As 2016 Begins: A Message on Blog Etiquette

1 Jan

As 2016 Begins: A Message to Blog Comment Writers


I want to thank those of you who have written comments, whether critical or complimentary. Their presence gives the blog a dialogic identity that I find valuable. I do my best to listen, and if possible respond, but at timers feel overwhelmed by agreeing to do more than I can manage.


I do not welcome comments that framed by invective, comments that seek to insult others with whom they disagree, and exhibit rage and arrogance. Although the blog touches on a wide range of subjects I find that impulse toward defamatory comments is almost exclusively limited to those who seek to support Israel and discredit its critics, questioning their motives, information, and character whether outright or through innuendo.


As I have declared previously, I will block in 2016 any further comments that cross lines of courtesy and civility. As we learned in the case of Stephen Salaita, freedom of speech should be protected whether civil or not when it assaults conventional orthodoxies, but I consider this website to have become a kind of digital home where the purpose is to nourish thought, reflection, and even community. From this perspective in a manner parallel to Gresham’s Law ‘bad speech drives out good.’


I don’t doubt that are good faith differences as what is bad speech and what is good speech, and do not pretend to be objective, although I try to be fair. I realize that in the past when I have reacted similarly, I have not always followed through consistently, but in the spirit of new year’s resolutions, I will try harder. On the basis of past experience, I know that authors of past defamatory comments will fuss and fume, but I hope others who take time to read my posts will take advantage of what I hope will be a more nurturing atmosphere for conversation. 


Also, to avoid wasting anyone’s time do not waste your energy attacking this message intending to establish at the start of the new year guidelines for the future. It is my intention to block uncivil attacks on the sentiments expressed in this message if contrary to the canons of digital etiquette appropriate for this website.

115 Responses to “As 2016 Begins: A Message on Blog Etiquette”

  1. rehmat1 January 1, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Dr. Falk – Dr. Stephen Salaita have some consolation. Under an out of court agreement, Under the terms of the settlement, Salaita, will not get his job back but will receive $600,000, and his legal team from the Center of Constitutional Rights will receive $275,000.

    However, professor Kaukab Siddiqui (Lincoln University, Pennsylvania) has been that lucky. In July 2015, his Facebook page statement irked the Organized Jewry. He wrote that Bill Cosby didn’t do worse than what most of his fellow Americans do.

  2. Basema Salman January 1, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

    Thank you for your encouraging message with positive vibes. Your style of writing has greatly succeeded in simplifying complex situations. To those who have intentionally dared to attack you & your blog, this is still grossly immoral. You kept us and our collective conscious focused on the real issues happening on the ground, and though not losing sight of the bigger picture. I agree totally with your new approach blocking jammers and haters who refuse to comprehend the reality and the more than 67 years of social injustice and human rights abuse of Palestinians in their homeland Palestine and around the globe. Please continue writing and be sure that there are many Palestinians who are and will continue supporting you and your humble opinion. Peace and Love.

  3. wingsprd January 1, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

    Dear Richard, in the light of some of the posts I have read on yuour excellent blog, which take umbrage at your defence of the oppressed, I fully concur with your statement ‘to block
    uncivil comments’ It is not that most readers are unwilling to read both sides, but rather
    that some seem to delight in attacking you personally.
    You always provide much to think about and help with moral and ethical issues. As a student of philosophy I appreciate your lucid thoughts.

  4. Walker Percy January 2, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    Richard, I advise against any censorship. We are all fascinated by the comments of Fred, Harvey and Aaron, and I, for one, relish them. The 25% of Jews who participate in settlements, business scams, organized defamation and Hasbara love to show off their views, to poke a stick in our collective eye. It’s fascinating when they explain that they bear no responsibility for these dreadful events, and that they intend to press on at full speed. I love to push their buttons, then stand back as they reveal who they really are. Our best hope is for BDS and other civil society initiatives that require many participants to really succeed. So you should continue to provide this platform. I am sorry that it causes you some personal unpleasantness. But you have a particular role to play based on your past actions, and we would be sorry if you give up on this important work now.

    • Harvey Epstein January 2, 2016 at 8:43 am #


      I was going to compose a long response, but choose merely to say that I respond to what you say not because you “push my button”, because you aren’t doing that; I respond out of fear that in the absence of any response, some “innocent” person reading only what you say, might be persuaded only by what you say. I have no reasonable expectation that you will ever consider any contrary view – facts be damned – but the “innocent and not yet persuaded person” will likely take into account such a contrary view and hopefully make up his/her own mind. Who knows, such a person may even do some independent research and not listen to the slogans you like to use.

      I do agree with you that censorship is ill advised (but this is the Professors blog and he can set rules). My issue with you and the Professor is your collective anti-Israel rhetoric. On this issue, I find good company with the head of the UN commission and with the current Pope.

      None of this is intended to give Israel a “pass” on bad acts. The problem with this blog is that there is no “balance” expressed by the critics of Israel. These critics are like a blind person describing an elephant after having only touched its tail: invariably only partially correct.

      Israel is never always right, but she is never always wrong.

    • Richard Falk January 2, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      It is not so, Walker. The weight of opinion by a wide margin is that such commentary
      discourages many serious efforts to engage issues, and affects particularly those not
      predominantly interested in the Israel/Palestine agenda. In any event, HNY. Richard

      • Harvey Epstein January 2, 2016 at 10:18 am #

        I am a bit lost in your comment. Is this intended to respond to something which has been “purged” ?

      • Richard Falk January 2, 2016 at 11:19 am #

        Yes, it was awkward to delete, but it was filled with the very sort of language
        and invective that I am determined to discourage on this website. There are thousands
        of other websites that welcome such unremitting attacks. And incidentally, it is not
        a question of Israel never being right, it is a persisting structure that is inherently
        oppressive and sustained by disproportionate force. Surely, in the pre-Civil War south
        slave owners did many things that were right, even admirable and certainly understandable,
        but the weight of their wrongdoing was the important moral reality, and this is roughly
        the way I have come to feel about the Israel/Palestine structure, almost however measured
        and assessed except if there is insinuated some biblical unassailable right to dominate
        the land of Palestine.

      • Walker percy January 2, 2016 at 11:48 am #

        You are right, Richard. The one inexcusable tactic of zionists is the argument based on knowing of a divine plan that they maintain exclusive authority to interpret. I don’t know God’s will, but I do know that Fred and Ira have no superior knowledge on this subject. We are all equally clueless about the intentions of our Creator, and anyone who claims to be the apple of gods eye is implying that everyone else is a lesser being, not entitled to any special biblical inheritance. Why would we tolerate this? Everyone has to be treated as equals, there can be no impunity for war crimes committed by those engaged in holy war, or those groups who are systematically harmed by the powerful will choose to drop out and work against our common progress, since they have been so maltreated and disrespected that there is nothing left to do but seek revenge.
        We cannot remain silent when these arguments of divine favor are deployed, because complacency could be misunderstood as affirmation. Such innanities must be countered and never excused as allowable religious enthusiasm.

      • Harvey Epstein January 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

        Prof Falk,

        Thanks for your clearification.

        I understand your posture, but one really needs to distinguish between a civilian population of Israeli citizens (many of whom happen to be Arab, yet citizens) and a PA population with whom there is no formal peace treaty and who are administrated under military law. I know you have heard all of this before: different rules for different classifications. Those in the PA are not israeli. What may seem unfair in a purely civil society is the”norm” for those under military rule.

        You might view Israel as an occupying military power with no color of claim on the land sought by the PA. Historically, that is not the case. Since the founding of Israel, Jews have been ethnically cleansed from both Gaza and the West Bank (and frankly from the rest of Arab lands), yet almost 2 million non-Jews live in Israel as citizens. The final boundaries for the PA have yet to be agreed upon. Offers have been made by Israel and been rejected out of hand by the PA, etc. You have heard all of this before. Israel is a tough negotiator, but shows some flexibility. The PA won’t even talk. Israel has claims on land it feels is disputed and if the PA won’t even talk about it, why should Israel wait?

        I appreciate your “southern slave” argument, but it rings false. The PA holds its destiny in its own hands; the southern slave did not. Respectfully, lawyer to lawyer, this is a “red herring” argument. But for the Right of Return claim, the PA has, on more than one occasion, been offered 95%+ of what it demanded. The rest was disputed.

        I recognize that you probably are a universal humanist, and I have said so before, but in the ME this gets you bupkis.

      • walker percy January 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

        Richard, for better of worse, your blog has become an important resource and forum, and your proposed rule change in the interest of decorum would deprive both sides of an outlet on which we have come to rely. You are in a unique position due to your previous activities and credentials, and your work here is greatly appreciated. Don’t lose hope now: our side is winning, even though progress is excruciatingly slow. I take seriously your admonition that South Africa changed overnight, to the great relief of the rest of the world, and that Israel could follow this pattern. Or is Israel a special, untouchable case that is immune to the normal forces of history? If so, that double should double our resolve to do anything to interfere with their diabolical plans.

  5. Lester Ruiz January 2, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    Thanks, Richard. At least since the late 1970s, I found your work and demeanor as a public intellectual and “activist,” commendable, not because you were right about (most) issues, but because of your commitment to civility–which is so totally lacking in most public discourse today. You have taught me to be principled and uncompromising in my advocacies as an “organic intellectual” and not be tempted to justify unkind, if not “venomous calumny” by my own “cause”–justified or justifiable. So, “blocking,” “uncivil” comments from your blog, is, yet another way to underscore the importance of civility and tolerance, as well as the limits of what is deemed acceptable or appropriate disagreement, at least for blogging. Thanks, again, Richard.

  6. Richard Falk January 2, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    Insults are not intimidating, but they do detract from the kind of
    atmosphere that I seek for the blog. I do not what you gain by converting
    criticisms of Israel or of aspects of the Jewish tradition into such
    phrases as ‘Jew hatred’ and ‘Jew-baiting.’ It is a way of avoiding serious
    interaction and discussion. It is also an arrogant style that assumes that
    your views are authoritative when most of the world is both against
    anti-Semitism and against the oppressive manner that Israel has addressed
    the Palestinian Arabs, an approach underlying the current Likud, and
    traceable to the either/or views of Jabotinski.

  7. Mike 71 January 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Professor Falk,

    Is it only the invective and disparaging remarks posted by supporters of Israel which are to be deleted? Why not all such commentary, when it is found to be offensive? If you can post the “hate speech” of Steven Salaita, whose invective and obviously anti-Semitic Twitter posts cost him an academic appointment to the University of Illinois, which you find acceptable, on this blog, why shouldn’t others, including supporters of Israeli self-determination, be able to post similar commentary?

    Why is there to be a “Double Standard,” rather than a consistent across the board
    standard? That would seem to undermine your stated intent to be objective and fair. To purloin a concept from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” it appears that some “hate speech” is “more equal” than others!

    • Harvey Epstein January 2, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      Mike71, the Professor does not take a position that he is “fair” or objective on the underlying issue of Israel, but only on the description of the nature of the speech eg. “Are we being polite when we speak”?

      • Richard Falk January 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm #


        This is not my position. I try my best to be fair and objective, but my perception
        of the struggle emphasizes the structural disparities in such a manner as to hold Israel
        mainly responsible. My views correspond quite closely with the assessments of Jeff Halper,
        an American Zionist long resident in Israel, and author recently of WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE:

      • Harvey Epstein January 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

        Prof Falk,

        Thank you for your recent response. My difficulty with it is that, when viewed objectively, your use of the phrase “mainly responsible” seems to appear to mean “solely responsible”. But for your very recent admission to me that the Palestinians are also “guilty of crimes”, nowhere in any portion of your blog have I ever seen you attribute to the PA “any” responsibility for the current situation. We both know that on several occasions in the past I have asked you point out to me any such language used by you. That is the “failure” or “lack of any balance” of which I complain.

        Without a recognition, verbally expressed, that there are two sides, one looses credibility. Please forgive me, but you have complained that those who present anything favorable for Israel are “unremitting” in their attacks. Do you not also fall into that category on behalf of the PA?

        On a new and different subject: I know that you are very close with the leadership of Turkey. Many critics of that leadership fear that a move towards a “presidency” by Erdo is really a move towards a dictatorship and away from democracy. Have you, or do you intend to blog on that?

    • Richard Falk January 2, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      If you will read my comment more carefully you will see that I was suggesting
      that within his Twitter account Salaita’s comments were entitled to protection as
      freedom of speech and possibly as private communication, but that on this website for
      reasons I have tried to explain personal invective is not acceptable. And there is no
      alternative to my being the gatekeeper as to what qualifies as ‘hate speech.’

    • Laurie Knightly January 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      On this blog I stated a strong case, without censure, against Salaita. He won in court because his contract was was essentially finalized – much beyond retraction. I concur with the settlement. He was well known to be a fierce critic of Israel – example: Israel’s Dead Soul published in 2011. This was not why they reneged. Anyone defending his tweets should provide a link with the most disgusting ones – Trump is well spoken by comparison.

      Tweets are not private. Twitter’s Terms of Service allow users to retain the rights to their tweets but they also grant Twitter “a worldwide non exclusive royalty-free [with the right to sub-license] to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display, and distribute such Content in any and all media distribution methods [now known or later developed].’

      If you post something on the internet, it can scarcely be considered private. It’s not professorial, nor even civil, to speak in those terms and I told Salaita that personally – with a few others present.

      On that note, I would favor permanently deleting anyone who makes personal attacks on participants and would encourage users to ignore claims too ridiculous for challenge.
      I don’t think it’s possible to rationally defend Zionists, US, UK, or the UN on issues regarding the creation of Israel. This applys very often to the MidEast in general. I do feel a bit sympathetic, however, when someone comes up with ridiculous ancient land claims. What else can they do?

      • Walker Percy January 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

        I have read salaita’s tweets, and I can’t imagine what you see there that is so objectionable. For the most part he maintained a civil tone and made true statements. Please link to ones that you feel are unacceptable and deserving of censorship and termination.

      • Gene Schulman January 3, 2016 at 12:16 am #

        Hmmm. I see that many comments on this blog post have been deleted. Including my own. I can understand many of the complaints about Richard’s gate keeping – as much as I too find many of the comments offensive, I believe they should be left on for everyone to see how inane some of them can be. I would suggest that once posted they should remain, but would understand if Richard deleted them before posting. This is his blog, and he has every right to block what he thinks is offensive. I personally find Kata’s posts offensive if only for their inanity. I wish this one would have been blocked. It takes up so much valuable space.

        As for Laurie’s above post, I haven’t read the Salaita tweets so I can’t judge. But I do think he was unjustly treated by the university, and should not have been rejected once his engagement was approved. However, I have always found Laurie’s comments to the point, polite and relevant. I take her word that those tweets may have been quite offensive.

        Meanwhile, it has been raining here in Geneva all week, but this morning arrives with clear skies and the sun just now rising behind the Mont Blanc. A beautiful day, which I hope is an omen for a more peaceful new year!

      • Laurie Knightly January 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        Walker; You can research Salaita’s tweets – they are scattered. One I’d suggest as among the objectionable type is about Israelis enjoying a sexual perversion when seeing the blood of children as they are murdering them. Richard states he would object to such invective on his blog; I would object to it in any way connected to my university – or anywhere else. When I confronted Salaita, he did not disagree with my scathing critique of his words but only that they were private. Well, they are not. We are trying to let students know that such words can haunt you forever – as well they should – really stupid behavior when effective communication is such a vital part of an education. I understand Salaita’s justified rage, but he needs a different line of work if such vitriol is included in his public modes of communication.

        I would concede, however, that Ira’s published solution exceeds mine. I would add to his idea of reinstatement which includes reprimanding, a codicil stating that his tenure includes free speech/opinions/scholarship framed, however, in language befitting a university professor. Or words to that effect……

        I find the biblical references with sluts, whores, devils, divine revelations, competing despotic mythical deities, yards of irrelevant scripture etc, worse than Salaita – who has redeeming qualities. Can’t say that I love a hamster, as suggested by Kata, but it does sound preferable.

      • Kata Fisher January 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm #


        This is what I understand:

        Church does not teach anything based on the explicitly derogative terms toward the woman. I never did hear a priest in my entire life say that explicitly derogative term because it is not how Church interprets and applies the terms such as that.

        The Church does not teach that because according to the Pauline doctrine (writings of Apostle Paul) – we do not practice explicitly derogative terms toward women – the Church teaches otherwise. However, sexual immorality happens even to the priests.

        The Church applies this terms when comes to the understanding will of God for the purity in the Church and/or of the marital unions.

        Explicitly derogative terms toward women can be used as a crowning to the spiritual authority of man. Its as same as prophetic mock. All things are lawful for one but not beneficial.

        Abuse of Church Order can also defile. It mocks the Church.

        All things are lawful for one but not beneficial.

        There is so much to this, but I do not think that I should go about a full explanation by using the authority of the Scripture. I certainly can do that, but is irrelevant.

        This is what is relevant: I remember that Rabbi complained when said that Jewish women are lured into the hotel rooms and are being defiled by some practices. Why is that? I do wonder.

        Moreover, then, there are things that Muslim Imam has said when comes to the term “sluts.”

      • Walker Percy January 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

        Laurie, I did try to research Salaita’s tweets but didn’t find any that are about IsraelI sexual perversions experienced when seeing the blood of children they are murdering. Can you please point me to that? Otherwise I will think you are mischaracterizing his statements. And, maybe it’s true. How do you know what passes through the minds of these killers, especially the Lone Soldiers who travel long distances from their comfortable, safe homes in America and Australia, and are eager participants in ethnic cleansing of the most extreme, unforgivable kind. Please refrain from making statements about what other people said unless you have evidence. If I am wrong, accept my apology.

      • Laurie Knightly January 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

        Walker: Legal Ethics Forum, Sept 13, 2014 Why did Steven Salaita Lose? I discussed them with him myself. He was mostly lashing out but the words are there – he doesn’t deny it. He got some justice because some trial lawyers smelled money in it. Yes, most of the tweets don’t seem objectionable but there are some others – like Netanyahu would like a necklace made of dead Palestinian children’s teeth. That was quoted frequently. His recent ones are very different. I’m sick of the subject but to have his words described as just critical of Israel is a gross misrepresentation. Did you check the testimony from the university? I’m done with Salaita……
        My computer is not functioning well right now – shuts down etc. Very frustrating…….

  8. Kata Fisher January 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Anyone that is dealing with civil-ecclesiastical issues also is entitled to criticism and corrections.

    Also, mixing up freedom of religion and freedom of faith when comes to the forms of concerning things with illegal free-speech; meaning,
    hate speech?

    However, be surprised because Professor Falk is not equipped and qualified to do that.

    In addition to that – how would any of you know, in fact, that things that Pope Francisco suggests for Jews and Rabbi Ira suggest for Holy Land would not, in fact, be giving Land and people in the Land over to destruction – giving over to the devil? (Stating this would be a religious hate speech? I do not think so).

    Anyone that is dealing with civil-ecclesiastical issues also is entitled to criticism and corrections.

    Look and see, you all dealing with civil-ecclesiastical issues – that what in fact is not handled by a “physical person” – at all. What does that mean? I am sure that one does not understand or has answers to that. However, I am giving reference to some Faith Laws. Everyone is free to dismiss it – but to their own consequences – or consequences to the people in question.

    In fact, if anyone wills to discuss wickedness of Jews/Israel
    – You really can not do that legitimately without also discussing wickedness of Arabs as well as the wickedness of false-churches –
    And also wickedness of the civil society – all, in essence, civil-religion.

