26 episodes

On the Nose is a biweekly podcast by Jewish Currents, a magazine of the Jewish left founded in 1946. The editorial staff discusses the politics, culture, and questions that animate today’s Jewish left.

On the Nose Jewish Currents

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    • 4.7 • 43 Ratings

On the Nose is a biweekly podcast by Jewish Currents, a magazine of the Jewish left founded in 1946. The editorial staff discusses the politics, culture, and questions that animate today’s Jewish left.

    The Scream Clarifies an Elsewhere

    The Scream Clarifies an Elsewhere

    Last week, Graywolf Press released Civil Service, the debut poetry collection by Jewish Currents Culture Editor Claire Schwartz. The book is a daring study of the violence woven into our world, from everyday encounters to the material of language itself. The poems unfold in three main sequences: a quartet of lyric lectures, a fragmentary narrative that follows a cast of archetypal figures named for the coordinates of their complicities with power—the Dictator, the Curator, the Accountant, and so on—and a series of interrogation scenes centered on a spectral, fugitive figure named Amira, who gives us a glimpse of another world. To celebrate the release of Civil Service, Schwartz spoke with Managing Editor Nathan Goldman and the book’s editor at Graywolf Press, Chantz Erolin, about the book, as well as poems by Paul Celan and Edmond Jabès that deeply informed it. They discussed dispersed responsibility for state violence, thinking as feeling, and the political possibilities of poetry.
    Works Mentioned:
    https://bookshop.org/a/1530/9781644450949 (Civil Service) by Claire Schwartz
    “https://granta.com/lecture-on-loneliness/ (Lecture on Loneliness)” by Claire Schwartz
    “https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Freud_MourningAndMelancholia.pdf (Mourning and Melancholia)” by Sigmund Freud
    “https://apogeejournal.org/2016/09/06/the-felt-house-that-moves-us-a-conversation-with-saretta-morgan/ (The Felt House That Moves Us: A Conversation with Saretta Morgan),” a conversation with Muriel Leung and Joey De Jesus
    “https://sahityaparikrama.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/0/9/120943912/the_concept_of_character_in_fiction_william_gass.pdf (The Concept of Character in Fiction)” by William H. Gass
    The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
    “https://poets.org/poem/death-fugue (Death Fugue)” by Paul Celan, trans. Pierre Joris
    “https://poets.org/poem/stretto (Stretto)” by Paul Celan, trans. Pierre Joris
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/celans-ferryman (Celan’s Ferryman),” a conversation between Fanny Howe and Pierre Joris
    Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
    “https://lithub.com/robin-coste-lewis-black-joy-is-my-primary-aesthetic/ (Robin Coste Lewis: ‘Black Joy is My Primary Aesthetic,’)” a conversation between Claire Schwartz and Robin Coste Lewis
    The Book of Questions by Edmond Jabès, trans. Rosmarie Waldrop
    “https://tinhouse.com/podcast/rosmarie-waldrop-the-nick-of-time/ (Rosmarie Waldrop: The Nick of Time),” a conversation with David Naimon
    Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald, trans. Anthea Bell
    “https://nourbese.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Gasp.pdf (The Ga(s)p)” by M. NourbeSe Philip
    “https://www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-interest/fred-motens-radical-critique-of-the-present (Fred Moten’s Radical Critique of the Present)” by David S. Wallace
    Minima Moralia by Theodor Adorno
    Reconsidering Reparations by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/assuming-the-perspective-of-the-ancestor (Assuming the Perspective of the Ancestor),” a conversation between Claire Schwartz and Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
    “https://lithub.com/perennial-a-poem-by-claire-schwartz/ (Perennial)” by Claire Schwartz


    Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Trouble with Germany, Part 1

