Smearing BDS Supporters

4 Jul



[Prefatory Note: An earlier version of this post was published with the title, “The Palestinian Struggle for Self-Determination: A New Phase?” in Middle East Eye, June 26, 2016. This version stresses the misappropriation of anti-Semitism as a propaganda weapon to smear pro-Palestinian activists, especially those supportive of the BDS Campaign. It also clarifies the issues of representation by explaining the formal differences between the PLO and PA, which do not seem presently consequential in my understanding; I am indebted to Uri Davis for bringing the distinction to my attention although he may not agree with my way of handling it.]


End of the Road?


There are many reasons to consider the Palestinian struggle for self-determination a lost cause. Israel exerts unchallenged paramilitary control over the Palestinian people, a political reality accentuated periodically by brutal attacks on Gaza causing massive civilian casualties and societal dislocation. Organized Palestinian armed resistance has all but disappeared, limiting anti-Israeli violence to the desperation of individual Palestinians acting on their own and risking near certain death by striking spontaneously with primitive knives at Israelis encountered on the street, especially those thought to be settlers.


Furthermore, the current internal dialogue in Israel is disinclined to view ‘peace’ as either a goal or prospect. This dialogue is increasingly limited to whether it seems better for Israel at this time to proclaim a one-state solution that purports to put the conflict to an end or goes on living with the violent uncertainties of a status quo that hovers uncomfortably between the realities of ‘annexation’ and the challenges of ‘resistance.’ Choosing this latter course means hardening the apartheid features of the occupation regime established in 1967. It has long had the appearance of a quasi-permanent arrangement that is constantly being altered to accommodate further extensions of the de facto annexations taking place within the Palestinian territorial remnant that since the occupation commenced was never more than 22% of British administered Palestine. It is no secret that the unlawful Israeli settlement archipelago is constantly expanding and Jerusalem is becoming more Judaized to solidify on the ground Israel’s claim of undivided control over the entire city.


Israel feels decreasing pressure, really no pressure at all aside from the ticking bomb of demographics, to pretend in public that it is receptive to a negotiated peace that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The regional turbulence in the Middle East is also helpful to Israel as it shifts global attention temporarily away from the Palestinian plight, giving attention instead to ISIS, Syria, and waves of immigrants threatening the cohesion of the European Union and the centrist politics of its members. This gives Israel almost a free pass and Palestinian grievances have become for now a barely visible blip on the radar screens of public opinion.


Recent regional diplomacy strengthens Israeli security. Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey seek normalized relationships with Israel, Egypt is again supportive of Israeli interests, and the rest of the region is preoccupied with internal strife and sectarian struggles. Even without the United States standing in the background giving unconditional security guarantees, ever larger aid packages, and serving as dutiful sentry in international institutions to block censure moves, Israel has never seemed as secure as it is now. The underlying question that will be answered in years to come is whether this impression of security is appearance or reality.


Yet even such a reassuring picture from Israel’s perspective, while accurate as far as it goes, creates misimpressions unless we consider some further elements. There exist a series of reasons for the Palestinians to believe that their struggle, however difficult, is not in vain. Although the French initiative to revive bilateral negotiations is unlikely to challenge effectively Israel’s unilateralism, it does suggest a possibly emerging European willingness to raise awkward questions about the continued viability of the United States claim to be exclusively entitled to act as the international intermediary of the conflict. The Oslo framework that has dominated international diplomacy since 1993 was fatally flawed from its inception by allowing the United States to play this brokering role despite its undisguised partisanship. How could the Palestinians ever be expected to entrust their future to such a skewed ‘peace process’ unless compelled to do so as a result of their weakness? And from such weakness and skewed diplomacy only fools and knaves would expect a sustainable peace based on the equality of the two peoples to follow.


This diplomacy was exposed for the charade it was, especially by the subversive impact of continuous Israeli unlawful settlement expansion that was dealt with by Washington with diminishing expressions of disapproval. And yet this diplomatic charade was allowed to go on because it seemed ‘the only game in town’ and it had the secondary political advantage of facilitating without endorsing Israel’s ambitions with respect to land-grabbing.


A question for the future is whether the French, or the Europeans, can at some point create a more balanced alternative diplomacy that serves both parties equally and conditions diplomatic engagement upon compliance with international law. Such a possibility seems at last to being tested, however tentatively and timidly, and even this modest challenge seems to be worrying Tel Aviv. The Netanyahu leadership is suddenly once more proposing yet another round of futile Oslo negotiations with the apparent sole purpose of undermining this French innovative gesture in case it unexpectedly gains political traction.


