-Hilweh and Shatila, from Nablus to Al-Yarmouk Camp and Al-Nayrab Camp, from Palestine to all of the diaspora; we see no borders! Together, we end colonialism, racism, and white supremacy! The demonstration starts at Neptunenbrunnen, near Alexanderplatz, at 2pm. If you would like to march with other international activists, we will be meeting at the Marx-Engels statue at 1.45pm.

There is no Palestine Reading Group this week as the current venue is booked for something else, and we are still negotiating new, larger rooms. Instead, on Friday night, members of the Reading Group will be attending the performance Court Fantasies in Ballhaus Ost. With the help of visions of the future, the performers Salma Said und Miriam Coretta Schulte take a look at the apparently unchangeable asylum system. They invite the public to look at a future archive. The performance starts at 8pm. If you’d like to meet members of the Reading Group, you can find us in the theatre bar before it starts (and possibly afterwards). If you can’t make it on Friday, there’s also a showing on Saturday as well.

The following Reading Groups are planned for March:

The Reading Group currently meets in the Agit offices, Nansenstraße 2, but we are seeking a larger venue. To be sure of the right venue, check our Events page and future Newsletters. You can also join our Telegram Group to keep up with the debate and suggest future subjects or readings.

On Monday at 7pm, it’s the next monthly meeting of the Berlin LINKE Internationals. This month, the main discussion is on how we can stop the AfD. Currently, the AfD is polling second in polls, which continues to strengthen the likelihood of German support in the upcoming elections. How can they be stopped? Are social democrats and Greens our friends or our enemies? How can we build broad demonstrations which are welcoming to everybody? With large demonstrations planned against the AfD national conference at the end of June, are demonstrations alone enough? We will be discussing these questions and more with Ferat Kocak, anti-racist activist, local councillor and blogger (active on social media as Der Neuköllner). Everyone is invited to join the debate which takes place in Ferat’s office, Schierker Straße 26.

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.

Two dates for your calendars:

  • On Saturday, 16th March, we will be showing the film Aisheen, Still Alive in Gaza in oyoun. The film was originally scheduled for 10th February. Food will be available, and following the film there will be a discussion with Palestinian activist Ramsy Kilani.
  • Please note: the LINKE Internationals Summer Camp has now been postponed to avoid clashing with a big demo against the AfD. Summer Camp will now take place on 21-22 September, still in the Naturfreundehaus Hermsdorf.

This week’s Campaign of The Week is a project by Palestinian journalist Hebh Jamal, and British journalist Tom Wills, both of whom are long-time collaborators with theleftberlin website. Hebh and Tom are currently fundraising so that they can make a film: The Reason of State. The film aims to investigate, explain, and reveal Germany’s support for Israel, its impact on Europe’s largest Palestinian community, and how those affected are fighting back. After producing the first episode, Hebh and Tom hope to extend the project into a series or a feature-length film focusing on how Germany’s pervasive pro-Israel bias has infiltrated society. You can make your donations 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.

In News from Berlin, transport strikes in Berlin unite with climate activists, Deutsche Wohnen charged with breaches of data protection, fast mobile phone links to be available on Berlin U-Bahns, and Berlin’s mayor calls for punishment measures against the Berlinale.

In News from Germany, Grünheide residents vote against the extension of the Tesla plant, investigation into racism allegations against law students in Hessen, cannabis is decriminalized – but not legalized – in Germany, survey calls for a Digital Reset to protect the climate, and AfD to be categorised as a “confirmed extremist party.”

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

New on theleftberlin, we report from the police assault on the Palestine bloc at this week’s demonstration commemorating the Hanau murders, Rasha al-Jundi and Michael Jabareen visualise state surveillance. Nathaniel Flakin looks at the fabricated Berlinale antisemitism scandal, and Phil Butland is impressed by Jonathan Glazer’s new Holocaust film, The Zone of Interest.

This week’s Video of the Week shows the acceptance speech of Palestinian film maker Basel Adra and Israeli journalist Yuval Abraham after their film No Other Land won the public prize for documentaries at this year’s Berlinale. The speech has enraged German politicians. Watch it and judge for yourself.


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Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board