For example Frankfurt: Analysis of a crusade against Jewish and other left critics of Israel

In June 2017 in Frankfurt, an alliance lead by the small party ÖkoLinX (that is part of the »anti-national« spectrum and centred around publicist Jutta Ditfurth), mayor Uwe Becker (CDU), Volker Beck (The Greens) and Sacha Stawski (head of zionist pressure group Honestly Concerned) tried to stop with the support of »anti-German« groups and the rightist web portal haOlam a conference organised by Koordinationskreis Palästina Israel (KoPI).

Speakers at the conference »50 years Israeli occupation – Our responsibility for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict« were critical Israeli, Palestinian and German historians, sociologists, political and other scientists, among them Ilan Pappe and Moshe Zuckermann, as well as representatives of civil non-governmental organisations, for example Jamal Juma’a.

Barely announced, the KoPI started receiving largely anonymous threats of violence, vile insults and defamations. A hate campaign of Nazi comparisons, infamous insinuations and abuses was initiated against the speakers – Jutta Dithfurt, for example, publicly accused Moshe Zuckermann as an »anti-Zionist anti-Semite«. »Anti-Germans« called for »fighting against« the »left rabble« (addressed were the active supporters of the KoPI conference); some of them preferred to immediately get on with it and vandalized an info stall on Palestine set up on the property of the University of Frankfurt. Apparently, the »anti-Germans« took the announcement of mayor Becker and his allies to establish a ban in the city on providing a room for the conference, and prospectively for all other left initiatives critical of Israel, as green light from higher up and carte blanche to proceed with all means against those whom they stigmatised as »notorious Israel-haters«.

Through persistent public relations work, left activists finally succeeded in mobilizing widely for a – in the end well attended – rally in front of the venue that lay down limits for bourgeois rightists such as Ditfurth and her followers escorted by »anti-Germans«, who had unfurled a banner reading »›Palestine‹, Shut Up!« (a slogan, with which Palestinians are not just shouted down in the manner of colonial rulers, but also their right to exist is denied), and ensured undisturbed proceedings.

However, that does not solve a single problem. For years now nearly all events critical of Israel or Zionism organized by Jewish and other left activists are attacked under the guise of »fighting anti-Semitism«, and often are even stopped. The establishment of politics – the party Die Linke is no exception – the media and non-governmental civil institutions at best remain silent in the face of these crusades. Often, they are at the head of the right-opportunistic movements.

In Germany we currently experience a downright wave of opinion-bans and other sanctions: after Munich and at the same time as Cologne, initiatives and individuals that are identified (or wrongly condemned) as activists and supporters of the campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli occupation in Palestine or as »close to BDS« have been deemed »anti-Semitic« with the votes of ÖkoLinX and AfD by Frankfurt’s municipal authorities and the city parliament. A majority, including ÖkoLinX, pressed for the withdrawal of public spaces – a ban, which in the future can be imposed on almost every left opposition.

Thus, a taboo was broken in Frankfurt in the political process of coming to terms with the past: for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany an objectively emerged Third Position, comprising of AfD, the established parties complemented by ÖkoLinX and »anti-Germans«, succeeded with explicit political justification via a magisterial decree in stopping the free public expression of opinions of critical Jews, or at least to curtail this expression drastically.

Free Palestine FFM called upon people to resist and publicly protest against this manifestation of the alarming trend towards the right in Germany and Europe. We see an urgent need to establish new structures and alliances and to develop efficient counterstrategies. This requires as much sound historic-materialistic analyses of economical and power political settings and contexts as the clear calling out of the carriers and beneficiaries of the campaigns of repression and libel against Jewish and other left activists. The events in Frankfurt provide a vivid example for this.

Free Palestine FFM
is a group of teenagers, students and other people living in Frankfurt who work on the conflict in the Middle East and/or are organized in pro-Palestinian structures. The group was founded in spring 2017. Since then, it has actively opposed a number of bans that were imposed in cooperation with »anti-Germans« by politicians from Frankfurt on Jewish and other left activists to make public appearances and express their opinions in Frankfurt.