Germany baned 127 Demos after O7

Last Updated: 12. Februar 2024By

127 demos were banned in Germany after the Simchat Torah massacre committed by HAMAS against the State of Israel on October 7 (O7), 2023 (28th of Tishrei 5779).

According to a spokesperson of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt – BKA) in Wiesbaden, 111 Pro-Palestinian demos were banned.

According to the spokesperson the paper itself which contains the details is confidential and not available to the press.

Based on my own research, the total number of banned demos is 127. Because of the fact that not all demo bans are reported to the BKA, the actual number of demo bans is higher than the number that was reported to the BKA.

Since O7, I have been researching details at local authorities of Germany’s 16 states:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U9GD28y3oc8a9D_3zbtfPsyo2An2fKtiOToM6R3SUgE/edit?usp=sharing

32 Demo Bans in Berlin

The Berlin State Police banned 32 demos:

  1. October 11, 2023 «Against violence at school», Neukölln
  2. October 11, 2023 «Rally for the teachers‘ strike», Neukölln
  3. October 11, 2023 «Demo in solidarity with Palestine», Neukölln
  4. October 11, 2023 «Solidarity rally with the Palestinian population in Jerusalem and with the Palestinian prisoners in Israel», Mitte
  5. October 12, 2023 «Solidarity with the civilian population in the Gaza Strip», Mitte
  6. October 13, 2023 «Peace in the Middle East – Stop the war in the Middle East», Mitte
  7. October 13, 2023 «Free Palestine», Neukölln
  8. October 14, 2023 «Jewish Berliners against violence in the Middle East», Mitte
  9. October 16, 2023 «No conflagration in the Middle East», Neukölln
  10. October 16, 2023 «Free Palestine», Neukölln
  11. October 17, 2023 «Free Palestine», Neukölln
  12. October 18, 2023 «Free Palestine», Neukölln
  13. October 18, 2023 «Demo in solidarity with Palestine», Neukölln
  14. October 18, 2023 «Youth against racism», Neukölln
  15. October 19, 2023 «Demo in solidarity with Palestine», Neukölln
  16. October 19, 2023 «Vigil with candles for the victims of the attack in Gaza», Mitte
  17. October 20, 2023 «Rally with candles in memory of the victims in the Gaza Strip», Mitte
  18. October 21, 2023 «Peace in the Middle East – Ceasefire in the Middle East – Two-state solution», Mitte
  19. October 21, 2023 «Children, in Gaza need help, together we help children», Mitte
  20. October 22, 2023 «Peace in the Middle East», Mitte
  21. October 24, 2023 «Solidarity with Palestine», Mitte
  22. October 25, 2023 «Vigil with candles for the victims of the attack in Gaza», Mitte
  23. October 27, 2023 «We demand that Germany and Europe demand a humanitarian ceasefire!», Mitte
  24. October 27, 2023 «Children of Berlin for Children of Gaza», Mitte
  25. October 27, 2023 «Stop the war in the world», Mitte
  26. November 5, 2023 March «Freedom for the people in Gaza/Peace Demonstration», Mitte
  27. December 19, 2023 «Free Palestine», Mitte (Washingtonplatz)
  28. December 21, 2023 «From the river to the sea, you will get the hug you need», Charlottenburg (Wilmersdorfer Straße)
  29. December 31, 2023 «No Celebration during Genocide», Neukölln (Richardplatz, Herzbergstraßee, Sonnenallee, Weichselstraße, Karl-Marx-Straße, Hermannplatz)
  30. December 31, 2023 «No Celebration in a racist nation», Neukölln (Hermannplatz)
  31. December 31, 2023 «Free Palestine», Neukölln (Sonnenallee – Fuldastraße)
  32. January 12, 2024 «Free Palestine», Mitte (Washingtonplatz)

37 Demo Bans and 16 general decrees in Hamburg

As part of the registration process, the Hamburg State Police banned 18 demos by order:

