Invisible Horizons of a Just Palestine/Israel Future

4 Nov

I spent last week at the United Nations, meeting with ambassadors of countries in the Middle East and presenting my final report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly as my term as Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine comes to an end. My report emphasized issues relating to corporate responsibility of those companies and banks that are engaged in business relationships with the settlements. Such an emphasis seemed to strike a responsive note with many delegations as a tangible way of expressing displeasure with Israel’s continuing defiance of its international law obligations, especially in relation to the unlawful settlements being provocatively expanded in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at the very moment that the resumption of direct negotiations between the Palestine Authority and the Government of Israel is being heralded as a promising development.

There are two reasons why the corporate responsibility issue seems to be an important tactic of consciousness raising and norm implementation at this stage: (1) it is a start down the slippery slope of enforcement after decades of UN initiatives confined to seemingly futile rhetorical affirmations of Israeli obligations under international law, accompanied by the hope that an enforcement momentum with UN backing is underway; (2) it is an expression of tacit support for the growing global movement of solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for a just and sustainable peace agreement, and specifically, it reinforces the claims of the robust BDS Campaign that has itself scored several notable victories in recent months.

My intention in this post is to put aside these issues and report upon my sense of the diplomatic mood at the UN in relation to the future of Israel/Palestine relations. There is a sharp disconnect between the public profession of support for the resumed peace negotiations as a positive development with a privately acknowledged skepticism as to what to expect. In this regard, there is a widespread realization that conditions are not ripe for productive diplomacy for the following reasons: the apparent refusal of Israel’s political leadership to endorse a political outcome that is capable of satisfying even minimal Palestinian aspirations; the settlement phenomenon as dooming any viable form of a ‘two-state’ solution; the lack of Palestinian unity as between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas undermining its representational and legitimacy status.

The most serious concern on the Palestinian side is whether protecting the interests and rights of the totality of the Palestinian people in a peace process can be achieved within the present diplomatic framework. We need to be constantly reminded that ‘the Palestinian people’ cannot be confined to those Palestinian living under Israeli occupation: refugees in neighboring countries; refugees confined within occupied Palestine, but demanding a right of return to their residence at the time of dispossession; the Palestinian minority living in Israel; and 4-5 million Palestinians who constitute the Palestinian diaspora and its underlying reality of enforced exile.

It was also clear that the Palestinian Authority is confronted by a severe dilemma: either to accept the inadequate proposals put forward by Israel and the United States or reject these proposals and be blamed once again by Tel Aviv and Washington for rejecting a peace offer. Only some Israeli anxiety that the Palestinians might actually accept the U.S. proposals might induce Israel to refuse, on its side, to accept what Washington proposes, and spare the Palestinians the embarrassment posed by the dilemma of swallowing or spitting. That is, Israel when forced to show its hand may actually be unwilling to allow any solution to the conflict based on Palestinian self-determination, even if heavily weighted in Israel’s facvor. In effect, within the diplomatic setting there strong doubts exist as to whether the present Israeli leadership would accept even a Palestinian statelet even if it were endowed with only nominal sovereignty. In effect, from a Palestinian perspective it seems inconceivable that anything positive could emerge from the present direct negotiations, and it is widely appreciated that the PA agreed take part only after being subjected to severe pressure from the White House and Secretary Kerry. In this sense, the best that Ramallah can hope for is damage control.

There were three attitudes present among the more thoughtful diplomats at the UN who have been dealing with the Palestinian situation for years, if not decades: the first attitude was to believe somehow that ‘miracles’ happen in politics, and that a two state solution was still possible; usually this outlook avoided the home of the devil, that is the place where details reside, and if pressed could not offer a scenario that explained how the settlements could be shrunk sufficiently to enable a genuine two-state solution to emerge from the current round of talks; the second attitude again opted to support the resumption of the direct talks because it was ‘doing something,’ which seemed preferable to ‘doing nothing,’ bolstering this rather vapid view with the sentiment ‘at least they are doing something’; the third attitude, more privately and confidentially conveyed, fancies itself to be the voice of realism in world politics, which is contemptuous of the advocacy of rights and justice in relation to Palestine; this view has concluded that Israel has prevailed, it has won, and all that the Palestinians can do is to accommodate an adverse outcome, acknowledging defeat, and hope that the Israelis will not push their advantage toward a third cycle of dispossession (the first two being 1948, 1967) in the form of ‘population transfer’ so as to address their one remaining serious anxiety—the fertility gap leading to a feared tension between professing democracy and retaining the primary Zionist claim of being a Jewish state, the so-called ‘demographic bomb.’

