Our joint Jewish-Palestinian-German protest confused participants at the rally against anti-Semitism, and definitely confused the German police. We wanted to chip away at the automatic linkage between Jews and the State of Israel. Text by Inna Michaeli Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org BERLIN -- By the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday, some 3,000 people rallied against anti-Semitism, at the initiative of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. As promised, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech. Many in the crowd were touched by her declaration of historical responsibility for the crimes of the past, and for ensuring that Jews are…Read More... | 68 Comments
At the exiled Iranian parliament we convened at Café Kotti in Berlin, I look around at my new friends and ask myself: how can civilians destroy the walls the politicians have built with such a lack of imagination, courage, vision and basic human love? It’s not a theoretical question. We’re talking about our lives. By Mati Shemoelof (translated from Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern) During one of my special evenings in Berlin, I climbed over the wall separating Israel and Iran and opened a parliament for Iranian Mashhadi exiles with two other refugees. We sat at Café Kotti (the local Albi)…Read More... | 5 Comments
A recent Supreme Court ruling dictated that Tel Aviv must shut down certain business during the Sabbath. The decision was met by an automatic response that framed the decision as a ruling in favor of a 'predatory theocracy,' instead of one in support of an 'enlightened, free, and open' society. But are these the only two options available? By Hagai El-Ad Recently, the Supreme Court in Israel decided to order the Tel Aviv Municipality to either enforce – or amend – the City's existing municipal bylaw with regard to the closure of certain businesses on Shabbat. Yes, Tel Aviv actually has such…Read More... | 27 Comments
+972 Magazine's Haggai Matar was recently awarded the 2012 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award in the Online Media Category for his 12-part series "The Wall, 10 years on," which was first published on +972. The series surveys Israel's separation wall in the West Bank, or what Haggai calls the "biggest, most expensive and most influential construction project in Israel’s history." Haggai shared the 5,000 euro prize with Sophie Chamas (Lebanon), whose piece also won. Click here for the entire project: The Wall: 10 years on / Haggai Matar The award was first launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation in 2006 to recognize the role…Read More... | 7 Comments
Until we find a way of measuring the efficacy of one form of protest or another, surely we must encourage all forms and enable all those who desire change to express their desire in the way they think will be most effective. By Yonatan Preminger Roee Ruttenberg’s recent post criticized the way a group of “pro-Palestinian” activists in Berlin disrupted a concert by the Israeli choral group Gevatron. The gist of his article is that the protesters were childish attention-seekers, and that this form of protest is ineffective. This piece raises a thorny question: how are we to gauge the…Read More... | 11 Comments
In Berlin this week, a concert performed by the mostly-octogenarian Israeli choral group, Gevatron, was interrupted by pro-Palestinian activists. The individuals donned red shirts and shouted slogans, while unfurling banners and signs and confronting the audience attending the benefit for the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The group that posted the video, DirectActionBerlin, just opened their account last week, putting up - you guessed it - just one video. I was tempted not to even post about this, lest this forum gives this stunt - or others like it - any more attention or publicity than I think they deserve. But I…Read More... | 32 Comments
In a conference in Berlin on Israeli-German relations, Israeli speakers ask Germany to become the 'true' friend that Israel needs. (Berlin, GERMANY) - “No self respecting democracy in the world can accept the current wave of anti-democratic legislation in Israel,” said New Israel Fund President Naomi Chazan in Berlin this weekend. Chazan, a former Meretz MK, spoke at a conference held by the Heinrich Böll Foundation titled “Estranged Friends? Israeli and German perceptions of state, nation, force - a comparison.” (Disclaimer: The writer was a guest of Heinrich Böll Foundation. +972 Magazine received a grant from Heinrich Böll Foundation, and is due to…Read More... | 25 Comments
(BERLIN, Germany) - I always knew that Germans did stuff by the book, but I didn’t think I was going to get a taste of it so soon, right after taking my first steps on German soil coming off my El Al flight today. We were all herded onto a bus at the bottom of the stairs and waited about 10 minutes or more until it filled up. We then proceeded to drive across the street, a distance of about 10 meters (and I’m being generous), and the doors of the bus opened. Nobody understood what was going on for…Read More... | 19 Comments
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