Realistically viewed, there is no present prospect of a political compromise achieving a sustainable peace. There needs first to be a change of leadership and political climate in Israel coupled with a more overall balance of international forces than has existed in the past. It is here we witness the beginnings of a new phase in the national struggle that the Palestinians have waged ever since the nakba occurred in 1948. Gone are the hopes of Palestinian rescue by the liberating armies of Arab neighbors or later, through organized Palestinian armed resistance. Gone also is the vain hope of a negotiated peace that delivers on the vain promise of an end to Israeli occupation and the birth of a genuinely sovereign Palestinian state within 1967 borders.


Palestinian ‘Statehood’


The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)/Palestinian Authority (PA) [PLO represents the entirety of the Palestinian people whereas the PA technically represents only those Palestinians living under occupation; as a practical matter the two entities overlap, even merge, as Mahmoud Abbas is both Chair of the PLO and President of the PA; it is possible that as some point these two Palestinian organizations will act and operate separately and even at odds with one another] continue to represent the Palestinian people in global settings, including at the UN. Many Palestinians who are living under occupation and in exile consider the PA/PLO to be both ineffectual and compromised by corruption and quasi-collaboration with the occupiers. The PA/PLO on its side, after going sheepishly along with the Oslo process for more than twenty years, has begun finally to express its disillusionment by pursuing a more independent path to reach its goals. Instead of seeking Israel’s agreement to a Palestinian state accompanied by the withdrawal of its military and police forces, the PA/PLO is relying on its own version of diplomatic unilateralism to establish Palestinian statehood as well as trying to initiate judicial action to have Israeli policies and practices declared unlawful, even criminal.


In this regard, after being blocked by the United States in the Security Council, the PLO/PA obtained a favorable vote in the General Assembly according it in 2012 the status of ‘non-member statehood.’ The PA used this upgrading to adhere as a party to some widely ratified international treaties, to gain membership in UNESCO, and even to join the International Criminal Court. A year ago the PLO/PA also gained the right to fly the Palestinian flag alongside the flags of UN members at its New York headquarters.


On one level such steps seem a bridge to nowhere as the daily rigors of the occupation have intensified, and this form of ‘statehood’ has brought the Palestinian people no behavioral relief. The PLO/PA has established ‘a ghost state’ with some of the formal trappings of international statehood, but none of the accompanying governance structures and expectations associated with genuine forms of national sovereignty. And yet, Israel backed by the United States, objects strenuously at every step taken along this path of virtuality, and is obviously infuriated, if not somewhat threatened, by PLO/PA initiatives based on international law. Israel’s concern is understandable as this PLO/PA approach amounts to a renunciation of ‘the Washington only’ door to a diplomatic solution, and formally puts Israel in the legally and morally awkward position of occupying indefinitely a state recognized by both the UN and some 130 governments around the world. In other words, as we are learning in the digital age, what is virtual can also become real.



Recourse to BDS


There are other potentially transformative developments complicating an overall assessment. Partially superseding earlier phases of the Palestinian struggle is a growing reliance on global civil society as the decisive site of engagement, and a complement to various ongoing forms of non-cooperation, defiance, and resistance on the ground. The policy focus of the global solidarity movement is upon various facets of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign (or simply BDS) that is gaining momentum around the world, and especially in the West, including on American university campuses and among mainstream churches. This recourse to militant nonviolent tactics has symbolic and substantive potential if the movement grows to alter public opinion throughout the world, including in Israel and the United States. In the end, as happened in South Africa, the Israel public and leadership just might be induced to recalculate their interests sufficiently to become open to a genuine political compromise that finally and equally safeguarded the security and rights of both peoples.


At this time, Israel is responding aggressively in a variety of rather high profile ways. Its official line is to say that its continued healthy rate of economic growth shows that BDS is having a negligible economic impact. Its governmental behavior suggests otherwise. Israeli think tanks and government officials now no longer hide their worries that BDS poses the greatest threat to Israel’s preferred future, including increasing isolation and perceptions of illegitimacy. As one sign of the priority accorded this struggle against BDS, the Israeli lobby in the United States has enlisted the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate has signed up to bea militant anti-BDS activist. At the heart of this anti-BDS campaign is what is being increasingly identified as ‘a new McCarthyism,’ the insidious effort to attach punitive consequences for those who are overtly pro-BDS.



