Women: Dealing With the Past

IMG_2094It was a tremendous honor to be invited by the impressive and inspirational Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to speak at a learning workshop in Belfast.

My talk, intentionally provocative, was supposed to give an outside perspective on dialogue to women on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland–women who have been meeting over time to work on reconciliation.

Women: Dealing with the Past (Belfast)

Women: Dealing with the Past (Belfast)

I hope I communicated that while there is certainly a time for parties in conflict to talk, there is also a time when we should refuse to talk.

For Palestinians who are suffering from fake “negotiations” that are clearly intended only to prolong the status quo, there is reason to refuse to talk. As long as Israel has no intention of enabling a just, sustainable solution, then boycott tactics make much more sense.


One of Belfast’s many “peace walls”

I also want to thank the amazing folks at Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for taking me on a truly life-changing political tour of Belfast. Among other things, I learned that Belfast is full of walls — reminiscent of Israel’s Annexation Wall — and they are called “peace walls!”

It might sound crazy, but I look forward to the day when everyone who suffered in this long, stupid Israel-Palestine conflict can talk about “the past” and have a nice lunch together while talking about reconciliation. But as I said to the women in Belfast, now we’re busy enough dealing with the present.


December 2011 in Warsaw, Poland

I facilitated a two-day training about aid effectiveness and development effectiveness for Polish NGOs.

Warsaw in Winter



November 2010 in Indonesia

I facilitated several strategic planning meetings for integrity educators.

Facilitating strategy session in Jakarta



November 2011 in Busan, Korea

I was a delegate to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. I facilitated a workshop about reforming aid to civil society and presented an ePoster. At the civil society forum that preceded the official event, I spoke on a panel on aid to regions of conflict.

Conflict and Fragility Group



October 2011 in Abu Dhabi

I took part in a small, strategic meeting run by New York University in Abu Dhabi to explore public-private-social partnerships in the Middle East region.

NYU Abut Dhabi with Andrew from Civicus