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Returning to the Scene of the Crime


This is is one the Tel Aviv review. Hello and welcome to the Tel Aviv. Review I'm Dahlia Shenlin. If you like US please consider becoming Patriot supporter by going to our homepage. T. L. v. One DOT FM slash Tel Aviv review. Scroll to the bottom and click the big red button that says Patriots. We are counting on you each week. We bring you interviews with authors of Books Research and other things that have caught our attention. This episode is the first in a special series sponsored by the German government. Germany will be holding the EU presidency in the second half of two thousand twenty and with their generous support. The Tel Aviv review will be holding series examining Israel's relationship with the EU and European countries to that end. We're very pleased to start this series with Doctor Dusko and she is post post doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law Barillon University. She is a visiting researcher at the Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University and she teaches at the Hebrew University to she holds a PhD in political science from the new school university. A master's degree in human rights and international affairs from Columbia University and she is a licensed lawyer. Research interests include gender identity the construction of nationalism patriotism and the concept of treason and she's applying the intersection of gender race and class to analyze these phenomena. Bunch of day. We'll be talking about the different area of research no less fascinating and opposite the phenomenon of Who moved to Germany? This is a chapter called Israeli Jews in the new Berlin from the show. Our memories to Middle Eastern encounters co authored. With Danny Crowns does hello and welcome to the show. Welcome back to the show should say thank you thank you. Hi Good Morning so Why Berlin how and. Why did this city in particular become a hotspot for Israeli immigrants in light of all the complexities of immigration especially to Germany? That we'll we'll discuss momentarily. But why is Belinda focus here? We'll Berlin is a very cosmopolitan city cosmopolitan and available economically to Israelis that They don't have to make a lot of money to move there And they could get by with very little. This is one. I guess. Group of Israelis. That are moving there. The other group of Israelis are academics musicians People who are doing things in the arts and they're moving there because the German government is sponsoring a host of fellowships Such as my own. I went there to do research. And Israelis moved to Berlin given granted a post doctorate research by the German government and So this is right now. An opportunity for people who want to pursue these Professions that almost impossible and other places in the world to go to Germany and do that and specifically in Berlin. So you're saying it's not so much us it's them in other words. Berlin is an attractive place for certain kinds of people. Who want the support to do these rt in humanistic pursuits? How can Berlin Ford to do that? That's not those aren't money-making professions. No but the German government again has decided to allocate a very large sum of funding basically to support the arts and academia and It's almost wanting to restore what they had once. This grander to go back to the time before the Second World War which manifest and other areas as well like what like wanting in a way Wanting to have Jewish people again we saw when Russian Russian Jews left to Soviet Union after immigration from there was possible. We saw almost a competition between Israel and Germany on who would give those immigrants better I guess economic opportunities or funding and so this was and the whole idea or the motivation I believe was wanting to have Jewish people again And Right now what is happening? Also in regards with the Israelis we see the. This is almost a political. It embraced politically in a way. That is I think the researcher astounding when I was doing research to see if the project was even feasible. If there would be interest I met with German diplomats in New York and they said yes we would be very much interested in that Right now I saw an further interest in that in the political politically Which was fascinating how I see it. It didn't translate into any academic merita still had to go through the whole process of of peer reviewed applications and so on but I believe that for the political strata. There is a lot of interest in in in creating some sort of a cosmopolitan Germany number two the profile of the Israelis who moved to German. You think that it makes them Distinctive Group sociologically as opposed to other Israelis who go elsewhere to pursue some sort of financial benefits of course of course so the streets are Berlin are not as we say about the streets of New York. For instance are not lined with gold right. It's it's hard it's odd It's not easy to immigrate there because that even though the city is extremely affordable They don't speak the language and for those of them who do not have EU passports or you citizenship or even German citizenship. It's it's quite complicated Opening a bank account is complicated. You have to register at the City Hall with your address you have to go to the immigration office and they speak mostly German. There is no there is no I don't know it's it's not very accepting in that sense. So