Pope Francis Visit to Palestine

26 May



            Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land raises one overwhelming question: ‘what is the nature of religious power in our world of the 21st century?’ ‘can it have transformative effects’?


            Media pundits and most liberal voices from the secular realm approve of this effort by Francis to seek peace through the encouragement of reconciliation, while dutifully reminding us that his impact is only ‘ceremonial’ and ‘symbolic’ and will not, and presumably should not, have any political consequences beyond a temporary cleansing of the political atmosphere.


            The June 6th prospect of Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres praying together in the Vatican as a step toward a peaceful end of the long struggle is, I fear, an ambiguous sideshow. For one thing, Peres as President of Israel is about to leave the office, and in any event, his position exerts no discernible influence on the head of state, Benjamin Netanyahu, or the approach taken by Israel in addressing Palestinian concerns. It has long been appreciated that Peres is less than he seems, and beneath his velvet globe is a steel fist. Also, Abbas, although the formal leader of the Palestinian Authority and Chair of the PLO, is a weak and controversial leader who has yet to establish a unity government that includes Hamas, and finally provides political representation for the long suffering population of the Gaza Strip within global venues.


            Yet it would be a mistake to ignore the significance, symbolically and materially, of what Pope Francis’ visit to Palestine heralds. To begin with, just below the surface of what is avowed by words and style, is the contrast between the humility and sincerity of this religiously oriented initiative and the recently acknowledged breakdown of direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel that was the ill-advised and contrived initiative of the U.S. Government, and became the personal project of the American Secretary of State John Kerry. In effect, the Pope epitomizes the moral and spiritual dimensions of the unresolved situation in Palestine while Kerry’s muscular diplomacy called partisan Alpha attention to the political dimensions.


            Undoubtedly more relevant is the degree to which Francis lent his weight to fundamental Palestinian grievances. By referring to the territory under occupation since 1967 as ‘Palestine,’ Francis affirmed the status conferred by the UN General Assembly in 2012, and since then angrily rejected by Tel Aviv and Washington. In doing so, Palestinian statehood was affirmed as a moral reality that should be endorsed by people and governments of good will everywhere, thereby strengthening the call of global solidarity.


            Most dramatically of all, by praying at the apartheid wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and bowing his head prayer while touching with his hand that hated metaphor of Israeli cruelty, illegality, and oppressiveness, Pope Francis has made an indelible contribution to the Legitimacy War of nonviolent resistance and emancipation that the Palestinian National Movement has waged with increasing militancy, and is being embraced throughout the world.


            Such moments of moral epiphany are rare in our experience of the torments afflicting the world. We need to remind ourselves that this pope has imparted a spirit of justice and spirituality. We are responding to his call because of who he is as well as what he is: his warmth, sympathy for the poor and oppressed, and identification with those brutally victimized by war. We are responding to the concreteness of his commitments and the actualities of his performances whether he points to the atrocities of war in Syria or the ordeal that has so long confronted the Palestinian people.


            The Pope challenges all of us to act as citizen pilgrims, having a personal responsibility to act as best we can against bastions of flagrant injustice. The Pope, the most universally acclaimed moral and spiritual authority figure on the planet has spoken by word and deed, and now it becomes our privilege to act responsively. By this means alone can we discover the ecumenical nature of religious authority in our times.

77 Responses to “Pope Francis Visit to Palestine”

  1. Gene Schulman May 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Sorry, Richard. Why would an atheist seek to discover the ecumenical nature of religious authority? Especially that of the Pope? We part company on this one.

    • ray032 May 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      This Pope is an individual unlike other Popes. He is trying, under the weight of an institution 1500 years old, to restore it to the simplicity of Christ’s original teachings.

      Perhaps more so than any other person on this planet, I am watching the development of this Pope with greater interest.

      I posted this article to my Blog;
      February 26, 2011

      In it, is a brief video of Francis of Assisi appearing before the Pope in 1210, part of the original post in 2011. Now Francis is Pope. Obviously, it would be more curious to me than anyone else, he was elected on May 13. Newspapers have published I have the “Trademark” on that number. Just curious facts and realities in my life!

    • Kata Fisher May 27, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Dear Gene:

      I was thinking about that which you said.

      Palestinian leaders should and have to unite all people in Palestine and be responsible to abolish all extremism that is in heresy and abuse of sacred texts. As long as they do not do that they have no chance in representing their rights and their people in Palestine / Holy Land. In spite of them being ancient Jews in Holy Land, – as long as they are succumbing on heresy they will be outside their relationship with God and people in the Land. Whenever they instruct jihad and holy wars they step outside their appointed area and are heretics and bring judgment of God upon them with that. As ancient Jews, they will want to practice jihad / a heresy in this point in time because they think that they can take writings outside appointed time and enjoy violation of international Law. They have to obey by the instructions of the International Law – or are in danger being cursed by prophets under authority of God’s Spirit.

      In the beginning, the Church was prosecuted –and as soon as tables flipped the Church harlot became prosecuting tribes, and that harlot in the Church begot children and was multiplied! Then that whore of Babylon (spiritually excommunicated tribes of the fallen Rome) did not get her vital ways of destruction within the Church has then aimed to split the Church.

      Nowadays we have numberless false gospels and false denominations of different spirits. Catholics have kept their numbers low while Protestants are beyond their ability and structural institution even to catch up with generational sins that are upon them.
      However, Church valid and spiritual authority of the Church is ecumenical, and because of this: The outpour of God’s Spirit is upon all flesh! Church that is ecumenical and valid will be under Baptism of God’s Spirit by free fall – or has broken off from the Churches/denominations in heretical practices and is in teaching office that is prophtic in nature .

      This is significant for Israelis! They have to break off with invalid spiritual associations. Meaning, they have to break off from that whore of Babylon /spiritually excommunicated denominations — ungrafted tribes that have tripped the people in Holy Land by invalid Landmarks, and are in a consistent support of counterfeit outcomes for the people in Holy Land while in stench of their bloody rag. Specificly, church-counterfeit!

      In Church Catholic, alone there are many ancient Jews who over ancient history made the Church strong, and along with converts by Spirit from Non-Jewish tribes have sustained humanity and the cultures. Likewise, there is a strong ecumenical Church that can be spotted in the midst of protestant chaos of the invalid churches. They under Spirit are grafting in that which is spiritually excommunicated against God’s will /led astray.

      When comes to the situation in Holy Land we understand that it was spiritual manipulation that has cause people in the holy land to be tripped and spiritually excommunicated and fall under curse of the Law. In order for them to be breaking that of they have to be some in valid spiritual associations’and practice – those who have spiritual authority over people in Holy Land should be in fellowship more offten with the people in Holy Land.

      Now this does not have to be Pope, nor am I suggesting that he be. However, he is representing the Body of Church Leaders: cardinals, archbishops, bishops / prist who are ancient Jews and who are under prophetic anointing, and their anointing are fully activated and are corporate Church agreement.

      It is prophets in Church Leadership who rule the Church and make acceptable change take place along with the Pope, and not the Pope. Either they work together, as one — or they cannot. With that Church is accountable to be in one Spirit that was authentic since first generation of Christianity or they will have to put up with counterfeit leaders/spirits in their midst.

      No one mock order of Church Charismatic / sacramental orders without consequence and Catholic Church has done at times, created chaos with that — history and writings gave us evidence to that fact.

      When you consider all in all; it is possible for Church-Catholic Charismatic Leadership along with the Pope to intercede on behave of people in Holy Land and scriptural outcomes for all, and annual works of heresy and spiritually evil over the Holy Land and people in the Land.

      There is a valid and definite spiritual authority in Church-Roman-Catholic-Charismatic to bind evil in Holy Land in this point in time.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 9:00 am #

        Dear Prof. Falk

        Are you reading this rant from Kata Fisher carefully? Isn’t is time that you took a real stand in the face of such vicious bigotry?

      • Richard Falk May 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

        Dear Mr. Skolnik:

        Explain to me why this post of Kata Fisher should be blocked because it is ‘vicious bigotry’?

        I do not exclude posts because I disagree with their substance or argument, but only if they engage
        in personal attacks or express overt ethnic hatred.

        BTW, I do not agree with you about the idea of being ‘the chosen people’ is only influential with religious
        Jews. My own background, growing up in NYC, among secular Jews conveyed to me a sense that being a Jew was
        to belong to a chosen people, and was embedded deeply in Jewish ethnic consciousness, and at least in America,
        still is.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

        Dear Prof. Falk

        I am certainly not going to tell you to ban posts but I expect you to condemn them rather than enocourage and ptaise them when they cross the lines.

