On Political Preconditions

15 May



            To the extent that diplomacy solves international problems it depends on the satisfaction of the political preconditions that must be met for negotiations betweensovereign states to reach sustainable and benevolent results. To clarify the point, in situations where there is a clear winner and loser, political preconditions are irrelevant, as the winner can dictate the terms, either imposing them as was done after World War II in response to the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan, or offering proposals on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis. This is what Israel has attempted to do over the course of the twenty years that the Oslo Framework, the Roadmap, and the Quartet, have provided the ground rules for diplomacy with respect to Israel/Palestine negotiations. Israel has performed as if the winner, and expected Palestine to act as if the loser, but so far this scenario has not produced the desired outcome, a ‘peace’ essentially framed in accordance with Israel’s priorities (retaining settlements by critical land swaps, annexing the whole of Jerusalem, maintaining access to West Bank aquifers, ignoring refugees, de-linking Gaza). Palestine although occupied, without a sympathetic intermediary, and despite many of its people living as refugees or in exile, has not given up the struggle for a fair outcome as defined by international law and international morality.


            My point here is conceptual in large part. It applies to various forms of advocacy, including the abolition of nuclear weapons or the establishment of world government. In neither instance, are the political conditions present for the realization of such goals, assuming that in some form such outcomes would be desirable. In relation to nuclear weapons, leading state actors are not willing to part with such weaponry, especially as its retention is strongly supported by entrenched bureaucratic and private sector interests, as well as being ideologically grounded in political realism, which continues to shape the worldview of most national elites. With respect to world government, there is no climate of opinion that is strong enough to challenge the nationalist orientation of every government and citizenry that exists in the world. Besides, trying to consolidate governmental authority in the presence of the degree of radical inequality that presently exists is more likely to produce global totalitarianism than a benevolent form of centralized humane global governance.


            The reason for addressing this subject at this time is the feverish efforts by the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, to stimulate the resumption of direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. On neither side are the political preconditions present. The Netanyahu led government is clearly committed to achieving the political embodiment of Greater Israel, and would not settle for anything less. It is seeking as much legitimation as possible for this expansionist objective, hopeful that adroit diplomacy with American help can yield such a result. For Ramallah, and the Palestinian Authority, there is a lack of representational coherence and political unity, as the elected governing authorities of Gaza are not represented, nor is the wider Palestinian community of refugee communities in neighboring countries. Even if Palestinian negotiators were to accept under pressure some version of Israel’s Plan A, it is almost certain that it would not be accepted by the Palestinian people. Given this setting, political preconditions for direct negotiations do not exist, and any resumption of direct negotiations appears to be worth less than nothing.


            Why worse than nothing? If past efforts are any indication, the side with the weaker standing in the international community and the media, is likely to receive most of the blame for the almost certain breakdown at the site of negotiations, and this has been Palestine’s previous experience. Beyond this, both sides will probably react to diplomatic failure by pursuing with renewed unilateral vigor their respective conception of Plan B: Israel will complain about the absence of a partner for peace and proceed with accelerated expansion of settlements and related road construction, as well as continuing with its promotion of the unification of the city of Jerusalem; Palestine, on its side, will seek to intensify resistance, possibly emphasizing more its confidence in the global solidarity movement building around the BDS campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions, highlighted recently by Stephen Hawking’s much heralded boycott of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ fifth annual conference of global notables on the theme of Facing Tomorrow.


            Time is not neutral in situations of gross disparity. The side with hard power control can encroach further on the prospects of the weaker side. If we look back at the developments of the past twenty years, we take note of the extraordinary growth in the number of Israeli settlers and the ethnographic and infrastructural changes in the city of Jerusalem, making it difficult to continue to lend credence to Palestinian self-determination being realized by a ‘two-state’ solution, which remains the American oft-repeated mantra. What might have seemed like a viable Palestinian state in 1967 when Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted, became less so, when the Oslo Framework was accepted on the White House lawn in 1993, and by 2013 it is a delusionary goal.


            Understanding the relevance of political preconditions is crucial to rational behavior in seeking solutions to long festering problems. Also where there are gross disparities of power and expectations a conflict is almost never ripe for resolution. Of course, the opposite is also true. When political conditions exist for a fair solution, then it is imperative to move forward, flexibly and with an eye on a win/win outcome. Given the perspectives of the two sides, if win/win does not seem realistic, then patience is preferable to a demoralizing charade of false consciousness.  

28 Responses to “On Political Preconditions”

  1. Spinoza May 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Is the UN not supposed to be that ‘world government’? If so, then its headquarters should be on neutral territory and not withis the borders of any sovereign nation.
    Moreover, a world government has to be totally free of religion, or at least should be taken out of the public domain, to prevent any entanglement with any kind of political persuasion.
    The efforts of John Kerry are too much of a political nature and has no plausibility.
    Gaza did have a representative by the name of Arafat, but he met with an unfortunate and very mysterious end. Then came Hamas, the democratically elected government, which Israel does not want to recognize as legitimate and they hastily called them a terrorist organization. Then there is the unconditional US allegiance to Israel, as if they are saying: My mother, drunk or sober”.
    Weak as Stephen Hawking may be physically, that much stronger he is mentally and now it seems also spiritually. His greatness is manifold.
    What good is that ‘two state’ American mantra, if it is not accompanied by serious and benevolent meditation?
    Your last sentence Richard “patience is preferable to a demoralizing charade of false consciousness” seems to have been adopted by the Palestinians.
    Thinking that the world opinion is with Israel is just delusional. Perfect friendship is based on love and the Americans seem to think, that fear creates the same unconditional love. Now that is self delusion.
    I read today, that Israel wants to attack Syria again and at the same time warns Assad not to retaliate. What does delusion of grandeur mean?

