by Oded Na’aman
I was born in Israel. I served in the Army. Israel is the only home I know. You would think my speaking to students at Hillel would be welcomed. Yet my presentation to students at Washington University’s Hillel in St. Louis last month sparked a storm of controversy.
I had been invited by J Street U and was graciously hosted by Hillel at their beautiful new building. As a member of Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli combat veterans that collects and publishes the testimonies of soldiers who served in the occupied territories, I was on campus to discuss the practices and principles of Israel’s military rule.
In the days leading to my visit, many in the Jewish community called for the event’s cancellation, claiming our sole goal was to “bash Israel.” Jacqueline Ulin Levey, executive director of St. Louis Hillel at Washington University, backed the event. She did, however, impose certain restrictions, asking that I not show any photographs or mention any testimonies besides my own. Hillel also flew in an Israel Fellow from Yale University to “balance” my talk by debriefing the students before and after.
Despite the constraints, the talk went well, with a long question and answer session. After the event, Lawrence Wittels, the chair of the school’s Hillel board, congratulated me.
But in the days following, the assault on Hillel and J Street U escalated. Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International, subsequently wrote to members of the Hillel community defending the organization’s decision. “While we join with the majority of the community in deeply resenting the actions of the former IDF soldiers in Breaking the Silence, who come to college campuses in America to disparage the IDF,” Fingerhut wrote, “it is, regrettably, part of the broad tent of dialogue regarding Israel.” By housing the event within Hillel, he argued, the staff could control and mitigate an unfortunate debate.
I applaud Hillel’s work facilitating a broad dialogue within the American Jewish community. But Fingerhut and those whom his letter addressed, seem to be more concerned with their own feelings toward Israel — their “tent” — than with Israel. Mention of the actions of the IDF, the values to which Israel is committed, and concern for the well being of Israel’s residents, whether Israeli or Palestinian, are noticeably absent from Fingerhut’s letter.
I don’t doubt Fingerhut’s genuine concern for Israel. I am sure those who called for the event’s cancellation are also sincerely dedicated to my country. But their concern does not protect Zionism. Rather, it threatens it. If Zionism is the dream of Jews to overcome a state of mere survival and forge our own destiny, then claiming that the occupation is necessary, that Israel “has no other choice,” is the betrayal of Zionism. Israel’s rule of force over a civilian population threatens our democratic integrity, moral character, and international standing – in short, it threatens that future.
Israel is a strong and thriving country. We can take responsibility for our actions, hold our institutions and military accountable, acknowledge our mistakes, and correct them. We can forge our own future, but only by ending the occupation.
Naturally, our claims are met with doubt. But we encourage critical debate based on evidence. We have testimony from over 950 soldiers about their service, many of them on film. Incidents we exposed have been confirmed by the Israeli media and we have been invited to speak at the United States Air Force Academy. Carmi Gillon, former head of the Shin Bet, has praised our work.
The testimonies portray a system of control and expropriation of land that is founded on the use of military force. Arbitrary violence is of the essence of military rule, which cannot rely on democratic legitimacy.
Instead of an actual dialogue about our reality and future, they are content to have a conversation about the conversation about Israel. Rather than respond to what they hear, they argue over whether they should plug their ears. This may serve some staff and some donors of Hillel International, but it doesn’t serve Israel. It takes some chutzpah to claim that by silencing our voices you are protecting our own country from us.
Oded Na’aman served in the IDF between November 2000 and October 2003. Since 2005 he has been a member of Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli veterans that collects soldiers’ testimonies from the West Bank. Oded is currently pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at Harvard University.
Shared from JTA-Jewish Telegraph Archive
Zionists Adopt Agency Proposal 164 to 87
Carlsbad (Aug. 17)
The protracted debate on the Jewish Agency question which has been the principal object of discussion since the first day of the Zionist Congress almost a fortnight ago, was settled in the early hours this morning, when the Assembly by a vote of 164 to 87 voted to approve the proposal to have the Zionist Organization draw in outside forces willing to help in the upbuilding of the Jewish Palestine.
As finally adopted the proposal provides that the representatives of the non-Zionist organizations shall be invited to form a council which with the Executive of the Zionist Organization shall form the Agency. The resolution provides also that within three years a World Congress of Jewry shall be convoked, the Agency serving until this gathering creates a permanent one.
Supporters of the proposal included the orthodox Mizrachi group, which had been among the leaders hitherto in the opposition to the Weizmann Administration and plan. Their action indicating a departure from their demand for an immediate Congress was a surprise to all. Those opposing the Agency on the final roll call were the labor groups consisting of 33 Zeire Zion (Young Zionists) delegates. 9 Poale Zion delegates and 9 Socialist Zeire Zion.
Of the Executive, Dr. Weizmann, Dr. Soloweitchik, Isaac Naiditch and Dr. Georg Halpern voted in favor. Opposing were Dr. Lichtheim and J. Sprinzak, a labor member of the Executive. Nahum Sokolow, M. Ussishkin and Dr. Arthur Ruppin were absent during the balloting. While this absence may have been entirely accidental and due to the hour (2 A.M.) the roll call took place, it is possible also, it is said, that they remained away in order not to commit themselves.
The question of the new Executive is the only matter that remains to be decided before the adjournment of the Congress. The question of the reelection of M. Ussishkin, at present in charge of the Zionist activities in Palestine, is one of the most bitterly fought in the election slate. Dr. Weizmann favors his elimination, Mr. Sokolow, on the other hand, demands the continuance of the present Executive without change.