As I reject all three of these postures, I will not leave my position as Special Rapporteur with a sense that inter-governmental diplomacy and its imaginative horizons have much to offer the Palestinian people even by way of understanding evolving trends in the conflict, much less realizing their rights, above all, the right of self-determination. At the same time, despite this, I have increased my belief that the UN has a crucial role to play in relation to a positive future for the Palestinian people—reinforcing the legitimacy of seeking a rights based solution rather than settling for a power based outcome that is called peace in an elaborate international ceremony of deception, in all likelihood on the lawn of the White House. In this period the UN has been playing an important part in legitimating Palestinian grievances by continuously referencing international law, human rights, and international morality.

The Israelis (and officialdom in the United States) indicate their awareness of this UN role by repeatedly stressing their unconditional opposition to what is labeled to be ‘the delegitimation project,’ which is a subtle propagandistic shift from the actual demand to uphold Palestinian rights to the misleading and diversionary claim that Israel’s critics are trying to challenge Israel’s right to exist as a state sovereign state. To be sure, the Palestinians are waging, with success a Legitimacy War against Israel for control of the legal and moral high ground, but they are not at this stage questioning Israeli statehood, but only its refusal to respect international law as it relates to the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

Let us acknowledge a double reality. The UN is a geopolitical actor that is behaviorally manipulated by money and hard power on many fundamental issues, including Palestine/Israel; this stark acknowledgement severely restricts the effectiveness of the UN with regard to questions of justice. Fortunately, this is not the whole story. The UN is also a normative actor that articulates the grievances of peoples and governments, influences public discourse with respect to the global policy agenda, and has great and distinctive symbolic leverage in establishing the legitimacy of claims. In other words, the UN can say what is right, without being necessarily able to do what is right. This distinction summarizes the narratives of articulating the Palestinian claims and the justice of the Palestinian struggle without being able to overcome behavioral obstacles in the geopolitical domain that block their fulfillment.

What such a gap also emphasizes is that the political climate is not yet right for constructive inter-governmental negotiations, which would require both Israel and the United States to recalculate their priorities and to contemplate alternative future scenarios in a manner that is far more congruent with upholding the panoply of Palestinian rights. Such shifts in the political climate are underway, and are not just a matter of changing public opinion, but also mobilizing popular regional and global support for nonviolent tactics of opposition and resistance to the evolving status quo. The Arab Spring of 2011 initially raised expectations that such a mobilization would surge, but counter-revolutionary developments, political unrest, and economic panic have temporarily, at least, dampened such prospects, and have lowered the profile of the Palestinian struggle.

Despite such adverse developments in the Middle East from a Palestinian perspective, it remains possible to launch within the UN a broad campaign to promote corporate responsibility in relation to the settlements, which could gradually be extended to other unlawful Israeli activities (e.g. separation wall, blockade of Gaza, prison and arrest abuses, house demolitions). Such a course of action links efforts within the UN to implement international law with activism that is already well established within global civil society, being guided by Palestinian architects of 21st century nonviolent resistance. In effect, two disillusionments (armed struggle and international diplomacy) are coupled with a revised post-Oslo strategy giving the Palestinian struggle a new identity (nonviolent resistance, global solidarity campaign, and legitimacy warfare) with an increasing emancipatory potential.

Such an affirmation is the inverse of the ultra realist view mentioned above that the struggle is essentially over, and all that is left is for the Palestinians to admit defeat and for the Israelis to dictate the terms of ‘the peace treaty.’ While admitting that such a visionary worldview may be based on wishful thinking, it is also appropriate to point out that most political conflicts since the end of World War II have reflected the outcome of legitimacy wars more than the balance of hard power. Military superiority and geopolitical leverage were consistently frustrated during the era of colonial wars in the 1960s and 1970s. In this regard, it should be understood that the settler colonial enterprise being pursued by Israel is on the wrong side of history, and so contrary to appearances, there is reason to be hopeful about the Palestinian future and historical grounds not succumb to the dreary imaginings of those who claim the mantle of realism.

42 Responses to “Invisible Horizons of a Just Palestine/Israel Future”

  1. Gene Schulman November 4, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Richard, I’ve been wondering where you have been these past few weeks. Your posts have been dearly missed. But you make up for it in this important overview of the present state of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the UN’s role as a geopolitical actor in suppressing Palestinian’s rights. I hope the end of your role as Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine will not end your reporting on it to the general public. Your opinions are important to us who would believe the world can still be a better place.

    • Richard Falk November 4, 2013 at 2:06 am #

      Thanks, Gene, your encouragement is appreciated and exerts influence. It is
      a difficult challenge to sustain a blog of this sort, but I will do my best to
      keep it up for a while, at least. With warm greetings.

  2. Fred Skolnik November 4, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    I will note once again your persistent errors of fact and omission.

