Al Quds Day #EpicFail in Berlin

On Saturday, July 2, the annual Hezbollah-Palestine-Iran-loving Shiite march against Israel took place in Berlin. It started 20 years ago when Ayatollah Khomeini launched the Islamic dictatorship in Iran. According to one of my hosts, Tilman Tarach, author of “The Eternal Scapegoat”, the go-to guide about anti-Zionism and antisemitism in Germany, this year’s rally appeared the weakest yet, totally outnumbered by two counter pro-Israel rallies – a mainstream pro-Israel one, and funky, alternative Left-wing one.

Hundreds of people, Jews and non-Jews alike, felt a need to come out in the summer rain against the #hatefest. The three Germans (at the top left) said they came to the mainstream counter rally to make clear that such #antisemitism has no place in Germany. (Notice their Star of David kaffiyehs.)


Here we are at the alternative rally. This goofy, militantly pro-Israel yet communist group deserved the Yom-Ha’atzmaut flag hammer on their heads for shouting a confusing array of slogans in German:

“Long live Israel”
“Free Gaza from Hamas”
“Down with Germany, up with Communism”
“No state, no God, no Caliphate”
“All Berlin hates the PLO”


And here we are at the #hatefest. Apparently, these rallies have become less aggressive ever since the American Jewish Committee successfully lobbied to institute a police order that forbade them from donning Hezbollah symbols and making blatant antisemitic remarks (i.e. Jews to the gas – a popular slogan during Operation Protective Edge in 2014). In fact, the emcee had to go into a long-list of what the #haters were allowed and not allowed to say, to avoid police confrontations. Monitors from the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS) were on-hand to check for violations. The city has to allow the march under free speech laws, but these restrictions made for a tame and under-attended event – because what fun is an anti-Israel rally if you can’t feed a frenzy of hate?


To appear “kosher”, signs read “Jews, Christians and Muslims unite against Israel” and “no-ISIS” (mostly because ISIS is Sunni). What the organizers didn’t realize is that the anti-Zionist, Neturei Karta freaks (apparently imported from London to attend) don’t exactly give them Jewish street-cred. The Neturei Karta goons stood on stage, with their hate speech translated into German, since they couldn’t use the microphone in violation of the Sabbath. The #hatefest attracted other feminist company.


And don’t worry, I felt very safe. The police even evicted the rabid German antisemite, weirdo Martin Lejeune, from the pro-Israel event that he sought to infiltrate.


And finally, when the pro-Israel rally blasting happy Israeli music met the Al Quds goons marching on the street to creepy Islamic chants, it was clear which side represented love, and which side hate:

But while the Al Quds rally was an #EpicFail, Tarach says not to let it fill Israel supporters with too much optimism about Germany’s overall stance on Israel.

“Although Germany hypocritically finds some accusing words about Hezbollah,” he said, “it still keeps warm contacts with Iran, which is not only the sponsor of Hezbollah but also aims to destroy Israel from its beginning in 1979 till today.”

Let’s hope next year these goons will disappear entirely from the open, freedom-loving streets of Berlin.


Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa is an author / journalist / philosopher/ painter / singer / songwriter / video-producer, whose works challenge the worldview of almost everybody. For examples, read her novels The Settler about what happens when a Gush Katif settler walks into a Tel Aviv bar, and Underskin, a steamy German-Israeli romance. Visit her website:

Help Keep This Important Work Going