Indications are that the plan first sponsored by Dr. Weizmann and Sokolow for a “homogeneous” executive will not be carried and that a “coalition” executive will be approved instead. Dr. Weizmann contends that the headquarters of the Executive must remain in London, but that the Palestine office must be increasingly strengthened. It is believed Dr. Weizmann favors for the Palestine branch Dr. Arthur Ruppin as colonization expert and Colonel Kisch, as political representative, with Mr. Ussishkin eliminated. For the London cabinet he is said to favor Dr. Georg Halpern as financial expert and Dr. Berthold Feiwel as organization chief.
While the Permanent Committee was busy drafting the final form of the compromise agency proposal and others busy slating the Executive. Thursday was given over to consideration of reports and adoption of concrete proposals.
The Land Commission, reporting through Dr. Schmarak recommended that Â£160,000 be appropriated for colonization work, Â£120,000 to be expended on actual colonization work and the balance used to create a reserve fund for the purchase of land, under the Keren Hayesod’plan. A plan for the establishment of an industrial bank to provide credit for small industry and agriculture was adopted as also the proposal to extend credit to those engaging in handicraft.Dr. Rufeisen who reported on the credit scheme recommended that at least five per cent of the Palestine budget should be used for such credit facilities for mechanical laborers and that 20,000 pounds should be set aside for credits to suburban residents.
A proposal was carried for an “arbitration court” to be established jointly by the Zionist Organization, the Vaad Leumi and the labor organizations for the settlement of labor disputes and the elaboration of a minimum wage scale.
The report of the Immigration Committee evoked heated discussion, a portion of the Center and labor parties urging the continuance of the present policy of favoring the immigration of Chaluzim The Mizrachi who opposed preferences for chaluzim were voted down.
The Congress adopted a resolution providing for the creation of the office of a travelling inspector whose duty it will be to act as coordinate of immigration to Palestine.
Dr. Sapir on behalf of the Sanitation Commission urged that the Congress ratify the agreement of the American Zionist Organization, the Hadassah and the Joint Distribution Committee under which all three agree to contribute in virtually equal part to the continuance of the medical work in Palestine. The Commission also recommended that the Congress should voice its especial thanks to the Joint Distribution Committee and to Nathan Straus.
Recommendations for the improvement of the service connected with the quarantine activities in Palestine and also improved medical supervision over immigrants were adopted.
A cable from Henrietta Szold, read by Morris Rothenberg, announcing that Jewish physicians of the United States had agreed to give $10,000 for a Roentgen (X-Ray) institute in Jerusalem was received with cheers.
Children of the revolution
Cinematic re-imaginings of 1968 have flooded our screens in recent years to mark the 40th anniversary of the global phenomenon of revolutionary action. Such films are often coloured in a dangerous hue of nostalgia or, even worse, attempt to market their subjects as seductive youths titillated by violence, cheapening the political vigour that drove them. Shane O’Sullivan’s documentary Children of the Revolution is certainly immersed in the same fascinations, yet comes from a different vantage point, offering a unique point of reference: the daughters of the revolution.
Generational conflicts are always complicated, and even when the times allowed it, certain memories can be very unpleasant, if not painful to revisit. Especially when you are confronted with a past little out of the ordinary.
As in the case of Bettina and May, whose life as girls was marked by the radical choices of their mothers, who, at some time in their lives, they decided to go underground.
Children of the Revolution looks at the immediate aftermath of 1968 in Germany and Japan, from where revolutionary politics burst globally in the 1970s to have a long-lasting impact on our contemporary age. O’Sullivan positions Germany and Japan alongside each other for their shared histories as aggressors in the Second World War, as broken nations in its aftermath and, most importantly for this documentary, as countries that experienced large-scale civil revolt in the 1960s and into the 1970s. Both the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Japanese Red Army, leading activist groups of their respective nations, came up against limitations while operating within their own national borders and broke through internationally, ending up in Palestine to join its liberation movement. Both activist organisations involved women as central leading figures, namely Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu, and O’Sullivan details their personal histories through interviews with their daughters, Bettina Röhl and May Shigenobu, who were born and raised amid the chaos. Sep 06, 2011 Electric Sheep Magazine
It is in this intimate territory, but at the same time political, which pushes the powerful documentary by Shane O ‘Sullivan, “Children of the Revolution”, which tells, through the eyes of their daughters, the stories of two women who become figures center of the revolutionary movement in Germany and Japan in 1968, Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu.
Their stories are pretty much public, even if Europe is more familiar with the figure of Ulrike Meinhof than Fusako, but the private aspect of it which moves Shane to offers us new insights on the vicissitudes of a history destined to leave many questions open.
The film opens with the disturbing images of an attack plane and continues at a rate very close and decided to tell the events, with lots of interesting archival material, photographs and never before seen interviews with people around you.
One can not help but breathe violence. Nevertheless, the documentary manages to capture something different, more profound that goes beyond the story we all know. Shane enters the complex mother-daughter relationship, investigating their memories and their opinions about the choices of their mothers and of those who may be the limits of revolutionary action. What comes out is also the portrait absolutely unusual at the time, by reflecting, in a broader analysis, on how the media basically build a certain image of the story and its protagonists. “This is where you decide to start the story that makes the difference.” (May Shigenobu) Both Bettina and May did not follow in the footsteps of their mothers policies, but their opinions about it are very different. Bettina Meinhof and her twin sister Regina were little more than teenagers when their life changes completely after the choice of Ulrike, an established journalist and intellectual figure on the left, to devote himself to the cause of German revolutionary movement. By daughters of the middle class become daughters of the revolution and almost end up in Jordan to be trained as soldiers. May is already born as a daughter instead of revolution. His mother Fusako was part of the armed forces when the Japanese as’ the light in response to the report with a rebel Arabic. In the coming years would move from time to time, constantly changing identity for security reasons, but the relationship with his mother, though fleeting, still managed to stay strong and to create understanding and comprehension.