        The use with reference to Jews and other people of such terms as heresy, whore of Babylon, false gospels, false denominations, invalid spiritual associations, and spiritually evil is a throwback to medieval witch burning and represents Church bigotry at its worst.

        The idea of chosenness is not part of the secular Israeli ethos and never has been, and there is certainly no feeling in Israel that “God gave us the land.” You are projecting the American Diaspora ethos of 70 years ago onto Modern Israel. Even without knowing Israeli society well you should be able to understand this by reading Zionist literature, listening to Netanyahu’s speeches even or reading Israel’s Proclamation of Independence.

      • Kata Fisher May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

        Dear Fred Skolnik:

        “The ‘witch’ burning of the ‘witches’ ” (very bizarre) — I understand that, and I can explain…
        However then, I will have to recall time pass and all what was done by these who were in Satan…
        Moreover, would you then say that I’m inflexible, vicious bigot – I not a witch?

  2. truthaholics May 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    What can we really expect from a pope who visits the Apartheid Wall one day then Theodor Herzl’s grave the very next? Inviting both sides to resume peace talks at the Vatican sounds ominous as Israeli designs to annex Musjid-ul-Aqsa are increasingly getting more brazen.

    • ray032 May 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      I sent this email to the Pope”s Ambassadors to CanaDa and France May 12


      I am eager to hear the words of the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ, The Prince of Peace, in Israel.

      This is what I expect of Francis as expressed in my comment appearing in The Jerusalem Post Today.

      Francis should be very concerned by the growing movement of Ultra Right Nationalist Zionists attempting to restore animal blood sacrifice as atonement for sin on the Temple Mount.

      If that extremist movement is allowed to grow in Israel, the world will arrive sooner, rather than later, at that Eve of Destruction described in these words, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
      For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty.”

      Peter denied knowing the Lord when the pressure was on. This extreme Zionist movement to restore animal blood sacrifice repudiates totally and completely, the Saving Grace of the Atonement of Christ once for all TIME, and for all humanity, in Jerusalem so long ago.

      Temple Mount, a flash point ready to ignite
      More than the political stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians, it is rising tensions in the Temple Mount that could lead to an escalation.

      Five arrested for planning Passover sacrifice on Temple Mount
      Police transfer animal to Ministry of Agriculture, bring in suspects for further questioning

      Not all of my prayers for the Pope’s trip to Israel were answered, but I did pray he stop at the wall and he did. It would have been a much more viral image if no one was around him, and from the distance, seeing his diminutive figure in perspective against the high prison wall.

      As the Rollings Stones said, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you find you get what you need.

  3. Albert May 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Here is a quote by pope Francis: “We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose”. It is hard to describe the present reality more accurately.
    As long as we still have to contend with the divisiveness of religion and the manipulation of them by the politicians, then Francis` record and his expressed views so far, are like a breath of fresh air in a stale room.
    The pope may feel, that the standoff, or rather the illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands is unacceptable, but who cares? Do you think Netanyahu cares about what the pope says beyond the words he cares to potentially use to further his criminal agenda? There was a time, when his words meant my command, but I have since seen the light. And even though I admire this pope as a man and what he seems to stand for I think, that all this is too little and too late for a great many people, who once fervently believed everything they were told. For far too long the symbiotic relationship between the religions and the politicians has caused many people to rightfully question the validity of religion itself. None have ever dared to stand up for the rights of the people, even though all three Abrahamic religions claim a direct line to their God. I believe in God, but my God is not the one of the religions. My God does not make the poor and innocent masses suffer and bestow wealth on the most depraved among us. My God does not need periodic adjustments to keep up with the scientific findings. And why should my God be a less likely possibility than the one of the religions
    The pope`s visit to the ME seems to me nothing but a big PR exercise.
    The historic track record of the religions is what made me so cynical. One has to be extremely gullible and naïve to give them any more credence.

  4. rehmat1 May 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Anyone who has studied the career of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from some objective source would know that he like the Zionist leaders has misused his religion for political gains rather than religious gains. As the first Jesuit Pope he has long been friend of the organized Jewry. The leaders of ADL, AJC and WZO have already declared “kosher Pope”.

    During his Israel yatra, Francis became the first Pope to lay wreath on Herzl grave. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury who has German Jewish family roots wouldn’t dare to perform this Israeli Hasbara act.


  5. Clif Brown May 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    What if the popes down through history had taken the office seriously by putting into practice the philosophy of the one they claimed to follow? To see one at the height of power voluntarily seek out the powerless and attempt to aid them, what could be more convincing a case for religion? In fact, if such a sequence of papal behavior had occurred, I would cite it as a true miracle and a proof of the positive power of religion over the minds of men, even if only a small subset of them.

    You speak rightly when you mention this pope acting as the kind of man he is in addition to responding to the call of the office he holds. Religion in practice has only proven itself to be another area of human behavior, subverting its own claims to stand apart on a higher plane. This pope impresses me not for his position, but for his behavior as an admirable person, behavior that is within the reach of all of us independent of mythology.

  6. wingsprd May 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Wonderful comment from Albert, I couldn’t have said it better. The big problem with Israel IS religion, a people who think they are god’s chosen, and everyone else is not worth anything. All stemming from irrational myths of centuries ago.

    • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 7:12 am #

      Dear Wingsprd, where do you get your ideas about what Israelis think. The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are not religious, don’t believe that anyone chose them and don’t think that everyone else is not worth anything. You have a fixed idea about Jews that has nothing to do with reality.

      • ray032 May 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        “Zionism” is a religious concept.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

        No, Ray, you’re mistaken. Read what I previously wrote to you. Read Zionist literature. Learn Zionist history. You also have a fixed idea not grounded in reality, which is unhealthy. Zionism is a national concept rooted in the Land of Israel as the birthplace of the Jewish people, its language, culture, national identity and national consciousness,

      • ray032 May 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

        Fred, I am not mistaken. You are wilfully blind to the realities.

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 8:35 am #

        Dear Ray, I am beginning to wonder about you. I though you were just another Bible thumper looking for a soapbox from which to harrangue people in the the name of the Lord, but the vehemence with which you try to prove the worst about Jews places you in an entirely different caregory. In any case, you don’t want to get the most basic facts wrong. You can hate Israel even if Zionism is a secular movement.

      • ray032 May 28, 2014 at 8:52 am #

        Now Fred, i’m wondering if we’re reading the same Blog? This comment of yours, “but the vehemence with which you try to prove the worst about Jews places you in an entirely different category.” is far removed from any reality in my comments, implied or otherwise.

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 10:06 am #

        When you hold on for dear life to the false idea that Zionism is based on the Jewish idea of chosenness and God’s giving the Land of Israel to the Jews, I assume that you are implying something very negative about both the Jews and the Zionists. If I am mistaken and you have positive feeling about Jews and Zionists, please share them with us.

  7. ray032 May 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I tweet the Pope occasionally. This was my latest. Ray Joseph Cormier ‏@Ray032Com May 25

    @Pontifex Wonderful to see you praying at the wall. http://ray032.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/palestinians-on-the-way-to-work-in-the-settlements.jpg

  8. Gene Schulman May 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    It is interesting to see how many readers of this post fall over the Pope. The Pope has no power to do anything, for all of his spiritual words, to end this crisis. Besides, the Israel/Palestinian situation is not a religious a religious one. As Amos Oz put it in a book several years ago, it is a battle over real estate. The Zionists want all of Eretz Israel, i.e., Palestine. The Palestinians want their land back. Or at least a piece of it so they can live in peace. All the Pope’s prayers, even in concert with Abbas and Peres, are worthless.

    • ray032 May 27, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      Gene, how could delude yourself to write this, ” the Israel/Palestinian situation is not a religious one”

      The whole situation is the Zionist claim God gave the land to the Jews exclusively, no matter who was living on it before Israel was recreated from the Bible. The Bible! If that’s not religious, what is?.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 8:40 am #

        Dear Ray, I thought I explained this to you already. Zionism was not a religious movement. It was a secular national movement. Do you want me to walk you through this all over again?

  9. Weston, Burns H May 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm #


    Did you get the paperback copy of Green Governance I sent you? When are you likely to blog it? Can’t imagine why Pope Francis takes precedence! ☺


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  10. Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 27, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Prof. Falk tells only half the story of the Pope’s trip, just he repeatedly told only half the story—the Palestinian half—during the six years he served as a Special Rapporteur for the United Nations. The audacity of this on-going attempt to re-write history “on the fly” is breathtaking.

    The Holy Father did pray at what Israel calls the “security barrier” and others call “the wall”, visit a Palestinian refugee camp, and made an unambiguous reference to “the State of Palestine.” These gestures assuredly were intended to communicate support for legitimate Palestinian aspirations.