Smearing BDS


In this vein, Israel has launched its own campaign to punish and intimidate those who support BDS, and even to criminalize advocacy. The Israeli lobby has been mobilized around this anti-BDS agenda in the United States, pushing state legislatures to pass laws that punish corporations that boycott Israel by denying them access to the domestic market or declare that BDS activism is a form of hate speech that qualifies as virulent anti-Semitism. Israel is even seeking common cause with liberal Zionist J Street in the US to work together against BDS, an NGO that it had previously derisively dismissed. Support for Israel from the Clinton presidential campaign includes two disgraceful features: an explicit commitment to do what it can to destroy BDS and a promise to upgrade the special relationship still further, openly overcoming the friction that was present during Obama presidency.


It is not new, of course, to brand critics of Israel as anti-Semites. Those of us who have tried to bear witness to Israeli wrongdoing and promote a just outcome have been attacked with increasing venom over the course of the last decade or so. The attack on pro-Palestinian members of the British Labour Party as anti-Semites is part of this Zionist pushback. What is particularly disturbing is that many Western political leaders echo these defamatory and inflammatory sentiments, including even the current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who seems to be making some feeble amends as his term nears its end. Israel has no compunctions about attacking the UN as hostile and biased, while when convenient invoking its authority to discredit critics.


This inflation of the idea of anti-Semitism to cover activities protected by free speech and in the realm of responsible debate and citizen activism is on its own a regressive maneuver that deflects attention from the virulent history and outlook of those who hate Jews as individuals and support their persecution as a people. To attenuate the meaning of anti-Semitism in this way is to make the label much less ethically clear as it is improperly used to denigrate what should be permissible and even favored as well as what is properly condemned and socially rejected. To blur this boundary is to weaken the consensus on anti-Semitism that formed throughout the world after the Holacaust.


It is notable that this latest phase of Palestinian national struggle is mainly being waged nonviolently, and in a manner that accords with the best traditions of constitutional democracy. That Israel and Zionist hardliners should be opposing BDS by an ugly smear campaign exposes Israel’s vulnerability when it comes to the legitimacy of its policies and practices, and should give the Palestinians hope that their cause is far from lost.

21 Responses to “Smearing BDS Supporters”

  1. Fred Skolnik July 4, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    Since you are repeating for at least the hundredth time and with the same catch phrases a litany that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and has been shown to be distorted, biased and simply false also at least a hundred times, I am not going to repeat myself. But since I did make a few remarks about the BDS movement, which you understandably ignored, I will ask you again to address the following:

    “When Ami Ayalon, former director of Israel’s Shin Bet security service and currently a left-wing pro-peace activist, began his talk in a small room on the UK campus on January 20, protesters set off fire alarms, broke a window, threw chairs and physically assaulted a female attending the talk as they screamed abuse” (from the Jerusalem Post).

    “I’m surprised that none of you picked this up or the dozens of other reports of similar incidents on campuses all across America and Britain. In addition to its heedless and vicious efforts to undermine Israel’s economic and academic life, the BDS movement is becoming more and more violent, so it is a little disingenuous if not entirely hypocritical to complain about the “provocative” actions of Israel’s supporters. This is what I mean about challenging and exposing your biases and misreprsentations. You are perfectly aware of the violence being directed against visiting Israelis and supporters of Israel on American campuses and elsewhere by the BDS movement and choose to conceal it in your rhetorical barrages and imply that the “provocative efforts” are one-sided, and this speaks directly to your honesty.”

    • Richard Falk July 4, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

      Briefly. I know nothing about the incident involving Ami Ayalon, but I have
      doubts that the protest was in any way related to the BDS campaign. To the extent
      that it was violent in the way that you report, then it should have led to disciplinary
      measures against those involved. In no way is it appropriate to use the smear tactics
      of the anti-BDS movement, now endorsed by the Democratic presidential candidate. Anger
      over Shin Bet’s behavior, as over the behavior of the CIA and other security agencies,
      is common among political progressives, but whether justified or not, is unrelated to
      hatred of Jews, the core reality of anti-Semitism.

