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Yanis Varoufakis stands in solidarity with Palestinian rights advocates in Germany

Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister, delivered a powerful speech expressing solidarity with Palestinian rights advocates in Germany, despite facing a ban on participating in political events in the country due to his outspoken criticism of efforts to silence those who speak out against injustices faced by Palestinians.

In a powerful speech, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis expressed his unwavering support for individuals fighting for Palestinian rights in Germany. The speech, which led to Varoufakis being banned from participating in political events (even those online!) in the country, highlighted the ongoing efforts to silence those who speak out against the injustices faced by Palestinians.

Varoufakis began by commending the courage of those who attended the event, stating, “Congratulations and heartfelt thanks for being here—despite the threats, despite the ironclad police outside this venue, despite the panoply of the German press, despite the German state, despite the German political system that demonises you for being here.”

He criticised the German political establishment for its attempts to stifle open debate and discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Today, we would have loved to have a decent, democratic, mutually respectful debate on how to bring peace and universal human rights to everyone—Jews and Palestinians, Bedouins and Christians — from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea with people who think differently from us,” Varoufakis said. “Sadly, the whole of the German political system has decided not to allow this.”

Varoufakis called out the hypocrisy of German political parties, including the CDU-CSU, FDP, SPD, Greens, and even some leaders of Die Linke, for their joint efforts to prevent a civilised debate on the issue. He accused them of equating legitimate criticism of Israeli government actions with antisemitism, effectively silencing those who advocate for Palestinian rights.

In a powerful conclusion, Varoufakis declared, “Friends, we are here because vengeance is a lazy form of grief. We are here to promote not vengeance but peace and coexistence across Israel and Palestine.” He urged German democrats, including former comrades of Die Linke, to recognise that “allowing Israel to get away with war crimes is not going to ameliorate the legacy of Germany’s crimes against the Jewish people.”

Varoufakis’s speech serves as a rallying cry for those who believe in universal human rights and the importance of open dialogue. By standing in solidarity with Palestinian rights advocates in Germany, he has shown that the fight for justice and equality transcends borders and political affiliations. His words remind us that it is our duty to speak out against oppression and to work towards a future where all people, regardless of their background, can live in peace and dignity.

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