    But the Pope also visited Israel, a fact omitted in Prof. Falk’s account, where he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, laid a wreath at the grave of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and prayed at a memorial for victims of Palestinian terror. The visit to Yad Vashem sends a message to Holocaust deniers, such as those in Iran, which is Hamas’ primary political supporter and military supplier. The visit to Herzl’s grave is a stern rebuke to those, including Hamas and President Abbas, who refuse to recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People. Praying at a memorial to victims of Palestinian terrorism is self-evident.

    Pope Francis several times remarked that peace required concessions from both sides, and strongly endorsed the two state solution, which is opposed by Israeli extremists, Hamas and Prof. Falk. He emphasized the critical importance of negotiations, which also are opposed by Israeli extremists, Hamas and Prof. Falk.

    Prof. Falk’s opinion that “by referring to the territory under occupation since 1967 as ‘Palestine,’ Francis affirmed the status conferred by the UN General Assembly in 2012” is a subtle piece of spin doctoring. The UN resolution established the pre-1967 borders (aka Green Line) as the outer limits of a Palestinian state, but did not say that the new state would cover the entire territory. This is consistent with UN resolution 242 which calls for Israel to return territory occupied in 1967, but does not specify the territory, which would imply all of it.

    The Holy Father’s itinerary was carefully structured to convey both support and criticism to both sides. Spin doctoring and omitting facts distorts the purpose and message of the Pope’s visit to Palestine and Israel. The Pope came as a citizen pilgrim seeking the establishment of peace through reconciliation. This apparently is not high on Prof. Falk’s agenda.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • QCPal May 27, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Pr Falf did not talk about the last THIRD of the Pope visit to the Holy Lands because it was uneventful and similar to all recent Papal visits…

      The Pope may still think the Green Line (1949 Armisitice) with minor land swap could work but everyone else knows the Banthoustans WOULD NOT BE A VIABLE STATE for reasons too numerous to list…
      So the other part is where you’re gonna hit the ceilling with rage: The Pope is FOR THE RIGHT OF RETURN, to be negotiatated for sure but he is FOR IT and that means One or Two States ZIONISM is DEAD because Israel CANNOT BE *JEWISH* and TRULY DEMOCRATIC and tahanks to #BDS education of the masses anyone can understand it in 15 minutes … Thus since ZIONISM and Jabotinsky”Begin”Shamir”Kahane RIGHT WING MILITARIST RACIST ETHNOCRATIC REVISIONNIST ZIONISM is DEAD like the USSR it is just that the corpse is not rotten YET … But RIGHT OF RETURN = NO MORE ZIONISM … It’s that simple …

      The Pope just announced the World the DEATH of ZIONISM in backing the RIGHT OF RETURN , even with SOME sacrifice … And remember that the Green Line means East-Jérusalem will be Palestinian also CLEARLY backed by the Pope …

      God Bless Pope Francisco !

      • Kata Fisher May 27, 2014 at 11:56 am #

        Dear QCPal:

        Right to return does not mean that Zionism is no more. People can believe whatever they want, but they can not violate other individuals by their actions that clearly go against the Scriptures and Laws that are appointed.
        If people in Holy Land were to defend the territory of Holy Land back from surrounding countries they would not violate Judaism and the Law, Islamic or Christian Faith. With that, also they would not violate the Law that is appointed.
        By ill treatment of converts to Judaism and /or Jews because of Zionism and /or ideas of that movement — these people were brought to Holy Land as refugees or forced to move to Holy Land. Because of that you and all of us can accept them as refugees and/or strangers in Holy Land. They have moved and have integrated within the Land, and should not be moved on and around.

        There is a lot of Territory to be given back to the people in Holy Land by surrounding countries, at free will.

        People in Holy Land can and perhaps can have two state solution/s –but why should they do that? Why can’t they understand that they were tripped by those who hated them, and wanted what is worse in the Holy Land.

        You can look at this in anoter way:

        There will be time when world-community will look back at current situation in Holy Land and will be ashamed. How can they have supported/allowed genocide and war-crimes in Holy Land of the same essence as was in Nazi-Germany (by the spiritual and natural reality). Perhaps, over the time world-community will understand what they have done.
        The problem behind, and underlying reason – as a core to the problem/ issue is that Israel (as a State/not a valid territory of the Holy Land) is being overpopulated with evacuated Jewish congregations. They are pursuing territory of the Holy Land illegitimately from the People in Palestine, mainly from contemporary Muslims. Legitimately, all people in Palestine and Israel cannot force each other back from the territory that they are to co-share based on historical and current facts.
        Jewish exiles in Palestine (contemporarily Muslims) as well as refugees / and or oppressed Jewish congregations are in the Land as people that are terribly tripped. First, by Invalid Landmarks for the Holy Land, and second by invalid ministry. Invalid ministry is this: moving Jewish congregations to the State of Israel, and then forcing on to them to settle against Palestinian inheritance, in fact –a war against that which is legitimate inheritance/property of Palestinian-Jews /contemporarily Muslims. They are not under Judaism, but they are under prophesy as Palestinians / Hebrew-Jewish exiles.
        It is very complicated in contemporary perceptions/issues. For example, 15.000 Bosnian Jews were evacuated due to Bosnian conflict to Israel by American Jews /NGO’s – this work was done by immature lay-people or spiritually invalid Jews that ignored or have not feared the divine Revelation. We have first understood Biblical way of fact: “Jews being called and/or moved by God’s Sprit to be going back to the Holy Land would not be evacuating masses of Jewish people.”
        With that, lay-people have interfered with God’s will for Bosnian Jewish congregation, and many other Jews world-wide. Now, Bosnian Jews have integrated with Israel as a state and are valid in the Holy Land as strangers in the Land – they cannot be forced to leave the territories of Holy Land.
        Now, we deal with small and big curses when comes to all of that. The small curse is that people that should not be in Israel/territory of Holy Land are. I mean, did God call 15.000 Bosnian Jews to go back to Holy Land – or were they moved by Spirit to the Holy Land? Maybe a tiny number of Bosnian Jews may have received a legitimate call from God to be back in Holy Land. The big curse is this: What if these 15.000 people from Bosnian congregation of Jews are settled on the Land that was took by force from Jewish exiles that are contemporarily Muslims/Palestinians in Holy Land? This is a huge eccalistical tripping & a curse toward Jews as congregations under the Law. When one is under Law of Spirit – who can trip you? When peoples/congregations are under the Law/Prophesy they can be terribly tripped and excommunicated spiritually. I cannot be ignorant to the spiritual condition of the people in Holy Land.
        This nonsense of lay-people will spiritually excommunicate a congregation of Jews regardless if they are converts to Judaism or if they are ancient tribes of Hebrew-Jews. They cannot be on the Land that is taken by force and in violation of the Laws that are appointed.
        However, people in Holy Land can ask for the territory of Holy Land back from neighboring countries. Israeli state Landmarks are invalid, even two-state solution is highly risky to pursue due to divine realities. People in Holy Land have to reconcile, make contemporary landmarks Neutral/annul them. The issues with the Landmarks are the underlying problem — and no one is sure what Landmarks should be. We know the Land that what was given to the offspring of Abraham, David and Daniel, as well as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
        People in Holy Land are misled, and they do not fully understand their order eccalistical powers/rights. Meaning, based on International Law people in Holy Land will be able to demand their eccalistical order of the territory of the Holy Land back from their neighboring countries.
        Someone has to manage good will of people in Holy Land against each other, and the god will toward their neighbors.
        Territory of/inside of the Holy Land is Neutral/Landmarks free against the nations – or is contemptible against God, and holy peoples. We know what was done in the past, and is done now: the nations are against Holy Land, and are against God in their service as they are putting some delusional Landmarks on God’s behave over and over and again they do that.
        Based on International Law people in Holy Land can do whatever they are determined, or can be terribly tripped into Lawlessness…Moreover, then they cannot achieve justice toward each other and peaceful resolution? They can break off that cycle of curse when they get legitimate council. International Law is limited, it will not demand from people things against self-determination of the peoples. Community of nonbelievers/hypocrites and/or believers can be flexible to do good or evil toward people in Holy Land – but evil enables no one; it will ensnare.
        They need really to think what was implemented done with the post WWII landmarks. International Law can fix the problem; however, the Law of the Scripture can completely annul it!