Israelis that move really Neat want to move there. And yes if you're talking about their profile I mean you're you're asking about their profile The majority of them as as My colleague Donnie. Cons did an survey the majority of them have at least be a degree. In other words they have at least one degree They are about eighty percent Ashkenazi of Middle Eastern descent While some of them are supporting themselves from what they do. They're others have strong economic support from Israel or they are funded by the German government. So it's you could say almost that is some sort of a not all of course but the people that are the group that I was looking at. It's an elite migration because who can afford in a way to decide in their twenties or thirties. That oh I'm not gonNA go and build up my future. I'm going to go to Berlin for a few years to pursue my opera career or my conducting career. I interviewed there a conductor of classical modern classical music. I mean these professions almost don't exist outside of places like Germany or northern northern Europe. So yeah well. There's a very loaded history for two aspects of this one is of course the Israeli and Jewish relationship with Germany. And what does it mean for these young Israelis to go live in Germany but the other loaded side of is simply emigrating from Israel? Leaving Israel has a long history of being very emotionally and even legally sensitive. Can you tell us about the historic roots of What it meant to Israelis to move away from Israel right in the early years of course so moving from Israel was branded as ULITSA. Meaning ascending descending descending sorry aforesaid moving to Israel is ascending. Yes so descending. Meaning you are live leaving the place where you are placed high in terms of social status in certain in terms of Meaning or in terms of realizing your true self as a Jewish person in the world. So you leave that. In new dessert you go somewhere else for for mundane reasons such as wanting to have a better life. That is not considered to be something. It was not considered to be something that was legitimate so but throughout the years the attitude towards Israel who immigrated from Israel has become much more lenient forgiving. And it's very much accepted with a globalization the eighties that And basically also came to Israel as well but going to Berlin moving to Germany seems to have that stigma that existed before the easing of the attitude. So I can give a personal example anecdote when I was doing my. Phd Studies in New York. When I told people in Israel where I'm leaving living it was always encountered with almost jealousy. Appreciations like Oh you have. You made it you. This is the way to live when I told people in Israel when I moved to Berlin from post doc and I mentioned that I live in Berlin. Almost always the reaction was almost the opposite and then when. I told him that the research that I was doing there about Israelis who move there. The reaction was ninety. Nine point nine percent of the time that they are traders that why did they move there? And how could they do that? And what years are we talking about where you were telling Israelis about this two thousand thirteen fourteen? I just like to confirm this experience by explaining to Israelis that when I moved Israel in the late. Nineteen nineties The initial reaction was. Call her. Good for you But over the two thousands I would say at some point it shifted to. Why did you come here? You're from New York. Why would you come here? Israelis say Gee why would you give up what you have there to be here? So I mean I think it. It affirms what you're going back to your analysis that is based partly on own personal experience. I wonder why there was this easing of the you know the the pejorative context of data in relation to New York and not so much faith to own to anywhere other than the Germany is really the memory of the Holocaust that is really contention of course if you look at any Israeli newspaper or let's say the Israeli media every day you have at least one mention of the Holocaust. This memory is still very much with us So going to Germany to start a new life to escape the Israeli chaos to the place where the apocalypse started where Berlin in Berlin. The concocted the final solution. This is not something that is still until today considered to be as Eliza fell is something that is just legitimate and okay but there is a binary. Divide here. Okay I was fascinated to read in your article. That Israelis actually couldn't even entered Germany on an Israeli passport in the early years. That's what you're saying. This huge stigma on the other hand. I'm going to take said valid to all countries and it was not a stigma. It was illegal as a manifestation of illegal relationship rather a lack of a legal relationship between Germany and Israel so till nineteen fifty six around around. Then okay so the but the but there is a heavy symbolic weight to the law. In other words it helps you know Instill this sense that Germany is not a place where Israelis are supposed to go. So I think that must have affirmed what you're both saying on the other hand. My public opinion researcher had In that had I know from doing lots of survey research that Israelis generally viewed Germany as a very friendly and supportive country these days. So tell us about that. Yes of course. Of course there is a duality right. And this is we see we. Also we can place the context and in this