    • oldguyincolorado May 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      The reality is that religion does exist and is one of the major factors in the scenario. The reality is that Hamas does have a mantra of not recognizing the existance of any Jewish state – and the PA does not represent all on the Arab side. The reality is that there are other major forces acting in the region – Iran which wants to supply Hezbollah via Syria, & it, too, does not want to recognize Isreal, but to destroy it.
      Retoric is wonderful, but if a sore is festering to the point where the body may not survive, patience is not a solution.
      I sense that there is a belief of a “one state” solution working here. That belief denies reality. The only solution workable is a 2 state solution and the only question is how to achieve it.
      As to Hawking, he is like Einstein, great in his field but not a realist in the political world. And yes, I know that Spinoza was the God of Einstein so I will leave your namesake alone. Philosophers do have their valueable place in the world, but they, too, need a touchstone in reality. We are not all alike. That is one reason why “world government” will not function, but does allow for different philosophies to come together to try and work out their differences. So far the UN has not do such a great job.

      • Rana May 16, 2013 at 9:48 am #

        There isn’t such thing as Jewish state and we will never recognize the existence of the Zionists illegal entity. The Zionists are a herd of terrorists migrants who came from all over the world, committed massacres against the Palestinian people, forced most of them out of their lands, houses, businesses and dreams. The Palestinians remaining in the occupied territories have been suffering for long time, more than 65 years. They are attacked daily by the Zionists, army, police and armed settlers while they are armed with the stones to defend themselves and their properties. Their kids are threatened, beaten while walking from or to schools, lots of their youngsters are jailed mostly for false excuses. Can you imagine that the Zionists police raided a house today and left a call- up notice for two kids of 5 & 6 years old? ( don’t rub your eyes as what you read is right,,… they want to take kids as young as 5 & 6 years old to prison or at least question them) .
        Hezbollah, Hamas and every armed group over their occupied territories are RESiSTANCES who are defending their lands against the occupiers, the Zionists who are the real TERRORISTS in this unlawful world.
        But we know that justice will find its way sooner or later to grant the Palestinians all their rights and to free Palestine from the river to the sea.

      • rehmat1 May 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

        Don’t pick on Hamas as there’re over 60 nations which have not recognized the existence of state of Israel. Moreover, there’re tens of thousands of religious Jews and other Jew with some moral conscience who refuse to agree with European “Holocaust victims” carring out the Holocaust of Palestinian who played no part in the genocide of Jews by the Nazis. In fact, Toronto Chief Rabbi Wolf Gunther Plaut (died 2012) has claimed the Frankist Jews were behind the Jewish Holocaust in his 1990 book “The Man Who Would Be Messiah”.

        Harry Truman was the first world leader who changed the wording “Jewish State of Israel” to “State of Israel” on May 14, 1948.

  2. oldguyincolorado May 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    One must remember that in the past, the PA came to conferences showing no flexability. Case in point is the refusal of the PA to accept the offer when Clinton was Pres. Even Bandar was shocked by that rejection and apparently told Arafat it was a “good deal”. Without even coming up with a counterproposal, Arafat just walked out. Prof. Falk is correct: flexability by both sides is required. Isreal is a unified state with a government that represents all – the PA is fractured. Until the PA gets its house in order and Isreal has some assurance that all of the relevant parties on the Arab side are unified in their determination to achieve a peaceful and comprehensive peace, Isreal has no one to really negotiate with. This produces a horrible stalemate in which the Palestinian people are the major “losers”. All that Isreal can do is to continue to apply the only type of pressure that it can in order to get the Arab side to unify (and hopefully do so without it going back to war). That pressure is to take more land off of the table – which can be given back in a settlement. That taking of land seems to be the only thing that draws the attention of all of the Arabs. Remember that Isreal did get out of Gaza and the Sinai, so there is a track record of giving up land. The danger to the PA is that these “takings” can become fosselized, so it is imparative that the PA resolve their internal differences as quickly as possible.
    Isreal does have an option of “just walking away” like Jodan did, taking what it wants and ending all hope of negotiations. It can justifiedly claim that there was no meaningful “partner” to deal with. Presently, Prof. Falk realizes that. How long must Isreal patiently wait? Sometimes the actual use of the sword of Solomon is the only answer and no one is satisfied, but at least one side can then move forward with it’s life.

    • oldguyincolorado May 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Richard, are you censoring again – if so please correct my obvious typos – i am too tired to do it now.

      • Richard Falk May 16, 2013 at 7:28 am #

        I ‘censor’ to avoid hate and insult on the blog post, but I do not want the responsibility or assume the authority to edit. I think readers can get your meaning despite the typos. I do not agree with your overall analysis as Israel by the nature of its unified government, and its priorities, is uninterested in allowing a coherent Palestinian state to emerge and have done their part to prevent reconciliation between the PA and Hamas as they do not wish to have a partner for peace.

  3. rehmat1 May 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    No Zionist regime will accept an independent Palestinian state bordering Israel – as that would negate Zionists dream of “Eretz Yisrael”. Remember how, recently, Tel Aviv blasted Google for calling Palestinian Territories (Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem) as PALESTINE.


  4. Maria Miraglia May 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    congratulations, Mr Falk for your deep detailed analysis.
    i ‘d sencerely like to read your next articles also on “World foundation for Peace”.

  5. Sergey May 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Very perceptive analysis Dr. Falk,

    In the light of the decades of illegal and immoral annexation of Palestinian land, occupation and violence, the claims that Israel wants to find a mutually acceptable and just settlement is a huge lie that has no factual basis. One things is clear, however, in the foreseeable future, Israel’s government will continue its gradual policy of expansion into the West Bank, while simultaneously privileging the claims of Jewish settlers and further subjugating and making the lives of Palestinians more miserable. Thus, making the prospect of a viable solution in the conflict an utter travesty…
    The current government in Israel is not interested in peace as much as it is obsessed with materialization of its national objectives which it will execute by any means necessary…

    Today, Israel’s government began the process of authorization of four new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Is this not the evidence of Israel’ true intentions?