      • QCPal May 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

        Dear Kata and others,

        My tone was a little belligerent because of the “Innuendo” of biases that Zionists always give to anyone who disagrees with the Principle that Citizenship to Israel should sunjugated to RELIGION. We are far away from Pinsker practical Zionism and the Bilu ” Lover of Zion making their Aliyah on their own… We have a system where US money is given to Russians Jews to go live where Palestinians are disposessed of their OWN LAND by the Defence Ermergency REgulation of 1948 … This is THEFT disguized as legality …

        But I digress again: The World consensus (minus US and Sirael) for Peace is since Oslo:
        1) 2 Sates based on the 1949 Armistice Line meaning Palestine is:
        EAST-JERUSALEM + West Bank + Gaza with negotiated minor land swapa.
        2) End of Occupation *AND* Apartheid in both States.
        3) A negotiated Right of Return”compensation for *AT LEAST* the UNRWA refugees victim of Nakba and their direct descendant in EITHER Palestine of Israel-proper …

        The first won’t happen becuasse Zionists won’t budge on Al-Quds/East-Jérusalem as neither the second because they refuse the Right of Return. Also end of Apartheid means NO MORE presferential treatment based on religion therefore negating the “Jewsihness” of the sate of Israel …

        So logically what’s left is: Non-Violence resistance until Aparthied and Occupation ends leaving Palestine as a TRULY SECULAR democratic State where Jewish People will be a Huge minority of 6 millions or so versus 8 millions Palestinians (BOTH Christian and Muslims)

        SO this to happen there need to be a 3 pont solution that all have précédents in recent modern history:
        1) Hamas/PLO/Fatah have to disarm like the IRA did in Northern Ireland.
        2) Palestinian and Israelis have to reconciliate and stop the propaganda / counter propaganda and learn to leave in a democratic JUST peace first as Neighbors first and eventually as brothers & sisters. It is possible following the South African model
        3) There HAS to be some form of reparation for the Nakba of 1948, 1967 snd the ongoning dispossession and dsiplacement of Palestinians like thos 3 villages including Imwas and Yalu now camouflaged Under JNF/KKL “Canada Park”, And there are précédents for that based on the Settlement of Germany and Switzerland Reparations to the Nazi holocaust victims and descendants …

        Apartheid and Occupation is IMMORAL and corrupts Zionism to a point where the Revisionnit Zionism practiced nowadays is Kahanist and way too similar to the Totalitarian Regime of Stalin’s USSR to have any chance of longevity …

        So i conclude that Zionism is condemned and will die … We have to find a solution that yields a TRULY democrtic SECULAR state where all citizens are equal Under the law in ALL ASPECRS *INCLUDING* immigration, voting, land property and all Western standard HUMAN RIGHTS …

        ANd I do believe the moral backing of the Pope to non-violence and negotaition cannot have any other issue that the END of a ZIONIST WARMONGING STATE to establish the JUST PEACEFUL democratic state an OVERWHELMING majority of Jews and Arabs desire exists …

        It could even mean a “Brussels like” special status for Jérusalem administered by a triumviarte of Muslim, Jews & Christian clerics for the religious aspect of the city and its landmarks …

        Jews will stay in this state as equal citizens and will be able to immigrate but on the same foot as an Arab familiy that left Jaffa in 1936 and on EQUAL base with an Argentinian Jew who’s grand-nother converted to Judaism to marry an Orthodox Jew in the 1930’s …

        I hope this shed lights on my position and the subtext of my provocsative “ZIONISM IS DEAD” statement.

        Salaam Shalom to all.

        So if the this concesus cannot be achive than

      • Kata Fisher May 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

        Dear QCPa,

        l Salaam Shalom

        No form of government would fall short if they were committed to the International Law and rules of that by sincerity and lawfulness. Meaning, it would be good to have a secular government that recognizes equal treatment of Faiths and Religious minorities, as well as Faiths and Religious majority in Holy Land. In addition to that, Faith/religious and secular governing authority will always in good-will overlap in their spiritual authority, and there is no problem in that overlapping.
        The problem becomes when good-will is not present in order to achieve any brake-trough in impossible situations / problems. This happens when spiritual authority is hindered or restricted.
        Freedom of Religion is good, but freedom to religious complaints is more excellent (in a way). Occasionally, freedom of religion will interfere will freedom of the peoples of different Faiths and Religions –or freedom of people who do feel that they do not like to be in any of Faiths or Religions and instructions of that.
        Religious complaints are a must have in addition to religious freedom.

    • Richard Falk May 27, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Rabbi Youdovin:

      From my perspective, the importance of the Pope’s visit was symbolic not substantive (that is,
      the contours of agreed peace arrangements). His authority and wisdom is not relevant on such matters.
      Symbolically, using the language of statehood and praying at the wall, is what will be remembered.

      I acknowledge that I should have emphasized more the effort of the Pope to appear balanced in relation
      to this symbolism, but the visit to Yad Vashem and the prayer at the memorial for victims of terrorism
      do not alter common moral understanding of the reality of the Holocaust and the unacceptability of terrorism.

      I do resent the innuendo implicit in linking me to the views of Hamas, implying a lack of independence or suggesting
      that I am their follower. Also, for the record, we disagree as usual on specifics, e.g. I am not opposed to negotiations,
      provided political preconditions for a constructive process exist, but to undertake negotiations while Israel expands
      settlements, demands to be recognized as a Jewish state, contends that Jerusalem is forever the capital of Israel, is a
      signal from the far stronger party that it is unwilling to engage in MEANINGFUL negotiations, and in these circumstances, no
      negotiations are preferable to the charade of futile negotiations.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

        As I have written before, the contours of a settlement are clear to everyone, but negotiating such a settlement with an enemy who refuses to recognize your national identity is very problematic. Negotiating with an enemy who has declared that his ultimate aim will always be to destroy you is even more problematic. I doubt if the French and the British would ever have been able to settle their differences if the British had refused to acknowledge the fact that France was French, or refused to repudiate a Magna Carta, say, that read like the Hamas Charter.

      • Kata Fisher May 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

        Dear Fred Skolnik

        I do not think that negotiations should be focus, at all.

        Reconciliation is and should be the focus.

        Palestinian/Gaza government (current) has to be one and it has to redefine who they are in Holy Land. The split between people in Palestine has to be annulled. Situation in state of Israel has to be made straight – they have to be united, as well. They have to break the cycle of lawlessness that is very much imputed on to them because of invalid Landmarks, and then more and more trouble was just added on.
        People within the state of Israel need to rethink their pursuits in Holy Land. For this hope, they have international Law as the ground rule (as a guide).
        Legitimate governing in Holy Land cannot be based on any violation of International Law.
        People in Gaza/Palestine are offspring of holy people and are in much ability to be reasonable and during the month of Ramadan they become remorseful and repentfull, by their own free will, and not some irrational coercion as was initiated and made by western tribes that are hypocrites and violators of all appointed Laws.

        When people in Holy Land reconcile they will know what needs to be done.

    • pipistro May 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      On the UN resolution 242 again? There’s plenty of literature about it and its real meaning. I just copy and paste.

      A norm must be interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the language, unless the result would be absurd. Moreover, a norm must have a practical meaning, otherwise it would be void and useless. In this respect, it is obvious and necessary, firstly, to confer a meaning to the norm, even if its litteral content is ambiguous, instead of assessing that the norm has no meaning at all. Or, worse, conferring to it a meaning at will.

      Insofar as UNSC Resolution 242 must have a meaning, otherwise being it absurd/useless, saying it requires an indeterminate withdrawal from (…) occupied territories would mean nothing, leaving undecided the rule dictated by the norm itself. And this is impossible.

      A simple application of this principle is that Security Council Resolution 242 has a sole possible and almost litteral meaning. It requires Israel to withdraw from 100% of the territories occupied in the Six Day War. The goal of different interpretations whatsoever (as the one which claims that its extent is set on the necessity of subsequent direct negotiations between the parties) is aimed at devoiding the norm of any actual meaning. And that’s absurd and unlawful as well.

      The try of depriving it of any meaning is unlawful and ineffective even if it’s endorsed by the very persons who, for opportunism, politics, or any other reason, purposedly gave it an ambiguous formulation.
      In this respect, any interpretations aimed at sinking that norm, all the more if coming from Lord Caradon or others who purposedly have tried to take off any meaning from it, is ineffective and illegitimate, as the norm, once it has taken life, is in any case subordinated to the International Law, no more to political pressures, nor to the fancy of those who may have drafted it in bad faith and/or with reservations.

      Moreover, insofar as the Resolution stated the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, and the relevant territories were undoubtely the whole of West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Golan and Sinai, any different understanding would be illogical, before being unlawful. [pipistro.wordpress.com]

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

        You don’t seem to understand that UN Resolution 242 was a negotiated document in which the word “the” before “territories” was intentionally and explicitly removed from the final draft to accommodate Israel’s view that the final borders replacing the old armistice lines were negotiable.

