Tuesday, February 15, 2022

 Politics – February 2022 


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.


#COVID19 Booster campaign stalls as #Johnson's #PartyGate undermines trust in official advice. How unsurprising that #BorisJohnsonResign downfall will be the result of partying and alcohol. We deserve better, more accountable, leadership. 

Reflections on Last Newsletter

Invitation to a Talk with Joel Singer

Invited article: “Can Group Rights Justify the Denial of Education to Adolescents? The Amish in the United States as a case study”. 

Did You Know? 

Monthly Poem

Light Side

Reflections on Last Newsletter

Many thanks to those who wrote to express their appreciation for Elyakim Rubinstein’s talk about Moshe Dayan, which was also a talk about the history of Israel. The talk is available at the MESC website:


Invitation to a Talk with Joel Singer

Middle East Study Centre (MESC)

Wednesday February 16, 2022, 5:00-7:00pm LONDON TIME

Joel Singer

Former legal advisor, military officer and international negotiator for the Government of Israel, and MESC

From Oslo to Gaza

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/636424135822788109

Opening words: Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Director, MESC

Chair: Dr Jacob Eriksson, University of York and MESC

The events following Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005 – the Hamas takeover of this region in 2007 and the subsequent unending rounds of violence between Hamas and Israel – appear to be an unintended aberration of the original, joint plans for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation which were encapsulated in the Oslo Accords. In fact, however, the current situation in Gaza simply brought to its natural conclusion the dreaded but apparently unavoidable basic bargain underlying the accords. As one Palestinian negotiator told Joel Singer when he negotiated, on behalf of Israel, the Oslo Agreement with the PLO: “You think that Israel is doing us a favor by handing over Gaza to the PLO? We are doing you a favor by taking Gaza from you.”


In his presentation, Singer will explain how the roots of the current situation in Gaza were built into the Oslo Accords’ genetic code, which many observers originally and correctly characterized as the blueprint for the “Gaza First” approach. Singer will also explain why this tragic, seemingly dead-end street was, in fact, inevitable and, further, why there is no feasible way at this time to rectify the deadlock.





Joel Singer served as Legal Adviser of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, previously, Director of the International Law Department of the Israel Defense Forces. From 1973 over a 25-year period, Singer worked for both right-wing Likud governments and left-wing Labor governments. Singer was a member of Israeli delegations negotiating peace treaties and other agreements with all of Israel’s Arab neighbors, including Egypt (the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty), Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians (the Oslo Accords). Until recently, Singer practiced law as a partner in the Washington, DC office of an international law firm. He is a Member of the MESG.

Chair: Dr Jacob Eriksson, University of York and MESC

Dr Jacob Eriksson is Lecturer in Post-war Recovery Studies in the Department of Politics at the University of York. Jacob’s research focuses on conflict, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding in the Middle East. His first book, Small-state Mediation in International Conflicts: Diplomacy and Negotiation in Israel-Palestine was published by IB Tauris in 2015. He is the editor, together with Dr Ahmed Khaleel, of Iraq after ISIS: The challenges of post-war recovery, published by Palgrave in 2019.

Date: Wednesday February 16, 2022, 5:00-7:00pm LONDON TIME

Please register directly with the online platform: 


All are welcome to attend

Invited article: Can Group Rights Justify the Denial of Education to Adolescents? The Amish in the United States as a case study”. 

A slightly revised version of the above article published in SN Social Sciences, 1: 164 (2021) was reprinted in Revista Direitos Sociais e Políticas Públicas (UNIFAFIBE), Vol. 9, n. 2 (2021): 940-981. https://www.unifafibe.com.br/revista/index.php/direitos-sociais-politicas-pub/issue/view/45/showToc

Multiculturalism gives preference to group rights over individual rights. This may challenge democratic values. This paper focuses on the Amish denial of education from their adolescents. Criticizing Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), the paper analyses the power of the Amish community over its members. The main questions are: Is it reasonable to deny the Amish adolescents’ standard American education? What are the limits of state interference in norms of illiberal communities who invoke separatism as a mechanism of cultural and religious preservation?

Keywords: Amish; education; open future; state interference; Wisconsin v. Yoder


DoD. O presente artigo se concentra na negação dos Amish da educação dos seus adolescentes. A partir das críticas à Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), se analisa o poder da comunidade Amish sobre seus membros. As principais questões são: É razoável negar aos adolescentes Amish os padrôes da educação americana? Quais são os limites da interferência do Estado nas normas das comunidades iliberais que invocam o separatismo como mecanismo de preservação cultural e religiosa?

Palavras chave: Amish; Educação; futuro aberto; interferência do Estado; Wisconsin v. Yoder.

Did You Know? 

“Q” is the only letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name.

Monthly Poem

A Prophecy. February 1807

HIGH deeds, O Germans, are to come from you!
Thus in your books the record shall be found,
'A watchword was pronounced, a potent sound--
ARMINIUS!--all the people quaked like dew
Stirred by the breeze; they rose, a Nation, true,
True to herself--the mighty Germany,
She of the Danube and the Northern Sea,
She rose, and off at once the yoke she threw.
All power was given her in the dreadful trance;
Those new-born Kings she withered like a flame.' 
--Woe to them all! but heaviest woe and shame
To that Bavarian who could first advance
His banner in accursed league with France,
First open traitor to the German name! 

William Wordsworth

Light Side: 

Peace and Good Health to you all


My last communications with all the photos and illustrations are available on Israel: Democracy, Human Rights, Politics and Society, http://almagor.blogspot.com

People wishing to subscribe to this Monthly Newsletter are welcome to e-mail me at r.cohen-almagor@hull.ac.uk

Twitter at @almagor35