New Telegraph

German Jewish Intellectuals Slam Ban On Pro-Palestine Protests

The continuous prohibition on pro-Palestine protests in numerous German towns, including Berlin, has drawn criticism from more than 100 Jewish intellectuals in Germany.

According to the reports published in the local media on Monday, local authorities have outlawed public meetings that are thought to have pro-Palestinian sentiment in recent weeks. According to the Berlin-based daily Tageszeitung, which quoted portions of the group’s statement.

“These repressions also punish demonstrations such as ‘Youth against Racism‘ and ‘Jewish Berliners against Violence in the Middle East.'”

No convincing defence of these choices has been offered by the police. It further stated that police had justified almost all of the cancellations, including those that prohibited events hosted by Jewish organisations, in part due to the “immediate threat” of “inflammatory, antisemitic shouts.”

The intellectuals stressed that these allegations served “to suppress legitimate and non-violent political expression, which may include criticism of Israel.”

“Attempts to resist these arbitrary restrictions are met with indiscriminate brutality. Authorities have targeted people with migrant backgrounds across Germany, harassing, arresting, and beating civilians, often under the flimsiest of pretexts,” the letter said.

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“Berlin’s Neukoelln district, home to large Turkish and Arab communities is now a police-occupied area. Armored vans and armed riot police patrol the streets, looking for spontaneous shows of support for Palestinians or symbols of Palestinian identity, it added.

The German Jewish intellectuals rejected what they called “this pretext for racist violence and expressed our full solidarity with our Arab, Muslim, and especially Palestinian neighbors.”

Last week, the German government defended the controversial ban on anti-Israel demonstrations amid mounting public criticism from the German-Palestinian community.

Everyone in Germany is allowed to express their opinions freely and demonstrate peacefully, said Deputy Interior Minister Rita Schwarzeluehr-Sutter in a speech to the parliament in Berlin.

“But it has a very thick red line: There is zero tolerance for antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement. There is zero tolerance for violence,” she added.

If necessary, there will also be “tough police intervention,” Rita Schwarzeluehr-Sutter warned. Palestinian activist groups have vowed to protest against the demonstration ban in Germany.

The ban by the police violates our constitutional rights, wrote the group named ‘Palestine Campaign Initiative’ on its website.

“We will take legal action to enforce our rights in the future,” it said.

German police and courts have reacted differently to a series of protests and demonstrations showing solidarity with Palestinians, with some being outlawed and others allowed to go ahead.

On Oct. 12, Germany banned the pro-Palestinian group Samidoun which had been organizing pro-Palestinian protests in Berlin after Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel.

Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multifaceted surprise attack that comprised a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. As a result, the conflict in Gaza began. Since October 7, Israel has been bombarding and blockading Gaza. The invasion, according to the statement, was a reprisal for Israeli settlers’ increasing acts of violence against Palestinians and their storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Next, in response to Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military initiated Operation Swords of Iron.

Official data indicate that over 1,400 Israelis and at least 5,087 Palestinians have died in the fighting, for a total of nearly 6,500 deaths.

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