Whoever declares war on Israel is radical – as is well known, few leftists imagine this. Increasingly radical leftist demonstrations in Berlin and elsewhere are again taking place with Palestinian flags or with their own Palestinian bloc, for example during the “May Day Revolutionary Demonstration” demonstration. In February, two years earlier, participants in a demonstration to commemorate the victims of the right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau chanted ‘Yallah Intifada, from Hanau to Gaza.’ Hatred of Israel is once again flourishing in some parts of the radical left-wing scene. And the kids are wearing Kufiya again, in English: Pali clothes.
A week and a half ago, several thousand people took part in Berlin-Neukölln’s internationalist queer pride – many of them who took to the streets to defend “Palestinian freedom” and the fight against Israel. In Queer Pride, which is set to function as a sort of alternative to Christopher Street Day, Israel has been accused of apartheid, settlement colonialism, and pink laundry. The Palestine Speaks group was present with their own speech; in May, at demonstrations organized by the group, there were several expressions of open hatred towards Jews. Apparently there is no reason to be consistent. The Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism, filmed by Queer Pride, speaks of “normalizing anti-Semitism.”
The planned demonstration was criticized in advance. The Queer Pride hidden object poster depicted a blind Jew “in a very anti-Semitic way as a sallow, pale Jew,” as Jewish journalist Debora Antmann noted on Twitter. The fact that Jews are considered white, and thus privileged in the logic of critical white, is also a fundamental assumption that does not allow anti-Semitism to be considered worthy of mention. That is why the Jewish comedian David Baddiel called his book about progressing anti-Semitism in Great Britain “Jews don’t count”: “Jews don’t count”.
The weirdest banner on the Internationalist Queer Pride called for, “Strange as in a Free Palestine.”
This also applies to the “Statement of Awareness” of the demonstration. The organizers detail what they will not tolerate: racism, sexism, transphobia and many more. It is in vain to look for anti-Semitism on the list. The most accurate interpretation of this form assumes that anti-Semitism is understood here as a form of racism and can also be understood. Increasingly, short-sightedness can be observed, which is also the seat of the “Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism,” whose representatives would probably simply dismiss the anti-Semitism of such a demonstration.
The empty space was accompanied by the threat: “So-called anti-Germans are not welcome at this event.” Who exactly means this remains in the dark. Presumably, exactly those who are bothered by this empty space and do not accept that hatred of Israel is not called anti-Semitism. “Anti-German” has turned into an enemy marker that can be used as desired. Jews are also regularly labeled anti-German on social media when they condemn anti-Semitism.
The weirdest Queer Pride banner was saying, “Strange as in a Free Palestine.” It remains unclear what this is supposed to mean. The NGO United Nations Watch reported last March that LGBTQ people in the West Bank and Gaza are suffering from persecution and ostracism. Escaped gays reported torture, forced marriages and death threats. Mohammed Saleem Ali, an Islamic scholar and prayer leader at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, stated in early July: “Our Palestinian people will not accept that a single homosexual publicly proclaims his atrocities.”
So “Strange as in a Free Palestine” cannot be a description of the situation. But it makes a promise: someday there will be a free Palestine where one can die without fear. Until it exists, the banner is a critique of Palestinian society today – whether deliberately or not.