Government on recall

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.

The Long Shadow of the Perpetrators

This article addresses the transgenerational consequences of the Second World War and the Holocaust for the descendants of the Nazi perpetrators and bystanders. Using the example of her own family, the author traces the external obstacles and the psychological difficulties arising from working through a legacy of crime, compounded by the fact that an atmosphere of taboos, silence and denial has persisted within German families – in spite of all the research and enlightenment in the academic and political spheres. The author argues that the patterns of feeling, thinking and action are often passed down when they are not scrutinised. Meaningful dialogues with the survivors and their descendants, as well as authentic remembrance, the author claims, can only take place if descendants of the victimisers break away from those generationally transmitted narratives which continue to evade the entire truth about the crimes committed by the Nazis and their accomplices in Europe.
European Judaism, Volume 53, September 2020
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Streitfall Antisemitismus

Anspruch auf Deutungsmacht und politische Interessen
Ein Sammelband zur Orientierung in der Debatte

Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.)
Mit Beiträgen von: Shimon Stein/Moshe Zimmermann, Daniel Cil Brecher, Juliane Wetzel, Wolfgang Benz, Daniel Bax, Michael Kohlstruck, Peter Widmann, Micha Brumlik, Thomas Knieper, Dervis Hızarcı, Katajun Amirpur, Alexandra Senfft, Muriel Asseburg, Gert Krell

Metropol Verlag, Juli 2020
ISBN: 978-3-86331-532-0
Hardcover, 328 Seiten, 24,– €
ISBN E-Book/pdf:
978-3-86331-981-6, 19,– €

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Like Wax in Bibi’s Hands

Israel: After three indecisive elections Israel has now two rotating Prime Ministers
First published in: Der Freitag, Nr. 21, May 20, 2020
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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.

Une grande liberté intérieure »

Alexandra Senfft 59 ans, auteure et journaliste, Allemagne

« Cette crise devrait nous inciter à adopter un mode de vie plus solidaire et plus respectueux de l’environnement. Mais je crains que le retour à la normale ne se traduise, au contraire, par une relance de la production et de la consommation. J’ai personnellement apprécié cette pause dans mes déplacements qui m’a donné une grande liberté intérieure. C’est, bien sûr, très différent pour ceux qui ont peur de perdre leur emploi ou leur entreprise. La société est divisée entre ceux qui prennent cette pandémie très au sérieux et ceux qui remettent en cause la légitimité des mesures prises et propagent des théories du complot. La récession pourrait donner un terrain favorable à l’extrême droite, en particulier sur la question de la contribution allemande à la solidarité européenne. »
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