Joel Schalit is a writer and editor based in Milan, Italy. An Israeli-American pundit noted for his unique views on Middle Eastern politics and US culture, over the past fifteen years, Schalit has produced four books and contributed to numerous periodicals including AlterNet, France 24, The Guardian, and XLR8R. Schalit’s fifth publication, Israel vs. Utopia, was published in October by Akashic Books. The former managing editor of Tikkun and associate editor of Punk Planet, Schalit currently serves as Zeek's Online Editor.
America’s best-known progressive historian passed away on Wednesday. The son of European immigrants, Zinn’s combination of activism and academia epitomized the values of the Jewish community at its best. A 2001 interview, reprinted from Bad Subjects.
One of the great things about culture is that despite the occasional hiccup, you can always maintain your faith in it. When music starts to suck, films get better. When blogs start to read the same, we get to to shorten the experience with Twitter. 2009 was no different. In no specific order, here are the ten categorical imperatives which, for a brief moment, helped me make editorial sense of it all.
Few genres undermine the ‘world beat’ tag better than 1970s Turkish psychedelia. Middle Eastern and European, ethnic and electric, four decades on, its noisy contours continue to confound Ibiza expectations of Bedouin- programmed drum machines. Milan/Seattle duo Elders of Zion offer up a forty minute mix of their favorite tracks, with a special nod to Istanbul’s 3 Hürel.
Israeli-American relations are at a crisis point. Some might even say a breaking point. Despite endless US demands to freeze settlement construction, and to reinvigorate the peace process, Israel refuses to cooperate. The Americans have yet to understand their responsibility for this situation.
His English isn’t very good, but the guy sure knows how to communicate with dogs. Whenever he sees me taking Pixel out for a walk, Antonello turns into a magnet. Within seconds, Pixel is at his feet, wagging his tail, as though he and our doorman have known each other for years.
If you haven’t seen it before, Mosaic will change the way you think about the Middle East. A thirty-minute daily news report aggregating content from the region’s major television news outlets, this seven-year old program airing on Link TV has skyrocketed in popularity among North American viewers. Why? Because, to paraphrase Jamal Dajani, Mosaic’s producer, his show is helping air a new regional identity which includes both Israeli and Arab voices from throughout the Middle East.
As any electronic or hip-hop artist will tell you, one of the most important aspects of making music is capturing the right sample. Not just any sample, but something that you can rightfully call your own.
“The Italians are faced with the same problem with Jihad as we are,” the Israeli software engineer said. “One day, Europe will be dominated by these people, and something has to be done about it.” Replying that my wife and I live in a largely Arab immigrant neighborhood in Milan, I argued that it was hard to see how Europe wasn’t manufacturing many of these problems itself.
Over the course of the last two decades, the question of race has come to the forefront of Italian politics. Italy’s leader is of course not exempt from this discourse, having made extremely bold statements such as expressing his opposition to a “multicultural Italy,” and working hard to pass legislation attempting to limit illegal immigration.
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