While Ulrike seems to have been less aware of what would be the consequences of his choices, to the point of being torn between her identity as a mother and that of revolutionary Fusako seems to have had a more consistent and conscious path, connecting the two women who were her mother, and the revolutionary.
In fact, the testimony of Bettina May and create a strong emotional contrast. Both know, however, that those years were complex, where the revolution was everywhere in the air and the actions of those who remained involved should be clear, sharp, impressive, because every age has its own means of communication and their voices to be heard. Filmed in Tokyo, Beirut and Germany, “Children of the Revolution” is the third documentary written and directed by Shane O’Sullivan, who agreed to answer some probing questions about his work.
As to the idea of working on a topic as complex as the revolutionary movement in Germany and Japan, where it started the idea? My research on these stories are started before 9/11. The anti-capitalist demonstrations in Seattle and Genoa drew the student revolutions of the ’60s and the spirit of that time. Then the attack of 9/11 made it all fall into the nightmare of terrorism and anti-globalization movement is eclipsed. When the war in Iraq reported on protests in the streets, the government ignored them and “Operation Free Iraq” began. So I became interested in the energy and idealism of ’68 and what ensued. In Germany and Japan, the movement had a more international footprint so as to bring their own representatives in the Middle East.
In the documentary you wanted to mainly occupy the two female protagonists of the movement. What made them so interesting to you?
I considered the strongest characters of the movement and, after reading childhood of their daughters, Bettina and May, I found a way to tell a great political event through an exclusive point of view. The mother-daughter relationship, which is the focus of the documentary, highlights not only the personal aspect of the story, but it also reveals other motivations of the two protagonists.
In the documentary, have always maintained a neutral position and distant but telling the story of two women from a very intimate point of view. Do you think this is an aspect of the story that was left out and instead is important in the analysis of events that happened?
I believe that, as often happens, it creates the myth around so controversial figures. These two women have been slandered and defamed, but there were very human and complex motivations behind their actions that have been taken in a political and cultural context very different from that of today. Aspects of the society of which we are now almost careless were instead a source of conflict at the time. I do not condone their actions but I try to understand them.
I think the strongest aspect of the film is the subjective point of view of Bettina May and in telling the story of their mothers. A unique point of view that comes from personal experience and extensive research and knowledge of the history and politics of the time.
Their personal stories help us to reflect in a more wide variety of political issues: the nature of protest and resistance and how to defy an unjust war, the company or an economic system. Relazionandoci to them and the mother-daughter relationship you can imagine, up to a certain point, as it may have been their lives.
The mother-daughter relationship of the two protagonists seems to have been very complex to analyze. Where have you found it harder?
The relationship between Fusako-May was easier to understand why, despite the ongoing events, May continued to maintain a relationship of love and support to his mother and his comrades of the movement. Ulrike between Bettina and the relationship was much more complex and psychologically unstable. The transformation of Ulrike, divided between the maternal feelings and ideals of the movement, has a great influence on children and the growth of Bettina, distorting the relationship between the two.
As they affect the differentiating cultural and Bettina May is the approach to the past of their mothers and the idea of revolution in general?
I would say a lot of influence. May grew up in the Middle East where his mother was seen as a heroine. The environment in which she grew up shared the same ideals of his mother, and the revolution was seen as a just cause against imperialism, despite the West were seen as terrorists. In Germany, Bettina lived in a society much more bourgeois, capitalist, with a father in a suburb alienated in Hamburg, away from his mother and his revolutionary ideals. To date, the generation of ’68 found opposite judgments between right and left, and Ulrike is seen as an idealist or a terrorist psychopath.
The documentary explores parallel both the past and the present in a manner that causes it to reflect on those which can be broadly human errors. What is your opinion?
The issues behind the student movement of ’68 are still alive: the struggle for education within the reach of all, the protest against a corrupt economic system that threatens to implode Europe, trying to stop a war. The nature of the protests has been transformed: from hijackings and sieges embassies to the popular revolutions in the Middle East; operations of hacker Western societies and looting shops in the streets of London, as part of a youth discontented. But the question is always the same: what are legitimate means to fight social injustice?
In the 70s, the only way that the Japanese or the Palestinians had to attract the public was hijack a plane and then give a press conference to present their demands and be known as a movement. Now things have changed. We have more sophisticated tools to communicate, organize and mobilize the people that make the operation of control by the authorities, a job much more difficult. The movements of the “Arab Spring” pointing to a more effective way to be heard and demand changes. But how do we evolve into a movement that comes to have a permanent voice in the political system? The protests are much more powerful now, but we are still waiting for a new wave.
Karin Bauer author of “Everybody Talks About the Weather..We Don’t: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof”
Source World Socialist Web Site
By Justus Leicht and Wolfgang Weber
8 March 2007
UPDATED By Marivel Guzman
How a legitimate student movement is forced to become violent
Follow the links provided in the article, watch the original version of the events of the student protest in 1968 recorded by journalist Ulrike Meinhof. Make your own opinion of what happened on Germany. What was before the “terrorist organization RAF”. How the government responded to the demands for dialogue?. The Film released in 2008 give us a light on the other side of the story. Every story has its victims and perpetrators, but specially every story has a precedent and has an end. But there is something that insist to be in every human story, it seems never to end, injustice and inequality . Now it is you the readers who has to make your opinion. At the end it is what count.
The state court in Stuttgart recently ruled that the former Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist Brigitte Mohnhaupt should be released on probation in March, after serving 24 years in detention. Federal President Horst Köhler is also expected to announce his decision soon as to whether another former RAF terrorist, Christian Klar, will be pardoned. The only remaining RAF members still in prison are Eva Haule and Birgit Hogefeld, with Haule qualifying for parole in August.
