In this week’s podcast, Israel’s Likud-led government tries out some new words to describe its West Bank settlement program. One particularly explosive term that some Israeli politicians are now using is the German word “judenfrei.” It means– literally– Jew-free. The argument goes like this: the West Bank should never be allowed to be judenfrei. Therefore, Israel should not withdraw its settlements. “Judenfrei” was first used by the Nazis to designate a part of Europe that would be free of Jews. The fact that some Israeli politicians are reviving the term can’t help but recall the Nazi usage, and so it associates Palestinians with the Nazis’ extreme anti-semitism. Our report looks at this and other rhetorical attempts in past decades to justify Israel’s expansion into Palestinian territory.
Next, a conversation with the University of Arizona’s Kathy Short, who oversees a collection of children’s books from around the world. She says that in recent years American publishers have taken a second look at foreign books, even if sometimes in the translations, they become so Americanized that they cease to be, well, foreign. Here’s a gorgeously illustrated book from China that Short talks about in our interview.
Finally, an update on Brooklyn’s finest fake French band, Les Sans Culottes. (That’s singer Kit Kat Le Noir above) After more than a decade together, the band is finally performing in France.