context the efforts of Germany. To as I say this with quotes huge quotes bring our jobs back so basically Germany has been Has launched a huge apology Project in which we saw the president The German president in the sixties seventies basically come and apologize and the Knesset and we see a whole host of projects that are basically meant to support particularly Israelis for instance. There's the Minerva Fellowship that is bringing Israelis to Germany and Germans to Israel known exchange So we have. We have that that is going on and Germany. In as part of wanting to become a part of the nation's no the host of Nations Decided the country the signed the political strategy decided that One of the ways to do that and to move on beyond what the Nazi Germany and basically to erase that identity was to help Israel and basically economically assist Israel so we see that in that context as well and after years and years of doing so and we have to also remember that Survivors are dying so We are no longer during the Eichmann. Trial where survivors were very much. Heard in court saying the. The wound was quite raw. Then so we are right now in a period where we have the grandchildren and even afford generation. So do do you think it's the of Israelis to Berlin is really you know helping to normalize immigration to Germany or is it still Holding I mean the the memory of the Holocaust is still you know holding us back. Well I think that it's not a yes no question so first of all. Let me unpack that. There is influx of Israelis moving to Germany. There are between twelve and twenty thousand. It's hard to quantify them exactly. Because some of the Israelis who entered Rimini do not enter with an Israeli passport or German passport? Either they with the Polish passport or Portuguese is becoming more and more fashionable right now in Israel or common to get the getting. The numbers are rising over the years. We don't know that because again we did that. my colleague. Dr Khan's did that. Quantitative Research In Two Thousand Fourteen. Two thousand thirteen and But since then as far as I know no one has been tracking the way that she was doing that with Bofors. Who's the one from the Hebrew University But even members thirteen and fourteen. Do we think that was a rise relative to ten years before of course we saw after the the big protests here in Israel at around two thousand twelve thirteen aghast eleven we saw where Israel young Israelis were looking for a better life Berlin offered some sort of I mean for the Israelis that were willing to travel to Germany that and we're also economically able as I mentioned before Or even just for a few years those who decided to do that. Berlin offered an opportunity. But what about the policy of the German government to attract Israelis specifically? When did it so this was again? I don't know exactly when it started. But it's a recent phenomena and what is happening with that is that In a unique situation Israelis are equal to immigrants from the US. Canada Japan and countries. That are do not require a special visa than have easier access to fellowships so unlike other countries where Israelis Israel is still between a first world and a third world country. Here Israel is counted among the strongest and most economically wealthy country in the world. Is it partly this lowering of the stigma simply because as you point out? The older generation of Holocaust survivors and their stories are not as fresh in prominent and simply are not as much of a burden on this younger generation. Is it because the younger generation are? They're thinking is not as dominated by the traumatic memory of the Holocaust. Now they're looking at Berlin as a destination the way. Any other emigrants from other countries sort of seeking cosmopolitan life and adventure abroad. Might look at it Some some yes but I think that we need to look at the social psyche of Israel as as a more A Non Hormone. Genyk one you have or Israeli society. You have those that are still very much against Any normalization relationship is all but they are becoming less and less given again. That generations are moving beyond I mean are are getting younger or older And you have also those that are they just want again easily a better life. They want to experience so Israel is in a way becoming more open throughout the years and more cosmopolitan in itself but are they forgetting the Holocaust memory or they simply not making their personal choices filtered through that historic filter. Okay so I think that what we see here is like a dual phenomena. So I. They're not filtering consciously almost in a way not filtering their decisions based on the history of the Holocaust but when I interviewed them in Berlin it took about between one to five minutes for the Memories of the Holocaust Tacoma of the grandparents. Where they were I mean would start talking and they and many would say oh. I'm beyond the Holocaust. I'm not even thinking about that. Oh No but then my grandmother was and so and so. My grandfather escaped from within five minutes of conversation. So you see that this is still very much in the conscience also as you point out some of them put a positive spin on the apology effort. Right saying okay now. It's time to come back because of all the effort has made to accommodate us so I think this is actually an amazing amazing effort that Germany as the has done that not only benefited us but also benefitted them as a country when