  1. October 13, 2023 «Solidarity with Rojava and Palestine», Heidi-Kabel-Platz – Hachmannplatz
  2. October 14, 2023 «The current situation in Israel and Palestine», Ida-Ehre-Platz
  3. October 16, 2023 «Peace for the Middle East», Ottenser Hauptstraße
  4. October 18, 2023 «Commemoration of the victims of the recent events in the Middle East», Rathausmarkt
  5. October 19, 2023 «Protest against the arrest of a European coordinator in France», Goetheplatz
  6. October 21, 2023 «Stop the war on Gaza», Steindamm – Steintorplatz – Steintordamm – Mönckebergstraße – Bergstraße – Jungfernstieg
  7. October 24, 2023 «Solidarity with Gaza», Steintorplatz
  8. October 26, 2023 «Against the ban on demonstrations related to Palestine», Gänsemarkt
  9. October 28, 2023 «Against war, violence and aggression in Gaza», Steindamm – Kreuzweg – Adenauerallee – Mönckebergstraße – Bergstraße – Jungfernstieg – Gänsemarkt
  10. November 1, 2023 «Against restrictions on fundamental rights. For the right to assemble», Jungfernstieg – Gänsemarkt – Valentinskamp – Dragonerstall – Johannes-Brahms-Platz – Sievekingplatz
  11. November 3, 2023 «Against colonial structures in the Middle East», Steindamm
  12. November 4, 2023 «For sustainable peace», Hansaplatz – Stralsunder Straße – Steindamm – Steintorplatz – Steintordamm – Mönckebergstraße – Bergstraße – Jungfernstieg – Neuer Jungfernstieg – Lombardsbrücke – Ballindamm – Reesendamm – Rathausmarkt
  13. November 4, 2023 «Against antimuslim racism», Hachmannplatz – Kirchenallee – Steintorplatz – Steindamm – Uhlandstraße
  14. November 10, 2023 «Condemnation of the massive bombing of the Gaza Strip», Mönckebergstraße
  15. November 18, 2023 «International solidarity with all oppressed peoples», Theodor-Heuß-Platz – Edmund-Siemers-Allee – An der Verbindungsbahn – Karolinenstraße – Tschaikowskyplatz – Holstenglacis – Feldstraße – Neuer Kamp – Neuer Pferdemarkt – Beim grünen Jäger
  16. November 24, 2023 «Stop the war on Gaza and support Human Rights», Steindamm – Kreuzweg – Adenauerallee – Steintorplatz – Steintordamm – Mönckebergstraße – Bergstraße – Speersort
  17. December 22, 2023 «Against the occupation of the Gaza Strip», Mönckebergstraße
  18. December 30, 2023 «Against bans on speaking and demonstrating on Palestine and Gaza», Steindamm – Mönckebergstraße – Jungfernstieg

In addition, the Hamburg State Police banned 19 demos on-site:

  1. October 13, 2023 «Free Palestine», Hachmannplatz
  2. October 14, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Steintorplatz
  3. October 18, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Mönckebergstraße
  4. October 18, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Kreuzweg
  5. October 18, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Steindamm – Kreuzweg
  6. October 20, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Möllner Landstraße
  7. October 20, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Billstedter Hauptstraße
  8. October 20, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Sievekingsallee
  9. October 20, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Stuhlrohrstraße
  10. October 21, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Stralsunder Straße
  11. October 21, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Kirchenallee
  12. October 25, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Steindamm
  13. October 28, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Steindamm
  14. October 31, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Wandelhalle
  15. October 31, 2023 Replacement Assembly for «Let us peacefully raise our voices for the people and peace in the Middle East – including for the Palestinian people», Glockengießerwall
  16. November 1, 2023 «Attention to the abductees in the Gaza Strip», Reesendammbrücke
  17. November 5, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Spitalerstraße – Lilienstraße
  18. November 5, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Mönckebergstraße
  19. November 10, 2023 «Hands off Samidoun/Defend Gaza», Von-Melle-Park

based on 16 general decrees:

  1. October 15, 2023 1st general decree
  2. October 18, 2023 2nd general decree
  3. October 22, 2023 3rd general decree
  4. October 25, 2023 4th general decree
  5. October 28, 2023 5th general decree
  6. November 1, 2023 6th general decree
  7. November 4, 2023 7th general decree
  8. November 8, 2023 8th general decree
  9. November 11, 2023 9th general decree
  10. November 15, 2023 10th general decree
  11. November 18, 2023 11th general decree
  12. November 22, 2023 12th general decree
  13. November 25, 2023 13th general decree
  14. November 29, 2023 14th general decree
  15. December 2, 2023 15th general decree
  16. December 6, 2023 16th general decree

1 Demo Ban and 1 general decree in Bremen

The Bremen Public Order Office, as the assembly authority of the State of Bremen, in close coordination with the Bremen Interior Administration, banned 1 demo:

  1. October 21, 2023 «Free Palestine! Stand up for Gaza!», Ostertor-Viertel

On October 12, 2023, the Bremen Public Order Office issued a general decree. In it, for October 13, 2023, on the occasion of the call for the Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood by the terrorist group HAMAS, a general ban was imposed on demonstrations that had not been registered by October 11, 2023 and in terms of content reference to support for HAMAS or its attacks on Israeli territory.

9 Demo Bans in Lower Saxony

  1. October 21, 2023 «Solidarity with the people of the Gaza Strip», Braunschweig
  2. October 21, 2023 «Against the killing of children and women in the war in the Gaza Strip», Salzgitter
  3. October 21, 2023 «Peaceful for the justice of Palestine», Osnabrück
  4. October 22, 2023 «Solidarity with the people of Gaza», Goslar
  5. October 28, 2023 «Freedom for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip», Schlossplatz, Oldenburg
  6. October 28, 2023 «Stop the war! Solidarity with Palestinian civilians», Wolfsburg
  7. November 4, 2023 «Unconditional solidarity with Palestine», Osnabrück
  8. November 11, 2023 «Peace in Gaza», Oldenburg
  9. November 18, 2023 «Peace in Gaza», Schlossplatz, Oldenburg

3 Demo Bans and 1 general decree in Schleswig-Holstein

  1. October 14, 2023 «Pro-Palestine», Rendsburg
  2. October 19, 2023 «Peace for Gaza», Kiel
  3. October 27, 2023 «Solidarity with the civilian population in the Gaza Strip», Bad Segeberg

In accordance with the recommendation of the State Ministry of the Interior, Municipal Affairs, Housing and Sport, the state capital Kiel has issued a general order today (October 20th) for a ban on all outdoor gatherings that are not reported in accordance with Section 11 VersFG SH and that have a content related to support of Hamas or its attacks on the territory of Israel (so-called pro-Palestinian assemblies).