    Neither in law nor in precedent does a right of return exist, nor do the descendants of refugees have a legally established right to be called refugees. But more significantly, you refuse to recognize the fact that Jews were displaced from Arab countries in equal numbers and were resettled in Israel, thus creating a de facto exchange of populations. Any wild claims for the settlement of millions of Arabs in the State of Israel have no meaning or value other than as pure rhetoric, and needless to say doom any possibility of a peace settlement.

    You continually and deceptively talk about the “expansion” of West Bank settlements when all building is taking place within the boundaries of existing settlements, whose final disposition will in any case be determined in negotiations.

    The blockade of Gaza is not illegal. It was not found to be illegal by the UN Palmer Report, which states: “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”

    Your never-ending disparagement of the so-called “primary Zionist claim of being a Jewish state” is also misleading. Israel is a Jewish state, just as Turkey is a Turkish state, and the Arabs living in the State of Israel are a national minority, just as the Kurds living in Turkey are a national minority.

    The contours of a settlement are known to everyone: land exchange, limited return, some imaginative solution for Jerusalem and satisfaction of Israel’s security concerns. This is fair and reasonable and there is no other real basis on which the Palestinians will achieve statehood. If statehood and a better future for their people were what the Palestinian leaders really wanted, they would have had a state years ago.

    • Gene Schulman November 4, 2013 at 3:19 am #

      Fred is again to be ignored, because his “facts” are all hasbara lies. It is not worth the effort to refute them over and over again.

      • Fred Skolnik November 4, 2013 at 3:46 am #

        I don’t remember their being refuted even once. You are confusing “referencing” biased second-hand sources with actual knowledge.

    • Gene Schulman November 4, 2013 at 6:58 am #

      Fred, I don’t think I could find a better refutation than of your fantasies than Chris Hedges offers here in his review of Max Blumenthal’ new book:

      • Fred Skolnik November 4, 2013 at 7:34 am #

        No, Gene, you could maybe find a better refutation if you weren’t doing exactly what I just said you were doing – “referencing” biased second-hand sources, though in this case it’s a third-hand source, being a review of a second-hand source, namely a book by a professional Israel hater like Blumenthal, who knows as much about the Middle East as I know about Mars. For your information, “1,400 dead, nearly all civilians” (in Operation Cast Lead) is even contradicted by Hamas, from whom the 1,400 figure is taken, neglecting to mention that Hamas admitted that this includes 700 of their own men.

        How, Dear Gene, do you go about verifying all this anti-Israel venom, or are you just happy to get what you’re looking for?

      • Jim K November 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

        As Hedges points out, Blumenthal’s work is confronting Americans, particularly liberals, with the ugly reality of actually-existing Zionism. This, making it harder for liberals to keep pretending that it’s acceptable – even virtuous! — for the US to give Israel unconditional political and military support, is extremely dangerous for partisans of the Israeli colonial projectl. That is why Blumenthal is being fought furiously in sectors of the liberal media (and ignored in the mainstream media). But it’s a little too late. There’s too much info out there, and the intellectual and ethical case for Israel has already been lost. The fight, from the Zionist side, is to keep the political and military support going as long as possible. From the anti-colonialist side, it’s to prevent the “third wave” of transfer to which Richard refers, and which has already started, with the “Prawer Plan” of dispossessing the Bedouin citizens of Israel. See analysis at:
        Dropping a DIME: Max Blumenthal and the Erosion of Liberal Zionism

      • Gene Schulman November 12, 2013 at 4:46 am #

        Thanks for that link, Jim K. But that won’t stop the hasbarist trolls from continuing their attacks on the truth tellers like Richard and others. They will just ignore it and keep right on with their campaigns, even though Richard censures people like Fred when they go too far with ad hominem attacks.

    • oldguyincolorado November 4, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      Fred, again Prof. Falk seems to miss-understand the folks in Gaza. They are writing their own history of this conflict – not one based on facts, of course, but upon a religious sense that they can follow Goebbles: tell a big lie often enough and ultimately the populace will believe it.

      They have re-written their text books and will continue to teach their children that everything wrong in their world is the fault of the Jews. They refuse to ask themselves the very simple question: things are so bad for us, why are our Arab brothers not opening their borders to us?

      They are trapped by their co-religionists and being used as a tool to help destroy Isreal. In essence, they are Expendable – but this falls perfectly in line with their religious beliefs as set forth in the Quo’ran, so why do they complain so much? They, themselves, acknowledge that this issue has absolutely nothing to do with politics, it is all RELIGIOUS. THIS IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE CHARTER OF HAMAS.

      For Gaza to change, it must change it’s concept that religion plays the major role in this conflict; that teaching their children to hate Jews is wrong and they must look inward for the root causes of their plight.
      This will not happen as long as folks like Prof. Falk fail to realize what is going on and continue to buy into the idea that Isreal, and Isreal alone is the sole cause of the ills in the mid-east.

      As to the West Bank, your arguements are correct: the same anti-Israeli game is being played out there.

