Johanna Uekermann adresses Annual Gathering at Willy-Brandt-Center

Johanna Uekermann (right in the picture), Chair of the Jusos, welcomed the guests and comrades to the Annual Gathering on in the Willy-Brandt-Center  Jerusalem together with Christopher Paesen (left) and representatives from the partner organizations.

Johanna Uekermann (right in the picture), Chair of the Jusos, welcomed the guests and comrades to the Annual Gathering on in the Willy-Brandt-Center Jerusalem together with Christopher Paesen (left) and representatives from the partner organizations.

The war in Gaza and Israel deepened the split between the Israeli and the Palestinian society. Many people still have the pictures in their mind the war left there. In these difficult times the efforts of Willy-Brandt-Center under the principle of double solidarity with both Palestinian and Israeli needs is more important as ever. A political solution for the conflict based on the legitimate demands of both societies is possible. It takes courageous political leaders like Itzhak Rabin and Yassir Arafat to push for these solutions and to overcome the obstacles created by groups who don´t have an interest to end the occupation and keep fighting the secure existence of an Israeli state.

It was the partnership of the Israeli and Palestinian left wing, which made this development possible. And until now both remain the main powers to make a concrete change happen. The Status Quo as it is, is frustrating for everybody and will lead in the end to more and more violence. That is why Willy-Brandt-Center continuously enhances the direct contact between our partners by putting the needs of each of them in this conflict in the center of attention. This is of course not always easy and passionate debates are a part of it. But this process empowers each and everybody who is involved in the Willy-Brandt-Center to widen their view on the conflict. It creates a platform where political youth of both Palestine and Israel can raise their voice for their cause and not to depend on media to address people on the other side. It empowers thereby political youth activists to work for a Two-State-Solution on a deeper level by taking the needs of their partners into consideration. And finally we hope that in the future joint actions of Palestinians and Israelis for a negotiated peace deal will be possible again.

We the Young Socialists of Germany are going to uphold our commitment to the spirit of Willy-Brandt-Center. We will not turn our back on the situation here, when it becomes critical. Our partners in Israel and Palestine are our closest partners in the world. We stand aside the powers demanding a peaceful, non-violent solution of the conflict sharing the idea of Willy Brandt: “Peace is not everything, but without peace everything is nothing.”

Red Lounges in 2014

Dear friends,

Thank you for being with, us and for joining us in discussing the burning questions of the Middle East in 2013. After a brief look back on last year, we’d like to invite you to take a look at the 2014 program! Stay with us, and spread the word!

First, please save the date for our next Red Lounge, in cooperation with the Goethe Institute Ramallah: we’ll be showing URBAN PRAYERS – a documentary about Religion in big cities.

Thursday 30 January at 6 p.m. (!) in Ramallah and Jerusalem – please see here for details, or scroll down.

Since 2013, you can join us from wherever you are! Redlounge@home provides you with a free online access to the movie AND to the following discussions. You can also take part in the live discussion via chat, whether you are in Berlin, Bil’in, Beer Sheva, Barcelona…

Please see for details.

The 2013 program contained a colourful mix of different topics, starting with the impacts of the occupation and the conflict:

“TWO-SIDED STORY” and WITHIN THE EYE OF THE STORM on breaking the cycle of hatred having lost a beloved child to the conflict; Oscar-nominated “FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS” about the non-violent struggle in the Palestinian village of Bil’in; THE LAW IN THESE PARTS about the legal system of segregation created in the West bank; THE LAB about the economic impacts of the occupation.

We had a closer look on the situation of minorities in Israel: TO BE LIKE AVI with African refugees, the feature film SHARQIYA with the Bedouin security guard that tries to save his village from destruction by faking a terrorist attack.

With Eyal Sivan’s “JAFFA – THE ORANGE’S CLOCKWORK” and the video installation DICTIONARY by Tamara Moyzes and Shlomi Yaffe, we discussed issues of identity and stereotypes. Last but not least the documentary FRIENDS gave us an insight into the Social Justice Protest Movement of 2011.

For 2014, we are offering you an even greater variety of topics: religion in cities, thoughts about a binational state, an activists’ poetry, German rabbits, raving protesters, Palestinian firefighters helping Israel, a Congress of Fear, and more music from the I AM YOU ARE project.

Please see below for details, and stay informed with updates on our websites – or follow us on Facebook!


30.01.2014 at 6 p.m.   

URBAN PRAYERS: Reinventing Religion in the City

(Orig.: Stadtgebete: Die Neuerfindung der Religion in der Stadt)
Dir.: Sabrina Dittus
TR/D/NG 2012, 58 Min.

In Co-operation with Goethe-Institute Ramallah. Simultaneous screening with joint online discussion

Religion has moved into the big cities. In Lagos, the largest church building holds five times more people than the world’s biggest soccer stadium. In Istanbul, gated communities spring up like mushrooms, often designed to combine a religious lifestyle with a modern one. Once called the „capital of atheism“, Berlin is presently home to nearly 300 different religious communities.

How does this affect religion? What are the effects on urban life? Will political and social movements be replaced by religious promises of meaning and redemption? „Urban Prayers: Reinventing Religion in the City“ documents new urban forms of faith and religion in the metropolis and their effect on urban life.


13.02.2014 at 7p.m.


Dir.: Avi Mograbi
HEB/ARAB, engl. Subtitles
Israel 2012, 97min.

