Germany: Condemning racism while condoning genocide
Relatively few people seem to be bothered by a seemingly incorrigible Germany’s unapologetic positioning on the wrong side of history once again.
For four consecutive weekends, tens of thousands of people in Germany have been taking to the streets in protest against the political far-right after a report by investigative news outlet Correctiv blew the whistle on a secret meeting attended by “high-ranking politicians from Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, neo-Nazis, and sympathetic businesspeople” in which was discussed “a plan for the forced deportations of millions of people currently living in Germany.”
When regarded on their own, these outpourings of organised outrage seem nothing but commendable: here is a populace that is standing up against racism and fascism and, as German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier put it in belligerent words that seem to have been copy-pasted from fear-mongering US officials, is “defending our republic and our constitution against its enemies.”
But when put into the context of the ongoing Western-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza, which in the four months that it has been allowed to happen, has killed over 28,000 Palestinians and has managed to mobilise only a fraction of the participant numbers the current anti-AfD protests are boasting, these mass demonstrations Germany is currently witnessing become highly problematic.
Even more so when one takes into account the documented instances of abuse by pro-Zionist protesters against Palestinian participants and their allies who, believing these allegedly antiracist protests to be safe spaces, have quickly been reminded of the contrary. Just like Germany’s national railway company Deutsche Bahn markets its stations as smoke-free, even though they have non-enclosed smoking sections on their platforms, German antiracism makes brazen exceptions for the filthy habit of anti-Palestinian racism.
A member of the Berlin-based anti-Zionist Jewish organisation Jüdische Stimme described her experience of a protest in the German capital on February 3 as “the charming hypocrisy of German leftists: Hating Palestinians, hating Jews when we stand up against genocide, and then being appalled when one acknowledges them as racists and antisemites,” she summarised the sanctimony of German antiracism in a caption to a video message posted on Instagram.
Germany’s national protests come on the heels of Berlin’s despicable decisions to back "Israel" at the International Court of Justice in the genocide case brought against it by South Africa, and to stop funding UNRWA, the main provider of aid to Palestinians in Gaza. The latter is based solely on the basis of yet-to-be-proven allegations made by "Israel", whose terminally ill-intentioned leaders are known to suffer from a chronic medical condition referred to as liarliarpantsonfireitis.
Yet, relatively few people seem to be bothered by a seemingly incorrigible Germany’s unapologetic positioning on the wrong side of history once again.
To give an idea of what mass protests in times of a Western-supported colonial genocide in which hunger is now being weaponised as a tool of war should look like: while tens of thousands of protesters who don’t look like me, a person of colour, descended upon the German capital on February 3 to protest against the AfD, tens of thousands of protesters, many of whom do look like me, descended upon the British capital to protest against the genocide in Gaza, as they have been doing consistently since October 7, the day “the people of Gaza had broke out of their prison,” to quote Mariam Barghouti.
Yes, Germany’s hypocritical antiracism protests are for white people and by white people, which is why they largely fail to incorporate BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) concerns, particularly those of the country’s Muslim, Turkish and Arab communities whose traditional empathy for the plight of Palestinians and shared antipathy towards US imperialism informs their number one foreign policy priority these days: an immediate end to the Western-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza and the realisation of a liberated Palestine.
That is also why these protests are excruciatingly blind to existing systemic and structural racial inequities in Germany, treating racism as a hypothetical threat from the far-right while it has been thriving unchecked in our midst for decades: While liberal white protesters are passionately hurling antiracists slogans at the AfD, there is no word about the countless degradations experienced by BIPOC Germans on a daily basis, such as racial profiling, police brutality and rampant job and housing discrimination, to name but a few, for which a party that has never been in government cannot be blamed.
No, these white German protesters are perfectly fine with the racist way things are. The liberal white supremacist status quo does not affect them adversely, unlike an overtly white supremacist AfD in power would, the party being an existential threat to the ideals of gender equality, multiculturalism, European integration, and many other values liberals hold dear.
Shockingly enough, far too many protesters seem to be unaware that the AfD’s anti-immigrant agenda has already been coopted by their beloved liberals in government. They have merely watered down its taste to accommodate the political palate of a self-proclaimed “antiracist” electorate, which loves itself some multiculturalism, but only when it comes with built-in protections for white privilege (this is known as equality without equity).
The AfD’s hypothetical plan to mass deport migrants is just a more radical version of anti-immigrant policies already enacted by a two-faced, nominally centre-left government, which is ruling Germany into disaster with its unhinged megalomania and unfettered militarism: the so-called Rückführungsverbesserungsgesetz (Mark Twain was right, German truly is an awful language), or Repatriation Improvement Law in English, which the Bundestag passed in January is the latest example of a far-right agenda masquerading as progressive politics. This draconian deportation bill puts into action chancellor Olaf Scholz’s infamous post-October 7 battle cry to “deport on a large scale.”
Just days before their cabinet’s successful legislation of the German deportation bill, Scholz and his foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, even had the audacity to take part in an anti-AfD protest in the city of Potsdam, to no one’s outrage. Selective complacency is a typical behavioural pattern among German liberals: Instead of directing their holier-than-though antiracist ire at the elected anti-immigrant perpetrators in their midst, organised German performativity with its twisted priorities would rather keep being obsessed with the opposition AfD, and by doing so is giving it more power than it would ever manage to acquire on its own.
My point was poignantly driven home by a placard held by someone at one of the protests in Berlin: It pictured Scholz, Baerbock, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden, all of whom are viewed as complicit in "Israel’s" sadistic orgy of death and destruction in Gaza, and accompanying the group photo of these pro-Zionist Horsepeople of the Apocalypse, whose refusal to reign in "Israel’s" genocidal mania is allowing "Tel Aviv" to continue to rain down Armageddon on what was already the world’s largest open-air concentration camp even before the war began, was a caption that read: “With liberals like these, who needs fascists?”