      Prof. Falk, who apparently speaks neither Hebrew nor Arabic and must rely upon what “others” tell him is not in a position to fact check to the sources. He is not engaging in good scholarship. If you can’t read, write or even understand the language of the area about which you write, you best learn that language before you profess to be an expert in that area.

      All he sees is a land or people who seem to be in trouble and listens to their side only via a translator (for much of it). He has forgotten one of the major criticsms about Arafat: says one thing in English but another in Arabic – this to fool the English only audience.

      For a person who professes to be an attorney and, more so, a judge of this situation, to consider one side only, or one theory only, is to present a false view to the ultimate jury. It is grossly unfair to the other side. Whenever I ran into such a judge, I would insist that he recuse himself.

      This is bad scholarship, bad judging and worse than that because of the position the Prof. holds in world affairs. There is no “just one side only” approach to this situation. Both sides must be considered. Both must be articulated so that the ultimate jury can see that a proper evaluation was done. To say, as the Prof. has said in the past, that he does consider both sides, but fails to tell us what the other sides’ position or facts are, is to tell us nothing. I find it absolutley incredible that on each and every occassion that I have come onto his site, Israel is wrong every time and that the Arab is always “as pure as the driven snow”. This is not to be living in the real world.

      I have said in the past that Isreal is not always right, but to say that she is always wrong is just that: plain wrong.

      • Gene Schulman November 4, 2013 at 7:33 am #

        Good for you, oldguyincolorado. Always misconstruing what the good professor says, BTW: Do you speak Hebrew or Arabic? If not, just how can you know any more than the next person. One doesn’t need to know the language to detect oppression and wrong doing. You should also read the link I sent to Fred.

  3. monalisa November 4, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    Dear Richard,
    thank you for your essay on the subject as well as your sensibility about Palestinians’ future.

    Thank you too for all your past efforts on behalf of Palestinians and your withstanding against all these adverse tidings !

    However, coming back just to the headline of your essay I would say:
    Oh yes, I see slowly a horizon rising which could -maybe- change the present situation and the struggle of Palestinians maybe could be overcome to some degree.

    Saying this I am aware political tidings change.
    If political tidings change nobody knows for sure what the near future holds.

    But as soon as the monetary system and therefore with it geopolitical influences change I am sure other things will change too.
    However, I am aware that a state like Israel will still fuel flames with false accusations and its already in the past shown aggression especially if its allies are shrinking together with financial supports – which very likely could be.

    Nobody knows – but geopolitical shifts are at hand, that’s what I see.

    Take care of yourself,


  4. Georgianne E. Matthews November 4, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    The wise Special Rapporteur for OCCUPIED Palestine has spoken. I pray

    the United Nation, Israel and the United States will diligently follow

    Honorable Richard Falk’s guidance, clear understanding of what needs

    to be done. We all should thank this wise gentle man and may the UN,

    Israel, and the USA follow his example.


    Georgianne E. Matthews

  5. monalisa November 4, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    to Fred Skolnik:

    I must state that your lack of sincerity and truthfulness is enormous …..

    Be sure that the whole globe is more and more aware of facts.
    One of the grave facts which cannot be overlooked is that schoolschildren and children in general were/are used as targets for Israels’ soldiers …..

    This alone would qualify for the question: which law rules Israel in reality?


    • Fred Skolnik November 4, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      No, schoolchildren and children in general are not used as targets for Israeli soldiers. Arab children are killed because Hamas launches its rockets from residential neighborhoods. No army on earth makes a greater effort to avoid civilian casualities than the Israeli army.

  6. Laurie November 4, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    As of today the Germans are locating/returning confiscated artwork belonging to Jews. Perhaps over the coming years, Israelis will be faced with a neverending obligation of reparation and return for egregious thefts.

    • monalisa November 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      to Laurie:

      if geopolitical tides change this is very likely something Israel could face – with no escape. Too much has been documented all these years.

      Israel’s government is extremely short-sighted in its actions and doesn’t think at all for the next generation.


  7. barefootinramallah November 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Reblogged this on Barefoot in Ramallah and commented:
    Well said, in every way.

    (This is taken from the blog of Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.)

  8. poirefrais November 5, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    I just received your latest. Your postings are so valuable because they have depth and perspective.
    I read talk of Israel building a wall on the Jordanian border. My instinct, speculative perhaps, is that it is intended as distraction- though a possibility- from the massive settlement “building” , and confound Israel’s agenda and activities.
    This may be “normal” power games. I suppose key players note these things, as a matter of course. People like myself, aren’t in on all the moves. Political life has a “reality” of it’s own. People are usually mostly in the dark, relatively speaking.
    The bigger picture, not the details, seems important. But, the “devil is in the details.”

    I wish I could remember the phrase, sort the chafe from the …something.
    Thank you.