A court paroled a one-time leader of Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction Monday after 24 years in prison, amid bitter memories of the left-wing terrorist group’s attacks on law enforcement and business leaders, which plunged the country into fear three decades ago.
Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 57, is to leave prison March 27, the first day she becomes eligible for release, the Stuttgart state court ruled. Sketchy Thoughts. Mohnhaupt walked free from Aichach prison on March 25, 2007.
The impending release of these former terrorists has met with a vicious response from the German political establishment and media. The main question at issue has been whether their release should be made conditional on an expression of remorse. While conservative politicians, victims’ family members and representatives of the security services are demanding such a statement be made prior to release, some media outlets, and a handful of Green and Social Democratic Party (SPD) politicians, say the government should show its strength through clemency.
The head of the Christian Democratic (CDU) parliamentary faction Volker Kauder told the press, “There should be no mercy for those who mercilessly murdered wives’ husbands and children’s fathers with the aim of destroying our democracy.” The former head of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) Horst Herold was no less vehemently opposed to the early release of Mohnhaupt. Another former BKA chief, Hans Ludwig Zachert, also opposed a pardon and denounced Klar as a “mass murderer” and “ice block.” He was supported by former Stuttgart prosecutor general Klaus Pflieger, who co-authored the indictments against Klar and Mohnhaupt.
The Bavarian Prime Minister and chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Edmund Stoiber, even demanded the prisoners expressly renounce violence and make a positive commitment to the state. He told the press a condition of their release should be an “open” expression of “genuine” regret. “It is not the state that should signal its reconciliation to the RAF terrorists, but the terrorists must first honestly express regret for all their crimes and profess their allegiance to the constitutional state.”
Such “confessions” are typical not for a democracy based on the rule of law, but for dictatorial and totalitarian regimes.
According to German law, a convict’s request for the suspension of the remainder of his or her sentence on probation, after the completion of a minimum term, must be approved by the courts. A condition for a positive decision is the prognosis that the person will not commit any more criminal offences. The law does not stipulate that a convict must first make an expression of remorse, much less issue a political statement supporting the state.
At present, those given life sentences must serve at least 15 years. On average, they are released after 17 to 19 years. In cases of “especially serious guilt,” as was found in the case of the RAF terrorists, the minimum sentence is extended. In these cases, the average detention amounts to 23 to 25 years.
In the cases of Mohnhaupt and Haule, it is not a matter of “clemency” or a “signal of reconciliation,” but the granting of legally enshrined rights, guaranteed through a 1977 judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court, and the principles of rule of law and human dignity, which are due to any offender who has served an appropriate sentence, even in cases of the most serious crimes.
One of the most repulsive examples of the hysteria with which politicians and the media have reacted to the impending release of the RAF terrorists was the Sunday television talk show hosted by Sabine Christiansen. Christiansen had invited three “victims of terrorism” onto her show: Michael Buback, the son of the German attorney general murdered by the RAF in 1977; Michael Esper, a victim of the Al Qaeda bombing of the synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia; and Bettina Röhl, the daughter of RAF founder Ulrike Meinhof. The highly emotional contributions of these individuals were then supported and deepened by the Brandenburg interior minister and retired lieutenant general, Jörg Schönbohm (CDU).
To refresh the memory to the German society The Badeer Meinhof Complex Documentary brings the story of the main players of the student movement of 1970 in Germany .
Nominated for the Golden Awards for the best foreign film, The Badeer Meinhof Complex 2008 German Film brings you the factors behind the upraising. The first part of the Film show us the injustice, the inequality of world wide political game of oppression, repression and silencing the dissenting voices of the youth. The common denominator for a revolution has always has been Injustice and inequality.
You can have all the sociologists of the world studying the patterns of revolutions and every time they will miss the point. Purposely they will miss the point. Usually studies of any subject are conducted by prestigious Universities. Universities “Paid” to “Find” something.
You can have hundreds terrorism strategist and spies agencies around the world trying to stop “Terrorism”, you can have hundreds Benjamin Netahagus’s books written giving lessons to how to combat terrorism. Every time the strategist will miss the point. There is no terrorism, it is a wake up call to show the governments that something it is wrong. Something wrong that it is answered with State terrorism.
The Badeer Meinhof Complex Film give you the aspects of German’s wrongs of the 70’s. The US’s wrongs of Vietnam, The Israel’s wrongs of the Occupation of Palestine, the wrongs of injustice and inequality.
The Badeer Meinhof Complex Film was nominated for the best foreign language Film and it could have been very well nominated for the Best Documentary, doing it so would have given a truth to the German student movement of the 70’s.
There is an immense archive of the Badeer-Meinhof gang that could had been used, but the producers of the film decided for a more socially accepted category of film. Not too Radical, not to political, not to human. The characters of the film are all real, the events are truth story, even the government response it is very real. Akashma News
Intricately researched and impressively authentic slice of modern German History, with a terrific cast, assured direction, and a cracking script. Rotten Tomatoes
In this heated atmosphere, Christiansen carried out a viewers’ poll and announced at the end of the programme that 91 percent of those questioned had expressed opposition to the early release of Mohnhaupt and Klar. The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung called the programme “a declaration of journalistic bankruptcy,” and added, “If Christiansen had asked whether terrorists should face the death penalty, 91 percent would probably have supported this.”
Anyone who believes in a humane society can only welcome the initiative to release the last of the RAF prisoners. In 1992, one and a half decades ago, the RAF announced the end of its armed struggle. In 1998, nearly 10 years ago, the organisation dissolved itself, and most of its members were then released. Most had served their sentences; others were pardoned by the German president and released early. All four predecessors of the present federal President Horst Köhler have pardoned RAF members, none of whom has since returned to the armed struggle.
