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Israel: Cry, the Beloved Country

This piece is cross-posted on Verfassungsblog. Israel, like many other democracies today, is a deeply polarized society. The operating principle of public discourse is typically: ‘Art thou for us or for our adversaries’ (Joshua 5:13). Whether it is the never-ending Arab-Israeli conflict and the 55-year Occupation of the Territories (even how to call them both is a divisive issue), or questions of church and state resulting from Israel’s self-definition as Jewish and democratic, one could predict with unerring certainty who one would find on either side of the verbal, political and at times physical barricades. In recent times, the figure of Mr Netanyahu and the legal woes he is facing have deepened the polarization. It is thus telling that, in the recent eruption in response to Netanyahu’s new government plan to reform the judicial system, not only have the protesters’ numbers risen to an unprecedented scale but one finds, both in Israel and in the Jewish communities around the world, prominent figures and many individuals – card-carrying Zionists of a centre/right…

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Why do the Nations so Furiously Rage Together?

Happy New Year to all our readers, especially in those places visited by rage.   Why do the nations So furiously rage together? Why do the people Imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up And the rulers take counsel together Take counsel together Against the Lord And…

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Bread and Circus: How Life Imitates the Mundial (or is it the other way round)?

Let us begin with the Mundial. I write this Editorial on the day after the Semifinals in Qatar. For football (soccer) lovers as myself (from the couch, I fear) it has been an exhibition of splendid football as well as an exciting and full-of-surprises competition. Elation and disappointments abounded. Think, to give but one example, of…

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10 Good Reads 2022

Here is my pick of ‘Good Reads’ from the books I read in 2022. I want to remind you, as I do every year, that these are not ‘book reviews’, which also explains the relative paucity of law books or books about the law. Many excellent ones have come my way in 2022, as in previous years, but…

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On My Way In III: It’s Not All About Me: Writing a Cover Letter for an Academic Position

Some texts are key to scholarly careers – cover letters, letters of reference, curricula vitae – yet are never intended for publication. They are – perhaps in part for that reason – under-scrutinized genres of academic writing. When one serves on an appointment panel, one inevitably reads hundreds of samples of such texts, provoking reflection on what makes…

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