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In 2017 American liberals could still laugh. The Trump Administration was plagued with resignations, firings, court rulings against White House edicts, a failure to overturn ObamaCare in Congress and a president who sometimes couldn’t even make up his own mind on controversial policies – liberals could still take comfort in the idea that they were dealing with “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight”. (More…)

“God is great,” exclaimed the cab driver. “Erdogan is Allah’s messenger.”

To my Middle Eastern trained ears, it might as well have been Istanbul. But, as populists would have it, this was Berlin.

Neukölln, to be precise, cruising down the revolutionary Karl-Marx-Straße en route to the veterinarian with my Welsh Terrier.

“I’m not so sure about his democratic inclinations,” I responded. “Erdogan’s growing concentration of power in the executive is frightening.” (More…)

An engraved poem in Hebrew near the entrance of the drab government building in Jaffa, Israel, is the only clue as to what goes on inside. It reads:

“We are the generation
Of lonely people
Thirsty for touch
For a bit of compassion
We are the generation that snorts
Pills, searching to get
A clue to feel ­– what is love?” (More…)

When US Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited Paul, who wrote Philippians from prison, in support of imprisoning migrant children, the irony was hideous. Immediately after Sessions and White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders used the Bible to defend Trump Administration policy, the Internet was flooded with religious progressives — and some conservative clergy as well — providing counter-interpretations. (More…)

“Heil Hitler,” the shout rang out as we disembarked from the train. The largely Arab passengers were taken aback, immediately scanning the platform. Several hijab-clad women with young children made eye contact to see if I was the offending European party. (More…)

At present, the population of Italy amounts to about 44 million souls and it is increasing at the rate of about 400,000 a year. The continuous increase in the population of Italy, outstripping, as it does, the economic capacity of the country, has produced a dangerous situation. (More…)

When Italy’s hard-line new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, declared Italy’s ports closed to migrant rescue boats – effectively stranding 629 people at sea – the city of Palermo rebelled. Mayor Leoluca Orlando said he was ready to accept the MS Aquarius at the Sicilian capital’s port, but without the help of the Italian coast guard it was impossible for him to do so. (More…)

It is a sad fact of our current situation that great literature no longer carries the weight that it used to. This is no simply a matter of postmodernism knocking the wind out of linear novelistic narratives. In some cases, it is a matter of what was barely thinkable becoming commonplace. (More…)

President Donald Trump entered the room expecting Chairman Kim Jong-Un. Instead, he was presented with the Eternal President Kim Il-Sung. Deciding not to acknowledge the change of plan, President Trump turns to the photographer. (More…)

When we started the midnight milking in the kibbutz dairy barns, there were two tasks.  One worker drove cows into the washing pen to begin the process. The other worker made coffee.  Hot coffee was the right of dairy workers beginning their shift.  (More…)

Social media can be a minefield. Almost every action can be singled out for scrutiny at the click of a mouse. It feels like nothing is private anymore. Not even your stupid remarks or pitch-black jokes. (More…)

At a time when European Union budgets are threatened by Brexit, Italian political instability and an unfinished economic crisis, the European Commission’s proposal for triple funding for borders, migration and asylum suggests an unusual consensus in favour of border security. (More…)