19 May 2022

Sven Hartwig

Consul

Germany Consulate  General

4 Stirling Street

District 6, Cape Town 7925

We are appalled by the banning of all peaceful Palestinian protests in Berlin, Germany, on the 74th commemoration of the ongoing Nakba, the Zionist ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians to create a Jewish supremacist settler-colony in Palestine. Close to 170 people were arrested by the German police. In addition, Germany banned a vigil in memory of Shireen Abu Akleh, renowned Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist murdered by Israeli occupation forces, a cold-blooded killing which has rightly caused international outrage. Just days after Israeli occupation forces attacked the funeral of Abu Akleh, German police employed similar methods, grabbing Palestinian flags, and attacking peaceful Palestine solidarity activists.

This assault by Germany on Palestinian memory, life and liberty is a racist act of discrimination, an abhorrent form of censorship, an attack on free assembly and freedom of speech. It is in flagrant contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Yet in Germany, Palestinian voices are discriminated against, silenced, and erased and do not enjoy the right to equal protection under the law. We demand that Germany ceases its anti- Palestinianism and Nakba denialism. We have witnessed what this form of supremacist conduct can lead to on our doorstep in Namibia, where Germany after a century of denial, has officially acknowledged committing genocide during its colonial occupation of Namibia with reparations still outstanding.

As eminent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe said: “You would have expected Germany to lead the anti-racist campaign, not only in Europe but in the world at large, instead of leading the support, as a state, to one of the longest racist projects in our times in the historical land of Palestine.”

The banning is a crying shame and utter disgrace, particularly in the face of expressions of concern by European powers, including Germany, about human rights abuses and war crimes in relation to the war in Ukraine, which exposes their Eurocentric bias. The activities of far-right groups are tolerated by the colonial and racist attitude of the German establishment, whilst advocates for Palestinian human rights, who are anti-racist and opposed to islamophobia and antisemitism, are denied the right to assembly, press freedom and free speech.

Israel stands accused of the crime against humanity of apartheid as defined by the UN Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. South Africa knows full well from our struggle against apartheid, that the international community must play its part in support of the resistance and freedom struggle of the Palestinian people, through isolating the Israeli apartheid state. The world worked together to help bring apartheid to an end, so why does Germany allow it to live on in Israel?

Palestinians have asked us to break the criminal international support for and appeasement of Israeli illegal acts. We call on Germany to cease its appeasement of and complicity with the Zionist project and enforce international law established in the aftermath of the World War Two, to prevent such atrocities from happening again, which Israel consistently violates with impunity. It is time for Germany to stand on the right side of history and put an end to its rising authoritarianism which jeopardises Palestinian human rights and all who stand for democracy and justice.

Israel needs to be held accountable for its crimes of apartheid, settler colonialism, illegal occupation, and de facto annexation of Palestinian land and those of neighbouring countries.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign in South Africa calls on Germany to: ·

Immediately release all Palestine solidarity activists arrested in Berlin on the 15th of May 2022 as well as the dismissal of all charges against them. ·

Cease harassment of Palestine solidarity activists who must be afforded the same freedoms and rights enjoyed by other German citizens.

· Condemn Israel’s cruel apartheid system of domination, segregation and dispossession used to discriminate, oppress, and ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people.

· Support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement by breaking ties – diplomatic, trade, sporting, cultural and academic – with the apartheid State of Israel.

· Stop all funding, trade, and military assistance to apartheid Israel, a nuclear power whose aggression includes bombing people in refugee camps with F-16s and advanced weapons supported by NATO.

· Promote efforts aimed at achieving accountability for alleged crimes under international criminal law as it pertains to the Situation in the State of Palestine currently pending before the International Criminal Court.

· Work towards a UN resolution on Israeli apartheid calling for international sanctions including an arms embargo and to reinstate UN anti-apartheid mechanisms such as the Special Committee Against Apartheid.

Usuf Chikte

Co-ordinator

Palestinian Solidarity Campaign

Email: umec@sun.ac.za

Cell: 082877952

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