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Waging Peace

I am no longer able to sing the popular Israeli song composed by Mosh Ben-Ari which has become part of our liturgy at Friday night services in the Kol HaNeshama congregation in Jerusalem: “Peace will come upon us”               ” עוד יבוא שלום עלינו”  There are those who believe that achieving inner peace will help bring outer peace nearer. … Continue reading

I am an Israeli Patriot

Patriotism has become a dirty word in many circles. It has become acquainted with fanaticism and extremism. To be an Israeli patriot is even worse. And because of my left-wing views, many people would be surprised to hear me describe myself as an Israeli patriot. In Israel, patriotism and Zionism are terms that have been … Continue reading

Enemy Images

One of the factors that contributes to the perpetuation of conflict is our image of the ‘enemy’ as inherently evil. In any situation of protracted conflict people become convinced that the other side is ‘bad.’ Perceptions of the enemy form mirror images of each other – that is, each side attributes to itself the same … Continue reading

The Paralysis of Fear

Reading this morning’s commentaries on President Obama’s speech to AIPAC, one of the things that strikes me is the myriad ways in which it is possible to listen, and how the way that you listen determines what you will hear. In one of my first blogs (‘A Time for Silence’) I suggested that Netanyahu needed … Continue reading

The Future of Jerusalem

Why is it that the dispute concerning Jerusalem seems to swing from “the eternal capital of Israel, one undivided city” to proposals to divide the city between East (Palestinian) and West (Israeli)? Why is it so rare to hear voices calling for a shared Jerusalem? A few years ago, when a Women’s Dialogue Group run … Continue reading

Narratives of Conflict

Listening to Netanyahu’s speech yesterday, once again I was struck by the centrality of belonging. When Bibi demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he is expressing a desire for them to recognize Jewish belonging in this land. When he asserts his conviction that the conflict is still about 1948 and not … Continue reading

What’s the plan?

Watching the events onIsrael’s Northern borders unfold yesterday, I was filled with trepidation. The pictures of thousands of Palestinian refugees storming the fences were a frightening foretaste of what’s to come. It has long been clear that the path of mass civil disobedience and non-violent resistance would be a much more successful route for Palestinian protest … Continue reading

Yom HaNakba

It’s Yom HaNakba today. Oops, there goes any government funding for this blog*! The Israeli government appears to think that the so-called Nakba Law can help suppress the idea that the establishment of the State of Israel is not a cause for celebration by the Palestinian population. Apparently, only Palestinians prepared to celebrate Israel’s independence … Continue reading

Hitting Back

My son is a soldier. He was recently out on a training run with his unit when for no apparent reason he was set upon by a soldier from a different unit, who used a wooden stick he was holding to hit my son and one of the other soldiers. It all happened very quickly, … Continue reading

Belonging

As some of you know, my PhD research centred on the concept of belonging. We all feel the need to belong – whether to our families, our social groups, our sports clubs, our towns or our countries. Belonging is, amongst other things, to do with place – the role that place plays in our identity. … Continue reading