a country After such a traumatic event apologizes rather than suppress it and comes and says we owns what we did that and we want to move on. Please forgive us. Not only are they. Granting the victims this recognition of what happened of there is a validation that yes trauma did did happen but also for themselves. There is no need to suppress that trauma to pretend like. It didn't hurt anyone to pretend like what is going on is not important and We can live in this dual kind of a of an existence which is extremely harmful because as Freud Ted. Everything that is repressed comes back and you never know how it's going to combat that's a very interesting Personal Psychological and psychiatric explanation but there is also a very interesting literature on the politics of apologies In the collective context and national leaders trying to apologize for past wrongs to specific groups and there's a wide ranging sense of how effective they are but to my mind without systematically going through all of that literature. I have read some of it and it seems to me that what Germany has really done is not just a one time apology but a decades long policy of trying to reestablish this relationship would you agree. I completely agree I completely agree and the US and I think that it benefits them again. It's it's There's also literature about The Memory Theater or theatre of memory. In what is happening. What do we remember? How do we remember things? Do we remember our own passed in a way? So if you look at Germany for instance as an academic I can say that anything is unified of course so on the one hand. You have this this Overarching historical effort. That has lasted for years to apologize and make commend on the other hand. We have to remember that Germany after the Second World War after the Nazi regime absorbed basically many many of the Nazis. The elite didn't go anywhere. A lot of the judges were that were judges. During the Nazi regime were judges afterwards politicians diplomats and so on the Bureaucrats that allow the system to To continue at the same time still having this kind of an effort and having this as as the the face of Germany is something that trickles down and that I think very healing for the nation on its own one of the interesting things about this research is is that Hugh You did it in conjunction you. An Israeli native Israeli did it in conjunction with German researcher. Dr Krantz and as you write in the article in the interviews today did hugh Got Very different answers or approaches to some of the issues than she did as a German. Can You? Can you elaborate and some? I'm GONNA pile on just for technical question I would love for you explain because I am honoured. How extensive research was there was really a lot of qualitative. And can you explain the research and then and then answer guilds much more substantive question? Yes so basically Dr Khan's used surveys And also she used sentenced. State I to analyze and Basically come up with the figures regarding how many Israel- Israelis lived in Berlin And she had again like Questionnaires for the Israelis and also opened ended interviews That she and another German researcher did and then I did that in conjunction. I mean they did those interviews in English and I did ethnographic work. Which means basically not only interviews but following the lives of his rallies and following. I mean tracing the cultural products that were That produced in Berlin So going to plays or going to Panels that were held in Hebrew in Berlin. Almost every week there was at least one panel Or Talmudic studies but a secular town would studies group. That was going on there Sounds like more of a very Jewish existence than we sometimes feel here in Israel. I don't know of any secular tumbled studies groups that right. There are some but they're not nearly as unifying feature for like what the community might do. Secular Israeli Jews right and what is one of the interesting things that I found there in. Berlin is that for instance. There was quite a large group of Israeli intellectuals. That's at we're Israelis none because that we grew up in the country and to do graphical area of Israel but because we speak Hebrew so the idea was to define themselves through their language and allow that or basically take their national identity from that so this is one of the most interesting findings that I found there. Just no to the difference in in their answers to your questions and questions well so this I mean yeah I know we wrote about that and and I think it's interesting. How people narrate themselves in regard to When depending on the interviewer right so I mean with me as an Israeli. Of course they would have much less Need to present themselves as Successful or not or I mean this is it's like you don't put up the persona that you do as you do to S- somebody who is External or non does not belong to your I. I wanted to ask you something about the political Characters of this community you said that eighty percent of them were America's you also point out that many of them work in the arts In sort of humanist professions liberal arts or fine arts and it sounds like many of them are left wing. Explain why I is Berlin. A draw for left wingers from other countries in general including Israelis or are left wing Israelis who have particular criticism of Israeli society drawn to Berlin or drawn to leaving in general. I don't think that not not drawn to leaving. General Israelis