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Holocaust Remembrance and the Ethics of Comparison

- By Michael Rothberg

This International Holocaust Remembrance Day will not be like any other. As we mark the seventy-ninth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27 and commemorate the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust alongside the Nazis’ many non-Jewish victims, the commemoration will take place against the backdrop of extraordinary events: in the midst of more than three months of catastrophic violence in Israel and Palestine and just one day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) provisionally ruled on charges of genocide brought against Israel by South Africa. One hopes that Israel will comply with the “provisional measures” ordered by the ICJ, but even if it doesn’t, the ruling will certainly intensify scrutiny of the human costs of Israel...


Staatsraison: Dispatch From Germany

- By Prof. Dr. Sabine Broeck

Dear friend,

Thank you for inviting me to speak on the panel you are hosting. I am writing to you because it  enables me to find words better than speaking into a Zoom group.

I write from Bremen, Germany, as a retired white professor who is no longer in any political or academic collective, and thus bereft of a forum for articulating mourning, grief, anger, and resistance. This loneliness, however, is not just the loss of immediate connection to meetings, discussions on the floors or in the cafeteria, and afterwork gatherings. It is also the fact that I am surrounded by an enveloping silence vis-à-vis the ongoing annihilation of Palestine’s people and their future/s.

Part of this silence stems from the obvious wish to stand still in sadness with the...


The Ongoing Nakba

- By Rabea Eghbariah

Editor’s Note: On the seventieth anniversary of al-Nakba, we published an eloquent essay by Michel Moushabeck, recounting his family story of dispossesion from their homeland in Palestine. Today, with the permission of The Nation, where this piece was first published, after being solicited and then rejected by the Harvard Law Review, we bring you an argument for taking that historical event as framework for legal and human rights action, so that such circumstances never again occur.


Our America

Between Worlds

- By Marya Zilberberg

It wasn’t my choice to leave Odesa. My father decided, my mother agreed, and so it happened. In 1976. We were lucky to get out, lucky to avoid the fates of refuseniks and political prisoners in the Gulag, lucky that my father—who lost his job immediately upon applying for an exit visa—did not get arrested for parasitism, lucky that I would be able to live my life in the relative freedom of America. But part of the bargain was leaving forever and letting others contend with the insatiable cannibalism of the Soviet machine.

How do you put into words what it’s like to know you can never go back?

Think of it this way. You know how it is when your friend has been trying to get a hold of you, and you say to yourself, Well, I’ll get back to them...


War Childhood

- By Erri De Luca

(Logo of the War Childhood Museum, Sarajevo. Design: Anur Hadžiomerspahić. Used by permission)

You hear that girls pretend to be mothers and boys soldiers. What I see are children playing intensely and seriously at life; like puppies they exercise and train with every move they make.

Wars drag them from one place to the next with no toys in their refugee baggage. Whereas adults collapse, weeping, they look around, keeping their eyes close to the ground—watching to see if other children are coming, or a dog, or maybe a bird. Suddenly they fall asleep, in slumber shaped like a fortress.

Of course, in the moment, children do cry out in fear—from the explosions and from the infectious fear of...

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