    However, it seems problematic to do so – and is problem labeled as illegal free-speech; meaning,
    Hate Speech? – to do just that is Way to Irrational.

    Ok, we can move on with or without insults.

    We all are adults, and if you cannot unconditionally love your hamster – you not worthy to discuss wellbeing of any other human. Human evil is the reality, and human grace is just as evil.

    What you need to achieve is a truth that is objective – but how you are going to do that?

    The Middle East is in a madness of civil religions. I do not see or believe that anything will change as long as there is no end of their actual hate speech? I do not think so.

    Who in their madness or right mind would waste energy to understand the hate speech, freedom of religions, versus freedom of faiths? and /or laws of religions versus Laws of Faiths.
    Poor Truth remains.

    I personally (by Faith) can only accept to believe in the dignity of a whole person (or nation) and condemnation of a whole person (or nation). What would be Under Grace of God? I do not know that anything would be if not in the Law of Spirit of God.

    If I said that a woman is a slut (as some folks do), I would also have to acknowledge that a slut is not born to be a slut- but that which is made to be.

    Imagine, to be made is a creative process! The creative process is interesting doctrine.

    If personally I would give reference to someone as a whore or a harlot, I would also Biblically (by Faith) mean so, without a doubt, and also, acknowledge that what only wicked man could have had allowed such creative process. With that, I could only acknowledge accurate interpretation within authentic context.

    With that, Poor Truth remains that authority of Faith remains – and that God chooses women to give them the truth when a man can’t?

    Look and see descendants of sold girls into harlotry are back, and you should say – we sold you into harlotry why are you back. And we (perhaps even the sluts) will say – just to give you a drink – and perhaps to be intoxicated with your vicious ways – would be just kidding like that!?

    Church of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is a just wonderfull and never do wrong – we have never had sinned against Jews or Arabs – but wicked of the “churches” did.

    Look, if something offends you – be glad that you are offended because you will perhaps reflect on the truth that is objective. And where can you find it? Right inside yourself – there will be your truth that is objective (but within the frame of your offended). So, go on and offend yourself – explain your condition (within your personal context). That is called self-help!

    All Faiths Preach and Teach purity and righteousness – I am just amazed (in the negative sense) that we can see nothing like that implemented anywhere.

    If I would say this: Go and do that which is righteous and go and do that what is pure – in this wicked world this would be as same as saying a religious joke. You know that this is not a truth that is objective to you personally – because you just can’t do that. But you can choose to do 100 other versions that look just like that – but are not sufficient.

    I read these blogs, and I laugh a lot.

    Still, I do hope that in this time (year) folk will move toward more rational ways. Remember only the whole person approach “not physical person” will give you sense of things that are rational and things that are not. Pick and chose between good and evil whenever you can.

    • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 5:30 am #

      Kata, sometimes I find your word structure hard to follow, but I would sum up what you are saying in this long post with these printed words:

      And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
      Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beer-sheba.
      And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

      Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
      And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

      But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.

      And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say to you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

      • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 5:53 am #

        What were/are the consequences spelled out in 1Samual1 to this very Day? Changing “the system” is a big task!

        According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto you.
        Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly to them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
        And Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people that asked of him a king.

        And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
        And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

        And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
        And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
        And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
        And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
        He will take the tenth of your sheep: and you shall be his servants.

        And you shall cry out in that day because of your king which you shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

        Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
        That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
        And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
        And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go every man unto his city.

  9. Kata Fisher January 2, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    Professor Falk, I have to tell you something:

    I have been thinking and I have to tell you that current difficulties in Holy Land should not be the reality of the near future. Can you write down why? I think and believe that you can but you personally will not.

    • rehmat1 January 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

      When was the last time you listened to Pope Francis? If you read His Holiness lips, I am sure you would found what a good Christian, who has a “Jewish soul” inside has to do: Support Israel’s occupation.

      In November 2015, during a meeting with the leaders of the ‘World Jewish Congress’ at the Vatican, Francis told them that state of Israel has every right to exist, and Jews are free to do whatever they want to do – and criticism of both is antisemitism.

      • Kata Fisher January 2, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

        Occupation of the Ecclesiastical Land? By what? By Illegitimate state (Israel) or by illegitimate Landmark and the state (Jordan) – created against Laws os Spirit and Laws of the Faits in the Ecclesiastical Land ? What was in force? Civil-religion. Stating this would be a satanic lie? I do not think so.

        I am sure that Rabbi Ira can give you full definition of each term – not that he is the illegitimate person (as a whole person) to deal with the issues in Ecclesiastical Land.

        Once again, Pope can give Jews over to the devil, and Jewish Rabbi can give Arabs over to the devil. Yes, in fact, they can do that. What I would suggest is this – do not be ignorant and arrogant when comes to the rights to the people of Faiths. Should the world continue in such ways?

  10. Free Palestine January 2, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    People of faith? Hmmm who are these? who decide who is/are the people of faith? Certainly no one can decide this, as faith is a sacred relation between a human being and the creator. Further, We all know that >95% of people living in the apartheid state of Israel are non-Jews, atheists, communists etc meaning they have no right, after receiving billions of unfair compensations, to come to Palestine, kill and steal the house and land of > 9,5 M Palestinians living now in exile. The Palestinians living inside isreal are a second degree citizens and have been discriminated against them by more than 60 laws by the same isreali state who forced them to accept the passport, the same happening with the Mizrahi, the Arabic real Jews and the last in the list are the black African Jews whom has been prosecuted, beaten to death assuming they were Palestinians! We all are aware that these tactics of Hasbara attacks are used mainly to continuously derail any discussions about Israel’s war crimes, land theft of historic Palestine and the continuous illegal Settlers (arson) violent attacks that caused and still causing the killing of many unarmed innocent Palestinians in their own houses specially baby’s, children and youth and being free to kill and not being prosecuted, protected by the isreali military forces and police. These hasbara tactics are used by many to distract the attention on the main purpose of Richard Falk’s blog. Just remember it ‘s is not about you, Harvey Epstein or any other persons whose job is to distract the public debate on isreal’s war crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since 1947 and even before! This is certainly not the place for your arrogance and false narratives to continue here. Further, If anybody who commented here is sincerely biblically faithful as they assume, then what happened with your humanity and “” love thy neighbour” , or is this is again a selective thing that you pick and choose who you defend, love and protect , is this the reason for the millions of donations for the apartheid state and travelling to the illegal settlements to help the criminal violent settlers with their crimes against your Palestinian Christians brothers and sisters! The moment you decide to visit isreal, join the Israeli army and shoot to kill Palestinians, you are a war criminal according to the Geneva convention and international criminal law and International Human rights law, just like the Nazi’s did with European Jews and gypsy’s and other Muslims like Noor Inayat Khan in WWII; watch enemy of the Reich; Muslim Woman Defies the Nazis In WW II Paris
    Add the name Noor Inayat Khan to the honour roll of women who fought against Nazi Germany.” BDS ( Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the most effective non-violent movement for ending this illegal apartheid system of isreal inside and outside historic Palestine , it’s good for both israëli’s and Palestinians, Europeans and the rest of the world. It worked in South Africa and every sensible person knows that it will work in solving the Palestinian – Isreali conflict, peacefully with no guns and military wars, enough wars and enough killing of innocent people on both sides. Richard, I would really appreciate it if you will not allow these trolling to water down the positon of your respectable blog, keep the focus as you did in the past. Good luck in 2016 and the coming years.

    • Aaron January 3, 2016 at 7:51 am #

      I can’t believe you would allow this vitriol and baseless lies to pass through and yet you block me.
      So much for your new standards for 2016!!

    • Harvey Epstein January 3, 2016 at 9:03 am #

      Free Palestine,

      I can only hope that your invective against me is now out of your system. If not, then with the permission of Prof Falk, I invite you to finish your onslaught so that I can get the full measure of your feelings. I do suggest to you that you are probably doing that which the Professor chooses not to have take place on his blog.

      I would appreciate your providing me with the source of the percentages you rely on. Since it appears to you that more than 95% of the folks living in Israel are not Jews, but atheists and communists, perhaps you are correct about the other things you set forth; but like your percentages, I have grave misgivings about relying on everything you say.

      As to any alleged effort on my part to ignore or gloss over any crimes you believe have been perpetrated by Israel, please note my prior comments: “Israel is NOT always right, nor is she ALWAYS wrong”. Is there something about that statement that you seem not to understand? Evidently so.

      Again, my criticism of what takes place in this blog is that it does not normally recognize that there is “another side” with the issue at hand.

      I sense that the invective used by you comes from one sided sources. A handbook perhaps? Might I suggest that you do a bit more reading on the history of Palestine before you judge who ‘owned the land’ at issue. Somehow, the Turks have been left out of the equation. Most folks forget that. Have fun with that one.

      One last comment: whether we diaspora Jews like it or not, “It Is Also About Us”. That is one of the things the Pope and others meant when discussing antisemitism. I don’t make it that way, the latent or patent
      anti-Semite does.

      Enjoy your further research

      • Richard Falk January 3, 2016 at 10:16 am #

        Despite the criticism of your views and approach, I regard the Free Palestine comment as sufficiently
        substantive in its main thrust as to pass through my filter. I would have preferred that personal attack
        had not been part of the response, but I do feel that those who seem exclusively motivated to comment so as
        to express their basically fundamental commitment to defend Israel, even when acknowledging that Israel too
        in the abstract makes mistakes, are not really interested in dialogue or see the struggle in ways that I find
        beyond the horizon of reasonableness. I felt the same unwillingness to engage with supporters of apartheid
        in the last decade or so of the South African racist regime, and there were those who sincerely defended apartheid
        despite the same kind of structural oppression that I feel the Palestinian have been enduring for decades while
        Israel goes on expanding settlements on occupied Palestine in defiance of international law and world public opinion.
        In effect, I agree there is ‘another side,’ but only once the structural factors taken into some account. If they are,
        then a useful conversation can take place as to how the rights and aspirations of both peoples can best be taken into
        account on the basis of true equality.

      • Gene Schulman January 3, 2016 at 11:24 am #

        Harvey, thank you for your suggestion to do a bit more reading. I have been doing just that, and would recommend to you the book I have been buried in today: “Inside Syria”, by Reese Erlich. It gives the back story of the civil war there. And much of that back story is about Israel’s role in it. Not only that, chapter two is devoted to the history of the founding of Israel, which is not a very uplifting story. I wonder if you know this book? When you finish it, I have others to recommend. My library has hundreds of such volumes, dedicated to the history of the Jews and Israel and the ME, both pro and con. Or, you might wish to read any of Richard’s own books, which are enlightening themselves. In spite of some of the illiterate scribblings that appear in the comments at this blog, I assure you that most of us do read, and know what we are talking about. As opposed to the hasbara blather that one finds in your writings and those of your cohorts.

        Re your statement about Israel being not always right, nor always wrong, I would challenge it. I have been following this history from its very beginnings – live! (Yes, I’m an old man.) And I can’t find one case where Israel has not been in the wrong, since it inception!!

      • Fred Skolnik January 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

        I’m almost laughing, Gene, but I’ll try to take you seriously. Of the “hundreds” of books you’ve read, pro and con, can you recommend 10 that are pro. I honestly haven’t read that many. What I usually read are works of history that are neither pro nor con but try to elucidate events factually. What exactly is a history of the Jews that is “con”? But by all means, do list 10 that are pro and which you’ve actually read, unless you’re faking it again.

      • Harvey Epstein January 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

        Hi Gene,

        This is for you, Free Palestine and all who feel Israel is without any right to even exist.

        A long winded response to a diaspora minded person will serve no useful purpose, but some suggested reading material might be in order (and you need not spend any money on new books): here you will find a description of Palestine and how Jews acquired and improved much of this barren land. As to the condition of the land, Sam Clemons made the following statement: It was the prince of lands where you did NOT want to live. The below sources demonstrate that more Jews came, improved it and more Arabs followed. Forgetting histrionics, both live in the area and no matter any claims to exclusivity, it needs to be partitioned if it can’t be shared. Muslims do live, as citizens, in Israel. The PA will not tolerate the existence of any Jew in their area. pop.htm. Have fun with these statics about no Jews being there before Zionism. It was not all Arab. It had a substantial Jewish, and yes Christian, population for the centuries before WWI (it was Turkish by government). for_palestine. For the anti-Hasbara folks, this site is uncomfortable, too. All of the West Bank was intended for the Jews.The Turks agreed. The Arab said no.

        Gene, you remind me of the Saudi king who, in 1943 (as I recall) said of the Jew: don’t they understand that they have been conquered by so many people, throughout history, that they are a subjugated nation, and should shut up about it!?! I wonder if the same should be said of Kurds, Armenians, Tibetans, etc.?

        For me, I don’t like the concept of being subjugated with no other place to go (unlike the PA, which basically chose to leave, has dozens of other Muslim lands to go to, and who can still occupy a part of Palestine as a separate, independent nation. It chooses not to do so because it wants it all).

        Diaspora mentality has not worked very well, witness Jewish History for the past 1900 years up to 1948. Unless you subscribe to the theory that we are safe only when disbursed, we can have both, you know.

        You see, Gene, the “other” side has valid arguments to assert, too. You appear to find that uncomfortable, and I am sorry. Please do not try to force your diaspora theology on me. I say that both can co-exist without so much hostility; just like I feel that Israel and the PA can co-exist if each recognizes that the other has rights to its own independence.

        Bye for now.

      • Fred Skolnik January 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

        Prof. Falk. the only structural factor to be taken into account is that Israel is the occupying power and the Palestinians are the occupied people. It does not follow from this that Israel is in the wrong and that the Palestinians are in the right, which is what you wish to make the starting point of any dialogue, just as it does not follow from the Allied Occupation of Germany that the Allies were in the wrong and Germany in the right. The West Bank was occupied because the Arabs started a war, specifically Jordan, in the case of the West Bank, by bombarding Jewish Jerusalem indiscriminately and without provocation on the night of June 5, 1967. Occupation entails separation by definition, between the occupying power and the occupied people, and two different systems of law – military law for the occupied people and civil law for nationals of the occupying power. The term apartheid was not coined to describe this situation, so I will say politely that you are artificially extending the meaning of the term so that you can apply it to Israel, as well as gratuously prefacing it with the term racist, which also does not apply to the Arab-Israel conflict, which is a national conflict, that is, a conflict between two nations who by their own definitions belong to the same race.

      • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

        Fred, your view of history is not the same as mine and why is that?

        The seeds of the ’67 6 Day war were planted by Israel on April 7 when it provoked an aerial dogfight with Syria over a demilitarized plot of land below the Golan, and shot down 6 Syrian MIG fighter jets.

        There is lots of information that the Israeli General command had already determined the combined Arab Armies were no match for Israeli forces and the April 7 dogfight proved the IDF supposition.

        It was Israel that started the military hostilities in the afternoon of June 5 with the preemptive strike on the Egyptian Air Force in a stand down position, destroying most of the Egyptian Air Force. With the Syrian MIGS also gone, Israel had air superiority.

        The fundamental reality is it was Israel that fired the 1st shot in the afternoon of June 5, and Jordan, allied with Egypt, retaliated with the attacks on Jerusalem later that Day after Israel started the hostilities.

        What you believe, “the Arabs started a war, specifically Jordan, in the case of the West Bank, by bombarding Jewish Jerusalem indiscriminately and without provocation on the night of June 5, 1967.” is not historically accurate.


      • Laurie Knightly January 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

        Ray: there is still a video of a speech I attended of Gen Matti Peled in SF, 1992, which validates your claim on ’67 wars. So does most any other account. It was very moving to have his son Miko here, after all these years, and hear him speak the truth as well. Yes, I know about Nurit’s tragedy and she too puts the blame where it belongs. Matti also told us how Israel would provoke the borders to justify a retaliatory attack. He stated that extending the borders increased vulnerability, not decreased, but did support a preemptive attack on Egypt.This man was all the sons that Walker described in the evolving of his one person. It took a delegation of police officers to guard the entrance in Sf where he was speaking. The significant group of retired colonels and generals in Israel to which he belonged were very candid on these issues. Matti’s father in law was one of the original signers of the Dec of Independence. The weight on this man as he grew increasingly aware of Zionism and his part in the injustice was a tragedy. He, at least, tried to make it right.

        I think the Free Palestine comments above might refer to the 6% of Jewish owned land in 1947. The rest was owned by the indigenous population under a very complicated Ottoman usufruct land system. I have about 100 pages just on the land transfers. The land is now controlled by the government and Jewish National Fund – also most unfair to the rightful owners.

      • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

        @ Harvey Epstein,

        The Zionists mantra is Palestine was almost barren until the Jews arrived and you echo that myth in your comment.

      • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

        Laurie, many people would not be interested in hearing what an Israeli General in the 1967 Six Day war has to say. Here is his 1992 speech.

      • Free Palestine January 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

        Some facts to mention here; 1.The Pope has, on repeated occasions, spoken of the plight of Christians fleeing the conflict-ridden Middle East caused mainly by the occupation of historic Palestine since 1948. 2. The continuous discrimination, exclusion and killing of all Palestinians living in Palestine is Anti-Semitism simply because Palestinians (Muslims, Christians, Druze etc.) are Semites, just like Mizrahi, the Arabic Jews. 3. We, Palestinians, do not need to do any research Harvey Epstein, because this is what happened to us by the Zionists criminals who came with guns and perpetrated massacres since 1948 and till today the latest the Duma village arson attack of a Palestinian family home in late July 2015, resulting in the loss of life of three of the family members; 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive in the fire, while both his parents died from their injuries within weeks. 3. The Zionist occupier israel, is never right and will never be right simply because these militant criminals, the Haganah, the Irgun and Stern gangs, were trained and came with weapons not with flowers and their goal was to ethnically clean the historic land of Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants; the Palestinians. That a whole population was uprooted and robbed of their land and property is an unprecedented catastrophe .This is a war crime and the ICC is the place to prosecute these criminals. 4. The right of return: of all Palestinians to their homes is a basic sacred right, has a solid legal basis neither the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the UN Partition Plan of 1947, nor Armistice Agreements of 1949, are binding on the Palestinians. They were not a party to them. None of these can grant them any new rights or deprive them of their basic rights. In recognition of the rights of the Palestinians, the United Nations adopted Resolution 194 on December 11, 1948. Paragraph 11 states: “(The General Assembly)… resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of, or damage to, property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.” This Resolution was affirmed practically every year since. It has a universal consensus. Exceptions are Israel and lately the U.S. Those who choose to return are also entitled to compensation for loss of and damage to their property whether gardens, houses, workshops, shops or personal belongings. Restitution of their land, homes and property (restoration to original owner) should be made. Thus, they have the Right of Return plus compensation. The liability for compensation extends to the governments or authorities responsible. These include the Provisional Government of Israel in 1948, the consecutive Governments of Israel, the Jewish Agency, the Haganah, the Irgun and Stern gangs, the Jewish National Fund and others in Israel and abroad. The Right of Return does not derive its validity merely from UN Resolutions. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right of every individual to leave and return to his country . The Right of Return to one’s home is so basic that it has been stated in Magna Carta (Ch. 42) in 1215. The Geneva Civilian Convention of 1949 prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers …regardless of motive. In the words of an authority on the subject, Mallison states that the advantage of effective prohibition is that it would make it unnecessary to exercise the right [of return”. The Principle of Self Determination guarantees, inter alia, the right of ownership and domicile in one’s own country. This principle was adopted by the UN in 1947. In 1969 and thereafter, it was explicitly applied to the Palestinian People, including the legality of the Peoples struggle for Self-Determination and Liberation, (GAOR 2535 (xxiv), 2628 (xxv), 2672 (xxv), 2792 (xxvi». Resolution 3236 adopted by UN on November 22, 1974 is one of the most fundamental actions taken by this international body to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted and calls for their return (para 2). It is a principle of international law that occupation does not confer sovereignty on the land, due to the inadmissibility of conquest. Neither occupation, nor sovereignty diminish the right of private ownership. When the Ottomans surrendered their sovereignty to the Allies in 1920, Palestinian ownership of their land was maintained. Private ownership was also respected by the mandate government. Thus, the land and property of the refugees, although now administered by Israel, remains their own, regardless of the applicable sovereignty and the passage of time, and they are entitled to return to it. So to all those who lost sight of the bigger picture, as long as the Zionist Israeli occupation exist, this mean that the Israeli’s are losing and the Zionist project is not what they expected 67 years ago. I am finding all this day-by-day, week-by-week, even month-by-month reporting and developments and news almost beyond the point, not that I’m not interested in still following it. But what is much more important is the larger picture, where all this is going in the long term, and I still think nowhere good. the near future (3-5 years) looks bleak. More of the same. Thousands more illegal non-Jewish settlers. More repression, More rebellion and stone throwing, more dead Palestinian teenagers. More crackdown. Obama has pulled out, kicked the can forward to Hillary (most likely). Eventually I still think the “State of Israel” will be lost, or morph into one multinational, multireligious state, as it should have been from the beginning, but at what great cost.

