Kick-off event for the 20th anniversary of the WBC with a speech by Johanna Uekermann

On April 9th 1996 three socialist youth movements from Israel, Palestine and Germany decided to strengthen their ties by creating the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem.  This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.
We are looking back to our political cooperation, our educational programmes and social art projects. At the same time we are moving on towards our common vision of a peaceful future.

Johanna Uekermann, chairwomen of the Young Socialists in the SPD (JUSOS) opened this years ongoing festivities in Jerusalem.

Opening speech to 20 years of WBC,

by Johanna Uekermann:

“Dear comrades, dear friends of Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem,

We are starting our anniversary year on a historic date. 20 years ago our predecessors Ofer Dekel, Sabri Tomezi and Andrea Nahles signed the partnership agreement that was the foundation for the Willy Brandt Center. To be honest we are two days early with our celebrations, because the actual date 9th of April is a Saturday this year. But not only the date is slightly different, also the location of our gathering moved to the South. Our founding agreement was signed 20 years ago in Ramallah.

What was possible then, seems impossible now. It encourages us once more to continue with our joint struggle. Political realities are made by people and can be changed by people. We saw good and bad times in the last 20 years. But even in the darkest times of war and bloodshed our joint Center stood its test maintaining the ties between our movements providing hope to our members that change is possible.

Sometimes people – be it Internationals or from the region – ask me why we as Jusos are still continuing the complicated way of double solidarity. My answer is very simple: It is because of you! You as the progressive forces in Israel and Palestine seeking for peace deserve our support. Your courage believing in a peaceful future of Palestinians and Israelis living side by side is for us a big inspiration. It motivates us continuously to invest our time and resources in the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem.

Even if the perspectives for the future not always look well we as Jusos are convinced that our partnership has an added value to the political scene in Jerusalem. Looking back on our experiences from the last 20 years we should use the anniversary year to develop our partnership further and deepen our relations. Jusos will continue the joint international struggle for a more just and more peaceful world. In our partnership we share this goal based on common values. Looking towards the future I can say: We will be at your side. Your struggle is our struggle.”

From Social Justice to Peace – chances for cross-border trade union cooperation

Trade unions take an active part in the mediating process between workers and employers, and strengthen workers’ rights vis-à-vis the state and in the framework of employment. Hence trade unions are uniquely equipped for the work of civil conflict transformation, fair negotiations and fighting social injustice.

The publication “From Social Justice to Peace – chances for cross-border trade union cooperation” is produced with a grant provided by the Foundation for Social Society and Sustainable Development of the trade union IG Bauen Agrar Umwelt. It presents comprehensively the history and status quo of trade unionism in Israel and Palestine.

Two representatives from the respective societies describe the interconnection of workers’ rights beyond borders and highlight potential fields of cooperation, thus fostering inclusive activism for a peaceful and just future.

Red Lounge Movie Night: Revolution Girls

Red Lounge at the WBC Jerusalem

March 16th, 2016 at 7 pm (19:00)

Screening and discussion on occasion of „WomensHistoryMonth“

“Revolution Girls” by Natasha Dudinski

“How many revolutions must a woman go through before she reaches 40?”

Revolution Girls is the story of one generation of Czech women who took part in the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Though their lives took different directions after the student strike in 1989, they still share some of the zeal required to achieve the things they believe in. Jana, a representative in the EU Parliament, is passionate about saving the world. Alena writes one book after another, searching the past for hints that would inspire the present. Alice is a successful entrepreneur who raises an adopted Roma daughter and fulfills her childhood dream of having a big family. Pavla puts her energy into a career in the music business while searching for her place in life. Are they living their dreams? How many revolutions does a woman go through by the time she is forty? What can their stories tell us about the time and place they live in
There will be discussion following the screening with the movie’s director Natasha Dudinski.

Revolution Girls  //  Holky z fildy (Orig.)
DIR: Natasha Dudinski, Taťána Slánská-Marková
2009 / Czech Republic / 57 min

See you at the WBC!

