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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...


Nisam pametna

- By Ulvija Tanović

March 8, 2022, 12:23 a.m.

I’ve been counting time, reckoning. . . It’s been 26 years, 1 week, and 2 days. . . It’s been 4 years, 2 months, and 28 days. . . It had been 3 years, 10 months, and 22 days. . . The siege of Sarajevo lasted for 1425 days. I wasn’t there. I watched it all on TV. I was there when the siege was officially lifted. February 26, 1996. My birthday. My sweet sixteenth. I’d come back as I had vowed I would. But I didn’t know that time gets bent out of shape, that you can never go back, that you have to keep going back, you never get to stop counting time, reckoning. . .

Seemingly, time has passed, but I’m watching it all on TV again. It’s happening somewhere else,...

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