    • poirefrais November 5, 2013 at 1:40 am #

      – separate the wheat from the chaff.
      “Thank you and good night”, Professor Falk.

  9. Alintisar (@Alintisar) November 6, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Dear Mr. Falk, Where can I find a transcript of your talk ‘The Relevance of International Law to the Palestinian Struggle’ or similar published article. Thank you.

  10. walker b percy November 7, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Gene, Mona, Old guy, fred, et al.: I would be interested to know your thoughts about recent findings that Yasir Arafat was assassinated using an exotic radioactive substance that is produced during manufacture of nuclear weapons, and the Israeli gov’t’s blithe insistence that the murder was carried out by Palestinians factions opposed to Arafat, even though these groups have no access to polonium 210. Will this story be successfully suppressed in the mainstream media, or will the world start connecting the dots, to understand how zionists operate? Apparently, zionists feel that an individual who stands in their way can be liquidated, and if anyone finds out what happened, they can explain that this person was a potential danger to their “survival”. How long will it be before others start making these connections, and start looking into other similar episodes?

    • Gene Schulman November 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Greetings Walker,

      I think your comment is a bit out of place here and off subject. This is Richard Falk’s blog and I prefer to restrict my comments to his posts. If you want to start your own blog, I’ll be happy to comment. But not here, unless Richard wishes to follow up on it.

      • Gene Schulman November 9, 2013 at 7:36 am #

        Going against my own better wishes, because I still think the subject is off topic, I attach this link to an article which appears today at Common Dreams by Eric Margulis. Of all those I have read so far, his seems to most agree with my own opinion:

    • monalisa November 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      to walker b percy:

      I have heard and read about that.
      However, as shortly before Arafat had been poisoned some of the Israeli governments said openly that he has to be removed. I think that’s enough to put lose ends together.

      The mainstream media here (middle of Europe) just reported that they found a high rate of Polonium in his body as well as in some of his belongings. Before his death he was “encircled” by and under Israeli control. That’s well known and documented.

      You ask how long can this go on ?
      I don’t know however, be sure as the US Dollar looses more and more its world trade exchange value as a basic in trade the whole huge US military will never be able to restore it.
      I let you think about that point.

      Usually it comes more and more down to currencies and monetary wars.

      Most of our countries on earth see more and more US as a trouble and war creator whereas most countries want to do business without at first creating a war zone.
      Moreover it lies blatantly open that the US government stole a lot of US citizens pension funds and so forth and at the present the case of Fukushima should be dealt with urgently and forememost by the US government. But, as is seen worldwide, the US government is too busy to look after other turmoils to create and doesn’t care at all for its own citizen.


      • walker b percy November 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

        thanks for your response, Mona Lisa. I agree with much of what you write, but I also think that US policy is being manipulated and hijacked by a fifth column who believe that their wealth and guile renders them immune to criticism, let alone retribution. I am pretty sure this will backfire as it always has in every previous episode. When people are not allowed to state obvious truths because their careers may be ruined, it causes a lot of repressed anger that will eventually find expression. I think that the Arafat assassination could be a turning point. I also think that Glenn Greenwald, with the support of the Ebay founder, will force these issues to be addressed in ways we have not seen yet. It is just a matter of overcoming the fear we all feel about being targeted and ruined by this group. But things can change rapidly, especially in precarious times like those we are currently living through, and those of us who see what is happening have a responsibility to enlighten others and to build toward a consensus that may succeed in overcoming the manipulations of this small group of miscreants.

      • Kata Fisher November 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

        I hear, “Teaching office, Church order, and a strip of to the wicked. Stripped them off.”

      • Kata Fisher November 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

        I hear, “I need grocery’s for Africa; it must be not the choicest wine; yet, I have sought to see grocery’s for Africa.”

    • Kata Fisher November 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      I heard before, and I hear” Bread, fats and meats.” Please.

  11. Rabbi Ira Youdovin November 9, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    Prof. Falk alleges that American, Israeli and Jewish money and influence prevent the UN from being a vehicle to assist Palestinians achieve their legitimate rights. In addressing this allegation, which I believe is unfounded, I’m sensitive to Prof. Falk’s justifiable concern that dissent from his views is sometimes phrased as a personal attack impugning his motives. Apropos, I hasten to affirm at the outset that this is not my intention. I acknowledge that Prof. Falk’s motives are known only to himself and his confidants. My critique focuses solely on what he says and does, not why. Saying that someone’s perspective is wrong or misguided is not the same as saying that he is evil. It is in this spirit that I submit this post, hoping that it elicits responses from Prof. Falk and others that further the discussion.