Young workers and trade unions in Palestine and Israel

Thursday, March, 17th, 2016 at 19:00 | Colloquium at the WBC Jerusalem


What about workers’ rights today in our region? What’s the role of trade unions in a neoliberal labour market? The WBC Jerusalem has published a field study on worker politics and union activism with an emphasis on young workers in Palestine and Israel.
On the occasion of publication we would like to invite you and to present the study. In an open discussion with you we will try to shed some light on worker politics and unions activism in our region.

This publication was made possible by a grant from „Stiftung Soziale Gesellschaft & Nachhaltige Entwicklung der Industriegewerkschaft Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (Foundation for Social Society and Sustainable Development of the industrial trade union IG BAU).

 

 

 

Red Lounge presents “Can’t Be Silent – On Tour with The Refugees”

Political cinema at its best!

Can’t Be Silent – On Tour with The Refugees
A Film by Julia Oelkers

Wednesday 20.1.2016 um 19:00

 

Can’t Be Silent – On Tour with The Refugees
They are musicians from Africa, the Balkans and Iran. And since May 2012 they have been touring Germany with songwriter Heinz Ratz and his band Strom und Wasser. What makes this project special is that these musicians are asylum seekers.

On the stage: young rappers join together with an experienced Jazz pianist, a reggae singer with a German singer-songwriter, an African percussionist with accomplished Roma musicians and a beatboxer with Greek roots. Despite their differences, they gather in a respectful way – meeting each other eye to eye. Their creativity unfolds as they work to develop a common language through music. “ Can´t be silent” will show this process of convergence: from the wrong notes to the beautiful harmonies, from the stage-fright to the shining moments. We will show the small locations and thunderous applause, the enthusiasm and the grinding routines.

Official website: http://www.cant-be-silent.de/english/home_english/

 

Red Lounge in the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem

22, Ein Rogel

Jerusalem (Abu Tor)

Two Narratives-One Future: Annual Conference 2015

Review of our Annual Conference 2015 ” Two Narratives-One Future”

It were difficult times as activists and officials from Israel, Palestine, Germany and over the world gathered in Jerusalem for Willy Brandt Center’s Annual Conference. The headline “Two Narratives – One Future” was more current than ever before in 2015. Facing the outbreak of violent clashes and terrorist attacks in both Israel and Palestine it became very clear that there are huge differences between the perceptions of the recent events. This needed to be of course reflected within the agenda of the Annual Conference.
The trilateral organization team took a lot of effort to adapt the planned workshops and discussions to the current situation. After the informal Get-Together on Friday evening in the Willy Brandt Center the conference began on Saturday with an expert input on the developments on Temple Mount/Haram as Sharif. Afterwards the participants reflected on how different recent events are shown in the Israeli and Palestinian media and discussed reasons for it. In the end workshops about social struggles worldwide were held with the question how people in Israel and Palestine can relate to it and what can be learned for the own activism.

