The Small Differences
Today is the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This milestone on the road to democracy in Europe has been thoroughly celebrated, not least in Berlin.
Some Palestinians thought that they’d take advantage of the event in order to protest against the wall that Israel has erected to keep “martyrs” and other “freedom fighters” from blowing themselves and — more importantly — Israeli civilians to smithereens in cafés and on buses in Israel. They did this by reenacting the famous footage from Berlin when the first segment of the Wall fell, and joyous East Berliners streamed over to the western side.
I saw the event on the eight o’clock news this evening, and it was very well thought through. Before the lenses of scores of cameras from international media outlets, a segment of the concrete wall was torn town, and masked Palestinians with flags in their hands rushed through to the Israeli side. It looked very much like Berlin two decades ago, and the whole stunt must be described as a media success, conjuring up uncanny parallels.
The only thing is that I just can’t remember any East Berliners that night in November 1989 rushing through the breach shouting “a thousand shaheeds marching on Jerusalem!”
Entry filed under: Politics.