    The Trouble with Germany, Part 1

    On this episode, Jewish Currents editor-in-chief Arielle Angel speaks with two Germany-based writers and organizers, Emily Dische-Becker and Michael Sappir, about the bizarre and worrisome ways that Germany’s understandably zealous Holocaust memory culture is playing out among Jews, Palestinians, and other Germans in contemporary Germany. An anti-BDS resolution passed in the Bundestag in 2019 has led to draconian repression of speech across German society, much of it directed not only at Palestinian Germans, but also at some critical Israeli Jews, upward of 10,000 of whom live in Germany. These politics are complicated further by the prevalence on the left of an “anti-Deutsche” tendency, characterized by strong support for the state of Israel as part of a nominally antifascist politics, and also by high numbers of German converts to Judaism who sometimes bring different assumptions about Jewishness to the table when weighing in on questions of communal concern.
    Recently, Dische-Becker, a German American leftist Jew, has become a target of the ongoing German anti-antisemitism hysteria. As one of the organizers of the recent Hijacking Memory conference in Berlin, which sought to explore the ways the global right is appropriating Holocaust memory, and as an erstwhile adviser to the German art fair documenta, which has been embroiled in antisemitism scandals for months, Dische-Becker has emerged as the latest bogeyman for Germans eager to prove their anti-antisemitism bona fides. In this conversation, Dische-Becker and Sappir lay the groundwork for Germany’s upside-down politics and discuss the meaning of the recent attacks.
    This is Part 1 of a two-part series on Germany. Part 2, featuring different guests, will cover crackdowns on Palestinian identity and political expression, particularly in German media.
    ARTICLES, STATEMENTS AND WEBSITES MENTIONED:
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/the-challenge-of-defending-memory-in-germany (The Challenge of Defending Memory in Germany)” by Joshua Leifer
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/when-antifa-is-the-enemy (When ‘Antifa’ Is the Enemy),” an interview with Michael Sappir by Isabel Frey
    “https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2020-12-10/ty-article-magazine/.highlight/in-germany-a-witch-hunt-rages-against-israel-critics-many-have-had-enough/0000017f-db0d-df0f-a17f-df4fa21b0000 (In Germany, a Witch Hunt Is Raging Against Critics of Israel. Cultural Leaders Have Had Enough)” by Itay Mashiach
    http://aboutblank.li/faq_en/ (About Blank FAQ on Israel/Palestine politics)
    https://twitter.com/goetheinstitut/status/1537753910139559936 (Goethe-Institut rescinding an invitation to Mohammed El-Kurd)
    Hannah Tzuberi’s lecture on “https://www.hkw.de/en/app/mediathek/video/91243 (Desiring Victimhood: German Self-Formation and the Figure of the Jew)” at the Hijacking Memory Conference in Berlin
    “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/arts/design/documenta-review.html (Documenta Was a Whole Vibe. Then a Scandal Killed the Buzz.)” by Siddhartha Mitter
    “https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/157800579.pdf (Rethinking empathy: emotions triggered by the Holocaust among Muslim-minority in Germany)” by Esra Özyürek
    Thanks to Sophia Steinert-Evoy for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

    • 1 hr 6 min
    ¡Inquilinos Unidos, Jamás Serán Vencidos!

    ¡Inquilinos Unidos, Jamás Serán Vencidos!

    Late last month, the Autonomous Tenants Union Network—a collaboration of tenant unions from cities across North America—held its first-ever in-person convention in Los Angeles. ATUN formed in 2018 to consolidate the energies of a movement that has exploded in scope in response to a deepening crisis for tenants. Over the course of the weekend, members of 20 tenant unions from Eugene, Oregon to Houston, Texas held strategy sessions on everything from organizing around climate disaster to mutual aid to political education. On this episode, senior editor Ari Brostoff—who attended the conference as a member of the Crown Heights Tenants Union in Brooklyn—spoke with Kenia Alcocer, of the Los Angeles Tenants Union; Claire Spiehler, of the Houston Tenants Union; and Danya Martinez-Spider, of the West River Tenants Union in South Dakota.
    Thanks to Sophia Steinert-Evoy for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