The general order applies to the entire urban area of ​​the state capital from October 21, 2023, midnight, to October 23, 2023, midnight.

14 Demo Bans in Bavaria

  1. October 13, 2023 «Solidarity with the Palestinian people», Odeonsplatz, Munich
  2. October 13, 2023 «Against restriction of freedom of assembly! For expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza», Brüder-Scholl-Platz, Munich
  3. October 13, 2023 «Ground offensive in Gaza, expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people», Karlsplatz, Munich
  4. October 13, 2023 «Expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Against restriction of freedom of expression in Munich», Königsplatz, Munich
  5. October 13, 2023 «For the protection of civilians! Against war!», Lenbachplatz, Munich
  6. October 13, 2023 «Restriction of freedom of assembly in Munich», Wittelsbacherplatz, Munich
  7. October 14, 2023 «Pro-Palestine»Karl-Stützel-Platz, Munich
  8. October 14, 2023 «Show of solidarity for Palestine», Orleansplatz, Munich
  9. October 14, 2023 «Restriction of freedom of assembly during expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza», Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, Munich
  10. October 14th, 2023 «Vigil with public screening of a short film and moderation», Königsplatz, Munich
  11. October 14, 2023 «Peace and freedom in Palestine», Odeonsplatz, Munich
  12. October 16, 2023 «Solidarity cannot be banned. Against demonstration bans! No war in Gaza! Against antisemitism and antipalestinian racism! Stop the occupation! The killing must end immediately! No war in Kurdistan! Stop Erdoğan and Netanyahu!», Marienplatz, Munich
  13. October 18, 2023 «Memorial event for the victims of the attack on the Al-Ahli Hospital/Gaza», Marienplatz, Munich
  14. October 19, 2023 «Human rights and international law for Palestine, too!», Marienplatz, Munich

10 Demo Bans in Baden-Württemberg

  1. October 12, 2023 «Stop the genocide in Gaza! Free Palestine», Mannheim
  2. October 13, 2023 «Solidarity with Palestine is no crime», Theatervorplatz, Bertoldstraße, Freiburg im Breisgau
  3. October 14, 2023 «Vigil – Solidarity rally in memory of the victims in Palestine», Marktplatz, Mannheim
  4. October 18, 2023 «Stop the genocide in Gaza! Free Palestine», Bismarckplatz, Heidelberg
  5. October 21, 2023 «Free Palestine», Tuttlingen
  6. October 21, 2023 «Vigil against war, occupation, violence and oppression in Palestine and Israel», Mannheim
  7. October 22, 2023 «Free Palestine», Platz der Alten Synagoge, Freiburg im Breisgau
  8. October 28, 2023 «Palestine peace demonstration», Am Prediger, Schwäbisch Gmünd
  9. October 28, 2023 «Palestine peace demonstration», Marktplatz, Schwäbisch Gmünd
  10. November 4, 2023, «Silent, peaceful solidarity rally to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in Gaza»Romanshorner Platz, Friedrichshafen

2 Demo Bans in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

  1. October 21, 2023 «Stop the war on Gaza and preserve human rights», Wismar
  2. October 23, 2023 «Israel, like Russia, is an occupier! Israel, like Russia, is an occupier!», Wismar

1 Demo Ban in Rhineland-Palatinate

  1. October 17, 2023 «Free Palestine», Berliner Platz, Ludwigshafen

13 Demo Bans in Hesse

The Public Order Office of the City of Frankfurt am Main banned 9 demos.

  1. October 11, 2023 «Statements by SPD foreign politician Michael Roth», Zeil
  2. October 12, 2023 «Palestine», Rathenauplatz – Goetheplatz
  3. October 14, 2023 «A Free Palestine», Opernplatz – Galluswarte
  4. October 15, 2023 «Humanitarian aid for civilians in the Gaza Strip», Römerberg
  5. October 18, 2023 «Pro Palestine», Hauptwache
  6. October 21, 2023 «Peace and Justice in the Middle East», Opernplatz
  7. November 9, 2023 «Never again fascism – keep the memory of Kristallnacht alive, fight antisemitism!», Bockenheimer Warte – Carlo-Schmid-Platz
  8. November 25, 2023 «End the war, ceasefire in Palestine/Israel», Hauptwache
  9. December 23, 2023 «Stop the genocide in Gaza! End the occupation of Palestine», Zeil

The Public Order Office of the City of Kassel banned 4 demos.