    • Richard Falk May 17, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Thanks, Sergey, for this very intelligent and well articulated comment with
      which, as you might imagine, I agree with completely.

  6. monalisa May 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    even the EU (despite it’s role as an US puppet) stated that the Middle East Peace process doesn’t work and that Israel seems to have no interest (a very late statement indeed!).

    However, I think as Russia and China are taking more and more a role as peace makers – at least they try very hard – I think that especially China maybe comes more into play.
    China wants to have peace in the Middle East, same as Russia.

    China doesn’t have this aggressive expansion of its military everywhere as USA and has a long standing good relation to Palestine. The relation to Israel improves and they even invited both parties (Palestine and Israel) for talks. Anyhow, in vain up til yet

    However, considering Chinas growing role (together with other BRIC states) on the political platform I think there is a little piece of hope that the plight of the Palestinians could get resolved in a good way.

    Take care of yourself,


    • Richard Falk May 18, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks, monalisa, for once again thinking ‘outside the box.’ I agree that if
      China and the rest of the BRICs were to see that a sustainable peace in the Middle East is a high priority, the Israeli calculus might change, but it seems to be a scenario that is still far beyond my horizon of expectations.
      Hope all is fine in Graz! warmly, Richard

      • Kata Fisher June 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

        Beloved Mr. Flak there is something that I like to talk about:
        My hope is that it is possible for the nations to deliver Justice to Holy People in Palestine, while at the same time nations can deliver accountability to Holy People in Israel, and with that active a sustainable requirement that can lead to sustainable Peace in the region of the Holy Land. How do we attain Leaders, and so that God’s hand is upon them, and that he keeps them from all evil, and that he blesses them, and enlarge their territory.
        I believe that God places Excellent Spirit into a Leader (he is spiritually ethical, sufficient and is not excessively theoretical).
        The Leader has the ability not only to revive himself, but also to refresh others through joyfulness.
        We pray for Simplicity—He accomplishes complex tasks with simplicity.

        It is difficult to achieve any progress with means of disagreement that is natural to us as mankind. Disagreements usually take place when individual gifts (or perceptions) are misplaced or are taken outside its appointed areas/mismanaged. In order to achieve agreements between people, these gifts or (perceptions) can be handled like mosaic-peaces in order to achieve an art as a picture (or a valuable work). Work without value is without a true calling (or a purpose). Disagreements can lead to works without purpose. In addition to that, I believe powerful effectives of brain-storming of different individuals that are under prophetic anointing. (Those who will not disagree much, but will understand and respect each other’s appointed areas and maturity). I also believe that effective and valid leaders are accountable to themselves and others when they limit themselves according to their appointed areas, and also without compromise can freely walk according to their appointed areas and with that fulfill their purpose that calling that is appointed over their life. Love and Limitations—this is a Leadership quality, already, simply because one can be faithful to himself or herself and others. The Spirit of God is abounding, and removes hindrance.
        Things that I will write about can act as a double edged sword…these are the things that I understand according to the Gospel and Spirit of God that abounds. (Still I am youth, and I a girl and my discerning has to be hedged by a mature decrement). Also, my English is not quite right while I was made to step out of my appointed areas (I am a mom in Church Catholic).
        Fr. John Paul II said something like, “The future will be kind to me because I intend to write it.” When I was going trough most difficult time (spiritually), I wrote everything down, and things that were impossible for me to write down I have recalled. (I have ability to recall things of time-pass). The truth is that is an awfully wrong thing when a woman gets ordained and /or judged by the Gospel just by a mere church-charismatic disorder, and without any appointed purpose, or cause that she is touched by church-defiled. (I referee to these issues as devil-directed church-charismatic, a counterfeit church that abuses the Gospel). Some things in disorderly churches-charismatic are like a fruitful wine branch without next bud—much fruitful, and without a potential to bear any of the fruit. And in natural appearance it is that spiritual dead-branch that is cut-off.
        Some things are pointless to argue by any means, we can just look and see if these things are so. Sometimes anointed look and say, “we have nothing nice to say.”
        Those who are anointed, and those who are under prophetic anointing, and all righteous in the world are calling constantly to repentance. No one hears them. All they hear, know and do is guilty of blood, and unrighteousness.
        When I am sinner, I say: “Loving Father, forgive me.”
        When I feel unrighteous, I say: “Father, your Righteousness is not with me, just judge me.” And the Spirit of God gives me laughter for I AM is with me.
        At some point I wrote to a friend:
        The people are divided over the landmarks
        Not that the landmarks are divided
        The people divided the landmarks
        Now the landmarks are not in will of God, nor are valid as they are.
        And they remain divided.
        Not only divided as a Kingdom-divided, but they were manipulated before appointed time and attempted to be taken out of appointed time. (Now this is part of theology is in the in the Scripture and is difficult for me to go about that, and because what took place after WWII –that entire era and events (pre and post WWII is a very difficult issue because charismatic church-disorder).
        The problem is that people in Holy Land (not just Israel and Palestine, but overlapping to/and within other nation’s landmark) are much the exile-Israel and Judah on their land and the landmarks are not valid.
        Nations can be asked to give the land back; still the people are on the land already. (David has to/can ask the nations for the Land to be given back). And one cannot just make people move back and forth from other nations on the land of Israel—they are on their land (within the nations). Without spiritual authority over the people and the land you cannot deal with those people in any way on their land or the land that they are within.
        The basic issue with the Landmark of Land of Israel is that that no one has spiritual authority to appoint them, change or skew them. (God has, and the one who he appoints to restore the Land of Israel’s landmark). Only biological Spirit-filled descendent of King David can have spiritual authority over the landmark of land of Israel. (One has to have spiritual authority over the landmark in the order to appoint them/or take spiritual authority over them).
        They cannot be appointed by mere men; it is a divided kindom: Israel and Judah. Jerusalem is not capital of Israel in this point in time; it is capital of kindom of Judah.
        They have to be made to stop to fight if possible, but the kingdom is divided. They are divided over the landmark which was divided by the ancestors. David can appoint the landmark when God gives him spiritual authority to do that, if David does not, anyone else cannot. (It is impossible to restore the Kingdom of Israel in an ordinary way). This is what I see.

