African immigrants in Germany under siege

The remarkable 1974 German film titled, “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul,” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
is about a young Moroccan immigrant who meets a dowdy middle-aged cleaning woman when he is taunted into asking her to dance in a bar where she has sought refuge from rain. The signature moment in the film is when his ridicule melts into nothingness as she asks him about himself & the humanity of both merges. The rest of the film is taken up with the ferocious discrimination they faced as a couple–not primarily due to their age difference but to his nationality.

It was evident from that film that racism against immigrants was rampant in Germany even before immigration became a central issue in US politics. There certainly is no glory in outpacing the US on that question but a considerable amount of shame. There are now an estimated one million African immigrants in Germany, distinguished as either North African or Sub-Saharan, which is code describing either Arabic or Black ethnicity. Some immigration agencies estimate there are now between 7 & 8 million undocumented African immigrants living throughout the European Union (EU) countries–at least two-thirds of them from North Africa since EU immigration policy toward Black Africans is so violent, attempting to keep them isolated in squalid refugee camps on Mediterranean islands or massively deport them.

European regimes are torn on the issue of immigration in the same way as the US regime. On the one hand, these countries rely on the cheap, exploitable labor of foreign workers for any number of jobs–& “illegal” status makes them super-exploitable. But on the other hand, whipping up anti-immigrant fervor among working people is a marvelously effective weapon for divide & conquer.

This young immigrant is being dragged away from a confrontation where riot cops in Berlin surrounded & tried to dismantle a makeshift refugee camp. The report says “violence broke out” between refugees who had accepted a deal by the city to leave the camp & move to a renovated hostel & refugees who insisted on staying. The confrontation was likely less between skepticism & credulity about authorities & their promises than it was another instance of ‘violence breaking out’ when riot cops attack protestors.

Immigration is a human right!

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Chinese betrayal of the Palestinians

It may still be uncertain where China is headed politically since linking its fortunes to the barbarities of neoliberalism but this picture shows its headed fast in the wrong direction. Chinese president Xi Jinping invited Israeli president Shimon Peres for a three day state visit which began today. There are no reports on why Peres was invited or what they will be negotiating but it doesn’t fare well for Palestinians that in welcoming oratory, Xi encouraged Israel in the phony Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The talks have long been dead as a doornail & all attempts to slap them into life only make them look more politically obscene. You cannot bomb people & wrest their farms & cities from them while talking peace. You are either completely stupid or corrupt as hell to claim otherwise. Though in Xi’s case, he’s likely sucking up to Israel to get a better deal on military technology like the $1 billion surveillance equipment they once bought.

In cringe-worthy rhetoric, Xi said the Chinese & Jewish people have always gotten along, especially during WWII when they commonly opposed fascism & militarism. Of course the falling out came after WWII with the establishment of Israel on Palestinian lands in 1948. Until Mao’s death in 1976, China’s foreign policy was based, at least rhetorically, on opposing colonialism & championing the oppressed. Diplomatic relations with Israel were not established until 1992 but Israel had a long, secretive military relationship with China since at least 1979, but probably earlier. It now has what is called a “pragmatic, flexible diplomatic strategy” in the Middle East–a term that covers a multitude of betrayals of the oppressed, & not just the Palestinians.

The Jerusalem Post, a conservative Israeli newspaper, reported a few years ago that the Chinese were “allured by Israeli military prowess & by “Jewish genius” exhibited in men such as Karl Marx & Albert Einstein.” We don’t know about Einstein but we’re certain Marx would roll over in his grave at such a statement. He may have been an imperfect man, but he had no truck with such elitist ethnic chauvinism & would never have betrayed the oppressed. If there is such a thing as “Jewish genius” you sure wouldn’t know it from the Zionist propaganda machine which has been stuck on one note shrieking “antisemite” since its inception.

Any extant Maoists should try to explain this disgraceful scene where innocent Chinese children are hauled out to wave flags for a country shamed before the world for its violence toward Palestinians.

(Photo of Peres at the welcoming ceremony by Alexander F. Yuan/AP)