Deeply ignorant – Pascal Bruckner’s hateful verbal crusade In his controversial book published in 2020, French author Pascal Bruckner describes anti-Muslim sentiment as a fiction, claiming that the term “Islamophobia” is being used to silence criticism of the religion. Alexandra Senfft responds by highlighting the contradictions in a popular view of Islam and Muslims that leaves little room for nuance Qantara.de, 17 February 2021 >> read
Israel: Hundreds of thousands protest against “Crime Minister” Benjamin Netanyahu, by Alexandra Senfft
Kochav Shachar says she is currently a full-time activist. Since June, the 22-year-old Arabic student from Tel Aviv has been taking part in demonstrations against her government, often up to four times a week. On Saturday October 10th, nearly 200,000 people vented their anger. They protested against their “Crime Minister”, against Prime Minister Netanyahu, accused of corruption, indignant at his mismanagement of the Covid 19 crisis. A common slogan is “Lech”, Hebrew for “go”.
“Kochi”, Shachar’s nickname, belongs to the minority of those activists for whom Netanyahu’s demission alone would not mean much progress. They are more concerned with the political and economic forces that keep him in power. Kochi and her fellow campaigners therefore want to link different political issues and encourage discourse about the state of Israel’s democracy. They stand up for human rights and are against the occupation of the Palestinian territories, against racism and structural violence: “We must change the system and practice more solidarity,” Kochi is convinced. “There is lots of hatred here, not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also between right and left, secular and religious people.” She is committed to campaigning for marginalized groups, especially the Palestinian citizens of Israel, but also the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She also supports the “Culture of Solidarity” movement that works to care for those who are poor, lonely and ill in the pandemic period.
Israel: After three indecisive elections Israel has now two rotating Prime Ministers First published in: Der Freitag, Nr. 21, May 20, 2020 >> read
Bibi Netanyahu (Likud) and Benny Gantz (Blue and White) will therefore rotate as prime ministers in the future. But the mood in Israel is sour, the population mostly indifferent. No wonder, after three parliamentary elections and over a year of political tug-of-war, this compromise with the most expensive cabinet in history, 36 ministers and 16 deputies, was a difficult birth. In any case, everything has remained the same–the right wing and ultra-religious keep the say, Netanyahu remains their prime minister for the time being. It sounded correspondingly hollow when his designated successor, Gantz, announced that the greatest political crisis had now been overcome and that it was now the moment to reconcile. Potential opposition leader Yair Lapid immediately sneered: the Israelis deserved better, they “hate politicians and politics” to which there is “no longer any connection” in their “real life”. He thus also accused his former ally Gantz, who broke his election promise not to form a coalition with the indicted Netanyahu.