This March, Brigitte Mohnhaupt will have served the minimum sentence for her offences. The federal prosecutor’s office has supported her request that the balance of her sentence be suspended, and the state court in Stuttgart has sustained this view. Politicians and the media—some more reluctantly than others—have accepted that the letter of the law is being followed.
Unlike Mohnhaupt, Christian Klar received a minimum sentence of 26 years, which only expires in 2 years’ time. In 2003, in his application for a pardon, he expressed his regret for the consequences of his actions: “Naturally, I must recognise my guilt. I understand the feelings of the victims and regret the suffering of these people.”
In 2001, Klar had been interviewed on television by the now-deceased journalist Günter Gaus, who also advised Klar on his application for a pardon. According to Gaus’s daughter Bettina, the impression made by Klar—seriously scarred physically and psychologically by decades of imprisonment—left Gaus “deeply unsettled.” This assessment is shared by the author of these lines, who also witnessed the interview. The 54-year-old Klar, who had studied philosophy and history, although probably healthy in a purely medical sense, was absent, unsure of himself and evidently had trouble following the journalist’s questions and articulating his own thoughts.
Several RAF prisoners have spent many years of their detention in total isolation, and their prison conditions were consciously designed to destroy their personalities.
The political dead-end of individual terror
Marxists have always rejected and opposed the politics and methods of individual terrorism and the RAF. Revolutionary politics aims at the emancipation of broad layers of working people, seeking to raise their political consciousness and cultural level so that they might abolish capitalism and organize society on a humane and truly democratic basis. Socialist politics are therefore always linked to the struggle for democracy and humanity.
Terrorism, on the other hand, feeds on contempt for the general population, acts independently of it and, in the long run, always ends up seeking to influence one section or other of the ruling class through violent attacks and opportunist manoeuvres. At the same time, it provides the representatives of the state with a pretext to weaken fundamental democratic rights and makes the struggle for socialist politics more difficult. A glance at the history of the RAF makes this very clear.
Mohnhaupt and Klar are generally regarded as prominent leaders of the RAF “second generation.” The initial public appearance of the Red Army Faction “first generation,” around Ulrike Meinhof, Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, occurred in 1970. Its members came from the student protest movement that was directed against the colonial war of the US in Vietnam, and the preponderance of former Nazis in the post-war German Federal Republic (West Germany).
Human relations are political, because they show if the people are opressed or free, if they can act throughful or not, if they can act in any way or not. 1969 Ulrike Meinhof
Interview of Ulrike Meinhof considered by German Police one of the founder of the Red Army Faction, she was a journalist
In the period that shaped this generation and drove them to rebellion, the Nazi lawyer Hans Globke was chief of staff to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer; a Nazi naval judge, Hans Filbinger, who had condemned a sailor to death in March 1945 for desertion, was prime minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg; and many Nazi professors still delivered their lectures at the universities as if nothing had happened. Only a few of the judges who had served on the Nazis’ so-called “people’s courts”—which had imposed thousands of death sentences—faced trial after the war, and they were then acquitted.
The Social Democratic Party, which had long since abandoned a socialist perspective, still had significant support in the factories and trade unions. In East Germany, the Stalinist bureaucracy, along with its followers in the West, were also hostile to any revolutionary movement of the working class. At the same time, the student movement was strongly influenced by the anti-Marxist theories of the Frankfurt School, which wrote off the working class as a revolutionary factor, regarding it as a bourgeoisified mass “intoxicated by consumerism,” instead glorifying the guerrilla movements in the Third World and other petty bourgeois forces.
The RAF was from the outset marked by this contempt for the working class and broad sections of the population. In April 1968, Baader, Ensslin and others started fires at two Frankfurt department stores. In October of the same year, the trial of the arsonists ended with three-year sentences being handed out. Ensslin took sole responsibility for the arson, arguing she had done it out of “protest against the indifference with which people were watching the genocide in Vietnam.”
In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes attending the Olympic Games in Munich were kidnapped and subsequently killed by Palestinian terrorists. The RAF glorified this as an “anti-imperialist, internationalist and anti-fascist act.” The RAF attacked US army facilities in Germany without any regard for the lives of the young soldiers who often came from the most oppressed layers of the American working class.
For its part, the German state acted with extreme aggression not only against the RAF, but also against left-wingers and socialists. The media and politicians used the attacks to slander all critics of capitalism as terrorists.
In 1972, shortly after the beginning of the so-called “May offensive,” practically the entire “first generation” of the RAF was arrested. In the same year, the so-called “Anti-radical decrees” were introduced, which threatened to prohibit any member of a left-wing organization from working in the public service.
The politics of the RAF “second generation” consisted essentially of attempts to induce the state to release the RAF prisoners through a campaign of assassinations and hostage-takings. It was characterised by a mixture of violence and opportunism.
From the mid-1970s, the government under Social Democrat Helmut Schmidt launched a counter-offensive against the strike wave and student radicalisation that had persisted since 1968. It ruthlessly suppressed all attempts to free the RAF prisoners by means of hostage-taking. The rights of the prisoners, who were being kept in high-security facilities, were further limited, including imposing total isolation, which is a form of torture.
Original Film Presented by Journalist Ulrike Meinhof in 1967 to Parliamnet to explain her siding with the student protest
In the following video you see excerpts of Ulrike own accounts of the events of June 2, 1967
When she is asked why you side with the students? she honestly answered: “The right wing-press blame the student for the catastrophe of June 2th, 1967, The Springer Publishing uses its newspaper to demonize the critical voices of students as hooligans. “For these Juvenals is no longer enough to raise hell, they have to see blood” Meinhof continues; “The truth is that the protest of these students had exposed our state as a police state, Police and press terror reached a peak on the 2th of June in Berlin, and we know that freedom in this country means freedom for police brutality.Then she goes on to say that The Battle for Jerusalem is demagogy, and while the US discusses or, whether or not to use Nuclear weapons in Vietnam, Israel, with American support, initiates a war of aggression and shamelessly labels it a preventive war.”