      • Fred Skolnik January 3, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

        Dear Ray

        I think I’ve already explained the origins of the war to you. Syria was bombarding Israeli settlements in Galilee before the dogfight. Look a little harder on the Internet for the sequence of events. Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran, which is an act of war. It also advanced six divisions (100,000 men) and 1,000 tanks through Sinai toward the Israeli border. Jordan had been threatening to destroy Israel in nonstop radio broadcasts, which I listened to in Jerusalem, for at least two months before its attack. The fact the Germany declared war against the United States after the United States went to war against Japan doesn’t exonerate Germany from aggression and responsibility.

        Laurie, if Miko Peled is your guru, you are in a sad state. Saying “most other accounts” is a falsehood, to say the least.

        The Arabs owned around 20% of the land prtivately. Over 70% was public land, Since over 50% of the land allotted to Israel in the partition plan consisted of the Negev, a desert, which no one owned, including the nomadic Bedouin who moved around in it, what you are saying is nonsensical.

      • ray032 January 4, 2016 at 8:12 am #

        Dear Fred,

        Welcome back with the Rabbi since when you both defected from the blog, you said you won’t be back.

        Yes, you have explained many times your version of what caused the war. You have yet to convince me of your version as I have yet to convince you of mine.

        As a man of Faith in the God of Abraham TODAY, I ascribe to this view, ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ so even though we have opposite points of view, only with civil, respectful discourse, as Professor Falk simply requests, can any possibility of bridging the gaps between our varied perspectives be possible.

        But again, you are mistaken in the Time Line leading to the ’67 War. Yes, Egypt did blockade the Straights of Tiran, and that is Act of War. But it happened in retaliation to Israel shooting down 6 Syrian MIGS on April 7, 3 months earlier.

        But now that you bring that up, this is what Abba Eban said after the 6 Day war: “Wars are not always begun by shots. They are often begun by action and the action which really created the state of war in an acute sense was the imposition of the blockade. To try to murder somebody by strangulation is just as much attempted murder as if you tried to murder him by a shot, and therefore the act of strangulation was the first violent, physical act which had its part in the sequence.”

        By that standard, the brutal 10 year total economic blockade of Gaza by Israel, is a continuous Act of War against the People of Gaza and for them to fight back is reasonable and justifiable.

        Israel needs the people and government in Gaza to be lean and mean to justify it’s growing Military-Industrial Complex to exceed the terrorism of the terrorists. The hypocrisy of it all is mind boggling!

        When Hamas and the PLO announced they intended to form a “Unity Government” last year, Netanyahu went ballistic. The last thing Israel wants is a United Front of Palestinians negotiating with an intransigent Zionist/Settler Israeli government. Something had to be done to nip that in the bud ASAP, and I’m sure Mossad and Shin Bet were involved in some way to scuttle that Unity Government before it got anywhere.

        It was interesting to learn Israel devised the mega data system, to know everything Palestinians were saying and texting to each other, and which Snowden revealed to the world the NSA adopted. and put in place.

        With that system already in place in Israel, there was no information or evidence Hamas in Gaza ordered or organized the kidnapping of the 3 teenagers in Hebron.

        In the Israeli settlement project, Hebron is one of the most sensitive areas of the occupation and in Operation Brother’s Keeper, before the Orwellian Operation Protective Edge, hundreds of Hamas supporters were rounded up, interrogated and tortured, and in concert with the ongoing 10 year Act of War the total Economic Blockade of Gaza is, Israel escalated the war, provoking a Hamas response leading to the murderous bombardment of the Civilians of Gaza. The rest is history, whose Time is running out.

      • Fred Skolnik January 4, 2016 at 8:43 am #

        Dear Ray

        You have recited this litany almost word for word in the past and I have pointed out where you are mistaken, so you can refer to my previous replies.

    • Kata Fisher January 3, 2016 at 9:09 am #

      “People of faith? Hmmm who are these?”

      You said

      a) “…who decide who is/are the people of faith?”
      b) “faith is a sacred relation between a human being and the creator”
      c) “95% of people living in the apartheid state of Israel are non-Jews, atheists, communists etc meaning they have no right”

      You said:

      a) “9,5 M Palestinians living now in exile”
      b) “The Palestinians living inside isreal are a second degree citizens and have been discriminated against them by more than 60 laws”
      c) “by the same isreali state who forced them to accept the passport”

      d) “the same happening with the Mizrahi, the Arabic real Jews and the last in the list are the black African Jews whom has been prosecuted, beaten to death assuming they were Palestinians!”

      And them you accuse me personally:

      a) “We all are aware that these tactics of Hasbara attacks are used mainly to continuously derail any discussions” about?
      b) “These hasbara tactics are used by many to distract the attention on the main purpose of Richard Falk’s blog.”

      Then you accuse colecticvly:

      “Harvey Epstein or any other persons whose job is to distract the public debate on isreal’s war crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since 1947 and even before!”
      “This is certainly not the place for your arrogance and false narratives to continue here.”

      Then you make rational note for Professor Falk:

      ” Richard, I would really appreciate it if you will not allow these trolling to water down the positon of your respectable blog, keep the focus as you did in the past. Good luck in 2016 and the coming years.”

      So much to the public debate.

      Its all about this: “they have no right” – or I will be wrong.

      Professor Falk – what do thise things mean?

      Also, Professor Falk – what are rights to the people who chose to imigrate or emigrate (in this point of time).

      Maybe, we should just forget about rights in Palastine and israel and focus what is legal to migtrating and emigrating people’s: “non-Jews, atheists, communists, etc. meaning they have no right”

      Profesor Falk, do you have time to reflect on thise things?

  11. Laurie Knightly January 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Regarding the topic here the following info is informational/useful. Search this tag:

    Flaming [internet] Wikipedia

    • Harvey Epstein January 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm #


      In response to your 6% of land being held by the Jews, I recommend that you review This is one of the reasons why I referred to land being controlled by the Turks and the barrenness of the land in the late 1800 s. There was a tremendous amount of mandate/ Ottoman land and just because the Arabs claimed it does not make it so. It seems that both sides did a bit of “squatting”, as well.


  12. Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 3, 2016 at 4:22 pm #


    Although I’m a trained theologian, I honestly don’t understand your theology. Perhaps it’s my lack of familiarity with Charismatic doctrinal writings and practices. If so, I apologize for my ignorance.

    Nevertheless, I have no idea whatsoever of what you mean by legitimate/illegitimate state and legitimate/illegitimate landmark. I’m afraid that you’ll need to supply those definitions by yourself.

    Nor would I, as a “Jewish Rabbi” give Arabs over to the devil. Nor would this Pope. I don’t believe that the devil exists. But even if it did, I would not consign any human being to its clutches.

    However, I do understand and fully embrace your dictum:”do not be ignorant and arrogant when comes to the rights to the people of Faiths.”


    I do understand you and resent being slandered, even by implication. You say that I have no superior knowledge of what’s in God’s mind. I agree. But your mentioning it suggests that I claim to possess that superiority.

    This apparently flows from the misconception that Israel’s claim to legitimacy is rooted in God’s giving Canaan to the Israelites, a canard repeated on this blog so often that it takes on the character of the Big Lie.
    The claim appears nowhere in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Nor any of its foundational documents. Nor any of its legal decisions and precedents. In fact, right up to the last moment, it was questionable that a prayer would be offered at the Declaration Ceremony on May 15, 1948. There was no opening prayer. But as the ceremony was concluding, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion put on a scull cap, and a rabbi recited a brief prayer thanking God for bringing them to that happy day.

    Zionism is a many faceted phenomenon. It does include people who believe they are doing God’s will by trying to extend Israel’s borders to the dimensions of biblical Israel. But they are a very small minority.

    It may be convenient to distill the highly complex Israeli-Palestinian controversy to a matter of alleged Jewish religious fanaticism. But it’s a false allegation…no matter how often Prof. Falk and his Faithful repeat it.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • ray032 January 3, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

      Happy New Year Rabbi! Glad to see you’re back.

      Maybe you have an opinion on my reply to Kata upstream citing Samuel? If anyone is competent to do that, you of all people should be.

      Having the benefit of retrospect, what the God of the Jews said through Samuel 3100 years ago would be the consequence of wanting men to rule over them instead of God, has come to pass with the system the kings of the earth have erected over all the people to this very Day.

      As a matter of reality in this MATERIAL world, I see the Revelation of this Scriptural insight reading the unfolding secular news media unfolding Day by Day:
      And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (false beliefs about God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam)

      For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth (The 1%, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs and other Idols of the People) and of the whole world, (the rest of us) to gather them to the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty. (the war already underway in this world between Judaism, Christianity and Islam not having arrived at that Great Final Day yet)

      Behold, I come as a thief. (when it is least expected)
      Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

      And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
      Revelation 16:13-16

      Armageddon was derived from Har Megiddo located in occupied Judea and Samaria in Palestine 2000 years ago. Israel as a Nation did not exist.

      Har Megiddo/Armageddon still exists as a physical place, but is now located in temporal Israel recreated from the Bible after an absence of some 2800 years.

      It should be at least a wonder to all thinking people how it came to be after 2000 years of Nations and Empires appearing and disappearing, Colonial wars and invasions, insurgents and resistance, the occupation of Judea and Samaria in Palestine is still this world’s most explosive issue?

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm #


        I thank you for seeking my reaction to your reply to Kata, but I try to refrain on passing judgment on someone else’s exegetical efforts. We come from different faith communities which follow different systems in interpreting Scripture. That I don’t agree with some of what you’ve written says only that Jews and Christians relate differently the Hebrew Bible. But we knew that already!

        I do want to remark on your view of the 1967 War. As with most wars, there are many versions of how things heated up. Your citing the Israeli-Syrian dogfight is not wrong, but its significance cannot be understood without reference to years of constant terrorist (Fedayin) attacks on Israel from across the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian borders; as well as Nasser’s frequent threat to “drive the Jews into the Sea.” But these cannot be understood without reference to the 1948 War, which wouldn’t have happened had the UN not voted to partition Palestine (1947),which would not have happened were it not for the League of Nations decision to create the British Mandate, which relates back to the Balfour Declaration of Sykes-Picot, etc….and back on throughout history. Any resort to the simplicity of saying that the origins of any war can be pinpointed at a specific moment in time are both wrong, and frequently self-serving as a vehicle to say “the other guy fired the first shot so he’s the bad dude while I’m the good dude.

        If you’re interested in two very different accounts of how the 1967 War started, try reading Michael Oren’s “Six Days of War” and Tom Segev’s “1967”. Both are by Jewish Israeli’s,but their perspectives are vastly disparate. To my knowledge, there is no comprehensive history of the war written by a Palestinian or non-Palestinian Arab. If Prof. Falk or anyone knows of one, I’d like to read it.

        Finally, I must take issue with your assessment that Palestine-Israel is the most explosive conflict in the world today. To the contrary, it’s a sea of calm when compared to what’s happening throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. One death by violence is one death too many on either side of the conflict, but compared to what ISIS does in a single morning as it goes around pillaging, raping and murdering innocents–what Prof. Falk sanitizes as being nothing more serious than a “harsh application of Shariah law”—the toll of dead and wounded is so minimal as to command no place on the agenda of Arab League summits, while Arab/Muslim nations expand their commercial and diplomatic relations with Israel. Increasingly, the Palestinians stand alone…except for small groups of college students in North America and Europe, members of academic associations, a relative handful of liberal Church leaders and leaders of the EU which enacted new labeling regulations that impact on a miniscule percentage of Israel’s economy.

        I take no joy in any of this. The Palestinian People deserve an independent state of their own. And Israel cannot truly know peace unless and until the Palestinians’ legitimate national aspirations bear fruit.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • ray032 January 4, 2016 at 6:34 am #

        Rabbi, since you make the claim, “I’m a trained theologian” I did not ask for your judgment on my use of Jewish Scripture as recorded in 1 Samuel 1, but your opinion?

        Like you, I find it very hard to grasp the ideas behind Kata’s word structure. but what I did grasp from her long post was her differentiation between religion and Faith, and that is what I see in the reference in 1 Samuel 1. I find your ‘no comment’ attitude somewhat disingenuous for a trained theologian.

        I agree in our different Faith Communities, we may have a different outlook and understanding of the same issue as this current discussion shows.

        Did the reality God described when the people wanted a king to rule over them instead of FAITH in God come to pass? I say it has, and is the current structure of power in this world.

        I think the majority of posters in this Blog can agree with you 100% on this, ” And Israel cannot truly know peace unless and until the Palestinians’ legitimate national aspirations bear fruit.’ Israeli actions preclude this possibility as far as I can see, and neither you or Fred have offered any convincing arguments to think otherwise.

        The announcement of 55,000 new settlement homes to be built in the occupied territories contrary to International Law will not be conducive to Peace, and will result in the vision cited in Revelation 16 coming to pass within a few years in the Time line I see developing in the Middle East.

        Propaganda still portrays what is happening in Syria as a “civil war,” even though war is the total abandonment of civility in every case. What is obvious to those with eyes wide open what is happening is WWIII/Armageddon in the development stage. There will be no safety for the armchair warriors.

        With the 1st recorded violent death of a human, god put a mark on Cain so no one would kill him or it would be 7 times worse. In the Genesis recording of the Great Flood, it happened because of the violence and corruption in man caused God to want to start over.

        Now we have Military-Industrial Complexes in many Nations, tiny, teeny Israel erecting it’s own growing M-I-C, whose raison d’etre is to devise even more ways to kill humans on an industrial scale, and the people think that’s just alright.

        Again, God warned in 1Samuel 8; “And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.”

    • Kata Fisher January 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm #


      I do not believe in the devil either because it is nothing that Church believes in.

      We (Church) do understand that it is a rebellion in a frozen existence. It is what Church reject in all its works by the Baptism in God’s Spirit – the Baptism in the Church.

      Jewish Rabbi should have nothing to do with it because it is not in your order and practices when comes to the actual ecclesiastical position.

      Some things to deal with are only appointed to the Church in Baptism in God’s Spirit – while you as a Jewish Rabbi absolutely have Spiritual Authority over it. I do believe this by Spirit.

      This is what I understand about Theology:

      Theology is not (it is not) “One Order with Council of Jerusalem.”

      Also, the authenticity of the New Testament Canon is in One Order with Council of Jerusalem, as well as Early Church Fathers writings – Church Charismatic. In context, Apologetics can be legitimately termed “One Order with Council of Jerusalem” (in the essence of the Church Order and Teaching Office of the Church). This also always means that prophetic anointing interprets the Scripture in the exactly same anointing and Spirit that was written down (same context).

      The same Church Charismatic interprets Charismatic Church writings according to the Authentic Church Order in the exactly same anointing and Spiritual gifts (same context).

      In essence, not even the churches contemporary understand the order that they practice or violate by false-practices.

      There is a false doctrine out there that Old Testament replacement took place. Apostles never claimed to have an “A New Scripture.”

      This is why I as a Roman- Catholic understand that Canon Law is the Law of the Spirit / Church Law according to the Gospel aiding Church Order and Teaching Office of the Church (in interpretation).

      There is so much confusion that hardly anyone in not deceived in some way. This is because of the Abuse of the Church Order and grave sins against Apostolic Church Order.
      Anything that is discussed by Church Charismatic can be extremely difficult to understand.


      You write:
      “Zionism is a many faceted phenomenon. It does include people who believe they are doing God’s will by trying to extend Israel’s borders to the dimensions of biblical Israel. But they are a very small minority.”
      Who are these people that are the small minority?

      Why are they saying that? I know that things with landmarks of Holy Land and in Holy Land can be changed or taken outside of given order – as given. It will entail as annulling or breaking the commandments of the Law. It can be allowed, however. After that, consequences to those who were unyielding to the given order. This also means sword and blood, and this can not be allowed any longer.

      Avoiding consequences of evil in the wisdom of Magi is relevant.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 3, 2016 at 10:09 pm #


        Thanks for the explanation, but I’m afraid that I have so little knowledge of the material you mention that your message still eludes me. I regret that/

        You ask who are the people who believe that the biblical formulation of Israel’s borders more than 3000 years ago should determine the dimensions of the modern State of Israel, and why do they believe it?

        In a nutshell, they constitute a small percentage of ultra-Orthodox Jews who, themselves, constitute a small percentage of Jews in Israel and throughout the world. They continue to believe that every word in the Jewish bible is literally true and binding, while the overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel and everywhere rely on modifying interpretations by rabbis and other scholars over the millennia.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Kata Fisher January 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm #


        I have been thinking on this.

        It is possible that social order and justice will not and can not return to the Holy Land as long as things of Landmarks within the Land and approximate bordering of the Land is legitimately resolved. Regardless what civil order does.

        I believe that there is a specific pattern of happenings in the Scripture that manifest just that.

        In the contemporary conditions that are full of troubles, would it be Biblically Lawful that social order, social justice is pursued by Faith communities only, while civil-ecclesiastical abuses are resolved by the Civil order, due to the crimes – but that which is bound to the valid interpretation and application of international law. There has to be a Civil-ecclesiastical overlap that is authentic and in a valid Spiritual Authority to get it resolved.

