In recent years, German state officials and media outlets have cracked down on Palestinian speech and activism. In 2019, the German parliament passed a nonbinding resolution declaring the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement antisemitic, and comparing it to Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses. Early last year, a state-funded news outlet fired seven Arab and Muslim journalists for “antisemitism” that mostly amounted to criticism of Israel. And last May, Berlin banned several protests planned to mark Nakba Day, which commemorates the 1947–1949 expulsion of an estimated 750,000 Palestinians at the hands of Zionist militias. To discuss Palestine solidarity in Germany, the state’s intensifying assault on Palestinian speech, and the connections between the country’s targeting of Palestine activism and its post-Holocaust “memory culture,” contributing editor Joshua Leifer talks to Germany-based Palestinian American journalist Hebh Jamal and Palestinian German lawyer Nadija Samour.
This episode is part two of a two-part series on Germany. Listen to the first episode here.
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”
Articles, Books and Lectures Mentioned
“How Palestine became a ‘forbidden word’ in German high schools,” Hebh Jamal, +972 Magazine
“Deutsche Welle Firings Set Chilling Precedent for Free Speech in Germany,” Alex Kane, Jewish Currents
The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians, by Sa’ed Atshan and Katharina Galor
“Desiring Victimhood: German Self-Formation and the Figure of the Jew,” Hannah Tzuberi, lecture given at the Hijacking Memory Conference in Berlin
“Berlin Bans Nakba Day Demonstrations,” Human Rights Watch