The Irrelevance of Liberal Zionism

4 Jan



Frustrated by Israeli settlement expansion, excessive violence, AIPAC maximalism, Netanyahu’s arrogance, Israel’s defiant disregard of international law, various Jewish responses claim to seek a middle ground. Israel is criticized by this loyal opposition, sometimes harshly, although so is the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and activists around the world. Both sides are deemed responsible in equal measure for the failure to end the conflict. With such a stance liberal Zionists seek to occupy the high moral ground without ceding political relevance. In contrast, those who believe as I do that Israel poses the main obstacle to achieving a sustainable peace are dismissed by liberal Zionists as either obstructive or unrealistic, and at worst, as anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic.


Listen to the funding appeals of J Street or read such columnists in the NY Times as Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman to grasp the approach of liberal Zionism. These views are made to appear reasonable, and even just, by being set off against such maximalist support for Israel as associated with AIPAC and the U.S. Congress, or in the NY Times context by comparison with the more conservative views of David Brooks (whose son currently serves in the IDF) who published a recent ‘balanced’ column lionizing Netanyahu, “The Age of Bibi” [Jan. 2, 2014]. Of all the deformed reasoning contained in the column, perhaps the most scandalous was comparing Netanyahu to Churchill, and to suggest that his story has the grandeur that bears a resemblance to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, an observation that many would find unflattering. Of all Netanyahu’s qualities remarked upon, Brooks astoundingly finds that “his caution is the most fascinating.” According to Brooks, Netanyahu deserves to be regarded as cautious because he has refrained from attacking Iran despite threatening to do so with bellicose rhetoric. I would have thought that Netanyahu’s inflammatory threats directed at Iran, especially as combined with covert acts including inserting viruses to disable its nuclear program and assassinating Iranian scientists, would seem reckless enough for most observers. Since Brooks fails to mention the murderous attacks on Gaza, there is no need to reconcile such aggressive behavior with this overall assessment of caution.


At the core of liberal Zionism is the indictment of the Palestinian leadership for “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity” to recall the self-serving quip of the Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban. Roger Cohen would have us believe that prior to the collapse of the April negotiations the U.S. Government had presented a framework agreement, acceptable to Tel Aviv, that the Palestinian Authority irresponsibly and unreasonably rejected. And not only rejected, but the PA behaved in a manner that was provocative, signed some international agreements as if it already was a state. [“Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed,” Dec. 23, 2014] This spin comes from Netanyahu’s chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, who is presented by Cohen as the voice of moderation, as the self-proclaimed champion of ‘two states for two peoples.’

Livni who is the leader of a small party called Hatnua, which is joined in coalition with a revamped Labor Party headed by Isaac Herzog, contesting Likud and Netanyahu. Cohen never inquires as to what sort of state she would wish upon the Palestinians, which on the basis of her past, would be thoroughly subjugated to Israeli security demands as well as accommodating the bulk of settlements and settlers while rejecting the rights under international law of Palestinians in relations to refugees.


When Livni was asked by Cohen whether she would suspend Israeli settlement expansion so as to get direct negotiations started once more, she indicated that she would “at least outside the major blocs.” Cohen calls her party ‘centrist,’ which is one way of acknowledging how far Israeli politics have drifted to the right in recent years. A reading of the leaked documents of the secret negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel represented by Livni showed how disinterested Israel seemed to be in two states for two peoples at that time of far less extensive settlement encroachment, as well as her overt rejection of the relevance of international law to the diplomatic process. [For a collection of the leaked documents showing Livni’s role see Clayton E. Swisher, ed., Palestine Papers: The End of the Road (2011)]


This expresses a second element of liberal Zionism, that despite everything the two state solution is confirmed over and over again as the only path to peace. As such, it should be endlessly activated in accordance with the Oslo formula that keeps the United States in the absurd role of intermediary and continue to insist that any Palestinian reference to rights under international law is an obstacle to peace. After more than 47 years of occupation and over 20 years of submission to the Oslo approach it would seem that it is past time to issue a certificate of futility, and the failure to do so, is for me a sure sign of either bad faith or extreme denial.


What is baffling is that those like Friedman and Cohen who surely know better play this game that never even raises the concrete question of how to reverse a settlement process that now includes as many as 600,000 settlers many of whom are militantly opposed to any kind of solution to the conflict that challenges their present situation. Conveniently, also, this liberal advocacy finesses the claims of the four million or so Palestinian refugees, including almost two million that have been confined to miserable refugee camps for decades, some since 1948. How can one possibly imagine a sustainable and just peace emerging from such a blinkered outlook!


Liberal Zionists also oppose as irresponsible and unhelpful all efforts to challenge this framework, especially any call for holding Israel to account under international humanitarian law for its excessive violence. Alternative futures based on the equality of the two peoples, such as some kind of living together within a single political community are dismissed out of hand, either because of colliding with Zionist expectations of a Jewish state or because after decades of hatred any effort at social integration would be bound to fail. Intriguingly, my experience of many conversations with both Palestinian refugees and Gazans is far more hopeful about peaceful coexistence within shared political space than are the Israelis despite their prosperity, prowess, and far greater security.


In a similar vein, liberal Zionists almost always oppose as counterproductive, activist initiatives taken under the auspice of the BDS Campaign. Their argument is that Israel will never make ‘painful sacrifices’ when put under pressure deemed hostile, and without these, no peace is possible. What these painful sacrifices might be on the Israeli side are never spelled out, but presumably would include disbanding the isolated settlements and maybe the separation wall, both of which were in any event unlawful. The real sacrifice for Israelis would be to give up the completion of the maximal version of the Zionist project, that of so-called Greater Israel that encompasses the entirety of the alleged biblical entitlement to Palestine. For the Palestinians in contrast their sacrifice would necessitate renouncing a series of entitlements conferred by international law, pertaining to settlements, refugees, borders, self-determination, sovereignty. In effect, Israel would sacrifice part of its unlawful dominion, while Palestine would relinquish its lawful claims, and the end result would be one of the inequality of the two peoples, not a recipe for a lasting peace.


A final feature of liberal Zionism is to make concessions to the Greater Israel outlook along the following lines—Israel should be allowed to control the unlawfully established settlement blocs; Israeli security concerns should be met, including by stationing military forces within the West Bank for many ears, while any Palestinian security concerns are treated as irrelevant; Palestinian refugees would be denied the right to return to their pre-1967 places of residence; Jerusalem would remain essentially under Israel’s control; no provision would be made to ensure non-discrimination against the 20% Palestine minority living within pre-1967 Israel; no acknowledgement would be made of the past injustices flowing from the 1948 dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their place of residence and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people, the nakba, nor the recognition that the nakba is a process that has continued to afflict Palestinians to this very moment.


Despite its claim of reasonableness and practicality, the liberal Zionist approach is an increasingly irrelevant presence on the Israeli political horizon, paralleling the decline of the Labor Party and the peace movement in the country, as well as the ascendancy of the Likud and the politics of the extreme right. The Israeli end game is now overwhelmingly based on unilateralism, either imposing a highly subordinated and circumscribed Palestinian state confined to parts of the West Bank or establishing Greater Israel and giving up any pretense of implementing the formula of two states for two peoples. The fact that liberal Zionism and the diplomacy of the West largely plays along with the discarded scenario of two states for two peoples is nothing more than subservience to a cruel variant of ‘the politics of delusion.’

The denigration of liberal Zionism is not meant to belittle the effort of Jews as Jews to find a just and sustainable solution for both peoples. I strongly support such organizations as Jewish Voices for Peace and Middle East Children’s Alliance, and hail the contributions of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, and many others to the struggle for Palestinian empowerment and emancipation. 


Fortunately, Palestinian resistance will likely stymie the two variants of the Israeli end game mentioned above, but much suffering is almost certain to ensue before sufficient momentum builds within Israel and throughout the world for living together on the basis of equality and even solidarity, accompanied by the necessary acknowledgement of past injustices via some kind of truth commission mechanism. After such knowledge, anything will be possible!

108 Responses to “The Irrelevance of Liberal Zionism”

  1. ray032 January 4, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Richard, Gideon Levy expressed similar thoughts in Haaretz January 1.
    ‘ I love Israel – and I apologize
    Apologizing would not solve anything or atone for anything, but it could signal a genuine intention to turn a new leaf.’

    • Richard Falk January 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      Ray: Yes, Gideon Levy, whom I know, represents the kind of sensibility that could
      create the kind of atmosphere that I believe is necessary if the two peoples
      and others are to live together in truth and justice. Yet individuals, however
      brave and prophetic, will not be sufficient without a sea change in public attitudes.

  2. ray032 January 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    I re-posted this October 7, 2014 Haaretz article to my Blog October 13:
    ‘Netanyahu’s misguided prophecy
    Angry, hungry for the punishment of crime, incapable of managing ambiguity, lacking compassion: in short, missing a critical kind of self-consciousness. Jonah’s message for Israel’s prime minister.’

    I renamed the Haretz article:

    Naturally, I would take notice of that Haaretz article more than others since I wrote about Jonah and ‘BIBLICAL NINEVEH – THE WORLD CITY’ two months earlier, August 13, 2014.

    I would like to re-post this latest of yours to my Blog as well! I would rename it and add images.

  3. Gene Schulman January 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    Truth commission? We already know the truth, and so does Israel. Do you believe Israel would ever acknowledge it?

    • Richard Falk January 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      Precisely because of Israel’s refusal there is no possibility of living together in truth and justice,
      and so no possibility of a sustainable peace. Until the possibility emerges, there can be struggle, but
      no closure.

      • Gene Schulman January 5, 2015 at 12:36 am #

        I would struggle for what the author of this linked article suggests. Anything less is futile.

      • ray032 January 5, 2015 at 4:58 am #

        Thanks for the link, Gene.

        Resist Israeli military occupation militarily and you’re a terrorist.

        Resist Israeli military occupation peacefully, legally, and you’re a dangerous terrorist!

        Israel can annex, annex, annex because of a 3800 year old Bible verse, and that is fine with the US, Canada and Australia. Even though the US acknowledges such moves are in violation of International Law, the US will VETO any economic or political sanctions.

        Russia reclaims Crimea back from more recent history, 1954, which the locals voted for and approved, and that is a threat to world Peace.

        You might find useful information in this Haaretz article;
        ‘Gaza myths and facts: what American Jewish leaders won’t tell you
        Myth: Gaza is free. Fact: it has been under Israeli occupation since 1967 to this very day.’

      • Gene Schulman January 5, 2015 at 5:19 am #

        Ray, I don’t subscribe to Haaretz, so can’t read your links. But what could they say that tops the garbage from Dennis Ross in the NYT Op-Ed pages today? “Stop giving Palestinians a pass”? What chutzpah! If this is what the MSM feeds them, no wonder Americans are so ignorant and naive.

      • ray032 January 5, 2015 at 5:33 am #

        I do subscribe, and think the price is reasonable. The Jerusalem Post is the 1st page I visit. I start with Israeli news media, both left and right, because I know Armageddon, the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty starts there.

        Atheists cannot change those facts, and the “Signs of the Times” are coming into clearer focus to more and more people, even though I think that is still a small minority.

        You are jumping the gun, assuming you know what Harretz printed, but I will look up that article in the NYT. I don’t subscribe and can read only 10 free articles a month.