        In some point in time I wrote about different issues with the Churches…there are just awful issues with the Churches:
        I read the story about Stacco and Vanzetti.
        I have brainstorming about that, but no understanding.
        It looks like they may have been demonized, and then got in a lot of trouble.
        What did Vanzetti write; I do wonder if theology or other.
        There was reference that he wrote well, learned English
        Do you think that would be possible for US Evangelical Baptist to establish their Church Order and Teaching office here in US? (I am burdened about that, and I think that is coming from Spirit of God).
        There was a period of time that God was flashing the memory of Chris Stevens before me. I did not understand what was going on, and after I listened to Fr. Vigano’s lecture I understand it. I heard a lot in Spirit about Benghazi, and I wrote all down. I heard in Spirit that I am replacing Mr. Stevens, but I am not sure how and what. (It is outside of reality, in a way).
        I believe that it would be possible for Evangelical Baptist to establish their Church Order and teaching office, there is quite disorder in the land, and is internationally a disorder because of their rebellion toward the Church and the Gospel. Charismatic or not charismatic they are very rebellious, in exception to few valid independent ministries. (That is what I see).

        I have no doubt that Church Doctrine is by prophesy and by instruction of the Spirit.
        What Fr. Carlo Vigano is teaching for this point in time is valid.
        The Church cannot fix anything which took place in the past generations.
        When church touches anything that is/was sown in the past, “the seed of witchcraft and evil” in essence—that should remain as it is. Only prophets can rearrange things around that with sound watchfulness, otherwise it can tear the Church apart.
        With that- that which is sown in the past is not, nor can be touched just by anyone. One has to be appointed, has to have all spiritual gifts and knowledge about the task ahead, otherwise the person has no authority from God and is overthrown in his Church mission.
        The Church has to keep up with heresies and issues that are of grave harm to the Church function in this point in time.
        The priesthood that is holy and is of God will not argue the doctrines due to their essence (they will avoid dealing with that). Still, they can see the witchcraft and work of evil-one and can distinguish it without difficulty—they can throw it off (that which is not valid is plainly visible to the holy priesthood).
        Due to generational sins in the blood lines, things like blasphemy of God’s Spirit and satanic-seals/confirmations (generational sin that are passed on, right here in US due to charismatic disorder); I have concerns about things that Fr. Carlo Maria Vigano is instructing. (I believe it is to be obeyed).
        I believe that part of the law (health-law) which involves issues with the priest of Roman-Catholic Church there is essence of “evil seed” and it has to be discerned with carefulness. When there are issues like blasphemy of God’s Spirit and satanic-seals/confirmations awful things take place. I myself witnessed vicious spiritual attack over me and my children (the Church) because of those things. I was demonized, and not baptized, and became worse and worse. Only touch of valid anointing removed that, but it was a long process. Anointed priesthood does not see it as mere men (they see spiritual reality in people and works of that) by the anointing of the Spirit and God’s council priest have clear insight. (Other priests have to obey by the Doctrine of the Church).
        The Spirit of God has shown me that these issues with Roman Catholic priest are a stumbling stone to the undertaking of Barrack, and because of that Professor Obama can’t accomplish his tasks. He is hindered in his undertaking, because there is a hindering to the Church mission. I know about his love for the Church, but he may not see and know everything about issues with the Church.
        In essence, witchcraft is very difficult it will hinder and destroy undertaking that God is appointing both over the Church and those who serve the people. Essentially, it is a spiritual attack against the people.
        Fr. Carlo Maria Vigano is doing exactly what first generations of Apostles were doing. Holy and celibate priesthood has a clean mind. Women and those who are married always have issues that may influence their discernment. (And when Church-marriage is not valid things become quite wrong).
        I pray that God blesses those who are to deal with these issues which concern the priest of Roman-Catholic Church and their requests. Invalid priesthood has sinned against the Church and society; yet, the Church has to look beyond that and deal with present issues that can cause grave harm to the Church mission in present and future point in time toward the people in the land. Fr. Vigano is Church diplomat; I believe that his work is valid, and that there are some signs that are following him.

        I was asked recently: Why is difficult for people to change? What would I have said about things that sometimes are impossible to talk about in a nice way?

