Tag: social contract

  • Tension Between Christians and Muslims on the Beaches of Alexandria

    From the United States to Europe to the beaches of Alexandria it is all the same question: what holds a society together? Is there are social contract or is there not? Do people not kill each other because the State is stronger, controlled artificially by those in power, a power they wield only for their own selfish benefit? Or can there be something deeper that binds our societies? I would argue that this will be the fundamental question of the future. Increasingly the ties that bind are narrowly religious, while the secular social contract is thinning considerably.  That bodes ill for minorities everywhere. It is time to rejuvenate a commitment to social contract beyond religious affiliation, and only then will we be able to deal with differences and grievances. If there is no social contract then every accident, every incident, every piece of clothing, will become a casus belli, …


    I continue to be completely immersed in Sari Nusseibeh’s Once Upon a Country. I must admit that when I met him once, appeared on a panel with him and spent some time with him I was a little bit in awe and did not know quite what to say. Now that I know the depths of his life, his triumphs and losses, his father, I wish I could speak more to him.

    But the one thing that emerges from the reading again and again is the same lesson I have been gathering from all over the globe. I can sum it up in an Aramaic sentence from the ancient Talmud that describes a chaotic world of lawlessness, L’es Din ve’l’es dayyan, which translates roughly as, “There is no law in sight and no judge in sight either”. What amazes me from Palestine under occupation to Rwanda to all the …