        In my comment I said you might find useful information in it. Here it is: Haaretz, July 30, 2014

        If you’ve been anywhere near the American Jewish community over the past few weeks, you’ve heard the following morality tale: Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, hoping the newly independent country would become the Singapore of the Middle East. Instead, Hamas seized power, ransacked greenhouses, threw its opponents off rooftops and began launching thousands of rockets at Israel.

        American Jewish leaders use this narrative to justify their skepticism of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. But in crucial ways, it’s wrong. And without understanding why it’s wrong, you can’t understand why this war is wrong too.

        Let’s take the claims in turn.

        Israel Left Gaza

        It’s true that in 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew Israel’s more than 8,000 settlers from Gaza. (At America’s urging, he also dismantled four small settlements in the West Bank). But at no point did Gaza become its own country. Had Gaza become its own country, it would have gained control over its borders. It never did. As the Israeli human rights group Gisha has detailed, even before the election of Hamas, Israel controlled whether Gazans could enter or exit the Strip (In conjunction with Egypt, which controlled the Rafah checkpoint in Gaza’s south). Israel controlled the population registry through which Gazans were issued identification cards. Upon evacuating its settlers and soldiers from Gaza, Israel even created a security perimeter inside the Strip from which Gazans were barred from entry. (Unfortunately for Gazans, this perimeter included some of the Strip’s best farmland).

        “Pro-Israel” commentators claim Israel had legitimate security reasons for all this. But that concedes the point. A necessary occupation is still an occupation. That’s why it’s silly to analogize Hamas’ rockets—repugnant as they are—to Mexico or Canada attacking the United States. The United States is not occupying Mexico or Canada. Israel — according to the United States government — has been occupying Gaza without interruption since 1967.

        To grasp the perversity of using Gaza as an explanation for why Israel can’t risk a Palestinian state, it helps to realize that Sharon withdrew Gaza’s settlers in large measure because he didn’t want a Palestinian state. By 2004, when Sharon announced the Gaza withdrawal, the Road Map for Peace that he had signed with Mahmoud Abbas was going nowhere. Into the void came two international proposals for a two state solution. The first was the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in which every member of the Arab League offered to recognize Israel if it returned to the 1967 lines and found a “just” and “agreed upon” solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees. The second was the 2003 Geneva Initiative, in which former Israeli and Palestinian negotiators publicly agreed upon the details of a two state plan. As the political scientists Jonathan Rynhold and Dov Waxman have detailed, Sharon feared the United States would get behind one or both plans, and pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state near the 1967 lines. “Only an Israeli initiative,” Sharon argued, “will keep us from being dragged into dangerous initiatives like the Geneva and Saudi initiatives.”

        Sharon saw several advantages to withdrawing settlers from Gaza. First, it would save money, since in Gaza Israel was deploying a disproportionately high number of soldiers to protect a relatively small number of settlers. Second, by (supposedly) ridding Israel of its responsibility for millions of Palestinians, the withdrawal would leave Israel and the West Bank with a larger Jewish majority. Third, the withdrawal would prevent the administration of George W. Bush from embracing the Saudi or Geneva plans, and pushing hard—as Bill Clinton had done—for a Palestinian state. Sharon’s chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, put it bluntly: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

        It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Gaza withdrawal did not meet minimal Palestinian demands. Not even the most moderate Palestinian leader would have accepted a long-term arrangement in which Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza while maintaining control of the Strip’s borders and deepening Israeli control of the West Bank. (Even in the 2005, the year Sharon withdrew from Gaza, the overall settler population rose, in part because some Gazan settlers relocated to the West Bank).

        In fact, Sharon’s advisors did not expect withdrawing Gaza’s settlers to satisfy the Palestinians. Nor did not they expect it to end Palestinian terrorism. Ehud Olmert, a key figure in the disengagement plan (and someone who himself later embraced Palestinian statehood), acknowledged that “terror will continue” after the removal of Gaza’s settlers. The key word is “continue.” Contrary to the American Jewish narrative, militants in Gaza didn’t start launching rockets at Israel after the settlers left. They began a half-decade earlier, at the start of the second intifada. The Gaza disengagement did not stop this rocket fire. But it did not cause it either.

        Hamas Seized Power

        I can already hear the objections. Even if withdrawing settlers from Gaza didn’t give the Palestinians a state, it might have made Israelis more willing to support one in the future – if only Hamas had not seized power and turned Gaza into a citadel of terror.

        But Hamas didn’t seize power. It won an election. In January 2006, four months after the last settlers left, Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem chose representatives to the Palestinian Authority’s parliament. (The previous year, they had separately elected Abbas to be the Palestinian Authority’s President). Hamas won a plurality of the vote – forty-five percent – but because of the PA’s voting system, and Fatah’s idiotic decision to run more than one candidate in several districts, Hamas garnered 58 percent of the seats in parliament.

        To the extent American Jewish leaders acknowledge that Hamas won an election (as opposed to taking power by force), they usually chalk its victory up to Palestinian enthusiasm for the organization’s 1988 charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction (The president of the New York board of rabbis said recently that anyone who voted for Hamas should be considered a combatant, not a civilian). But that’s almost certainly not the reason Hamas won. For starters, Hamas didn’t make Israel’s destruction a major theme of its election campaign. In its 2006 campaign manifesto, the group actually fudged the question by saying only that it wanted an “independent state whose capital is Jerusalem” plus fulfillment of the right of return.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that by 2006 Hamas had embraced the two state solution. Only that Hamas recognized that running against the two state solution was not the best way to win Palestinian votes. The polling bears this out. According to exit polls conducted by the prominent Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, 75 percent of Palestinian voters—and a remarkable 60 percent of Hamas voters—said they supported a Palestinian unity government dedicated to achieving a two state solution.

        So why did Hamas win? Because, according to Shikaki, only fifteen percent of voters called the peace process their most important issue. A full two-thirds cited either corruption or law and order. It’s vital to remember that 2006 was the first Palestinian election in more than ten years. During the previous decade, Palestinians had grown increasingly frustrated by Fatah’s unaccountable, lawless and incompetent rule. According to exit polls, 85 percent of voters called Fatah corrupt. Hamas, by contrast, because it had never wielded power and because its charitable arm effectively delivered social services, enjoyed a reputation for competence and honesty.

        Hamas won, in other words, for the same reason voters all across the world boot out parties that have grown unresponsive and self-interested after years in power. That’s not just Shikaki’s judgment. It’s also Bill Clinton’s. As Clinton explained in 2009, “a lot of Palestinians were upset that they [Fatah] were not delivering the services. They didn’t think it [Fatah] was an entirely honest operation and a lot of people were going to vote for Hamas not because they wanted terrorist tactics…but because they thought they might get better service, better government…They [also] won because Fatah carelessly and foolishly ran both its slates in too many parliamentary seats.”

        This doesn’t change the fact that Hamas’ election confronted Israel and the United States with a serious problem. After its victory, Hamas called for a national unity government with Fatah “for the purpose of ending the occupation and settlements and achieving a complete withdrawal from the lands occupied [by Israel] in 1967, including Jerusalem, so that the region enjoys calm and stability during this phase.” But those final words—“this phase”—made Israelis understandably skeptical that Hamas had changed its long-term goals. The organization still refused to recognize Israel, and given that Israel had refused to talk to the PLO until it formally accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1993, it’s not surprising that Israel demanded Hamas meet the same standard.

        Still, Israel and the U.S. would have been wiser to follow the counsel of former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, who called for Sharon to try to forge a long-term truce with Hamas. Israel could also have pushed Hamas to pledge that if Abbas—who remained PA president—negotiated a deal with Israel, Hamas would accept the will of the Palestinian people as expressed in a referendum, something the group’s leaders have subsequently promised to do.

        Instead, the Bush administration—suddenly less enamored of Middle Eastern democracy–pressured Abbas to dissolve the Palestinian parliament and rule by emergency decree. Israel, which also wanted Abbas to defy the election results, withheld the tax and customs revenue it had collected on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf. Knowing Hamas would resist Abbas’ efforts to annul the election, especially in Gaza, where it was strong on the ground, the Bushies also began urging Abbas’ former national security advisor, a Gazan named Mohammed Dahlan, to seize power in the Strip by force. As David Rose later detailed in an extraordinary article in Vanity Fair, Condoleezza Rice pushed Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to buy weapons for Dahlan, and for Israel to allow them to enter Gaza. As General Mark Dayton, US security coordinator for the Palestinians, told Dahlan in November 2006, “We also need you to build up your forces in order to take on Hamas.”

        Unfortunately for the Bush administration, Dahlan’s forces were weaker than they looked. And when the battle for Gaza began, Hamas won it easily, and brutally. In response, Abbas declared emergency rule in the West Bank.

        So yes, members of Hamas did throw their Fatah opponents off rooftops. Some of that may have been payback because Dahlan was widely believed to have overseen the torture of Hamas members in the 1990s. Regardless, in winning the battle for Gaza, Hamas—which had already shed much Israeli blood – shed Palestinian blood too.

        But to suggest that Hamas “seized power” – as American Jewish leaders often do – ignores the fact that Hamas’ brutal takeover occurred in response to an attempted Fatah coup backed by the United States and Israel. In the words of David Wurmser, who resigned as Dick Cheney’s Middle East advisor a month after Hamas’ takeover, “what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen.”

        The Greenhouses

        Israel responded to Hamas’ election victory by further restricting access in and out of Gaza. As it happens, these restrictions played a key role in explaining why Gaza’s greenhouses did not help it become Singapore. American Jewish leaders usually tell the story this way: When the settlers left, Israel handed over their greenhouses to the Palestinians, hoping they would use them to create jobs. Instead, Palestinians tore them down in an anti-Jewish rage.

        But one person who does not endorse that narrative is the prime mover behind the greenhouse deal, Australian-Jewish businessman James Wolfensohn, who served as the Quartet’s Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. In his memoir, Wolfensohn notes that “some damage was done to the greenhouses [as the result of post-disengagement looting] but they came through essentially intact” and were subsequently guarded by Palestinian Authority police. What really doomed the greenhouse initiative, Wolfensohn argues, were Israeli restrictions on Gazan exports. “In early December [2005], he writes, “the much-awaited first harvest of quality cash crops—strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and flowers—began. These crops were intended for export via Israel for Europe. But their success relied upon the Karni crossing [between Gaza and Israel], which, beginning in mid-January 2006, was closed more than not. The Palestine Economic Development Corporation, which was managing the greenhouses taken over from the settlers, said that it was experiencing losses in excess of $120,000 per day…It was excruciating. This lost harvest was the most recognizable sign of Gaza’s declining fortunes and the biggest personal disappointment during my mandate.”

        The point of dredging up this history is not to suggest that Israel deserves all the blame for its long and bitter conflict with Hamas. It does not. Hamas bears the blame for every rocket it fires, and those rockets have not only left Israelis scarred and disillusioned. They have also badly undermined the Palestinian cause.

        The point is to show—contrary to the establishment American Jewish narrative—that Israel has repeatedly played into Hamas’ hands by not strengthening those Palestinians willing to pursue statehood through nonviolence and mutual recognition. Israel played into Hamas’ hands when Sharon refused to seriously entertain the Arab and Geneva peace plans. Israel played into Hamas’ hands when it refused to support a Palestinian unity government that could have given Abbas the democratic legitimacy that would have strengthened his ability to cut a two state deal. And Israel played into Hamas’ hands when it responded to the group’s takeover of Gaza with a blockade that—although it has some legitimate security features—has destroyed Gaza’s economy, breeding the hatred and despair on which Hamas thrives.