  1. October 13, 2023 «Civil courage for peace in the Middle East»
  2. October 16, 2023 «Freedom of assembly for Palestinians»
  3. October 20, 2023 «Israel conflict»
  4. October 21, 2023 «Stop the killing in Gaza»

5 Demo Bans in North Rhine-Westphalia

The Cologne Police banned 1 demo.

  1. October 14, 2023 «Palestine under occupation», Heumarkt

The Münster Police banned 2 demos.

  1. November 17, 2023
  2. November 18, 2023 March Hauptbahnhof – Herwarthstraße – Schorlemerstraße – Ludgeriplatz – Moltkestraße – Ludgeristraße – Prinzipalmarkt – Drubbel – Roggenmarkt – Bogenstraße – Bergstraße – Am Kreuztor – Rudolf-von-Langen-Straße – Kampstraße – Hoyastraße – Kreuzviertel

The Bonn Police banned 1 demo.

  1. December 1, 2023 «Stop the genocide in Gaza», Wesselstraße – Am Neutor – Kaiserplatz – Maximilianstraße – Am Hauptbahnhof – Thomas-Mann-Straße – Budapester Straße – Sternstraße – Friedensplatz – Wilhelmstraße – Oxfordstraße – Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz – Belderberg – Rathausgasse – Am Neutor – Kaiserplatz

The Duisburg Police banned 1 demo.

  1. December 3, 2023

In the states of Brandenburg, Saarland, Saxony and Thuringia no demos werde banned. The state of Saxony-Anhalt did not provide data yet. Beside demo bans the following measures were taken after O7:

  • Keffiyeh Ban

On October 13, 2023, the State of Berlin banned the keffiyeh at school.

Katharina Günther-Wünsch, Senator for Education, Youth and Family of the State of Berlin, issued a directive to all schools in the state of Berlin, to ban the visible wearing of Pro-Palestinian clothing (e.g. the keffiyeh known as the Palestinian scarf) as well as showing stickers with inscriptions such as «Free Palestine» or a map of Israel in the colors of Palestine (white, red, black, green)

  • Organisation Bans

On November 2, 2023, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Homeland banned 3 organisations:

  1. HAMAS – Islamic Resistance Movement
  2. SAMIDOUN – Palestinian Solidarity Network
  3. HIRAK – Palestinian Youth Mobilization
  • Slogan Ban

On November 2, 2023, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Homeland also banned the slogan «From the river to the sea» (in German or other languages), GZ BAnz AT 02.11.2023 B10, AZ ÖSII2 – 20106/31#2.

  • Adoption of the IHRA definition plus a German expansion

On November 21, 2023, the government of the state Lower Saxony adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism as well as expanded it to include an additional pro-Israel article (IHRA working definition of antisemitism plus German expansion).

On September 20, 2017, the federal government had decided to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and expanded the definition to include the following sentence: «In addition, the State of Israel, which is understood as a Jewish collective, can also be the target of such attacks.»

The definition adopted by the Lower Saxony state government is now as follows: «Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which can be expressed as hatred towards Jews. antisemitism is directed in word or deed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, as well as against Jewish community institutions or religious institutions. In addition, the state of Israel, which is understood as a Jewish collective, can also be the target of such attacks.»

With today’s cabinet decision, Lower Saxony will now also adopt this working definition as the basis for its government action. This creates a uniform working concept that will provide guidance in recognizing antisemitism across departments, for example in the areas of education, justice, police and schools.

Minister of Justice Kathrin Wahlmann said: «The recent terrorist attacks by HAMAS on the Israeli state and its citizens have once again shown us all that a consistent confrontation with antisemitism in all its forms is more important than ever. After October 7, 2023, we in Germany, including Lower Saxony, will see antisemitic slogans being openly chanted on our streets. As the state government of Lower Saxony, we have once again sent a clear signal today: We condemn any form of antisemitism and are making every effort to decisively address this inhumane phenomenon. Jews are part of our Lower Saxony society – and we will do everything necessary to ensure that they can continue to live a fear-free life in our midst in the future.»

  • Pro-Israel naturalization decree

On November 29, 2023, the State of Saxony-Anhalt issued a decree that only those who recognize the right to exist of the State of Israel may be naturalized. The decree for the support of the legitimacy of the State of Israel says:

«This commitment to the right to exist of the State of Israel and the express declaration by the naturalization applicant that he has not pursued or pursued any efforts directed against the existence of the State of Israel is intended to prevent foreigners with an antisemitic attitude from receiving German citizenship. The following wording is recommended for the confession:

I expressly recognize the special German responsibility for the State of Israel and Israel’s right to exist and condemn any antisemitic efforts. I do not pursue, nor have I ever pursued, any efforts that are directed against the right to exist of the State of Israel.›»

  • Pro-Israel naturalization petition

On December 15, 2023, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein introduced a petition at the Bundesrat (Federal Council – the upper house of the German parliament) that recognizing Israel’s right to exist must be mandatory for those who want to become German citizens. The petition says:

«Anyone who denies Israel’s right to exist is opposing the foundations of the Federal Republic of Germany and therefore cannot become a German citizen. The Federal Council therefore considers it necessary to provide in nationality law that a credible commitment to the right to exist of the State of Israel as an expression of German reasons of state is a prerequisite for naturalization.»

