Participants at the pro-Palestine camp in Munich deny Israel’s right to exist – Munich

“We will stay until our demands are met!” The organizers of the pro-Palestinian protest camp in front of Munich University apparently do not want to tear down their tents so quickly. After the tent camp was approved by two administrative courts on Monday and Tuesday last week against the will of the city and university, there was initially talk of it lasting four days. On Friday, the Munich district administration department confirmed that, according to the protesters, the tent camp should be in place until June 6th. It is still unclear whether this will be possible during this period due to other events that have been planned for a long time on Professor-Huber-Platz.

One of the conditions that one of the organizers read out at the start of the camp was: “Israel’s right to exist must not be denied.” A matter of course that the tent residents seem to stick to, even if the flags refer to Israel as an apartheid state. However, the groups behind or supporting the protest at the university make no secret of their anti-Israel convictions on the Internet and in social networks.

It is primarily about the Trotskyist splinter group “Weapons of Criticism / Class against Class”, which the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies as left-wing extremist and anti-Israel, and the Munich branch of the group “Palestine Speaks”.

How exactly these organizations are connected to the camp and how great their influence is is determined by the Southgerman newspaper on Friday, the camp’s authorized spokespersons were asked in writing. But the reactions of the camp management give the impression that they are not so keen to answer the extensive list of questions. On Whit Monday, they first apologized for everything taking so long, and promised that answers would come that evening. A little later, they referred to the large number of inquiries, which is why they wanted to answer them all in a press release on Tuesday morning. And finally, they said that it was still unclear whether they would even be able to answer the press at all.

In any case, there won’t be as many interviews anymore

On Tuesday afternoon only a few people could be seen in the camp. When asked whether one could speak to the official camp spokesman in order to perhaps get answers to some of the questions, they were met with perplexed looks – and silence. Because speaking to the press – as was made clear at the beginning of the camp – should only be left to selected people. Finally, a young woman who only introduces herself as Naomi and is also part of the organizational team breaks away from the group. The main press spokesman isn’t there right now, she says. And anyway, there won’t be as many interviews anymore.

What is it about? Above all, there are numerous statements from the immediate environment of the camp organizers in which the Jewish state’s right to exist is questioned and, in some texts, openly negated. “Class against class” was the driving force in the founding of the “Munich University Committee for Palestine” and thus also in the creation of the protest camp. A recent text on Palestine on the homepage of the left-wing extremist group reads: “We actively oppose hypocritical two-state solutions on a capitalist basis, but rather advocate the overthrow of the Israeli colonial regime through the struggle of the Palestinian people and international workers :inner class, especially that of the region.”

The aim is “a secular, multi-ethnic and socialist Palestine across the entire historical area from the Jordan to the Mediterranean… in which Jews, Arabs and people of other ethnicities and religions live together peacefully and fraternally.” There is no place for a Jewish state of Israel in such a new order.

One of the editors of “Class Against Class” is Kilian Gremminger, 25, who says he is a student of sociology at Ludwig Maximilian University, active in the GEW union and a member of Weapons of Criticism. Gremminger had already been appointed the camp’s main spokesman on the first day of camp, willingly offered interviews and eventually even called a press conference. Media attention is essential, he said in an interview with SZ.

In another text, his grouping becomes even clearer: “Israel’s right to exist should (…) not only be ‘allowed’ to be discussed, it must be consistently rejected in its current form.” In one BR post Gremminger is quoted as saying: “We are having a discussion about Israel’s right to exist (all camp participants, editor’s note) not yet conducted. Since I stand for the entire protest camp, I can’t say anything about it.” Given this background, how the organizers of the protest camp want to guarantee compliance with their requirements – they have not yet provided an answer to this question.

“We only recognize the right of the oppressed.”

The camp apparently also receives massive support from the Munich branch of “Palestine Speaks”. Ahead of the “Nakba March” on Saturday, the group posted a historical reflection describing Israel as a “Zionist entity” whose founding of the state was “not legitimate.” Those responsible for the protest camp “liked” the Instagram post.

At the rally at Marienplatz, a spokeswoman said, despite similar requirements as for the protest camp: “We do not recognize the right to exist if it means expulsion and oppression. We only recognize the right of the oppressed.” Participants in the rally – among them, according to their own statements, many participants in the tent camp – marched “fightingly” to Professor-Huber-Platz on Saturday evening, where they were greeted with cheers.

Afterwards, there is a poster leaning against one of the tents that shows the Israeli flag along with the word “War Criminals.” Next to it are two red handprints, which can be read as an accusation against Israel as well as a call to murder Israelis. A blood-smeared baby doll with a Palestine flag is attached to the poster. And underneath it someone wrote: “Fck Israel.”

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