      • Fred Skolnik July 7, 2016 at 9:21 am #

        Whether “anger” toward Israel and/or Jews is or isn’t an expression of Jew hatred can be ascertained easily enough by examining the terms in which it expresses itself and certainly cannot be sweepingly dismissed, as you do, as “unrelated to hatred of Jews.” It is natural, I think, for the victims of Jew hatred to recognize it for what it is and for its perpetrators to deny or rationalize it. The hypocrisy of the BDS people certainly arouses justifiable suspicion. Among other things I have asked you how it is that American BDS academics, for example, aren’t boycotting their own universities in response to the sins of the American government that you are always telling us about and quitting their cushy jobs. I am not surprised that you have avoided the question.

  2. Mark Selden July 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Richard, A brilliant discussion of the overwhelming Israel-US position. The latter part of the essay which I anticipated would suggest the potential for proPalestinian or justice initiatives I think remains the challenge.


    • Richard Falk July 4, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

      Thanks, Mark, you are right about ‘the challenge,’ which I am trying to address in a short
      book in process. Admittedly, the challenge is itself a challenge. Hope you are doing fine.


  3. Zak July 5, 2016 at 5:29 am #

    Professor Falk, you mentioned that it is yet to be seen whether the French attempt will include international law as a framework for “diplomatic engagement”. I was wondering about your opinion on something that has passed unnoticed so far, and may be minor but to me is devastatingly significant.

    I will leave aside the 1 state vs 2 state issue, as me and you disagree on the practical viabilities concerning these (even though on 1 hand you do mention the above noted int’l legal framework, which does demand, unambiguously, a 2 state solution, and the loss of hope for such a solution, later on in the article) but I would value your insight nonetheless.

    The Quartet just released a report and though I have not read it, I did see an opinion piece by Nickolay Mladenov (special coordinator for ME peace process) where he summerized some points from the Quartet report.

    In this piece he states that the UN and Quartet unequivocally reject the intervention of the int’l community in solving the conflict – no solution will be enforced by the int’l community. As the US has been heavily involved in the Quartet, it has been quite clear that the US-directed “peace process” which has given cover to continued Israeli expansion (as you mentioned) would be exported there, though admittedly the Quartet’s language and positions have been less extreme than the US’ classical positions. This latest statement has shocked me though.

    Even scarier, I came across Mladenov’s article through Chris Gunness. Someone as principled and informed as Mr. Gunness endorsing such rejection of int’l law does weigh heavy on my mind, in terms of hope for a solution that even slightly resembles a just solution. I have asked both you and Norman Finkelstein in the past about some specifics concerning int’l law – the ICJ ruling in 1949 which says that all UNSC resolutions are binding, meaning that a Palestinian state on the ’67 borders and a complete, unconditional withdrawal from the OPT is the law, not subject to negotiations of any kind, and that given the status of UNSC orders under the rules of the UN Charter, this means that int’l intervention is not only legitimate, but expressly required.

    Both you and Mr. Finkelstein confirmed to me that yes indeed, this is the law and that Israel’s occupation is illegal based on the binding nature of UNSC orders (Mr. Finkelstein has adopted the non-temporary reality of the occupation as a basis for declaring the occupation illegal, citing UN precedents like Namibia), but also both expressed the reality that literally no one cares about the law in this case.

    I have completely accepted – weighing practicalities – Mr. Finkelstein’s view that approaching this conflict based on the law is the only legitimate option, with the highest chance for success at achieving a solution which ends Palestinian suffering sooner rather than later, yet this statement by Mladenov shatters that view. The Quartet and a UN representative are explicitely rejecting int’l law (intervention to enforce the UN’s own laws and Charter commitments) and saying that negotiations between an Occupying Power and those under occupation – a process that would by definition be nothing resembling actual negotiations given the great imbalance in power, leverage and support between the parties – is the only acceptable way forward.

    Is this as important as I think it is? Is this as devastating to the hope of a solution based on int’l law as I feel it is? Is it simply a reiteration of long-standing Quartet/UN statements and unofficially official UN policy that I have simply missed?

    I understand that you, personally, feel a rights-based approach is the better course and have adopted such a position, but your record and expertise on the law cannot be ignored by me, you are a titan in the field. I would greatly appreciate any insight you have that would either calm me down, or reveal a devastating reality I would have to consider accepting.

    Thank you for your time and again, for everything you do.


