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 comments on European affairs for Israel's i24News and China's CGTN.

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…)

“Fascisti Carogne,” (Fascist Bastards) the graffiti read, in bold blood red. An anarchist A placed to its right, it wasn’t hard to surmise its source. Situated underneath four municipal billboards designated for political posters, the slogan is a denunciation of Italy’s political class. Left or right, they’re all the same, including Unione del Centro party chief Pier Ferdinando Casini, whose advert takes up three of the spaces. (More…)

With repetition, truth accretes. So I mumbled, as I looked up at the newsstand, and saw dozens of copies of the new Charlie Hebdo on display. “Intouchables 2,” read the lead headline. Beneath it was a drawing of a Haredi Jew, pushing a disabled Imam sitting in a wheelchair. “Faut pas se moquer!” (“Don’t mock us!”) he says. (More…)