Today is one year since the anti-semitic and racist terrorist attack in Halle  which cost Jana L. and Kevin S. their lives. The Aktionsbündnis Antirassismus –  of which IWS is a member – organised a memorial rally and demonstration together with joint plaintiffs in the Halle trial and the community of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue in Berlin. This was our speech:

Today our thoughts and our hearts are with the victims and survivors of the attack in Halle and their families. Please know that you are not alone, that we are many.

In IWS, the International Women’s Space, we are a group of migrant and refugee women, and some of us are also Jewish. A year ago, we were in our weekly meeting as we heard about the shooting in Halle. It was immediately clear to us that this is an anti-semitic crime, but also a crime against all of us:

The shooting in Halle was clearly an anti-semitic and anti-Jewish attack, but it was also a misogynist attack, an anti-Muslim attack, an anti Black and racist attack.

We are now exactly one month before 9.Nov, the so-called crystal night or Reichspogromnacht. The official German memory culture would like to shift the role of the state from the executioner to the protector. But what we take from our history is that we cannot rely on the state for protection, not of ourselves and certainly not of others.

Today, the state offers us, as Jews, protection. In the form of financial resources, police officers, and ridiculous public campaigns like the racist Shabbat-Shabbat campaign of the CDU.

The reality is that we can’t be protected by a state that is racist and capitalist.
A state that exports weapons and fails to secure the lives of those who escape war.
A state that sends 5000 policemen to evict 20 women from their home in Liebigstraße right here and now in Berlin.

A state that protect the right of rich white cis-men to accumulate wealth, but not the rights of women, queers and migrants for housing.

A state that is responsible for hundreds of asylum seekers drowning in the Mediterranean sea.

A state that closes its eyes to its own deeply rooted racism and that blames Muslims and refugees for importing anti-semitism.

They tell us Einzeltäter – but as feminists, we know that there is no such thing as Einzeltäter. All these men are products of a patriarchal white-supremacist system that puts profit over people.

Our fight against anti semitism must be in the context of resistance against racism, capitalism and all forms of state violence.

Enough with the bullshit idea that Germany is done with racism after the Second World War, and all it has to do now is to “Never Forget”. We won’t let Germany white-wash itself by instrumentalizing Jews.

The German state, with the complicity of reactionary Jewish institutions, acts systematically to separate anti-semitism from other forms of racism, and to isolate Jews from other minorities. We say NO. We choose solidarity over the illusion of state protection.

And so, as we stand here today with the survivors of Halle, we also stand with the families of the victims of Hanau, with the women in Liebig, with Roma and Sinti who are fighting to protect their Holocaust memorial, with all the victims of the German asylum system and border regime.

Together we are strong!