    • 51 min
    The Mapping Project

    The Mapping Project

    In early June, an anonymous collective of Boston-area activists published “The Mapping Project,” an interactive map listing various institutions in Massachusetts and descriptions of their complicity in Zionism or US imperialism. The list includes universities, foundations, nonprofits, schools, and police departments. The group said they set out to deepen activist “understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine,” as well as how Israel’s colonization of Palestine is connected to US policing, US foreign policy, and the displacement of local communities. Mainstream Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League reacted to the map with outrage, claiming that listing Jewish foundations, nonprofits, and the like—alongside their addresses—could incite antisemitic violence. Jewish establishment groups were particularly incensed at The Mapping Project’s call to “dismantle” and “disrupt” the institutions listed. Dozens of congressional lawmakers also denounced the project, and the FBI announced it was investigating it. Meanwhile, the map also sparked controversy from an unexpected source: the Palestinian-led Boycott National Commitee, which distanced itself from the website and, in a private letter to BDS Boston, a local group that endorsed the project, said the project will lead to backlash and open up Palestinian rights groups to “infiltration” and “repression.”
    Jewish Currents editor-in-chief Arielle Angel, contributing editor Josh Leifer, assistant editor Mari Cohen, and senior reporter Alex Kane convened to discuss the accusations against The Mapping Project, whether the website is an effective way to counter Israeli apartheid, and the political divisions that have come to the fore because of the controversy over the project.
    Articles, Statements and Websites Mentioned:
    https://mapliberation.org/ (The Mapping Project)
    “https://jewishinsider.com/2022/06/mapping-project-capitol-hill-federal-investigation-gottheimer-bacon/ (House lawmakers urge federal inquiry into ‘Mapping Project’)” by Marc Rod
    “https://forward.com/fast-forward/505739/fbi-mapping-project-boston-bds/ (FBI looking into ‘The Mapping Project,’ pro-Palestinian site targeting ‘Zionist leaders’ in Boston)”https://forward.com/fast-forward/505739/fbi-mapping-project-boston-bds/ ( )by Forward staff
    https://twitter.com/bandlersbanter/status/1539691734963146753?s=21andt=z3dSWGp-WoxLPXPsUmTy6A (Boycott National Committe’s letter to BDS Boston)
    “https://bdsmovement.net/news/palestinian-bds-national-committee-has-no-connection-and-does-not-endorse-mapping-project (Palestinian BDS National Committee Has No Connection To and Does Not Endorse The Mapping Project)” by Palestinian BDS National Committee
    “https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/our-struggles-are-truly-connected-an-interview-with-the-mapping-project/ (‘Our struggles are truly connected’: an interview with the Mapping Project)”https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/our-struggles-are-truly-connected-an-interview-with-the-mapping-project/ ( )by Adam Horowitz
    “https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/the-mapping-project-is-not-antisemitic-but-it-is-destructive-activism/ (The Mapping Project is not antisemitic but it is destructive activism)” by Nora Lester Murad
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/sunrise-sunset (Sunrise, Sunset)” podcast by Jewish Currents staff
    Thanks to Sophia Steinert-Evoy for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

