Protocols of the Youths of Zion

On Feburary 13 Jewish Currents published an article I wrote about the emergence of a new publication for the Jewish Left, Protocols. I interviewed editor Ben Ratskoff and contributor and film maker Hannah Roodman to get a sense of this forceful and ambitious project, and to better understand the political and artistic vision that Protocols brings to the table. As much a critical space for the American Jewish Left as it is an arena to wrestle with the resurgence of antisemtism in the past few years, I found the first issue to be provocative, entertaining, insightful, and at times, confusing.

“I reflexively recalled antisemitic slurs said to me in middle school, but when I saw the logo, written in faux Soviet font, I got it. The word Protocols stamped in red above a rich blackness, surrounding a loaf of challah, it’s silk cover stained almost imperceptibly with wine. A cleft formed in the braided bread seals completes the imagery in the photograph by Berlin based artist Benjamin Reich. The traditional bread for shabbat, bound together with the image of circumcision. The cover, its foreskin, the stain, blood. A kind of productive discomfort prevailed over the shock I felt upon hearing the publication’s name. Devilishly, I imagined what it would mean if people thought of this, a bold, longform, and art-filled online publication, instead of an antisemitic conspiracy when they heard the word “protocols” in relation to Jews.”

Read the rest of my article here.

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