         There are different seasons that people will go through, and some seasons will apply to their process of change (or will trigger a change) for an individual, while other seasons will not. Different individuals will react different to a process of a change, and will resist it in their own will power that which change has to offer, so they remain as they are, and change will not take place.
        Nevertheless, individuals may live in an environment that is hostile to a human existence (while this can be very civilized cultures in a way—those cultures can be very hostile to individuals), and those cultures will hold the factors that is very difficult for individuals to change for better (almost impossible to change). Roman-Catholic priests here in US referee to the US culture as “the culture of death”, and this is valid, while I am not sure what they are going to do about that outside their will-power. (Church-Catholic here in US pushes way much in their own will-power; it is like they are restricted to use that which is available to the Church).
        People are in a constant war with them self, and are in a constant war with everything around them. They will remain in that ongoing cycle, unless change agent activates a process which makes possible for them to change.
        From my experience, I learned the Church that was powerful in Spirit of God, and a valid change agent…however, I have witnessed that Church itself can be different Churches (diversified in their mind/spirits and activity)—this, which is unrealistic, and it is irrational for the Church itself that should be/and is in one mind and activity.
        When there is church disorder in a land, then conditions for a valid and a good change reduces, significantly, and it can be almost impossible for an individual to change in environments like that. (I would say especially where there is church-charismatic disorder; all kind of evil things take place because of that, both within the churches itself, and that which spills into the society… as well it does).
        Valid Church-Charismatic can be scarce, valid Church is scarce; while church-charismatic is vast (as well as all other different Churches) as vast as abuses of Church practices that are vast. Valid council can be scarce as well. (Church council can be invalid) so that people will accept–or have not much choice, but to accept Psychological Philosophy/and or Psychiatry for their problems, instead of true and objective teaching of the Church that is valid, and that can speed change up, and remove hindrance to an individual change.
        Most awful thing (and that which churches do not do, nor is possible for them to do/or care) is what happens to the children in the land, for no churches mind about that by the valid works of the Gospel, and we know about that. (They go by local benchmarks, and there are reports about that). They lack of spiritual authority of the Church that is valid, and it is not possible for them to do that which is right. Most valuable item to guard is that which is grounded in potential of a child, and this is not done, so that children become hindered. Nevertheless, children are under major spiritual attack here in US, the culture sins against their children.
        I am Catholic-Charismatic, and this is my perception why is difficult for people to change. I have observed US church and especially US charismatic’s for years now. When comes to the Church reports; it is so that they are a bad one. Condition of US Christianity is at serious decline (regardless of churches in their presentable glow/appearances). I am afraid that we are looking at spiritually excommunicated land. There are definitely considerable hardships due to ineffective churches.
        Many Blessings,

      • Richard Falk June 15, 2013 at 1:02 am #

        Dear Kata Fisher:

        Thanks for your deeply felt message that is grounded in your religious
        faith. I believe that we seek similar results, and that our future as
        a species will depends on some kind of spiritual transcendence of the
        terrible worldly conflicts that currently afflict us in so many ways.

      • Kata Fisher June 16, 2013 at 11:44 am #

        Beloved Mr.Falk
        I feel Fatherly love flowing from you.
        A while back the Spirit of God has showed me that the Temple of the Lord is standing. And I looked and I was thinking, “That is not the Temple of the Lord.” And the Spirit showed me that the Temple is built and it is standing. It is a beautiful Temple, and it was built in time-pass, and it was not visible to my sight. The structure of architecture was different than what I have seen, for I have seen different picture according to Historical interpretation and/or Theology.
        The Spirit also has shown me the Holy Book, and I tried to read it but it was impossible for me because I had no spiritual authority to do that. But there is something in the Holy Book to Look and See. (Still, I cannot touch it). I have not received spiritual authority to read it. I would try to read but the Spirit would overpower me, and I felt psychical weakness, mental inability, and like paralyzed and I had to be still, and had to give up because I could not read. I would be just catatonic. I would be also catatonic while reading Scripture, and when I had to write different subjects on theology.
        Still, when I feel in a deep spiritual distress, the Spirit in me would bring me down on my face, and like a fetus I would be still, and I would pray, bowed down almost like Muslim people. I have accepted prophet Mohamed by Spirit of God; still I do not understand anything about Islam Faith. I do understand that prophet Mohamed was under prophetic anointing. The Spirit of God gave me understanding to that, and also understanding to other things.
        Long ago I had mind flash of fields in Africa. And I heard in Spirit about barefoot Son of David, and a scratch that he had on his foot. I have heard a lot in Spirit about Africa. The Spirit showed me that Africa was stripped off from her human capital that God Himself has planted there. Other Lands became rich and have prospered by their robbery of people, and the labor of people that God meant to multiply, and be bearing fruit for Africa, not other lands.
        There is no food, no shelter for people in Africa (God’s providence was stripped off and not by Him or His will). And when offspring of those who stole are asked to pay for damages to the people, in reality, (or give aid) they refuse, and cannot. These who are willing are hindered by these who are just sealed in blindness, unrighteousness and obnoxious mockery toward God and His Spirit. Even today descendants are in the same works of their ancestors: 18 cents hourly wages are just unacceptable while they maintain and receive goods by which they are much profitable. We do not like that by Spirit of God. They rob, and by their robbery are profitable, we see. It takes about 25 cents to have some daily food for a child in India. The diamond that is stolen from India has to be given back (the Spirit has shown me that, for there is no earthly crown decorated by robbery that is valid with Him). People of Africa and India are restricted from receiving that which rightfully belongs to them, their entitlement.
        Those who have acquired their wealth by no robbery are dear to God and His Spirit, and are His anointed that are chosen to provide for people in Africa. These who already give must be asked to give more. We ask to be give more by Presence of God’s Spirit. Gifts of Africa are mismanaged, and gifts to Africa are scarce. The Spirit of God has shown me that that which is given is scarce, and that which is given is like cursed due to evil which was sown by counterfeit and evil Christians. (I understood the nature of Lord Resistance Army and terrible issue of terror for people in Africa, for I saw that).
        The Spirit of God has shown me that people of Africa feel that God is not present, and doubt His covenant relationship with Him. Jehovah Jireh is Faithfull to Himself and descendants of David; still we do not know where they are, so we are asked by Spirit of God to do all we can and deliver gifts to David’s offspring. They were robed and are being robbed of their inheritance, and that which they are entitled to is not given to them or their people that are with them.
        This is what His presence has shown me, and I see.
        Many Blessings,

      • Richard Falk June 16, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

        Dear Kata:

        You have a big and open heart, and have a deep impulse toward justice, which is given to you in the form
        of religious devotion. I am thankful for your blessings.