  • Pro-Israel funding guideline

On January 9, 2024 Karin Prien, Minister of General Education, Vocational training, Science, Research
and Culture of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, published a press release about the Pro-Israel funding guideline regarding all applications for funding for cultural projects which includes the IHRA definition plus a German expansion::

«The applicant is committed to a diverse society and is against any discrimination and exclusion as well as any form of antisemitism in accordance with the antisemitism definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and its expansion by the Federal Government in 2017.
It says: antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which can be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Antisemitism is directed in word or deed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, as well as against Jewish community institutions or religious institutions. In addition, the State of Israel, which is understood as a Jewish collective, can also be the target of such attacks.»

  • Pro-Israel clause

Since December 21, 2023 the Berlin Senate Cultural Administration awards funding from the cultural budget of the state of Berlin on the condition that applicants sign the following Pro-Israel clause which includes the IHRA definition plus a German expansion:

«The grant recipient is obliged to commit to a diverse society and to be against any discrimination and exclusion, as well as any form of antisemitism in accordance with the antisemitism definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and its expansion by the federal government. This says: ‹Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which can be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Antisemitism is directed in word or deed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, as well as against Jewish community institutions or religious institutions. In addition, the State of Israel, which is understood as a Jewish collective, can also be the target of such attacks.›
Grant recipients are obliged to provide everything necessary ensure that the funding provided for the purpose of the grant under no circumstances serves to finance terrorist or extremist organizations. As part of this purpose, grants will only be awarded to grant recipients who clearly distance themselves from terrorism and recognize the existence of Israel.»

  • Germany as Pro-Israel third party at the ICJ

Germany is globally the only Pro-Israel third party in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the «Genocide Convention») in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel) before the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ)

On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Genocide Convention in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Application, «acts and omissions by Israel . . . are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent . . . to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group» and that «the conduct of Israel — through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention».

South Africa further states that «Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide» and that «Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza».

On January 12, 2024, the spokesman for the German federal government, Secretary of State Steffen Hebestreit, said:

«Israel has been defending itself against the inhumane attack by Hamas. In view of Germany’s history and the crime against humanity of the Shoah, the Federal Government sees itself as particularly committed to the Genocide Convention. This convention is a central instrument of international law to implement ‹never again›. We firmly oppose political instrumentalization.

The federal government firmly and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide that has now been made against Israel at the International Court of Justice. This accusation has no basis whatsoever. The federal government intends to intervene as a third party in the main hearing.»

Israeli flags

The state government of Hesse was instructing authorities and municipalities to also fly the Israeli flag at full mast.

«Cancel Culture» vs. The Cancellation of Pro-Palestine Events.
Is it the same?

In the past few years, activists (who define themselves as somehow «progressive») have used physical and social violence to prevent others from expressing their point of view. This is what has become un-famously known as «Cancel Culture». «Cancel Culture» means refusal to discuss, refusal to argue. It does away with the foundation of democracy: freedom of expression. And it does so intentionally.

Recently, after October 7 (the HAMAS attack on Israel), another development has been sadly assimilated into this «Cancel Culture» because, from a linguistic point of view, it also uses the word «cancelling».

The case is institutions (all of them publicly financed) cancelling events which (they fear) might provide a forum for antisemitic positions or, indeed, antisemitic hate speech.

Are both things the same? Are «Cancel Culture» and «Cancelling» the same?

The institutions cancelling an event that they had programmed some time ago now feared that it might serve as a forum for antisemitism. They don’t want their stage  (financed by the taxpayer)  to be used for positions which they do not support and which the «financier» (i.e. the taxpayer) does not support. This is quite different from «Cancel Culture»: Those with another point of view are not prevented from expressing it – they can simply not use this particular forum.

While the «Cancel Culture» cases are pretty well documented, it might be interesting to list the cancelled events because of the fear of being misused. You will find the list below.

Saskia Esken tells the shots to Bernie Sanders.

But not everything is serious or important: Saskia Esken, the SPD chief, provides us with some fun in this context. Thank you, Saskia! Bernie Sanders came to Berlin. He is a socialist. He was twice a candidate for the presidency in the USA. He is Jewish. Saskia had bought a ticket for his book presentation. But then she discovered that Bernie Sanders had not said what she wanted him to say. Saskia accused Bernie of not being Jewish enough. She felt indignant and punished him by not coming. 

We do not know if Bernie Sanders noticed her absence, whether he knew at all who Saskia Esken was, or how embarrassed he was not to have met this celebrity woman.

