The racists have it wrong. The invading hordes of migrants are neither Arab nor Muslim. The majority, in the two cities I work, Berlin and Turin, are African. Black African that is, many speaking indigenous languages, if not French or English. If they’re religious, generally the choice of faith is Evangelical Protestantism, not jihadist Islam. (More…)
The German revolutionary movement before Hitler was based on the economic and social theory of Karl Marx; an understanding of German fascism, therefore, presupposes an understanding of Marxism. (More…)
Few words strike fear into the Jewish heart more than pogrom. Russian shorthand for the state-sponsored persecution of minorities, it comes second only to Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. It’s not a big jump to the Nazi genocide. One, at least historically, if not logically, precedes the other. (More…)
They’re the only populist party that matters. Or at least did, until Italy’s far-right Lega (Nord) entered government in June, in a previously unimaginable coalition with the upstart Cinque Stelle (5 Star), well to the Lega’s left on most issues. Numerically speaking, Alternative für Deutschland polled far better in Germany’s 2017 elections but had no one similar to partner with. (More…)
Oren was frustrated. “You always end up living with jihadists,” he said. “Wherever you move in Europe, it’s always the same.” While I wouldn’t have chosen the J-word, he wasn’t entirely wrong. I’d made a habit of living in Muslim-heavy neighbourhoods in Milan and Berlin. (More…)
In a final “Fuck You” to the German press, soccer star Mesut Özil chose to publish his long-awaited statement on the controversy surrounding him in the form of a series of English-language social media posts spread out throughout last Sunday, ruining more than a few editors’ weekends. (More…)
At first glance, the Germans clambering over the Berlin Wall were a welcome sight. Finally, the DDR had imploded, and the countdown to reunification had begun. But, the Cold War wasn’t over just yet, and my distrust of the coverage made me wonder about the darkness that might yet follow the protestors West. (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…)
“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…)
The Sixties are a cliché. They have been since the 1980s. But, who wouldn’t argue that the era isn’t preferable to the one we live in now. Everything in politics is about time these days. Nostalgia, in particular. (More…)
As an American with numerous friends in foreign countries, it often falls to one to be the interpreter (not to say justifier) of what goes on in American public life. In part, this is simply the normal interplay of people seeking to understand cultures and mores foreign to their own, and it is the subject of a literature has a long provenance, from Xenophon and Julius Caesar to Tocqueville and Twain, to Alastair Cooke (to name only a few). (More…)
You haven’t been to a Palestinian solidarity event until you’ve attended one in Berlin. It’s not because they’re necessarily better than those held elsewhere in the Diaspora. The demonstrations I’ve attended in Brussels and London are equally unforgettable. The difference that is Berlin is its history. (More…)