      • Kata Fisher June 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

        Beloved Mr. Falk,
        I feel that your heart is perfect because I was strengthened. I feel Peace.

  7. Richard Falk May 24, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I am posting this comment at the request of Rabbi Ira Youdovin:

    Prof. Falk’s post on political preconditions contains important insights into why moderate Palestinian leaders resist negotiating with Israel. However, his suggestion that patience trumps activism at this point in time warrants investigation.

    The Palestinians’ position, globally and regionally, is deteriorating. They have never received much more than lip service from their Arab siblings, and after the Arab Spring, even this is in short supply as Arab leaders realize that anti-Israel rhetoric no longer works as a ploy for distracting their people’s attention from the wretched circumstances in which they live and the human rights violations imposed by their leaders.

    The support given to Bashar Assad by Hezbollah, and to a lesser extent Hamas, puts the Palestinians on the wrong side of Arab/Muslim history, and engenders a fear felt throughout the region, including in Turkey, that as Iran’s client/surrogates, they may be used as instruments in Iran’s drive for regional hegemony. Hamas’ outright rejection of the Arab League’s recent effort to revive the 2002 Saudi Arabian peace plan could not have enhanced the Palestinians’ standing with all regional actors except Iran and Syria. And it sent a powerfully negative signal to governments throughout the world.

    The recent decision taken by three of Europe’s most powerful countries — Britain, Germany and France — to throw their weight behind a push for the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization indicates that the Palestinians’ stock among western nations may be falling, as well. This trend will accelerate if PÅ Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad makes good on his threat to leave office.

    In other words, all signs indicate that waiting for a favorable political climate to emerge likely will be not only futile but counter-productive to Palestinian interests.
    Prof. Falk is correct in observing that should negotiations fail, the side with the weaker standing in the international community and the media, is likely to receive most of the blame. But one must then ask whether the Palestinians would be wise in pursuing a strategy that further erodes their already weak position?

    The notion that “a global solidarity movement building around the BDS campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions [is] a potential resource of pro-Palestinian influence” is wishful thinking. BDS has never garnered much support and exerted even less influence. After nearly a decade of trying, pro-Palestinian activists in America’s mainline Protestant churches have failed to persuade their colleagues to endorse BDS resolutions presented to their national conventions. The same has happened on most of the college campuses where a steady flow of BDS resolutions have been defeated by student and faculty bodies. And while Stephen Hawking is assuredly an acclaimed scientist, his views on social issues have little traction.
    The reasons for this are apparent. BDS is an ultimate weapon to be used only in support of a helpless people whose oppressors offer them no way out. This simply doesn’t comport with images of mortar and rockets fired from Gaza falling on men, women and children in southern Israel, as well as the documented record of Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, repeatedly offering Palestinians an independent state.

    With trends of their own making building against them, Palestinian leaders would be well advised to consider changing course by taking a non-violent activist role, beginning with getting their own political house in order to the point where a unified Fatah-Hamas government can endorse policy consistent with the UN’s 2012 definition of Palestinian statehood. That resolution, which drew a large majority in the General Assembly, is conducive to the win/win result Prof. Falk seeks by precluding the maximal territorial aspirations of both Israeli and Palestinian extremists, and proposing guidelines for negotiating other key issues.

    Of course, Palestinian moderation would have to be matched by Israeli moderation. Prof. Falk’s dismisses this possibility: “The Netanyahu led government is clearly committed to achieving the political embodiment of Greater Israel, and would not settle for anything less.” If this is an accurate assessment, it would be irresponsible, even suicidal, for any Palestinian leader to risk entering negotiations. But it is not accurate. Netanyahu should not be confused with Shimon Peres. And his government includes members who extend political backing to those settlers who seek to annex the entire West Bank, and are already imposing their presence in morally reprehensible ways. However, a majority in the Government, and a larger majority of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), strongly endorse the two-state solution, as do a majority of Israeli and Diaspora Jews.

    Moreover, one should not overlook the transformative impact an unambiguous Palestinian commitment to a two-state solution would have on the Israeli political equation. For some years, Israel’s sizable peace camp and its Diaspora supporters have been immobilized by the absence of a credible Palestinian partner. Many Israeli and Diaspora Doves who trust President Abbas’ sincerity when he advocates peaceful co-existence doubt his ability to deliver on these commitments in the face of powerful rejectionist forces operating on the Palestinian Street. (Prof. Falk indirectly confirms that this fear is valid.) It is impossible for Israeli Doves to argue effectively that settlements are an obstacle to peace when the Palestinians reject the very concept of negotiating peaceful co-existence with Israel.

    However, should Palestinian rejectionists change their spots, the Israeli Doves would gain their full voice. It is important to remember that two of Israel’s four most recent prime ministers were elected on a platform of making extensive concessions in exchange for peace, and another, Ariel Sharon, unilaterally withdrew from Gaza.

    I appreciate Prof. Falk’s concern that the Palestinians could be blamed if negotiations collapse. But this interminable conflict cannot be ended unless both sides are willing to take risks. Suppose Israel agrees to remove all military and civilian presence from substantial portions of the West Bank and Hamas reneges on its commitment to non-violence and installs rocket launchers in close range of Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport?

    The status quo ill serves Palestinians and Israelis alike, although it is far more injurious to the Palestinians. I mostly agree with Prof. Falk’s assessment save for his misreading the Israeli political landscape. I certainly agree that this is not an optimal time for negotiations, but fear that things likely will get worse for the Palestinians as time passes. The risks required of both sides are formidable. But effective leadership is all about taking risks and changing people’s minds when the status quo is untenable, and a better way is available.

