Jews for Palestinian Right of Return: Solidarity with Khaled Barakat and Palestine Free Speech in Germany

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Solidarity with Khaled Barakat and Palestine Free Speech in Germany

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, July 2, 2019

Jews for Palestine Right of Return stands in solidarity with Khaled Barakat, a Palestinian writer and political activist who has been barred by the German state from participating in political activity. This is a racist form of repression and political targeting that aims to silence the Palestinian community in Germany, based on a false conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Some claim that these attacks on Palestinian rights are a manifestation of German guilt over the Nazi holocaust against Jewish people. In reality, however, these repressive actions are encouraged, supported, and pushed forward by the far right in Germany, which embraces an alliance with Israel at the same time that it pushes anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim propaganda. These far-right parties, such as the Alternative for Germany Political (AfD), are infamous for their own legacies of genuine anti-Semitism and racism.

Germany’s anti-Palestinian campaign is being promoted by Gilad Erdan’s Israeli “anti-BDS ministry,” funded with millions of dollars from the Netanyahu government to silence advocacy of Palestinian human rights, particularly in the U.S., Germany, UK, and other Western imperialist countries which arm apartheid Israel, just as they once armed apartheid South Africa.

In Germany, this repression includes the Bundestag’s recent anti-BDS resolution, the disinvitation of Talib Kweli and other performers who support justice in Palestine, the deportation of Rasmea Odeh, the closure of the bank account of Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, and the forced resignation of the director of the Jewish Museum. While Palestinians have been the primary target, the German state and right-wing similarly smear dissenting Jewish speech as anti-Semitic. Everyone who cares about justice and liberation suffers as a result.

All people, including those in Germany, have the right — and need — to hear directly from Palestinians. We call on Germany to immediately drop the political ban on Khaled Barakat, and end its policy of repression against those working for Palestinian freedom and human rights.

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