      • pipistro May 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

        Accomodation of rules to a peculiar point of view doesn’t fit with the general principles of Law. And it’s now unlawful to look at those rules as someone’s loophole since they are actual Law.
        So, if we are talking of actual International Law (and not fancy) every rule must be univocal, and must have a univocal meaning. Moreover, in our case, as written above, the sole practical, possible meaning.

        Anyway, for the story, I quote Michael Lynk, Conceived in Law: The Legal Foundations of Resolution 242 – Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Autumn 2007), pp. 11, 12 and related footnotes.

        “The final draft presented to the Security Council came from the Soviet Union, introduced on 20 November. It, too, had an inadmissibility clause and required a withdrawal of all forces to prewar positions. The Soviet draft also called for an end to all belligerency in the area, affirmed the right of all states to live in peace and security, and urged “a just settlement of the question of the Palestine refugees.” Its late appearance on the eve of the council vote meant that it was not taken seriously by the other permanent members, and it was not formally debated.
        As soon as Lord Caradon formally presented the British draft resolution on 16 November, all diplomatic attention became focused on it. Over the next several days, Caradon continued his intensive lobbying among council members and the Arab and Israeli delegations to win support. To the Americans and the Israelis, he would point to the indefinite language, while to the Arab delegations, the Soviet bloc, and the third world countries, he would stress the inadmissibility principle.(According to Gideon Rafael, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Lord Caradon had tried to insert “the” before “territories” in the drafting, but was rebuffed by the Americans and the Israelis.) [22]
        For Abba Eban, the indefinite language was a “perceptible loophole” that authorized “territorial revision” for Israel’s benefit. [23]
        This was not Caradon’s view. As he would later state, he was prepared to see some insubstantial and mutually beneficial alterations to the 1949 armistices lines, such as a realignment of the boundary at Latrun and Tulkarm, to resolve some border awkwardness.
        But he opposed any territorial annexation. [24]
        In Caradon’s own words, written in 1981: “…it is necessary to say again that the overriding principle was the ‘inadmissibility of [the acquisition of] territory by war’ and that meant that there could be no justification for annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. [25]”

        22. Gideon Rafael, Destination Peace: Three Decades of Israeli Foreign Policy — A Personal Memoir (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1981), p. 189
        23. Eban, An Autobiography, p. 451
        24. Caradon, “Security Council Resolution 242,” p. 13
        25. Caradon, “Security Council Resolution 242,” p. 13

        See also Norman Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, Appendix III, p. 288.

      • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

        Dear Pipistro, UN resolutions are politcal documents reflecting political realities. Everyone who voted for it in the Security Council understood exactly what the resolution meant, even if you don’t. Furthermore, no one in Israel was thinking of settlements in 1967. Israel’s interest was in negotiating secure and permanent borders to replace the old armistice lines and the resolution permitted this.

        Since the basis of a settlement is going to be an exchange of territory between the two sides, the resolution is not really relevant to anything. In trying so hard to make a case against Israel you are forgetting that the Arabs started the war. Why don’t you cut and paste some material about countries that start and lose wars.

  11. allwaysamazed May 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    “moral epiphany”…!…?

  12. rehmat1 May 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Fred Skolnik – When was the last time you read Holy Talmud or listened to the so-called “Liberal Jews” in Israel, United States, France and here in Canada? Underneath their “liberalism”, they all believe in Jewish “chosenness”. I recommend you writings of Max Blumenthal and Gilad Atzmon.

    “While the religious Judiac understanding of Jewish chosenness is realized as a moral burden in which Jews are ordered by G-d to stand as a model of ethical behaviour, the secular Jewish interpretation is reduced into a banal chauvinist form of racially oriented supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly. It is crucial to mention at this stage that in most cases Jewish supremacy would lead to a certain level of dismissal of the elementary rights of the others. In many cases it leads toward animosity and even hatred whether latent or manifest……” Gilad Atzmon.


    • Fred Skolnik May 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      rehmat, if you need Atzmon you’re in pretty bad shape. Quote me something from Herzl. And how would you know what is underneath anything?

      • pipistro May 28, 2014 at 10:50 am #

        Dear Fred,
        as you know very well, Law is all we have – as of today – “ne cives ad arma ruant.” And it’s politics that voluntarily subdues itself to law.
        If you prefer – and I agree – law is what politics has elaborated at its best to make this world a bearable place to live in, unless one maintains that the strength of the army or a deity’s presumed choice might have primacy in ruling the Earth.
        So, if the resolution we are talking is irrelevant, every resolution should be considered alike.
        I guess it would be war everywhere, from now on, till the end. Better defend, then, what we have achieved.
        No problem in find a lot of literature about countries that lost a war. In the case of Palestine, though, I’d say it’s pretty hard to sustain that it was the Arabs who actually started it.

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 11:25 am #

        No, it’s not hard to sustain at all. Jordan bombarded Jewish Jerusalem on the night of June 5, 1967, with no provocation whatsoever after Israel virtually begged Jordan to stay out of the coming war and assured it that it would not act against it if it kept the peace (communicated to Jordan through General Odd Bull of the UN Peace Keeping Mission and the U.S. State Dept.). Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran, which was itself a casus belli and moved 100,000 men and 1,000 tanks across Sinai towards Israel’s border, Syria bombarded Jewish settlements in Galilee for months before the war. I don’t know where and how you get your ideas about what goes on in the Middle East. Certainly not at first hand. I at least live here and am a witness.

        The resolution is irrelevant to the peace process because it leaves it to the negotiating parties to reach an agreement.

      • ray032 May 28, 2014 at 11:41 am #

        Fred, do some more research and stop revising history. The 6 day war started in the morning when Israel started the hostilities by attacking the Egyptian Air Force while it was standing down on the ground. Up to that point, it was all Arab bluster. Israel fired the 1st shot starting the military hostilities.

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 11:49 am #

        Closing the Straits of Tiran and bombarding Jerusalem are not bluster. Neither is marching 100,000 troops toward Israel’s border. Don’t try decide for Israel how to protect its population. You can talk about bluster when it’s your own family that is being threatened.

      • ray032 May 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

        As I said, Israel started the military hostilities in the morning and Jordan attacked in the evening as you said. War is not good.

        The 1967 war was already planned when on April 7 Israel sent in an armour plated tractor to do whatever work in a recognized “de-militarized: zone between Syria and Israel just below the Golan

        The trouble for the Syrian sentry was seeing Israeli Tanks and other war equipment just on the edge of the demilitarized zone backing up the tractor. In the dogfight that day Israel shot down 7 Syrian Migs and the IDF had a sense the Arabs were no match for Israel.

        Naturally the other Arab Nations came to the side of Syria, but it was all verbal threats. Yes, the Egyptians did impose a partial and not too effective economic blockade against Israel shipping through the Strait of Tiran, but there was no further military exchange since April 7.

        As to that partial economic blockade, Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, June 14, 1967, said, “”Wars are not always begun by shots. They are often begun by action and the action which really created the state of war in an acute sense was the imposition of the blockade. To try to murder somebody by strangulation is just as much attempted murder as if you tried to murder him by a shot, and therefore the act of strangulation was the first violent, physical act which had its part in the sequence.”

        That was a grave matter when it affected Israelis, but is no longer True when it affects the Palestinians of Gaza?

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

        Dear Ray, you can walk around with whatever version of events you like, though I have no idea how you go about verifying what you pick up on the internet from sources that are clearly intent on putting Israel in the worst possible light. Israel acted as any nation would have acted under the kind of threat it faced, and in any case Jordan’s decision to pitch in and bomb the civilian population of Jerusalem (after running radio broadcasts to Israel for months telling us exactly how it was going to massacre the Jews) was reason enough to occupy the West Bank. As I say, Ray, stick to protecting your own own family and don’t tell us how to protect ours.

      • Gene Schulman May 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

        It is absolutely amazing reading the above childish comments about who started the ’67 war. What is the argument about? It has all been documented many times over, notably in Tom Segev’s “1967”. This is all inconsequential nonsense and off topic to Richard Falk’s original essay.

        It seems that Messrs Skolnik and Rayo32 have too much time on their hands and like to read their own writing. What a bore!!!

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

        Unfortunately, Gene, you have only read the books that give you what you want, and it isn’t me who has the time to spend what must be hours each day combing the internet for incriminating evidence to “reference.”

      • Gene Schulman May 29, 2014 at 1:02 am #

        Fred, here is something not from Herzl, but about him:

        It is undeniable that Herzl’s ideas, while contributing immensely to the survival of the Jewish people, created problems for the Jewish religion. For Herzl and for political Zionism as a movement, the Jews were a nation like other nations, and this raised questions about the nature of Judaism.