        In the ten years since Jewish settlers left, Israeli policy toward Gaza has been as militarily resourceful as it has been politically blind. Tragically, that remains the case during this war. Yet tragically, the American Jewish establishment keeps cheering Israel on.

      • ray032 January 5, 2015 at 7:41 am #

        Gene, this is my comment in response to the Dennis Ross article in the NYT.

        If I could bring this key paragraph closer to the Truth and reality. It requires looking in the mirror honestly!

        Israeli/Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its colonialist/anti colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel/Palestine as illegitimate.

        Compromise is portrayed as betrayal, and negotiations — which are by definition about mutual concessions — will inevitably force any Israeli/Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision.

  4. Björn Lindgren January 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    I haven’t sent you any comments for a quite a while. Mostly because of the present dark Israel/Palestine and Ukraine trajectory. But I read your articles which makes a better and more sane analysis and perspectives possible. Many thanks for your pilgrimage.

    Today’s article made me ask: what kind of information – in the the deepest and widest sense – would change the frozen mind-set of the Israeli government, the Israeli public opinion, and their loyal supporters in the US and the UK?

    There is “information” enough for a change of mind. Good and legitimate moral, judicial, democratic, human arguments and reasons have long been given. Here, your texts have been very helpful.

    So what new information is needed?

    I guess this has to be a systemic changer.

    A massive and long-term Palestinian nonviolent campaign which includes Hamas could be a starter?

    Let the turn of the year be new and fresh!

    May we make it possible.
    Björn Lindgren

  5. Aqeelah Ikram January 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on Aqeelah Ikram and commented:
    Liberal Zionism is corrosive; it is not a vehicle for an alterior motive but the motive and model itself which enables ‘ethnic cleansing’, despite bans implemented by the Washington Post Think Tank. Ethnic cleansing is a term which directly underlines Israel’s crime of genocide, hence why supportive sources enunnciate disfavour. No matter, the Israelies bring the ethnic cleansing into fluition via weapons of war mostly including rape and heavy artillery. The artilery is imbued by mass corporate-conglomerates which we purchase off, financing this collonialism-driven genocide, not to mention that we bring the purchased material into our homes, lives and minds. I am currently writing this off a HP laptop, a brand notorious for alighning with IDF driven forces and wondering how the hell we can escape this.

    • Kata Fisher January 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      @ Aqeelah Ikram

      Your misinterpretation is vivid. Liberal Zionizam is exsacly what Professor Falk has said that is “irrelevant.”

      Not corrected move’s of God’s Spirit in the History — they all become corrosive. Why then to debate Zionism? Not valid thing to do. Not debatable.

      We do not debate about things of Faith that have to be resolved by prophets & anointed, in fact, and not lay-people. Lay people are entitled to their opinions on matter that are of Faith and or disorder of religions.

      Zionism as move (ancient Judaism) — if and when needed to be corrected will entirely fulfill civil and ecclesiastical requirements.

  6. sudhan January 5, 2015 at 2:59 am #

    In this article eminent scholar and peace activist Richard Falk clearly shows the delusional side of the liberal Zionism and debunks all the claims made by its vocal advocates. His penetrating analysis cuts across the deception and misleading projections that are tossed around as a way forward in the present situation. Diverse views and opinions offered by the liberal Zionists are meant to cover-up the designs of the Israeli government and facilitate the expansionist policies in the West Bank by illegal settlements and marginalising the Palestinians to the extant that they have nothing left but to accept what the occupier decides for them. It is easy to see that the ‘two-state solution’ has been a useful tool in the hands of Israel while expanding its illegal settlements and thus making a viable Palestinian state virtually impossible if it didn’t relinquish the land it occupied in 1967. We have to keep in mind that Israel has not planted 600,000 militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank with the idea of dislodging them at some time. On the contrary, they have been put there as an essential part of the colonisation of the occupied Palestine. Their numbers are increasing and new settlements are expanding. The Palestinians have hopes and aspirations for self-determination and creating a sovereign state in their own land. But Israel has the military power and the backing of the United States to impose its will on a captive people.~Ñasir Khan

  7. Kata Fisher January 5, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    I have a reflection:

    “Israel was recognized as it asked to be recognized. Israel has never legally acquired through bilateral annexation ANY territory beyond its proclaimed and recognized boundaries.” (See ).

    About recognized boundaries: First, people are immigrated outside the “recognized boundaries,” and will remain immigrated / integrated. This also means that people no longer can’t be forced outside their current homes. 

     “You shall not built your settlements where I tilt my grounds.”

    Second, Israeli and Palestinians (along with people in Gaza) need to turn their strifeful faces elsewhere but toward each other: Current Boundary with Jordan – a delusion of illegitimate minds.

    Nothing else will be long-term sufficient. Legal standing of boundaries has to be corrected / redrawn.

    “ANY territory” is not “the people” itself — we cannot talk in terms such as “my territory and not my people” … for politicians — that is a grave harm. However, they can do what ever they want. With that politicians that want bare territory and the people are illegitimate / void – not accepted (not the people).

    I mean this: Not the people..

    So it is with Jordan: “Not the people” and this is why: their illegitimate landmarks and illegitimate Laws (religious) that are not based on Faith, but on part of invalid verses / writing in Holy Quran.

    It is valid to demand territory of Holy Land back from Jordan, all of the Land of the Holy Land Landmark. This is not unreasonable. What is unreasonable is this: “No Jews here and no Jews there” policy and Law’s.

    • Kata Fisher January 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      Important note:

      I have noticed that I had made a spelling error that has voided meaning based on intention.

      This part is written as follows:

      ” ‘ANY territory’ is not “the people” itself — we cannot talk in terms such as “my territory and not my people” … for politicians — that is a grave harm. However, they can do what ever they want. With that politicians that want bare territory and the people are illegitimate / void – not accepted (not the people).”

      It should be read as:
      “ ‘ANY territory’ is not “the people” itself — we cannot talk in terms such as “my territory and not my people” … for politicians — that is a grave harm. However, they can do what ever they want. With that politicians that want bare territory and not the people are illegitimate / void – not accepted (not the people).

      I do find that is relevant to correct this error.

      Also, I do like to apologize (deeply) for compacting these spaces on the web.

  8. Kata Fisher January 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    Another article that I came across:

    I hope Gene would enjoy and perhaps complex-restructure it – or elaborate on items of importance?

  9. Kata Fisher January 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    I just read this article, and this has to be interpreted in a valid way, and also clarified by the Church – Catholic. What are the facts? Church – Catholic can’t take part in any “lawless” (“legitimately defined lawless” practice and disorder of it).

    Meaning, Catholic Bishops have to dicern their actions imidietly.

    They may or may not apply Cannon Law of the Church, in fact, for their guidence and /or will be under penalty by the means of the active Canon Law and /or non-limitation of the Law of the Church (exclusive to the statues of non-limitations of the Law of the Spirit / Law of the Godspel).

    • Kata Fisher January 6, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

      As soon as I posted this — I was simultaneously in a reflection: That article is written by a lay-people…and in fact is written by a woman. Either she is wrong – or the Bishops are in a huge, huge consequence of their failure and non-dicerment.

      Sorry Gene, business as usual…

      As you know…I almost feel to pray for myself because I am slightly falling into plight of distress…

  10. Walker Percy January 6, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Richard, Gene, Mona Lisa, Kata, et al.
    Its been some months since my last comment on this site. I was motivated by Richard’s essay on Liberal Zionism to dust off my keyboard and take a whack.

    Richard is correct to focus on the reasoning behind actions of pro-Israel Jews in America if we hope to understand I-P. Richard suspects “either bad faith or extreme denial” are involved, and I agree. But I think that when wealthy Upper West Side Jews attempt to shut down an opera at Lincoln Center because it seems to substantiate a narrative they reject, its an example of “extreme denial”, while the actions of cabinet ministers like Lieberman and Bennett, smear-doctors like Hillel Neuer, or radio commentators like Aaron Klein are simply acting in “bad faith”. The Israels are criminals, but the American liberal Jews who suppress the speech of others in “support” of Israel are often not lying so much as delusional.

    My thesis, for which I am usually booed off the stage, is that the Jewish religion itself is one big cause of this behavior. Netanyahu recently bragged that Judaism introduced the idea of honoring one’s mother and father. This includes not breaking the genetic chain or you will disappoint and offend your parents, who must maintain the bloodline to avoid disappointing and offending their parents. Maybe this deeply encoded sense of loyalty makes it seem necessary for lies to be told to protect the tribe, because of a belief in the collective experience of persecution and expulsion, and in expectation of and preparation for the next Shoah. Of course a great deal of Israel-supporting is simple careerism and log rolling, going along to get along. After all, it is very hard to find a new job in today’s economy, especially when your chances can be scuttled through whispering campaigns and other forms of character assassination.

    The story of Passover talks of the four sons, one who doesn’t understand the meaning of the ceremony because he doesn’t agree that he is connected to the others through the Exodus story. To me, the contrary son is understandably suspicious, while the wise son blithely goes along with the preposterous notion that the suburbanites around the table are genetically connected to Bronze Age figures about which very little is known.

    The real question is, how will the truth and reconciliation process differentiate these two forms of culpability?

    • Gene Schulman January 7, 2015 at 12:50 am #

      Welcome back Percy. Pretty good analysis of the tribal aspects of this problem. But I have to admit, intentional or not, you seem to be parroting Gilad Atzmon. That’s not such a bad thing.

      • ray032 January 7, 2015 at 3:25 am #

        Gene, I’m somewhat disappointed you have no comment on the Haarets ariticle posted upstreal. There is useful information in it.

        There was a Time when the NYT printed all my comments on their articles, but they haven’t for the last 7 Times, including the one above on the Dennis Ross op-ed.

        I am gaining respect for Peter Beinart. He responds to Ross in Haarets yesterday this way:
        Good editors are good skeptics. Writers assert; editors are supposed to demand evidence that their assertions are true.

        Since Dennis Ross, a former American envoy to the peace talks, did not encounter such an editor before publishing his recent New York Times op-ed denouncing the Palestinian bid to enter the International Criminal Court, let’s imagine how such a conversation might have gone. We’ll take the op-eds’ four main points in turn.

        1) The ICC bid is useless

        In his first paragraph, Ross declares that seeking membership in the ICC “will produce Palestinian charges and Israeli countercharges but not alter the reality on the ground.” A decent editor would notice several things. First, that Ross offers no evidence for this claim. Second, that he later contradicts it by declaring – again with no evidence – that the bid “will strengthen [Israeli] politicians who prefer the status quo.” So, according to Ross, the ICC bid that will “not alter reality on the ground” may in fact alter reality on the ground by producing an Israeli government more committed to settlement growth. The one thing it absolutely won’t do is scare Israel into making concessions. How does Ross know this? He doesn’t say.

        2) The Palestinians are never held responsible

        In his second paragraph, Ross declares that, “It’s time to stop giving the Palestinians a pass,” which implies that they’ve been getting one so far. Really? In 2007, the United States halted direct aid to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won legislative elections. In 2011, Congress cut $200 million in aid after the PA sought statehood recognition at the UN. Last summer, the House Appropriations Committees passed legislation cutting assistance to the Palestinian Authority by the amount the PA paid the families of prisoners in Israeli jails. And now that the Palestinians are applying to join the ICC, Congress is considering cutting off aid again.

