German Police Shut Down Palestine Conference

Police arrested attendees as German authorities prevented Gazan doctor Ghassan Abu Sitta, an invited speaker,  from even entering the country.

Hundreds of police descend on the Palestine Congress in Berlin. (Progressive International/X)

By Peoples Dispatch
(additional reporting by Consortium News)

In perhaps the most serious round of repression against Palestine solidarity organizers, German police on Friday shut down the Palestine Congress in Berlin, arresting several attendees and ordering delegates to leave immediately.

German officials also prohibited scheduled speaker Ghassan Abu Sitta, Palestinian-British surgeon and the rector of Glasgow University from even entering the country. He was to speak about his experiences with Palestinian victims of Israel in Gaza hospitals where he has worked. 

He says in this interview with Middle East Eye that his testimony could be seen as evidence against Germany in the case Nicaragua has brought against Berlin at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Nicaragua has charged Germany with complicity with Israel’s genocide because of its arms shipments to Tel Aviv.

The doctor says his treatment by the German authorities amounted to witness intimidation:

The Congress aimed to raise awareness about Nicaragua’s  charges against Germany at the ICJ. 

German police dramatically stormed the stage of the conference and proceeded to shut down speakers after the Congress had already begun.

The police stopped the conference livestream, and broke into the control room to shut off the power. Police prevented remote speakers to address the Congress.

Andrew Feinstein, son of a Holocaust survivor who worked with Nelson Mandela in South Africa and who is challenging Labour leader Keir Starmer for his Parliamentary seat in London, told a conference on Gaza in Blackburn, England on Saturday, that he was supposed to be speaking on a panel with Dr. Ghassan. “Germany is the last country on the planet that should be displaying such fascist behavior,” Feinstein said. 

Feinstein speaking about what happened at the Berlin conference:

Red Media provided live updates to the police repression, reporting that, “900 police are deployed to the congress, whose start they held up for hours. They demanded that organizers allow all German media into the congress, ironically to ‘safeguard free speech’ and then denied entry to most of the registered delegates.”

Among those arrested by police at the Congress were Jewish activists.

Anti-Zionist Jewish activists are heavily targeted in Germany, despite Germany’s attempt to justify its support to Israel as “collective guilt” over the holocaust and repenting for its infamous antisemitism.

Yet, according to researcher Emily Dische-Becker, almost a third of those deplatformed, arrested, or otherwise sanctioned for alleged antisemitism are themselves Jewish. Videos from the repression show a Jewish activist being arrested outside of the conference, with police seizing a banner that read “Jew Against Genocide.”

German authorities have staged several crackdowns on the Palestine solidarity movement since Oct. 7. Activists claim that while German Jews are indeed arrested for showing solidarity with Palestine, it is the Palestinians that bear the brunt of repression.

“We Jews are just getting arrested, the Palestinians are being beaten,” German-Israeli activist Iris Hefets toldAl Jazeera. On March 22, the homes of Palestinian activists Said and Yasemin were raided by German police in the middle of the night from their homes in Berlin, with both alleging targeted persecution from German authorities.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who was inside the venue, was prevented from speaking “because German police burst into our Berlin venue to disband our Palestine Congress (1930s style),” he wrote on X.

This is the speech he intended to give:

24 comments for “German Police Shut Down Palestine Conference

  1. susan
    April 18, 2024 at 12:44

    Semitic = relating to or denoting a family of languages that includes Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic and certain ancient languages such as Phoenician and Akkadian, constituting the main subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic family.

    So, my question is how can anti-Semitic (relating to or characterized by anti-Semitism : feeling or showing hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a cultural, racial, or ethnic group) apply only to Jews (who may or may not speak Hebrew) and not to Palestinians who speak Arabic?

  2. Mary Saunders
    April 16, 2024 at 11:17

    The hopeful thing about this is that it is getting massive play on new media. Did they arrest the Greek?

  3. April 16, 2024 at 11:16

    After the unpayable Kreigsschuldfrage (written by Foster Dulles, because David Lloyd-George wouldn’t soil his fingers with it) of 1918 after WWI and the Nuremberg judgment after WWII, Germans are understandibly terrified of being not obsequious enough to the children of their former victims, which victims are, ironically, reprising the very crimes they suffered from upon the Palestinians.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    April 16, 2024 at 05:07

    Wasn’t aware that Hitler had resuscitated ..:(

  5. Paula
    April 16, 2024 at 01:50

    Germany, still supporting genocide, up to your old facist tricks. Thought you learned your lesson. Guess a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots which might be said of all the imperial, colonist collective west. It’s a new world they can’t seem to accept especially when death and destruction through arms dealing lines so many pockets. A huge cabal of evil has its grip on the west.

    • Rafael
      April 16, 2024 at 14:32

      Exactly right! But why not name the cabal? It’s known as “capitalism”.

      Some also call it “global capitalism” or the “capitalist world system” in view of its fundamentally imperialistic nature.

  6. Litchfield
    April 15, 2024 at 22:56

    “What are the German PTB so afraid of?
    Why are they defending the indefensible?