  13. Free Palestine January 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    Some facts to mention here; 1.The Pope has, on repeated occasions, spoken of the plight of Christians fleeing the conflict-ridden Middle East caused mainly by the occupation of historic Palestine since 1948. 2. The continuous discrimination, exclusion and killing of all Palestinians living in Palestine is Anti-Semitism simply because Palestinians (Muslims, Christians, Druze etc.) are Semites, just like Mizrahi, the Arabic Jews. 3. We, Palestinians, do not need to do any research Harvey Epstein, because this is what happened to us by the Zionists criminals who came with guns and perpetrated massacres since 1948 and till today the latest the Duma village arson attack of a Palestinian family home in late July 2015, resulting in the loss of life of three of the family members; 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive in the fire, while both his parents died from their injuries within weeks. 3. The Zionist occupier israel, is never right and will never be right simply because these militant criminals, the Haganah, the Irgun and Stern gangs, were trained and came with weapons not with flowers and their goal was to ethnically clean the historic land of Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants; the Palestinians. That a whole population was uprooted and robbed of their land and property is an unprecedented catastrophe .This is a war crime and the ICC is the place to prosecute these criminals. 4. The right of return: of all Palestinians to their homes is a basic sacred right, has a solid legal basis neither the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the UN Partition Plan of 1947, nor Armistice Agreements of 1949, are binding on the Palestinians. They were not a party to them. None of these can grant them any new rights or deprive them of their basic rights. In recognition of the rights of the Palestinians, the United Nations adopted Resolution 194 on December 11, 1948. Paragraph 11 states: “(The General Assembly)… resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of, or damage to, property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.” This Resolution was affirmed practically every year since. It has a universal consensus. Exceptions are Israel and lately the U.S. Those who choose to return are also entitled to compensation for loss of and damage to their property whether gardens, houses, workshops, shops or personal belongings. Restitution of their land, homes and property (restoration to original owner) should be made. Thus, they have the Right of Return plus compensation. The liability for compensation extends to the governments or authorities responsible. These include the Provisional Government of Israel in 1948, the consecutive Governments of Israel, the Jewish Agency, the Haganah, the Irgun and Stern gangs, the Jewish National Fund and others in Israel and abroad. The Right of Return does not derive its validity merely from UN Resolutions. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right of every individual to leave and return to his country . The Right of Return to one’s home is so basic that it has been stated in Magna Carta (Ch. 42) in 1215. The Geneva Civilian Convention of 1949 prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers …regardless of motive. In the words of an authority on the subject, Mallison states that the advantage of effective prohibition is that it would make it unnecessary to exercise the right [of return”. The Principle of Self Determination guarantees, inter alia, the right of ownership and domicile in one’s own country. This principle was adopted by the UN in 1947. In 1969 and thereafter, it was explicitly applied to the Palestinian People, including the legality of the Peoples struggle for Self-Determination and Liberation, (GAOR 2535 (xxiv), 2628 (xxv), 2672 (xxv), 2792 (xxvi». Resolution 3236 adopted by UN on November 22, 1974 is one of the most fundamental actions taken by this international body to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted and calls for their return (para 2). It is a principle of international law that occupation does not confer sovereignty on the land, due to the inadmissibility of conquest. Neither occupation, nor sovereignty diminish the right of private ownership. When the Ottomans surrendered their sovereignty to the Allies in 1920, Palestinian ownership of their land was maintained. Private ownership was also respected by the mandate government. Thus, the land and property of the refugees, although now administered by Israel, remains their own, regardless of the applicable sovereignty and the passage of time, and they are entitled to return to it. So to all those who lost sight of the bigger picture, as long as the Zionist Israeli occupation exist, this mean that the Israeli’s are losing and the Zionist project is not what they expected 67 years ago. I am finding all this day-by-day, week-by-week, even month-by-month reporting and developments and news almost beyond the point, not that I’m not interested in still following it. But what is much more important is the larger picture, where all this is going in the long term, and I still think nowhere good. the near future (3-5 years) looks bleak. More of the same. Thousands more illegal non-Jewish settlers. More repression. More rebellion and stone throwing. more dead Palestinian teenagers. More crackdown. Obama has pulled out, kicked the can forward to Hillary (most likely). Eventually I still think the “State of Israel” will be lost, or morph into one multinational, multireligious state, as it should have been from the beginning, but at what great cost.

    • Fred Skolnik January 4, 2016 at 12:25 am #

      There is no legal or historical precedent for the “return” of descendants of refugees born outside a country of origin. (Of the original Arab refugees, 30-40,000 remain.) In the case of the Arab refugees there is no moral justification either, given the fact that an equal number of Jews was displaced from Arab countries in the war period, losing everything they owned. The result was a de facto exchange of populations not unlike the exchange of populations between India and Pakistan in their war. All of this is unfortunate and the Palestinians have certainly been victimized by their Arab brethren, who locked them into refugee camps like animals for their own political purposes. It is time for you to wake up and begin building real lives, which you will only have when you renounce violence and learn to live in peace with Israel.

      The Arabs are not indigenous to the Land of Israel and the Land of Israel is not their ancient homeland. It is perhaps their medieval homeland. The Arabs come from Arabia. The Jews come from Judea.

  14. Gene Schulman January 4, 2016 at 2:00 am #

    I’m glad you brought up thr subject of return, Fred. I just happened to receive today an email from Jeremy Hammond who is completing a new book called “Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict”. He adds a new section to his 2nd chapter of the book which discusses just that. It is long, perhaps too long to hold your attention, but actually not more so than some of the tomes you, Ira and Harvey have contributed to this blog in the past few days. But do give it a try.

    Resolution 194
    On November 29, 1948, Israel formally requested membership in the UN, declaring that it “unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honor them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations.”[i]

    The Arab states naturally objected to the request. Syria expressed its view that “the application did not merit consideration” and drafted a General Assembly resolution requesting the ICJ to issue a legal opinion about Israel’s contention that it had authority under Resolution 181 “to partition Palestine for the creation of a Jewish sovereign State, against the wishes of the majority of the Palestine population”.[ii]

    Two days after Israel submitted its membership request, its representative at the UN, Moshe Shertok, effectively declared to the General Assembly that Israel intended to annex Jerusalem by rejecting any notion of withdrawal and describing Israel’s control over the city as a fait accompli. He likewise dismissed any notion that expelled Palestinians should be allowed to return to their homes, asserting that the “final solution” for the refugee problem “could be worked out only after the peace settlement had been concluded”.

    Also invited to speak was Henry Cattan, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee. Cattan said that the Arabs “were not prepared to consider any solution which was based on the partition of Palestine”, and he “could not concede the right of the so-called Government of Israel to represent any part of Palestine. Palestine belonged to its inhabitants and to those who owned the land, but the Jews owned only 7 percent of the territory and did not represent the majority of the population even in the area which they controlled.” Nor could he agree that the UN “could admit to membership the Government of a State which had come into being through the expulsion of the majority of the rightful inhabitants of the territory it claimed and which had a terrible record of atrocity and pillage.” Israel’s admission to the UN, he foresaw, “would destroy all hope of establishing normal peaceful conditions in the Middle East.”

    Israel’s membership was “premature”, said the Syrian delegate, unjustified by the UN Charter and international law. How could Israel be considered eligible for admission, he inquired, when its borders had yet to be legally defined? Furthermore, its actions had shown “that it was not a peace-loving State”.

    The Lebanese delegate warned that admitting Israel as a member to the UN would have “dire consequences” and “would come as a bombshell to the 50 million Arabs of the Middle East.” Theodor Herzl, he recalled, “had said that if a Jewish State was created in Palestine, it would constitute a bulwark of European civilization against barbarism. If the civilization which the Jews wished to protect was epitomized by the regime which they had set up in Palestine with all its atrocities, then the Arabs of the Middle East, together with all the other countries of Asia, would almost certainly prefer barbarism.”

    The representative from Iraq perceived that the proposal to admit Israel while the question of borders was still under discussion “was an attempt to prejudge the issue”. He inquired of his fellow delegates, “Would it not be more correct to ask the people of Palestine, who were directly concerned, whether the Jewish State was acceptable to them before proposing such action?”

    As far as many UN members were concerned, however, the answer to his question had already been provided in the form of UNSCOP’s explicit rejection of the right of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine to self-determination. Following the discussion, the Assembly took a vote on Syria’s proposal to obtain an advisory opinion from the ICJ. It was rejected by a vote of twenty to twenty, with eight abstentions.[iii]

    The Western prejudice against the Palestinian Arabs was similarly illustrated two months earlier in a report of the UN Mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte. “The Jewish State was not born in peace as was hoped for” in Resolution 181, the report stated, “but rather, like many another State in history, in violence and bloodshed.” The partition of Palestine was now a fait accompli, Bernadotte wrote, notwithstanding the fact that “this was accomplished by a procedure quite contrary to that envisaged for the purpose in the resolution.” The UN’s appointed “mediator” made no effort to hide his admiration for the Zionist leadership for their accomplishment of having established their “Jewish State” by force and ethnic cleansing. “In establishing their State within a semi-circle of gunfire,” he lauded, “the Jews have given convincing demonstration of their skill and tenacity.”

    Bernadotte urged the international community “to be more understanding of the Arab viewpoint” and explained that the Arabs had “consistently advocated” the solution of a single independent state of Palestine “with full rights and guarantees for the Jewish minority”. Then he immediately dismissed this solution as “unrealistic”, declaring that “the cantonal and federal state schemes have no practical merit which would make them worthy of consideration.”

    He observed that the means by which Israel was established had brought the “new and difficult element” of hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees into the “Palestine problem”. He pronounced that “the right of the refugees to return to their homes if they so desire must be safeguarded”. Then he immediately dismissed the practicability of them ever doing so. “It is futile to assume that the Jewish community could undergo a rapid change of heart”, he needlessly stated. There was “no possibility whatsoever of persuading or inducing the Jews to give up their present separate cultural and political existence and accept merging into a unitary Palestine in which they would be a permanent minority.” The false choice he presented to the Assembly was to either legitimize the Zionists’ territorial gains and ethnic cleansing or “to wipe out the Jewish State and its Provision Government by force.”[iv]

    Bernadotte signed his report to the General Assembly on September 16, 1948. The following day, he was murdered in Jerusalem along with UN Observer Colonel André Serot. The perpetrators of his assassination were Jewish terrorists from the Zionist group Lehi, otherwise known as the Stern Gang. One of the leaders of Lehi at the time was Yitzhak Yezernitsky, who later became known as Yitzhak Shamir, Prime Minister of Israel.[v]

    In accordance with Bernadotte’s recommendation, the General Assembly paid lip service to the internationally recognized right of refugees to return to their homeland. On December 11, 1948, the Assembly passed Resolution 194, which resolved “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible….” The resolution also established a Conciliation Commission for Palestine to take over the work of the assassinated UN Mediator.[vi] The US joined the 59 percent majority of countries that voted in favor of the resolution.[vii]

    Also in accordance with Bernadotte’s recommendations, the Assembly proceeded to summarily dismiss the views and legitimate concerns of the Arabs and to prejudice the rights of the Palestinian refugees. Syria again submitted a draft resolution, this time in the Security Council, questioning the legitimacy of the “creation of a Jewish sovereign state” in Palestine “against the wishes of the majority of its population” and deciding “to request an advisory legal opinion of the International Court of Justice” about whether General Assembly Resolution 181 conferred any legal authority for the establishment of the state of Israel “without consulting the lawful inhabitants of the country in securing their consent”.[viii] The resolution failed, with only Belgium joining Syria in favor, and the nine other voting members, including the US, abstaining.[ix]

    Also failing to pass were draft resolutions from the UK and France deciding to postpone consideration of Israel’s membership in the UN until the Conciliation Commission had completed its work. The US, which favored admitting Israel as a member, abstained from both votes. The UK’s Sir Alexander Cadogan presciently noted that the US representative had “expressed the belief that the admission of Israel to the United Nations would facilitate the negotiations which are to take place on the subject of the ultimate fate of Palestine. He did not give any particular reasons for that, and I beg to doubt whether, in fact, that would be the effect. I am rather inclined to the belief, or the fear, that negotiations might be found to be rather more difficult if Israel were at this moment admitted to the United Nations.”[x] History, needless to say, proved the UK representative’s view to be the correct one.

    Cadogan also expressed his government’s view that it was “necessary for the Council to assure itself that the authorities were complying with resolution 194”, as well as the Security Council’s own various resolutions. He noted that other states’ applications for membership had long been held up and opined that “it seems extremely rash of the Security Council to take a decision for the admission of Israel at this stage. I cannot quite understand the reason for this very great haste with which we are invited to vote for this admission.”[xi]

    Sir Cadogan was presumably feigning naiveté for diplomatic purposes, as the reason was perfectly self-evident: admitting Israel would prejudice the rights of the Palestinians and cement Israel’s territorial gains illegitimately acquired through the use of force. That was the transparent goal as far as the Provisional Government of Israel was concerned. Numerous UN members, including the US, contented themselves—for varying reasons relating to their own prejudices, perceived self-interests, and geostrategic considerations—to go along with the plan to disenfranchise the Palestinians.[xii]

    In the months that followed, Israel continued to reject the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. Speaking to the Assembly on February 7, 1949, Moshe Shertok was adamant in reiterating Israel’s position that the subject of Arab refugees must be excluded from any discussions on a peace agreement. The refugees should forget about returning to their homes, he suggested, and just resettle elsewhere.[xiii] The Chairman of the Conciliation Commission, Claude de Boisanger of France, adopted the Zionists’ position, urging a solution requiring the refugees to give up the hope of ever returning home. He favored a solution that could be “worked out practically and not by adhering to rigid law and principle.”[xiv]

    In a meeting with the Conciliation Commission on February 24, 1949, Shertok again rejected outright that refugees had a right “to return to their homes if they wished to do so”.[xv] The Commission proceeded to draw up an outline of the practical considerations related to any possible return of refugees to their homes. It stated that “Jewish intransigence” on the question of refugees was “likely” due to “their unwillingness to relinquish the land that belonged to the refugees”; it expressed the fear “that the land of the returning refugees will be expropriated by the Israeli Government whenever this becomes necessary to their plans”.[xvi]

    Israel also passed measures to extend its civil jurisdiction to Jerusalem, a move the Conciliation Commission deemed “extremely regrettable, and indeed contrary to the spirit, if not the letter” of Resolution 194 and the duty of parties concerned “to abstain from undertaking any action tending to alter the status quo of the City.”[xvii] The Commission nevertheless took the view that any solution to the problem must be “mutually acceptable” to the interested parties—which is to say that it adopted a position that Israel’s goals must be accommodated regardless of being contrary to international law and its obligations under the Charter as an applicant to UN membership, as well as being prejudicial to the equal rights of the Palestinians.[xviii]

    On the right of return, a subsequent report of the Conciliation Commission noted that during its meetings with Arab governments between March 21 and April 5, 1949, “The Arab delegations pointed out that, up to the present, the Government of Israel not only had not accepted that principle but had endeavored to create a de facto situation which would render the practical application of the principle more difficult or even impossible.” The Commission “had no difficulty in recognizing the truth of the Arab contention” that Israel intended to disallow refugees from returning. Indeed, their fears in this regard were “well founded”. Despite visiting several refugee camps and seeing for themselves “the deplorable material and moral situation of the refugees”, the Commission maintained the view that Israel should effectively be allowed a veto power over any proposed solutions to the refugee problem, as well as over the question of territorial boundaries.[xix]

    On March 4, 1949, the US submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council judging that “Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter” and recommending that the General Assembly admit Israel as a member to the UN.

    Illustrative of the attitude of the resolution’s supporters, Norway’s representative expressed doubts about whether Israel’s membership was justified, particularly given its lack of legally defined borders, but said that he would nevertheless vote in favor on the blind hope that Israel would fulfill its Charter obligations. The Soviet representative more enthusiastically supported Israel’s admission, countering with the false claim that Israel’s borders were legally defined by Resolution 181 and declaring despite all evidence to the contrary that Israel was already “loyally complying with its obligations to the United Nations”. He then provided insight into how he managed to arrive at this conclusion by proclaiming that the questions of Jerusalem and the Arab refugees could not be linked to the question of Israel’s membership.

    The UK was alone in sitting on the fence. Sir Terence Shone expressed that his government was “disturbed at statements which have been made by responsible Israeli representatives, which suggest that the Israeli Government does not intend to pay attention to certain United Nations resolutions.” He referred to the status of Jerusalem, as well as the plight of the refugees, who were “still dying in hundreds” and were “likely to continue to do so until some further decisive action can be taken to help them.” Israel had a responsibility in this regard, he continued, and until Israel “clarified” its position, the UK could not take a definite stand on the question of its admission. “We hope that the Israeli Government will be able to make clear that it intends to abide by United Nations resolutions and does not intend to flout them, as utterances which bear the stamp of responsible statements suggest may be the case.”

    Egypt’s representative, Mahmoud Fawzi Bey, was the lone voice determined to uphold the principles of the Charter and international law. In his plea to the Council, he quoted a news report filed from Tel Aviv the previous month that stated, “It is obvious that most of the displaced Arabs cannot return, because their homes and in some cases even their villages, no longer exist.” UN observers had also reported “that demolition of the homes of the displaced Arabs has been carried out systematically, with the intention and premeditation, so that those Arabs, once having left their homes, cannot return.” He chastised Council members for their willingness to have the UN act as accomplice in the injustices perpetrated against the Arabs of Palestine: “Yes, chase away the Arabs, demolish their old homes, build new ones, take their lands and settle there, and make the conquest complete. Make it an all-around fait accompli. This is legal currency in the eyes of some people—the fait accompli. It is legal tender, accepted, unfortunately so often, in recent months.” He urged the Council not to act “against the principles of justice, against the principle of self-determination for the people, and against the precepts of human rights, which the United Nations, only a short while ago, approved.”

    His eloquent pleas fell on deaf ears. With Egypt casting the only negative vote, the resolution was adopted with nine in favor (the UK abstained).[xx] The text of the resolution was transmitted to the General Assembly three days later in a letter from the provisional government of Israel.[xxi]

    In the Assembly debate on May 5, Charles Malik reiterated Lebanon’s opposition to Israel’s UN membership. Surely, the UN General Assembly, by adopting Resolution 181, had “not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens…. Surely the Jews, who claimed that they had always been an uprooted people whose homelessness had driven them to fight for their ancient home, could not in all justice and conscience seek to remedy that uprooting by inflicting it upon others.” Given Israel’s rejection of the right of refugees to be repatriated, to admit Israel would effectively reward it for defying the will of the UN. It “would be tantamount to a virtual condemnation of one million Arabs to permanent exile” and would ensure “the perpetuation of the homelessness of the Arab refugees.” Additionally, to admit Israel before the question of borders and the status of Jerusalem had been legally settled “was equivalent to giving it a blank cheque to draw its frontiers wherever it wished. In effect, it meant condoning, by a solemn act of the United Nations, the right of conquest.” He could not understand the attitude of favoring Israel’s request “in the hope that it would ultimately abide by the Assembly’s earlier decisions, in view of the fact that Israel had demonstrated in advance its unwillingness to abide by those decisions.”

    Taking his turn, the Israeli representative then reiterated his government’s position precisely as Malik had just outlined: Israel’s control over Jerusalem was a fait accompli, and its government would not accept any responsibility for the plight of Arab refugees apart from accepting an obligation “to make compensation for abandoned lands.” They would not be allowed to return.[xxii]

    In subsequent debates, the Arab states reiterated the concerns about Israel’s attitude towards the Arab refugees and the lack of legally recognized borders. The idea of a “Jewish state” itself was contrary to the spirit of the UN Charter, Yemen’s representative noted on May 7. “The theory of national homogeneity”, he said, “could not be supported by the United Nations.”[xxiii]

    But the states supporting Israel’s membership could not be reasoned with and continued to content themselves in willful ignorance of the actual situation. On May 9, for example, Norway’s representative expressed his government’s attitude that it was enough to favor Israel’s membership “on the assumption” that Israel “would do its utmost to arrive at a solution” to the refugee problem. Colombia remained unsatisfied with Israel’s attitude towards the refugees and supported their right to return. It rejected the notion that a state could unilaterally establish its own borders through the use of force. Yet it favored admitting Israel nevertheless. Denmark took a slightly different view, arguing bizarrely that, to gain membership, Israel was not required to respect the right of Arab refugees to return to their homes in accordance with the principle of customary international law and UN Resolution 194.