        An editor with access to Google might ask how exactly all this qualifies as “giving the Palestinians a pass?” He or she might also ask – since Ross declares that, “peace requires accountability on both sides” – when the United States has responded to Israeli transgressions by cutting its aid. Did the Obama administration publicly threaten aid cuts in 2010 when the Netanyahu government humiliated Joe Biden by announcing new settlement growth while he was in Israel on a fence-mending trip? Or in 2011 when Benjamin Netanyahu flew to the White House to publicly reject Barack Obama’s proposal for a peace deal based on the 1967 lines plus land swaps? Or in 2012 when Netanyahu practically campaigned for Mitt Romney? No, no and no. “So who, exactly,” the editor might ask, “is getting the pass?”

        3) It’s the Palestinians’ fault that there’s no two-state deal

        In paragraph number three, Ross declares: “Since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton’s parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts last year. In each case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either ‘no’ or no response.”

        A smart editor would notice the silences right away. Offer number two came from Olmert, an Israeli prime minister. Ross slams Mahmoud Abbas for not accepting it without acknowledging that Abbas had a proposal too, which Olmert didn’t accept. Offers one and three came from the United States. Ross blasts the Palestinians for not answering to them more positively but, strikingly, never mentions the Israeli response. In January 2001, after Clinton unveiled his parameters, his press secretary declared “that both sides have now accepted the president’s ideas with some reservations.” Both sides. Israeli – and some U.S. – officials believe the Palestinian reservations were more problematic. Maybe so. But Ross lets Israel off the hook entirely.

        His rendition of the Kerry talks is even worse. It’s true that Abbas did not respond positively to a proposal the Americans made last March. (Although since that proposal – unlike the Clinton parameters – is secret, it’s hard to judge its merit). What Ross doesn’t say is that Israel never accepted the American proposal either. As Martin Indyk, Kerry’s special envoy for the peace process, told me, “We went beyond where Netanyahu was prepared to go to get Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) into the zone of a possible agreement. So the U.S. proposal that Abu Mazen did not respond to had not yet been agreed to by Netanyahu.”

        And in a post-mortem two months later, a senior administration official said that “There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements.” Ross leaves that out too.

        4) The Palestinians are professional victims

        In his fourth paragraph, Ross offers a cultural explanation for the Palestinians’ refusal to make peace: They’re whiners. “Palestinian political culture,” he writes, “is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anti-colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate.” To which our friendly editor might reply: Yikes! In the West Bank, Palestinians are denied citizenship and the right to vote in the country in which they live. They live without free movement and under martial law. Yet according to Ross, they’ve concocted a “narrative” of injustice. If only they weren’t so post-modern.

        Then there’s Ross’ idea that “Palestinian political culture” sees “concessions to Israel as illegitimate.” The Palestine Liberation Organization publicly recognized Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state 22 years ago. Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejected the Palestinians’ right to the same thing last summer. Yet it’s the Palestinians who suffer from a pathology of intransigence.

        Reasonable people can debate the timing of the Palestinians’ UN and ICC bids. But beneath these tactical questions lies this core truth: The Palestinians will get nothing while on their knees. If Benjamin Netanyahu’s prime ministership has done anything, it has borne out the truth that Frederick Douglass spoke long ago: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” As a liberal, I want the Palestinians to demand nonviolently. As a Zionist and a pragmatist, I want them to demand a state alongside Israel, not in its place. But as a Jew who this week begins reading the Book of Exodus – which calls us to “remember the heart of the stranger” – I cannot deny the Palestinians’ right to demand the same freedoms that we demand for ourselves. And I cannot ask them to wait.

        It would be wonderful if Palestinians could win those freedoms without causing Jews discomfort. But it hasn’t happened that way because it never happens that way. People are not given freedom; they take it. “What matters is not what the goyim say,” said David Ben-Gurion, “but what the Jews do.” Mahmoud Abbas is finally taking that maxim to heart. He’s tired of relying on the benevolence of Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. He’s doing it the Zionist way. Were Dennis Ross in his place, I suspect he would too.

        You might like this re-write of the Dennis Ross op-ed by +972:
        ‘Stop giving Israelis a pass: What Dennis Ross could have said’

      • Walker Percy January 7, 2015 at 6:40 am #

        hi gene!
        Thanks for your rapid response. I do admit that Gilad Atzmon is my hero. I recently met him in person and heard him play music for the first time. When you hear the intelligence, honesty and feeling in his playing, it adds extra weight to his arguments about Israel and Jewishness. As I told Gilad at that time, I agree with Marc Ellis who thinks Gilad might be the next Hebrew Prophet (see Mondoweiss). Like Moses, his message is mainly that many contemporary Jews have forgotten or mis-interpreted the most basic meaning of their religion, and that a correction is coming, following the historical template. For disseminating this view, he has been rejected as a pariah (herem), also fitting the pattern for how Jews have historically responded to received prophecy. Many liberal zionists energetically express their revulsion of his ideas, while proudly insisting that they have never read or touched his un-kosher book, The Wandering Who. By the way, I noticed that you recently had an article posted on Gilad’s blog, so I guess your antipathy for his views may be thawing?

      • Richard Falk January 7, 2015 at 8:00 am #

        Walker: Wishing you a satisfying year on 2015. Glad about your renewed presence here. And I share your
        positive sense of Gilad’s prophetic voice, including your interpretation of the anger his writing arouses,
        especially among those who have never read him! warm greetings, Richard

      • Gene Schulman January 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

        Au contraire, Walker. Gilad and I are great pals. I fully approve of his ideas, and my comment was meant as a compliment to you.

      • Walker Percy January 7, 2015 at 9:42 am #

        hi richard,
        best wishes to you, too, for 2015. It appears that the world is slowly coming around to our view on I-P. Let’s hope that the transition to the next phase in this never-ending movie is a peaceful one.

        Since I know you are a big fan of thoughtful TV shows, I highly recommend you check out “An Honourable Woman”, which is free on Netflix. It is a spy thriller about I-P and the global ramifications.

        Looking forward to more participation on your blog this year!

      • Richard Falk January 7, 2015 at 9:47 am #


        We are definitely operating on the same wavelength! My wife and I watched all eight episodes of An Honourable Woman this week
        with great appreciation. I am tempted to watch once more so that I can encourage viewing by writing about the series before it
        is forgotten.


    • Kata Fisher January 7, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hallo there, Walker!

      Hallo Gene…once again, so sorry that I have to add another post.

      • Walker Percy January 7, 2015 at 11:42 am #

        Hi Kata, I am looking forward to reading more of your commentary about global justice in the 21st century.

      • Kata Fisher January 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

        Thank you, Walker. I almost started to feel repression and almost feelt I have to remove myself from here. I am glad that you have decided to dust off your keyboard — it was not my fault that you were not motivated to budge on with discussion (Gene, I think has accused me of some silly things).

      • Gene Schulman January 7, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

        Don’t make a big issue out of it Kata. You know I love you, and I don’t care if you want to hang around. But that’s not at all up to me. It’s just that I don’t think your religion, or any religion, has any place in these discussions. But again, that is not up to me, rather Richard, and your conscience.


      • Richard Falk January 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

        Kata, Gene, Walker, Ray, and others: I have the idea that we should collectively try to create ‘a blog community’ on the basis
        of shared dreams, interpretations, and aspirations; it is a more ambitious goal that my more defensive past efforts to sustain as atmosphere
        of civility within the blogosphere that proved impossible given the agenda of the trolls. Since my UN term expired, I seem no longer to be seen as
        sufficiently ‘dangerous’ to bother about, which suits me fine. If you agree about this shared engagement I will write a proper post inviting others
        to join in the interactive effort.

      • Gene Schulman January 7, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

        Agreed, Richard. But I hope Ray doesn’t expect me to respond to his extended posts at such length. I’m just not up to it. I agree with much of what he says, but there is also much I disagree with. I prefer to confine my remarks to your posts.

        Apologies to Kata and Ray if they feel I have been slighting them. Not my intention.

      • Kata Fisher January 7, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

        A note:

        I do Agree with Professor Falk, but I also believe that there is much more to that what he is reflecting on:

        I had brainstorming (over the past) about “Global Justice in 21 century” — that is all about governing — what Professor Falk has initiated. A specific type of govrening. Not things that are thought and said before. Ray also said something that boggled my mind then after.

        However, As I was brainstorming on these things, I was also under spiritual attacks, and I am not sure that I see it right.

        Harvard school of Government has fallen…What they have done, did & did not work and / or was manipulated. I believe that School of Governing is connected with that what Professor Falk is saying, in essence. 

        I do not understand much further — and do not know what must be done.

        Also, there is to do list. Who will write it down?  I understand that.

        Gene, what I said was from a specific position (Faith & Religion). When things are said about this by me (I am not motivated to do things based on Religion or Faith, myself nor I am permitted to do that — from Biblical prespective) and it is not by any Religious advantage or disadvantage to thise people to whom I am saying things about Religious / Faith things. (It is only a subject for examination — and that examination in One mind and Spirit and diverse gifts Spiritual). That is from my perspective. I believe that anyone, that is sain is also tired of religion.

        There is no sufficient governing.

      • Walker Percy January 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

        Richard, it is funny that you have fallen off the radar of the zionist hit squad now that your term has expired. That just confirms what we already know: that the trolls are part of an organized effort to get in the face of anyone who is in a position to influence the narrative they are so assiduously guarding. This also means that they don’t really care about the issues personally, but rather they see themselves as units in an army, and their orders are to optimize their effectiveness by only expending effort on attacking legitimate targets. Once you understand their role and strategy, it makes them seem even more venal and twisted. For this group, truth and justice are irrelevanices. We can’t have a productive encounter with Rabbi Youdovin (I still think that’s a made up name!) because we are not even operating in the same dimension.

        I like your idea for re-purposing the blog, and encourage you to tell us more about your new approach. It’s important for others to understand how the pro-israel trolls operate. I hope you will talk about the pressure you felt in trying to moderate the blog during its most intense period, when you were getting hundreds of comments on every post, and seemed to be responding personally to every one! You (almost) never deleted my postings, unlike Mondoweiss, which deletes almost all of them, and then routinely blocks my IP address so I have to create a new persona. It would be really interesting to read about your experiences moderating the blog and deciding which posts had to be rejected, and why.

        We have made real progress working together to expose zionism. Now is a good moment to reflect on how that has happened and how we can extrapolate current trends to predict the future. You can count on me to participate in any discussions you decide to host here.

      • ray032 January 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

        No one can be forced into any discussion if they are not interested in what is being discussed. I posted the Haaretz articles only because you said you did not have access, but I’m sure you can see they are related to your expressed sympathies in this blog.

        What I don’t understand is you writing ” It’s just that I don’t think your religion, or any religion, has any place in these discussions.”

        The State of Israel and the conflict is 100% based on religion. Do you deny that?

        “The Bible gives Israel the right to the Land of Israel, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett told an international gathering of rabbis in Jerusalem on Monday.”

