#rp23 keynote speaker Meron Mendel: On jews, money and myths.

24.03.2023 - How do we talk about money and capitalism – without spreading harmful stereotypes?
Meron Mendel in einem blauen Shirt vor hellem Hintergrund.
Photo Credit
Ali Ghandtschi

In an open society, people should not express themselves in a racist or anti-Semitic way. Not because they are afraid of negative consequences, but because they are honestly convinced that it is wrong.

The idea that Jewish people are rich and pull the strings behind the scenes is an old stereotype that is now widespread worldwide. Where does the myth come from? Is criticism of the business practices of George Soros or Mark Zuckerberg automatically anti-Semitic? Often there is talk of "big business", "the elites" or simply "those up there". However, cash criticism can also tip the balance and a truncated analysis of capitalism can open the door to anti-Semitic resentment. How can we do better as a society?

Meron Mendel (born 1976), who spent the first twenty-five years of his life in Israel, deals with these and many other questions. Growing up on a kibbutz in the desert, issues such as social justice, peace and social cohesion have shaped him since childhood. Meron became politically involved early on, especially in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. He studied education and Jewish history in Haifa and Munich and did his doctorate at the Goethe University of Frankfurt on the realities of life for Jewish youth in Germany. He has been the director of the Bildungsstätte Anne Frank (Anne Frank Educational Centre) since 2010. The institution has since developed from a small neighbourhood association into one of the leading organisations nationwide in the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism. In 2021, Meron Mendel took over a professorship at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences with a focus on transnational social work. He teaches on topics such as democracy building, migration society and human rights. In his current book "Über Israel reden. Eine deutsche Debatte" (Talking about Israel. A German Debate), Meron describes how the relationship to Israel and the Middle East conflict is negotiated in Germany – in politics and in the media, among leftists, migrants and the Jewish population.

Last year, Meron Mendel was involved in the re:publica session "Guardians of Democracy: How to counter the AfD Foundation". At #rp23, we look forward to his exciting insights on the topic of jews, money and myth – in short: how do we talk about CASH?

Juden, Geld, Mythos

Meron Mendel

Die Vorstellung, Juden seien reich und würden hinter den Kulissen die Strippen ziehen, ist ein altes Stereotyp, das inzwischen weltweit verbreitet ist. Woher kommt der Mythos und was hat das mit Kapitalismuskritik heute zu tun? Wann wird Cash-Kritik antisemitisch? Wie können wir es besser machen?
Future & Utopia
Live Übersetzung