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For readers whose first introduction to Shakespeare was through the widely seen film Henry V by Laurence Olivier, it is not surprising that Shakespeare was regarded as a patriotic, nationalistic and militaristic, rather pro-war playwright. Olivier's Henry V, as Ton Hoenselaars points out in his “Out-Ranting the Enemy Leader”: Henry V and/as World War II Propaganda, was entrenched in the British propaganda effort even before the thought of the film version of the war epic had occurred. Indeed, the film resulted from an invitation to produce it for the Churchill government. According to William Shaw, Olivier's film produced uplifting, patriotic propaganda for a war-weary England. It was the first Shakespeare play produced in Technicolor.
The West Bank and the Settlements, again? Readers may have had enough of this subject. But these are exceptional times. The adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016, the unprecedented speech by Secretary Kerry delivered shortly thereafter, and the immediate rejection of both by Prime Minister Netanyahu, combined with the approach of the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War in June 2017 and the continued march toward an inexorable demographic change in the West Bank, not to mention the nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel of a person reportedly supporting an active settlement policy and annexation: the confluence of these events demands our renewed attention. And while these developments undoubtedly have powerful political dimensions, they also call upon those of us who care about international law to speak up in support of its requirements and application.