Author: Joel Schalit
Joel Schalit is the author of the critically-acclaimed Israel vs. Utopia, and Jerusalem Calling, and has edited some of America's most influential magazines including Punk Planet and Tikkun. The longtime news editor at Brussels' EURACTIV, Schalit now comments on European affairs for Israel's i24News and China's CGTN.

Security wouldn’t let them through. “Please, please,” the mother entreated the officer in Hebrew. “I need to get my daughter to the bathroom.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. (More…)

Her eyes were filled with fear, and her breath reeked of alcohol. “Andare, andare,” the activist yelled, telling me to leave. Unable to figure out why I shrugged my shoulders out of surprise. I was on her side, after all. “Your camera,” she replied, touching my Pentax. “Go.” (More…)

It couldn’t have been more personal. Granted, the topic was European anti-Semitism. I happen to be Jewish and live in Berlin, and I worked for a French news outlet for nearly four of the last five years. (More…)

Swap the AfD for hummus,” read the placards.  Carried by Jews protesting the formation of the appropriately named Juden in der AfD – (‘Jews in Alternative for Germany’) the satirical statement was an appropriate response to the formation of a Jewish auxiliary of an anti-Semitic party. (More…)

Skinheads used to be a common site on Karl-Marx-Straße. Every so often you’d see them strolling down the street in their green flight jackets and white laced combat boots throwing menacing looks at passersby. (More…)

Few cities are as hyped for their cosmopolitanism more than Berlin. Home to a bewildering array of nationalities, it caters to fantasies of a fully globalised space that could be designated capital of a world without borders.  (More…)

Marine Le Pen’s partner had just left the country. A Jew of Algerian background, Louis Aliot had been dispatched to Israel to raise funds for the Front National (FN).

Money was tight for the populists in 2012, and they were fishing for cash everywhere. Even from North African Jewish expats, sympathetic to the Front’s Islamophobia. (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…)

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…)

He might as well have been possessed. Screaming and shouting, flapping his arms, Beppe Grillo’s eyes repeatedly rolled to the back of his head, like there was a demon inside him. (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…)