Politics and Justice:

  1. OLG President Hans-Peter Freymann issued a written warning to a legal trainee at the Saarland Higher Regional Court and declared his disapproval over a private statement critical of Israel that she privately expressed outside her working hours
  2. Marjam Samadzad, State Secretary of Integration in Schleswig-Holstein, must resign from office, because she commented on an Instagram post criticising the Israeli government for its attacks following the HAMAS terror since O7.
  3. The CDU parliamentary group requested that Mohamed Okasha, chairman of the migrant advisory board in the Leipzig city council, be voted out of Government office
  4. Moheb Shafaqyar (DIE LINKE) resigned as deputy head of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district parliament in Berlin
  5. Nebahat Güçlü (SPD, before Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) quits the party in Hamburg
  6. Gideon Joffe, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin, urges Raed Saleh (SPD) to resign with immediate effect from the board of trustees for the reconstruction of the synagogue on Fraenkelufer in Berlin-Kreuzberg

Theatre:

  1. Scheduled performances of the play «The situation» (written by Yael Ronen) were cancelled by Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin. Cancelled actors Maryam Abu Khaled and Karim Daoud criticised the decision.
  2. Scheduled performances of the play «My Threatening Poem» (written by Dareen Tatour) were cancelled by the 7th Monologfestival 2023 at the TD Theatre in Berlin.
  3. «Understanding Prison» was cancelled by HAU Theatre in Berlin.
  4. Jeremy Corbyn was cancelled by Volksbühne Theatre in Berlin.
  5. Hossam el-Hamalawy was cancelled by Mehringhof Theatre in Berlin.
  6. Richard David Precht was cancelled by Kampnagel Theatre in Hamburg.
  7. SchwuZ Queer Club in Berlin permitted a T-shirt of a guest which criticised apartheid and «Free Palestine» banner of a performer not allowed during Drag Open Stage Final.

Art:

  1. An exhibition of South African Jewish artist Candice Breitz at the Saarlandmuseum/Moderne Galerie in Saarbrücken was cancelled by the Stiftung Saarländischer Kulturbesitz.
  2. A section for an upcoming exhibition by curator Anaïs Duplan was cancelled by Museum Folkwang in Essen.
  3. A planned exhibition of Halima Aziz’s works was cancelled by Verein zur Förderung der Städtepartnerschaft Köln-Bethlehem e.V.
  4. Shahidul Alam, curator of «Listening to Disquiet», the 9th Biennale for Contemporary Photography 2024, was cancelled by the Managing Director Yasmin Meinicke. Alams colleagues Tanzim Wahab and Munem Wasif resigned in solidarity with Alam. After that, the Mayor of the City of Mannheim Peter Kurz, the Mayor of the City of Ludwigshafen Jutta Steinruck and the Mayor of the City of Heidelberg Eckart Würzner cancelled the Biennale. The curatorial advisors Yasmine Eid Sabbagh and Tanvi Mishra criticised «this disdainful form of scapegoating of Alam».
  5. Ranjit Hoskote resigned from the Finding Committee of documenta 16 in 2027 as well as Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger and Simon Njami, Gong Yan, Kathrin Rhomberg and María Inés Rodríguez.
  6. Photo exhibition project of Raphaël Malik was cancelled by Pixel Grain art gallery in Berlin.
  7. Andreas Hoffmann, CEO of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, criticised Reza Afisina and Iswanto Hartono of the Indonesian curators collective ruangrupa for liking a posting that said «Berlin up for Palestine», «viva Palästina» as well as «Palestine will be free».

Music:

  1. The biblical oratorio «Israel in Egypt» (composer: George Frideric Handel) was cancelled by choir director Bernhard Heß and chief conductor Justin Doyle of RIAS Kammerchor, Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre gGmbH Berlin.
  2. Nicolás Jaar was cancelled by Karen Pontoppidan, President of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München
  3. DJ Zeynep was cancelled by Neue Welle in Leipzig.
  4. DJ LCY was cancelled by Blitz Club in Munich.
  5. Sam Clarke was cancelled by the Berlin-based streaming platform HÖR and DJ Téa was urged by HÖR to remove the keffiyeh during a performance. Artists including Canadians Pretty Privilege, 1 1 1 1 1hz and DINA have requested to have their past sets taken down from the platform in solidarity with the DJs affected, while Pelada have cancelled their upcoming HÖR stream because of «censorship of clothing that showed solidarity with Palestine». Also Arabian Panther HÖR stream is not available anymore to the public.
  6. Arabian Panther was cancelled by Berghain due to his «Pro-Palestinian stance» according to Ritmo Fatle record label manager Kendal Mulla.
  7. Jazz Against The Machine Festival for Populare Music and Jazz organised by student’s radio station HfMT Cologne cancelled Ангелина Летникова (Angelina Letnikova/Angelica Summer).
  8. Komische Oper in Berlin distances itself from postings critical of Israel that Fazıl Say has shared, but does not cancel him.

