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There are reasons for Europeans to feel antipathy towards the United States, just as there were in previous decades. But expressing these sentiments is not as easy as it used to be. The bait-and-switch move that reliably substituted cultural targets for political ones is becoming harder to pull off. (More…)

Watching the major powers in the Middle East maneuver has become increasingly painful for anyone who still believes that politics can sustain our better natures. Cynically self-serving, with callous disregard for the dignity of human life, their moves have helped to revive every conspiracy theory in the book and inspire plenty of new ones. This is a major problem, especially for the Left. (More…)

It’s hard to believe that the American armed forces were once thought of as glorified vocational schools for men and women who had either finished high school or were finished with high school. Yet from the end of the Vietnam War until 9/11, the vast majority of volunteers could look forward to years of educational tedium, rather than armed struggle. This remains the case in Germany. (More…)

It’s wise to be wary when politicians speak of children and imperative when they purport to speak for them. Invoking the innocent lives that need to be protected from harm, particularly from themselves, may be the most clichéd move in the playbook, but it also remains one of the most effective. Who better to represent than those who are not permitted to represent themselves? (More…)

My mother couldn’t believe they chose to broadcast The Honourable Woman when tensions in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict are at a high, both on the ground and in the world that watches. The TV miniseries, which just ended its run in the UK, and which is still airing on Sundance in the US, is spy thriller meets melodrama, fitting for a political topic which invites such impassioned urgency, even for those without stakes in the Middle East. (More…)

Wheelchairs and rainbow flags blocked Berlin’s Kotbusser Damm.  Equal parts pride parade and disabled rights protest, the pairing made sense. This was an in-gathering of the margins, not normally linked at this level, considering the degree of recognition accorded gays and lesbians today. Their equalization was a strong reminder of the shared discrimination both communities could once claim in the Nazi era. (More…)

For most people, the middle of life isn’t so much marked by crisis as by a general, if heightened, anxiety. As your body gradually succumbs to entropy and gravity, you realize that history has taken place, and you have barely participated. You weren’t Madonna, you never won Wimbledon, you didn’t stop global warming. (More…)

The AK-47 assault rifle and the state of Israel are almost exactly the same age. Although this is purely a coincidence, it provides a useful opportunity to ponder their relationship. Throughout the Cold War, the AK-47 signified resistance to the hegemony of the free-market West, both during the final decades of traditional colonialism and the confusing post-colonial period that followed it. (More…)

Few European capitals are as loathed as Brussels. Whether it be on the right, as the scapegoat for everything wrong with national political policies, or on the left, as the enforcer of American-style neoliberal reforms, the EU’s lead city has definitely seen better days. No one will argue that the economic crisis has damaged the prospects of further European integration. (More…)

If you’re someone whose social media feed inclines towards progressive politics, there’s a good chance you’ve seen someone making fun of Women Against Feminism. But if you haven’t bothered to visit that popular tumblr yourself, you may be in for a surprise. Because, while there are certainly posts of an explicitly conservative nature and plenty that seem ill-informed, others are harder to dismiss on principle. (More…)

Sometimes, after we’d made the turn off Slifer Valley Road and passed through the covered bridge, my mother would take her right hand off the steering wheel, point out the passenger-side window, and inform me, “That’s where the glass house is.” Even though I never managed to see this marvel, I never tired of her commentary. Because I needed to know who couldn’t throw stones. (More…)

Demonstrators filled the Kurfürstendamm for miles, or so it seemed. From block to block, all one could see were hijab-clad Arab women, holding aloft yellow and green Hezbollah banners, punctuated by the furry hats of Neturei Karta ultra-orthodox.  For tourists, the sight was confounding. Terrorist sympathizers, walking arm-in-arm with religious Jews? In Germany’s capital? (More…)