Palestine vs. The Palestinians

(This week’s post will unfortunately be shorter than usual as work is kicking into a higher gear with the approaching end of the semester.) One of the bigger stories of the past week has been the (tentative) reconciliation suddenly achieved between Fatah and Hamas with the prospect of a unity government on the horizon for the first time since the Palestinian elections in 2006.  The announcement was almost immediately overtaken by Israel’s reaction and the United States reaction to the reaction, and at present the media coverage is focussed on the presumed death of the peace process (although how you … Continue reading Palestine vs. The Palestinians

Rioters, Terrorists, and Zombies

In the aftermath of any major event, certain tropes crop up in the speech of politicians and unimaginative journalists, tropes which can often provide the key to understanding the deeper significance of that event.  In the case of the riots across England two weeks ago, the politicking slogan became “mindless violence”.  This gem was of course intimately linked to the belief that there was no socio-economic reason behind the riots, that they were not a political act. Leaving aside the debate about all this (although I have my own opinions), let us engage in a bit of hypothesis.  If there … Continue reading Rioters, Terrorists, and Zombies