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Swedish #WalkToPalestine activist arrives in Germany

Over a month after he started his #WalkToPalestine, Benjamin Ladraa has arrived in Germany and is making his way towards its capital, Berlin.

September 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Whilst tired from walking for over 42 days and having to endure very wet weather conditions since he left Sweden, Ladraa has met many people who have expressed support for him during his travels including many Palestinians.

“Yesterday there was a guy building a pizzeria who was from Palestine, he only spoke Arabic but we managed to communicate somehow and he offered me a coffee.”

He has also been given numerous clothes by well-wishers, including a specially designed t-shirt sent by a supporter in Sweden, which features the #WalkToPalestine logo and the resistance cartoon symbol Handala.

Ladraa has also come across people who support Israel, especially in Germany, but most have refused to engage with him at length about the situation of the Palestinian people.

“People approach, say something and then they flee, they don’t stay. They come and say ‘I don’t like Palestine’ and then they leave, and you’re like ‘OK!’.”

Read: Swedish #WalkToPalestine activist: Israel’s occupation is apartheid

Having journeyed from Sweden, he has noted some differences in the way in which his trip is perceived by the public.

I think in Germany they are very much pro-Israeli, rather than pro-Palestine, because of some sort of collective guilt over the Holocaust that Israel managed to play to their favour.

“And if they really were sad about the Holocaust, they would try to see the situation in Palestine and not be so for genocide and apartheid. But I don’t think the public here is very informed about the situation.”

In Berlin, he will be meeting some supporters who have arranged for him to visit other pro-Palestinian activists and tour the city.

Read: Palestinian refugee killed in Germany

“I tend to stay as long as I have nice things to do and people to meet. But when I don’t have anything to do anymore and I feel ready to go, I leave.”

Ladraa chose to make the journey to mark the 100-year anniversary since the signing of the Balfour Declaration which provided international legitimacy for the Zionist project which led to the subsequent creation of the State of Israel, and the displacement of nearly 1,000,000 Palestinians in 1948.