The RAF leadership were surprised by this harsh response and the unwillingness of the state to compromise. During the occupation of the German embassy in Stockholm by RAF members in April 1975, for example, the government did not yield, even after the murder of two embassy workers, and instead ordered the storming of the embassy.
Two years later, as the RAF prisoners were conducting a hunger strike for improved prison conditions, the German attorney general and two colleagues were assassinated. Later, a rocket attack failed on the building of the federal prosecutor’s office. The banker Jürgen Ponto was killed in a botched kidnapping attempt. The seizure of a German civilian airliner by a Palestinian commando group associated with the RAF led to the pilot being murdered. Instead of the RAF prisoners being released as demanded, the German government again ordered the ending of the hostage crisis by force.
The most prominent episode of the RAF’s “1977 offensive” remains the abduction of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the president of the employers’ federation. His three companions and his driver were shot during the kidnapping. As the RAF admitted later, its goal was to use “his connections and influence” for an exchange of prisoners. However, the SPD-led government was determined not to make any compromise and even to accept Schleyer’s death as a result. This view prevailed, even against the wishes of Schleyer’s family, who had already assembled the ransom being demanded.
The callousness and brutality with which the RAF acted made it easy for the ruling elite and the media to encourage a climate of hysteria and trample on democratic rights. It was not only political opponents who were destroyed psychologically, physically and morally, but also many completely innocent people were shot during house searches, traffic controls and such like—”in self-defence” or “by mistake.”
At the same time, the terrorist attacks served the ruling class as a pretext for new and ever harsher attacks on democratic rights.
Two years after the Anti-radical decrees were introduced, a law was passed in 1974 making possible the exclusion of lawyers during a criminal trial and precluding several defendants being represented by a single attorney. This was aimed at preventing a lawyer acting as a conduit for communication between the prisoners. The number of appointed defence counsels was limited to three.
The law also made it possible for a trial to take place in the absence of the accused if he or she was mounting any protest actions such as a hunger strike for improved prison conditions.
The monitoring of communications between attorneys and their clients was legalized. In 1976, wide-ranging expressions of political opinion were criminalized, such as the “anti-constitutional endorsement of violence” and “supporting” terrorist organizations. The prosecuting authorities were given the right to order detention on remand in cases involving state security, even when there was no suspicion that an accused might collude with others or seek to flee the trial.
In 1977, the so-called “law banning contact” followed, legalizing the total isolation of the RAF prisoners, a situation that had had already been practiced without any legal basis. One year later, further possibilities for excluding for attorneys and extending the authority of the police to conduct searches followed.
At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, it became increasingly difficult to determine which actions were being carried out by the RAF and which could be attributed directly to the state. There are suspicions that the final attacks were not committed by the RAF and that the letters claiming responsibility on the part of the RAF only served to divert attention from the real culprits.
For example, at the time of his murder in 1989, the spokesman for the executive board of the Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, was under sharp attack by other members of the bank and was due to be replaced on the day he died. After Herrhausen had argued in favour of debt cancellation for several Third World countries, which had accumulated massive debts mainly with American banks, he received death threats. He took the threats so seriously that he wore a bulletproof vest at international finance meetings. Whether the RAF was at all responsible for his murder remains disputed to this day.
The present campaign against the release of the former RAF members takes place at a time when democratic rights are once again being sharply attacked. In the name of the so-called “fight against terrorism,” the government is pressing to legalize the deployment of the army inside Germany, together with the use of confessions obtained under torture as well as preventative detention merely on the basis of suspicion.
The hysteria surrounding the issue of whether Mohnhaupt and Klar should be released sooner or later after serving a quarter-century in prison is in fact part of a campaign to create the climate for a massive increase in the powers of the state apparatus—a development that seriously threatens basic democratic rights and is directed against growing popular opposition.
This link provided take you to the Film German Version caption translated to Portuguese The Baader-Meinhof Complex
- Andreas Baader
- Ulrike Meinhof
- Gudrun Ensslin
- Brigitte Asdonk
- Hans-Jürgen Bäcker
- Ingeborg Barz
- Monika Berberich
- Irene Goergens
- Manfred Grashof
- Wolfgang Grundmann
- Eric Grusdat
- Katharina Hammerschmidt
- Marianne Herzog
- Dierk Hoff
- Peter Homann
- Werner Hoppe
- Heinrich “Ali” Jansen
- Irmgard Möller
- Horst Mahler
- Holger Meins
- 9th November 1974 After Two Years of Solitariy Confinement
Holger Meins dies in prison following his hunger strike. He had been protesting against solitary confinement. Starbuck Holger Meins
- Astrid Proll
- Thorwald Proll
- Jan-Carl Raspe
- Karl-Heinz Ruhland
- Petra Schelm
- Ulrich Scholze
- Ingrid Schubert
- Horst Söhnlein
- Beate Sturm
- Ilse “Tinny” Stachowiak
- Thomas Weissbecker
- Kay Werner-Allnach
Verena Becker, the former German Red Army Faction (RAF) member arrested last week over her links to a spectacular political murder committed 32 years ago, worked for years as a secret service informant, it emerged yesterday.