    • Richard Falk July 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm #


      You raise very complex and important questions that would require a very lengthy response to
      deal with adequately, and facing deadlines, I can only respond briefly, that is inadequately.
      The failure over the decades to enforce international law in relation to the conflict creates
      a situation in which there needs to be an accommodation between legal rights and the political
      realities of the situation. In this regard, legal rights are relevant and important, but so is
      the dynamics of political compromise. You make me think that I should be more precise about how
      and why to take international law into account, and I will try to do this. In the meantime, you
      are right to be deeply concerned about the Quartet Report’s inattention to violation of IHL and
      human rights, and general disregard of Palestinian rights. Best wishes, and thanks for your gracious words.


      • Zaki July 7, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

        Thank you for your comments, though short your mention of practicality does carry much weight.

        Thank you for taking the time.


    • Fred Skolnik July 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

      You are once again misrepresenting the relevant UN resolutions. The occupation as such is not illegal and no UN resolution calls for the “unconditional” withdrawal from occupied territories. The condition has always been “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” (Resolution 242) and the means had always been envisaged as a negotiated settlement. Not one without the other. Not one before the other. Not one instead of the other. BOTH! I will not repeat the Arab reply or the relevant paragraphs of the Hamas Charter or the recent Iranian call for the liberation of “all occupied territory,” meaning the State of Israel itself.

      • Zaki July 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

        lol 242 explicitly states that the law rejects any acquisition of territory through force. It allows orders a withdrawal of Israeli forces to the ’49 armistice lines (don’t bring up the lack of “all” or pretend to be confused about where what the border is to be as it’s 2016 and we have free access to the diplomatic record of the framers of 242 and your habara is a few decades old, we know even the US fully supported a withdrawal to the ’49 armistice lines). This was not conditioned on negotiations or peace.

        The political negotiations in the decades that followed – 242 did state that the UN should be involved in negotiating the implementation of these legal demands, not the legality of those demands or the depth to which they would be implemented, again we have the diplomatic record of this time to confirm – did, of course, revolve around a quid pro quo of “land for peace”. This, this is not required by the law and was simply a political framework. Everyone knows this, it’s not disputed except by official Israeli hasbara. Even the ICJ when it ruled on these issues in 2004 stated clearly that negotiations were declared by 242 as a mechanism to implement the law, not change, distort or argue about it.

        You may respond if you like, I will not answer you. You come here to troll, consistently and though Mr. Falk demonstrates the patience of a monk in dealing with you, I have no such steadfastness to draw on.

        I drop these comments and responses to your hasbara – decades old and completely busted, refuted and long discarded by any serious scholars on the topic – for the sake of others who may read this.

      • Fred Skolnik July 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

        Dear Zak

        Occupation is not acquisition. If it were illegal, then all occupations would be illegal, including the Allied occupation of Germany.

        The first operative patagraph of Resolution 242 sets out what is required from Israel and the second what is required from the Arabs. The Resolution requires that both apply. Not one without the other. Not one before the other. Not one instead of the other. BOTH!

        Invoking “hasbara” and unnamed “serious scholars” when your assertions explode in your face is pretty meaningless.

    • ray032 July 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      Zak, the US Supreme Court in the Citizens United case said Corporations are People allowing big money to effect the results of elections.

      The UN is located in New York and the US pays for most of it. Not everything is reported in the MSM, and major decisions are taken in private, behind doors closed to the Public. The UN has it’s hands tied by US financing.

      In my view, it is the US which has become a rogue State, abandoning the Rule of International Law by their own actions, while pointing the finger and casting stones on any other regime in violation of International Law except Israel.

      The whole world knows the US went to the UN with lies, seeking UN sanction to invade Iraq, the only Legal body in this world having the authority to grant that permission.

      The UN said NO! The US invaded anyway, in violation of International Law. This world is still reaping the negative consequences of that US illegal action in abandoning the framework of International Law in place since WWII.

      This is a dangerous and volatile game of pride of power in this world, and the future of humanity is threatened.

      Seeing many of the hypocritical, double standards and self serving lies being projected by the Leaders makes me angry, but I am a non-violent individual. What can be done when the MSM is owned by those same Corporations who seek only ratings and profits, abdicating the power and responsibility they have in building a Cohesive Nation?

      I see all the circumstances coming together in this real material world unfolding along these lines published by THE KANSAS CITY TIMES, September 13, 1976:“He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”

      The September 13, 1976 KANSAS CITY TIMES report also records the warning of an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

      The Revelation of the unfolding events reported by Today’s news media indicate the TIME of the fulfillment of that prophecy is now at hand, unless saner heads prevail!

