Palestine at the Forefront: Fighting Repression in Germany
We, the undersigned organizations, condemn the criminalization of and crackdown on Palestine solidarity by the German state and the complicity of the German media. We are witnessing the increasing threat and intimidation against people in all areas of life because of their criticism of war crimes, occupation, and displacement.

Germany is home to the largest Palestinian community in Europe, most of whom fled Syria in 2015. In recent years, they have played a central role in the rapid growth of the pro-Palestine movement in Germany. As a result, they are categorically targeted and criminalized by the state and the media. There are documented cases of refugees getting stripped of their refugee status and residencies due to their solidarity with Palestine. Others are even faced with deportations. At the end of 2023, the German parliament discussed making the "recognition of Israel's right to exist" a prerequisite for obtaining German citizenship. This anti-Palestinian policy is already being implemented today. At the same time, the withdrawal of German citizenship from dual nationals is being discussed.

Since 2022, there has been an increasing number of bans on pro-Palestine demonstrations. Immediately after the 7th of October 2023, all demonstrations were completely banned by the police authorities. The slogan "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free" was practically criminalized. Palestine solidarity organizations are being defamed and, in extreme cases, subjected to raids and bans. Wearing the keffiyeh was used as an opportunity to arbitrarily search people on the street and issue them with expulsion orders from the area. Demonstrations are now only allowed to take place under harsh anti-Palestinian restrictions, and demonstrators are regularly brutally assaulted and arrested by the police.

Schoolchildren were banned from wearing the keffiyeh in schools immediately after Israel started its bombardment campaign against Gaza in 2023. Racist questionnaires on the "recognition of Israel's right to exist" and the position on Palestinian resistance were issued to school students to control the discourse and sentiment. Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim children and youths are systematically marginalized. University students are threatened with being expelled. The space for democratic discourse at universities and in the media is massively restricted.

The criminalization of solidarity with Palestine promotes Islamophobic racism. Migrant and Muslim segments of the population are placed under blanket suspicion. We denounce the inhumane and racist measures of intimidation and repression against the Palestine solidarity movement and reject their defamation as "anti-Semitic". We oppose the equation of Israel with Jews.

The restrictions on democratic rights, in particular freedom of expression, assembly, and political organization, are alarming and dangerous for all democratic forces. The threat to deprive an individual of these rights is a threat to deprive everyone of them.

We will never stop openly and publicly exposing and organizing against war crimes, occupation, and apartheid. The German government's active involvement in the genocide in Gaza and its abhorrent defense of Zionist crimes in defiance of international law and the Human Rights Charter must be stopped immediately.

We declare our full support for the campaign "Palestine at the Forefront: Fighting Repression in Germany" in its struggle against the anti-Palestinian and racist policies of the German state. The anti-democratic attacks on refugees, activists, and pro-Palestine organizations must be stopped immediately!

Solidarity with Palestine is not only our right, but our duty!
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