Literature:

  1. LiBeraturpreis 2023 to Adania Shibli («Minor Detail») was «postponed» by Litprom at the 75th Frankfurt Book Fair 2023. No new date for the ceremony was announced so far.
  2. Peter-Weiss-Preis 2024 to Sharon Dodua Otoo («Witnessed») was suspended by The City of Bochum.
  3. Meet your neighbours in Munich: Poet Ramy al-Asheq was cancelled by Fridolin Schley for documenting the alleged genocide in Gaza.
  4. Haus für Poesie in Berlin canceled the release event of «Kontinentaldrift – Das Arabische Europa» by Ghayath Almadhoun who said: «After two years of hard work, with 34 Arabic poets lives in Europe, 8 German Arabic translators, and a lot of suffering with hard times dealing with censorship and deleting many of the poems and erasing many of the poets out of the anthology because of Palestine, even if they denied it. Ironically, I fled Syria in 2008 because of the judiciary! censorship!»
  5. The distribution of the book «Angst, Politik, Zivilcourage» (edited by Thomas A. Seidel and Sebastian Kleinschmidt) was cancelled by Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik and Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland, both shareholders of Evangelische Verlagsanstalt.
  6. Greta Thunberg was cancelled by Campus Verlag Frankfurt/New York.
  7. Saskia Esken cancelled her participation in the book presentation and reception of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Media:

  1. The scheduled broadcast of the award winning feature film «Wajib» (directed by Annemarie Jacir) was cancelled by ARD.
  2. BR deleted four episodes of «cheX! spezial Die Checker Web-Show» which explained the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.
  3. WDR deleted the «neuneinhalb» encyclopaedia entry about the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.
  4. Malcolm Ohanwe was cancelled by BR/ARTE.
  5. Kasem Raad was fired from his job at Welt TV, a subsidiary of German media company Axel Springer, for questioning internal pro-Israel policies. Adib Ashraf Sisani, Axel Springer’s Head of Communications, backed the company’s position against Raad.
  6. Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, anchor of the ProSieben show «Late Night Berlin» (LNB), cancelled Nura Habib Omer («SXTN», «FUBU», «Periodt»)
  7. Iris Hefets was cancelled by Deutschlandfunk Kultur in Berlin.

Sport:

  1. Anwar El Ghazi was cancelled by 1. FSV Mainz 05 after he shared the posting «From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free».
  2. FC Schalke 04 manager André Hechelmann reprimanded Yusuf Kabadayi for posting «I stand with Palestine» on Instagram.
  3. FC Bayern München criticised Noussair Mazraoui for praying «God, help our oppressed brothers in Palestine to achieve victory. May God give mercy to the dead, may God heal their wounded. Amen».

Education and Science:

  1. Holocaust survivor Marione Ingram decries «climate of censorship» after her talks «at eight different Hamburg schools» were canceled allegedly due to her calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  2. On November 21, 2023, Jutta Allmendinger, President of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB) in Berlin, urged John Keane, WZB fellow and Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney in Australia, to publish «a condemnation of the cruel terrorist attack by HAMAS», otherwise, Allmendinger threatened Keane: «I will have to revoke your fellowship status with the WZB with immediate effect.» On November 29, 2023, Keane answered: «Today – after 25 years – I resigned from the WZB Berlin following absurd allegations of support for a ‹terrorist organisation› and suggestions of my criminal liability.»
  3. A lecture by Ilan Pappé was cancelled by Verein für Stadtteilkultur Neuhausen-Nymphenburg at Kultur im Trafo in Munich.
  4. A speech by Vincent Bevins was cancelled by The Faculty of Philosophy, Art History, History and Humanities of The University of Regensburg, headed by Jenny Oesterle-El Nabbout, as a keynote address because he shared postings that were perceived as supposedly Pro-Palestinian.
  5. An event with Moshe Zimmermann was cancelled by Christel Gärtner, the Professor for Sociology of Religion at The Institute of Sociology of The University of Münster.
  6. The lecture «Travel report Palestine – Why a left perspective is important» was cancelled by The Rectorate of The University of Münster.
  7. The public screening of the movie «Gaza Fights for Freedom» (Directed by Abby Martin) was cancelled by The General Students‘ Committee of The University of Kassel.
  8. A Memorial for Yousef Shaban was cancelled by Ute Clement, The President of The University of Kassel. Aram Ziai criticised Clement for cancelling the memorial.
  9. The group Muslim Students of Charité was cancelled by the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Fachschaftsinitiative FSI Medizin im Hexenhäuschen.
  10. Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research and Art of Baden-Württemberg, prompted the University of Design in Karlsruhe to initiate legal reviews regarding further action against visiting professor Adam Broomberg who said: «Tired, tired, tired of this country. I still stand accused by a member of the senate of being a hateful antisemite who advocates for terrorism against Jews. Within the space of a month I was hired a s a guest professor at a wonderful art school and told to be myself because that is why thy hired me. Within weeks I was asked not to come and teach anymore, the school had faced an inquisition from the right wing press and the Senate about my possible anti semitism. So what does one do if you can’t show your work, participate and be a part of a cultural community, can’t teach? One doubles down in the fight against this fascist state.»
  11. Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research and Art of Baden-Württemberg, demands the immediate removal from the register of students for all signatories of the Open Letter «WE ALL KNOW» written by a group of fellows at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in «Solidarity with the People of Palestine».
  12. Freie Universität (FU) Berlin urged The Berlin State Police to remove Pro-Palestinian activists by force from the lecture hall 1a.
  13. The Ring of Christian Democratic Students (RCDS) is calling on The University of Kiel to ban all Pro-Palestinian events.
  14. Richard David Precht resigned from his honorary professorship at The Leuphana University of Lüneburg.
  15. Self-Cancellation: Judith Butler does not want to participate in public events in Germany as a consequence of the narrowed discourse.
  16. Laurie Anderson had been appointed the second Pina Bausch Professor by the Folkwang University of the Arts in early January 2024 – an appointment made based on her exceptional prominence on the arts scene and her ground-breaking work in visual arts, theatre, experimental music and technology. It has now become apparent that, in 2021, Laurie Anderson publicly supported the Palestinian artists’ «Letter Against Apartheid» appeal, which, among other things, takes up calls for boycotts by the anti-Israel BDS movement. The university engaged in talks with Laurie Anderson and the Pina Bausch Foundation to discuss the extent to which Anderson would be able to carry out her planned artistic project at the Folkwang University of the Arts and ensure uninterrupted, focused work at this time. In light of the now public question regarding her political stance, Laurie Anderson has decided to withdraw from the professorship: «For me the question isn’t whether my political opinions have shifted. The real question is this: Why is this question being asked in the first place? Based on this situation I withdraw from the project. My colleagues at the University and the Pina Bausch Foundation have discussed this with me at great length and we have jointly decided this is the best way forward», said Anderson.