    Instead of bemoaning an intolerable situation and blaming one side or the other for perpetuating it, why not search for ways to transform it into peaceful co-existence?

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman May 26, 2013 at 1:27 am #

      I am not quite certain why Richard has agreed to post Rabbi Ira Youdovin’s comment, which is actually an extended essay in classic hasbara and which, as usual, places all the blame in the Palestine- Israel conflict on the Palestinian victims and their Arab “siblings.”

      The good rabbi claims that BDS movement is losing strength when, actually, it is becoming more and more popular. In the universities, both in the UK and the US, the voices of Zionist opponents are losing the debates with pro Palestinian adherents, which are gaining more and more sympathy even among diaspora Jews.

      The rabbi claims that the Palestinians continue to reject offers to negotiate the peace process from Israeli leaders Netanyahu and Peres, which is exactly the reverse of the case. He suggests that Hamas and Fatah should settle their differences. But how can that be accomplished when it is well known that the leader of Fatah (illegitimate) President Abbas is a tool of the Israeli camp, and only retains is position at the sufferance of his Israeli handlers.

      To praise Sharon for having pulled out of Gaza, implying that this move was a show of good will is laughable, when the true reason for leaving Gaza was to better control it as a prison and free up forces to continue occupying the West Bank and increase the settlements.

      The two-state solution is dead because any such Palestinian state would be no state at all. Apartheid does not make for democracy or freedom.

      I think Richard just may have let the rabbi speak in order to show just how wrong he is, despite his pretensions to intellectual reason. At least I hope that was his motive, because Ira Youdovin’s essay adds nothing to the debate but obfuscation.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

        To clarify things, the reason my comment appears as a post from Prof. Falk is that he graciously offered to do so when a technical glitch in my computer prevented it from being posted in the usual way. It was a time-consuming and generous thing for him to do, for which I offer my profound thanks.

        Rabbi Ira S. Youdovin

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

        Mr. Schulman,

        You miss the central point of my post, which was written to continue a conversation initiated by Prof. Falk’s latest post, “On Political Preconditions.” You also attribute to me things I never said.

        My post begins by acknowledging that Prof. Falk provides important insights into why moderate Palestinian leaders resist negotiating with Israel, but questions whether his suggestion that they not negotiate at this point in time is good advice. My reasons are stated in paragraphs 2-5 of my post.

        You accuse me of practicing “obfuscation”, just as in an earlier instance you accused me of “sophistry.” So instead of hiding behind fancy (and offensive) words, I invited you, Mr. Schulman, to read through those paragraphs and tell readers where my assessment is flawed.

        And while you’re at it, I invite you to cite examples where BDS campaigns have succeeded in exerting meaningful influence.

        Another point requiring clarification: you condemn President Abbas as an “Israeli tool.” Which President Abbas do you mean? It certainly could not have been Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, who recently defied Israel (and the United States) by bringing to the UN a successful resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood.

        You castigate my post as an “extended essay in classic hasbara (Zionist propaganda) which, as usual, places all the blame in the Palestine- Israel conflict on the Palestinian victims and their Arab siblings.” Kindly note that my one real condemnation is of West Bank settlers and their political backers whose objectives and behavior I denounce as being “morally reprehensible” (paragraph #10).

        And as I make clear in my post, I write as a moderate Zionist who is wholeheartedly committed to the advent of Palestinian statehood. The focus of the post you roundly condemn is on determining the optimal political strategy for achieving this objective.

        Finally, a personal note. I am appalled by your suggesting that Prof. Falk posted my comment just to make me look bad. As I wrote earlier, Prof. Falk’s taking the time to find a way to post my comment despite a technical glitch in my computer was a most decent and generous thing to do, and is greatly appreciated. It’s sad when someone is so consumed by animus that it spills over to cynically disparage the motives even of friends.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Gene Schulman May 27, 2013 at 12:37 am #

        Rabbi Youdovin,

        To cite just one example of BDS exerting meaningful influence: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/divestment-movement-gaining-ground-on-california-
        campuses.premium-1.510088. There are others.

        For the rest, my statement stands. I’ll let Richard Falk speak for himself as for why he published your post. I only expressed my wonderment because of the nature of it.

  8. Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Not so fast, Mr. Schulman.

    Prof. Falk’s post on political preconditions is a thoughtful and insightful analysis that provides insights into why Palestinians are reluctant to enter negotiations, but culminates in a tactical recommendation I believe ill serves Palestinian interests. I made this case in a respectful post suggesting that the Palestinians might consider taking an activist approach, rather than the passive one suggested by Prof. Falk. It’s a question on which reasonable people can disagree and discuss their disagreement so as to learn from one another’s perspective.

    In stark and toxic contradistinction, you weighed in with a belligerent post spiced with personal attacks on me, and little or no supportive evidence to back up the points you convey in shopworn one-liner put-downs. This kind of demagoguery is known in the United States as McCarthyism. My post to you was an invitation to provide evidence to support your views.

    You reveal your disdain for constructive discourse in questioning why Prof. Falk posted my comment. What is there to question? Prof. Falk created this blog as a forum for discussion. Over time, he has instituted standards of civility and firewalls to prevent serial postings that lead nowhere. I applaud these, and wish only that he would apply them more even-handedly among all points of view expressed in this space. My post conforms with this mission statement. You, on the other hand, appear to favor censoring all dissenting opinion, making the blog a safe haven for folks who see the world exactly as you do.

    Regarding BDS, the one item for which you did provide “evidence”: the Haaretz article you cite reports that the student senates of three California schools recently adopted pro-BDS resolutions. In fact, there are more than 250 colleges and universities in California, so three can hardly be called a significant groundswell.

