Branding Jews Exotic

Branding Jews Exotic

I spend a lot of my time thinking about and writing about Jews. Much of my work takes place within the confines of the Jewish community, but I also try and engage the wider world with Jewish issues. That often leads me to publishing think pieces and reviews in a range of ‘non-Jewish’ publications such as the The Guardian, The Independent and more. More»

Corbyn's Labour

Corbyn’s Labour

At first, Britain’s Labour leadership contest was just about remixing Tory clichés. Andy Burnham issued bromides of ‘aspiration’ with a Northern accent. Yvette Cooper criticised Ed Miliband’s pledge to ban EU migrants from benefits for two years, on the grounds that it should be four years. Unable to add anything new, Liz Kendall gave up, and accepted almost every Conservative policy. More»

Capitalism Will Eat Itself

Capitalism Will Eat Itself

The economist Joseph Schumpeter is one the most fascinating and, it is probably fair to say, underappreciated figures of the 20th century. He was a product of a remarkable multigenerational school of economic thought in the last decades of the Habsburg Empire. More»

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Not Just Jews and Arabs

Not Just Jews and Arabs

Long before reaching Sujbulāk, there were indications of the vicinity of a place of some importance, caravans going both ways, asses loaded with perishable produce, horsemen and foot passengers, including many fine-looking Kurdish women unveiled, walking with a firm masculine stride, even when carrying children on their backs. More»

Dabke Flashmob

Dabke Flashmob

“If I can’t dabke dance, it’s not my revolution.” We paint these words in the colours of our favourite flag on a white canvas, the banner for our flashmob in the British Museum on the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, in Gaza. More»

Wars of Position

Wars of Position

PSYOP: Post- 9/11 Leaflets: Operation Enduring Freedom, is a collection of leaflets dropped by the United States military on Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The book, which was put together by Christoph Büchel and Giovanni Carmine, was published in 2005 by Win With Words as part of an exhibition at the 7th Sharjah Biennale, in the United Arab Emirates. More»

Race Without Class

Race Without Class

Although the fighting among prospective Republican candidates for President in 2016 has been receiving the majority of the media’s attention recently, thanks to Donald Trump, the conflict in Democratic circles may be nastier. Hillary and Bill Clinton may have stored up a lot of goodwill over the years, but a decent-sized percentage of their party still resents them for dragging it rightward in the 1990s. More»

Watching Z in Pakistan

Watching Z in Pakistan

Z is “no more about Greece than The Battle of Algiers was about Algeria,” said Roger Ebert, in 1969.  Ebert spotted parallels with the United States and South Vietnam, and last night, in the industrial city of Faisalabad, I spotted more than a few with Pakistan.  Indeed, the legendary drama feels timeless in its portrayal of political crises, and elites willing to undermine democracy. More»

Heirs of Fascism

Heirs of Fascism

The politic of Fascism revolves wholly about the concept of the national State; and accordingly it has points of contact with nationalist doctrines, along with distinctions from the latter which it is important to bear in mind. More»

Consuming Amy Winehouse

Consuming Amy Winehouse

Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about the singer Amy Winehouse, is suitably gutting. How could it not? Hers is a tragic story of a vibrant young woman with extraordinary talent whose life is cut short by drugs, alcohol, and an eating disorder. It is also, Kapadia takes care to show, the story of a girl surrounded by thousands, all who wanted a piece of her until, bit by bit, she disappeared. More»

The Hitler Channel

The Hitler Channel

Cambridge historian Richard J. Evans is the most eminent scholar of the Third Reich and the Holocaust writing in the English language today. He has to his credit numerous notable books, including works on the social and political history of Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, significant contributions to the study of the historiography of modern Germany. Evans’ magisterial three volume history of Nazi Germany will be the state of the art for decades to come. More»

The Image Problem

The Image Problem

The headlines of German papers today say everything you need to know. The Frankfurter Allgemeine is, as usual, full of useful tips for how to handle the exasperating upstarts in Athens. It’s also happy to report that German tourism in Greece set a new record this year. For its part, the Süddeutsche Zeitung gets to the heart of the matter, with a lead article on Germany’s “image problem”; and what a problem that is. More»

Red Nostalgia in South Yemen

Red Nostalgia in South Yemen

From the conclusion of the Aden Emergency in 1967, to the end of the Cold War, southern Yemen was known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, and ruled by a Stalinist Politburo in Aden. Its ambitious domestic experiments, and Trotskyist foreign policies, were a constant headache for both its monarchical neighbours, and the nascent dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh. More»

No Exit

No Exit

On our first trip to Forest Haven Asylum, the trail dumped us in front of an imposing brick and cement block building. Ugly. Institutional. Lacking the gothic mystery of early 20th century asylum architecture. We decided to pass it by. Later, though, I discovered that the vast cement monstrosity epitomizes the systematic warehousing of humans in the United States. More»

Fetishizing Germany

Fetishizing Germany

The Germans, I am apt to believe, derive their original from no other people; and are now way mixed with different nations arriving amongst them: since anciently those who went in search of new dwellings, travelled not by land, but were carried in fleets; and into that mighty ocean so boundless, and, as I may call it, so repugnant and forbidding, ships from our world rarely enter. More»