In Co-operation with Goethe-Institute Ramallah. Simultaneous screening with joint online discussion

Israeli Filmmaker Avi Mograbi lets us take a look into an ideal bi-national state through learning the history of his past. At first, the film feels like a compilation of documentary footage, but then diverges into a narrative about friendship between the conversations of Avi Mograbi and his friend/Arab teacher Ali El Azhari, who are on a journey to see what it would be like to meet Mograbi’s Syrian grandfather in 1920.



26.02.2013 at 7p.m.


An evening of Spoken Word Poetry on Guns, Pebbles, the Occupation and Shmeagoly Pigeons by Writer, Activist and Poet Moriel Rothman.
In English, Arabic and Hebrew.

Moriel Rothman is an American-Israeli Poet, Activist and Writer. He was born in Jerusalem, raised in a small hippy town in Ohio, and educated in Zikhron Ya’akov and Vermont (where he studied Arabic). He has been living in Israel-Palestine for the past 2.5 years and has been involved in struggles against housing evictions, militarism, racism and other forms of unfairness. His poems have been performed in venues ranging from competitive slams in New York City to demonstrations in the South Hebron Hills, and can be found on his blog:


19.03.2014 at 7p.m.


(orig.: Królik po berlinsku) Poland/Germany 2009
Dir.: Bartek Konopka
DT/engl. Subtitles, 50 min.

In Co-operation with Goethe-Institute Ramallah. Simultaneous screening with joint online discussion

The untold story of wild rabbits which lived between the Berlin Walls. For 28 years the Death Zone was their safest home. Full of grass, no predators, guards protecting them from human disturbance. They were closed, but happy. When their population grew up to thousands, guards started to remove them. But rabbits survived and stayed there. Unfortunately one day the wall fell down. They moved to West Berlin and have been living there in a few colonies since then. They are still learning how to live in the free world, same as us – the citizens of Eastern Europe.



23.04.2014 at 7p.m.


Belgium 2012
Dir.: Jan Beddegenoodts
ENGL/HEB/ARAB/engl. Subtitles, 45 min.

„The Taste of Freedom reflects the state of mind that comes naturally when you get shot by rubber bullets in the morning and rave like there is no tomorrow at night. I feel deeply connected with the Palestinian protesters who are non-violently demonstrating for more freedom. Protest after protest the Israeli army gives them a brutal response. A few hours and miles later, I am in Israel, surrounded by searching souls in one of the most unique rave scenes in the world. Two completely different dimensions, but they have one thing in common: a search for the taste of freedom. Protesting for the basic needs of freedom or raving to find freedom in their mind. Laughing and loving, raving and dancing but a part of the conflict never dies.” – Jan Beddegenoodts



April 2014


I AM YOU ARE is giving its final concert! In December 2013, the joint German-Israeli musical and poetry encounter took place for the first time – and is now showing the results of eight months of preparing beautiful music and spoken word performances.

Centering around issues of diversity and discrimination in cities like Jerusalem and Berlin, young Israeli and German musicians and spoken word artists deal with identity – their own and of the unknown Other.

I AM YOU ARE is a joint project by:

  • Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem
  • Heartbeat.FM – Amplifying Youth Voices  (Jewish-Arab Music project)
  • Drei Wuensche Frei – Studio for Hybrid Cultures, Berlin

Cooperation Partner:

  • i,slam – Muslim Poetry Slam (Berlin a.o.)

Supported by

  • Goethe Institut Israel
  • Jugend,-Kultur,-und Kommunikationszentrum DTK Wasserturm

The project was implemented within the EUROPEANS FOR PEACE programme of the Foundation „Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“ (EVZ).

and for project results as well: 

The opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Foundation EVZ. The author is solely responsible for the content.


28.05.2014 at 7p.m.


Israel 2013
A Ma’an Network and Common Ground Production
ENGL/HEB/ARAB/engl. Subtitles, 42 min.

In December 2010, a forest fire in Mount Carmel near Haifa became the deadliest in Israel’s history. Over twenty countries responded to the call for help. Perhaps the most unexpected assistance came from Israel’s closest neighbor as three Palestinian Civil Defense fire trucks rolled into the Carmel to join the international effort. Through the voices of the firefighters who took part, FIRE LINES explores the intersection of humanitarian values and national institutions in the face of an ongoing conflict.


May/June 2014

CONGRESS OF FEAR (working title)

A Congress on the „fear commodity“ in the Middle East: How is fear being produced? How is it traded, passed on, what is its market value? Can we export fear, and if we do so, is it shrinking or growing in size and value?

Based on various artworks, experts from various disciplines will discuss the most common feeling in the Middle East from unusual perspectives

Red Lounge: Tamara Moyzes’ and Shlomi Yaffe’s “Dictionary”

Using sign language from different regions of the world, Tamara Moyzes and Shlomi Yaffe explore in this video work the iconic and sometimes grotesque world of visual stereotypes. Depicting signs for words like Jew, Palestinian, Gypsy from different countries, they provide us with a platform to critically discuss our own, oftentimes unconscious assumptions about the Other.


The Opening will start at 7 p.m. with a cordial reception, and followed by a discussion with the artists. The exhibition will be shown from 13 until 21 November 2013. Pls call in advance for visits.

Supported by: Czech Centre Tel Aviv, Czech Embassy Tel Aviv

dictionary_invitation1a 114

Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem

22, Ein Rogel St.
Jerusalem (Abu Tor/Al Thouri)

Phone: + 972 (0) 2-67 32 171
Fax: + 972 (0) 2-67 35 639