        The majority of the Rabbis in Herzl’s day, whether Orthodox or Reform, were opposed to his views on precisely these grounds. The Reformers believed that the new emphasis on nationhood frustrated the universalistic thrust of Judaism as a world religion independent of nationality. The Orthodox, at the opposite end of the spectrum, believed that the particularistic elements in Judaism were contained in the Torah and the practice of its laws, not in any form of secular nationalism; though the Mizrachi movement sought to combine the ideas of nationalism and religion for Jews in a modern State. Once the State of Israel had been established, the whole debate became purely academic, which is not to deny that many of the problems still await their solution.

        As far as reading goes, I read always both sides of the argument. I just happen to cite from those with whom I agree. You don’t seem to read anything at all. Unless it’s from folks like Robert Wistrich, who devotes over a thousand pages to pure hasbara about anti-Semitism; or books like “The Jewish Divide Over Israel” which castigates anyone who dares criticize the Jewish state. At least, from reading your comments, it seems like these are the books that would appeal to you.

      • Gene Schulman May 29, 2014 at 1:18 am #

        Here is something even more relevant to Richard’s essay and which closes with a quote from your hero, Herzl:


      • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2014 at 3:28 am #

        Please don’t tell me what or how much I read. You’re liable to make a fool out of yourself.

        I have no idea what you’re trying to say about Herzl or Zionism other than to state the obvious about the conflict with religion, to which you might add the Bund if you really want to show us how much you know. As for Germany, Zionism only became a major force in the 1930s when it became clear that assimilationism had failed.

      • Gene Schulman May 29, 2014 at 4:56 am #

        It took me only a few minutes of “combing the internet” to fine this one, which also is apropos of Richard’s essay. It might behoove you, Fred, to read a few things from the internet. You might learn something.


        I earlier swore off responding to your nonsensical comments. I’m sorry I broke that oath. It is now back in effect.

      • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2014 at 5:16 am #

        As if to bear me out. Counterpunch, no less. I thought you would have understand by now that “referencing” a second-hand source is not an argument or a proof of anything. I am truly astounded by the amount of effort – so much googling, so much reading of venemous rubbish – that you are willing to invest in getting the goods on Israel. Don’t you have a life?

        You and I are coming from different places, Gene. You think you can read a few books and a few hundred blog entries that share your biases and begin pontificating about countries about which you have no personal knowledge. I am a little more modest. Though I’m sure I know more about Europe than you know about Israel, I wouldn’t dream of making categorical statements about European societies. But we obviously have different standards.
        Really, Gene, wake up. It isn’t healthy to hate so much.

  13. Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 28, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Prof. Falk:

    You write that a sense of belonging to a chosen people, is
    “embedded deeply in Jewish ethnic consciousness.”

    How do you know this? Or more specifically, how does this embedded sense of being chosen manifest itself in Jewish behavior and thinking?

    In his book, “The Wandering Who”, Gilad Atzmon defines it as a “banal chauvinist form of racially oriented supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly…”

    You praised Atzmon’s book as “A transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.”

    In light of that endorsement, especially as it specifically references Jewish identity, it’s fair to ask whether your views concur with Atzmon’s?

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      Dear Prof. Youdovin

      It is clear that Prof. Falk has no intention to reply to you or to me and I suspect that it is because he can’t. The passage from Atzmon that you quoted above from a book endorsed by Prof. Falk is one that Goebbels would have been proud to have written. You gave Prof. Falk the opportunity to repudiate it and he didn’t. He also did not see fit to repudiate the various gems I quoted from Kata Fisher after he asked me to “explain” what constituted “vicious bigotry” in her comment. I cited her use with reference to Jews and other people of such terms as heresy, whore of Babylon, false gospels, false denominations, invalid spiritual associations, and spiritually evil. I hope his silence derives not from indifference but from embarrassment.

      I would not ordinarily give these people a moment of my attention but in view of what the villification of Jews had wrought in the past, they must be put in their place and what they are must be exposed. I will say this one more time: If Israel wasn’t Jewish, it wouldn’t be hated. That is the simple truth and no amount of cutting and pasting can conceal it.

      • Kata Fisher May 29, 2014 at 11:40 am #

        You tend to be reasonably irrational in your claims against me — or professor Falk’s unwillingness to content with you. There is no purpose on his behave to go about religious refutations of things that you irrationally claim against me, and without a valid and rational reason.
        My arguments are not necessarily based on void Philological and or Psychological Theology /Biblical views and interpretations… Meaning, everyone who misinterprets and misapplies the Scripture is extremely evil and/or is very immature and in an irrational and a stubborn spirit.
        You said, “ Jews and other people of such terms as heresy, whore of Babylon, false gospels, false denominations, invalid spiritual associations, and spiritually evil. I hope his silence derives not from indifference but from embarrassment.”
        Do you propose all evil that is done be done by God fearing Jews and Non-Jews/Gentiles? Absolutely not! There are such things as “irrevocable sins” that are rooted in all evil and satanic realities…Frozen state of rebellion is a fact, it depends on how you look at it!

        Regardles if Jews or Non-Jew handles Scripture and Scriptural realities by evil and/or stubborn intentions can receive qualifications for practice of that which you named above. Meaning, I told you no myths, but you are either playing or are deeply irrational. In simple terms, I would say this: you must be bewitched and /or in irrevocable sins so that your conscience is unable to receive a glimpse of valid things…
        I mean this is at no offence; I am Church Charismatic – I just reason about those issues just like that. I do not have to cite to you from Ecclesiology, Satanology, Demonology, Hamartology, Eschatology to begin with some concept’s of the Church in which I am baptized – the Church Charismatic that rejects Satan and all his works and all his empty and evil promises. By Baptism in which I am baptized one does not swing betwixt Satan and Holy One. What is wrong about that? Perhaps, that we are to own no one explanation, unless it glorifies Baptism in Jesus Christ and Holy God alone, apart from any human merit and purpose.
        You can keep criticizing, in the end you have to learn what serves you in present and/or eternal end.

        Dear Fred Skolnik: Why can’t you rest on authority of the Scripture (as a whole unit?) In fact, by that alone you would attain some God fearing wisdom to begin with…

        Why can’t you rest?

        Now, I do not purpose to misuse the Scripture, and be in a empty promise/vain.

      • ray032 May 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        If Israel is hated, it is not because it is Jewish, but because of the injustice in treating Palestinians as inferiors like the Nazis treated the Jews so long ago.

      • Richard Falk May 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

        Dear Mr. Sknolnik and Rabbi Youdovin:

        My essential reason for not responding is that you both seek to
        accompany your substantive disagreements with nasty and false personal insinuations.
        Associated my views with the hateful mind of Goebbels is just the most recent
        provocative example. And with respect to Atzmon if you were at all fair-minded you
        would understanding encouraging people to read the book is not meant to endorse all
        the sentiments or arguments contained in them. My sense of Atzmon as a person, whom
        I know, is that he is as far from being an anti-Semite as either of you. He reveres
        his Jewish heritage and lives accordingly within his private family space.

        And so, Mr. Skolnik, it is neither indifference or embarrassment, but rather frustration.
        Rather than listening to what I have to say, and responding on its merits or demerits, your
        responses seemed designed almost always to challenge either my knowledge or judgment, and to do
        with arguments that I find dogmatic and opinionated, and not open to what I would regard as
        genuine dialogue (which requires listening to what the other says, not what you wish to hear).

        I wish we could do better.

      • Kata Fisher May 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

        Dear Ray: Justice of Satan is what is taking place in Holy Land!

        Justice of devil is hated by prophets, by anointed and sanctified – just as is hated by God. All evil that is steered against people in the Holy Land is not in God’s will. We know that is in will of the devil that Holy Land stayed in the frozen state of rebellion – this is not God’s will, but is allowed by God. Whatever Institution of the Church refuses to bind, and cannot bind will be allowed by God, unless He, Himself has to bind that which no one can.

      • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

        You can’t be serious about wishing to conduct a dialogue. You have created a site that acts as a magnet for people who think like yourself and ignore whatever challenges your views. Ultimately you yourself become the issue and that is because of the position you held in the UN and your unconcealed biases, which should have caused you to disqualify yourself from holding such a position. I will not go into the kind of language that you and your followers use with reference to Israel or the disparaging references to the character of the Jewish people.

        It is a little wearying to read the hate-filled diatribes that your writing inspires in your admirers so I am going to call it a day. I think I’ve made my point but as a parting shot I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and “reference” an article that sums up my views.