that are critical of Israel because research has shown that actually Israelis they ask for almost other than Berlin Arkwright. Quite right-wing very nationalist And supportive as of Israel no matter what Israelis that moved to Berlin have to overcome a hurdle of going the Israelis that say oh my my feet will never step on German soil. Those are those are like a self selection. They will not end up in Berlin right. So the Israelis do move there and that again their families almost are in a way okay with that or they don't give them such a hard time that they prevent them from doing that They are much more cosmopolitan open minded. I believe And Yeah so you definitely do have more usually associated with being left wing critical of nationalism critical of the idea of the chosen people and so on but also. It's a chicken and egg question. Isn't it because these people who moved there In the odds are ready. Which is you know a sector industry that is I would say more attractive to left wingers and you know Bohemian types than but not all of them not all of them because you have some of these rallies that moved there for them. It's an extended Backpacking trip to India. Berlin is affordable. They can work there as bartenders or In restaurants or whatever it is that they find work and then just live. With a few people on the pardons an very affordable Life so so it's they they are also but from again from what I found. The majority are quite indeed left-wing and cosmopolitan because again you have to overcome this hurdle of. I will never go back to Germany. I'm clinging onto this hate or did that part of my identity that sees Germany as an other as we said in the introduction. You also interested in questions of gender This perspective Shed any light on this specific group in terms of women etc. Well so when I was doing the interviews there I noticed that Jewish Israeli women particularly single that moved to Berlin had a very different story One of my interviewees that moved to Berlin in her late thirties divorced. No children said the first time that when I came here I finally realized that I'm normal. And she said when she was living in the heart of Berlin in a huge loft with seven German now in Israel that might sound very chaotic about German and Germany. That is very organized I mean. Even family sometimes shared these Vega these Apartments and Yes you sh- and she said she lived in animal show before and she didn't realize that there is a continuum in which some women are married. Some are single and have children and some are just single without children or live in partnerships so This was something that if we look at Israeli society. One of the entering tickets to Israeli society is motherhood and somebody that chooses a woman chooses not to have children or just life happens. And you don't end up having children There is a need to explain that because there is a policing that happens everywhere. All the time without even people being aware That that is happening so moving away from that Berlin offers Israeli women Again single Israeli women An opportunity to just get away from this social norms. Why do men not experience the same thing in Israel? Yeah at or an or and or single men without children who moved to Berlin because they are much outside of that grid of policing here in Israel to begin with so going there just kind of much so basically the ticket to Israel is the what you called an entry. Ticket is is a woman based motherhood but it doesn't really apply to men who decide not to have children or who life doesn't somehow bring the children with men. There is no biological clock right with idea. Is that you're always. There's always civility exactly. Yes yes there's always a possibility while for women there is it's much limited and there is much more pressure and what. I found there. Is that moving to Berlin for these single Israeli women especially when they were under thirties and forties was almost an act of resistance against these Social norms and these expectations of having a very hetero normative lifestyle even that that exist even Tel Aviv So yeah I'm working right now on an article about that and I'm going over my interviews with women and this is some of the Conclusions that are coming up and they express it like that. This is a sort of resistance against the sort of conservative oppressive conservative family locked into a traditional family structure kind of society in Israel. Well no no. None of them said the word resistance. That's actually my Formulation about that. But they would they have expressed is a lot of Disdain an extortion with the pressure that the experience tier and then moving to Berlin with all of the hardships and with all of the difficulties of going and doing that alone without support still. It's something that They feel it's that it's a relief to be away. Is this is indicative of a bigger immigration pattern whereby all of the humanist liberal minded cosmopolitans find each other in whatever corner of the world whether it's Berlin or some other city and all the hardcore nationalists stay in their nations wherever they are and then the world just sort of self segregates into major urban centers where people have share values and they all elect you know leaders that they think suit their values and everybody else elect some version of Donald trump and happily ever after. Is that the rule discussing Again academic you know. I have to complicate this even what I said