Letter from the Editors, 4th January 2024

January’s Palestine Reading Groups and a meeting on Apartheid Israel


Hello everyone,

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first theleftberlin Newsletter since our Winter break. There are a number of demonstrations for Palestine this week, starting this afternoon:

Our weekly Palestine Reading Group continues on Friday at 7pm. In The Arab States and the Arab Street we will be talking about the role of the Arab governments and of the Arab masses for the liberation of Palestine. As usual, the meeting will be in the AGIT rooms at Nansenstraße 2, 5-10 minutes’ walk from Hermannplatz. Please try to read the recommended reading in advance, and register so we know how many people we should expect (you can find both recommended and supplementary reading and registration details here).

We have also announced the topics for the next few reading groups (all at 7pm in AGIT, recommended reading to follow):

On Saturday, at 11am, there is a demonstration Jin jîyan Azadî. 11 years ago, Sara, Rojbin und Ronahî were murdered by the Turkish secret services in Paris, This was deliberate femicide with a clear message: the Turkish state sees organised revolutionary woman as a particular threat. Last year, on 23rd December, 3 more comrades were murdered in Paris: Evîn Goyî, Mîr Perwer and Abdurrahman Kizil. These massacres are not just an attack on the Kurdish Freedom Movement, but on all people world wide who are fighting for a free life. Come to Hermannplatz to demand justice and stand against the fascist massacre.

On Saturday evening, the Palestine Museum in the USA is organising an online screening of the short film Germany’s Palestine Problem, followed by a Q&A discussion with film director Jad Salfiti and post-colonial scholar Anna-Esther Younes. ‘Germany’s Palestine Problem’ – a micro-documentary for The New Arab (@thenewaab) – uncovers the underlying causes of the frightening status quo. The film won the best use of video prize at the WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Middle East 2023. The film was commissioned for The New Arab website. The film starts at 6pm CET. Participation is free, but you should register online in advance.

On Monday, at 7pm it’s the kick-off meeting for the annual Berlin LINKE Internationals Summer Camp. Summer Camp will take place in the Naturfreundehaus Hermsdorf on the edge of Berlin on 29th-30th June. On Monday, after a short organisational section, you can join the discussion about Keynote Speakers (on After the EU Elections: What kind of Left do we want? and The role of Palestine in the neighbouring Arab countries), Workshops, Culture Programme, and Financing. Please note: because the usual meeting place is not available, this meeting will be in room 205 of Karl Liebknecht Haus on Rosa Luxemburg Platz.

One for your calendars – on Wednesday, 17th January veteran campaigner against Apartheid in South Africa Patrick Bond, and Palestinian lawyer Nadija Samour will be speaking about Apartheid Israel. 7pm in Café MadaMe. More information in next week’s Newsletter.

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.

For this week’s Campaign Of The Week, people have been asking us where they can send money to Gaza where the fundraising is organised by, locals, not Western NGOs. The NoI collective in Ramallah recommends The One Body Initiative for Gaza. Your donation to this fund will go towards the purchase and distribution of medicine, blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, food and building tents to those who have been left in need in the wake of this genocide. It costs 200$ to build a tent and provide a mattress and pillows, these fees include transporting the materials and labor.

In News from Berlin, Berlin police fail to process 10 cases of bodily harm and grievous bodily harm resulting from racist violence, and employment stagnates in Berlin and falls in Brandenberg.

In News from Germany, predicted AfD success in 3 State elections in Eastern Germany this year, the German economy shrunk in 2023 and doesn’t look much better in 2024, and has the online shopping boom burst?

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

Published on theleftberlin since the last Newsletter, Sanaz Azimipour explains why she refused to let the Böll Stiftung publish her article on feminist resistance in Iran after they withdrew support from Masha Gessen, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz celebrates the few Berlin cultural institutions which provide a home for Palestinian voices, Nathaniel Flakin argues that Olaf Scholz’s measures “against antisemitism” are actually hurting Jews, FU students protest against censorship on Palestine, Qian Sun gives a Chinese journalist’s analysis of the Palestine debate in Germany, we publish statements from both oyoun and the Jüdische Stimme about the closure of the multicultural culture centre, Nathaniel Flakin sheds no tears for Wolfgang Schäuble, who recently died, a New Year’s cartoon from Hari Kumar, Phil Butland remembers when Yannis Varoufakis visited Berlin on 7th October, and Nathaniel Flakin looks at the racism behind the debate around New Years Eve in Berlin.

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Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board