This tag is associated with 6 posts

A Time to Weed

Weeds do not grow in a vacuum. At a minimum they need a reasonable temperature and minimum amounts of water and oxygen. Given proper conditions, they will of course flourish, and without attention, can take over a garden. The first few attacks on Muslim and Christian institutions were attributed to “weeds” – every group has … Continue reading

Degree Ceremonies, National Anthems and Belonging

Yesterday I attended my degree-award ceremony at Coventry University in the UK. Because of the close ties (both geographical and institutional) between the two bodies, all the degree ceremonies take place in the august setting of Coventry Cathedral. The original cathedral was destroyed in a German bombing raid on the city during World War II. … Continue reading

Alice Walker and the Gaza Flotilla

A dear friend (and subscriber to my blog!) responded to my last blog by sending me a piece published by the Guardian newspaper written by Alice Walker. In it she justified her decision to join the Gaza flotilla. I found the piece moving, and as a long-time fan of Alice Walker, it made me feel more … Continue reading

Unrecognized Bedouin Villages

There are two articles about the situation of the Bedouin in today’s Hebrew Haaretz (unfortunately only one made it into the English version). Moshe Arens, whilst acknowledging the urgency of the problem and the lack of any integrated government policy directed at addressing it, seems to suggest that the solution lies with the army: by enlisting Bedouin boys more … 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


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

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