When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: jewish

FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Nazi History, Muslim Immigrants, Social Media: Talking Gaza In Germany Is A Hot Mess

The debate over the war in Israel is raging on social media. In this divisive atmosphere, it is impossible to call out anti-Semitism in Muslim communities or on the right wing without being applauded by all the wrong people. What Germans are failing to acknowledge is how much the country’s own history has to do with this.


BERLIN — These are dark times. The brutal Hamas attacks on Israel have crushed all hope of recovery, peace, freedom – of a victory for light over darkness. The global focus has shifted to the threat of political Islam rather than the horrors of the war in Ukraine, although this and other crises remain very much alive. Whichever way you turn, there is another threat looming: the economic crisis, the migrant crisis, climate change, the possible return of Donald Trump. There is no end in sight.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

However, since October 7, which is euphemistically being referred to in media reports as the day of "escalation" in the Middle East, there has been another form of escalation, this time around the tone of public debate in Germany. As the political boundaries are shifting, so are the limits of what is unsayable.

Admittedly, social media only represents a part of the public sphere, but nonetheless it has a profound influence on the debate. We can see this shift in all forms of online communication, which shape how we speak, what we share and what we see. The current discourse on social media reflects a wider breakdown of inhibitions and taboos, which makes it all the harder to find the one thing we need in order to have a reasoned discussion: objectivity.

Watch VideoShow less

Blinken's Faceless Diplomacy — A Secret Weapon For Post-War Peace?

Reserved, not accustomed to the spotlight, capable of taking a step back and not overshadowing the president. In this time of crisis, Antony Blinken navigates geopolitics with the president's full trust.


WASHINGTON — When he was Secretary of State, Colin Powell was famously reluctant to leave his office on the seventh floor of the Truman Building. In contrast, John Kerry had such a passion for traveling that he took 108 trips during his four years as the head of U.S. diplomacy.

Antony Blinken is clearly following in Kerry's footsteps. His shuttle diplomacy, with which he is trying to defuse the conflict in the Middle East — preventing it from spreading, protecting civilians, and projecting American leadership in the region — has so far tallied for 73 foreign stops.

🇺🇸 To receive Eyes on U.S. each week in your inbox, sign up here


On Wednesday, he laid out his post-war vision of a united Palestinian state that connects Gaza and the West Bank. Earlier in the week, when reporters asked him if he had really achieved anything from his endless chain of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Arab leaders and others, he qualified the current situation as a "work in progress"

It's a low-profile, cautious, and prudent expression for a reserved man, not used to the limelight, capable of taking a step back and not overshadowing the president.

Qualities for many, limitations for others.

Keep reading...Show less

The Left's Apology For Hamas Reveals The Depth Of Its Anti-Semitism

Sectors of the political Left around the world have practically lauded the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel — finally barely bothering to hide their good ol' fashioned hatred of the Jews, rather than hiding behind anti-Zionist rhetoric. Something evil has been re-released.


BOGOTÁ — Marx and Lenin would be turning over in their graves. If only they could see how sectors of the political Left, which is supposed to despise religion ("opiate of the masses"), are now in bed with radical Islam. Those laudable traits the Left proudly claims as its own — humanism, inclusivity and diversity — have been summarily ditched to make way for what is an apparently more fervent passion: hatred of the Jews.

Keep reading...Show less

Poland's Rising Far-Right Party Is Trying To Rewrite Holocaust History

In a deep-rooted divide that has plagued Poland for years, the role of non-Jewish citizens in the Holocaust remains a much debated issue. But now the increasingly popular far-right party Konfederacja is toeing the line of blatant Holocaust denial.

For years, Poland has been divided on the place its non-Jewish citizens in the Holocaust: both as victims themselves, and would-be perpetrators.

Politicians, mainly from the ruling Catholic-Right party, have put forward the theory that Poles were the main target of the genocide, rather than Jews specifically. An estimated six million Poles perished during the war, just over half of whom were Jewish.

Meanwhile, decades of scholars, including those from Poland, have pointed to evidence of Polish complicity in the Nazi's so-called Final Solution aimed at the Jews. Statements referring to Poland's role in the Holocaust tends to spark harsh criticism, state pressure and, in some cases, attempts to silence the researchers entirely.

But now, much of the reactionary criticism is coming from a new, more virulent source: the burgeoning far-right Konfederacja party. The latest episode features the party's parliamentary candidate Ryszard Zajączkowski, who is also a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin, who said that Poles were the victims of multiple "genocides."

On July 10, at a conference in Opole, he stated that Poles were victims of several genocides during and shortly after World War II, including the German, Russian and Ukrainian genocides. “And there is also the Jewish genocide,” he added.

The professor later clarified that the statement referred to the actions of Jews who joined the Soviet authorities, especially after World War II, but also during the War. According to Zajączkowski, Jews were active in the Soviet NKVD and the Security Service, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.

