Interview on Palestine for Middle East Eye with Hilary Wise

17 Oct

Prefatory Note: What follows is an interview published in Middle East Eye and conducted and edited by Hilary Wise, who is very proud that her ‘Hilary’ has only one ‘l’ unlike our current presidential candidate, who with help from several sources, most of all, from her opponent, seems on the road to victory on November 8th. I want above all that Palestine will not suffer the fate of other oppressed people, and be written off as ‘a forgotten struggle,’ or worse, ‘a lost cause.’]


“Apartheid, annexation, mass displacement and collective punishment have become core policies of the state of Israel.” Such a clear and uncompromising statement may be unusual for a high-flying academic and former top UN official, but it is typical of Richard Falk.

With his tall, spare frame, neatly trimmed white beard and quiet, scholarly demeanour, Falk appears the epitome of a retired professor. He is indeed an Emeritus Professor of International Law at Princeton University, but “retired’ is not a word in his vocabulary, even at the age of 85.

His pages-long bibliography on issues as diverse and complex as racism, the Iraq war and climate change bears witness to his intellectual energy and the breadth of his political commitment. Still travelling the world speaking on a wide range of topics, his latest book Palestine Horizon: Toward a Just Peace will be published in a few months’ time.

“Apartheid, annexation, mass displacement and collective punishment have become core policies of the state of Israel”Why Palestine?

As for many of his generation, including Noam Chomsky, the Vietnam war played a major role in Falk’s political education: “Two transformative visits to ‘the enemy,’ North Vietnam, led me to understand the war from the perspective of a low tech society utterly vulnerable to high tech warfare, and changed my commitment from opposition to an imprudent war to the rejection of an unjust and immoral war. It was this basic shift in political consciousness that underpins my approach to Israel/Palestine.”

Responding to the Zionist claim that Israel is unfairly singled out for criticism in a world full of brutally oppressive regimes, Falk points to two distinguishing features. One is the unprecedented role played by the UN, in endorsing the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and in partitioning Palestine.

The second is “the UN’s continuing inability to challenge Israel’s policies and practices that defy Security Council Resolution 242 and the international consensus proposing an independent sovereign state of Palestine”.

Known as an authoritative voice on Palestine from the late 1990s, it was as UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine from 2008–2014 that Falk came to prominence worldwide. It is an unpaid job that few would envy, as the path of opposition to Israel’s policies is strewn with wrecked careers and ruined reputations. But Falk picked up this hottest of political hot potatoes without hesitation.

Part of his commitment stems from the fact that he is both American and Jewish. The US clearly provides Israel with unparalleled political, economic and military support and, “as a Jew it concerns me that this state that claims to be a Jewish state – itself problematic given its ethnic composition – fails to live up to international legal and moral standards”.

For him, being Jewish means being “preoccupied with overcoming injustice and thirsting for justice in the world, and that means being respectful toward other peoples regardless of their nationality or religion, and empathetic in the face of human suffering, whoever and wherever victimisation is encountered.”

The cost of commitment

The vilification Falk has endured is inevitable, given his reputation for combining legal rigour with unflinching candour. From the outset, his appointment as special rapporteur was vehemently opposed by Israel and its supporters. When he arrived to assume his duties, he was put in jail near Ben Gurion airport and has since been excluded from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Like many others who speak out on this issue, he has come up against pro-Israel groups which have sought – generally unsuccessfully – to get events he participated in cancelled, or speaking invitations withdrawn.

On the special venom reserved for Jewish critics of Israel, he recalls: “My worst moment with respect to being Jewish occurred when the Wiesenthal Institute in Los Angeles listed me as the third most dangerous anti-Semite in the world in their annual identification of the ten most dangerous anti-Semites in 2013.” He adds wryly, “Although hurtful, such a designation did give me the sense that I must be doing something right in my UN reports to get such prominent attention.”

Even his Turkish-born wife Hilal Elver, herself a highly distinguished academic, found herself in the firing line when she was about to be appointed UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food.

“UN Watch mounted a vicious campaign accusing her falsely of being a front for my views and sharing my alleged bias toward Israel. She actually had never taken public positions of any kind on political issues and had never published anything critical of Israel except for a short piece that raised some questions about the political uses of Israel’s desalination technology.