    • 53 min
    The Age of No Revolutions

    The Age of No Revolutions

    A broad spectrum of the American left agrees that the existing political system is not working—that it is dysfunctional, corrupt, anti-majoritarian, and utterly unable to address the serious economic, social, and ecological crises confronting the public. But despite pervasive exhaustion with the status quo, and despite omnipresent warnings about a looming constitutional threat from the radical right, there have been few signs of mobilization for a full-scale left-wing revolution since the 2020 uprisings against racism and police violence after the murder of George Floyd. Today, America’s most liberal cities have largely doubled down on carceralism, and the right has far more insurgent energy than the left. To discuss the dog that isn’t barking, David Klion spoke with Mike Duncan—the creator of the popular podcast Revolutions, which examines the history of ten historical upheavals in great detail—about what makes America in 2022 different from France in 1789 or Russia in 1917, and what it would take to see a real revolution.
    Books, Articles, TV Shows, and Podcasts Mentioned:
    Mike Duncan’s Revolutions and History of Rome https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/ (podcasts)
    https://bookshop.org/a/1530/9781541724037 (The Storm Before the Storm) by Mike Duncan
    https://bookshop.org/a/1530/9781541730335 (Hero of Two Worlds) by Mike Duncan
    https://bookshop.org/a/1530/9780679724674 (The Black Jacobins) by C.L.R. James
    “https://www.thecut.com/article/dianne-feinstein-abortion-gun-civil-rights.html#_ga=2.116538756.381718568.1655143573-1672611386.1586182978 (The Institutionalist: Dianne Feinstein’s Long Fight for Abortion and Gun Control)” by Rebecca Traister
    “https://newrepublic.com/article/163313/mike-duncan-turmoil-history-revolutions-podcast-lafayette-review (Mike Duncan Takes on the Turmoil of History)” by David Klion
    Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

    • 49 min
    The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

    The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

    The killing of the beloved Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/24/middleeast/shireen-abu-akleh-jenin-killing-investigation-cmd-intl/index.html (shot by Israeli forces) while covering an IDF raid of occupied Jenin on May 11th, has sparked massive outcry in Palestine and widespread condemnation from the international community—as did the subsequent attack on her funeral procession by Israeli police. Though Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent for Al Jazeera, was a singular figure, her death is only the latest reminder that Israel has routinely targeted journalists and civilians, sustaining its impunity through obfuscation in the media and the routine dehumanization of Palestinians. Jewish Currents fellow Dylan Saba speaks with political scientist Dana El Kurd and activist Fadi Quran about Israeli media strategy, shifting public opinion outside the region, and the discursive and strategic challenges faced by the Palestine solidarity movement.
    Topics Mentioned:
    “https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/24/middleeast/shireen-abu-akleh-jenin-killing-investigation-cmd-intl/index.html (New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces)” - CNN
    “https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/9/30/behind-the-lens-remembering-muhammad-al-durrah (Behind the lens: Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah, 20 years on)” by Talal Abu Rahma
    “https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/on-this-day-stern-gang-assassinates-un-mediator-count-folke-bernadotte-in-1948-679649 (On This Day: Stern Gang assassinates UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948)” by Aaron Reich
    https://twitter.com/fadiquran/status/1524340592863584256?s=20andt=b8yHN-2Fggpgej95aHmfpw (Twitter thread) by Fadi Quran on the pattern of Israeli obfuscation following an attack
    “https://theintercept.com/2018/08/11/israel-palestine-drone-strike-operation-protective-edge/ (Secret Israeli Report Reveals Armed Drone Kills Four Boys Playing on Gaza Beach in 2014)” by Robert Mackey
    https://twitter.com/noatishby/status/1526964029830340610?s=20andt=aXnivfKQBwJtDUkjwBY61A (Noa Tishby invoking antisemitism) regarding the response to Shireen’s death
    Israeli military spokesperson saying the press is “https://www.timesofisrael.com/veteran-al-jazeera-journalist-shot-dead-during-israeli-raid-in-jenin/ (armed with cameras)”
    “https://jewishcurrents.org/you-cannot-unsee-this-image (You Cannot Unsee This Image),” an interview with Rashid Khalidi by Dylan Saba
    “https://arabcenterdc.org/resource/key-messages-from-the-oppressed/ (Key Messages from the Oppressed)” by Dana El Kurd

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Julien_Sorel ,

Enlightening, Interesting Conversation

This is the only Jewish podcast I subscribe to.

ticketmasterpoorservice ,

Cliche fulled

Not a balanced discussion. Adds nothing to knowledge. Echo chamber of anti Zionism

davmav01 ,

I like this podcast a lot but

the most recent episode on Black Jewish relations was really disappointing. I was looking forward to it too. But y’all are obviously on twitter a LOT, and it’s making you so OUTRAGED. And it made your discussion of this topic pretty vacuous, which is a shame. We need this conversation now more than ever. This one ain’t it.

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