Antisemitism and Anti-Palestinianism in Germany
This isn’t a full newsletter. And we don’t have a Zoom call this Friday because I’ll be in Berlin at a conference entitled, “Hijacking Memory.” If you follow global debates about Israel-Palestine, you may know that in Germany the equation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism makes it excruciatingly difficult—even more difficult than in the US—to advocate for Palestinian rights. In 2020, Haaretz noted that, “Across Germany a fierce campaign is underway against every person, organization or event that holds anti-Israel views, whether real or surmised.” It offered striking examples of artists and scholars—including Jewish artists and scholars—having their events cancelled, or losing their jobs, merely for being associated with people who support boycotting the Jewish state. Earlier this year, Jewish Currents (subscribe!) reported on the enormous burden this ideological climate puts on Arab and Muslim journalists in Germany.
The “Hijacking Memory” conference—which features a remarkable array of speakers from Israel-Palestine, North America, and across Europe—constitutes a response to all this. It’s based on the insistence that the struggle against antisemitism must be part of a broader struggle for the rights and dignity of all people, Palestinians included. I’ll be participating in a conversation on Friday with former parliamentarian and 1968 student leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit and then on a panel after the German premier of the documentary, “Boycott.” If you’re in the area, please stop by.
Before I leave for Germany, I’ll be in Washington, DC on Tuesday, June 7 speaking at the National American Muslim Policy Conference.
Last week, I published a New York Times column suggesting that Joe Biden’s foreign policy team suffers from groupthink.
For the Foundation for Middle East Peace’s “Occupied Thoughts” Podcast, I spoke with Waleed Shahid, spokesperson for Justice Democrats, about AIPAC’s big-money assault on candidates who support Palestinian rights.
If you’re interested in the history of the American Left’s relationship with Israel, you’ll enjoy this recent lecture by Eric Alterman at Tel Aviv University.
This is how television punditry sounded in my youth.
Reminder: No Zoom call on Friday.