      • Gene Schulman May 29, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

        Hah! I can’t thank Fred Skolnik enough for finally having the nerve to come out of the closet and show us who he really is. Without his “reference” I would have thought he was just another troll, out there to discredit anyone who might criticize Israel. How he has the nerve to accuse Falk of hatred of Israel (or anything else, for that matter) is beyond me. It is Skolnik himself who provokes hatred with his personal innuendos, ad hominem attacks and false arguments. Knowing that he is the editor, I will certainly avoid seeking facts in the Encyclopaedia Judaica.

        Yes, do call it a day, Fred. Maybe even ten years?

  14. ray032 May 28, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    The Pope’s speech arriving in Israel. I was happy to hear and see his angry tone speaking in Jordan, calling all those supplying the weapons destroying Syria as criminals.

    The Pope’s speech arriving in Israel.
    Mr President, Mr Prime Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I thank you most heartily for your welcome to the State of Israel, which I have the joy of visiting on this pilgrimage. I am grateful to President Shimon Peres and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for their kind words and I willingly recall my meetings with them in the Vatican.

    As you know, I have come on pilgrimage to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the historic visit of Pope Paul VI. Since then, much has changed in the relationship between the Holy See and the State of Israel: diplomatic relations, established some twenty years ago, have favored the development of good relations, as witnessed by the two Agreements already signed and ratified, and a third which is in the process of being finalized. In this spirit I greet all the people of Israel with prayerful good wishes that their aspirations of peace and prosperity will achieve fulfillment.

    In the footsteps of my predecessors, I have come as a pilgrim to the Holy Land, rich in history and home to the principal events in the origin and growth of the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As such, it is of immense spiritual significance for a great part of humanity. So I express my hope and prayer that this blessed land may be one which has no place for those who, by exploiting and absolutizing the value of their own religious tradition, prove intolerant and violent towards those of others.

    During my pilgrimage to the Holy Land I will visit some of the most significant places in Jerusalem, a city of universal importance.

    Jerusalem, of course, means “city of peace”. This is what God wills it to be, and such is the desire of all people of good will. Yet sadly Jerusalem remains deeply troubled as a result of longstanding conflicts. We all know how urgent is the need for peace, not only for Israel but also for the entire region. May efforts and energies be increasingly directed to the pursuit of a just and lasting solution to the conflicts which have caused so much suffering.

    In union with all men and women of good will, I implore those in positions of responsibility to leave no stone unturned in the search for equitable solutions to complex problems, so that Israelis and Palestinians may live in peace. The path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace must constantly be taken up anew, courageously and tirelessly. There is simply no other way.

    And so I renew the appeal made in this place by Pope Benedict XVI: the right of the State of Israel to exist and to flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized borders must be universally recognized. At the same time, there must also be a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign homeland and their right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement. The “Two State Solution” must become reality and not remain merely a dream.

    A particularly moving part of my stay will be my visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial to the six million Jews who were victims of the Shoah, a tragedy which is the enduring symbol of the depths to which human evil can sink when, spurred by false ideologies, it fails to recognize the fundamental dignity of each person, which merits unconditional respect regardless of ethnic origin or religious belief.

    I beg God that there will never be another such crime, which also counted among its victims many Christians and others. Ever mindful of the past, let us promote an education in which exclusion and confrontation give way to inclusion and encounter, where there will be no place for anti-Semitism in any of its forms or for expressions of hostility, discrimination or intolerance towards any individual or people.

    My heart is deeply saddened when I think of those who lost their lives in the brutal attack that took place yesterday in Brussels. Once again I express my strong condemnation for this criminal attack of anti-Jewish hatred and I entrust the victims to our merciful God and pray for the recovery of the wounded.

    Although my brief visit makes it impossible to meet everyone, I would like even now to greet all Israel’s citizens and to express my closeness to them, particularly those living in Nazareth and in Galilee, where many Christian communities are found.

    To the Bishops and the Christian faithful I offer a warm and fraternal greeting. I encourage them to persevere in their quiet witness of faith and hope in the service of reconciliation and forgiveness, following the teaching and example of the Lord Jesus, who gave his life to bring about peace between God and man, and between brothers. May you always be a leaven of reconciliation, bringing hope to others, bearing witness to charity! Know that you are constantly in my prayers.

    Mr President, Mr Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you once again for your kind welcome.

    May peace and prosperity descend in abundance upon Israel. And may God bless his people with peace! Shalom!

    • ray032 May 28, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Francis repeatedly praised Jordan for hosting 600,000 refugees of the Syrian crisis, and pointedly urged world powers “not to leave Jordan alone in the task of meeting the humanitarian emergency.” Detouring from his prepared remarks at the baptismal site, the pope demanded, “Who is selling these weapons that are feeding war?”

      “Let’s pray for these criminals who are selling weapons, fueling hatred, that they will convert,” he said under the large stone dome of a church still under construction at a huge national park Jordan is developing to attract Christian tourists. “May everyone get over this idea that problems can be solved with weapons.”


  15. ray032 May 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    This is an Israeli perspective of the Pope’s visit;

    How the pope triumphed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Francis’ unorthodox ideology saved him from traps that have ensnared other world leaders, and helped him score a victory for the Catholic Church


    While I believe the Biblical view – the children will pay for the sins of the parents – we cannot hold the people living Today guilty for the atrocities committed by the Ancestors in the Past.

    To live with that attitude precludes any progress for the Future. We have all sinned, and fallen short of the greater potential of God in our lives and this world.

    • ray032 May 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      In my view, Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post is the War Hawk in Chief in Israel.

      Our world: Pope Francis’s unfriendly visit
      The Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis’s visit to the Promised Land this week.


      • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

        Dear Ray

        Is it possible that you don’t really know what the Nazis did to the Jews “so long ago”?

  16. rehmat1 May 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Fred Skolnik – I’m sorry to say that debating with you is not better than talking to 10-ft thick Wailing Wall. Both Gilad Atzman and Dr. Israel shahak are more knowledgeable about Jewish religion and history than you are. And if I post some of Theodor Herzl’s famous antisemitic statements, Dr. Falk might ban me again.

    BTW – According to British reporter, author and blogger, Alan Hart, whom Golda Mier called “My Dear Friend”, says the June 1967 war was shear agression of the Zionist regime.


    • Kata Fisher May 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      Dear rehmat1: I think by Faith that is passed down by traditions and writings that people change based on what God’s purpose is for them.

      I believe this because what purpose Paul Apostle has received from God, and who became Father by the Gospel to all generations of Christianity, as he was Father by the Gospel to young Timothy.

      Testimony of Paul’s conversion from Saul is and is not beyond our understanding, and only glimpse of hope by which we should stand in our Faith – so that we may not hope for wrong things, and end up in a loveless state of human existence.

      “…talking to 10-ft thick Wailing Wall” can be the very stone from which a child to Abraham is raise—we do not know that, but can hope for.

      I do hope, but I am not ignorant.

  17. pipistro May 30, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    About UNSC resolutions, I find pretty useless a dispute on the crystal clear clarity of a norm that, otherwise, would be void and meaningless.

    As far as I know, neither my words nor anyone’s are able to change the facts. So, I’m not willing to waste my time (indeed, not only mine) in order to counter word by word the daily hammering of hasbara narrative on the net. In this respect, those who have deepened their knowledge of the part of history we’re dealing with, are well aware of “who, why and how.” The rest may be propaganda, ignorance and/or bad faith.

  18. Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 30, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Prof. Falk,

    You claim frustration over your inability to have constructive dialogue with people like me and Fred Skolnik, who is the distinguished editor in chief of the 22-volume second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica[1][2] winner of the 2007 Dartmouth Medal and hailed by the Library Journal as a “landmark achievement.” You blame for creating an impasse. In fact, the situation is quite the reverse. The fault lies you’re your failure to be straightforward in your responses.

    Several days ago, you posted the sweeping observation that “belonging to a chosen people is embedded deeply in Jewish ethnic consciousness…at least in the United States.” As a rabbi I assuredly wish that all Jews embraced the notion of being “chosen” as a mandate for following the prophet Micah’s dictum mandating “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly. “ But that is not the sense in which Prof. Falk and others on this blog define the concept. So I asked him two simple and entirely reasonable questions:

    1. How do you know that “belonging to a chosen people, is “embedded deeply in Jewish ethnic consciousness? “ 2. How does this embedded sense of being chosen manifest itself in Jewish behavior and thinking?