Becker, 57, was paid to help capture leaders of the left-wing terrorist group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, according to senior former intelligence figures who spoke in a television documentary screened in Germany yesterday. The revelations came after she was arrested at her home in Berlin last Saturday when police found new evidence implicating her in the killing of Siegfried Buback. September 04, 2009 NZ Herald News
- Peter-Jürgen Boock
- Christa Eckes
- Siegfried Haag
- Rolf Heissler
- Monika Helbing
- Christian Klar
- Gerald Klopper
- Hans-Peter Konieczny
- Jörg Lang
- Angela Luther
- Roland Mayer
- Till Meyer
- Georg von Rauch
- Adelheid Schulz
- Sigrid Sternebeck
- Willy Peter Stoll
- Karl-Heinz Roth
- Werner Sauber
- Sabine Schmitz
- Ulrich Schmücker
- Ingrid Siepmann
- Volker Speitel
- Angelike Speitel
- Johannes Thimme
- Inge Viett
- Christopher Michael Wackernagel
- Rolf Clemens Wagner
- Ulrich Wessel
- Stefan Wisniewski
- Ronald Fritzch
- Wolfgang Knupe
- Willi Rather
- Rolf Pohle
- Ralf Reinders
- Juliane Plambeck
- Gabrielle Rollnick
- Gabi Kröcher-Tiedemann
- Fritz Teufel
- Bommi Baumann
- Wolfgang Huber
- Ursula Huber
- Bernhard Braun
- Alfred Mahrländer
- Friedrike Krabbe
- Siegfried Hausner
- Carmen Roll
- Carmen Roll
- Sieglinde Hoffmann
- Ralf Baptist Friedrich
- Knut Folkners
- Elisabeth von Dyck
- Gerhard Müller
- Brigitte Mohnhaupt
- Lutz Taufer
- Klaus Jünschke
- Karl-Heinz Dellwo
- Hanne-Elise Krabbe
- Bern Rössner
Read More…. on Japanese Red Army Student Struggles
The similar political positions of the “Terrorists” of the 70’s , the Vietnam War, Israel Occupation of Palestine, US imperialist goals and fascism they all play a role in the student uprising of the 70’s. The state of constant alert from part of the governments against the students, sent the movement to a higher grounds of protest.
Injustice and inequality are the two main forces that drove the students movement rise. The repressive tactics of the governments sent the movement from vocal to violent. The events caught on cameras, and the accounts from witness of those movement let us know that the students were forced to become violent to protect themselves, and to be heard by a dormant populace.
40 years later the governments of the world are in the same state of alert against a movements that started to grow. Injustice and inequality the two factors of the past still the same factors affecting the modern political movements.
All the material utilized in this article are taken from public sources for education purposes.
Posted on January 15, 2013 by Akashma Online News
Some excerpts were originally posted 12/29/2011 Published on France24
UPDATED by Marivel Guzman
Most of everything published in the original article is one side of the story, off course we know that every story has many faces, many sides to the same story.
Being in the internet era we can not be conformed with what the “News” tells us. Take your time and research every news outlet, blog and forum. Find the truth of the story. Make your own opinion, at the end of the story your opinion is what it matters.
Every bit of material written about PLO, Palestine and any other Palestinian supporter groups in the last 40 years needs to be revised. Every person incarcerated related to Palestine events was done according to Israel side of the story. Remember that for the first 50 years or so of the partition of Palestine, the only news coming out of the occupied territories were Israel News. Just recently with the internet wide use the more information is being filter out without Israel mingling with the truth. Anything that came out from the territories before the internet it is considered now Israel propaganda. Think again when you read old articles.
Palestine is an occupied land. It’s people being displaced and made refugee by the millions. For years, the world did not know about Palestine Occupation, unless you did have family inside. The News never bother to report Palestine’s side of the story. It is until recently with the coming of the internet that the world is unveiling the truth. Little by little the veil in coming off and Israel’s true colors are been seen by the world.
Resisting the occupation has been an everyday affair of every Palestinian, so do not get duped by Propaganda Hasbarista.
I had included some links to articles related to names and events related to the arrest of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
It is my intent to unveil the truth and to shed some light to events leading to the activities of some of the persons named in this article.
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the unpardoned terrorist will be release and deported to Lebanon .
The news were spreading like a wild fire in the net when the court released the information of the granting of his parole, but as part of his conditional release, Abdullah, 62, is required to leave France before January 14.
Over the years, Abdullah became a miscarriages of justice for resistance . He became eligible for parole after 18 years in prison, but each of his seven applications for release were turned down since 1999, a major breach of French legal procedures and the European Convention on Human Rights.
This came as the United States and “Israel” pressured France over the years to prevent Abdullah’s release, under the pretext that he had never apologized or expressed regret for the murders. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin criticized the decision to grant him parole, arguing that Abdullah never expressed remorse and could yet be a threat if released.
For his part, Abdullah’s lawyer welcomed the ruling and said he hoped the government would not give in to US pressure by refusing to expel him.
“I hope that we have an independent enough government to expel him,” said the lawyer, Jacques Verges. ABNA NEWS
But a French court has postponed its decision until Jan. 28 on whether to release a pro-Palestinian Lebanese militant who has spent 28 years in jail.
During a visit to France last year, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati also called for Abdallah to be freed, calling him a “political prisoner.”
Updated 5:48pm: Several hundred protesters gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday to demonstrate against the postponed release of former Marxist rebel Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
Some demonstrators began hurling eggs and rocks at the embassy after shutting down traffic to demand the political prisoner’s immediate release following his 28-year imprisonment in France. Al Akhbar English January 14, 2013
Despite the fant that he completed the minimum term of his sentence in 1999, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for killing two US and Israeli officials, is still behind bars.