In the end, her appointment was approved by the Human Rights Council, but the adverse publicity made it a painful experience, especially for her, but also for me.”

Despite the obstacles, as Special Rapporteur Falk was tireless in monitoring and cataloguing events in the region in scrupulous detail. The conclusions he has drawn, especially in relation to Israel’s multiple violations of international law, are couched in unambiguous language, with terms such as “apartheid,” or “state-sponsored terrorism” and “ethnic cleansing,” being carefully defined and justified. And he has met the voices of his critics from the unconditional supporters of Israel with calm rational rebuttals.

Children bear the brunt

Of all aspects of the occupation and dispossession of the Palestinian people, the plight of children – be they the thousands killed and maimed in Gaza, or the hundreds detained every year in Israeli jails – has commanded his special attention.

A very recent contribution to the field of Palestinian human rights is Falk’s preface to a heart-rending collection of testimonies: “Dreaming of Freedom; Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak.”

Of the extortion of confessions from children he writes: “In a manner that I encountered in apartheid South Africa, maintaining innocence is usually punished worse than confessions, whether true of false, and thus there is no incentive whatsoever to hold out. What is even more dehumanising is the demand of Israeli officials that these Palestinian teenagers implicate their friends and neighbours.”

“Maintaining innocence is usually punished worse than confessions, whether true of false”
To Israel’s claims that the killing and imprisonment of young Palestinians – largely for the crime of throwing stones at military vehicles – is justified, he counters that physical resistance to many years of oppression, however ineffective, is “a natural and entirely understandable response to the brutalities and indignities of military occupation, especially if carried on in violation of international humanitarian law”.

He calls for the International Committee of the Red Cross “first to study the subject of children under occupation, and then to prepare a draft convention and convene a meeting of governments and legal experts to consider this special challenge of child prisoners in circumstances of belligerent occupation”. Failing that, he proposes that the UN Human Rights Council or the secretary general appoint a commission to prepare such a convention.

On the related question of calling Israel to account for alleged war crimes in Gaza, he admits that the political obstacles to any prosecution are immense: “It seems unlikely that the ICC [the International Criminal Court] will embark on such a politically difficult journey, especially since Israel will not cooperate with any issuance of arrest warrants.” He doubts whether the International Court of Justice would be any more effective: ”Israel would have to agree, which is inconceivable, or at least allow Israeli defendants to be brought before the court in the Hague.“

Another legal route, that of seeking an advisory opinion from the UN General Assembly, such as that issued in 2004, strongly condemning the construction of the separation wall, carries immense moral authority. Admittedly, he says, the latter proved ineffective in reining in Israel’s appetite for settlement and annexation, but the symbolic value of such measures and the encouragement they provide to civil society movements should not be underestimated.

The road ahead

A realist as well as an idealist, Falk sees no likelihood of Israel modifying its policies in the near future: “I do think that Israel is likely to continue mounting periodic attacks on Gaza for a variety of reasons, including the competitive edge gained in the arms market from field testing weapons and tactics.”

“I do think that Israel is likely to continue mounting periodic attacks on Gaza for a variety of reasons, including the competitive edge gained in the arms market from field testing weapons and tactics.”
“Jeff Halper’s The War Against the People makes this argument in a detailed and persuasive way. Halper also shows that these arms connections with more than 100 countries also have diplomatic side benefits, by giving foreign governments incentives not to take strong positions against Israel at the UN or elsewhere.”
Nevertheless, he finds reason for hope. “There have been major shifts of attitudes here in the US, especially among younger people, including Jews. Israel has lost its early image of being an idealistic and dynamic society that is a successful political model in a region that is dominated by military and religious autocracies.”

He also speaks of Palestinian civil society activists and their leaders as “increasingly the most authentic representatives of the Palestinian people,” and strongly supports the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) launched in 2005, which has become the centre of a growing global solidarity movement.

“If the BDS campaign can continue to build support and mount pressure,“ he says, “it has some chance of inducing Israeli political elites to recalculate their interests, and seek compromise and accommodation based on the equality of the two peoples. This is essentially what happened in South Africa, which also seemed like an impossibility – until it happened.”