    As an attempt at achieving clarity, I referenced a definition of Jewish chosenness by Gilad Atzmon in a book lavishly praised by Prof. Falk:

    “While the religious Judiac understanding of Jewish chosenness is realized as a moral burden in which Jews are ordered by G-d to stand as a model of ethical behaviour, the secular Jewish interpretation is reduced into a banal chauvinist form of racially oriented supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly. It is crucial to mention at this stage that in most cases Jewish supremacy would lead to a certain level of dismissal of the elementary rights of the others. In many cases it leads toward animosity and even hatred whether latent or manifest……”

    Did Prof Falk agree with Atzmon? Simple question. His was a miasma of words that evade answering my question. Prof. Falk’s is correct in saying that an endorsement does not necessarily imply endorsing every opinion expressed in in the book. But it evades the question of how does Prof. Falk feel about this one opinion. He won’t say.

    But in fact, Prof. Falk has already expressed his views. In a January 15, 2011 post on this blog (“On Jewish Identity”) he writes:

    “As soon as exclusivity or superiority is claimed for any ethnic or religious fraction of the human whole, there is implicitly posited a belief in the inferiority of ‘the other,’ which unconsciously and indirectly gives rise to the murderous mentality of warfare and gives a moral and religious edge to many forms of persecution, culminating in a variety of inquisitions.”

    Sounds pretty much like Atzmon, doesn’t it? And it’s also important to note that Prof. Falk refused Alan Dershowitz invitation to engage in a public discussion of Atzmon’s book.

    Regarding the source of his information on Jewish views of chosenness, he says only that they were formed while he was growing up in New York City. There are 15 million Jews in the world. Approximately 4 million of them live in the United States. That’s not many when measured on a global scale (15 million is the margin of error in the Chinese census). But it’s sure a lot more than Prof. Falk got know while growing up in a homogeneous New York neighborhood. And as an adult, he’s had very limited contact with the Jewish community wherever he’s lived. This I know from people who were on campus with him, and from my personal observations in Santa Barbara, CA, where we both live.

    In other words, Prof. Falk has not real data to support his sweeping accusation. Without this back-up, all he’s doing is repeating, and magnifying, a long-discredited anti-Semitic canard—one that applies to all Jews, not just Zionists and Israelis– which he, and others on this blog, use as “evidence” to support their condemnation of Israel.

    I have long supported Prof. Falk’s that even harsh criticism of Israel does not necessarily stem from anti-Semitism. But now, he has crossed a red line and the other shoe has dropped. Prof. Falk’s views of Israel and Zionism are inextricably tied to anti-Semitism.

    This explains why Prof. Falk—on this blog, in his UN reports and other writings—cannot get himself to say one positive word about Israel. He glorifies this as “constructive imbalance.” In fact it is naked prejudice. It explains why this blog reeks of anti-Semitism, and why Prof. Falk stubbornly refuses to delete blatantly anti-Semitic posts from readers.

    n.b. I am not accusing Prof. Falk of being an anti-Semite or self-loathing Jew. These are complex evaluations of a person’s character I am not willing to make. To paraphrase that late US Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, “some of his best friends are Jews.” I know a few of these people here in Santa Barbara, who are my friends, as well. Most of them deny that he’s an anti-Semite.

    Suffice to say, anti-Semitic tropes figure prominently into Prof. Falk’s approach to the Middle East, and in his management of this blog. I say this with sadness. Many of his criticisms of Israel and Israel’s Diaspora supporters are credible, and should be heard. But Prof. Falk’s circle is small and diminishing. He continues to paint himself into a collapsing corner. Sadly, his critical acumen is mostly lost through destruction by his own hand. Ironically, the biggest losers are the Palestinians.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman May 30, 2014 at 8:02 am #

      Rabbi Youdovin,

      Your long screeds demeaning Richard Falk and his work are not shared by all on this blog, nor out in the world.

      As for Gilad Atzmon and his book, I am also a fan, and agree with his book’s premise about Jewish identity. I have met with, and befriended, Atzmon on several occasions. I do not know whether you are accurate about an offer from Dershowitz to debate Falk about Atzmon’s book, but I do know that Dershowitz refused to debate Atzmon.

      Why don’t you take a cue from Fred Skolnik and also “call it a day”, or ten years.

      • Richard Falk May 30, 2014 at 8:13 am #

        Yes, Gene, I did decline such a proposed debate. I do not remember
        the proposed auspices for such a debate. I did not feel that it would
        be more than an occasion for an unpleasant argument that would never
        seriously address the issues that Gilad’s provocative book makes us
        think hard about in a generally valuable fashion.

    • Kata Fisher May 30, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Dear Rabbi Ira Youdovin:

      Why Palestinians are then looser, who too are Jews in Holy Land?

      Professors Falk approach to the issues in Holy Land were from the perspective of International Law. This has nothing to do with Anti-Semitism or hatred against Jews or Holy Israel, rather shielding the indigenous people from injustice. He took a stand for Palestinian people, specifically, by his calling and purpose — he is not in your or anyone else’s calling and purpose..

      Now, we must understand that Anti-Semitism and hate against Holy Land is a direct result of hate of God’s Spirit, and justice of that Anti-Spirit reality. Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel (as there is such thing as anti-Israel) has nothing to do with people who are in God’s Spirit. With that, as Professor Falk said from another perspective,“ “embedded deeply in Jewish ethnic consciousness? “ would NOT be Jewish self-hate and Anti-Semitism!

      This means that, “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly“…would be it by Spirit of God! If anyone ware a Jew and/or a convert to Judaism by the Scripture “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly” would reflect their behavior “in Jewish ethnic consciousness.”

      This is simplicity of spiritual reality’s…As I understood, and as I understand what Profesor Falk has said.

    • ray032 May 30, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Shalom Rabbi Ira!

      What puzzles me is if you and the Professor live in the same Community with mutual acquaintances, one should invite the other to lunch or dinner? With my personality and value system, that would be a natural thing for me to do. With the recent tragic event in Santa Barbara, Jews are not the only victims of blind hate.

      God knows the thoughts of the hearts of every human, and all too often among Jews, Christians and Muslims, the words do not match the actions.

      God knows I share this hope of yours 100%, “As a rabbi I assuredly wish that all Jews embraced the notion of being “chosen” as a mandate for following the prophet Micah’s dictum mandating “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly.” I expect Professor Falk does too!

      I have not read Gilad Atzmon’s book, but I see the Truth in the paragraph you cite from reading Jewish sources, “While the religious Judiac understanding of Jewish chosenness is realized as a moral burden in which Jews are ordered by G-d to stand as a model of ethical behaviour, the secular Jewish interpretation is reduced into a banal chauvinist form of racially oriented supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly. It is crucial to mention at this stage that in most cases Jewish supremacy would lead to a certain level of dismissal of the elementary rights of the others. In many cases it leads toward animosity and even hatred whether latent or manifest……

      This is so manifestly evident in the Israeli-Palestinian divide reading the comments characterizing the Palestinians in The Jerusalem Post. As I read them, it seems to me many Jews, at least those in power in Israel did forget about man’s inhumanity toward man, and never again is meaningless vis a vis the Jewish-Palestinian reality in the occupied territories. Jews are using the same terms and characterizations describing Palestinians the Nazis used to describe the Jews in another place and Time, and that is the real tragedy of what is unfolding in secular Israel.

      The fact the Wall was built, not along the Green Line, but in the occupied territory, separating Palestinians from their families, fields, and other Palestinian Villages is evidence no matter what the Palestinians think or say, the Jews are superior and God gave them the land thousands of years ago and all the Peace negotiations amount to idle talk and present day realities are secondary as Jews build and displace Palestinians from the land.

      As to the Professors comment, “As soon as exclusivity or superiority is claimed for any ethnic or religious fraction of the human whole, there is implicitly posited a belief in the inferiority of ‘the other,’ which unconsciously and indirectly gives rise to the murderous mentality of warfare and gives a moral and religious edge to many forms of persecution, culminating in a variety of inquisitions” this is a Truth so many different people and cultures have gone through so many times in the past, not only Jews.

      The fact the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa has stood where it is for 1300 years, longer than the combined Time of the 1st and 2nd Jewish Temples, is totally discounted by those wanting to exercise “Jewish sovereignty” over it, be they religious or secular, will lead this world to that Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty – Armageddon in a word as I said in this discussion.

      If this happens, it will be entirely due to Jewish notions of chosenness and Superiority.

      AS a Rabbi, how do you interpret what the Jewish Prophet Isaiah is saying in the beginning and end of his prophecies some 800 + years before Christianity?

      Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.
      To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? says the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
      When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
      Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
      Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them.

      And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
      Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;
      Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
      Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      Isaiah 1

      Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
      For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
      Isaiah 66

      Provoking to restore Jewish Sovereignty over the Temple Mount is Israeli temporal politics, and has nothing to do with the God of Spiritual Israel


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