      • Gene Schulman January 8, 2015 at 12:59 am #

        Please, Ray, we’ve been here before. The I/P situation has nothing to do with religion. From the beginning, Zionism has been a geopolitical movement, and has used biblical justification as propaganda to make the diaspora Jews believe it is a religious imperative. All of your long biblical quotes and history will not convince me otherwise. Hence my reluctance to engage with you

      • Walker Percy January 8, 2015 at 8:29 am #

        Gene, sorry for butting in to your discussion with Ray, but I feel compelled to speak because I strongly disagree with your statement: “Zionism has been a geopolitical movement, and has used biblical justification as propaganda to make the diaspora Jews believe it is a religious imperative.” That is willful, extreme denial on your part. It doesn’t matter if the Israelis don’t truly believe that G_D gave them the land. It would almost be better if they did believe, but it appears that all they care about is enjoying the spoils of their racist militarism and their feelings of genetic superiority and entitlement over the unsophisticated, impoverished inhabitants of the country they set out to seize. It is highly germane to the argument to parse the biblical justifications being used for this purpose. Your squeamishness about this line of inquiry tells us more about you then it does about the zionists. It appears that you have fallen for their insistence that these topics are somehow off-limits because of the history of jewish persecution and expulsion. In my opinion, it is THE question we should be investigating. If it weren’t for the sensitivities of American jews (many of whom are staunch liberals in every other respect) who are bankrolling this misbegotten project and who attack and suppress the speech of anyone who criticizes Israeli behavior, this issue would probably have been resolved long ago, and we would all be spared this outrageous, disturbing and (apparently) “eternal” conflict.

      • Gene Schulman January 8, 2015 at 10:14 am #

        I don’t mind your butting in Walker, but I find you’re misreading me again. Just what is it I am denying?

      • Richard Falk January 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

        I think, Gene, that you push your interpretation of the irrelevance of religion much too far. The flashpoints for both sides
        at sacred sites, Jerusalem, places of worship, settlements suggest the strong presence of religious feelings. I have witnessed
        and experienced this reality in past visits. Religion may not play a direct role in the failed diplomatic processes, and a variety
        of other pressures may explain the failure to achieve a sustainable peace, but religion is part of the existential situation, and could
        in changed circumstances, be helpful in clearing a path to a better future. It seems fruitless to go all the way with either position, that
        is, religion has nothing to do with the struggle or it is essentially a religious struggle. Best, Richard

      • Gene Schulman January 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

        I see your point, Richard, and it is not my intention to step on religious sensibilities. However, we all know that the founding of Israel was essentially a secular enterprise with political motives. The Zionists, I repeat, used so-called biblical history to justify their usurpation of the lands. Arguing over indigenous precedence is to detract from the real issues. The sooner people grasp that, the sooner a solution will be found.

        Peace, Gene

      • Kata Fisher January 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        Peace, Gene — so that it may not return void

      • Walker Percy January 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

        You wrote, ” The I/P situation has nothing to do with religion.” I disagree. If you read the Old Testament, you can find parallels to many aspects of modern Israel, as if they were really trying to recreate that ancient place. For example, in the Book of Ezra we read about Jews building a wall of separation to protect them from the huge number of adjacent enemy cultures seeking their demise. West Bank settlers enjoy thinking of themselves as latter day bible folk, doing battle with the hapless Palestinians, who have been unwittingly cast in the role of the Amelkite.

        Just as we have a god-shaped hole, it appears that we also have a place in the brain for hatred. In some people it is more developed, maybe through exercise. Like their forebears, It appears that the Jews of Europe and (now) Israel crave a greater amount of hatred then most people; I won’t speculate as to the cause, but it must be some combination of nature and nurture. Our brains are highly plastic, and patterns of thought and behavior arise through repetition and exposure. That’s why religious practice, especially for the young, indelibly forms one’s personality for life. If the ethical system imprinted is one that tolerates injustice, self-regard, greed, and corruption, and that celebrates warfare and violence, some malleable personalities will experience permanent impairment. When a large concentration of these personality types develops in a culture, their influence can be toxic, as we can see.

        My biggest problem with Zionist Jews of every stripe is that they voluntarily chose a belief system that has been shown to lead to dangerous outcomes, establishing their culpability in future disasters. It is hard to see how the current state of affairs does not end in large-scale war or other catastrophe. But this time we will understand things in a new way, because we will have irrefutable evidence, and it is no longer possible to manipulate the historical record, or to suppress ideas that endanger empowered groups.

        It is not acceptable to shut down inquiries into why Jews have been expelled so many times from so many places, and to insist that we all participate in the group delusion that anti-semitism circulates through a viral mechanism, infecting otherwise normal people, and gripping them in a psychological delusion that their problems are caused by Jews. Of course, as the concrete slab of your apartment house is collapsing on you and your and family, or when your career and reputation have just been ruined by secret whispering campaigns organized by Jews “defending” themselves, the transmission vector increases exponentially….

        Looking forward to your response, Gene.

      • Gene Schulman January 9, 2015 at 4:57 am #

        The only response I can give you, Walker, is that I find nothing in the bible but myth, and for the Israelis to base their claim on Palestine on that myth is a lie. Citing the bible or comparing similarities with today’s Israel only perpetuates that lie. This whole discussion is beside the point and I no longer wish to participate in it.

      • Kata Fisher January 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

        Dear Walker,

        Household is decorated with hell..Enjoy it! 😀

        But as for the name I heard that there is a house down the river — because Institute that just has shut down — and that is my place where I will host my Gothic friends…, and is cooled Former Goethe Institute in Rothenburg o.d.t. I like to have that if is not sold. I ammoving to Gerany and kids are also coming with me.
        My daughter Katrina wanted to move to Germany and learn there. Mine both Brothers live there.
        I do need two Church divorce. I would not bother about civil one…I’ll say whatever!
        One from Church in Rome, and one from Lutherans — if they have valid office where you can pick that up, as well as settlement cash from a man that wanted to give me cash and do some touching on while I was dropping off business stuff (some drinks), and just after was demonised by Church Evangelical while .
        But hash, hash — do not tell him when he gets stripped off from all that he has (Just kidding!).
        Payday for I! After one gets lazy as a pig and rich as a dog…
        I would love to think about that Brain Software after all, and tax- free…just as prostitution is

        Papi, Papi — where is my lollypop! (Francisco the Papi) I would love to visit Bertone, and see his environment in my living space.

      • ray032 January 9, 2015 at 7:25 am #

        Richard, I share your hope this small “Blog community” can come together in Peace and Unity, sharing dreams, interpretations, and aspirations along the lines of the Sermon on the Mount:
        Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
        Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
        Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
        Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
        Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
        Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
        Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

        It seems like a long forgotten dream when, at the beginning of the Common Era 2015 years ago, at the birth of the Christ child, the Heavenly Host declared: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace, good will toward men.

        The start of this New Year of the Lord 2015, tells us how far this world has fallen from that High Calling. I like the archery definition of “sin” that is, how far we have fallen from the bullseye or the mark.

        Individuals can find Peace and Understanding with God within themselves, and display good will toward all others, and in doing so, experience the Joys of God.

        In my Faith, I believe the world has not accepted the premise of the Common Era, especially the Zionists in Israel, and this world in general, still lives under the conditions of the Old Testament – an eye for an eye, where God creates good and evil, makes war and Peace, contrary to the ideals Christ articulated in his ministry.


      • Walker Percy January 9, 2015 at 11:28 am #

        You wrote, “The Zionists…used so-called biblical history to justify their usurpation of the lands. Arguing over indigenous precedence is to detract from the real issues.” I agree with you that the claims to land ownership based on the bible are disingenuous, and that Ben Gurion probably did not think much about Hashem. But there is more to the religious claims than just legal ownership of Judea and Samaria. They enacted a Law of Return, which seeks to re-establish dominance of the Davidic bloodline in Eretz Yisroel, and they encourage “in-gathering” of Jews in part to fulfill bible prophecy. And the favorite imagery of Zionist hand-wringers features them being herded enmasse into the Mediteranean, a fever dream likely to be experienced by those who have spent too many hours pouring over ancient texts which include similar predicaments for Jews.
        Let me know what you think,

      • Gene Schulman January 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

        What do I think? I agree with Atzmon that Jews suffer from Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome. They’re always looking over their shoulder to see if anyone is watching. But they are not alone in this enterprise. The Brits and Yanks have been abetters, and still are.

        The “ingathering”, too, is insincere, for all the obvious reasons.

      • Kata Fisher January 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm #


        I think that it is too overwhelming for Gene to go about Old Testament. I do understand that Gene has not recognised or does not recognise claim to the Land such as Holy Land (natural substace) based on Faith and/or religious claims. In genera terms, — he looks at that issue from a specific position.

        One still have to recognize / look as such claim as Jews/Jewish Faith is making — to the land of Israel/ Holy Land based on base of the Sacred text and International Law that is interpreted legitimately. Right now International Law on claims of Faith is insufficient (not valid) when interpreted/applied.

        I do not believe that there is more to that.

      • Gene Schulman January 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

        With all due respect, Kata, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sure I know more about the Old Testament from a literary vantage, than you do from your faith. But let us not haggle.

      • Kata Fisher January 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

        Dear Gene,

        I will not argue, because you can apply “literally” the Bible as literature? and figure it out with Walker what is.

        Obviously, you two can and should do that — you just figure a way.

      • Kata Fisher January 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

        Dear Gene,

        I just looked a bit more into this, and I understand that myths can’t be applied literary — especially not from a Biblical perspective.
        Biblical myths are not applied in any way or form — are we just seeing this from a different perspective?
        I do not want to misunderstand you, and our mutual love should not be ruined by misunderstandings.

      • Walker Percy January 10, 2015 at 10:37 am #

        Gene, my point is this: by willingly choosing to use religious justifications to achieve their wicked purposes, Jews, including those who do not participate but merely shield the others, are incriminating themselves in ways that suggest horrible repercussions. Especially given their past record, and considering the current trajectory of public opinion, it is not hard to extrapolate to future scenarios that make the present moment seem calm and comfortable. Take a look at the pictures of freezing palestinians in today’s NYT if you want to glimpse a possible future for many more innocent people if we don’t, as a planet, grab hold of this escalating nightmare and bring it to the only feasible conclusionmthat includes the survival of our species: the return of the Holy Land to the muslims, its rightful owners.

      • Gene Schulman January 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        I see your point, Walker, and I agree with most of it. But just how do you plan to “get hold of it”? 70 years in the making and the solution drifts further away with each new one.

        The part I adamantly disagree with is turning the Holy Land back to the Muslims. I’d rather no religious entity control it. Make the whole place politically secular, and allow it to be a land for people of all faiths and none.

      • Kata Fisher January 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

        Dear Walker,

        You write:

        “…if you want to glimpse a possible future for many more innocent people if we don’t, as a planet, grab hold of this escalating nightmare and bring it to the only feasible conclusion that includes the survival of our species: the return of the Holy Land to the muslims, its rightful owners.”

        I would trust that you do have a rational & Justification for that question — or is that very much also a legitimate answer?

        If you think in terms what belongs to lay-people and what belongs to not lay-people? Or we can look at this in another way: What all belongs to God and where all?

        I trust that you understand this, Walker.

      • Kata Fisher January 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

        A note:

        Secular sounds just and right – it’s so that is just acceptable…

        I believe that there is rational and justification to have secular…

        I believe I see this in a valid way.