    Prof. Falk asserts that Palestinians should enjoy the right to self-determination. I agree, but with an asterisk. “Self-determination” is a hugely ambiguous phrase that requires clarification. For Hamas, as an example, it means extending Palestinian sovereignty over the entire area covered by the British Mandate, including the State of Israel, and either subjugating the Jewish inhabitants or driving them into the Sea. This genocidal hope is by no means exclusive to Palestinian extremists. Its mirror image is held by Israeli settlers and their political supporters.

    Prof. Falk supports the One State Solution,turning the entire area into a single, bi-national secular state governed by international law. Let’s put aside the manifold, and seemingly insurmountable, obstacles that would have to be overcome in trying to knit two exceedingly disparate and mutually hostile populations into a cohesive and sustainable national entity–i.e. like telling two people who can’t agree on terms for a divorce that they should get married—and look at how Prof. Falk would go about it.

    He lists among rights denied Palestinians the right of return to their residence at the time of dispossession. Without clarification, this can be understood as demanding the right of every Palestinian in the world to take possession of the structure in which his family—by now, his ancestors—lived until 65 or more years ago. The number is huge, creating another refugee problem and, more importantly , destroying the vision of “two states for two peoples” enshrined in the UN’s 1947 Partition plan, and recently re-affirmed in its 2012 resolution envisioning a Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories. I’ll leave it to Prof. Falk to explain why he advocates this. However, it should be noted the tactic of destroying Israel by demographics is a primary weapon in the arsenal of anti-Israel rejectionists.

    This is not to say that Palestinians do not deserve to be compensated for their lost property, and given an opportunity, along with financial assistance, to build a secure and prosperous future as citizens on the new and independent State of Palestine—an approach that would be endorsed by Israel, the US, world Jewry and an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations, including Arab and Muslim nations.

    Frankly, I’m puzzled as to why Prof. Falk, in this and other matters, adopts a maximalist, hardline approach which, almost invariably, leads nowhere, when more moderate and potentially more effective approaches are readily available. This was apparent during his tenure as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Territories. Lord knows, Israeli settlers commit human rights violations that are properly the concern of the UN’s Human Rights Council. But so do Palestinian extremists. So when the UN’s SR reports only the former, while ignoring or offering excuses for the latter, his one-sidedness undermines his credibility within the UN.

    I suggest that this misguided approach, not Jewish, American and Israeli pressure, bears primary responsibility for the UN Council on Human Rights’ poor record in moving the Palestinian cause forward to achieving its legitimate goals.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman November 9, 2013 at 5:37 am #

      @ Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      I won’t presume to speak on Professor Falk’s behalf. However I can’t resist responding to your long critique of him on my own behalf.
      First, I do not agree with you that Prof. Falk’s view that American, Israeli and Jewish money and influence prevent the UN from being a vehicle to assist Palestinians achieve their legitimate rights is incorrect. On the contrary, it is exactly that influence on the UN that prevents it. Otherwise, they would have had those rights a long time ago. I believe that Prof. Falk’s position as UN Special Rapporteur gives him more insight to the problems facing the Palestinians than we outsiders who know only from what we read. And I would prefer to accept his opinion over those of the one-sided prejudices offered by outsiders like yourself, not to speak of the propaganda offered in the MSM.

      I also disagree that “Self-determination” is an ambiguous phrase. You narrow it down to the example of Hamas’ alleged position of extending Palestinian sovereignty over all of Israel. There is nothing ambiguous about a people who have lived in Palestine for centuries asserting their rights to determine who governs them and what their rights should be. The problem is that the Israelis also claim such determination which clashes with that of the Palestinians. At least you recognized the “mirror image” held by Israel’s extremist settlers.
      We all know by now that the so-called two-state solution is unworkable because of Israel’s intransigence: any such solution as the Israelis would permit is no solution at all. So it is no wonder that more and more reasonable people are beginning to recognize that if there is to be peace in Palestine, it will have to be on the basis of one land for two peoples, i.e., the one state solution. If that means the end of Israel as a “Jewish state”, so be it. I could go into all the reasons that it should never have become a Jewish state in the first place, but you know those as well as I do. And this is not the place to argue them.

      It is a matter of opinion that there are “manifold and seemingly insurmountable obstacles that would have to be overcome” in turning the area into a single secular state. I, for one, believe that it is highly possible that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would welcome such an outcome if it were to mean peace. It is only fundamental Zionists, like yourself, that throw up barriers and arguments to prevent such a solution.

      Re the right of return: why should dispossessed Palestinians (and/or their descendants) be denied the right to return to their home lands after having been forcibly evicted by an invading other? Certainly, that is what the Israelis claim for themselves and every other Jew extant in the universe, even though they have never resided in that geographical portion of the universe.

      No, Rabbi Youdovan, you are attacking Prof. Falk, not for being “misguided”, rather to use his reasonable arguments as a scapegoat to further the Zionist agenda to usurp all of eretz Israel and evict the Palestinians in another “final solution”. One that we would all like never to see again.

