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Why everyone in Germany should vote for MERA25

MERA25 is the only electable political party in Germany which champions the Palestinian cause, writes Timo Al-Farooq [photo credit: DiEM25]

There’s no shortage of nominally left-leaning parties crowding the field of progressive politics as the 2024 European elections kick off in Germany. But only one puts Palestine on the ballot: MERA25

Founded in 2021 as part of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis‘s pan-European DiEM25 movement, the party — also running in Greece and Italy — has not only spoken out against Israel’s assault on Gaza but put Palestinian liberation at the centre of its campaign, notably co-organising the Palestine Congress in Berlin which was later violently put down by German police.

No other party in Germany has called out the country’s gaslighting of — and complicity in — Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza or highlighted Israel’s apartheid regime and brutal, illegal occupation. 

“For the last eight months, the horror of genocide has unfolded live, streaming live to our devices,” reads a “Stop the genocide!” post on MERA25‘s Instagram. “Each weekend, in unwavering solidarity with Palestine, we’ve flooded the streets demanding a #ceasefire, an end to occupation, and liberation for Palestine,” the caption goes on to say. 

Other than MERA25, of the 35 parties up for election in the European parliament in Germany, only two have dared spotlight the genocide in Gaza as part of their campaigns: the fringe German Communist Party (DKP) and the even more fringe Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the notoriously anti-left Verfassungsschutz, has branded both as “left-wing extremist”.

The left in Germany has betrayed Palestine

Major left-leaning parties like Die Linke, the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW), and Volt have been noticeably quiet on Palestine. Hero-to-zero Die Linke, a political party plagued by years of party infighting which has caused a freefall into political irrelevance, has stayed either markedly silent or displayed strategic ambivalence on Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The same can also be said for its populist splinter group the BSW, founded by a disgruntled, former poster child of Die Linke whose anti-immigrant rhetoric is all too often reminiscent of right-wing AfD hate speech. 

“No other party in Germany has called out the country’s gaslighting of — and complicity in — Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza”

The Greens, who have sacrificed their pacifist ideals for a seat at the governing table, continue to aid Israel’s extermination campaign in their role as junior coalition partner in Germany’s federal government. This is the same party whose campaign posters in the run-up to Germany’s 2021 federal elections “No weapons and armaments to war zones”.

Today, it helps supply Israel with the largest quantity of killing materials after the United States, not to mention the thousands of murdered Palestinian women who are a blood-stained testament to Green Party foreign minister Annalena Baerbock’s much-praised “feminist foreign policy”

Meanwhile, Volt, who won a single seat in the last European elections and is the other notable pan-European party in the current elections, has made no secret of where it stands on Palestine by weaponising antisemitism against Palestinian solidarity.

In an official statement oozing with ignorance and anti-woke rhetoric, Volt said it “vehemently rejects on all levels all forms of collaboration with and support for any groups, movements, organisations, associations, alliances, parties and actors that are characterised by anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and/or antisemitic ideology.” This antisemitic ideology, according to Volt, also includes accusing Israel of “neocolonialism” and Jews of “white privilege”.

The statement goes on to blacklist the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Berlin-based groups Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East (Jüdische Stimme) and Palestine Speaks, among others, as legitimate boycott targets.

Why MERA25 is the only left-wing party worth voting for in Germany was involuntarily answered by one of its main political rivals when Carola Rackete, a prominent climate and refugee rights activist on the ballot for Die Linke, posted a video of herself using the Wahl-O-Mat, an online voting aid tool which pairs voters with their perfect party match based on a set of 38 multiple choice questions.

The result, to an embarrassed Rackete’s amusement: MERA25. The party, and by extension the Palestinian cause, could not have asked for a better endorsement. “Follow your heart, Carola,” wrote in the comments section, followed by a smiling face with heart eyes emoji.

To quote Angela Davis, Palestine is the “moral litmus test for the world” and MERA25 is the the only electable political party in Germany which passes that test. And with only 0.6% of votes required to be elected to the European parliament, it has a realistic chance of sending its first-ever MEP(s?) to Brussels on an unapologetically pro-Palestine platform when voting ends in three days.

In a country where state-sponsored violence against Palestine solidarity has been among the most vicious in Europe, the urgency of representing Germany’s marginalised, pro-Palestinian voices in a legislative body that is steadily supplanting national decision-making cannot be overstated.

Timo Al-Farooq is a freelance journalist based in Berlin, Germany.

Follow him on Instagram: @talrooq

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Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.

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