German Police Shut Down Palestine Conference

A three day Palestine conference in Berlin was forcibly shut down after three hours on Friday. Electricity was abruptly terminated in the midst of the presentation by Salman Abu Sitta, the 87 year old author of the authoritative “Atlas of Palestine”.

Former Greek Finance Minister and leader of DIEM25, Yanis Varoufakis, was prevented from entering Germany to attend the conference. He went on Twitter/X to send a message, “Do you know that the German Interior Ministry has just banned me from entering Germany? Indeed if that were not enough,  I have been banned  from talking to you via zoom, or indeed through a video message like this, exactly like this. The threat being that I will be tried in Germany for breaking German law. Why? Because of a speech that I published yesterday on my blog calling for universal human rights in Israel-Palestine… So my question to my German friends, to Germans in general whether you agree with me or not doesn’t matter… Is this (banning) in your name? Is it something that you feel comfortable happening in your democracy? From my perspective this is essentially the death knell of the prospects of democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Another banned guest speaker was UK citizen Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah. He reported on Twitter/X ,”I have just returned from Germany where I was prevented from entering the country for attending a conference in Germany to give evidence on the war in Gaza and my witness statement as a doctor working in its hospitals. This morning at 10 I landed in Berlin to attend a conference on Palestine where I had been asked… to give my evidence of the 43 days that I had seen in the hospitals in Gaza, working in both Shifa and al-Ahli Hospital. Upon arrival I was stopped at the passport office. I was then escorted down to the basement of the airport where I was questioned for around 3.5 hours. At the end of 3.5 hours I was told that I will not be allowed to enter German soil and that this ban will last the whole of April. Not just that… if I were to try to link up by Zoom or Facetime with the conference even if I were outside Germany or if I were to send a video of my lecture to the conference in Berlin, then that would constitute a breach of German law and that I would endanger myself to have a fine or even up to a year in prison.”

Dr. Abu Sitta further commented, “Germany is defending itself against Nicaraguan charges that it is an accomplice to genocidal war as described by the International Court of Justice. This is exactly what accomplices to a crime do. They bury the evidence and they silence or harass or intimidate the witnesses… This crackdown on free speech is a dangerous precedent…  We are watching the first genocide unfold in the 21st Century and for Germany to become implicated as an accomplice in silencing the witnesses of this genocide does not bode well for the rest of the century.”

A large contingent of police invaded the conference and shut off the electricity. Organizers told the reported 250 conference attendees to not provoke the police to violence. Afterward, organizers  held a press conference  reporting on the behaviour of police before and during the crackdown. Even before the conference, police tried to intimidate supporters of the conference and the owner of the conference venue. They threatened the venue owner might not be able to hold events in future if the conference went ahead.  An organizer asked, “Are these the methods of the mafia or democracy?”

Western and Israeli media reported the closure was to prevent “anti semitism” or “hatred of Israel”.. On this dubious and hypothetical basis, public education about a real ongoing massacre and mass starvation was made illegal.

Rick Sterling is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at

10 thoughts on “German Police Shut Down Palestine Conference”

  1. When Germany is in bed with Israel, what do we expect? German Government is a big disappointment to their own people, look at how the Germans are suffering and yet the Zionist THUGS come first.

  2. I think it can safely be said that Zionism is a huge mistake for Israel and for everyone. Maybe it is time for baby Israel to accept the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because with the lord, it is never too late to repent for your sins, your arrogance and total lack of humanity.

      1. Many religions tend to believe conversion solves everything, but I kind of like having a diversity of groups.

        “The only good wars were the religious wars.” (GK Chesterton probably wrote that through a character in Napoleon of Notting Hill book.)

        1. Note of thanks to you: I’ve started having my Echo Dot read the collected works of Hillaire Belloc to me at night when I’m drifting off to sleep. Maybe I’ll wake up one morning as a distributist due to subliminal suggestion.

          1. One argument I recall from Belloc is you can’t do anything to a person with no property. But if he has a little, you can fine him. Thinking on it now, I suppose you could torture a person. Slaves were hit. I dislike that of course.

            GK Chesterton’s Outline of Sanity is good. Lots of neat arguments. And Russia’s Stolypin, his reforms. The US had some distributist policies I’ve heard. I’m uncertain how true that is, but home ownership was supposedly encouraged. The US was in a fortuitous position after WWII.

          2. Home ownership is still “encouraged,” way too much, with tax subsidies and such. At this point, if you don’t have a mortgage by 25, everyone thinks you’re strange.

            I am actually at the point where ownership seems like the way to go, but for much of my life that was not the situation. Younger people these days move a lot. And not just down the block but across the country. Taking out a loan to buy a home means worrying about whether it will be profitable to sell when offered a job 2,000 miles away. It robs one of flexibility.

            My wife and I are now at a point where we’re likely to remain in the same local area for the rest of our lives., and where we’re not spending all our money raising youngsters, etc. So we’re starting to look to buy.

          3. Ah, I didn’t mean to ramble there. I’m glad you’re still around. If my career ever improves, I’ll put up a political site that will try to argue from different positions. I just can’t do it now, and perhaps I never will.

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