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United Kingdom

  • Maintaining conflict, stopping bloodshed: Lessons from 15 years of peace in Northern Ireland

    Although Republicans and Unionists still have extremely different ideas as to where the country should be heading they still accept each other's right to imagine opposite identities and futures. Fifteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, there is much Israelis and Palestinians can learn from Northern Ireland. "No two conflicts are alike, and a solution that fits one conflict could never be copied successfully to anywhere else." The same sentence, in minor variations, was said to me by countless members of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly, as well as journalists, academics and political activists during my short…

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  • Israeli minister aptly compares Ariel settlement with Falklands

    Last Tuesday, it became official: the IDF (following approval from Defense Minister Barak) recognized the academic center in the settlement of Ariel as a full-fledged university. International condemnation soon followed. A UK minister, for instance, expressed disappointment regarding Israel’s decision, and labeled it an obstacle to peace. In response, Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar (Likud) argued that “[o]ur connection to Ariel is at least as strong as the UK’s connection to the Falkland Islands.” This comparison is quite apt because Ariel, like the Falklands, is the product of a colonial enterprise, meant to place a metropolitan population amidst a weaker…

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  • Future sound of London: The UK as model for our region

    The first page I ever "liked" on Facebook now proved itself worthwhile. It is the page of British folk singer Billy Bragg, the "Bard of Barking" (an area in East London). Besides being one of the best baladeers ever born, Bragg is a socialist thinker and an activist. It is from him that I learned today of the Welsh referendum, in which the nation voted to give their national assembly direct powers. Bragg, an Englishman, was certainly excited. He wrote: "Before one of you nay-sayers points out that the turn out was only 35%, I say this: history is made…

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