      • Walker Percy January 10, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

        Maybe you are right, Gene. While it is hard to think beyond the present horiffic moment now, it is not that far-fetched to imagine some kind of future internal zone that guarantees freedom of religion for everyone and equal representation under law for everyone. I am talking 10 or 20 years out. The current situation just can’t continue forever, now that everyone is aware of how much this insanity is ruining our lovely world. I just hope that it happens sooner rather than later, or we will see endless horror. I also think that, the longer this drags on, the more the world will demand retribution. Zionists don’t appear to understand how dangerous the present moment is for them. They like to brag about how safe it is for Jews in Israel, but this is wishful thinking. Jews who believe they are are safer in Israel, with 100,000 rockets pointing at them from every side, compared to living in America, they have something wrong with them, and it is time the world acts as one to put an end to it, before we have to go in there and rescue them all again.

      • Kata Fisher January 11, 2015 at 8:24 am #


        This is what I understand: 

        There is no question that Arab lay-people can be very hostile — those are the patterns of the tribal nature and undiscerned texts. 

        Even if Jewish people would leave the Holy Land — Arabs would start hostile brawls and killings/other wars in their midst. For Jews to leave is not a sustanable solution.

        The only sustainable solution is that there is a good structure of governing that will regulate hostility of the secular religion (civil-religion). There is no civil Faith with issues that are going on now, but there are people of Faith that should be allowed to imigrate into the areas of Holy Land without any restriction. 

        Most important thing is that weaponry funding for Palestine and Gaza is carefully evaluated, and removed — they should only get support and aid for sustaining their population, as all funding should be clothing and food.

        Rebuilding materials should be in international oversight and contracts because of legitimate reasons. I have understood much aid, that Gaza receives for rebuilding, is wasted because it is used for building of the tunnels and evil purposes. 

        You can allow lay-people self-governing and self-determination — but if they have no capacity for that you have to input things that do have the capacity that allows lay-people to govern themselves.

        If the weaponry and lay-people are the problem then lay-people do not need to have weaponry of such capacity. That is in the time-pass, and Arabs are expected to put their will into practice by vote. I mean, there is no justification for Arabs to be saying that liberating themselves from Jewish Immigrants means killing at any opportunity.

        They really need to check in with their minds, as well as their undiscerned texts. 

        I believe that discerning of Holy Quran should be an important step for Arabs, and Church of Rome can help them with that. 

        Items of importance: 1) weaponry and invalid oversight for aid for rebuilding 2) undiscerned texts.

  11. roberthstiver January 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on roberthstiver and commented:
    Dr. Falk is an outstanding human being and geopolitical analyst!

  12. Björn Lindgren January 8, 2015 at 2:42 am #

    Hi Richard,

    Hmm, a ‘a blog community’ sounds great. I’d like to join such a project.

    Now, when the world as we know it is disintegrating and falling apart, the conditions for seeing things new and fresh are present. I think that a blog community can tap and express this energy of openness, inquiry, and visons.

    We can create new and better solutions that serve our needs and aspirations. History is not over.

    Cheers, Björn Lindgren

    PS: I hope it will be simple to take part of and to use. I am very poor at computors. They don’t understand me.

  13. Kata Fisher January 8, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    Mind-boggling Conversing…

    Ray & Richard:

    “Richard, this is not relevant to this discussion, but I woke up this am remembering a scene from a dream last night.
    There is a new government building just occupied in old Hull where I live, and in the dream scene, it was named the Richard A. Falk Building!”

    “Ray: How can I take issue with such a dream! I hope the building contributed to Hull’s architectural profile!
    Happy holidays, Richard”

    Ray: “Actually, it is a nice building that incorporated an old Heritage Building 100 years + called the Bank Hotel!”

  14. Kata Fisher January 8, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    “ex nihilo” is equal to 0 (zero) at the point and the time, and is timeless.

  15. rehmat1 January 8, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    Gideon Levy, like Dr. Chomski is a “Crypto Zionist” hiding behind the so-called “humanism”.

    In November 5, 2010, Ha’aretz Op-Ed, he claimed that a US-Iran peace deal will eventually defeat Islamic Revolution in Iran.

    Gideon Levy suggests that the Zionist regime should stop pushing Washington to bomb Iran for Israel’s sake – and instead co-operate in in the establishment a Palestinian state under Fatah and negotiate peace with Syria (by withdrawing from the Golan Heights). This will isolate Iran from Palestinians, Syrian and bring Turkey back to Israeli lap. Thus, Islamic Republic will be left only with Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad as is allies in the region (as all the Arab puppet regimes are afraid of Islamists).

    On the other hand, Gideon Levy believes that the hawkish Jewish plan to bomb Iran would be disastrous for the Zionist entity:

    “Iran is dangerous; an Iran that is bombed will be even more dangerous. The regime in Iran is stable; the regime after a bombing will be even more stable. Anyone who wants to strengthen it is invited to bomb. Anyone who wants to unite the Iranian people even more behind its leadership is invited to threaten and attack. Anyone who wants to spur on Iran even more to get a nuclear bomb is invited to intimidate it. Even the last of the ayatollahs knows the truth: If Afghanistan or Iraq had an atomic bomb, the United States would not have dared to invade them, and their regimes would have been spared,” wrote Gideon Levi.

  16. ray032 January 9, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    For those who do not suscribe to Haaretz, this story Today is tragic in my estimation, and reading it from so far away in CanaDa, I feel helpless and powerless, except to discuss with you, what can be done to right this wrong? This is not new news, but just the latest in similar injustices being perpetrated against the defenceless Palestinian people.

    Chiming in 2015, and leaving a community destitute
    On New Year’s Day, the Civil Administration demolished the homes of a community of shepherds in the Jordan Valley. Happy New Year to the 80 members of the Kaabana family, now homeless.
    By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac | Jan. 9, 2015 | 12:10 PM

    Here’s how 2015 began for residents of the shepherds’ compound at Ain al-Hilweh, in the northern Jordan Valley: at the mercy of the cold and rain, under the naked sky, their homes reduced to rubble, utterly destitute. Heaps of ruins are all that remain, the wreckage of tents and shacks, with remnants of their meager belongings strewn around.

    Happy New Year to the 80 members of the Kaabana family, now homeless. Happy New Year to their neighbor, Khader Ibrahim, a shepherd, who lost a leg as a child when he stepped on an Israeli army landmine or unexploded shell, and is now sitting abjectly where his tents stood last week.

    Happy New Year to his eight children, who are now scampering among the ruins, their teeth chattering from the cold. Happy New Year to the dozens of newborn lambs and kids, the first litters of 2015, whose pens were also razed, leaving them exposed to the winter weather, as a result of which some died.

    Happy New Year, too, to the Israeli Civil Administration and the Border Police, who enforce the apartheid laws in the territories, and who last week raided this forlorn community of shepherds and destroyed all their property, ignoring the anguished outcries of women and the silent weeping of children; ignoring the fact that they left dozens of people exposed to biting cold in the Jordan Rift Valley; ignoring the gross injustice and inequality of the authorities’ attitude toward these wretched of the earth, in stark contrast to the attitude toward the settlers in the area.

    After all, someone has to do the dirty and repellent work of the slow, persistent, systematic ethnic cleansing of this valley.

    Ain al-Hilweh is situated just past the settlement of Maskiyot, along the road that climbs from the Jordan Valley eastward toward the small town of Tayasir. Not far off is the community of Halat Makhoul, which has been demolished time after time and is now rebuilt.

    The Kaabanas have nowhere to go with their flocks – their only source of livelihood – and no force will move them from their land. Mahmoud Kaabana is a 44-year-old shepherd, married and the father of 10 children. Together with the families of his six siblings, and their parents, there are about 80 souls in this pastoral community. He says he and his father were born on this land, which was leased to them by its owner, the Catholic Church in Jerusalem.

    The Civil Administration has now demolished their tiny habitation, which consists solely of tents and tin shacks, three times: in June 2011, in January 2014 and on January 1, 2015. The first demolition took place in the early summer, but the previous one, last January, left people and animals exposed to the rain, and Israel blocked outside attempts to assist them. About 30 sheep died. In the early days, the refugees took shelter under a small bridge, and then neighbors and other good people brought them plastic sheeting, clothing and tents. The scene repeated itself last Thursday, as the new year was ushered in.

    “Happy New Year,” Kaabana says with a bitter smile, “this is how a new year starts.”

    The raiding party – around 20 jeeps and two bulldozers – swooped in at about 9 A.M. All the people and animals were evacuated, and the demolition began. The 10 minutes the inhabitants were given to come to grips with the situation and collect their property were obviously not sufficient. An argument broke out between the Civil Administration people and the Border Police, Kaabana relates. The latter did not want to allow residents even to gather up their property.

    “I’m in charge here,” a police officer declared. “You’re the guard,” a Civil Administration official shot back.

    The results are scattered all around: crushed household utensils, torn clothes, slashed up rugs – all of it under steel tent pegs, which thrust skyward like a mute monument.

    This time, Kaabana says, Civil Administration personnel used utility knives and pruning shears to tear apart whatever the bulldozers missed. All 30 structures of the compound were destroyed. Nothing remains, other than a refrigerator and an iron bed that were salvaged.

    The International Red Cross provided the residents with a few tents, but not enough, Kaabana says. At night the family huddles in one big tent supplied by neighbors.

    Most of the sheep are outside. This is the birthing season, and the condition of the newborn animals is worrisome. Fatma, Kaabana’s wife, is pregnant, too, in her seventh month. When she burst into tears during the assault, Border Policemen ejected her from the site, to the other side of the wadi.

    Kaabana says he received no warning of the demolition. Nor did the wreckers tell him why their homes were being destroyed, other than to say, “You are not allowed to be here.”

    After each demolition, Kaabana rebuilds a few meters away from the previous site, so that the new structures will not be immediately razed. As we talk, a Civil Administration vehicle is parked on the main road, its occupants observing us. The sight fills Kaabana with trepidation.

    “Does this bother [Prime Minister] Netanyahu?” he asks, pointing to the ruins of his property. And again, “Does this bother Netanyahu?”

    “There was a children’s tent here, and this is where we slept,” he says, giving us a tour of the debris. “The kitchen was here and the animal pen was there. This was the home of the lambs, and that was for the older sheep.”

    Nothing remains. Even the vegetable patch he planted near his home – eggplants, cucumbers, onions and peppers for domestic use – was trampled brutally.

    The animals are out to pasture on the hill, but when they return toward evening, there will be no place to shelter them against the oncoming chill of the desert night.

    In his despair, Kaabana asks for assistance: “Maybe people will bring us plastic sheeting to cover the sheep, and clothes for the children? I am asking for help. No one is helping us. I am asking people all over the world to help us. We are left with nothing.”

    His little daughter Thaima, a year and seven months old, clings to his leg. Her teeth are chattering from the cold. She is dressed in rags, like her sister, seven-year-old Sarah.

    Not far away, about one kilometer to the west, a heavyset man is climbing the hill, breathing hard, staggering, leaning on a stick, barely moving, until he finally comes to a halt. Heaps of ruins lie about. This was where his home stood.

    Khader Ibrahim, who’s about 45 or 50, he has no idea, is a father of eight. Now he hobbles around on an artificial limb. After the wreckers finished leveling the hamlet of the Kaabana family, they moved on to his compound. Five structures – tents to live in and animal pens – are now gone.

    A threadbare checkered wool blanket lays on the bare ground. Ibrahim stretches himself out on it. His sonorous voice rumbles across the expanse. He and the others spent the first night in the open, he says. Then the neighbors brought them a tent and some plastic sheeting for shelter. “What will I do? There is nothing for me to do,” he laments.