Religion:

  1. An interreligious peace prayer was cancelled by the Mayor of the City of Munich Dieter Reiter.

Culture:

  1. The international symposium «We Still Need to Talk» was cancelled by Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung in Bonn (as well as previously cancelled by Akademie der Künste in Berlin). The Federal Agency for Civic Education says: «We initiated this cancellation proactively; in the current situation we do not see ourselves in a position to lead and moderate this debate constructively in order to achieve the desired educational goal in an objective and respectful manner.»
  2. Tour guide Udi Gazi was cancelled by Jüdisches Museum in Berlin because Gazi said there was «Apartheid» in the occupied West Bank.
  3. The cultural space Oyoun cancelled by Senator Joe Chialo.

Cancelled venues of the Hannah Arendt Award:

  1. The Senate of Bremen cancelled the venue in the upper town hall for the awarding ceremony of the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thinking to Masha Gessen and postponed the ceremony.
  2. The Institut français in Bremen as the new replacement location cancelled the venue as well. Eva Senghaas-Knobloch says that the Embassy of the French Republic in Berlin urged the Institut français in Bremen to cancel the venue.
  3. The latest replacement location F61 – Raum im Hof was a tiny space. There was room for only 70 guests.
  4. The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung of Bremen as well as the national Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung of Germany both cancelled their participation in the event: «Masha Gessen, the Hannah Arendt Award and our withdrawal from the award ceremony event: This year, in August, we were overjoyed to learn that the jury had decided to honour Masha Gessen with the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thinking. We value Gessen’s work and unconditional commitment to democracy and to debating uncomfortable issues. We value Gessen’s questioning mindset and as a person with a deep love for freedom and who defies autocratic propensities. Since the weekend, an essay by Gessen, published in The New Yorker on December 9th, has lead to heated debates in many places. Against this background, the Senate of the City of Bremen has decided to cancel the event and award ceremony that was to take place on December 15, 2023 and, as a consequence, the event has lost its venue. Following this, the Heinrich Böll Foundation Bremen and the national Heinrich Böll Foundation have decided to withdraw from the event. We want to make it very clear that this withdrawal does in no way mean that we are distancing ourselves from Gessen, nor that we want to strip Gessen of the award, or that we no longer value Gessen’s works. We will try to organise a different type of event with Masha Gessen, an event enabling a nuanced dialogue as today such dialogue is more important than ever before.»
  5. Naomi Klein commented on the German situation: «At this rate, Germany is going to run out of Jewish intellectuals to ban.»

Tech:

  1. In the three days following October 7, Meta (Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp) removed more than 795,000 pieces of content around the globe.
  2. Since October 7, Meta has reduced the reach of posts that simply mention «Palestine». In a statement on concerns about the visibility of Stories of October 15, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone blamed the reduced reach of posts on a bug: «We identified a bug impacting all Stories that re-shared Reels and Feed posts, meaning they weren’t showing up properly in people’s Stories tray, leading to significantly reduced reach. This bug affected accounts equally around the globe and had nothing to do with the subject matter of the content – and we fixed it as quickly as possible.»
  3. 7amleh, the Arab Center for the Development of Social Media, supported by the The Anna Lindh Foundation, had documented «238 cases of pro-Palestinian censorship», mostly on Facebook and Instagram. 7amleh issued a statement urging tech companies to respect Palestinian digital rights during the ongoing war: «We are [concerned] about significant and disproportionate censorship of Palestinian voices through content takedowns and hiding hashtags, amongst other violations. These restrictions on activists, civil society and human rights defenders represent a grave threat to freedom of expression and access to information, freedom of assembly, and political participation.»

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