    The UK alone dissented from the views of non-Arab member states. Sir Terence Shone agreed with the Arabs that it was indeed “desirable to examine the applicant’s qualification in the light of its record, particularly in connection with its willingness to comply with any existing relevant resolutions of the United Nations.” Israel’s intentions “did not appear to be entirely in accordance with” UN resolutions, he understatedly observed. “It would be deplorable”, he further stated, “if the plight of the refugees were used as a bargaining factor” in negotiations over a formal peace settlement.[xxiv]

    The final debate on the matter occurred on May 11. Warren Austin expressed the US government’s equal disregard for Israel’s actual deeds and contrary declarations; it was enough that “Israel had solemnly pledged its word to carry out the obligations of the Charter”. The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, and Iceland all expressed their like view. Israel could be “trusted” to honor its responsibilities and obligations (Canada), and there was “no doubt” that it would do so (Iceland). Bolivia proclaimed that Israel had “fulfilled the conditions” required for membership under Article 4 of the UN Charter. Peru argued that once Israel was admitted, “it would be under greater moral obligation” to accept the will of the UN. Guatemala adopted the US’s puzzling argument that admitting Israel “would contribute greatly to the solution”. France and Uruguay expressed their support, the latter by invoking the Holocaust and expressing the belief that the problems of persecution, refugees, and racial discrimination “would disappear” with international acceptance of the state of Israel—a statement obviously intended to apply to the Jews, but not the Arabs, who were evidently regarded as something less than human by Western policymakers. With no less hypocrisy, Ecuador lectured the Arab states that they “would benefit from the admission of Israel” and could adopt “the democratic spirit” by accepting the Assembly’s inevitable decision to grant Israel’s request—the “democratic spirit” again being inapplicable to the Arabs, whose equal right to self-determination had already been summarily dismissed. The Cuban government also invoked the Holocaust and adopted the Soviet Union’s position that the question of Israel’s admission “was completely divorced” from the matters of Jerusalem, borders, and Arab refugees. It was “inappropriate”, in Cuba’s view, to consider these issues when addressing the question of whether to admit Israel. By means of so willfully ignoring the Israeli government’s actual deeds and candid declarations of intent, Cuba could declare that Israel was “proving its love of peace” and its willingness to fulfill its obligations as a Charter member.

    The Arab states pleaded with the other members of the Assembly to consider their own obligations under the UN Charter. The Iraqi delegate had to remind members once more that, having only recently adopted the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they “should be mindful of the plight of three-quarters of a million human beings.”

    The Syrian representative lamented that “never before in history had the forcible invasion of a country and the expulsion of its original inhabitants been welcomed by countries professing their attachment to justice and peace. It would not be a happy omen for the United Nations if it were to reward aggression by approval and admit to membership a Government which had not only disregarded the wishes of the United Nations, but had also indicated its intention to continue to do so.”

    Charles Malik excoriated the UN for its “perpetual meetings for the purpose not of bringing reality into conformity with the will of the United Nations, but of revising and transforming that will in order to adapt it to the independently developing reality. Thus, the United Nations could only stand by helplessly and take note of events; it remained powerless to determine them.” He noted further that the International Refugee Organization, established by the UN in 1946 in light of the refugee crisis created by World War II, “was spending millions of dollars on the resettlement of Jews in Palestine. By that very act, it was contributing to the unsettling of as many Arabs outside Palestine.”

    The Yemen delegate similarly noted that admitting Israel would prejudice the rights of displaced Arabs and equate to “the sanctioning of aggression and injustice”.

    Sheikh Ahmed Jabbar, the representative of Saudi Arabia, noted that the same powers that had pushed for the adoption of UNSCOP’s partition plan—which had explicitly rejected the rights of the majority of its inhabitants—was now pressing for the admission of a state “artificially created through terrorism and aggression. There was no limit to prejudice when certain great Powers found it expedient to adopt a policy regardless of whether or not it was in conformity with the principles of the Charter.”

    Following the futile debate, by a vote of thirty-seven in favor, twelve against, and nine abstentions (including the UK), the General Assembly admitted Israel as a member of the United Nations on the grounds that it was “a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations”.[xxv]

    Article 4 of the UN Charter states that “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”[xxvi] As the ICJ has pointed out, this establishes five requisite conditions for UN membership: “an applicant must (1) be a State; (2) be peace-loving; (3) accept the obligations of the Charter; (4) be able to carry out these obligations; and (5) be willing to do so.”[xxvii]

    The attributes of statehood defined under the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States include having “a defined territory”.[xxviii] As the unilaterally-declared state of Israel had no legally defined territory, it did not meet the first requirement under Article 4 for UN membership. As the territory within the de facto boundaries of Israel was acquired through the use of force in contravention of international law and the UN Charter, including by ethnically cleansing Palestine of most of its Arab population, Israel patently did not meet the second requirement for membership. As the Israeli leadership repeatedly proclaimed their intent to annex territory acquired by force, including Jerusalem, and rejected the internationally recognized right of refugees to return, it patently did not meet the fifth requirement for membership, rendering the third and fourth requirements moot.

    That is to say, the adoption on May 11, 1949, of UN General Assembly Resolution 273 (III), the US-sponsored resolution that admitted Israel as a UN member, was a violation of the very Charter under which the Assembly was purporting to operate and is thus illegal, null and void.

    • Gene Schulman January 4, 2016 at 2:18 am #

      PS – I have already written a review of the 1st chapter of this book, which can be found on Jeremy’s web site. I expect to review the completed book when it is finally published.

    • Fred Skolnik January 4, 2016 at 2:19 am #

      All these tortured and half-baked arguments intended to delegitimize the State of Israel will not get the Palestinians anywhere. Israel exists de facto and de jure and they had better get used to it. As for the origins of the 1948 war and the Arab attack, I have addressed this more than once but here again is what Azzam Pasha, the Arab League Secretary-General, had to say in September 1947, before there was a single refugee:

      “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

      I’m still waiting for those 10 pro-Israel books. Or are you faking it after all?

      • Gene Schulman January 4, 2016 at 5:00 am #

        Just off the top of my head.

        A Child of the Century, Ben Hecht

        Exodus, Leon Uris

        Any book by Abe Foxman

        Any book by Abba Eban, Golda Meir, et al.

        Any book by Alan Dershowitz (The Case for Moral Clarity: How dare he, pervert that he is?)

        Encyclopedia of Anti-Semitism, by Robert Wistert. 1000 pages of pure hasbara and lies.

        Several books by Amos Oz

        Two books by David Grossman Both Oz and Grossman are fine novelists, but with rather twisted Zionist ideologies.

        And the most egregious, My Promised Land by Ari Shavit. He agrees with necessity of Israeli crimes, but apologies for, and justifies them by saying “without them my daughter wouldn’t have born in Israel.” What a tragedy that would have been.

        I could go on, but have nothing to prove to you.

      • Fred Skolnik January 4, 2016 at 5:11 am #

        Well, I am familiar with these writers of “any book by” and have failed to discover any lies and perversions in what they say. If you have found any, just a single one, please enlighten us. It should be easy for you, “off the top of your head.”

      • Gene Schulman January 4, 2016 at 5:39 am #

        Wouldn’t do any good to cite their “lies and perversions” because they are the same as yours. I’m bored with you, Fred.

      • Fred Skolnik January 4, 2016 at 5:41 am #

        So you are faking it after all.

  15. Carlos January 4, 2016 at 2:56 am #

    Dear Richard. I am exceedingly sorry that your excellent blog has been subsumed under a morass of shouting voices all intent on being the loudest. The phrase ‘herding cats’ comes to mind. I may return when it is quieter. Who knows?

    • Kata Fisher January 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      I tried to be the expert in witchcraft – but did not work out for me. That does not mean that I was allowed just to zoom trough my study. A teacher made me read every page of the book. It was mind-abusing. But I was not qualified to abuse a mind…

      Civil-ecclesiastical abuses are a worse then pit and hat, and worse then hoop and loop. Unless, you are the ecclesiastical person on that job, and of course while at the study of that witchcraft.

      To combat the hamster smell, only sand will be sufficient – and noting else! Free humans do whatever they wish or want. Adios!

      “Good Spirit always sails – lead you to safety…” (as a Friend of mine just wrote down for me) – what a timing.

    • Laurie Knightly January 4, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

      Carlos, Your problem might be that you are addressing the subject of this essay – something about blog etiquette as I recall. This spitting match [euphemism] is a sample of what has been called ‘flaming’ and the objective is to do exactly what is taking place. Try to wreck/discredit the blog and people are falling for the bait. Success! Some of us have been sarcastically referred to as the Faithful albeit the vows were only a request for civility and reasoned/rational input. I’ve often not been faithful to Richard and he seems oblivious of this. Sometimes even welcomes it.
      Must be polyamory or something……..

  16. baroukh January 4, 2016 at 2:59 am #

    Professor Falk, why did you feel that you needed to write “Although the blog touches on a wide range of subjects I find that impulse toward defamatory comments is almost exclusively limited to those who seek to support Israel and discredit its critics, questioning their motives, information, and character whether outright or through innuendo.”? Without this sentence, your post would have been stronger… With this sentence, it seems to me you try to discredit your critics, questioning their motives…

    • Harvey Epstein January 4, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      Looks like everyone got up early this morning.

      Free Palestine: the citations I earlier presented are the clearest evidence of the existing population figures from about 1850 to 1948 and represent a discussion regarding emigration and immigration ( although I do not recall any discussion about the restrictions on Jewish immigration, then in place, when unrestricted Arab immigration was being allowed – this at the insistence of the Arab). A photo of folks in the middle of an existing city is no evidence of how dense the population was in the entire land.

      As to which side fired the first bullet or burned the first village, starting in 1947 or 1948 is being rather disingenuous. Should I start with Hebron in the early 1920’s after the Grand Mufti called for the expulsion or death of all Jews and the various pogroms which followed? If I did start with 1947-1948 then is it not fair to say that many of the folks who left the land, for whatever reason, hoped to return after it had been ethnically cleansed of all Jews and take possession of what the Jews had built? Is the absolute right of return of such a hostile population a rational thing to have happen? What about the right of the approximately 850,000 Jews forced out of Muslim lands from 1948 up to date? Does anyone really expect that they will ever be allowed back en mass? And they were not hostile. What about their compensation? And don’t tell me this has nothing to do with the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

      As to the various UN activities, etc. Fred’s comments about Azzam Pasha speak volumes. Remember what position Azzam held at the time he spoke: Secretary-General of the Arab League. And it really wasn’t peaceful long before 1947. We deal with a land of the Hudna on one side and survival of the State of Israel on the other. Arafat was telling us that and so does Abbas. Hamas and Hezbollah are a little more forthright in their daily speech.

      Free Palestine: as an individual, my heart goes out to you. I hope that you live in a safe place. If it is in a Muslim land, I hope you have full rights of citizenship, earn a good living and can look forward to a bright future for your grandchildren. I hope you can practice your religion without any concern. But let me ask you this: if you got what you seek, could a Jew enjoy the same rights in your Palestine? Look into your heart before you answer and take into consideration the words of Azzam Pasha, Hamas, etc.

      The Prof. chastises me by saying I am not being genuine in my expression that ” Israel is not always right but she is not always wrong”. Sorry, but he is wrong. Bad “stuff” happens on each side. Some of those “bad acts” set out by Free Palestine fall into that category as they relate to some individual israelis, but many are not acts of the State of Israel. I don’t like the concept of destroying homes of terrorists if it affects innocents who harbor no grudge against Israel. I am sorry if terrorists hide among the innocent and there is collateral damage when Israel is forced to fight back. Israel has a right to defend itself under war rules of engagement and not be forced to follow some civil rules of engagement that no nation can possibly follow. And there is a difference between the sides: Israel seeks to punish Israeli terrorists and it appears that the PA gives theirs pensions. I guess it is all in the eyes of the beholder as to what is justifiable. All I would like to see is if one side can look through the eye of the other before passing judgement; hence my comments about the lack of “balance”.

      • ray032 January 4, 2016 at 11:17 am #

        Harvey, you’re being selective in your memory of events and which came 1st, the chicken or the egg?

        “As to which side fired the first bullet or burned the first village, starting in 1947 or 1948 is being rather disingenuous. Should I start with Hebron in the early 1920’s after the Grand Mufti called for the expulsion or death of all Jews and the various pogroms which followed?”

        By 1929, the indigenous people living in Palestine noticed the increase in Jewish immagration to Palestine. Before that the Jews and Palestinians lived in relative Peace with each other.

        The Truth is, many more Jews were saved and hidden from the roving mobs of Palestinians by other Palestinians, than were killed in the mindless rampage.

        That trouble in 1929 started with the same concerns causing the new round of troubles Today, the perception among the Palestinians then, that with the influx of so many new Jewish immigrants, the Jews want to change the status of Temple Mount.

        Even after the trouble, there was no division between Jews and Muslims praying at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

        That separation came only after the 2nd Hebron massacre, when Baruch Goldstein mowed down Muslim worshippers in the prostrate position in the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994. The armed Jewish settlers in Hebron honour Goldstein and the evil deed he did to this Day.

        I posted this article 1 year to the Day of the Paris Massacre this past November 13. That event is already hastening the Day!

        November 13, 2014

      • Harvey Epstein January 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm #


        You got the point: which did come first? I intentionally avoided chickens and eggs and reciting Flavious Josepheus and the difficulties between Arabs and Jews existing as long ago as the time of Christ, at least.

        Indigenous people INCLUDE Jews and many on this post seem to forget that – their complaints are that TOO MANY RETURNED. Lots of Arabs returned as well, and that is why I posted the citations I posted; that’s why I referred to Sam Clemons who wrote a book about his travels in the late 1800’s. One of the main reasons why so many Arab villages were abandoned is that the Bedouin killed many and drove the rest out and the land went to ruin. Even English travelers noted the same conditions at about the time Mark Twain visited there.

        I thank the Palestinians who saved Jews during those mindless rampages just as I thank the Palestinian who, just a few months ago, saved the rabbinical students from similar mindless people. I understand that threats have been made against him and he now needs protection from his crazies. I thank the Palestinian Muslim who, many years ago, warned my mother, obm, not to go down a certain street in Jerusalem. I could cite other Palestinians for their bravery. I condemn the mindless shootings of any peaceful folk, especially when the perpetrator is a Jew. Jews are supposed to be much better than that. I admit that we have our own crazies and they should be locked up. I admit israel does make what I consider to be mistakes, But I also condemn the mantra that Jews have no rights and the Palestinian is always correct, just as I condemn the rewriting of history.

        “Justice” in the absolute sense can not be served in this case. Azzam Pasha tells us that. This is a religious and not a political case because the Arabs in charge tell us that. Prof. Falk speaks of international law. That’s a fine guideline except when dealing with a religious problem ( which is usually mindless, deals with articles of faith, is often tribal and not subject to reason – this is what Azzam Pasha tells us, too).

        Everyone can cite something in their favor, but, as Golda told us: there will be no peace until the Arab loves his kids more than he hate us. Do you think that will happen anytime soon? Which leaves us where? : India vs Pakistan, North Korea vs South Korea, North Sudan vs South Sudan, Etc. We are left with the facts on the ground.


  17. Beau Oolayforos January 4, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    You remind me of a pianist at a local bistro, a sweet-singing Muse who can play any song you know. It’s open-mike, and she lets – nay encourages – all comers to try out their voices, no matter how terrible they might be. But in spite of her toleration and her teaching, she must sometimes suggest alternate songs, when the singer’s idea is inappropriate for the occasion. And guess what? Her gentle recommendations are often met with anger, pride, and petulance, usually in inverse proportion to the “singer’s” talent.

  18. ray032 January 4, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Richard, things have not improved since your term expired.

    Monday, Jan 4, 2016 12:45 PM EST
    U.N. human rights expert resigns after Israel refuses to let him enter occupied Palestine
    U.N. Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono is quitting because Israel won’t let him do his job

    • Harvey Epstein January 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Hi Ray,

      Now let me get this straight:

      Wibisono is Indonesian.

      By population, Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world.

      Indonesia hates Israel so much that it would not even allow the Israeli windsurfing team to display the Israeli flag during an international meet which was just held in that country and the Israeli team was forced to withdraw.

      Wibisono wanted to get facts to prove that Israel was committing human rights violations in the West Bank, but no mention was (or is ever) made about human rights violations against Israel. No mention of doing an investigation, just gathering facts to prove up his preconceived ideas. His agenda is to ……… He comes from a Muslim country which hates Israel – whoops, I already pointed that out, didn’t I. Why not pick someone like a Fareed Zakharia. He is a Muslim with no agenda.

      Strange that the UN chose an Indonesian. Wonder why it didn’t select a person who did not carry so much baggage.

      • Kata Fisher January 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

        This is what I understand:

        I understand that there is, at least, one grave gap to the wording of the International law.

        This also allows for some grave interpretations and application of international Law to things of civil-ecclesiastical items.

        I do believe that for his wellbeing as a whole person was best to avoid collecting report until civil-ecclesiastical items on agendas are legitimately resolved.

        It does not mean that he cannot do that in the future regardless of his background. Although, I firmly believe that his qualification falls only to hardly minimal when comes to the conditions surrounding interpretation and application of international law in Holy Land.

        I do not know that International Law experts understand Faith Rights of Jews in Holy Land. The current wording of International Law, in essence, is paralysing to itself. International Law experts cannot do their work.

        Confusion of civil-ecclesiastical things can be grave harm to public wellbeing.

      • ray032 January 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

        Harvey, Professor Falk is an American Jew, and Israel wouldn’t let his do the same job either. Professor Falk was just more persistent and committed, and didn’t quit.

        Israel sets itself for criticism by pretending Jews are sinless, faultless, without blemish and superior to the Palestinians, Goyim and all other Nations. God’s Chosen, the apple of God’s eye, and other such fnonsense I have read in The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and other Jewish news outlets.

        Even though Israel is mostly secular, doesn’t believe in God except for lip service, and believes the non-existent God gave the land to the Jews exclusively because The Book says so, but ignores other conditions in The Book, like declaring a Jubilee Year as the occupation approaches the 50th year! Declaring the jubilee is not optional, it’s required!