      Obviously, other than being a messenger, I had nothing to do with these events unfolding along those lines from 40 years ago Today.

      When the Secret Service questioned me on the restricted balcony at the podium of the President of the United States at The Republican National Convention in 1976, I was so surprised when the SS Agent asked me after the 12th question, “Are you Jesus Christ?” I had no illusions about that then or now, and in a nanosecond answered, NO! “Who are you then, a Prophet?” was the next question.

      Put yourself in my shoes in that most unusual, unexpected, surprise, real life situation. What would you think?

      Deuteronomy 9:4-6
      After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.”
      No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
      Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

  4. QCPal July 5, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    Reblogged this on QCpal.

  5. Patrick Sudlow July 5, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Reblogged this on patricktsudlow and commented:
    The harder the Israelis try to stifle criticism and condemnation of its war crimes. Palestinians and their supporters will not be silenced, by foul lies and accusations thrown at them. The TRUTH is might, not might the truth!

  6. Rev. Steve Berube July 5, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Richard, thank you for your helpful commentary. Your experience and insights are important to me and many others who support peace with justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

    I have referenced your final report as Special Rappoteur and used several quotes from your postings in deliberations within the United Church of Canada and with several Canadian Members of Parliament regarding boycott and divestment.

    I appreciate your willingness to remain engaged on the issue. I look forward with great anticipation to your upcoming book.


  7. Fred Skolnik July 7, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    And here, Prof. Falk, is precisely what I mean by the hypocrisy of calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions while continuing to benefit from Israeli technology and medical research:

    Do let us have your thoughts about this shameless hypocrisy.

  8. Beau Oolayforos July 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Poor Hillary’s susceptibility to bribery is indeed disheartening, almost as much as her blind willingness to jump on the PNAC bandwagon in ’03. It seems we must depend on her apparent personal graciousness, along with some ability to learn from past errors. Her opponent will do, hopefully, about as well as Goldwater did. I only hope that the outcome for our latest Vietnam turns out better.

  9. Mike 71 July 24, 2016 at 2:03 am #

    Prof. Falk must believe that his excrement doesn’t stink. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and any denial of Jewish self-determination, while using the term “Nakba” exposes his hypocrisy. As Palestinians neither offer, nor accept any resolution providing for two, or given Palestinian divisions, multiple states, including recognizing Israel as a state, their “one to the exclusion of the other” doctrine leaves the possibility of diplomatic resolution impossible. To quote Bernard Lewis, “If the conflict is about the size of Israel, then long and difficult negotiations can eventually resolve the problem. But if the conflict is about the existence of Israel, , then serious negotiation is impossible.” If the Palestinians are not bound by UNGAR 181, providing for two states, “one Arab and one Jewish,” then neither is Israel, which as the victorious belligerent of the 1967 “Six Day War,” may under International Law, retain captured land, until possession is modified by peace treaty. See: The absence of a Palestinian negotiating partner forecloses Palestinian statehood, as long as all land, including Israel within the 1949 “Green Line,” not recognized as an international boundary, remains in dispute.

    The larger Middle-Eat conflict (the Syrian Civil War, Assad vs. Daesh, vs. Al Nusra, an affiliate of al-Qaida, vs Kurds, et al,) makes Palestinians largely irrelevant in the larger conflict. The convergence of Egyptian, Jordanian and Gulf Cooperation Council states with Israel vs. Iran, likewise makes the Palestinians irrelevant to the larger conflict. The three failed Hamas initiated wars against Israel (Operation Cast Lead, 2008-09, Pillar of Defense, 2012 and Operation Defensive Edge, 2014) only produced death and destruction in Gaza. As Hamas prepares for a fourth war, it needs reminding of Einstein’s adage about insanity consisting of repeating failed actions expecting a different result. Article 13 of the Hamas Covenant explicitly rejects all forms of non-violent conflict resolution in favor of war. Read it at: Hamas promises that its fourth war will be its last; Israel can ensure that outcome by pummeling Gaza to the point of total obliteration, or unconditional surrender, whichever occurs first. As Thucydides, Historian of the Peloponnesian War, phrased it in the Melian Debate,” The strong do what they will; the weak suffer what they must.” As before, Israel may invoke her “inherent right to individual, or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