Earlier in December, a French court sentenced notorious Venezuelan militant Carlos the Jackal to life in prison. Now, another radical pro-Palestinian militant has resurfaced in France – this time, by proxy. France24
Carlos the Jackal figures prominently in Robert Ludlum’s Bourne Trilogy. In the Trilogy, Carlos is depicted as the world’s most dangerous assassin who’s trademark execution is a single well placed bullet in the throat, a man with international contacts that allow him to strike efficiently and anonymously at locations anywhere on the globe. His actual name (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) is used and details – a mixture of fact and fiction – are given about his upbringing and training, including the fictional account that he trained with Russian intelligence at Novgorod. In the Trilogy he keeps residence in France disguised as a priest, protected by a close network of contacts. Born Trilogy
On December 22, several dozen protesters gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice in Paris to call for the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, former leader of the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions. The 60-year-old Abdallah has been imprisoned in southwestern France since 1984, despite the fact that he completed the minimum term of his sentence in 1999.
The Factions Armes Revolutionnaires Libanaises (FARL) formed in 1979 is a Lebanese revolutionary group seeking to create a Marxist-Leninist state in Lebanon. Although this group was one of the three groups that emerged from the breakup of the PFLP-Special Operations Group [#CR0001639] upon the assadination of its leader, Wadi Haddad by Mossad. FARL According to CIA
Abdallah was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for his involvement in the 1982 murders of US military attaché Charles Ray and Israeli diplomat Yakov Barsimentov in Paris, as well as in an assassination attempt on Robert O. Homme, an American consul in Strasbourg. The Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions has claimed responsibility for these acts, saying they were carried out in response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
‘A resolute and pitiless militant’
Yves Bonnet, former director of France’s Central Headquarters for Surveillance of the Territory and founder of the International Centre for Research and Studies on Terrorism, contributed to the hunt that led to Abdallah’s arrest in Lyon in 1984. Despite that, he declares himself in favour of the prisoner’s release. “This injustice has lasted long enough,” he recently told FRANCE 24.
“It’s gone beyond the limits of what’s reasonable, and at this point nothing justifies his imprisonment. We should put him on a plane and send him back to Lebanon, where the authorities are willing to receive him.”
Described as a shy teacher from northern Lebanon who became – in his own words – a “revolutionary Communist and anti-Zionist militant”, Abdallah has filed for parole seven times – to no avail.
In November 2003, the local entity that grants parole in Pau, the southern city in which Abdullah is detained, gave the green light to one of Abdallah’s requests. But the minister of Justice at the time, Dominique Perben, appealed the decision, calling the prisoner’s case “extremely serious”. Abdallah remained in prison.
Abdallah’s most recent request for release on parole, filed in May 2009, was rejected by a Paris appeals court that deemed the prisoner “a resolute and pitiless militant” who might take up his “combat” again upon returning to Lebanon.
The court justified its decision by citing a 2008 French law that aimed to maintain in detention prisoners seen as likely to resume criminal behaviour once their prison sentence is completed. Contacted by FRANCE 24, the former justice minister did not wish to comment on “legal decisions made by independent judges”.
‘Hostage of the French government’
Abdallah is supported by a network of anti-imperialist, Marxist, and anti-Zionist activists who have continually denounced what they consider judicial mistreatment of “a hostage of the French government”. They compare him to a more celebrated former political prisoner: Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Meanwhile, Abdallah’s lawyer, the controversial Jacques Vergès, has slammed the United States for what he alleges has been US pressure on French authorities not to release Abdallah. In 2007, Vergès urged French judges “to show our condescending American friends that France is not a submissive girl”. Demonstrators in Paris on December 22 used that argument in a scathing slogan, chanting: “French justice at the feet of Zionists and Americans”.
Like Abdallah’s supporters, Yves Bonnet contends that the US and Israel are still manoeuvring to keep the former leader of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions in jail. “France has faced enormous pressure to prevent the man who assassinated two people who were not, in fact, diplomats, but rather a CIA agent and a member of Mossad [Israeli secret service], from being freed from prison,” Bonnet said.
Meanwhile, the Shiite party Hezbollah has frequently called on France to liberate Abdallah, and the Lebanese authorities have already asked France to hand over the man they have called “one of their oppressed sons”.
‘France did not keep its promise’
In the late 1990s, Yves Bonnet appeared before a union of lawyers and judges to plead the case of a man who he said was likely “cursing” him from his jail cell. “I was received by four magistrates who listened attentively before turning me down politely,” Bonnet recounted. “They explained to me that Abdallah’s alleged conversion to Islam had turned him from a Christian into a dangerous Islamic propagandist, and for that reason it was impossible to release him.”
France’s former top intelligence official says he is especially “uncomfortable”, because he had secured a deal in 1985 to swap Abdallah for French diplomat Gilles Peyrolles, who had been kidnapped in Lebanon by the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions in March of that year.
Peyrolles was freed just a month later in exchange for a guarantee to send Abdallah to Algeria instead of keeping him imprisoned in France. “The hostage was freed, but Abdallah stayed in jail,” Bonnet explained. “France did not keep its promise, even though I personally was willing to uphold my part of it.”
A French diplomat who was held by kidnappers for 10 days has been freed in Lebanon. The envoy, Gilles Sidney Peyrolles, director of the French cultural center in the northern port of Tripoli, was the fourth kidnapped foreigner to gain freedom in less than a week. Mr. Peyrolles said today that he he had been kept in Syrian-controlled territory by a group that treated him very well. April 03, 1985 New York Times
In an article published in French daily Le Figaro in January 2011, Middle East specialist Georges Malbrunot wrote that some of Abdallah’s supporters had even warned the French government about possible kidnappings of its citizens in Lebanon.
“The Clotilde Reiss case showed certain people in Lebanon that it was possible to get a prisoner back through blackmail,” a journalist close to Hezbollah is quoted as saying in the article.
For the first time, a French journalist was allowed to travel to the University of Isfahan, where French academic Clotilde Reiss taught prior to her arrest on charges of spying. Here is an exclusive report by special correspondent Alain Chabod.