  19. pabmarq January 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    Dear Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump,I agree with you “LEADERSHIP” is the key reason America is in the dumps. In my personal case my wife and I being exemplary US citizens from Puerto Rico, have had a 17 year IRS taxation case that has left us impoverished having our home, retirements and savings illegally seized on a concocted audit scheme by IRS Agents in Missouri, State of Missouri and HR Block wanna-bees.  These people that are supposedly “leaders” have no manners, no skills and surely have demonstrated to me stealing from the middle class is their “american dream”. It does not stop with this “pathetic” ignorance by the lower management but the House of Representatives, Congressmen and Senators are just as irresponsible, lacking any family values and seeking the destruction of our Puerto Rican family. You see my wife I and have double Degrees, I am a Veteran, and we are Christians.  We know this is NOT America practice, these crooks and “pathetic” americans will have their day before the LORD.  Its sorrowful that we were told, “you are not qualified, you do not have the skills” while they in the IRS have hired every illegal, uneducated, cannot read and analyze a letter and finally with their criminal minded actions these peoples from around the World, something we cannot understand since we have done ALL the correct things in America, while these people strive in the US?  To do these acts against a family of 6 and having ample time to find these crooks for 17 years demonstrates building-a- wall will not be high enough to resolve this depressing issue of criminal alien residents and corrupt aliens.  We are now Seniors and today are POOR still working to pay-pay-pay the IRS, the State of Missouri continues harass us and no-one has gone to jail yet our list of corrupt IRS Agents are living well off not paying any taxes? We would gladly VOTE for you – and I am a life-long Democrat that is willing to see what you can do with the corrupt people within your government.Regards,Pablo JOIN US WITH THE; IRS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT, We found another IRS Agent snooping around our home, last week the State of Missouri sent us another bill for 2012taxes when we no longer live there, these people are racist, haters, all needing to go to jail for corruption! We know this is adding more and more duress, stress, emotional distress and financial impoverishment…when the wicked rule; the people mourn…Prov 37,[usurpian government -John Adams]…    …a government that seizes property without any right. We have fled Missouri seeking legal help so they took our home, retirements and continue their extortion. There are no US Constitutional Rights, Civil Rights, Taxpayers Rights? American abuse approved by the United States of America!

  20. Free Palestine January 4, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

    This is a simplified clarification to help you all understand the catastrophe ( Al Nakba) of 1948 and international law and UN resolutions and the role of the occupying state of Israel. Kindly remember that Palestine is a diverse rich civilization in the historic land of Palestine with libraries ( check the The Great Book Robbery; the appropriation of Palestinian books and manuscripts in 1948 a case of cultural theft ), a football federation in Mandatory Palestine was founded in 1928, Palestinian embroidery identity, falafel humus theft etc. Please read with an open human heart: Since 1948, it has been the consensus of the international community that a durable and just settlement for the Palestine/Israel conflict entails the creation of two states: Palestine and Israel and the return of all Palestinian refugees expelled by Israel and their compensation. This consensus was based on UNGA Resolutions 181 of November 29, 1947 which partitioned historic Palestine into two states, and UNGA Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 which called for the establishment of a conciliation committee to deal with outstanding issues between the parties, placing Jerusalem under international jurisdiction after demilitarizing the city and its surrounding towns and villages, and protecting Jerusalem’s holy places. But from the very beginning, Israel extended its control over Palestinian territory from 53% to 78% of the total land of historic Palestine and refused to withdraw from the territory assigned to the Palestinian state or to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties. In an unprecedented move by the United Nations, prior to adopting UNGA Resolution 273 of May 11, 1949, Israel was required to pledge in writing its intention to comply with the two resolutions as a precondition to be admitted as a member state of the United Nations. In 1967, instead, Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine. Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, which emphasized “[T]he inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every state in the area can live in security.” To date, Israel is in total occupation of historic Palestine, Palestinian refugees are awaiting their return, and the United Nations and the international community are awaiting Israel’s compliance. Israel’s laws, policies, and practices clearly reveal the true intention of Israel: Total occupation of historic Palestine, control and dominance by Israel over all aspects of Palestinian lives, resources, and future, and systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians off their land, seizure of their properties and resources, the continuous humiliation and denial of their basic rights and their return and unification. Israel has reduced the possibility of implementing the two states option to zero and on its ruin created one state of Jews, by Jews, for Jews. This has always been the objective of Zionism from the start. All maneuvers by Israel to engage in “peace” negotiations hide an ugly reality: A plan to create facts on the ground that would render a viable Palestinian presence in historic Palestine meaningless. The international community is aware of Israel’s brutal control over Palestine and the Palestinians. Yet somehow, the world seems to be in a state of voluntary amnesia, still believing that a two-state option is possible.

    • baroukh January 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

      Stating false facts in a clear manner doesn’t cause them to become the truth.

      For example, you state that “historic Palestine” is Israel + the disputed territories (you call them occupied). Actually “historic Palestine” spans Israel + the disputed territories + Jordan and Jordan represents about 2/3 of “historic Palestine” and is inhabited by about 80% of palestinian Arabs (called incorrectly Palestinians as it is an history hijacking and was never a people identity). There is already a palestinian Arab country on about 2/3 of “historic Palestine” and it is called Jordan and that was the reason it was created in the first place to be the part of “historic Palestine” that Jews will be prevented to settle in. For “obscure” reasons, the UN decided to divide again the remaining third and Jews accepted. Arabs didn’t, attacked and tried to wipe out Israel and to slaughter the Jews. This is not what happened and they are still paying the consequences of this horrible act.

      Moreover “historic Palestine” never represented a country that existed before and was occupied. “Historic Palestine” represents a region which was never an independent country in the last 2000 years and this region covers the territories that were controlled by the Kingdoms of Israel. Jews fully gave up on about 2/3 of it (Jordan) and were ready to give up again a big part of the remaining third but that was not enough for the Arabs (I suspect nothing will be ever enough when it is short of the full destruction of Israel for them) and that’s the reason they are constantly in war with Israel since 1948.

      That’s the plain TRUTH.
      Have a good day.

      • Free Palestine January 5, 2016 at 12:45 am #

        Thank you baroukh for clarifying the Greedy Colonizing Zionist Project in this manner, I couldn’t do it better, well done.

        Myths were needed to create a virtual world in the absence of legitimate facts. Such myths go from the absurd, such that God gave them Palestine, to the false, that Palestine is a land without people.

        Salman Abu Sitta meticulously wrote in 2011 “”The Mechanics of Expulsion; The Perpetual Ethnic Cleansing””:
        What happens in Palestine is not merely the incidence of war crimes during wars. The terrible war crimes in Europe in WWII occurred during the heat of war and terminated with its termination. Here in Palestine, we have a consistent system of war crimes: not only 77 massacres in 1948/49 but thereafter in the fifties in Qibya and Bureij, in the sixties in Khan Younis, in the seventies in Beirut, in the eighties in Sabra and Shatila, in the nineties in Rafah, in this century in Jenin and Gaza. These war crimes occur every single day since 1948, every time you open your newspaper.

        What happens in Palestine is not merely occupation. It is much more than that. Occupation means military control of a country for a limited period of time. Soldiers come and go. Israeli occupation is brutal, indefinite in duration and is an instrument of robbery, destruction and confiscation.

        What happens in Palestine is not merely not South-African Apartheid. It is more than that. In South Africa, black people were not removed from the country or ethnically cleansed on a comprehensive scale. In Palestine, all this was done.

        What happens in Palestine is not merely racism as found socially in some societies. It is an institutional racism embodied in at least 24 Israeli laws. Without these racist laws, there will be no Israel and no Zionism.

        What happens in Palestine in not only a colonial project, although this is the closest description. Colonial projects steal the country’s natural resources and use its people as cheap labour. They do not totally dispossess them or expel them out of their country. In the mid 20th century, while British colonial soldiers were packing their bags and leaving India and Asia to Europe, Zionist soldiers were pouring in the opposite direction to Palestine to conquer it.

        I could go on and on. Israeli policies are a lethal combination of all these descriptions, a feat, if such is the word, not achieved by any other evil in history.

        Thus Israel constructed itself today as a peculiar combination of: a very backward tribal society, propelled by a racist anachronistic colonial ideology and armed with lethal high-tech armament. It is an extremely dangerous combination.

        How did this extraordinary situation arose? Its weapons are 4 Ms., Myths, Money, Media and Military.

        Myths were needed to create a virtual world in the absence of legitimate facts. Such myths go from the absurd, such that God gave them Palestine, to the false, that Palestine is a land without people.

        Money is the instrument that bought politicians in a brazen and unashamed manner. Consider for a moment the scandalous recent resolution of the Congress to condemn an act of international law which recognized Palestine as an independent state.

        Media, and its manipulation to exchange the identification of the murderer and the victim, is another causality of the misuse of money, to twist, distort and conceal facts.

        Military is the instrument to openly conquer, kill and rob, having secured the silence, and indeed the cooperation, of western colonial powers.

        When we go into the details of this struggle, we are told, “let us not go back into history”, or “the situation is very complicated”.

        If a murderer killed yesterday and is killing today and will kill tomorrow, do you not save humanity from his deeds?

        If a robber continuously robs houses all the time, do you not stop him and recover the stolen property? Do you not punish the thief?

        To allow these crimes is against the elementary principles of justice. It is against the law in any country.

        And the conflict is not complicated. Its tools and methods may vary but the basic facts are simple, as I hope this presentation will show.

        One simple fact is that al Nakba is not a traffic accident or a causality of a limited war. Al Nakba is going on from 1948 till today. Zionist objectives did not change a bit since the wealthy European Jews met in Basel in 1897 to carve a colony for themselves. The methods have changed but the principles remained the same.

        And who is standing against all this major international colonial project? The ordinary family of Palestinians, determined to survive and determined to resist, determined to refuse to die and disappear. If we understand this simple principle, we can answer those who keep telling us the situation is very complicated. No it is not. It is not complicated.

        And yes, we have to go to roots, to the original sin, we have to go to 1917, we have to go to 1948, we have to go to 1993. Going back to roots is not anachronistic. So beware of those who tell you, you cannot turn the clock back. The essence of justice is to trace the murderer, to expose the crime and to restore the normal situation. Zionist practices in Palestine destroyed man, stone and memory. But man’s human spirit is very difficult to destroy. This already has been demonstrated by Palestinians. As a Palestinian, you survive, you resist, and you come forth in different places and different fields, still claiming your right in Palestine. The stone could be destroyed. But human spirit will always be there to rebuild it. The memory could be destroyed if it is in the minds of people who die. But it could survive in a massive library of documentation about Palestine.

        So contrary to the wishes of those who do not want us to know about the original sin, let’s go back to its origins. Only in this way, we can restore justice.

        You can read the rest with maps and pictures here;

      • Gene Schulman January 5, 2016 at 2:07 am #

        Barouk’s idea of ‘plain truth’ is full of falsehoods. I much preferred reading Free Palestine. It reminded me of Edward Said in the past, and now, Ramzy Baroud.

        Thank you. Nothing more need be said.

      • Fred Skolnik January 5, 2016 at 3:32 am #

        I understand your hatred but it is this hatred that has gotten you where you are. The Arabs do not own the Middle East. They conquered it in a rampage of rape, murder and forced conversion and then it was conquered from them. Since you are endlessly repeating yourself I will repeat myself too and quote Azzam Pasha one more time:

        “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

        That is the reason for your Nakba and all the rest. Wake up, and then you’ll be really free.

    • Kata Fisher January 5, 2016 at 9:54 am #

      I do understand that it is a catastrophe, and it is a continuously a catastrophe because it is the perpetual sword to Arabs, and it is perpetual Spiritual excommunication to Jews, to Saudis and to the Westerns.

      It is what it is.

      Saudis illegally planted their Saud in Holy Land, illegal Landmarks of Jordan are planted in Holy Land – they illegally have birthed two-state plan. With stubbornness of horses, they continued in it as well all evil until this day.

      This is what it is that which they did accomplish: It is illegal for Jews (Spiritual excommunication), and killing of Arabs (perpetual sword).

      We need to understand that context in which those satanic plans were and are continuously made. I can go on and on about this – but I will say this:

      Satanic seals and whoring with the witches of pre-WWI, WWII and after that could only have done such evil, satanic things. The Folks that saluted and worshiped Hitler as kids without doubt have had something to do with perpetual plans in Holy Land.

      When you say,
      “the world seems to be in a state of voluntary amnesia, still believing that a two-state option is possible.”

      Then, I understand without a doubt that only people merger can annul such evil conditions in Holy Land.

      Back then they did not want to have people merger because they did not want Arabs and Jews to live together – but implement racism and hate. Their evil has accomplished all evil of their plans.

      I assure that they have secured for themselves and their children and their children’s children perpetual cooking in pangs of hell.

  21. baroukh January 5, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    “Free Palestine” and Gen Schulman…

    I stated facts in a short text. Your comments didn’t disprove a single one of them even if it should be easy to contradict a short text which is not the plain truth as I claim.

    “Free Palestine”, your long text and the long page you sent me to is full of lies, approximations, propaganda, etc…
    Are you paid to broadcast this?

    • Harvey Epstein January 5, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      Each of us is very passionate about our beliefs. Each feels that the other seems not to understand our position. Each fails to try and look through the eyes of the other and so we end up talking at eachother and not with eachother. As long as we continue to do that, no issue can be resolved and no compromise can take place. No balance can be struck. No trust can be built.

      By way of example, let me use one of my most recent posts: the resignation of the UN representative. I truly believe that he has a good reputation, but he comes out of a country and from an organization with a specific agenda: an unrelenting drive to castigate Israel and not analyze its opponents with the same critical eye. Had the UN chosen a Jewish person from a pro Israeli group to analyze the PA, how would some of you react; even if such a person had a reputation on a par with the representative who just resigned? Look into a mirror when you ask yourself that question. Now the recently resigned representative may be a great person, but sometimes it is the appearance that counts, especially when someone without such “baggage” could easily have been selected. A great judge will usually recuse him/herself if there is even the slightest appearance (valid or not) that the decision of that judge could be thought to be biased.

      My issue has always been the “lack of balance” when discussing this area of the world. Prof. Falk insists that the proper view must be based on the precondition of a certain structure. Once you precondition, you hamstring one side and predetermine the outcome. In the law, that means you are guilty until proven innocent. This goes against my grain as a Westerner, although it might be the norm in other cultures.

      Ray032: Your comments regarding Jews ( generically) views of themselves present the very distortions and one sidedness of which I speak. By way of example: Jewish terrorists are being tracked down and prosecuted, Jews who dance at a wedding over the horrific death of innocents are castigated, etc. Mostly, the PA dance in the street and give out candy, as happened when those three Jewish kids were killed. I don’t recall that any of the mothers of the perpetrators of that horror called any of the mothers of those three Jewish kids. Yet when, in retaliation, that innocent Palestinian kid was slaughtered by Jewish terrorists, they were tracked down by Israel AND the mother of one of the Jewish boys who was slaughtered called the mother of the Palestinian boy to apologize. Do you not see the difference? What major Israeli news outlet glorifies this Jewish terrorist conduct? If any does, it is an abhorration. As to Jews THINKING that they are better than others, you misunderstand : we have the BURDEN of having to ACT in way to show others what good conduct is. Sometimes, perhaps even more often than not, this is BIG PAIN in our nether region. As the line goes in Fiddler On The Roof, we sometimes would have preferred that Hashem had chosen someone else for the job!!!!

      The mere fact that Prof. Falk is Jewish has nothing to do with his being uniquely qualified. As Gene has pointed out, some think that the mere existence of an Israel is wrong; or perhaps Prof. Falk feels that the existence of Israel is just fine, but it, as a nation, is not living up to the Jewish Burden and he needs to point that out in no uncertain terms. Perhaps he can tell us, or me, because I am not certain what his exact posture is regarding this. But no matter what his posture is, all I have heard from him regarding criticism of the PA is a generic admission, only recently made, that the PA is guilty of crimes- this, without any


      • Richard Falk January 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

        Harvey: I understand your frustration with my approach to these issues, and what I feel is selective in your account. For
        instance, the Minister of Justice in the current Israel Government circulated genocidal tweets during the attacks on Gaza
        in 2014, and the Israeli approach to ‘price tag’ terrorism of the settlers is rhetorical, but rarely more than a slap on the
        My position on Israel as a legitimate state is not very complicated. I believe both peoples inhabiting historic Palestine as
        delimited by the British Mandate have as of now an equal claim to self-determination, and that it is Israel’s policies and
        practices that I find illegitimate by reference to law and morality. Whether Zionism in the form of a Jewish state can be reconciled
        with Palestinian self-determination and with the protection of the Palestinian minority living within 1967 Israel are
        difficult questions. By and large, I think ethnic or theocratic states (e.g. Iran) are not compatible with the protection of
        the human rights of pluralist political communities with multiple religions and ethnicities. I see no Israel will to pursue
        a sustainable peace on the basis of equality, and I find the PLO/PA willing to do so ever since the 1988 declaration of the
        PNC/PLO, which Israel never attempted to test as the basis for accommodation. I have been very critical of the PA over the years,
        and they pressed for my removal as UN Special Rapporteur more vigorously than did Israel in my early years.

      • Harvey Epstein January 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

        Richard, I appreciate your response. My reply could go on for pages describing your defense of all things Palestinian and, when asked to point out the PA crimes, you point out further “bad acts” by Israel, etc. You ignore the ethnic cleansing committed by the PA in “historic Palestine”, its attacks against Israeli civilians, etc. You set artificial guidelines which make you happy and which are geared to predetermine the results. This posture is consistent with the UN mandates vis-a-vis Israel.

        You ignore that I admit that Israel, occasionally, is wrong ( with some specifics ) and that there are good Palestinians (with specifics). But you march down the road as if no such comments are made, or if they are, they are not sincere (and who are you to judge when all you do is attack those who disagree with you?). Is it not conciveable to you that, on at least some minor point, you just might not be correct? If anyone is being “selective”, perhaps you should look into your own mirror. You are what you earlier admitted to me you were: demagogic. Those who appear on your blog would be well served if they would actually read the definition of that word.

        Since you seem unable to come out of the corral you have created by requiring that all things be discussed within a concept that the “PA is always correct and Israel is always wrong” (and this is really your net effect), no “real world” solutions will be found by you. I could define you, but it would serve no useful purpose. Anyway, you have already done a good job of it and I just forgot to listen. Shame on me for being twice burned for that lapse.

      • Richard Falk January 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

        I will not attempt to defend my actual positions, which I have apparently either not made clear enough or you are reluctant to acknowledge.

        Just on one point: I am record in numerous settings as exceedingly critical of the PA as failing to meet the criteria of legitimate
        representation of the Palestinian people for a number of reasons, including their governmental abuses. I will post a longer analysis
        of my view of the PA in a couple of days.

      • Kata Fisher January 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm #


        Don’t you think that understanding is connected to compassion?

        Also, I could list you incredible numbers of false-Muslim’s religious hate crimes that I learn from a Bishop in Middle East. I do not think it is relevant.

        Why do not moderate Muslims go about those crimes? They perhaps could – but they also could be stoned it killed. Perhaps, it is no season to go about them.

        But it is season to deal what Israel has done and has been doing. Will I be wrong?

      • ray032 January 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

        Harvey, just fyi, one of my dearest friends who left this world many years ago, but whom I frequently miss often, to these days, was named Ray Epstein of Halifax, N.S.

        If ever there was a “Jewish stereotype” in the most positive vision-version beyond the words, it was him. He was kind. caring. considerate, moderate, helpful, life respecting, inclusive, and many other positive attributes. He was an inspiration to me in 1968 when the giant American multi-National Corporation, Ingersoll-Rand, moved me from Montreal to Halifax as their Representative. covering CanaDa’s 4 Atlantic Provinces.

        My $25,000 pay package, including a tax free, all expenses paid new car, and a generous expense account allowing me to experience the finer Restaurants everywhere at age 24, accounting for inflation, afforded me a lifestyle costing $165,500 in Today’s Dollars. I’m surviving better than ever, thanks be to my God, on $25,000 in Today’s Dollars.