    I speculate that the horrors in Gaza might have made some Germans more aware of the actual history of the Zionist state. Witnessing the genocide done by Israelis might tempt some Germans to start asking questions about the Holocaust, their supposed ethnic guilt (all Germans guilty, all must pay for being “Hitler’s willing accomplices”—which has been shown to be a deeply dishonest work (authored by Daniel Goldhagen)—they might start questioning the billions in reparations that they have paid for 75 years to a country that turns out to be just as savage as they, the Germans, supposedly were. More so, actually. They might start asking searching questions about the idea of the State of Israel being Germany’s Staatsraeson. Good question. Very good question. The Zionists plundered Palestine and the Palestine people unremittingly, intensively from December 1947 to 1949. This criminal enterprise was labeled the Staatsraeson for the creation of a new German state, the Bundesrepublik.

    The German govt and its controllers in DC do not want Germans questioning this Staatsraeson–surely this is why they say that protesting the Gaza genocide is the same as threatening Germany’s democracy. The only thing legitimate protest of the genocide threatens is the idea of Israel being Germany’s Staatsraeson. Of course Germans are asking such questions, but they are not allowed to say them out loud.

    To me this is the Occam’s Razor explanation for the truly extraordinary German crackdown on protesting the obvious horrific genocide in Gaza and on this conference. TPTB play the antisemitism card against the protesters and conference attendees. That is kayfabe. What the TPTB fear is a genuine questioning of Germany’s eternal guilt and Jews’ eternal victim status as the Staatsraeson of the Bundesrepublik. “

  7. Selina Sweet
    April 15, 2024 at 19:57

    Astonishing – what happened to freedom of speech? assembly? in Germany of all places! Isn’t closing this Congress down typical of a Mobutu authoritarian and Starbucks owner? distressingly, the West has been captured by anti-democratic forces.

  8. Eddie S
    April 15, 2024 at 18:08

    I can’t help but wonder if the German leadership sense a hint of deja vu in their actions?

    • Renate
      April 15, 2024 at 23:39

      They know very well that Germany needs a regime change. Hopefully, the Nicaraguans win in court.

    • joey_n
      April 16, 2024 at 03:56

      Not as long as the US and Israel are satisfied – Israel allegedly runs the US which indisputably has controlled Germany since WWII. Days ago CN did an article talking about that.

  9. Bob Martin
    April 15, 2024 at 17:16

    The German credo: fascism is us. Despicable.

    • Renate
      April 15, 2024 at 23:44

      They are cowards, just the word anti-Semite is enough to scare the hell out of them, the Israelis know how to use their club well most of all in Germany.

  10. Lois Gagnon
    April 15, 2024 at 16:41

    This is the Western fascism of the 21st century. Nothing really changes except the technology used to inflict it on its victims. The human psyche cannot handle power and privilege. That’s what should be illegal.

  11. Larry McGovern
    April 15, 2024 at 16:39

    This is something from The Onion, right? No???
    Then how did those Brown Shirts and SS officers get modern uniforms?? I mean, this can’t be real, right?? Sick joke, right?? After all, Fascist Germany is deep in the dustbin of History, never to rise again, right??

    What a world! Can’t make this stuff up!

    • colodactylon
      April 16, 2024 at 10:06

      Welcome to Das IV. Reich.
      The uniforms were paid for by poor suckers in the EU (only the poor pay taxes here..) and very much look like they came from the same designer that supplies police forces in Ecuador, in USA, in France or Indonesia or even to the enormously photogenic Syrian ISIS back in the day. Maybe Gucci? Either way, black seems to be the preferred colour for NWO global 4th Reich urban warfare riot gear. They all look and behave the same. There shall be no more colours! Only submission!

  12. Andrew Nichols
    April 15, 2024 at 16:14

    Zero coverage in empire friendly media. The combination of state repression and media = fascism

  13. April 15, 2024 at 16:07

    It looks like the Gestapo is back in Germany.

    It looks like Nazism, which Germans have always liked to think that they have forever banished, is back in Germany in a new form and under a new guise.

    I hope that many Germans would speak out about what is happening.

    • colodactylon
      April 16, 2024 at 10:39

      “I hope that many Germans would speak out about what is happening.”

      Most haven’t quite grasped what is happening yet. They believe to be on the side of the righteous and of democracy in general.
      For decades they were boiled like the proverbial frogs in the neo-fascist ‘Team Blue’ globalist propaganda soup. And now, war is peace..
      It’s never easy to accept the wall at the end of a blind alley.

    • Rafael
      April 16, 2024 at 14:41

      Didn’t George Carlin say something like the following? Germany lost the second world war, the fascists won it. Believe it my friend.

  14. Guy St Hilaire
    April 15, 2024 at 15:44

    Of all nations ,Germany to do this .

  15. Mary Saunders
    April 15, 2024 at 15:24

    It is a quandary concerning who, if anyone, can avert the further descent into the 1930’s of Germany. At least a famous fighter got wide coverage of giving up money to lecture… on economics!

  16. Wade Hathaway
    April 15, 2024 at 14:56

    My how easily the tenets of democracy and freedom are abandoned to the praxis of authoritarianism. Please tell us again how ‘The West’ is the model for civil liberties and open society.

  17. Jeff Harrison
    April 15, 2024 at 13:54

    No one should be surprised. Typical “Western” style “democracy”. You’re free to say anything you like as long as you agree with us.

Comments are closed.