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Yael S. Aronoff

Daniel C. Kurtzer, ed., Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 237 pp., $31.00 (hardback).

Daniel C. Kurtzer, Scott B. Lasensky, William B. Quandt, Steven L. Spiegel, and Shibley Z. Telhami, The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989–2011 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013), 336 pp., $29.95 (hardback).

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Belfast St Patrick's Day Celebrations and the Act of Forgetting

Trying to Create Cross-community Identities

John Nagle

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast city centre since 1998 have been imagined as providing a common symbol and space to imagine cross-community identities. Celebrations represent an attempt to constitute a social act of forgetting, to abandon a past where public commemorations perpetuated sectarian division. This article charts how the celebrations were contentious as competing groups claimed ownership over its performance. The contested status of the celebrations were largely the outgrowth of political legislation which, rather than facilitating cross-community alliances and identities, preserves the outright difference and absolute cultures enshrined in the notion of 'nationalist' and 'unionist' identities. Moreover, if the performance of memory has helped maintain discrete unionist and nationalist identities, and an abandoning of a past blighted by sectarian conflict is required to create a new, harmonious society, this legislation rendered the role of memory and forgetting ambiguous by stressing both as contributors to reconciliation.

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Lessons from the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Talks

An Interview with Aharon Barak

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

This article is based on an interview conducted in July 2018 with Aharon Barak. In it, Barak reflects on the peace negotiations with Egypt at Camp David during 13 days in September 1978. While expressing great appreciation for the American negotiating team, first and foremost for President Jimmy Carter, for bringing the talks to a successful close, Barak considers negotiating with Carter as the toughest experience of his life. According to Barak, who had just completed his role as legal advisor to the government (1975–1978) and was appointed to the Supreme Court, the key people in the Israeli delegation were Menachem Begin, Moshe Dayan, and Ezer Weizman, while the key players in the Egyptian delegation were Anwar Sadat and Osama El-Baz. The negotiations went through ups and downs and had reached the brink of collapse until the Americans proposed that Carter negotiate directly with El-Baz and Barak. In the article’s conclusion, some important insights are deduced from this interview for future, successful negotiations.

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Palestine

A Protracted Peacebuilding Process

Emile Badarin

For the past 20 years, at least, Israelis, Palestinians, and peace sponsors have been implicated in a seemingly endless peacebuilding project—best known as the Middle East or the Israel-Palestine peace process. Indeed, much of the abundant

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Ken MacLean

currently oppose humanitarian mine action (HMA), which entails risk education, clearance, victim assistance, advocacy, and stockpile destruction, on the grounds that doing so now presents a serious threat to the peace process. During 2013 and 2014, I

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Policing, Policy and Practice

Responding to Disorder in North Belfast

Neil Jarman

Rioting and street disorder have been a recurrent problem in Northern Ireland over the course of the peace process. This article reviews a range of the responses that have been developed to try to address the disorder and to better understand the process of the creation and development of policy. The article starts from interpretation of policy as a process of social relations involving the interaction of different sectors of society and it discusses how government and community actors have responded in different ways to the violence, but over the course of time have come to a broadly shared understanding of the most appropriate means of managing the conflict.

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The Anthropology of Ritual

Monitoring and Stewarding Demonstrations in Northern Ireland

Dominic Bryan

Rioting in Northern Ireland sometimes appears endemic. The control of public space, through the utilisation of rituals and symbols, has played a significant part in the violent conflict and has remained a central issue since the 1998 Multi-Party Agreement institutionalised the peace process. This article draws upon ethnographic research and anthropological models of ritual to explore policy interventions in conflict resolution over potential public disorders. In particular, it looks at the use of monitors, mediators and marshals at parades and demonstrations and describes how anthropological fieldwork has played a role in developing projects and policies that offer solutions to a cycle of intercommunal street violence.

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Noa Balf

The Oslo peace process has effectively stalled and failed. In this article I show that by positioning the Oslo process and any political and civic forces involved with it as tainted by irrational and emotional weakness, neo-conservative figures and institutions within Israel have successfully argued for a hyper-masculinized Israeli security paradigm. In this configuration, the process of cooperation and the acknowledgement of Palestinian claims are viewed as weak and reprehensible, while aggressive military strategies, deterrence, and the demand for unequivocal Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s terms are perceived as rational and responsible actions that protect Israeli interests. By conflating security with the state, Israeli political leaders perpetuate the conflict rather than resolve it.

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Univocality within Multivocality

The Israeli-Arab-Palestinian Conflict as Reflected in Israeli History Textbooks, 2000-2010

Elie Podeh

Previous research on the way in which the Arab-Israeli conflict and the image of the Arab have been presented in Jewish history and civics textbooks established that there have been three phases, each typified by its own distinctive textbooks. The shift from the first to the third generation of textbooks saw a gradual improvement in the way the Other has been described, with the elimination of many biases, distortions and omissions. This article explores whether new history textbooks, published from 2000 to 2010, have entrenched or reversed this trend. With the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the early 2000s, one might have expected that the past linear process of improvement would be reversed. However, textbooks written over the last decade do not substantially differ from those written in the 1990s, during the heyday of the peace process. The overall picture is, therefore, that the current textbooks do not constitute a fourth generation.

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Yaron Ezrahi

Is Israeli democracy in danger? The short answer is yes! But which democracy is not in some sense or another fragile and in danger? In some democracies it is the rise of the extreme right and racism in reaction to Muslim minorities, in others the possibility of disastrous economic collapse, and in still others the nearing possibility of a civil war. In the case of Israel it is unreasonable to assess the future of democracy given the deep uncertainties about the prospects of a settlement with the Palestinians and of achieving definable agreed-upon borders in the foreseeable future, and Israel’s permanently grave state of security. In addition, no one can risk predicting the prospect and consequences of a war involving thousands of missiles over Israeli cities if the present deadlock of the peace process persists and eventually leads to an explosion.