Against this campaign are ranged the forces of a powerful pro-Israel lobby fighting worldwide to equate any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Falk finds this understandable: “Israeli think tanks in recent years have accurately concluded that what they call ‘the delegitimation project’ is a greater danger to Israeli security than is the prospect of revived Palestinian armed struggle.”

Clinton hostility to BDS

In relation to the upcoming elections, he is deeply disturbed by Hillary Clinton’s pledge to major Jewish donors that, if elected, she will oppose BDS. For Falk, this is a position that poses constitutional questions of repressing freedom of expression and nonviolent political advocacy. “Criticism of a political movement or of state policies and practices is treated as if it were hate speech – which totally contradicts the idea that citizens in a democratic society have the right and even the duty to follow their conscience with respect to public issues.”

Having witnessed many unforeseen political convulsions and transformations around the world, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Arab Spring, Falk does not despair of an eventual just solution in Palestine. He sees a “settler colonial society” like Israel as a complete anachronism in the 21st century and is certain that “the flow of history is on the side of the Palestinians”.

“The only humane and practical solution,” he says, “is to work out some kind of arrangement that shares Palestine on the basis of equality, whether as one state or two.”

But there is a prerequisite for peace: “To reach such a goal, the Israeli leadership would also have to acknowledge, in an open formal process, the wrongs inflicted on the Palestinians over the years since the establishment of Israel in 1948, starting with the Nakba (catastrophe).”

An impossible dream? Falk refers again to the sea-change wrought in South Africa, with its courageous Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “If the regional situation turns against Israel and if the US is not unconditionally supportive, then unexpected changes should not be ruled out.”

56 Responses to “Interview on Palestine for Middle East Eye with Hilary Wise”

  1. Schlüter October 18, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    Thanks a lot for the post! Regards

  2. Gene Schulman October 18, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    Thank goodness for the Richard Falks of this world who not only have the humanity and political consciousness, supported by their vast learning, to give hope, so futile as it seems, to those of us who have virtually succumbed to despair. I am proud to number myself among his friends.

  3. Walker Percy October 18, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    I wonder how much your listing as third worst anti-semite is due to your failure to delete comments on your blog that were deemed beyond the pale? If so, sorry for any inconvenience it has caused you, but bravo for this dubious distinction (I wonder who could be even more evil than you to rate the number one slot, that other tenured Haman, Mearsheimer?). We are all grateful to you for remaining strong against the onslaught of public shaming and behind-the-scenes character assassination and defaming. But you are unassailable, even in your tone, which remains calm and respectful in response to venomous slanders and threats. Our only way out is through extreme truth-telling, regardless of the implications and who gets hurt. In that sport, you have taken the gold medal, not some measly third-place bronze.

    Richard, the most amazing thing has happened: the comments sections for websites that address questions about Israel are disappearing, or are fielding 3 or 4 anodyne comments, when a year ago there would have been hundreds, usually running 90 percent virulently, and often eloquently, anti-zionist. Are we being pacified? At what level? Is gov’t intervening to shut down free speech? Where does that lead? Will we look back in 30 years at this moment as the one where Big Brother was switched on? What will people like me do to continue the fight? Are there alternative forums that can be reached if you know how? Have we officially entered the dystopian future, and if so, who should be blamed? I look to you for answers, or at least some plausible interpretation of what the hell is going on!
    Walker Percy

    • Richard Falk October 19, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks, Walker, for your comments that raise questions I wish that I knew how to answer. I
      have had no direct evidence of any interference with comments. I suspect part of what you
      notice is the result of fatigue on both sides of the issue, and the sad realization that nothing
      for the better is likely to change in the near future. As we know, this does lighten the burden
      of daily oppression that the Palestinian people feel, who themselves I think find themselves
      puzzled and discouraged at this point, possibly reflecting the quality of leadership associated
      with the Palestinian national movement. I think this is a time for patience and careful listening.
      I wish that I could provide a better answer.

      BTW, #1 & #2 were the Supreme Guide of Iran and the Prime Minister of Turkey, and so being #3 suggests
      that at the time representing the UN was challenging the aggressions of the hasbara wrecking crew.

