Berlin Braced for Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu at War Frontline Documentary Review

Berlin will be on security alert Monday as the city awaits the official visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu. He is expected to head a ministerial delegation for talks on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her cabinet.

The festival expects to be stirred but not shaken. The heart of the festival at Potsdamer Platz is barely a mile away from the Reichstag, key ministries and the Chancellor’s offices. That means the possibility of temporary roadblocks and increased security service personnel on the city streets.

Public screenings at the Zoo Palast theater will continue, though the festival has avoided programming major premieres at the venue for the two days of the Netanyahu visit. “Since we had been informed in time about the visit we already took it in account when scheduling premieres. Therefore we don’t have to modify our planned programming,” the festival told Variety. “The films in the Zoo Palast will be screened as scheduled. But due to road closures we recommend to better use public transport. Subway would be best.”

The controversial Israeli leader is expected to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, one of the hotels used by wealthy visitors to Berlin, but not used directly by the festival.

“Protests are a certainty. He is here to stop the world from changing. That’s what he does,” one German festival delegate who requested anonymity told Variety.

Among Netanyahu’s recent proposals is an idea to surround Israel and its current borders with a security fence. That would be a curious echo of the Berlin Wall, which for 28 years divided East and West. Fragments of the wall and its former track can be seen running through Potsdamer Platz.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 7

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Slayton Cruz says:

    Mr. Netanyahu ought not be welcomed into Germany. His embrace of apartheid and ethnic cleansing (through settlements) against the indigenous Christian and Muslim population have made not only him, but his country, a pariah. BDS is the moral and just response to these crimes. All people of conscience must work to move Israel toward our Western notions of human rights and individual freedom. Sadly, this day appear quite distant in Israel.

    • Mimi says:

      So I guess we should BDS all of the Arab countries so they will embrace our values of women’s rights and equality, gay rights. Pretty much everything we believe in. I think Israel is doing much better than Sauid is.

    • Mimi says:

      Yeah Slayton the Germans have a great record on ethnic cleansing. I think they beat Bibi with 14 million murdered.

  2. fredw says:

    Who’s there?

  3. Gumba says:

    Wasn’t the Berlin wall erected to keep people from leaving? I don’t think that is the purpose of “Bibi’s” wall. Maybe you are hearing a different echo.

    • Janine says:

      Yes the Berlin Wall was erected to keep its people from leaving the country. Netanyahu wants to erect a wall to protect his people. Big difference.

    • Mike Curtis says:

      It is such a pity that the German’s have let their country become the NUMBER ONE destination since 2010 for the Jews to return to. Germany is the LAST COUNTRY on this earth that I would want to return to if I were Jewish, and the Germans had killed 6 MILLION Jews?

More Film News from Variety