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The Israelis-in-Berlin Story

The Israelis-in-Berlin Story

At least once a year, without fail, Middle Eastern news media run features on Israelis in Berlin. Whether the outlets are Arab or Israeli is immaterial. They both do it. There’s just something about the topic that won’t quit. More»

Back to Twin Peaks

Back to Twin Peaks

How do you register the passage of time? It’s a question that dominates the new season of Twin Peaks. This was probably inevitable, once Mark Frost and David Lynch decided to bring back members of the original cast over twenty-five years later. But their decision to confront the strangeness of this return head-on has made it resonate with a bracing profundity. More»

Amal in Berlin

Amal in Berlin

Prior to the arrival of Syrians in Berlin, the city’s most overrepresented Arab passport was Lebanese. Many, of course, are held by Palestinians, for whom the ID was a convenient ticket out of the country. But, all the same, a significant number of natives have followed them, for many of the same reasons: escaping the sectarian violence that has plagued the country for the better part of four decades. More»

Nakba in Berlin

Nakba in Berlin

Berlin is a thriving centre of the Palestinian Diaspora. This isn’t surprising and is a result of several important trends, including the large-scale migration (and business success) of Arabic speakers in Europe, and the uniquely friendly atmosphere that the German capital provides for Palestinian culture and politics.  More»

Financing the Left

Financing the Left

Stealing is bad. Or so we’re told. Theft, unfortunately, is relative. Losing your hard-earned cash to consumer spending is no different than being robbed. After all, it’s not about buying what you need, but what you want. There’s a big difference, particularly in terms of what motivated you to splurge in the first place. More»

Gratuitous May Day Preview

Gratuitous May Day Preview

Since the end of the Cold War, anti-capitalism has increasingly come to the fore as an antidote to the ills of social democracy. Given the predilection of mainstream socialist parties to give in to the logic of neoliberalism, it makes sense. François Hollande’s presidency is a great example. More»

The Refugee Business

The Refugee Business

Refugees have always been big business. Whether you’re a smuggler or a humanitarian aid worker, the amount of help they need is immense. These aren’t just passengers transiting between airports. Refugees are states or remnants thereof, which imploded. More»

The Kurdish Exception

The Kurdish Exception

In the dystopia that is the Mideast, Rojava stands out. Few regions of the world are more synonymous with hopelessness. But this tiny leftist enclave in Syria, where gender and social equality are co-equals, bucks the norm. And then some. More»

70s Revolutionary Chic

70s Revolutionary Chic

“Good thing it wasn’t Leila Khaled,” my father muttered, as the Carabinieri carted off an Arab-looking man in handcuffs, submachine guns pointed towards his back. “It was too easy.” More»

Riding With Mr. Eddy

Riding With Mr. Eddy

Watching Lost Highway (1996) at the Soho Curzon, my friends and I began to connect the dots between David Lynch’s films and the rise of populist demagogues (we’ll get to this later). In more ways than one Soho was the perfect place to watch Lost Highway, those famous twin poles of Freudian thinking – sex and death – are a vital part of the Lynchian universe. More»

Negative Dialectics

Negative Dialectics

Margins still matter. If the flyers that litter inner city neighborhoods have any say on the issue. Promoting bands with political names. Written in languages other than the national. Being on the outside still has value. At least culturally speaking. More»

Just Call Them Nazis

Just Call Them Nazis

They weren’t supposed to hate Jews. Selectively anti-Semitic – meaning anti-Muslim, not Judeophobic – Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party has finally aligned itself with pre-populist fascism, condemning the country’s culture of WW II guilt, and shame over the Holocaust. More»