Trade Union leader Rainer Hoffmann visits Willy-Brandt-Center

10269458_10152568662022680_6237789200052084397_nDuring his trip to the Middle East the head of the Confederation of German Trade Unions Rainer Hoffmann made a stop at Willy-Brandt-Center Jerusalem. He spoke with activists about our projects and about the current situation for young people in the region. As a center connecting progressive young people Willy-Brandt-Center has always had strong connections to trade unions in Israel, Palestine and Germany. We know that the struggle for worker´s rights, workers representation and a more equal world is today more international than ever. In a globalized world the economic and social connection between people and societies is growing and growing. But we see today that this doesn´t mean that everybody gets a fair share of the wealth that the world is accumulating. This is also a driving force for many conflicts in the world. The international collaboration of trade unions, workers and progressive institutions has always aimed to reduce conflicts and avoid wars by struggling for equality between people and societies. We are happy to have strong ties with our colleagues in the trade unions to achieve our shared cause of liberty, equality and solidarity.

Changes · Life, Music & Spoken Word

Changes Nahas2014 is gone, 2015 is here to stay for a while – and some things have changed: Moriel is a language teacher now but still a poet, Rasha finally writes her lyrics in Arabic, Ami went back to the U.S. – and Torge is leaving the WBC Jerusalem. Reasons enough for an evening with Spoken Word, Music, and thoughts about the future.

Changes YaresAmi Yares is a New Jersey born, world traveling folk musician with a knack for making music that moves you physically, spiritually, and politically. In the last seven years, he has toured in over twenty countries teaching and performing about social action, cultural identity and music.

ChangesRasha Nahas is a singer-songwriter based in Haifa. She is: Learning, performing, experiencing, writing and exploring. Moriel Rothman is a Poet, Activist and Writer. He 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.

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.”