Demonstrators filled the Kurfürstendamm for miles, or so it seemed. From block to block, all one could see were hijab-clad Arab women, holding aloft yellow and green Hezbollah banners, punctuated by the furry hats of Neturei Karta ultra-orthodox. For tourists, the sight was confounding. Terrorist sympathizers, walking arm-in-arm with religious Jews? In Germany’s capital?
It would be one thing if this were just about Berlin, with its rich Jewish and World War II legacies, and its astounding diversity, as the home of one of Europe’s most complex immigrant communities. Few cities on the continent scream ‘Levantine’ harder. But, this was the annual al-Quds Tag march. Even if there was no such context to refer to, the politics would still be hard to decipher. This was about Israel-Palestine, after all. Few conflicts are as confounding, and as defiant of expectations.
A recipe for one-dimensional fundamentalism, seeking out a clear cut us-against-them worldview, Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians repeatedly surprises with its complexity, and its identity-trading. Jews partner with Palestinians. Palestinians share with Jews the status of victims of nationalism, but are fighting for their own nation-state. Sound familiar? It’s hard to tell who is who, and who deserves what. The fluidity can be intensely destabilizing.
Especially for those who are old enough to have born witness to the Holocaust, and the creation of the State of Israel. The moral equivalency of Palestinians and Jews, as victims of war, and of displacement, happened so fast, and so furiously, it’s enough to drive one crazy. Particularly if what we crave is certainty – the sort that is inevitably offered by nationalist politics, and their imaginary communities. The following translations, of two flyers, about Israeli politics, found in Brussels, are one such example.
(God is just with his ✡‘s)(Thank you Klux Klan USA) ISRAEL
We all have the same father, God who created all of us? “We are the world” said Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson. Deportation and killing from 1942 to 1944 (Genocide in Ruanda) because of being born Israelite, Judas, sons of Israel, Hebrew, Jewish.
It will never end It will never end It will never end
Kadima Tzoran (Israeli town founded in 1933 by German Hebrews). You cannot traffic the will of God’s people, its history, its authorities, its country, its country by the origins of the Israeli people deported and killed from 1942 to 1944 in the European world of the Euro countries (Germany, Austria, Finland, Portugal, France, Italy, USSR, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain, England, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria
Who are in synagogues in Europe, scared guys, scared religion, scared norms, and scared country of origins? Kadima ✡ means forward
REFUZNIK ROUTE TO SARCELLES IN 95th (Paris, France) BANS JEWS FROM THE USSR FROM IMMIGRATING TO ISRAEL ✡ ISRAEL ✡ ISRAEL
Born in the USSR (Moscow), 10 ✡Israeli ✡ministers in the ✡Kadima✡ Party
Political party: KADIMA
Democracy of the Israeli people, people of God, sons of Israel
Born in Poland. 10 Israeli ministers voted by Israeli universal suffrage. Israeli political party: Kadima
Do we not all have the same father? Did one God not create us all?
Deported and killed from 1942 to 1944, because Hebrews, sons of Israel, Judas of the Belgian Congo, Hebrew, Jewish, kykuit, leta, Swahili, like muka, mukarmpote, mukamba, mukanua, mukalenan, mukandile (CEPGL). They were executed in death camps, deformed, inhumane treatment, Genocide in Rwanda, in Ethiopia,[ — ], ski, Goma, genocide of Rwandans, exportation of cult places “synagogues”, condemned cities, Kadima Tzoran, city founded in 1933 by German Hebrews, their communes, their entities like “screws” [slang for prison guard] in Ixelles, Brussels, their customs, their immoralities, Israeli “universal suffrage” of the people of God for TZIPI LIVNI, 10 Israeli ministers, democracy of Israel, elected by Hebrews across the world ✡ Israelis from across the world, Ehud Olmert ✡
Where are Hebrews from? From Europe, the Hebrew, Jewish, Israeli diaspora from Europe, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Spain, Luxembourg, (France?), Belgium, Holland, Czech, USSR, Israel is not part of the European community
ARIEL SHARON born in the USSR (Moscow), 10 Israeli ministers for the Israeli political party ✡ KADIMA ✡✡, he left the Israeli political party LIKUD to establish KADIMA in 11.2005 which means forward in Hebrew, forward in Hebrew, ✡ ✡ KADIMA TZORAN, Israeli town, founded in 1933 by German Hebrews
GERMAN ✡ GERMAN HEBREWS ✡
REFUZNIK ROUTE TO SARCELLES IN THE 95th DEPARTMENT (Paris, France), Jews from USSR are banned from emigrating to ISRAEL ✡, done in Israel in relation to ARIEL SHARON, WESTERN WALL, we are in Brussels, Port de Namur, where are the Kadimas and their Israeli history, their ascendants, their goods, their country, their democracy, their authorities [—] ?
[Translators note: Sections represented by ‘—‘ were impossible to translate, including the first part of flyer two]
Translated from the French by Kit Rickard. Photos courtesy of Joel Schalit.