        I am in totally in accord with your opening paragraph. I am pleased to see the better way you express the same ideas I expressed in a comment upstream.

        As a lover of Christ, I don’t like the way this faux Christian material world celebrates it. This world has strayed from the Spirit of that 1st Christmas. In my view, even though we are starting the Year of the LORD 2016, this material world is still operating under the terms and conditions of the OLD Testament. It is only a minority of Individual Believers who accept the Christ in Christmas, and the Spiritual inheritance of Abraham.

        The message of that 1st Christmas, before there were Christians or Muslims, was:
        1. Glory to God in the Highest
        2.Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
        shall be to all people
        3.And on earth peace, good will toward men.

        From what the people and powers of this world have sowed since that 1 Christmas 2000 years ago, we are no reaping, because of our own actions, the opposite to the Blessing. Richard’s plea for civility in our discussions no matter how opposed we may be in the perception of the same things, if the discussion is conducted with Good Will, the Truth and Reality will emerge.

        As to your comment, ” we have the BURDEN of having to ACT in way to show others what good conduct is.” This becomes a burden only because the Jews do not live up to it.

        The Christ of God, speaking through the fully human Jewish Jesus, to Jews 1st and foremost, before Christians and Christianity existed. The Spirit of Christ said then, and repeats Today to Jews, Christians and Muslims. It applies to Muslims because the Quran acknowledges Isaiah and Jesus as being Prophets of God:
        You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
        This people draws close to me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
        But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

        Yes, Harve, it is True that only now are Israeli authorities going after Jewish Terrorists. The Truth is, this is only a recent development and better late than never. The settlers who destroy Arab crops and throw stones were never caught until the circumstances forced the Israeli authorities to finally do something about it.

        It was the Arab-Israeli Father of the Tel Aviv who identified his own son the the authorities, condemning his son’s actions. The authorities arrested him and other members of the family.

        In my view, having seen the pictures, the Israeli government was criminal in prosecuting the murderous 2014 Gaza war. What Israel did was terrorism magnified beyond the word. The Orwellian named Operation Protective Edge was the closest Israel could come to the Jewish version of a “Final Solution” to the Palestinian problem.
        While there were many voices inside and outside of government were calling for an even more murderous, total destruction of Gaza.

        If TV didn’t exist, I suspect Israel would have listened to those extremist voices.

        It’s come out Operation Brothers Keeper was a fraud and a cover to escalate the conflict with Gaza by arresting all known Hamas members in the occupied territories. It was that Israeli action that provoked increased rocket fire from Gaza.Israel already knew it had the protective edge from Gaza rockets with the iron dome. The damage done by the Hamas rockets were like peashooters compared to Jet fighters, bombers dropping deadly destructive1 ton bombs , tanks and artillery that cannot differentiate between civilian and fighter.

        What I find to be absurd is the fact of the occupation and the massive destruction Israel wrought on Gaza wasn’t even an issue discussed in the last Israeli election. The whole Nation buried it’s collective head in the sand.

  22. Fred Skolnik January 6, 2016 at 4:24 am #


    Telling us how much money you have is not going to magnify you in anyone’s eyes. Nothing is going to magnify you in anyone’s eyes, not even insulting Rabbi Youdovin for no good reason. All we can surmise about you, aside from your arrests for ranting on streetcorners, is that you’re currently retired and don’t really know what to do with yourself. That you should spend endless hours feverishly combing the Internet for incriminating evidence against Israel is unfortunate, not to mention unhealthy. Since you profess to be a lover of Scriptures, you might put your time to better use learning Hebrew and Greek so that you could actually understand what is written in these holy books instead of getting it at second hand like everything else. Give it a try, ray. I’d hate to think that you’re too lazy to.

    • ray032 January 6, 2016 at 6:32 am #

      There you go exposing yourself again as a narrow thinking, small minded person. Christ restores the sight of the blind. In this idolatrous material world where money is the god the people worship, work for and serve.The people think in material terms of restoring only physical blindness, when the Spirit of Christ restores Spiritual Sight.

      My comment is a long one, and all you see is me trying to be like Donald Trump, boasting about how much money I have? Maybe you have dyslexia, because you missed the point of even that small part you focus on, ignoring the rest of my comment.

      Hearken to this, foolish people without understanding; they have eyes yet they see not, they have ears yet they hear not. כאשִׁמְעוּ נָא זֹאת עַם סָכָל וְאֵין לֵב עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ:

      • Harvey Epstein January 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

        Kata, I am again lost in your spirituality. I have never said that I was a prophet. I do not pretend to speak for Hashem. IT WAS WALKER who said that HE and the PROFESSOR were the prophets. Please read his prior posts on this part of Richards blog.

        I suggested that you read 10 translations of the Quo’ran because that is the only way that you, a non Arabic speaker, can get a spectrum of what the Quo’ran says. And even with that, there will certainly be variations on the words used in the translations. I urge that you use translations made by Muslims who are bilingual in both English ( or your cradle language) and the Arabic meanings of words as used in the time of Mohammed – it has been almost 1500 years since Mohammed and definitions of some words do change with the passage of time. Innuendo does count.

        I suggested Sayyid Qut’b BECAUSE he was bilingual and his “In The Shade Of The Quo’ran” is what has so greatly influenced the MB, Osama, the Wahabbis and the other Islamists. Some modern Muslims do not agree with his teachings, but his is the message being taught TODAY through the vast Muslim world.

        Let me give you just one small example: in 2006, a survey was taken of what was being taught in the schools of our “great friends” , the Saudis. In 8th grade texts, Jews (that’s me, the Professor, Fred, Walker, etc.) are called “apes”; and guess what (?), the Christians (that’s you (?), Ray (?) and others) are “swine infidels” (so I guess you are pigs – and here, all along I thought I was a pig, too). In the 9th grade books, the annihilation of all Jews is the imperative! The school books of the PA aren’t much better nor is some of the teachings which appear on their TVs.

        Now once you get your head around all of this, my suggestion is that you actually read what is being said and taught to folks who intend Christians and Jews some real harm. Such folks include Hamas, Hezbollah, the Chaliphate crowd, etc. They might even intend Free Palestine some harm, too, unless he toes their line of theology, because if they hate anyone, it is the heretic.

        A word of note to all: if you see Richards follow-on to this underlying blog, he seems to say that while he does criticize “the other side” in other writings of his, because there is so much else on the web which supports Israel, he chooses not to mention his criticism here. He uses this blog to help balance the material favoring Israel. I can only conclude that any expectation of “balance” in this blog is a futile wish. It follows that here we see only one side of his complete thought process and, thus, we are being led down a wrong path, by him, in our discussions; an extremist path, which I abhor.

        I am out of here (once again). Respond as you will. I am tired of being played as a fool.

      • Kata Fisher January 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm #


        Church accepts all things at their face value. We have to accept face value of things exactly what they claim to be – or what is claimed to be.

        However, Church can only believe what Scripture tells us at its face value, and to that we can only apply Church Doctrine and Teaching Office of the Church – to all things.

        I know a lot about the context of how Prophet Muhamed has received the text, and how it was written down (not by him). In fact, it is not the same order (of the prophesy) with the way the Scripture (Old Testament) was received by the prophets and written down by the prophets, and then rewritten by the prophets for preservation.

        Contextually, this is an incredible problem to the authenticity of that what was actually said and written down because he could not confirm the authenticity of the text because he was illiterate. (The Origin of the context).

        With that the first order of problem I do understand that is contextual: Origin of the Context.

        The second order of the problem is that original texts could have been and were written and rewritten outside Spiritual Authority of the Prophets. This is not the case with the Scripture and Old Testament. Likewise, Church Charismatic writings were preserved by Church Charismatic.

        The further problems added on in different interpretations that can be in essence making preserved texts automatically heretical. Christianity (false church/es) does this a lot.

        While Church acknowledges human errors in rewritten texts due to the preservation – due to the problem such as that and fact, that the Church can only interpret Sacred writings in the exactly same Spirit, anointing and gifts Spiritual in which the Sacred texts were originally written down. Anything else it is heresy (small or huge) for the Church.

        This is just small part to the whole issue.

        There is nothing to my spirituality; I am Church in the the Law of the Gospel, Law of the Church, Law of the Spirit.

    • ray032 January 6, 2016 at 7:02 am #

      • Harvey Epstein January 6, 2016 at 9:43 am #

        To Kata, Ray, Richard and anyone else who cares to read this:

        Ray, glad to hear that you had a good experience with someone who is likely a cousin of mine. I do appreciate your kind comments about my attitude on how one should try and view things. Honestly, I really do not have the time to “write a book” in response to all of the allegations which are collectively contained in the various responses to what I said. What I do note is that we are all just saying the “same old, same old” and not really making progress with anything new.

        Richard contends that, on certain matters, he is not “objective”, seems to recognize that very human failing (certainly, I also fail), but nonetheless contends that he is being “fair”. I must point out that “fairness” in the absence of “objectivity” is somewhat of an oxymoron. This is why, when trying a case in court, judges sometimes recuse themselves and the jury selection process is so carefully done ( or so we would hope). I look forward, with great interest, to reading his anticipated article about how the PLO has failed the Palestinian people. His perspective will be interesting. I wonder if it will echo some of the criticism leveled against it by others, including Israel?

        Kata tells us that she is aware of a great number of hate crimes perpetrated by Muslim extremists, which she feels are not relevant, and Richard chooses not to recognize them at all (except generically, but not worthy of comment or any apparent weight in our underlying discussions, yet the same is not true of Jewish acts of terrorism).

        Ray complains that the devastated Muslim father, who identified his son as a terrorist, is under scrutiny, but ignores the potential liability that this father may have because the father is the one who brought the gun into the home in the first place. Who really knows what was going on inside that home? Was he as blind as the mother of the two recent terrorists? It is not all that different from the potential liability of the gun provider in the San Bernardino killings of very recent origin? If it looks suspicious, it must be investigated. I hope the father had nothing to do with it. Clear video would have ultimately allowed for the identification of the son; the bullets found in the bodies of the victims would have eventually identified the discarded weapon which would have ultimately been traced to the father. No rational police force, whether in the USA or the ME, could ignore a possible involvement. Not to investigate would be professional malfeasance. Let us wait a bit before we quickly pass judgement.

        Richard, I do believe I understand your basic contention: Israel holds an upper hand with the PA and therefore Israel is held to a higher standard of conduct; the PA is enslaved and is justified in almost any actions it engages in in order to break free from bondage; Israel is an evil apartheid enterprise designed to ethnically cleanse the innocent Palestinian.

        The problem I find with this position is that the PA holds the key to its alleged bondage, and has done so for a long time, but refuses to use it unless it gets all of its demands. If you read the founding documents of the PLO, no rational country would agree to any such result. You expect Israel to stand still while the PA is allowed to act. This does not happen in a real world. If Israel wanted to exterminate the Palestinian, why are so many still alive and living better in Israel than in any Muslim country?

        Even if Israel was acting in bad faith, an actual peace treaty ( but not a Hudna) would be enforced by the rest of the world (and I would agree with such an enforcement). But a starting point has to include the PA and the rest of the anti-Israeli crowd from treating it as a Hudna. Short of that, we are all just spinning wheels; same old same old.

        I do agree that Israel has been pressured to do some things it should have been doing all along. Life should be made better for everyone in the region.

        Kata, compassion can lead to understanding and justice, but only sometimes; please note the extreme Islamist as a major exception. Please do read at least 10 various translations of the Quo’ran along with “In The Shade Of The Quo’ran ” by Sayyid Qut’b (1906-1966). This will give you a better understanding of what the west faces with the Wahabbi /MB driven theology now taught in various Madasses throughout the world. Actually, Irans theology vs western culture is not all that different, too. Please read this material by yourself. Distillation by others will only give you their slant. I recognize that ” In The Shade…” is about 30 or so volumes long and it is quite a chore to get through, but you can find it online. It should not be a translation by someone else because Qut’b spoke perfect English. He studied in the US for 2 years. He was, and remains the spiritual leader of the MB, so his words really count.

        Sorry, I did write a book.

      • Richard Falk January 6, 2016 at 10:39 am #

        Harvey: Thanks for this concerted and serious attempt to respond to the various views with which you disagree. Such
        a process does have the potential to advance mutual understanding.
        Unfortunately, because you and the other inveterate defenders of Israel seem uninterested in blog treatment of issues
        other than Israel/Palestine you neglect my posts on Syria, ISIS, and Saudi Arabia, all extremely critical of Arab behavior,
        jihadi extremism. I don’t, of course, expect you to read all that I write, but before making blanket indictments it seems
        reasonable to expect that they would be well grounded. True, I do not make an effort to find positive things to say about
        Israel because there is such an abundance of pro-Israeli reportage and besides, Israel holds the trump cards of military dominance,
        economic success, and diplomatic leverage. The most that I can do is to make this underlying imbalance a tad less pronounced. Richard

      • Kata Fisher January 6, 2016 at 11:24 am #

        I am compassionate, and I have much understanding.

        Holy Quran is not discerned prophesy in Church Age. Church Charismatic has spiritual authority over any prophesy in the Church Age.

        Only prophetic anointings can read and interpret Holy Quran and not be damned. (You Harvey say that you are not modern prophet, as Walker suggested? – However, look and see that you are in prophetic anointing).

        Holy Quran should never be taken outside the Arabic Language. I understand that Islam Faith teaches that is forbidden to do that.

        Why does West will not apply Islam, Freedom of Faith of Muslims and ban that what is illegal for Muslim Faithful?

        Holy Quran (legitimately) is only Read From Arabic by those who are in prophetic anointing.

        Heretical translation of Holy Quran and heretical translation of Islamic writings of Holy Quran are illegal. Legitimately, by Freedom of Faith they can be baned – just as Hitlers writings should be banned all over the world. Things that contain hate speech and are religious in nature can legitimately, legally be banned – when not in Original Language.

        This is important: It is illegal to ban religious and/or Faith texts in Original Language (just as was written down and rewrite for preservation).

        In contrary, we need Holy Quran that is preserved in Arabic (written and rewritten) in Arabic in all Christian stores along with tools to read Arabic.

        This is the only way I would ever go about reading Holy Quran and other Islamic writings, otherwise – if not in prophetic anointing and Spiritual Authority I would be damned by things that are written and rewritten to preservation by heretic interpretations.

        I know a lot about hate crimes of false-Muslims, those who are in satanic seals and in the devil. They are relevant to Bishop. Eventually, they may be relevant for me, as well.

        Church-Charismatic is full of compassion.

  23. Harvey Epstein January 7, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    Kata, my response seems to have been deleted by Richard. It apears that you can refer to the Quo’ran but I may not, this, notwithstanding that I have read over a dozen different translations, the entire 30 volume work of Sayyid Qut’b titled In The Shade Of The Koran, and numerous other works by Muslim as well as non-Muslim scholars.

    Regards and goodbye

    • Richard Falk January 7, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      Harvey: For what it is worth your long response to Kata has not been deleted or blocked. It remains
      available on my computer. I am not very sophisticated when it comes to blog management, and I know from
      feedback that a variety of glitches occur that surpass my comprehension. I am impress by your exposure
      to Islamic texts! Richard

      • Harvey Epstein January 7, 2016 at 9:20 am #

        Richard, this response from you came in while I was posting my correction about the “deletion”. Thanks for your comment. I do not consider myself to be an Islamic scholar, just a guy who tries to find out what is actually being taught by folks who affect my life as a Jew. I like to do this without “others” filtering what I see and then telling me what to think.

        Should you post regarding Israel/Gaza/Turkey, please at least acknowledge the position of Egypt vis a vis the ability of Israel to move forward in a vigorous and positive manner. As the old saying goes ” it ain’t easy”. Then again, nothing in the ME is.

    • Kata Fisher January 7, 2016 at 8:59 am #


      I am not called to conversion to Islam. If I were called, I would also convert to Islam Faith and practices. Some contemporary people, I believe have found reason and peace in Islam Faith, and have converted. Christianity can be equal to insane religion – and people turn whatever makes more sence.

      I do know, however, that Favor of that Prophesy is with me.


      Because I am Church Charismatic, I am automatically in no need to anything else but that which is passed down by the priests (in tradition, in Word, and by the word of mouth – in confession Rooms our Charismatic Priesthood teaches Whole Truth – if and when you have questions). Likewise, the priest Charismatic gets All Truth.

      Further, I do not plan to do any significant personal or scholarly study in my life on any other texts but Church-Charismatic writings (New Testament).

      This is the reason: The Scripture (Old Testament) is under Church Order and Teaching office that is Apostolic in Nature. This is the Order that was given to Apostles and to this day in preserved in Authentic Order.

      When comes to Holy Quran – it is not discerned, and in this condition, it cannot be passed down by the Church. Ther Truth (general / public ) about it can, however. Likewise, original text can be legitimately read by Church members.

      Thank you for all that you explained to me. I do know that is in Good will.

    • Harvey Epstein January 7, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      Richard and Kata,

      I did find my response and it was posted. Because of the way my computer seems to function, or the way I input, strict chronology seems not to be possible.

      Richard, I do understand you. Your efforts to correct what you see as an imbalance in using the Internet Bully Pulpit is, in my mind, gravely misdirected. Your presentation, by your own admission, intentionally ignores any justification for any of the acts of “the other side”, which you present as having such overwhelming power as to be considered as evil. While you are a proponent of the physically weaker side, and while you say that it, too, engages in criminal conduct, your failure to acknowledge this, in THIS blog, with some specifics, leads us down your structured path; a path which ends at a place which the Pope says is not a good one. I, among others, have tried to have you recognize this in this blog.

      In my mind, you do a grave injustice by trying to “balance” by using an extremist approach. “Balance” is not found in extremism, it is found in recognizing the positions of both sides and then making a decision, with analysis, so that an observer can see how you got to where you got. You do not do this in this blog. As you well know, there is more than one way to skin a cat. I recognize that you are firm in your views and I have no trouble with that. My view is that you get there, causing more harm than good, a la the comment by the Pope.


      • Richard Falk January 7, 2016 at 11:39 am #

        Harvey: I know you do not accept my structural point of departure, but that is central to my understanding
        of what is useful and what is not. In my view, given the Palestinian experience of dispossession followed
        by occupation (coupled with annexation, settlement encroachment, etc.) there are not two sides that can be
        discussed as if in a debate. I felt the same about South Africa, feeling completely degraded by agreeing to
        take part in a debate about whether or not apartheid was a beneficial system of racial administration. After
        that experience I vowed never to take part in such an exercise again. I know you will not share this understanding
        or accept the equation, but I feel the Israel/Palestine relationship has similar features to South Africa in the
        apartheid era. Let me put my point even more clearly, although let me underline I am not equating Israel with Nazi Germany.
        I am saying that if someone objects to a sharp critique of Nazi behavior by insisting on giving ‘the other side’ airtime
        I would refuse. It is for this reason that I don’t find it clarifying to explain the present realities confronting the
        Palestinians by taking into account the Israeli rationalizations, which completely evade the structural dimensions.

      • Harvey Epstein January 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

        Richard, I do not expect that either of us really seeks to evade the “structural” disparity between the parties. This is a “given” in the real world. Part of my issue with you is that you seem to view “everything” that is said on behalf of Israel as “rationalization” in the pejorative, psychological sense. Factually, that is not the case; but that appears to be your position. Nothing positive about Israel seems to pass muster within your circumscribed view of what you will allow in as evidence of the “truth”.

