Geographies
Oren Plays the Race Card

Oren Plays the Race Card

Last week, Thomas Friedman wrote a column criticizing Republican presidential candidates for pandering to Israel and ignoring what was in the best interests of both Israel and the United States. He also spared more than a few words to express his concern over the fact that more and more US Jews are drifting away from Israel. More»

At War With the Past

At War With the Past

Lublin isn’t the sort of place that frequents as a setting for Hollywood films. The introduction to Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man breaks with convention. Once home to a large Jewish community, the impoverished Polish city serves as a backdrop for the appearance of a gothic dybbuk, foreshadowing the Nazi genocide, that would empty the town of its Jews. More»

The Fictitious Zionist

The Fictitious Zionist

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a woman is accused of being a witch. When the knight presiding over the proceedings asks how the people know she is a witch, a man in the crowd responds “She turned me into a newt.” When the knight seems unconvinced, the man says, sheepishly, “I got better.” Here in Washington, DC, our Newt just keeps getting worse. More»

Beyond Adbusters

Beyond Adbusters

Despite his comparative anonymity, it may actually turn out to be James Alex, the blogger/artist who kicked off the recent pepper-spray cop meme, who becomes the more important model for the future of Occupy Wall Street than Kalle Lasn, the now-famous head of Adbusters. Let me explain why, through my own encounter with each of them. More»

Taking Israel to Task

Taking Israel to Task

With the 2012 Presidential campaign already underway, conventional wisdom dictates that Barack Obama will steer clear of any controversy regarding Israel. Well, he certainly surprised us all this week. Obama himself has remained largely aloof from the Middle East. But key members of his administration have churned up a surprising amount of controversy. More»

Home and Garden

Home and Garden

This week, Iceland became the first European country to recognize the State of Palestine. The declaration had a curious clause: “Iceland recalls also the right of Palestinian refugees to return to former homes in accordance with numerous UN resolutions.” More»

Post-Communist Blues

Post-Communist Blues

A Polish court has officially sanctioned two historic symbols linked with fascism and homophobia,  the Phalanx and the Celtic cross –  zakaz pedalowania  [Loose translation: Schwulen verboten/Ban the fags.] From now on, these signs will be legally protected.  They are symbols of an ultra-nationalist party, The National Rebirth of Poland, which started as an anti-minority organization in the 1930s. More»

Cabela's Hearts Indians

Cabela’s Hearts Indians

Hunting for a sassy-looking sweatshirt, I stumbled across Cabela’s online frontier of testosterone. For those unfamiliar with the outfitter, the site doesn’t do justice to the consumer stadiums that CEO, Richard N. Cabela, has erected. However, it’s still a place where you can obtain all the necessary accoutrements for an Elk grinding session, or going ‘deep cover’ in the no-man’s land between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. More»

Germany of the Mind

Germany of the Mind

“Racism is no longer a problem,” said the sociologist, as she put down her drink. “Amongst Germans, it’s no longer an issue. They accept difference now. Today, it’s the immigrants that are the problem, like the eastern Europeans, who are intolerant of Islam, and of women wearing burkas. A lot of work needs to be done with them.” More»

Red Rose

Red Rose

Given the number of intellectual heavyweights who have been featured on Charlie Rose over the years, maybe Slavoj Žižek’s October 26th appearance shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet the timing of his visit made it feel urgent, somehow, as if we were witnessing the repudiation of business as usual. More»

Occupying the Negative

Occupying the Negative

When the peripatetic Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek spoke to an appreciative audience at Occupy Wall Street on October 9th, it confirmed what many had already suspected: the protesters are surprisingly open to what graduate students used to call “theory, but with a capital T.” More»

Two Presidents, One Problem

Two Presidents, One Problem

Americans preoccupied by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict live in the twilight zone. In recent weeks, this feeling has held unusual power. Take, for example, the embarrassing incident where US President Barack Obama exchanged unkind words about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. More»