On April 18th, Bard College Berlin, in cooperation with Centre Marc Bloch, hosted an evening for German journalists and politicians to discuss the German media discourse on “migrant anti-Semitism” with young Israelis, Arabs, Jewish & Muslim Germans, and other international students in a safe, academic, non-public setting. The evening started with a round of short presentations in English on Jewish / Israeli / Arab / Muslim experiences and points of view. Subsequently, a German panel discussed German media coverage. Then the discussion opened to the audience.
The evening presented an opportunity not to speak in a confrontational way about this sensitive topic, but in an exploratory, self-reflective way. Participants did not take a rigid stance, but choose to engage in thinking together. The short presentations did not claim to be representative. They offered a different perspective: the perspective of people who live together in Jewish-Arab settings in certain parts of Berlin and choose to learn from each other rather than get pulled into a “clash of civilizations.”
The audience consisted of students, professors, and invited journalists.
To ensure that all participants could speak freely, the evening followed the “Chatham House Rule.” Therefore, information from the event was only reported without implicit or explicit mention of the source’s name or affiliation.
We are sharing here some student reflections on the event and the seminar sessions leading up to it: