FR07. Mai 2021


Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs at The New School, is the co-author (with Jeffrey Tayler), most recently, of In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones, reviews four recent books on Soviet history that may provide lessons for dealing with modern Russia.

Read more:
Stalin’s War and Peace by Nina L. Khrushcheva – Project Syndicate


DO18. März 2021

Global book talks on „The Arab and Jewish Questions“

The Arab and Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond, edited by Bashir Bashir und Leila Farsakh, and published by Columbia University Press, encompasses a 10 years‘ journey of engagement undertaken by Jewish and Arab scholars and activists at the Bruno Kreisky Forum.

First presented in Vienna in January 2021 together with the Central European University, it presently tours the world.



MO22. Februar 2021


Politicians and experts should not doubt a two-state solution. But they should finally consider a plausible version of it.

By Bernard Avishai and Sam Bahour

published in New York Times, February 12, 2021

A Biden administration — not visionary, but simply cleareyed — could make the difference. It could, immediately, insist that the Israeli government remove barriers to letting Palestinian entrepreneurs from, say, Kuwait or Dearborn, Mich., settle and build new businesses in the cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The administration should encourage a common market with Israel, Palestine and Jordan, and press for completion of the Quartet-sponsored gas pipeline that could bring electricity and desalinized water to Gaza.
The key is to save Israelis and Palestinians from anachronism. And each other.

Sam Bahour is an American-Palestinian who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank and is a management consultant.
Bernard Avishai, an American-Israeli professor and writer for magazines, lives in Jerusalem.
They have proposed a confederation to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years.

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MO22. Februar 2021



In the old Europe, Jews paid the ultimate price for ‘the Jewish Question’ with the Shoah. As the Shoah led to the Nakba, the cost was transferred to the Palestinians. Now, with the New Europe, the Palestinians pay the price again. They pay twice over: once for Jews being the stigmatised Other and a second time for Jews being the valorised Other. First they pay the price for the antisemitic exclusion of Jews in Europe. Then they pay for their anti-antisemitic inclusion. The cloak of despised Other has settled firmly on the shoulders of the Palestinian in Israel’s midst, like a hand-me-down. The ‘Jewish Question’ in Europe has turned into the ‘Palestinian Question’ in Israel. Such are the vicissitudes of European Jewish otherness.

Brian Klug (* born in London) is senior research fellow and tutor in philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford and a member of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. He is also an honorary fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton and fellow of the College, Saint Xavier University, Chicago.

Klug is a contributor to the book The Arab and Jewish Questions,edited by Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh and published by Columbia University Press in November 2020. This text was presented as part of the Oxford Book Talk on February 9, 2021.

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FR22. Jänner 2021

Zum 110. Geburtstag von Bruno Kreisky: NOBODY IS PERFECT

Am 22. Jänner 2021 wäre Bruno Kreisky 110 Jahre alt geworden.

Kreisky war von 1970 bis 1983 Bundeskanzler der Republik Österreich und hat wie kaum ein anderer Politiker unser Land geprägt und verändert. Zu Beginn seines Lebens hat er sich für Österreich gegen das faschistische Regime gewehrt, als Bundeskanzler hat er erfolgreich für ein fortschrittliches Österreich gekämpft. Bruno Kreisky hat die Gesellschaft um ein großes Stück gerechter gemacht, modernisiert und die Arbeitswelt humanisiert.

Der Philosoph, Schriftsteller und Literaturkritiker Franz Schuh hat zum 110. Geburtstag eine bemerkenswerte Rede mit Titel NOBODY IS PERFECT. BRUNO KREISKY UND DER BEGRIFF DES POLITISCHEN verfasst.


MO23. November 2020

Bashir Bashir, Leila Farsakh: The Arab and Jewish Questions

The Arab and Jewish Questions
Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond

Edited by Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh

Columbia University Press


Nineteenth-century Europe turned the political status of its Jewish communities into the “Jewish Question,” as both Christianity and rising forms of nationalism viewed Jews as the ultimate other. With the onset of Zionism, this “question” migrated to Palestine and intensified under British colonial rule and in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Zionism’s attempt to solve the “Jewish Question” created what came to be known as the “Arab Question,” which concerned the presence and rights of the Arab population in Palestine. For the most part, however, Jewish settlers denied or dismissed the question they created, to the detriment of both Arabs and Jews in Palestine and elsewhere.

This book brings together leading scholars to consider how these two questions are entangled historically and in the present day. It offers critical analyses of Arab engagements with the question of Jewish rights alongside Zionist and non-Zionist Jewish considerations of Palestinian identity and political rights. Together, the essays show that the Arab and Jewish questions, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which they have become subsumed, belong to the same thorny history. Despite their major differences, the historical Jewish and Arab questions are about the political rights of oppressed groups and their inclusion within exclusionary political communities—a question that continues to foment tensions in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Shedding new light on the intricate relationships among Orientalism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, colonialism, and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book reveals the inseparability of Arab and Jewish struggles for self-determination and political equality.