      Gene Schulman

    • Richard Falk November 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Rabbi Youdovin even when you claim to be not questioning my motivations you indirectly
      raise the issue as that only I can know rather than putting it genuinely aside by discussing the substance of your disagreements. It is as if I told you that the sincerity of your support for Israel could only be determined by your own inner reflections. To raise such an issue, which you are alone in doing, represents a subtle way of putting my credibility in issue as an innocent prelude to your own statements of belief that are put forward without the slightest sign of self-doubt as to motivation, ideological outlook.
      It is a tactic or an emotional disposition that undermines real dialogue as far as I am
      concerned. I regret this because I felt at time there were possibilities at least of understanding the rationale for our sharp difference of perception and interpretation.

    • Kata Fisher November 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm #


      As Rabbi, you have to know your responsibility.

      I do have a pressuring head-ache today, so I really cannot proof-read real good, but I must write on few things:

      In midst of disagreement, I would love to encourage all. We all are tripped by the works of witchcraft that took place in time-pass. We can do damage control—or we cannot do anything, at all.
      It is possible for all of us to be religious and righteous. Also it is possible for all of us to be religious and unrighteous. We can chose blessings and we can chose curses. We can repent of ancestral sins and we can remain in them. We do that to which we are called—and we cannot, nor is possible for us to do more than that. We cannot go beyond that.

      I have few conclusions/clarifications: I heard and I hear again in Spirit:”David, give them one state, and that will force them to manage the Land.”

      You were writing:

      “Prof. Falk asserts that Palestinians should enjoy the right to self-determination. I agree, but with an asterisk. “Self-determination” is a hugely ambiguous phrase that requires clarification.”
      To us “Self-determination” means—or we say:
      “Do not put prophets into the prison; relies them.”
      We say, “Obey Tabernacle of David, obey David and his rule.” We do not have a High Priest, and we do not have a King in this point in time. I assure you, there is a Priest, and there is the King.
      We say, “Exorcise your demons, and generational defilements.”

      It is so that many look at people in Palestine and consider them “unter-menschen”; meaning, they are unable to see Arab/Palestine population for that which is: “prophets in the Land,” with legitimate rights to the territory. One does not even have to mediate on the Scripture/times to understand this.
      We have Laws that are appointed-why can we not obey by that? We have wants, and request…rational, and not rational.

      I am very aware that false Christianity (in US and elsewhere is a dividing force, toward all—supporting that which is in fact the guilt of blood on both side-when comes to Israel, and all other Semitic/Hebrew Lands).

      At some point in time, the ancestors of the settlers were moved (by Spirit) to settle in the Land. When over 5000 people? (as I understand) are imprisoned, and then the Spirit of God is restricted: Self-determination cannot be accomplished. We do not like that.
      Further, each day simple in Spirit/ lay-people and/or prophets are killed (on both sides). We call that “the guilt of blood,” killing, martyring offspring/children of Holy Land (on both sides).
      We must be grateful to “Western leadership and their Arab alliance” for this, and all their help that infuses accomplishment of that: (now I mock this corporate setting-or shall I not do that?). I will take correction by the prophets—that is acceptable for I.

      Western leadership and their Arab alliance (such as Jordan, and else who) have done nothing valid, lasting for people in Holy Land, and also cannot—they have no Spiritual authority over the people, but they have the land—or are supporting unrighteousness over the Land and people in the Land. Or—the Palestine and Israel will not repent? What is accurate? All is—or not?

      We do not consider ourselves to be fools with God, by His Spirit. Not individually, and not corporately.

      Only David and His household have Spiritual authority over the Holy Land. And the Spirit said, and I heard in Spirit: “I want my Land Back.” So, we want and ask for the Land to be given back.

      Jordan should, and can be righteous first to give the Land back; meaning, no moving of population-or anything like that, but eccalistical order—a marker (for a free area, and autonomy for all the people that are). We really cannot have landmark overlapping the Holy Land, except an eccalistical order of the Landmark. That area has to be free territory on which exile people can move. (In this point in time entire Holy Land belongs to exiles, and they have to be free to move within the Land without restriction, as they are now).

      Now my request is somewhat irrational; yet, by Spirit, I feel I have a l
      legitimate right to suggest what I hear by Spirit. Now, others will have to hear one and exactly the same thing, as I. Otherwise, my request is not valid, cannot be accomplished, at all. (Meaning; it would be false request).

      We do ask, “What is the dispute in the Land of Israel?” Not at all—we all know that. But we also know that all dispute is a “cause and effect of WITCHCRAFT that came trough evil/false Christianity” (Non-Jews evil) and evil/false Jews who were in sin against Spirit of God and the Law. (Same old marriage, in contemporary packaging, and it was always like that). They deceive and lead away from the truth believers that are immature, and not equipped in Faith. As Rabbi, you have to know your responsibility.

