It is high time to consider circumcision from a feminist perspective, says Tessa Szyszkowitz.

It is July in the garden of my parents in the south of Vienna. We sit in the shade under the beech tree and I tell my son Adam, who has just turned eight, that his Brit Mila took place in this house on the eighth day of his life. "My circumcision? Ugh," he says. "Let's go on the swing!"

But this is what happened. Our garden had been transformed by Chaya Molcho and Joshua Elbaranes into Schlaraffenland ("land of plenty"). The chief rabbi sang Yiddish rap, the Jewish wedding band played along and the entire family clan with all our friends from here and there was dancing Hora like crazed dervishes on the lawn. Before all this, little Adam was circumcised among the bookshelves in the living room of my parents by Vienna's best mohel. In his secular life, he is the kosher butcher of the second district in Vienna.

French star philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy is in favor of military intervention in Syria, he thinks the travel ban for Grass to Israel is absurd and he defends Dominique Strauss-Kahn against the international mob.

It's Sunday morning last week and Bernard-Henri Lévy, France's most famous living philosopher, is at work. He walks into the lobby of the Hotel Bristol in Paris on his cell phone. When he has finished his conversations after half an hour, he approaches us and apologizes for the delay. The phone rings again. Levy disappears. Philosophy means for the 63-year-old star intellectual not to wallow in the seclusion of a library about abstract concepts, but to do very specific things, such as: To turn the war in Bosnia-occupied Sarajevo into a movie in 1992 or go to Pakistan to investigate the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl by Al Qaeda in 2002, or in 2011, to convince Nicolas Sarkozy, then French President, of the need for military intervention to overthrow the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi. And now? Levy switches off his mobile phone.

French Middle East expert Gilles Kepel on the rebellion in Syria, the crucial phase of the "Arab Spring" and the Muslims in the suburbs of Paris.

Gilles Kepel, 56, is the leading expert on Islam in France. He comes from a Czech-French family and taught at the renowned Parisian elite university "Institut d'Etudes Politiques". For three decades he has observed political Islam and radical Islamism in the Arab world and in France. His best-known books include "Prophet and Pharaoh", "The spiral of terror: The way of Islam, September 11 in our suburbs", “The Black Book of Jihad: The Rise and Fall of Islam ". In February 2012 he published "Ninety-three", a tribute to Victor Hugo, and a study of the social revolution in the Parisian suburbs. Kepel met profil on the margins of a conference of "Rencontres Valmer: Beyond the Arab Spring" orgnized by the "Center for Mediterranean Integration" and the French Foreign Ministry in Marseille.

After tea with the queen © Shona McGrahan

After tea with the queen © Shona McGrahan

Die Queen begeht ihr 60. Thronjubiläum. Was Sie immer schon über die britische Königin wissen wollten. Und noch ein bisschen mehr.  

Page 16 of 16

Keep me updated!

© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz