This week I came across an event that I can’t stay indifferent about:
An Israeli guy is organizing this cultural Arabic event in Berlin:
and you may also be interested in looking at this event too: https://www.facebook.com/events/1639583686369554/)
Why? because he can, because it is Berlin, because Arab culture is profitable and trendy now, and because why not?
When I tried to explore more, I got the answer that he is a “leftist” Israeli who moved to live in Berlin.
So being a “leftist” – which I’m not sure what does that exactly mean- becomes a “ticket” for cultural appropriation, nice!
The only way I can think about it is that he left a colonialist state but did not leave the colonialist practices, under the subtext of being a leftist and he is now in Berlin where everyone should live in peace and forget about reality and politics.
Even though the intentions can be purely money making. I suggest we look deeper. In my opinion this is about colonialist practices moving with someone from a place to another, taking different shapes. To put it simple, for me, there is a mentality of “occupier” that stays in someone that has not fully rejected his supremacist privilege which he was granted by a system of colonialism. When he/she claims to be “leftist”, this mentality makes him/her believe that as a privileged (leftist), he can do whatever.
Secondly, the Israeli occupation has controlled all our spaces, including cultural spaces. So when you are in Berlin, you think that finally you can have a space away of this control/domination. But no, someone will make sure to intrude on these spaces.
Lastly, this is not only a cultural appropriation, but also a type of whitewashing. The image that many Israelis who move to Berlin try to create; of Israelis and Arabs getting along together and, hence, life is great, is exactly what an Israeli “leftist” should be avoiding doing.
I really hope people do not make it a superficial debate on “freedoms”. This guy is free to organize this event. I can’t prevent him and I won’t. But I can criticize his practice and call people to make conscious decisions when they decide to attend/not attend such events.
Berlin is not an utopian place. Berlin is a great and rich city of diversity. But it has lots of stories about refuge, lost homelands and lives. Those who have experienced these tragedies, would not want them to be whitewashed by a party.
August 9, 2016 at 11:56 am
Leftism has a name! 😀
Okay, not funny..I know.
It is just a distortion, that is what it i in my book.
August 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm
This is a perfect example of Frantz Fanon’s description of the process of constructing “the Other” happens through the mobilization process: “”The Other” ( the Palestinians – the indigenous people of historic Palestine) is fully aware that they can only move to certain places but the colonizer is able to move anywhere he wants (51).
In this case it is happening in Berlin, this colonizer is able to move anywhere he wants and do/organise whatever he wants and get supported financially and becoming even more economically and politically empowered while “The Other” the Palestinians are fully aware that they can only move to certain places and not given equal access to the same rights as this colonizer. Time that Germans wake up!
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August 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm
Well done analogy Abir, I find this to be true in the US as well, with a twist. In US there are lots of Trolls that pretend to be Leftists, but in reality they are paid impostures working to distort and soften the Zionist Occupier’s image and whitewash it’s criminal and heinous evil deeds perpetrated upon Palestinian People. I’ve been living in US for 45 yrs now, and I find this twisted practice happening more and more, only because people are becoming more and more aware of the Occupiers evil doings and criminal methods that have increased in intensity and frequency. So I’ve been trying to make people aware of their methods of deception, and they are wolves in sheep clothing, I find that more and more Americans, especially young Americans are become more and more aware of that fact on their own, thanks to the social media and activists like you…..