scary to me. No no no because people immigrate for different motivations my my my original Question when I started this research was why do people emigrate and then they realized it doesn't really matter why immigrant the question is what happens when they reach their destination so people emigrate also for economic reasons. And if you look at again Woah London. A New York San Francisco. La There is a huge Israeli And clave there But the right-wing so the motivation for immigration is different and wanting to make money or or Silicon Valley. Better your economic situation. We see these groups as well. What is unique about the Berlin immigration is what was created on the ground once? This tiny tiny group reached their Trion Reach a conclusion by asking you whether you think that immigration is reading immigration to Berlin as a case in point in a way shedding light on immigration writ large or is it really an exception to the rule that allows us to You know that doesn't allow us to make any Drawing conclusions and come to conclusions. I think it's a complete exception to the rule and I think it's fascinating what is happening there and just I'll demonstrate Y Y Y say that so with Israelis that are moving to Berlin. The location the geographical location is very loaded. Right I mean we had the Nazis. Starting their their final solution there and the city was divided into two into east and West. And as if it's the vengeance of the West was applied there in terms of of punishing Germany. And then we have these rallies that are coming there and what they're doing they're right. Now is almost drying two vectors. Culturally one is to Jewish Berlin before the Second World War which was a very big cultural centre with Hebrew language production of books the publication houses for Instance Schalken was a publishing house. Then before coming to Israel and So they're connecting to that and there are some galleries that are opening just imitate which was where a lot of that activity took place as a way to revive the Hebrew Or the Jewish Culture Hebrew speaking Jewish culture from the beginning of the century. That's one vector that's going to pass and another vector is as if Well not as if but when Israelis are moving to Berlin. They're realizing that they're actually not European these Ashkenazi Israelis and I would say as Interesting analogy researcher. Also not white. There are seen by the Germans as Orientales hike from the east. Eighty percent of them are. Yeah they're not really they're not yes yes completely. So what we saw. I mean what we saw there and I particularly saw over and over. Is that this connecting with other refugees. That are coming or other. Immigrants that are coming from the Middle East so a lot of joint project cultural events in which we see Syrian refugees. I mean I saw Syrian refugees coming and joining project or talks about Study no no. No no no Refugees in Israel so a lot a lot of piece work that has happened writes some of these Israelis who rediscovered the Middle Eastern identity. I'll take taken aback by it. Because growing up in Israel there was sort of old to that they're not part of the broader Middle East Democratic Western European outpost in Villa and the jungle in the jungle exact lane and then and then they moved there and they realize that actually no they see us as the jungle as themselves as well. They realized that the must much more middle easterns and they had three. Yes yes and actually they have in common with somebody. From Iran from Syria from Lebanon is much more than what they would have in common with the German in terms of the cultural warmth in terms of the food in terms of. Would you be invited to somebody's house or not? We take that for granted that you are invited. Somebody's house and Germany. No it's one of the biggest gestures of intimacy if a German friend would invite you home. Of course it often takes going abroad and becoming an ex pat becoming a stranger to appreciate the people who are close to you but not so close to you at home. I mean I remember living abroad in very obscure part of the world where all of a sudden I met some Palestinians and they said I said where are you from and they said Palestine I said. Oh I'm from Israel and we looked at each other and we were we just. We were happy to meet each other. There was like before we restrained ourselves. That was the first emotion that was clear because we were in this very obscure. The world is that is that normal dynamic This is something that happens. I think this being in a neutral territory that would happen also in New York and indeed go away. I mean abroad or away from Israel away from that ten zone where you are in conflict The conflict basically informs your life But in Berlin. It's there's almost as if the next step is also taken because there are a lot of of tiny tiny population. A lot of cultural project that are happening together With a group of maximum twenty thousand people that we say Jala VI- Doctor Dusko and thank you for being on the show. Thank you for inviting me. And thanks to shell or a producer and again to the German government for their generous support for sponsoring this series on Israel's relationship with the EU and European countries now a request many or most of you. Listen to us on the apple podcast APP and we'd like to ask you to please consider writing us a review it's in the ratings and reviews section. 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