II German National Conference against the Wall calls civil society to take up BDS
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II German National Conference against the Wall calls civil society to take up BDS

***image2***On Saturday, the 18th of November, the II National Conference against the Wall in Palestine was held in Berlin. Some 200 activists and interested individuals have gathered to hear the contributions of Palestinian, Israeli and European activists.

Fathy Khdirat, coordinator for the Jordan Valley of the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, presented the myriad of ways in which the Occupation dispossesses, represses, kills and discriminates against the Palestinian people. In this context, the place of the Apartheid Wall in the project of ethnic cleansing is evident. It is also clear that all “negotiations” serve as mechanisms to further entrench the occupation and dispossess the Palestinian people.

Janet Michael, the mayor of Bethlehem, has been refused her visa to Germany and a belated revision of this decision came too late to make her presence possible.

Israeli and German activists contributed to the debate, highlighting that German foreign policy is not prepared to promote justice and freedom in Palestine. Both Germany’s unconditional support of the Occupation and the presence of German military forces in Lebanon were condemned.

Months of efforts to create meaningful solidarity with key players of German civil society have culminated in this conference – the fact that the meeting itself was held in the Genezareth church in Berlin serves as further proof of the successful efforts of the organizers of the conference.

At the closing, organizers and participants passed a conference statement that stated, among other things:

“Where governments fail, it is the responsibility of the citizens, not only to point at the issues but to intervene actively. As a Campaign against the construction of the Wall we will continue to:

    – Inform the German public about the construction of the Wall and the injustice linked to the Occupation.

    – To lobby German and EU institutions, until the arms export in the crisis region Middle East will be completely ceased and all commercial relations will be controlled if they are in line with international law and Human Rights. The elected Palestinian authority has to be accepted as a partner for dialogue and cooperation; the stranglehold of the sanctions against the Palestinian people has to be stopped immediately.

    – Support nonviolent campaigns of Israeli and Palestinian activists against the construction of the “Separation fence”. This includes in particular, that we take up the call of the Palestinian civil society for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against the Israeli policy of Occupation. We want to discuss intensively with our Palestinian as well as Israeli partners and with the German peace and solidarity movement, how this campaign, that takes lead from the anti-apartheid movement for South Africa, can be implemented reasonably in Germany.”

For the full declaration and more info (in German) see: www.stopptdiemauer.de