    An equal number of BDS resolutions have been defeated on California campuses, most recently at UC Santa Barbara despite an eloquent and powerful appeal by Prof. Falk, who lives in Santa Barbara and teaches at UCSB.

    All three schools at which BDS resolutions have been adopted are members of the California state university system whose president has already announced that the students’ resolutions will not be accepted by the regents. In other words, they will have zero impact on university policy, and do little or nothing to help the Palestinians.

    In closing, I renew my challenge that you provide evidence that supports the views you express. Your initial response is that you would “stand” on what you wrote. But refusing to say anything more is not standing on your views. It’s a tacit acknowledgment that you have nothing to say.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman May 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Surely, you’re joking, Good Rabbi.

      This is Richard Falk’s blog, and I have no intention of taking up his (cyber) space by an extended discussion with you. You have certain ideas that I do not agree with, and I’m sure that neither Richard nor his readers would be interested in reading our differences. You have what Gilad Atzmon calls a Jewish identity problem that I do not share. No matter how long we might go on arguing with each other, I doubt if we could ever come to agreement. What I suggest, so as not to be impolite, is that if you wish to hash these differences out between ourselves, we conduct our correspondence in private. Should you wish to do that, I give permission for Richard to pass on to you my personal email address. Beyond that, I have nothing more to say to you on this forum, tacitly or otherwise.


      Gene Schulman

    • Kata Fisher June 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Last night I had no peace, I was so agitated in Spirit. I am taking a class at Webster, and I had to write (I try to avoid activity in class, but there were requirements, and there was a diplomat, and other people and I was just agitated by subjects and all requirements.
      I wrote following:
      o I believe that diplomats must be neutral in all that they do. When they fail to do that, they would be automatically disqualified at their job.
      I believe that there are some fiery wars betwixt diplomats because people can be complex, and their discerning is not always right. Some are there for seasons, are mature and are not about fun-time at their jobs. They are in their calling and just know what is right. Others are like hardly awoken from their collage party of drunkenness, in a way. Not quite present. (Youth is like that).
      Fr. Carlo Maria Vigano is Church-diplomat for Rome (or Vatican) here in US to US, and I really only pay attention what he is saying for his discerning is right. He has wrestled with the beasts for a long time (both here in US and also in Vatican).
      This is why I only hear him: US-Church Catholic was excommunicated for a long time (Charismatic and Spirit-filled priesthood was not excommunicated, nor could be). Still, the translation of Church documents in English was in heresy (I see) and just recently that was revoked/fixed, they now look more sufficient in their Church order as they have fixed their translations. (It is quite pleasant to see them in all traditional things/practices, and things passed down in the Word and arts). Things of wild branch are artful and we like that, when we can.
      I rejoiced and thanked God that translation was fixed this soon, for if any longer time was passed on they would have to remain in things as they were. Why? The Church can’t touch anything that was done in the time-pass. (This is commandment of the Gospel; we should not violate the Gospel on purpose).
      I like to talk about something: There was a feud that originated from Ms, Rice. And it just showed how disqualified she was, as a diplomat. I am not sexist, or anything like that…still, I think that women sometimes can be totally under qualified (or totally not called).
      This is why: traditionally one cannot rebuke an old man, unless he is totally and just awfully unrighteous person. (In Scriptural language we would say “an old heretic.” in a way.)
      What Ms. Rice did was totally wrong (for a professional diplomat); she disregarded all traditional backgrounds when she said terrible things about Mr. Richard Falk. He is not just a diplomat; he is much anointed saying things that he does.
      Mr. Richard Falk, he teaches accurately (for this point in time) because people both in Israel and Palestine are much of Jewish exiles (descendents of very ancient Hebrew/Jews) that came back to the holy land (in this point in time).
      When I look at the world I see no landmarks, just split landmark of Kindom of Israel (to Judah and Israel) in this point in time…Jerusalem is a capital of Judah (not Israel, not in this point in time). Now, I am not saying that there are no nations (for sure they are in natural), but I see them not in spiritual. I see Jews and Gentiles intermingled, and their seed is just mingled and multiplied…mingled and multiplied and cut of, and on, and on, and on (both in spiritual and natural, just cut off). But Judah is in the Church; and it is in the Spirit filled Church in the world. It is also these who direct the leaders of the Nations. And there are descendents (biological descendents) of Kind David in the world.
      (I see much more that is not for lay-people).
      Still, I myself see that landmarks of Israel in this point in time are not valid as they are (someone took landmarks outside appointed time), and now there are issues with the landmarks of Israel. We do not know how to fix those landmarks because issues with those landmarks and people in the land are complex, as they are. In spiritual reality they are not valid, not appointed, but allowed.
      There is significant trouble in the world because of skewed landmarks of Holy Land and the people that are in the land (both in Kingdom of Judeah, and Kingdom of Israel).
      There are troubles in the world due to issues like church-charismatic disorder, then Holocaust, then Landmarks of Israel that are off.
      Yes, there is separation of Church and Government here in US, and sure it is so in this point in time, but there was no separation of Church and Government when Israeli landmarks were crafted. (I understand so). There are some uncorrectable generational issues in the land.
      The war in Iraq was rejected by a prophetic oracle, and they were led to go to Iraq, and descendents of David were killed. These who have sinned must be baptized by free fall of Spirit. Nothing else will save them, or their offspring.
      These are things that Church Charismatic has for lay people, but they cannot discern a thing.
      Many Blessings,


  1. Dr Richard Falk: On Political Preconditions | Peace and Justice Post - May 16, 2013

    […] Richard Falk, May 15, 2013 […]

  2. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » On Political Preconditions - May 20, 2013

    […] Go to Original – richardfalk.com […]

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