All photos by Yam Vignola




Facing the future together: 50 years of politcal youth exchange

Review of our event: Facing the future together – more than 50 years of political youth exchange
The history of political youth exchange between Germany and the Middle East dates back longer then the official establishment of the diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel 50 years ago. On occasion of this anniversary the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem hosted a BarCamp to take a closer look how the relations evolved that lead to the trilateral ties between young Israeli, Palestinian and German political activists. The BarCamp opened a space for direct and non-formal exchange. Therefore Willy Brandt Center invited representatives of three generations of political youth exchange: The generation of pioneers from the 60s and 70s, the generation of Oslo in the 80s and 90s and the generation of today enhancing an exchange of knowledge between all of them.
The generation of pioneers was impressively represented by Walter Haas a trade-unionist who came to Israel the first time in 1962. Because his visit happened before official relations were established it was very hard for him to travel. But despite the obstacles it was his fascination about socialist and collective ways of living together that made him travel anyways. He was willing to face the hard task to come as a representative of the people who committed the Holocaust to the jewish people. But the aim to build a better future gave him a continuous motivation to go on with his idea. Luckily he found partners that welcomed him and were willing to visit him in Germany. This visit and the return visit one year later laid the foundation for the political youth activities in the Middle East.
The generation of Oslo faced new challenges in their relation with each other. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians went after the war of 1967 into a new stage, since the occupation of the West-Bank began and the PLO was pushing from outside Palestine towards an independent state. This debate was reflected in Europe and Germany by a political division with people taking side for either the Israeli or the Palestinian cause. In the light of the upcoming Oslo agreements some key actors in the political youth movements like Harald Schrapers took an important step by creating the idea of double solidarity. A double solidarity with both the legitimate needs of the Israeli and the Palestinian people to live in an independent state, with an equal life in peace and security with the chance of economic prosperity. In times when real peace was very close this principle helped to engage a trilateral dialogue between Israelis, Palestinians and Germans.
For political activist that are representing political youth movements today like Johanna Uekermann and Uri Keidar the trilateral idea of the 90s became reality. It is a guiding idea to address the complicated situation we are facing in the Middle East today. Even though current developments make a direct exchange hard from time to time, activist of today are convinced of the added value the dialogue across the borders has. They see it as their task today more than ever before to bridge the gaps that are dividing people. Because if there is one lesson to learn from the past it is that real peace can be reached not by dividing people but only in a cooperation that unites people for the struggle for liberty and equality.

Photos: Tobias Pietsch






 

Yasmin Fahimi visits the WBC

Yasmini Fahimi, the SPD General Secretary  visited the Willy Brandt Center in Jerusalem for a lecture and discussion with participants of our “Social Justice” project. She reported on the current political situation in Germany. The minimum wage already is an important achievement, but there is still a long way to go. The changes of working routines in the digital age bring major challanges for politics and our society.

 

 

 

 

 

BarCamp 29.10.15 Facing the Future Together

Barcamp 29.10.2015, 16:00 pm
Facing the future together – 50 years of political youth exchange

Willy Brandt Center , 22 Ein Rogel St, Jerusalem (Abu Tor)

 

On occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel” Willy Brandt Center invites you to take part in a BarCamp on political youth exchange between Israel and Germany. A BarCamp is an interactive form of presentation, in which you as participants decide how to shape this event. Invited are witnesses and activists from Israel and Germany – the pioneers of the first encounters in the 60s, activists of peace movements at the time of the Oslo negotiations and young people, who represent the political spirit of the new generation. Together we will to initiate a dialogue between cultures and generations!

Information/Registration

 

 

 

 

 

23-24.10.2015 Annual Conference – Two Narratives – One Future

23-24.10.2015

 

In order to cope with the upcoming societal challenges and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace, we need to produce and share innovative knowledge linking creative thinking and politics.
The team of WBC presents its current activities and invites you to take part in workshops and discussions on labor rights, natural resources, education and other current topics.

Um die bevorstehenden gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen bewältigen zu können und die Grundlage für einen dauerhaften Frieden zu legen, brauchen wir neue Ideen. Wir müssen innovatives Wissen, kreatives Denken und Politik miteinander verbinden.
Das WBC präsentiert seine aktuellen Aktivitäten und lädt euch zur Teilnahme an Workshops und Diskussionen über aktuelle Themen ein.

23.10.15 Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem

Reception (open from 4 pm) and Concert (8pm)
Empfang (ab 16:00) und Konzert (20:00)
Ein Rogel St. 22, Jerusalem (Abu Tor)

24.10.15 Tantur Ecumenical Institute

Opening und workshops throughout the day (open doors 9:00, Start 10:00)
Offizielle Zeremonie und Workshops (ab 9.00 Registrierung, 10:00 Beginn)
HaRosmarin St., Jerusalem (Beit Safafa)

For further information please follow our updates.