International Conflicts

Dispute Resolution in Israel – Shorashim and “Anger as Idolatry”

After spending almost a full week in Israel learning about the unfathomable complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, some of us (me included) expressed growing pessimism and even despair about the prospects for peace here. So it was uplifting to start our last full day of the Academic Partners for Peace DR Law Faculty Seminar talking with representatives from Shorashim (“roots”), a group located in the West Bank that is “fostering a grassroots movement of understanding, nonviolence and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians.”

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CFPB–A Poster Child for Regulation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just issued a new rule prohibiting financial service providers from using forced arbitration to prevent their customers from suing the company in class actions.  While many of us believe this rule is a “great win for consumers,” others are trying to gut it in Congress, in the courts, or through administrative action by the Comptroller of the Currency.

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Israel Reflections 2017–Race and Diversity

Another new meeting this year was with Oshra Friedman of Tebeka legal services, an organization that provides specialized legal services for the Ethiopian immigrants to Israel.  As we learned on our last trip, Israel has welcomed thousands of immigrants from Ethiopia of Jewish heritage and assimilation into the modern society of Israel can be very challenging. 

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Israel Reflections 2017–Old Gesher (the Crossing into Jordan)

We stopped at Old Gesher as twilight fell over the valley of the Jordan River on our way to Tiberius. Standing on the grounds, we could see the fence demarcating the border between Jordan and Israel near the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers, as well as the standing remains of three historic bridges (gesher is Hebrew for “bridge,” an obvious metaphor for conflict resolution).

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Israel Reflections 2017–Should a Bartender be the next Mediator for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Six hours after landing in Israel, I found myself amid an impromptu conflict resolution at Dublin Bar in Jerusalem. How could this be happening? I was only kidding when I told my friend we couldn’t leave Israel until we came to a two-state solution! Yet, there I sat, with my Jack and Diet half-full in front of me, as I pretended to not hear the commotion going on between him and two attractive Israeli women sitting next to him at the bar.

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Israel Reflections 2017–The Truth (?) of Masada

I have always loved ruins. Ruins tell a story and bring an appreciation of the past. However, a forgotten aspect of ruins is the stories that surround them. The combination of beauty and history converge at the ruins of Masada. The utter beauty of the sight whether it was the preserved ruins or the breathtaking views atop the rock cliff brought me to a place of deep peace.

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