    A spokesperson for the Civil Administration stated: “These are illegal structures that were erected, and were demolished at the beginning of the month for the second time, because they were built without a permit in a firing zone in the Jordan Valley region. It should be noted that being present in a firing zone used regularly by the IDF for training using live ammunition is dangerous and against the law.

    “In regard to this case, a petition was submitted to the Supreme Court, which was stricken from the record, with the petitioners undertaking to take action to regularize the construction within 45 days. As the petitioners did not do so in the course of four months after the petition was stricken, the structures were demolished.”

    Dafna Banai, an activist from Machsom Watch-Women Against the Occupation and for Human Rights, wrote, “This evening I had a call from Mohammed, a shepherd, with whom we’ve been in touch from boyhood … He was crying. He’s young, he’ll get over it, but his elderly parents – his father is disabled from an Israeli land mine and is sick.

    “What will happen to them? How will they survive the freezing nights of the Jordan Rift? What will happen when it rains? I asked if there was anything special they needed, and there was silence. What would he ask for? They have nothing.”

  17. Kata Fisher January 9, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I understand this:

    It not about calling or mercy. There is no mercy for those who add sins to others, ad grave harm. Regardless, one is stuck in a specific position in Christ that is of Jesus Christ…meaning stiffed with the cross of Antichrist, and not in denial.

    There is no wisdom in a will-power of self to disallow people to sin against you in any way they want–unending spiritual attacks are acceptable. I learned that more you suffer and allow circumstances beyond your will-power — the more you wrestle down.

    Dropping of non-toxic beverages / energy drinks at not so strangers place of work was not my regretted mistake, at all. Only in an insane situation you may get a judge (or stumble up with one) for your spiritual director and enjoy a cycle and defilement of it while vow by Spirit is busting all things around.

    Regardless dis-purpose, I did not enjoy year-long spiritual exercises, my life, awful people and …I have laughed about it and laughed a lot.

    Gene is right, spiritual exercises are spiritual warfare us not for public setting, at all. But we do not understand what is civil and waht is eccalistical is and was.

    I am not responsible for Bertone and his condition, and I myself am not responsible for Gene’s distress. It was not and is not intention of my own will-power & purpose.

    I should tell you about Katalin — how she vomited all over me while I was holding her just day or two after the girl ministered to me in charismatic way, and then after she started to run in the cycle…and I was looking at her, and did not know what to think of that. But andestanding of evil things is added on to you after while.

    Now I know and see in her that she will be a warrior that busts empires. But, it will be struggle and hell of a time, and I cant wait for it — I am so ready to touch up with my spiritual director and get back to business. Still, I have this evil feeling that I’ll have to kick out Bertone from his enviroment — he is in my living space. It will be way to much for I to handle her and her spiritual exercises. Say in any time from now and twenty years…

  18. Kata Fisher January 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    I have another Reflection:

    Each year of the Schooling (Academic Year) will take place in another world-culture.

    There should be Seminary across these Academic year /semesters around and around … the groups should be intermingled based on diversity of the Academic Years (all Academic Years for Extensive study) as well as practicing individuals that are in the midst of the working-environment (online and on campuses).

    What you want to create is a consistent information flowing that is legitimate, applicable and effective. Yet, the source has to be legitimate and diverse, in essence, for systematic input of “gap areas” within the system and systematic practices).

    All have to have access to the same information — as many subjects as they are willing to select at each time (from different subjects, simultaneous ) while they have One or Two main subjects that they are particularly focusing on.

    I do not have any other reflection — or nothing noter to add on to this.

  19. Kata Fisher January 10, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    I read this…

    and I was stricken with this:

    “Unnoticed by the nearest galactic neighbor

    Unworthy of attention by our space siblings…”

    And I was thinking — what’s that galactic space that is filled with mess? And then immediately, I am thinking about Jesuit…

  20. Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    I have a reflection: 

    Global Justice in the 21st Century Conferences..  
    Someone has to start prepering things for that

    I have feeling this will be an “all-correcting move”?

    • Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      I have a very interesting reflection: This can’t be without Hillel Neuer… he was the fire match that made the fire catch…

  21. ray032 January 12, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    How can it be? Watching that massive march of millions in the name of ‘Je Suis Charley’ and ‘Freedom of Speech’ in Paris Yesterday, Today, a reporter who exercised that same Freedom of Speech those millions were marching for, is being censured and forced to recant his right to Freedom of Speech because it offends Jews.

    Those who spend time to investigate with an open mind, will see the Jews in Israel Today, characterize and describe all Palestinians with the same disparaging terms and traits the Nazis used to characterize and describe the Jews in another place and Time! Lest we Forget?

    • ray032 January 12, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      I discovered this Youtube video Yesterday. This one, shown on Israeli TV, is extreme, but I have seen other examples of Jewish hatred of Christians.

      My personal internal struggle is if I can see it, how come those Christian leaders constantly appeasing Israel can not see it, supporting Israel in whatever it does, even if it is wrong?

  22. Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Ray: But I do not know…

    That was trending yesterday? I really should care and do not care… Today is a new trend — a future trend. You see, I just do not know and do and do not care… — I am just brainstorming..

    By the way, — that girl is a comedian and compared to comedy of religion — she is a harmless one.

    Concerning Hillel? I say this: Hillel! — you had opportunity and time to grow up! Have you not? Moreover, Hillel will say this: “Yes, I am a grown up – I can make independent decisions — for myself and another! Also, then he will say: All, right, all right … they may have been a bit immature…but that is all right!!! I knew what I knew and that was enough for that point in time?”

    I do enjoy childish bickering, and we can go on or just drop it at once 😀 

  23. Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    I have a reflection:

    I think that first Academic Year will be starting out from Geneva / around that area. That is the place of start for the fist Academic Year: Intraduction Year. Moreover, each School of Govrement place will have “UN Watch” office next to them…

    Now, UN Watch is legitimate in that position… (I think that).

  24. Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    I have another reflection:

    What is wrong with all that what took place? They mixed up their offices…

    Yes, what took place was, in fact, mixing up and confusing of the offices.

    • Richard Falk January 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Kata: With all due respect, please try hard to convey your meaning in a coherent form that the rest of us can understand.

      Also, explain your references to UN Watch, an NGO that did its best to defame me with a constant stream of distortions
      and disinformation. What is the basis for their inclusion?

      • Kata Fisher January 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

        Professor Falk — I am not sure. I do not understand this a lot. It was just brainstorming and reflection. I will think on this and I will hope I get clarification what it may be. (I cannot see it as of right now). It is a process for me, and it can be a long one until I get understanding of things that I am thinking / brainstorming and reflecting on. However, I have to write everything down that I consider somewhat rational.

        (I just brainstormed in a group setting).

        I am not sure where exactly would be their inclusion…and if there is any basis for it at all apart from Faculty/Academic setting.

        I am thinking, possibly, within the school of governing…like a student org — or something like that. However, then religious things come up. I really do not know…

        It is a dead-end in my mind right now because I just can’t see the picture entirely. 

        What I do understand is that UN Wach has interfeard with the structure and procesess within a govrement. 

        Still, I will try to think on this and see how far can I understand this. It may take a day weeks or months…I am not sure.

  25. ray032 January 13, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Richard, I’m re-posting this article to my Blog Today. This is the 3rd one of yours in my Blog.

    I have yet to search for the appropriate images, but I would like your opinion on the title, ‘LIP SERVICE AND TOKENISM’

    What do you and/or others think? Is that title reflective of the content?

  26. ray032 January 15, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    For those who don’t subscribe to Haaretz and want to discuss with an open mind in the hope and goal of finding realistic, practical solutions, I find this Israeli view worthy of discussion in looking for common ground:

    Israel is flying into a storm with eyes wide open
    The diplomatic war liable to break out between the Israelis and Palestinians will have far-reaching consequences.
    By Ari Shavit | Jan. 15, 2015 | 5:15 AM

    There’s a strategic warning of escalation on the table. The best assessments by the top professionals say that 2015 is going to be a year of destabilization. There’s no way to know from whence the evil will burst forth; perhaps the West Bank will erupt before the Gaza Strip, or vice versa. But the trend is clear: The decade of quiet we’ve had in Judea and Samaria is about to end, and the lull in the violence on the Gaza border won’t last. Within a few months our reality is going to look very different from the virtual reality we are still enjoying. Fasten your seat belts – Israel, with eyes wide open, is flying itself into a storm.

    The diplomatic tsunami: What the State of Israel has been experiencing in recent years is not a tsunami, but a murky wave, whose water has been seeping into its perforated ship, slowly but steadily. The water’s penetration is going to accelerate in the coming months. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will employ heavy diplomatic and legal artillery against Israel; some of his shells will miss, but some will cause damage.

    In response, Israel will deal an economic-diplomatic blow to the PA. Europe will scream. The international community will be furious. The diplomatic war liable to break out between the Israelis and Palestinians will have far-reaching consequences.

    Judea and Samaria: The stability in the West Bank over the past nine years has been based on three things – economic growth, joint Israeli-Palestinian security activity and the existence of a legitimate Palestinian leadership that rejects the use of violence. All three of these elements are being eroded. The economic situation there isn’t serious yet, but it isn’t good. Security cooperation is at great risk. And the legitimacy of the leadership that opposes violence is declining.

    Under these circumstances, diplomatic warfare between Israel and the Palestinians is liable to ignite a blaze. If Abbas makes his moves at The Hague and Israel retaliates, the PA won’t have enough money to pay the salaries of the security personnel who have provided us with a decade of peace and prosperity. The worrisome scenario is that the hard core of stone and firebomb throwers will widen, the Fatah’s Tanzim militia will lose its restraint, and the security apparatuses will lose the motivation and legitimacy that enabled them until now to prevent the situation from going downhill.

    Just as the transition from the quiet of 1999 to the intifada of 2000 was quick and surprising, so might the transition from the current order to chaos, which is just around the corner.

    The Gaza Strip: Operation Protective Edge ended without a strategic victory and without a diplomatic solution. The economic carrot, which was meant to complete the work of the military stick, never arrived. No desalination plants or power stations are under construction, nor are tens of thousands of apartments for the homeless. Meanwhile, Hamas is growing stronger. It will be a while until it regains the capabilities it had at the beginning of the summer, but the direction is clear. Even though Hamas is not interested in another confrontation, Gaza’s despair is pushing it toward the next round.

    The great danger is that, given the processes playing out beneath the surface in Judea and Samaria, the next round will not be limited to one front. The fear is that the Gaza Strip will ignite the West Bank, and the West Bank will fan the flames in the Gaza Strip. If there is an escalation in the coming year, it’s highly likely it will be a dual-front escalation.

    Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aware of this strategic warning? Yes. Is he doing anything to stop the dynamics of escalation? No. Both the Israeli prime minister and the Israeli people are living in a dream world that is going to end up a nightmare.

    • Richard Falk January 16, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      Ray: Thanks for bringing this important assessment by an influential voice in Israel and for world Jewry to our attention. In some respects,
      I find the analysis hopeful.

  27. Kata Fisher January 15, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Very important:

    Abdus Salam wrote this, and this is what Global Justice in 21st move needs:


    I strongly condemn any forms of violence or terrorism and support freedom of speech which has boundaries. What this does not require us to do is rejoice a fascist, vile and extremely racist newspaper. Attacking any religious minority is not enlightened, nor is it heroic: it is bigoted and cowardly and destined only to increase the disunity, inequality and disenfranchisement upon which fanatics feed. To put fanaticism into perspective, the threat facing the world today is not the victory of Islam or Islamism, nor is it a loss of freedom to express/free press, but a further rise in support for the far right.

