#15 / Editorial

In K. this week, Avishag Zafrani interviews Yolande Zauberman, the director of Me Ivan, You Abraham (1993), Would You Have Sex with an Arab? (2011), and M (2018). She is now preparing her next film, which focuses on Golda Meir and her purported love affair with a man of Lebanese-Palestinian extraction. Their conversation centers on Israel and the documentaries that Zauberman has shot there. Would You Have Sex with an Arab, filmed in large part on the Tel Aviv nightlife scene, turns on interviews with revelers, and manages to upend our assumptions about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, despite a point of departure that seems barely political. Yet, politics, history and conflict emerge in a documentary depicting a country that is both real and dreamed of.

We move on to another real country, this time nightmarish, Poland, the country of Yolande Zauberman’s parents who no longer spoke the language. Zauberman visited the country during the preparation of Me Ivan, You Abraham. The protagonist of Gilles Rozier’s short story also goes to Poland. He no longer has relatives there, but the place still captivates him. Poland is a real, embodied, living country, but has nonetheless become spectral for the Jews of Europe.

The third article of the week crosses the Oder River into Germany. Samuel Petit conducts an interview with Michael Blume, the Bade-Wurtemberg state’s Commissioner for the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. Stuttgart, the capital of this German state, has been at the heart of national debates over anti-Semitism, as this has been the cradle of an anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown campaign with strong anti-Semitic undertones, ‘Querdenken 711.’ Blume sketches out a picture of anti-Semitism in Germany, in its various nuances. He also describes how a certain form of anti-Semitism consists of accusing Israel of Nazi-style policies, in order to absolve oneself of feelings of guilt.

Director of the film “Me Ivan, You Abraham”, a fictional account in which Yiddish in Ukraine comes alive again, Yolande Zauberman tells us about her special relationship with the language and how she finds the characters in here documentaries, including “Classified People”, “Would You Have Sex with an Arab?” and “M”.

K. had lived in the big city for ages. None of his friends realized he was born in the country. He found it hard to believe himself–that he’d spent the first eighteen years of his life surrounded by fields, that he’d ridden his bicycle on little roads where distance was marked by red and white milestones…

Since 2018, Michael Blume has served as Commissioner for Combating antisemitism in Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart, the capital of this southern German state, has found itself at the center of nationwide controversy since last spring: It is the home of Querdenken 711, an anti-quarantine/anti-vaccine movement spawned in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic which has since made its name as one of Germany’s protest movements most radical, most violent, and most tolerant of antisemitsm.

With the support of:

Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.