Author: Joel SchalitJoel Schalit is the author of the critically-acclaimed Israel vs. Utopia, and Jerusalem Calling, and has edited some of America's most influential magazines including Punk Planet and Tikkun. The longtime news editor at Brussels' EURACTIV, Schalit now comments on European affairs for Israel's i24News and China's CGTN.
Skinheads used to be a common site on Karl-Marx-Straße. Every so often you’d see them strolling down the street in their green flight jackets and white laced combat boots throwing menacing looks at passersby. (More…)
Marine Le Pen’s partner had just left the country. A Jew of Algerian background, Louis Aliot had been dispatched to Israel to raise funds for the Front National (FN).
Money was tight for the populists in 2012, and they were fishing for cash everywhere. Even from North African Jewish expats, sympathetic to the Front’s Islamophobia. (More…)
Few words strike fear into the Jewish heart more than pogrom. Russian shorthand for the state-sponsored persecution of minorities, it comes second only to Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. It’s not a big jump to the Nazi genocide. One, at least historically, if not logically, precedes the other. (More…)
At first glance, the Germans clambering over the Berlin Wall were a welcome sight. Finally, the DDR had imploded, and the countdown to reunification had begun. But, the Cold War wasn’t over just yet, and my distrust of the coverage made me wonder about the darkness that might yet follow the protestors West. (More…)
He might as well have been possessed. Screaming and shouting, flapping his arms, Beppe Grillo’s eyes repeatedly rolled to the back of his head, like there was a demon inside him. (More…)
“God is great,” exclaimed the cab driver. “Erdogan is Allah’s messenger.”
To my Middle Eastern trained ears, it might as well have been Istanbul. But, as populists would have it, this was Berlin.
Neukölln, to be precise, cruising down the revolutionary Karl-Marx-Straße en route to the veterinarian with my Welsh Terrier.
“I’m not so sure about his democratic inclinations,” I responded. “Erdogan’s growing concentration of power in the executive is frightening.” (More…)
“Heil Hitler,” the shout rang out as we disembarked from the train. The largely Arab passengers were taken aback, immediately scanning the platform. Several hijab-clad women with young children made eye contact to see if I was the offending European party. (More…)
I thought they were Arabs. “Where are you guys from?” I asked in Hebrew, as we waited to get off the plane. “Non parla Ebraico,” the oldest of the group replied in Italian. Switching to English, I apologised and carefully said, “You’d easily pass for Israeli.” (More…)
“Muslims are the enemy,” the cab driver told me. “My parents grew up in Iraq. They learned firsthand that their middle name is jihad.” “When did your parents make Aliyah,” I asked him. “In the 1950s, as kids,” he answered. (More…)
“The Holocaust is so popular we had to commemorate it twice,” my father quipped, as we attended a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) event in Jerusalem with relatives visiting from the United States. One of them stared at my father with a look of shock and horror. (More…)