    The French initiative has been dismissed by Ban Ki-Moon, in calling for direct negotiations between the parties. Oslo failed due to lack of Palestinian commitment to a multiple state solution, leaving unilateral decision making to Israel by default. “Armed Struggle” is no longer viable agains the high tech I.D.F., House demolitions have proven an effective disincentive by making one’s family homeless for acts of terrorism. B.D.S., a futile gesture, has negligible effect on Israel’s high tech economy.Many state and local governments in enacting “counter-B.D.S. measures,” adopted them to ban contracts and investment in entities supporting B.D.S. In the tradition of Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, “counter-B.D.S. measures are a strike against anti-Semitism, a form of bigotry as pernicious as “Jim Crow” racism. Nothing in these measures impedes the First Amendment right to advocate boycotts, but they do expose hypocrisy, double standards and bigotry of B.D.S.

    • Richard Falk July 24, 2016 at 2:41 am #

      This kind of screed does not deserve publication, but I allow it for now to show the extremism of some Israeli apologists.

      Ever since 1988 Palestinian leaders have over and over again accepted pre-1967 Israel as a permanent reality as does the program
      of BDS. To claim otherwise is to be outside the boundaries of reasonable debate.

      • Mike 71 July 24, 2016 at 10:22 am #

        My comment should have more appropriately been directed at your post of June 8, 2016, where your prevarication in denying the existence of anti-Semitism in the denial of the Jewish peoples’ right to self-determination, within any portion of their ancient ancestral homeland is most obvious. Yet, you never acknowledged the fact that the founding documents of both the P.L.O and Hamas, which remain in effect, reject the existence of a Jewish state within any part of ancient Israel. The purported acceptance of Israeli sovereignty within the 1949 “Green Line,” again not recognized anywhere as an international boundary, is a fiction neither recognized by Hamas, nor Fatah, which refuses to engage in direct negotiations. As noted by Fred Skolnik, above, on July 5th and 7th, occupation is not necessarily illegal, nor permanent. The Soviet/Russian occupation of East German, later unified German territory in the wake of World War II, extended into 1994. As further noted by Mr. Skolnik, ending the occupation requires “Termination of all claims and states of hostility,” under the criteria of UNSCR 242, before the conflict and occupation can end. That is something which Palestinians refuse to do, thus extending the post 1967 “Six Day War” occupation indefinitely. Refusing to negotiate “secure and recognized boundaries” for all of the states in the region, constitutes acquiescence in the status-quo.

        The vile stench of anti-Semitism still pervades this blog, more so for the post of June 8, 2016, than this one, but the taint of bigotry and arrogance continue to undermine the Palestinian statehood cause, impede resolution of the conflict, and which makes the occupation a continuing necessity.

      • Zak July 25, 2016 at 4:44 am #

        Mike your comments contain so much half truths, ommissions and lies it’s ridiculous to even respond.

        For example.

        Moon, along with his neverending see-sawing back and forth, has also confirmed, multiple times, the matters of int’l law mentioned here – a complete withdrawal to the ’49 armistice lines, the requirement to establish a sovereign Palestinian state, the illegality of the settlements. We can assume you won’t be quoting him on these issues lol.

        The “founding documents” of the PLO and Hamas are irrelevant as the PLO accepted the int’l consensus (2 state solution) in 1976 when it began supporting such resolutions at the UN, and Hamas did so in 2006 when it entered politics officially. Unless, of course we wanna discuss these “founding” declarations along with the party platforms of all mainstream and rulling Israeli parties which implicitely or explicitely reject the 2 state solution and int’l law.

        The pre-June 1967 border has been determined by int’l law to be the borders of Israel. There is no debate, question or confusion about this. The UNSC delivered binding orders to this effect in 1967 (expanding the territory of Israel from the mandate borders to the ’49 armistice lines, the first and only exception to the “acquisition of territory through force” rule in modern history).

        And we could on and on and on but why? None of this, nor demands that int’l law be implemented and enforced, constitute racism if any kind, including anti-semitism. At most, someone could argue that this was anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab racism because the law here normalizes and legitimizes a colonial project which cleansed the Natives. Anti-semitism? lol it’s 2016 bud, your 1960s hasbara points just don’t fly today.

        There is real racism in this world, all over and it’s shameful to abuse it by trying to deflect from a state’s crimes.

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