      Now, during the age of the Church, and disorder of the Church invalid—this all is infused by satanic power-devil…devil-directed are their works. They are hyper on Satan’s/devils-filled of all kind of principalities. They have pushed all things in their way, and their time—they were just evil.
      It is possible for God to make blessing out of the curse- but righteousness, and repentance, and works of that have to take place.

      Now, it should be understood that external influence (Gentile, such as ancient tribes of English/US contemporary, and similar) over the Lands is in fact is in spirit of Nazi. This was the case when the “false landmark” took place. People of the Holy Land complained, and did not want that—no one obeyed them.

      People that are Spirit-filled and obedient to the Law in Land of Israel cannot manage out radicals? It is possible to place radicals in their place; yet, one must carefully discern between radicals and the prophets. We say, “Do that!” We want people of Palestine OUT OF THE PRISONS, and we want that NOW. Keep radicals, and rehabilitate them if you can. (Not possible?). That is why Muslim in Spiritual authority over the Holy Quran have to take care of man that are bewitched due to violation of Holy Quran. In general, we only have Faithful not bewitched, and Faithfull bewitched, and/or Fall of from Faith—those who are not in submission to any type of repentance.

      External false Christianity to the Land (which, in fact, is mostly tribes-uncultivated, in Satan—all they do is fuel the guilt of blood) is unwanted in the Land. Excommunicate them—they have no business in the Land—they are no exiles returning, nor have a valid Gospel to give. Give them a PATH OUT of the Land!

      When prophets are not obeyed, imminent judgments are at hand; it was always like that…and so it was/is with the landmark that is illegitimate. “Obey people of Palestine, and Israel “(whether exile-or not)—we say that.

      You wrote:

      “Prof. Falk supports the One State Solution, turning the entire area into a single, bi-national secular state governed by international law. Let’s put aside the manifold, and seemingly insurmountable, obstacles that would have to be overcome in trying to knit two exceedingly disparate and mutually hostile populations into a cohesive and sustainable national entity–i.e. like telling two people who can’t agree on terms for a divorce that they should get married—and look at how Prof. Falk would go about it.”

      AGAIN, IT IS LIKE ILLEGITIMATE BABY (keep it—or get rid of it? Either is acceptable—we say “do whatever… kill if you will. It is thy will. Still, do not be forced to do things against your will.”). It is so with illegitimate landmarks …which will force them to get married? Not at all…

      I heard and I hear again in Spirit:”David, give them one state, and that will force them to manage the Land.”

      The answers are in these things that are visible, already? We have the Temple of the Lord, and we have the Landmarks of the Lord? Regardless of our perspectives…THE SINS GENERATIONAL ARE UPON US, as they always was, unless there is repentance.

      I wrote this at some point in time, in a private setting…and I just brain-stormed—there is no construct-complexity to it:

      Only David has Spiritual authority over the Landmarks. The Landmark that is there it really made all difficult for the returning exiles. I see that the landmark (eccalistical) which Palestine has achieved is in the form there to fix the damage. If the Landmarks could be placed—juts to break off that spirit of war (and present spirit of division). It is legitimate under Law international. (Just to set the line by line). In general, placing a Landmark in Israel is very bad…as you see is now. But first comes eccalistical, and then natural—to correct the bad one. Overlapping of the landmark…and then when the Landmark is set, legally people will return or not. However, only the son of David would have authority over the Landmarks. One has to look in spiritual and natural.

      This is what I am thinking: Have one ecclesiastical divide/line…
      Or have two natural divides/lines…
      Ecclesiastical is already there and there is one natural..
      Either put another natural—or do away with one…
      The result:
      1) One ecclesiastical line
      2) Two natural (which one is ecclesiastical…between those two lines…)
      Would they accept ecclesiastical divide, and no other “bordering” at all… Meaning; it would be a “divide” so that people could be free to move around… It is ecclesiastical and would they go for ecclesiastical divide? I think that all answers are in that which is already visible, but how to arrange that to be “all perception acceptable?”
      What are the options?: 1) Two Ecclesiastical; 2) Two natural; 3) One Ecclesiastical..
      Right now it is one natural (and recently one Ecclesiastical), but no peacefulness in the land…

      You see key solution/s for Holy Land… Strong holds long-time objectives (for the people) of the Holy Land, so that it cannot be moved/trapped by evil force, at some point in time?
      Sometimes, people will pursue things that they really do not want to have. (Things they perceive they want, is not what they really want, in reality…).
      Stronghold longtime objectives (rational/reality for the people)… What would be key objectives that need to be strong held—that what people really, really want—and are in pursuit of?
      Peace and prosperity, as a long term objective (one example). Religious stewardship is another…

    • Kata Fisher November 15, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin: Is this report true–can this be verified?


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