Tobias Griessbach
Tobias Griessbach

Why a political trial should concern Israelis and Palestinians

On September 8th, the trial against Leipzig based Lina E. and other members of an alleged left-wing terror group began. Lina E. is accused of leading a clandestine group of Antifascists aiming to trace, spy on and ambush notorious and violent right-wing extremists, 13 in actual numbers. Lina and her fellows were imprisoned in November 2020 and several authorities (as well as certain media companies) tried to construct and design a character in the tradition of the RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion), the notorious guerrilla and terrorist group from the 1970’s which also collaborated with Palestinian faction PFLP. Yet, little do they know and the entire compound of accusations is based on clues instead of solid evidence. A hammer, a wig and cash are the central “evidence” of an attorney whose only and obvious goal is to state an example and criminalize the rare antifascist movements in Eastern Germany.

The local ministry as well as the attorney and right-wing journalists are in a desperate need to defend their raison d’etat and political goals, thus making up a political trial in a climate of rising right-wing violence and organisation. Since Pegida, the rise of the AfD and several proto-militant groups of coronavirus deniers, the socio-political dynamics and climate turns regularly violent, racist and antisemitic with authorities (mostly) turning a blind eye on it. At the same time the trial began, a small and miniscule Neonazi-party published an advertisement for the upcoming parliamentary elections calling for murdering members and voters of Germany’s green party. Saxony, the same federal state to bring on the case against Lina E. does not feel or see any reason to prevent and sanction this kind of advertisement for there would be “no criminal relevance”, according to a local attorney. At the same day, the trial against a right-wing extremist in Chemnitz, Saxony’s third-biggest city, came to an end after one day. He was accused of assaulting the Chemnitz’s only Jewish restaurant during racist riots taking place in the entire city three years ago. He destroyed furniture and injured the owner of the restaurant out of a bigger group, threatening the owner. Despite the fact, that he was found guilty, he won’t face prison but a one-year suspended sentence.

Further, there is evidence, that a German wide published magazine, infamous for spreading racism and conspiracy theories, got sensitive information from local police authorities to publish articles containing these information. This is not the first time, that a leak inside the local police for the benefit of Neo-Nazis is becoming apparent. And while the trial in Dresden against Lina E. goes on, a six year old incidence, an attack of more than 200 violent Neo-Nazis on a Leipzig neighborhood being known for its leftist structures and inhabitants is still not negotiated or holds no real charges for the traitors. The list is much longer and the result of a “tradition” to either ignore the violent and even lethal potential of right-wing structures and individuals or even to endorse them. The case of the NSU (whose only living member cynically sits in the same prison as Lina E.) reveals a shockingly close and intense connection between state and right-wing terrorism.

All of this is an alarming signal. Not just for left-wingers but for everyone who does not fit into the narrow human “ideal” of Nazism. German Jews, Israelis and Palestinians also should be alarmed by this development and should have an eye of the trial taking place in Dresden for it is obvious, that the judgement won’t be in the favor of the accused and thus, for everyone who is declared an enemy of right-wing extremists. Even though the state regularly expresses solidarity and support for German Jews and Israelis, police and judiciary suggest the exact opposite. Plus, Palestinians in Germany still fight a constant struggle for appreciation and to be seen and heard. Of course the danger is not new, but this rate of hostility is. The slogan “Never Again” thus appears like a hollow and performative empty phrase to please the world and the own consciousness. But there is no single step taken to turn this slogan into real politics and honor the victims of racism and antisemitism by taking a a true and sustainable stand against such traitors. Israel as well as Palestine should be more than aware of this development and demanding action of the governments, national and federal.

About the Author
Tobias Griessbach has a M.A. in Anthropology and is a freelance journalist.
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