In an earlier speech decrying a "globalist Communism," he declared: "We faced the greatest threat of totalitarianism in history, compared to which the Auschwitz camp could be called a rest camp."

Keep reading...Show less
This Happened

This Happened — May 16: Warsaw Uprising Put Down

The Warsaw Uprising officially ended on this day in 1943, when the remaining Jewish fighters were killed or captured by German forces.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

Watch VideoShow less
This Happened

This Happened - February 25: The Hebron Massacre

On this day in 1994, Israeli terrorist Baruch Goldstein entered the Cave of the Patriarchs, a holy site for Jews and Muslims, and opened fire on Muslim worshippers, killing 29 people and injuring more than 100 others.

Watch VideoShow less
Eva Marie Kogel

What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.


BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.

Watch VideoShow less
Carl-Johan Karlsson

Why Sweden Has An Antisemitism Problem

In October 1943, nearly the entire Jewish population of Denmark made a perilous crossing from their Nazi-occupied country to neighboring Sweden. Setting out from ports and beaches along the coast, some 7,000 people arrived in rowboats and canoes to the safe shores of the port city of Malmö.

Now, 78 years later, in the same city, Jewish books in a storefront have to be covered up due to fears of vandalism.
It was the Malmö City Archives that last week was preparing a display of Jewish literature to be open to the public on Friday. But at the end of the day, the books and posters were covered with a blanket — with the archivist fearing damage to the windows over the weekend, Swedish daily Expressen reports.

Watch VideoShow less
Florian Hassel

Final Auschwitz Survivors Return To Poland To Bear Witness

Ephroim “Johnny” Jablon's entire family was gassed to death. At 94, he can't forget the smells and so many other details of the camps. Such memories are dying away.

AUSCHWITZ — Jan Rothbaum remembers the day he lost his family like it was yesterday. It only took a few minutes for the SS commando to drag his father Schulem, his mother Dora and his brothers Roman and Joseph out of their apartment in Krakow, Poland, one October day in 1942. Jan resisted, striking one of the SS troops, who then beat him unconscious. The SS apparently assumed Rothbaum was dead and left him lying on the floor. When he came to, the rest of his family was gone.

Later, Rothbaum was also captured by the Germans. He managed to survive a year in the Plaszow concentration camp, near Krakow, thanks to his skills as a carpenter. In early 1944, he was transferred to Auschwitz. Seventy-five years later, Rothbaum, now a Canadian citizen who goes by the name of Ephroim "Johnny" Jablon, is standing inside Block 27, where he finds his family's entries in the "Book of Names' of murdered Jewish victims. All his relatives were gassed to death in Belzec extermination camp. "There are lots of other names of my relatives in this book," Jablon says slowly. "I lost sixteen aunts and uncles, and more than 20 cousins. No one survived except me."

Watch VideoShow less
food / travel
Pierre Hemme

Faith In Food: When Kosher And Halal Go Haute Cuisine

It's hard to find a starred halal or kosher restaurant, but scattered about the French capital, such upscale restaurants do exist.

PARIS — At first glance, Le Médaillon doesn't look like much. This French restaurant, with its menu derived from organic and halal products, sits across the street from a gloomy set of hospital buildings in a not-very-glamorous sector of Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), a suburb south of Paris.

A warm handshake from the boss, Djamel Bouhadda — better known on the airwaves as Chef Voilà — helps put as at ease. But we only really settled in when a waiter arrives, lifting a silver plate cover to reveal a wonder of culinary inventiveness.

Watch VideoShow less
Miguel Wiñazki

Hezbollah And Latin America: A Scar That Won't Heal 25 Years On

Hezbollah and its patrons have spread their tentacles to South America with help from local friends including Venezuela's socialist regime. Argentina is belatedly backing the Western stance against the international Islamist group.

The bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 remains the worst terrorist attack on Argentine soil, and is still causing repercussions today. This month, Argentine authorities have ordered the freezing of Hezbollah assets in the country and designated the Lebanese Islamist group a "terrorist" organization. They blame Hezbollah and Iran for the 1994 AMIA bombing in which 85 people died. Hezbollah and Iran have denied their involvement. Argentina also blames Hezbollah for a 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people.

The decision coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as Argentina marked the 25th anniversary of the bombing on July 18. Under the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina distanced itself from U.S. policies. But President Mauricio Macri has been relatively close to Donald Trump — the two know each other from business ventures. This decision may lead neighboring countries to join Argentina in putting more pressure on Hezbollah and Iran, and on its allies in the region

Watch VideoShow less

A New Brand Of Antisemitism, From France To Germany To Britain

The targeted murder by a Muslim of an elderly Parisian Jewish woman connects hatred of Jews today to that of Europe's past. And it's not just in France.


The murder last Friday of Mireille Knoll, an elderly Jewish woman stabbed to death and partly burned after her killers set fire to her small Parisian apartment, has made front-page headlines across across France — for reasons, both past and present.

Watch VideoShow less