Friday, July 30, 2021

 Politics – July 2021 – Personal News 


Israel should do whatever it can to bring home Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed as well as the remains of Hadar Golden and Shaul Aaron. 

It is no less than state duty and, of course, the just and decent thing to do.

Indirect Egyptian-mediated talks in Cairo between Hamas and Israel failed to advance a deal that would allow the release of two Israeli citizens held captive and the return of the remains of two of IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war. Israel has insisted that any agreement to rehabilitate Gaza must be linked to the return of the soldiers and citizens. According to a media report, both the Hamas and Israeli delegations were in Cairo at the same time. Egypt, with the help of the UN, is attempting to broker a permanent cease-fire to prevent a further outbreak of IDF-Hamas violence, such as last month’s 11-day war. Israeli restrictions on the entry of construction material and dual-use items have prevented Gaza from reconstructing buildings and facilities damaged during the war. A mechanism has not been put in place that would prevent Hamas from diverting the construction material for military purposes such as attack tunnels.





Reflections on Last Newsletter

Personal News: Vice President of The Association for Israel Studies

New Book: Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism


Looking for a Place to Write Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


New Article: “Stockholm and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process - An Interview with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder”, Israel Affairs (2021). DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1940562

Public Lecture: “Israel Facing COVID-19: Challenges, Problems and Successes”

Monthly Poem

Reflections on Last Newsletter

Abe Silverman reflected on one of last month’s reflections:

Dear Art

I think that in your zeal to be fair you display a lack of fairness. How can it be wrong for Jews to live in homes that they own legally even if those homes may be in a future Palestinian State. Why could 8000 Jews not live in peace in Gaza in homes that they bought and paid for legally and had lived in for over 25 years. Almost 2 million Muslim Arabs live in Israel protected by the same laws and freedoms that protect Jews. What is it about Jews that cause the Palestinians to declare that a future Palestinian State must be "Yuden Frie" Jew free. Do you see the irony? And marching through Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem in a peaceful demonstration celebrating Jerusalem day is what is done in a Democracy. You may not be old enough to remember Neo Nazi's marching through Jewish neighborhoods in Skokie Illinois. Did the Jewish residence like that. Of course not. Did they riot? Of course not. It's called the right to free expression. I'm afraid that you are mixing up what is right and fair with your feelings and emotions.

Abe Silverman

Edmonton Canada

Art responded;

I partly agree with Silverman’s view, and feel no need to answer it in detail.  These things are not black and white, and there is room for many views.  I just wish all sides would be less angry, less militant, less armed, and less inclined toward extreme nationalism and fundamentalist religion.  Peace - Art Hobson, retired professor of physics, USA.   

Personal News: Vice President of The Association for Israel Studies

Recently I was elected to serve as Vice President of The Association for Israel Studies (AIS). This is the largest and most important association of Israel studies in the world. 

Some friends have now joined the association and I am grateful to their support. Please consider joining and let me know if you are willing to provide kind assistance. There is a lot to do and I appreciate any help I can get from you.


New Book: Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism

My book Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism is about to be published later this month with Cambridge University Press. Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh wrote:

Multiculturalism has polarised academic and public opinion. Some see it as the only way to reconcile the demands of unity and diversity in a multi-ethnic society. Others see it as a way to ghettoise different communities and prevent their interaction and integration. Professor Cohen-Almagor’s book is a judicious and perceptive account of the controversy and the way to resolve it.  He discusses such important questions as the limits of state action, when the state may interfere with individual liberty, the relation between group rights and individual rights, and the sources of tension between liberalism and multiculturalism. His discussion is invariably fair, insightful, and probing. 

Having laid the theoretical framework in the first part of the book, the author devotes the second to a critical examination of minority and other practices that may appear to offend against a society’s values. Here he skilfully examines several such practices in both liberal and non-liberal societies and further illuminates the way forward. He takes countries often ignored by multiculturalists, such as Israel, and uses them to disclose tensions within liberalism.

This is a fine book, analytically rigorous, comprehensive in scope, and informed by a deep familiarity with contemporary debates. I have no doubt that it represents an important addition to the growing literature on multiculturalism and should receive considerable critical attention.

Short video about the book:

I appreciate your help in promoting it.


I am interested to present the book before interested audiences. I’d be happy to take (virtual) part in book celebrations and book launches in your respective departments and institutions. Please get in touch if this can be arranged.



Looking for a Place to Write Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Since 2013, I am writing a book titled Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Critical Study of Peace Mediation, Facilitation and Negotiations between Israel and the PLO (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). This is a very substantive project, based on archival work in the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States and Norway, as well as on dozens of interviews with senior politicians and negotiators.


I am looking for a hosting institution that would sponsor my stay and provide me with peace of mind and supporting, interested community to write my book. All ideas welcome.



New Article: “Stockholm and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process - An Interview with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder”, Israel Affairs (2021). DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1940562


This article records my interview with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder. We discussed her involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Sweden’s relationships with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The interview assesses the positive and negative lessons and implications of the peace process, Sweden’s involvement in the peace process, and the likelihood of bringing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a close.

Keywords: Arafat, Hamas, Israel, PLO, Sten Andersson, Sweden, peace negotiations

Public Lecture: “Israel Facing COVID-19: Challenges, Problems and Successes”

Pandemic and Governance: Towards an Approximation of Covid-19’s Legal, Administrative, Fiscal and Political Dilemmas, The Eötvös József Research Centre of the University of Public Service, Budapest

Monthly Poems

Eighty Three Years

Eighty three years

Have waited for love to conquer

Bring him where he wanted.

Eighty three years

This is awfully lot of time

Woke up trembling

Hugged his partner who slept beside him

Listening to her sweet breath.

Raphael Almagor

Sunshine and shadow play amid the trees

In bosky groves, while from the vivid sky
The sun’s gold arrows fleck the fields at noon,
Where weary cattle to their slumber hie.
How sweet the music of the purling rill,
Trickling adown the grassy hill!
While dreamy fancies come to give repose
When the first star of evening glows.

Peace, Love, and Good Health to all


My last communications are available on Israel: Democracy, Human Rights, Politics and Society,

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Twitter at @almagor35