The book heavily draws on conversations in the frame of the Kreisky Forum’s project “Arab Engagements with Jewish Question” and “Jewish Engagements with the Arab Question”.
Contributors include Gil Anidjar, Brian Klug, Amal Ghazal, Ella Shohat, Hakem Al-Rustom, Hillel Cohen, Yuval Evri, Derek Penslar, Jacqueline Rose, Moshe Behar, Maram Masarwi, and the editors, Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh.
About the Author

Bashir Bashir is associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication at the Open University of Israel and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He is coeditor of The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (2008) and The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History (Columbia, 2018).

Leila Farsakh is associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her books include Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land, and Occupation, second edition (2012)


SO25. Oktober 2020


Palestinians are done conceding
Only a Palestinian institutional rebirth can end this conflict

by Sam Bahour, Writer, businessperson, activist

Western countries, especially European ones, have a track record of failing Palestine and Israel. Since the outset of this Middle East conflict, these powers have used the tremendous leverage they have on only one party — the Palestinians. At times, they punished Palestinians with military might. When that did not work, they added efforts to financially strangulate the Palestinian national liberation movement. When they realized the Palestinians were not going to vanish, they became innovative in their political and diplomatic discourse to divert Palestinians away from restoring what was forcefully taken from them upon the creation of the state of Israel. At no time in history have Western powers seriously held Israel accountable to get it to change its ways. Instead, they have paved the way for Israeli impunity, all the while funding them, arming them, and covering up for them in the international arena.


MO14. September 2020


The Womanly Face of Belarus
Svetlana Alexievich in conversation with Nina Khrushcheva

September 12, 2020

When, on August 26, Svetlana Alexievich was called to the Belarusian Investigative Committee for an interrogation, the grim visit turned unexpectedly celebratory. As the 2015 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature walked into the imposing yellow KGB building, she was surrounded by friends and supporters. People chanted “Love” and gave her white flowers—a symbol of the colossal protests that have emerged in response to the August 9 massive presidential election rigging in favor of the long-lasting Belarusian strongman, Alexander Lukashenko.

Alexievich—Belarus’s world-famous writer—was summoned for questioning as a member of the Opposition Coordination Council for the Transition of Power. The president, whose nickname has long been “Europe’s last dictator,” turned the Council’s demands for a dialogue with the authorities about the unfair and unfree elections into a criminal case aiming at seizure of state power. Its members were accused of “inflicting damage to national security.”

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MO07. September 2020

The View from Here (Here being Minsk)

The View from Here (Here being Minsk)

In post-election demonstrations against Lukashenko’s quarter-century rule, women have become the unifying figures, and have given this movement its exultant tone. Lukashenko’s brute muscle, with police and the military detaining and beating up protesters, has been met with transformative female power.

Svetlana Alexievich is the 2015 Nobel laureate in literature; the HBO series Chernobyl was partially based on her book Voices from Chernobyl

Nina Khrushcheva is a professor at the New School and, most recently, the co-author of In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones (co-authored)

DO13. August 2020

Andreas Kirchner: Nachgefragt bei Franz Vranitzky

Franz Vranitzky im Interview mit Andreas Kirchner


Der Journalist, Interviewer und Moderator Andreas Kirchner hat unseren Gründungs- und Ehrenpräsidenten Dr. Franz Vranitzky zu einem Gespräch im Rahmen seiner Reihe „NACHGEFRAGT“ im Kreisky Forum besucht.

„Über die SPÖ wollte ich mit ihm eigentlich nicht sprechen, das haben schon andere ausreichend gemacht. Es sollte ein Gespräch über Handschlagqualität und Respekt werden. Zwei Eigenschaften, denen im aktuellen politischen Geschehen scheinbar eher marginale Wichtigkeit zugeordnet wird. Auf die SPÖ kamen wir dann doch zu sprechen“, sagt Kirchner. Und weiter:

„Franz Vranitzky übernahm als Bundeskanzler aufgrund des Waldheim-Skandals repräsentative Aufgaben im Ausland, die sonst dem Bundespräsidenten zugefallen wären, führte Österreich nach langen Verhandlungen in die Europäische Union und bekannte in der Rede vor dem Nationalrat am 8. Juli 1991 die Mitschuld Österreichs am Zweiten Weltkrieg und dessen Folgen an. Der sozialdemokratische Regierungschef wurde mit seinen politischen Handlungen zum gesellschaftlichen Weichensteller der Republik. Dabei war ihm der Respekt – auch oder vor allem – vor dem politischen Gegenüber immer wichtig. Den Verlust desselben in der aktuellen Politik beklagt er. Seine Gedanken dazu publizierter er gemeinsam mit dem Journalisten Peter Pelinka 2017 im Buch „Zurück zum Respekt. Überleben in einer chaotischen Welt“.

In dieser chaotischen Welt, diesen Zeiten, die geprägt sind von Demagogen wie Donald Trump, den für vielen nicht mehr zu durchblickenden Verordnungen zur Eindämmung des Corona-Virus oder vom schwindenden Respekt des politischen Diskurses, habe ich mich mit dem 82-jährigen Elder Statesman zum Gespräch eingefunden. Dies am 30. Todestag Bruno Kreiskys in dessen ehemaliger Villa, die jetzt als Bruno Kreisky Forum eine Plattform für den internationalen Dialog ist. “


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