        With suicide belts and knives, the PA rationalizes “bad acts” into good things and this seems to be the scope of their “reality”, for they can do no wrong ( and in this blog, you seem not to challange them on this sort of thing). This PA “reality” is a part of the “broader” real world that Israel must contend with, and increasingly so must the west. This part you seem to ignore. I choose not to. So I guess we must end by agreeing to disagree.

      • Fred Skolnik January 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

        But your structural departure is not valid and your analogies are false and actually inverted and that is what is being argued. An occupation is a natural consequence of war entailing by definition separation between an occupying power and an occupied population, just as it was in the case of Germany after World War II. It is not a South African system of racial repression or racial administration. The concept of race does not enter into the equation here, as I have pointed out to you more than once. The conflict is national, and the oppressiveness of the occupation is and has been in direct proportion to the acts of terrorism emanating from Gaza and the West Bank, and the strength of Israel and the weakness of the Palestinians is as irrelevant in any structural or moral sense as the weakness of a defeated Germany and the strength of the victorious Allies. Likewise the view of dispossession as your structural starting point is also skewed. The real starting point, the essence of the conflict, is embodied in the very clear statement made by Azzam Pasha before there was a single refugee, and if you are not prepared to address it you are simply making life too easy for yourself:

        “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

  24. ray032 January 8, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    After Tel Aviv attack, Israel’s Palestinians tarred as ‘criminals’

    8 January 2016

    Netanyahu slammed for exploiting killings in Tel Aviv to vilify entire Palestinian community in Israel

    Middle East Eye – 7 January 2016

    Hello Harvey! Concerning the Tel Aviv shooting we both referred to in our comments. This is from Jonathon Cook, the British Journalist living in Palestinian Nazareth apart from the Jewish settlement of Upper Nazareth.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of exploiting a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day to intensify a campaign of incitement against the country’s large minority of Palestinian citizens.

    Palestinian leaders in Israel have also harshly criticised the police for making sweeping arrests of Nashat Melhem’s relatives in what they believe is an attempt to pressure him into turning himself in.

    Melhem, aged 29, is reported to have been on the run since two Israeli Jews were gunned down in a bar in central Tel Aviv last Friday. He is also suspected of killing a taxi driver – like Melhem, a member of Israel’s Palestinian minority – during his getaway.

    The motive for the attacks is not yet known.

    Netanyahu made a speech the day after the attack in which he implied that many of Israel’s 1.6 million Palestinian citizens, one in five of the population, were either complicit in, or approved of, the killings.

    “Whoever wants to be Israeli must be Israeli all the way,” he said at a candle-lighting ceremony at the scene of the two deaths. “I will not accept two states within Israel – a state of law for most citizens and a state within a state with Islamist incitement and illegal arms.”

    Calling on Muslim citizens to follow a path of peace rather than hatred, he said: “We all know that there is wild incitement of radical Islam against the state of Israel within the Muslim sector.”

    Arab MPs, he demanded, had to condemn the attack “without hesitation or rhetorical phrasing”.

    As part of the manhunt, police raided lodgings in Tel Aviv housing Arab students, apparently without search warrants. In some cases, the doors were broken down, officers entered with weapons drawn, and rooms were ransacked.

    Concerns have been raised about whether Tel Aviv university handed over students’ information to enable racial profiling by the police.
    ‘Collective punishment’

    Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab-dominated Joint List, the third largest party in the Israeli parliament, told Middle East Eye that Netanyahu had “incited against an entire public, portraying the Arab population as criminals.”

    He added that the arrest of Melhem’s father and brother, lengthy interrogations of his mother and sister, and the raids on student homes were all forms of “collective punishment” by the police.

    “I cannot remember any case in which a Jew has committed a crime, however severe, and family members were arrested as a means of pressuring the suspect,” he said.

    “The price should be paid by the criminal, not his near or distant relations, and certainly not the entire Arab public.”

    Melhem is suspected of shooting dead Alon Bakal, manager of the Simta bar in Tel Aviv, and customer Shimon Ruimi, as well as injuring several others, on Friday 1 January. The body of a taxi driver, Amin Shaaban, was found in a suburb of northern Tel Aviv a short time later.

    Armed attacks by members of Israel’s Palestinian minority on Israeli Jews are rare, as is the ability of a suspect to stay off the Israeli security services’ radar for so long.

    Jafar Farah, who heads the Mossawa advocacy centre for Palestinians in Israel, said Netanyahu had leapt on the incident to vilify the Palestinian minority.

    “We see Netanyahu and the Israeli right exploiting every opportunity to incite against Arab citizens,” he told MEE, noting that in widely criticised comments the Israeli prime minister had warned during last year’s general election campaign that Palestinian citizens were coming out to vote “in droves”.

    “This is connected to the right’s goal of suggesting that there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu wants to argue that all Muslims and all Arabs are the enemy, and that there can never be peace.”
    Family members arrested

    Immediately after the shootings, the High Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Palestinians in Israel, issued a statement condemning the attack and calling it a “serious deviation from the justified struggle of the Arab population to obtain their rights”.

    The committee added that Netanyahu had turned “incitement into an ideology”.

    On Tuesday, half a dozen of Melhem’s relatives, including his 63-year-old father, Mohammed, were arrested, accused of being accomplices. The family is from Arara, a Palestinian village in central Israel, south of Umm al-Fahm.

    His brother, Juadat, arrested last weekend, was freed by the courts on Wednesday, over police objections, apparently after the police failed to provide credible evidence of his involvement.

    Melhem’s sister and mother have also been detained for lengthy questioning. Israeli news website Ynet quoted a relative saying the mother had been interrogated for 10 hours and threatened that her home would be demolished if she did not reveal Melhem’s hiding place.

    “The interrogators put a great deal of pressure on her,” the relative was reported saying.

    Israel has demolished family homes of several so-called “lone-wolf attackers” from the occupied Palestinian territories after a wave of incidents, mainly using knives, began in the late summer. The Israeli courts approved the punishment as a way to deter further attacks.
    History of violence

    Melhem’s family was quick to condemn the shootings and urged him to hand himself in. Police now appear to believe he may have gone to ground in the West Bank.

    Relatives also warned that Melhem was mentally unstable and had a history of violence towards his own family and others, triggered by the killing of a cousin exactly a decade ago. Police shot dead Nadim Melhem during a raid on his home while searching for a gun.

    A year later, in 2007, Nashat Melhem was convicted of trying to grab a soldier’s gun and sentenced to five years in prison. He told interrogators at the time that he had intended to avenge his cousin’s death.

    Nadim Melhem is one of 56 Palestinian citizens who have been killed in unexplained, and largely uninvestigated, circumstances by the Israeli security forces in the past 15 years, said Farah of Mossawa.

    A judicial-led state inquiry found in 2004 that the Israeli police’s institutional view of the Palestinian minority was as “an enemy”.

    “Officials have repeatedly shown they do not want to investigate the killings of Arab citizens or give their families justice,” said Farah. “In the context of rampant police violence, it is likely that a few individuals at the margins of Arab society will seek their own form of vengeance.”

    Melhem’s father is a security guard who has also served for many years as a police volunteer – an unusual position to hold within the Palestinian minority.

    He first alerted the authorities to the possibility his son was responsible for the killings after a relative identified Nashat in a security video of the shootings.

    Melhem is reported to have taken the semi-automatic from his father’s safe.

    Nachmi Feinblatt, the family’s lawyer, called the accusations against the father “crazy”. “This has nothing to do with evidence of wrongdoing,” he told MEE. “It is simply about using the family to put pressure on their son.”

    He added that the refusal of the courts to grant a 12-day detention of Melhem’s father demanded by the police – they were given two days instead – indicated the “bogus nature of the allegations”.
    Search of student digs

    According to Israeli media, dozens of Arab students, most of them registered at Tel Aviv university, have had their lodgings searched and been interrogated since the shootings.

    Odeh said he was trying to find out whether Tel Aviv university had passed on the students’ information.

    Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, rejected criticisms that the students’ rights had been violated or that the arrests of Melhem’s family members were designed to pressure him.

    “The bigger picture is that three Israelis were murdered and the priority in our ongoing investigations is to find him,” he told MEE.

    On Sunday Netanyahu said he was “not impressed” by accusations that he had incited hatred with his speech. He was “making a very large effort to ensure Israel is a state under unified law,” he said.

    In the wake of Netanyahu’s comments, an Israeli Facebook post of a bogus video, supposedly showing the village of Arara celebrating the Tel Aviv killings, went viral. It was later shown to be footage of celebrations in Lebanon at Ariel Sharon’s death two years ago.

    Netanyahu was also among those calling for a crackdown on illegal weapons in Palestinian communities after the shootings, although Mohammed Melhem held his gun legally.

    David Ansalem, head of the Israeli parliament’s interior committee, concurred: “Illegal use is made of [weapons in Palestinian communities] every day to hurt citizens of this country.” He added that police were “afraid to operate in these areas”.

    His comments came as another MP, Amir Ohana, said that in response to the attack he would promote legislation to allow most Jewish civilians to arm themselves with guns.

    That follows a government decision in October to ease permit rules. A report last month by the Israeli legal rights groups ACRI revealed a “meteoric rise” in gun license applications, from 200 a day to 3,000, as panic has swept Israeli Jews over the knife attacks.
    Gun crime plague

    Odeh, head of the Joint List, said he and other Arab leaders had been demanding proper law enforcement in Palestinian communities in Israel, including the collection of illegal guns, for years, but had been ignored.

    In the Haaretz daily, commentator Jackie Khoury noted that organised crime had been allowed to grow unchecked in Palestinian communities. More than 1,100 Palestinian citizens had died at the hands of criminals in the past 15 years.

    “The primary victims of these weapons are us, the Arab citizens,” Odeh said. “The prime minister has refused until now to allocate funds [for the policing of Palestinian communities]. But now, when a weapon is turned against Jews, he suddenly decides to confront the issue.”

    Odeh’s comments were confirmed by Tzipi Livni, the justice minister in Netanyahu’s previous government. She said officials had ignored requests from Arab mayors for action against the growth in illegal weapons in Palestinian communities.

    Farah was among those raising concerns about the connection between the criminal trade in weapons and the security services.

    He said thousands of guns had been distributed by the state to Palestinian citizens serving in the Israeli military, especially in Druze and Bedouin communities, as well as those like Mohammed Melhem who volunteer with the police.

    Farah said Palestinian citizens who were allowed a gun often regarded it as a reward or privilege for “collaborating” with the authorities. Some of them then helped acquire weapons for criminals.

    “In the great majority of cases, the state knows who [in the Palestinian minority] has weapons and where they are to be found. For the security services, this is part of their power: if he has our gun, he is our guy.”

    Farah said he was astounded that Mohammed Melham had been allowed to keep a gun at home after his son was found nearly a decade ago to have tried to steal a soldier’s weapon to avenge his cousin’s death.
    – See more at:

    • Kata Fisher January 8, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      This is what I understand:

      Sophisticated weaponry that is massiv like that belongs only into the armed forces, and as well in some conditions within reserved military (in a civil setting) with legitimate permits – proving that there is no mental illness that requires mind-altering drugs (behavioral altering in nature) and excessive use of alcohol that cause impairment to legitimate armed force uses.

      By the way, I was thinking about Hannah leaving little Samuel with Eli – just irresponsible and hateful mother! Is that true?

      • Harvey Epstein January 10, 2016 at 6:17 am #

        Hi Kata,

        I just got a notice that you sent a post, in part intended for me. It stopped where you referred to a British author. For some reason, my computer is missing some posts and/or does not allow me the ability to respond directly on that post and I am forced to search for another post so that I can respond. I get the impression from Richard that I am the only one having this computer problem.

        Sorry if you were expecting a reply from me, but I am not able to read all that you sent so this will just have to do.


      • Kata Fisher January 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

        Hi Harvey,

        I have not expected any replies.

        I do think that we all have read just enough to come to rational understanding and conclusions.

        Whether glitches – or censoring of posts I do not agree with that fact that things are to be removed (by the act of removing / censoring: restricting) imminently.

        I believe so, for the purpose of development of the thought processes and conclusions that may be relevant and needed – and actually can be imminently applied/used by civil, and/or civil-ecclesiastical person.

        Anything that is hateful, irrelevant, and is just floating can and may be stored in the memory – as not needed, in fact.

        I do respect anyone’s state of personal conscience – that is the first common guide to any free human being, and they should not violate them self – and if anyone violates someone’s conscience – they will be under just consequence.

        In this case, specifically Professor Falk is entitled to remove things that he feels, understands are personally offending to him. This is his personal web-site. However, I do not advise that he should be removing things, as long as there is a move of the Spirit – or as long as move of the spirits (human condition, or nonhuman condition of the spirit-realm) moving and floating about just everywhere as things are being pushed in resolve.

        After progress, meaning “getting to the oil” (short-term/long-term peaces of revenant conclusions) he can do erasing / storing of anything he wants to – just as I was saying before – I believe he should do that.

        However, due to the difficult subject that was started here – and we are only trying to resolve this for him, as long as he still lives – we are here to move in no imminent restriction/s, as well.

        I personally, would in fact, censor anything ecclesiasticaly illegal by actual act (personal approach). But this is just me.

        About this eccalistical issue is civil setting (public setting):

        Anything that comes from Church Charismatic it is not in public-private rights, unless the person is a public civil-ecclesiastical person – if a person is a civil-ecclesiastical person – then he or she is responsible for acting corporately (in oversight) about anything that they have to take / remove or distribute from this website that is written by Church Charismatic (in act) – all has to be discerned before application (act).

        Otherwise, they are that spiritually, and ecclesiastical mature that they can act by themselves, and they do not need any one’s approval to do whatever they want with anything that Church Charismatic stated.

        I personally, would not take responsibility for someone’s self-destruction just because they are handling Holy / ecclesiastical things as hogs and dogs and bring judgement and self-destruction upon themselves and their children and their children’s children. What I specifically mean is this: There was a lot of evil that was done in Holy Land that actually did stick.

        I believe doing things without evil that sticks.

        I believe that in this setting no one did any evil that did stick.

        We certainly did offend, and we certainly may and will continue to offend. Still, everyone is responsible (in act) after act.

        To offend can even be a priority to the Church Charismatic – but I do not worry about that. I am an ordained woman in Church Roman Catholic. I am not free human that just have to do whatever they wish or want.

        I hope this is helpful.

    • Harvey Epstein January 8, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      Good morning Ray032

      Thank you for your post. The comments, by Bibi, were less than “pure as the driven snow”. I never said that he, or the Israeli government was Caesars Wife. Can I reason (not rationalize in the psychological sense) as to why Bibi couched his fears and frustrations in the manner that he did? Sure. Would my reasoning of this do “justice” to the peaceful part of the Arab/Israeli population? No! Would it do justice to those living in the PA or Gaza? Probably, if you rely on the recent polls which show that the majority of those folks now feel that these attacks, and worse, should take place, etc.

      But let us try to put some of this into perspective and ask ourselves why it appears that Bibi went off the deep end over this. The PA, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. have roots inside of Israel. They encourage these stabbings, encourage shootings of Jews, recommend that the perpetrators of these acts begin to act in groups and not just as individuals. Leaders in mosques, in both Israel and elsewhere, call for this type of random violence. This type of call even comes from the Temple Mount! Appreciating this, one can understand how it could be that this type of reaction by Bibi could take place. The average Jewish/Israeli, who is in Bibi’s political camp, might express him/herself using this type of language, but as the leader of the government, Bibi is held to the highest standard and should know better. But no leader is always perfect, Israel is under constant physical attack, Israeli/Arab citizens are killing Jews and one does not necessarily know who will be the next to attack. This is the very reaction which Israel’s enemies want to achieve.

      I do not ignore the complaint that the deaths of Palestinian and/or Arab/Israelis are not being followed up in the same manner as those in the case of Jews. Each is entitled to the same level of dignity and intensity. Do I presume that the PA is not involved in investigating any of the 56 deaths you mention? I ask this because the word “Palestinian” sometimes seems to be used to refer to those living in the area controlled by the PA, and sometimes as a synonym for “Arab/Israeli”.

      As to your comments about “guns”, you are also speaking about the debate going on in the USA. Reactions here seem to be the same as those in Israel. Otherwise, I wimp out with a ” no comment”.

      Let us also recognize that within your post you point out that Israel is, for whatever reason, increasing funding for the protection of Arab/Israeli citizens (apparently long overdue – a delay which I do not condone), increasing school funding (I understand that part of these funds are intended to increase the Hebrew literacy rate of the Arab children, this being done for the better integration of these children into modern Israel), improving infrastructure, etc.

      The key for me is that Israel is trying to do better and I hope it is not too late. One may legitimately question each of the motives behind any delay in making these improvements. More improvements cry out to be made for all of those who live in the area. At least recognize that some things seem to be on a road towards improvement.

      While the Israeli police might be overreacting (and I am not totally convinced that they are), the court system seems to be acting as the proper check, as I would expect in any democratic society.

      As to pressure being applied to family members of suspected Jewish terrorists, I am of the understanding that this has taken place as a result of the heinous murders by our crazies. One must remember that Israel has and is vigorously pursuing those cases, even to the extent of looking closely at some of the rabbis who may have influenced these young religious extremists. Israel is even investigating those who participated in those awful wedding dances, etc. With equal justification, any possible involvement in Arab crimes, whether against Jews, Arabs or Christians, by leaders in the Muslim religious community, should also be closely investigated.

      I can not respond to each and every item in your post. I would have to live in the skin of the Jewish/Israeli citizens involved, and also in the skin of the Muslims as well. I can understand some of the frustrations felt by both. What I have difficulty with is that the multiple attacks taking place against innocent civilians of Jewish origin seem to be swept under the rug, by so many, because of perceived or actual injustices against Muslims (which, for the most part, are of far less magnitude on the scales of justice: attempted or actual murder vs. over zealous investigation of the crime).

      Looks like the most recent mass murderer was shot to death in a fire fight with Israeli police. I don’t know what his grieving family is going to do, but at least those harmed by him might get some sense of justice having finally taken place.

      Do any of my above considerations condone any injustice against any Muslim? No! Do they excuse any injustice against any Jewish/Israeli? No! But I hope that they do bring some sense of balance, or at least an understanding as to what probably took ( might have taken?) place.

      I hope I have been able to bring some clarity or objectivity to these onerous and sometimes overly one sided arguments. I have tried to present the above without any preconceived notion of who is ” right” and who is “evil”; slave master and slave; apartheid vs someone who holds in his own hands the keys of his alleged incarceration. I recognize that there may be those who will disagree with my posture, but then we have agreed to disagree, haven’t we.

      I have to get on with the rest of my day. Regards

  25. Laurie Knightly January 10, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    Note: Others have had difficulty getting new comments. I can only get them when I submit one and check the comment box. Then I only get comments for that essay. One has to comb thru, therefore, and look for the most recent date which is rather tedious. WordPress confirms each time that I’m in but turns out only for that one.

    • ray032 January 10, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      For some reason I’m not having that problem. When I get an email notice of a new comment, I click on comments and voila, the new comment is there.

      There may be comments sent in that were not posted to the article, and I have no way of knowing the content of those.

      From my Spiritual perspective, this is where I see this real material world is at TODAY:

      February 26, 2011

      @ Harvey, I commend you for respecting Richard’s request for an open mind, Civility, Good Will, and Mutual Respect in conducting OURSELVES and our words in his Blog. I see that in your comments, even though not everyone sees eye to eye.

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