    Any solidarity should go to those calling for unity across all religions and ethnicities. I have nothing but contempt for those exploiting the situation to demand more freedom for a far right and vile and racist press.

    Depicting black politicians as monkeys, is that not racist? Were cartoons of Jews in Nazi Germany not racist? And exactly what would a cartoon have to have shown you for it to be considered as fascist or racist?

    Furthermore, “joking about Muslims” or “joking about Jews” or “joking about black people”, is not the same as joking about a particular government or a particular religious leader. To single out Muslims and depicting them as terrorists, backward and barbaric is nothing but hatred and intolerant. This despicable newspaper had quite clearly descended into promoting all that is of iniquitous and far from wanting to seek and strive for peace, tolerance and cohesion. All it is doing is stereotyping, tormenting and stirring up greater prejudice against marginalised groups and communities.

    What is needed now is honest debate based on evidence in an environment of tolerance not abhorrence. Let’s stand together against any source of violence and deliberate attempt to divide communities.

    Finally, whether this newspaper has the right to produce such material is one question but whether we should respect it is another.

    Abdus Salam
    13 January 2015

    “indeed Abdus in agreemen”
    — Clive Hambidge

    Clive Hambidge is just as heavelly-gifts giver … there are things and eseences that we need and are also available…Who will organize/stricture what needs to be written & done?

    It is written, “Whatever, anyhow, anyhow, he may say to you, do.”

    Also, this may all have to be overseen by Mr. O’Connor — his communication skills & gift are a must…

    In fact, they are at level of excellence — for that reason all Little Squirrel’s are content in his area…as long as he does not sneak up on them! 🙂

    • Kata Fisher January 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Also, there is an enormous Old building — that looks like Old Court/Fellow House/Home that is standing, and it supposed to be on very beautiful piece of property. I did see some pictures of the areas around the building — las December 2013. Apparently, it is in a good shape — because you really still can renovate it…

      That could b headquarters/central office for Global Justice in 21st Century Newspapers and Global Activists.

      Even to build on some resting areas & dining areas for activists is possible …when they are on their fever imagination they won’t stop until they just crash-down.

      I really want that building for that purpose — if is not gone.

  28. Kata Fisher January 15, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    One Article:

    “for the Mothers of Palestinians In USA and in Palestine”
    – Clive Hambidge

    Another Article:

  29. Kata Fisher January 16, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    I just had a Refection about thing that I read a while ago, and I did find it, too:

    “Are you threatening 83 year old richard falk with violence if he enters YOUR city? Boston is full of pugnacious louts like you, if I recall my college days. By claiming the right to police the thoughts and language of others, you diminish civil discourse for everyone. Please rethink your position and apologize, or I will be forced to come over there and beat you with my boston slugger!”

    – Walker

    2013 – April

    The building that I want to have for Global Justice & Activities of it is in Boston–if the building is not gone. Also, Walker has said that he will be hosting? New Website is needed, as well — as restructuring and reorganizing the web-content.

    “thank you afnane Clive” & Walker

    I did not choose Boston

    A Note: Public opinions & essence of it are not always what Activist are in general. I have more brainstorming — but I do not understand all as of right now.

    • Kata Fisher January 16, 2015 at 9:35 am #

      I had another Reflection:

      The Last Academic Year @ Richard Falk School of Global Governing will be in Boston, and Global Justice Free Press / Activism headquarters will be there as well.

      • Kata Fisher January 16, 2015 at 9:36 am #

        I have another reflection: The first Academic Year is in Geneva, and the last year is in Boston. It is about a journey…

      • Gene Schulman January 16, 2015 at 9:46 am #

        Thanks, Kata. Can you be more specific about your last reflection and fill us in with details about the Academic Year in Geneva? I would like to attend.

      • Kata Fisher January 16, 2015 at 11:18 am #


        From all brainstorming that I had so far — I understood this: The way locals do their governing is not and it shall not be the same as global governing should be.

        We can and can not apply local governing/laws to global governing.

        There has to be overlap, but also separation between local governments and global governing. What Harvard’s school of governing has done is not sufficient for diplomatic practices. It may be sufficient for practices of local governments — but not UN, as the government in essence.

        To resolve the problem — a school for Global governing along with study of International Law (without partiality — or taking all partiality out of it with respect to world cultures) will need to be — the Model that Professor Falk has applied in practice. This, what he has done, has to be duplicated. There has to be some fine-tuning, as well.

        All what took place was roughly “raw material” for was for the future & practices. I really think so. However, there is essence of a system and systematic practice to all of this — all has to be restructured and tuned in.

        Freedom of Faith and Freedom of Activism has to be secured by Free Press (for diplomatic purposes).

        This has to be connected to the Faculty that has acces to all giovrements, and if there are problems that are not resovlable — the faculty can recive some selected and/or declasified information via diplomats/ govrement officials who can be autorised to input peaces of information to solve the problems ( global & local) — who can legaly input that where it needs to be will be legitimately selected. No one wants usless information — or declassifying of irrelevant information that is not needed to solve the problems.

        You will always have two-way and systematic practices that are in order and are lawful.

        There was a problem with leaking of classified documents… This problem can be resolved, as well over the time, as well as restless and hostile public.

        Perhaps, it was so that documents leaked because there was no other was to go about the problems and to solve the problems? I do not believe that Activist should always hack into areas of governing — not if they can solve the world woes. In essence, public opinion can be aided by Freedom of Faith and Freedom of Activism — which is and has to be secured form of Free Press.

        Freedom of Activism can act top-down, and also bottom up. Meaning Freedom of Activism can overlap with freedom of public opinion as well as freedom of govrements.

        Current Free Press (public opinion/ local beasts) is censoring out activities of global governing, is neutering diplomatic activity, and is destroying freedom of Activism: Freedom of speech and Freedom of Faith.

        When students come to the Geneva (their first year) they will be introduced to “Global Governing” and not that what their local governing is doing for themselves. The purose for Global Govrening is to uphold rights of local nations/govrements to sustain them-selfs, and their population by legitimate Laws — and not run over other nations / people-tribes by manipulation of Global govrement and its Laws.

        With that there has to be Freedom of Activism: Freedom of speech and freedom of Faith within each world culture, and again connected to the faculty. A valid one.

        Activists have to be free to do what they believe they need to do; however, they will be in oversight of Faculty that is Global and is central for problem-solving.

        For this reason: Faculty and government/s cant stiff Activists and Activists cant do things that are harmful and are in essence lay-people activity. It will be appropriate to discern who does what, in essence.

        If Govrements are the beast — then Activist can do away with them or pressure them for their conscience change.

        Moreover, if activists are lay-people and actually not valid — then they can enjoy public opinion which either is changeable bottom-up or not.

        I do believe in bottom up change — but it happens not if there is no valid convince. Then top-down activism will have to shake that — just because no one else can.

        This is somewhat like a rough outline / brainstorming.

      • Gene Schulman January 16, 2015 at 11:55 am #

        Hmmmm…. Guess I missed the point of your reflection and asked the wrong question. Sorry, wrong number.

      • Kata Fisher January 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

        Gene, I am not sure what you mean.

        There is no value and acceptance of that model? Alternatively, are you saying that you are the first one to attend that first Academic Year?

        Why not host it? To UN Council? — as first Academic Year?

        I was writing this– and I get distracted by a phone call from my mom…she was talking to me, and I had no idea what she was going about…

        However, the funny thing is that she is way to smart, and she is charismatic. There is a problem in a town, and she was trying to solve her individual problem…O’ what a joke, coming start from my mom!

        Back to hosting it. One can just go on and say to UN Security & all its council — that if UN does not fix the way they do their business, and back to the governing — not if they ever did not have one valid at all — there will be no UN government (in the long term) it will be dissolved and not active in anything. Meaning, back to nothing…

        Seriously, we would not be here — if the nations could ever solve their problems…

        However, after all — Professor Falk was fired.

        I was demonized.

        How many other that are here and took part in all of this had exactly the same if not similar experience? What is civil and what is not…do we even care?

        Why am I in US, and not in my home town? After I lived at least in one other country – and I am, and I am not over – qualified to solve all UN and nation problems? Now this is not being irrational or even think that I am something — as you know that individual we do appear to be nothing? It takes humility not to cut yourself or another short in that which you or they are solid.

        However, UN and all their member-nations think they can do just that?

        Moreover, no, I would not move to Geneva and solve the world problems that they want to keep just as they are. I have better things to do.. like kick back and relax, after all I have 3 girls that went trough all hell along with me.

        They are oter that can duplicate wahat already was done– if they will. That is not our respaonsibility.  

        They want change — they get what they need. If they are not up for a change — I would not even bother to go there. (Smile).

  30. Corrine Hasch February 12, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Want to start learning about world leaders are saying that he is bringing the redemption of Israel and the light of the messiah? Want to advance the work of the Lord and to fathom the holy Torah and internal drama? Daf Yomi, a half hour a day, and will only light which in turn, contained within her
    קבלה, חכמת הקבלה, הדף היומי, kabbalah

    • Kata Fisher February 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Ms. Hasch:

      This Rabbi has fought good fight — his teaching is filled with Spirit of God, and he is filled with Spirit of God. He is authorized to interpret and apply any Part of the Scripture to his leadership: World-Leadership.

      He is practicing world leadership.

      You do not need to hear or to listen to world leaders – not nesseserly.

      He gives incredible real people (actual human / persons) stories, and he teaches how God has worked before.

      Specifically, during and post time of Jewish-Holocaust stories.

      I hope you can learn.

  31. michaellee2009 December 5, 2018 at 4:16 am #

    Reblogged this on Uprootedpalestinians's Blog.

  32. Pikos Apikos December 5, 2018 at 4:51 am #

    Reblogged this on penelopap.

  33. Angela Grant August 29, 2020 at 4:30 am #

    Do you think momentum will build for support of Palestinians? Except for your blog and few others, I don’t read much about Palestine. Not nearly as many tweets about the Palestinians or anything in the ME as I did a few years ago. Why? Idk If Trump is not removed from office, there is no hope for Palestine, no hope for equality not only in America but in the world. It will be a world worse than Nazi Germany. Sorry for the morbid rant.

    • Richard Falk August 29, 2020 at 8:15 am #

      Maybe via civil society, but not without a strong movement will there
      be much change inter-governmentally I fear. Trump’s removal may not help
      as Biden is effectively as pro-Israeli, only less provocatively. Greetings.

      • Angela Grant August 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm #

        Hi Richard, I think every politician who wants a future is pro-Israeli. If Biden/Harris wins, it will be a significant change. We, the people, want another future that’s equitable and inclusive.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm #


        I fervently hope that you are right. I think the importance of a Biden/Harris
        win is to prevent Trump from pushing the country deeper into a fascist swamp.
        I see little reason to hope for a more forthcoming approach to Israel/Palestine
        from a Biden presidency. All signals have suggested a continuation of the mindless
        and unconditional pro-Israeli approach. With greetings, Richard

      • Angela Grant August 29, 2020 at 2:41 pm #

        Richard, I think it will take help from the God within us to defeat Trump. If such a miracle occurs then good will prevail. Rn, it doesn’t look likely.

      • Richard Falk August 30, 2020 at 7:57 am #

        Agreed, but lots could change by November, hopefully for the better.


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