Author: Joel Schalit

Joel 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 heads the publishing department at Berlin’s DOC and comments on European affairs for Israel’s i24News.

He never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. So went the Abba Eban-penned 1973 slogan used to describe the late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, who was routinely blamed for failing to secure peace with Israel. (More…)

It was as though the Apocalypse was at hand. The big attack, or so it seemed, had finally arrived, ritually choreographed, within shouting distance of the 1972 Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes died, at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, aided by Neo-Nazis. (More…)

Sometimes an accusation is all that’s required. Placed under investigation on Wednesday (25 May) for lying under oath to the Saxon state parliament, for Frauke Petry’s critics, the allegation could not have been more apt. (More…)

I was spoiled. For fifteen years, there wasn’t a day when a new book or CD didn’t arrive in the mail. Sent for review, at the magazines I edited, it was a very different era. Publishers could far more easily dispense with physical copy, for PR purposes, than they can today. I owe half of my library to this largesse. (More…)

Few items of clothing are as controversial as the Islamic headscarf. Making sense of it is exceedingly difficult, particularly in France, where the hijab is seen as a sign of sexism, and a violation of the country’s secular social code. (More…)

Ten minutes off a flight from Tel Aviv, the television monitors were running a story on terrorism. “Big raids against Islamists,” the caption declared in German, beneath a photo of Muslims knelt in prayer. Security forces had just raided sixteen separate locations in the north, searching for wanted Salafists, from a banned organization. (More…)

Christians could be a minority by 2018, census analysis reveals. So read The Guardian headline, two weeks before Christmas. By no means the first such prominently-featured title of its kind, I took a second look, wondering if I was seeing things. Fortunately, I wasn’t. Not that I have anything against Christians. But, the idea that there could be a Western country in which Christianity is on the decline, is  a novel one. (More…)

He had a Palestinian flag on his cap. Staring up at the boy, chanting “Allahu Akbar,” at neo-Nazis marching on the local mosque, my gut told me where he was from. I imagined the teen and his friends standing on top of a street divider, taunting Israeli soldiers in Nablus, not skinheads in Neukolln. Yet here they were, face to face with fascists, eager to send them back home. (More…)

“If more people eat here, they’ll be nicer to Jews.” So my father was fond of saying, whenever he’d bring my brother and I to Guys and Dolls, one of London’s first Israeli fast food joints. The hummus was excellent, the shawarma was even better. Thirty years later, London is sprawling with falafel places. (More…)

Usually, the music is Turkish. Arabesque, as it is called, featuring Middle Eastern- sounding instrumental motifs, but still,  Turkish. Blasting out of cars idling at the stoplight on Karl-Marx-Straße, I often find myself trying to make out the details of the songs. “Was that an Om Khaltoum sample, or an actual orchestra?” I never get it right. (More…)

They’re ideal leftwing subjects. Irreplaceable, they can make demands of employers. Exploited, they’re inclined towards solidarity with one another. Foreign, they’re intensely marginalized, for cultural, as well as economic reasons. Impoverished, their hunger inspires them. In other words, they have something to fight for; not just anything, but social equality. (More…)

The polls confirmed his instincts were correct. Singing the praises of Il Duce on Holocaust Memorial Day proved to be a smart decision. Now only five points behind frontrunner Pier Luigi Bersani, Silvio Berlusconi’s popularity with voters was unharmed. With a population of less than thirty thousand, in a country of over sixty million, Italy’s Jewish community doesn’t count. (More…)