Statement on the Anti-Palestinian hate crimes committed in Kassel, Hessen
The Palestine Mission in Germany expresses its deep concern over the smear and incitement campaigns that systematically target Palestinians and Palestinian-related events in Germany, and has culminated recently in a series of dangerous hate crimes, including vandalism and death threats, committed against an art space in Kassel that was to exhibit works by Palestinian artists.
The attack occurred on May 28, 2022 following months-long vilification tropes in local media and online platforms against “Documenta 15”, one of the world’s largest art exhibitions held every five years in Kassel, Hessen.
Documenta 15 was targeted for the mere reason of hosting Palestinian artists. The artists themselves were the subject of organized ad hominem attacks and false accusations of antisemitism. The aim was to intimidate the exhibition into disinviting the artists as part of a broader incessant attempt to censor the Palestinian strife from public discourse in Germany and beyond.
Antisemitism is evil and must be fought, but so are the false accusations of antisemitism that seek to shield the Israeli occupation from criticism. Such scare tactics only serve to perpetuate the abhorrent violations of international law and human rights committed by the Israeli occupation. They also undermine the honest efforts to combat antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, hate, and intolerance.
This malicious targeting of Palestinians also reveals a fact that must no longer be ignored or tolerated: growing anti-Palestinian racism that threatens over 350,000 Palestinians currently living in Germany. This racism should be addressed at once, and its instigators should be outlawed.
It is deeply concerning that the perpetrators of the 28 May hate crimes remain unidentified and at large, posing a present and ongoing danger in light of the possibility that they might actually carry out their death threats. It is equally regrettable that instead of taking prompt action against these crimes and against the hostile environment that encourages them, some officials chose to exert pressure on Documenta 15 to limit the Palestinian participation in the exhibition, sending the wrong message to all parties involved.
These decisions need to be revisited, measures to prevent the recurrence of these crimes and protect the Palestinian community must be applied, and action against the growing anti-Palestinian racism must be taken.
The Palestine Mission will continue to follow up with all relevant authorities, and shall remain actively seized of the matter.