Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pirates and Palestine

The Pirates Party, just newly elected to the Berlin parliament, makes more headlines than the parties that actually govern Berlin. Gerwald Claus-Brunner, one of their representatives, wears a Keffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian headscarf. The scarf was made famous by the late Yasser Arafat and was commonly worn at political rallies since the 1960s in Germany (as was the Che-Guevara-bonnet). It boomed during the fight against nuclear power plants, but has fallen somewhat out of fashion lately.

Well, wadddayathink, that still did cause outrage, not so much the wearing-a-Keffiyeh per se, but keeping it on whilst sitting in Parliament. Not only was he chided for disrespecting the House; also Charlotte Knobloch, the former, now retired head of the Jewish Community has complained that he is showing an anti-Jewish attitude.

Brunner, however, says he got the scarf from an Israeli family in Haifa in 1995 where he worked as a contractor. He has pleaded to wear the Keffiyeh until the conflict in the Middle East is resolved. So, I‘m no expert, but my guess is this might take a while. In the meantime, Brunner has decided to wear the Star of David, as a necklace. In addition. Again, I‘m no expert, but that will probably not please Mrs. Knobloch. Anyway, according to Der Tagesspiegel, the President of the parliament has grudgingly accepted the headgear, so all we have to do now is wait for peace in the Middle East.

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