News from Berlin and Germany, 15th November 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Israeli filmmaker attacked during Star of David action

A 37-year-old Israeli man who wanted to distribute Star of David stickers was attacked and threatened outside a grocery shop in Berlin-Charlottenburg last Saturday. He was not injured, but the lens of his camera was broken, according to a police spokeswoman. The attacker was an employee of the shop. Criminal proceedings have been initiated against him for threatening behaviour and damage to property. The 59-year-old got angry about the sticker campaign and said: “Not here!”. An argument then developed in front of the shop. According to rbb information, the person attacked was the Israeli filmmaker Gilad Sade. Source: rbb

“KulturLeben Berlin” against massive funding cuts

The association “KulturLeben Berlin – Schlüssel zur Kultur” is a placement centre for the Federal Voluntary Service (BFD) and has been providing unsold cultural places free of charge to people on low incomes for 13 years and is actively committed to cultural participation and social inclusion. In 2024, there is to be a 25 per cent cut to funding of the BFD, increasing in 2025 to 36 per cent. This organisation is appealing for these funding cuts to be scrapped. Through the BFD, KulturLeben Berlin can, for example, integrate refugees into the organisation’s work and give them the opportunity to actively contribute their own profession. Source: kobinet

Why does Berlin keep trying to build housing on Tempelhofer Feld?

Tempelhofer Feld is quite a unique public space. An old airport, it currently offers Berlin’s a place for relaxing and gathering. So why do politicians try to build on this beloved open space every few years? This time around it is the ruling CDU and SPD coalition claiming this will solve the city’s housing crisis. Despite the 2014 public referendum which came out against any development, the argument about building is back. One question, is that if the point is that the Feld offers space, then why not focus on Tiergarten, Berlin’s biggest park, or the massive Grunewald? Both of these parks fall in SPD and CDU majority areas. Source: exberliner



On the streets at pro-Palestine demonstrations

Since the outbreak of the Gaza-Israel war following the attacks on 7 October, pro-Palestinian groups have repeatedly called for protests around the world. Last Saturday, too, there were widespread expressions of solidarity at home and abroad, but overall they were peaceful. In Germany, according to the police, around 2,500 people gathered for a rally in Munich. The demonstration began at Odeonsplatz and was initially largely peaceful, according to a police spokesperson. Around 200 officers were deployed. Thousands of people also gathered in Berlin for pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Police counted around 2,600 people before the start of the protest movement, which began at Oranienplatz. Source: spiegel

Germany remembers Nazi 1938 pogroms amid renewed fears

On the 85th anniversary of the Nazi November Pogroms against Germany’s Jews, the leader of the country’s Jewish community, Josef Schuster, said old anxieties were being revived and underlined the need for Jews in the country to be able to live freely and without fear. He acknowledged Germany was committed to protecting Jewish life in stark contrast to the Nazi era. His speech was part of a memorial event in the Beth Zion Synagogue in central Berlin. Among the guests present at the event were the German head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Source: dw

No fears for a German cold winter

A study commissioned by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) shows that 64% of Germans believe they will get through the winter without any major issues. Only 4% were indecisive. “Thanks to the good cooperation between the energy industry and politicians on the issue of supply security over the past year-and-a-half, we can now be relatively optimistic about the supply situation this winter,” said BDEW managing director Kerstin Andreae. Summing up, if Germany does run low on gas this winter, it won’t be until February. But for that to happen, several other things will have to happen simultaneously such a particularly cold winter, among other conditions. Source: dw

Germany doubles military aid for Ukraine

The German government is doubling its military aid for the Ukraine. ARD reported that the coalition of the two parties in the government had agreed to increase support from four to eight billion euros. The budget committee will vote on the increase in the so-called reinforcement aid for Ukraine next Thursday, so changes could potentially still be made. With the planned increase in aid for Ukraine, defence spending would then amount to 2.1 percent of gross domestic product. The declared goal of the NATO countries is to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product on defence annually. Source: tagesschau

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