      With greetings, Richard


      • Walker percy October 22, 2016 at 8:35 am #

        Not sure if I agree with your explanation for the sudden change in commenting about Israel and Zionism. While you may be correct that fatigue with fighting hasbarists through on line comments may be kicking in, there also must have been a change in the policies of many websites, or they have been hacked. As an example, Mondoweiss for the last two weeks has experienced a major problem in their comments. We also know that companies like Google and Facebook are being bullied by Zionist groups that are probably exerting financial pressure, blackmail, shaming and using other coercive tactics to secretly control the tone of online content. The companies claim that they are only cooperating to help identify and suppress comments from potential jihadists, but why stop there? They know that the real threat is people like you and I, and they have bet all their chips on the success of their horrid enterprise, so they must take us down, regardless of the cost. The sad truth is that, eventually, the truth will be known. And then all jews will be blamed for protecting these villains. Could this pattern explain all of the historical episodes of judeocide and forced conversions?

      • Kata Fisher October 23, 2016 at 7:23 am #


        This is what I understand:

        Those patterns do not explain the historical episodes of Judeocide and forced conversions.

        What was happening to the Jewish folks throughout millennia – was nothing different what was happening to the Church – for example, Persecution under Nero, 60’s AD – when the Christians were accused of things that they did not do.

        Actual Church has never forced converted anyone, and never will – because forced conversions were never valid to the Church – even to this day Jews of forced conversions within the Churches are not the Church – they are not grafted into the Church without Baptism in God’s Spirit trough Free Fall – regardless if they are members of the Church for serval generations they are not converted to the Curch.

        Actual Church does not recognise conversions to the Church from other religions/Faiths without Baptism in God’s Spirit (always by free fall – all over is in abuse apostolic church order) – this is in specific and in general rule.

        Death decrees against Jews and any other’s would not have been issued by the Actual Church – because only death that Church recognises towards anyone is never taken outside Judas Iscariot’s context. When Church takes that someone is deserving death – that is always meant in same context as Judas Iscariot’s

        All evil was done by heretics in satanic seals and blasphemy’s of the Spirit that is in the Church – folks who are not the psychical and spiritual Church – but are Antichurch. Those who did forced conversion of Jew were always in Antichrist and of Antichrist.

        Actual Jews were never in conflict with actual Church.

    • Kata Fisher October 20, 2016 at 9:32 am #

      “I look to you for answers, or at least some plausible interpretation of what the hell is going on!”

      • walker percy October 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

        …and we all fall down.
        The Black Death has come for the poor souls in Aleppo and Mosul, as they watch their kids buried alive in the rubble of the concrete buildings they have no escape from. will this ever end?

      • Kata Fisher October 21, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

        “Evils of military chapels”
        “Inventors of evil things”

        I am not God and do not have answers. I do not know.

    • Laurie Knightly October 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      Walker, you might check on how blog comment sections are losing favor altogether.The oversight/moderation/deletes/warnings required to deal with spammers/trolls/abuse/personal agenda,vularity etc requires more vigilance than the net gain is worth. ‘Flaming’ is common and checking the description of this common practice is helpful. The Hasbara Guidebook, moreover, outlines the harassment methods. It’s been effective – unfortunately. Many worthy commenters are unwilling to participate – understandably.

      Facebook is recently reported to have made an agreement with Israel to block certain persons under the pretext of their causing ‘incitement’. The destruction of Palestine does not cause incitement apparently – disallow origins of incitement. This type of censorship is on the increase.

      Another method is that of persons like Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic. He names, Tony Judt, Tony Karon, R Falk, Naomi Fink, MJ Rosenberg, Sara Roy, and Phillip Weiss as ‘part of a tiny minority of Jews who believe that ‘the destruction of Israel will bring them the approval of non Jews which they crave.’ Better that Goldberg blasts decent people such as those listed than the many millions of Evangelical Christians who most eagerly anticipate the destruction of Israel. Right?

      • Kata Fisher October 27, 2016 at 7:29 am #

        Laurie – just a short note on this:

        Evangelical Christians have wildest ecclesiastical order – and the order of their teaching / interpretation of the Scriptures and New Testament is very diverse. However, they hold to certain doctrines that are neither reality of the past, or present – or the future. With that – they happen to be far of from actual core of the First Generation of the Christians.

        They certainly have juridic person/s. From Canonical perspective and direct quote, in translation from Latin to English:

        Can. 120 §1. A juridic person [which never is a natural person – always] is perpetual by its nature; nevertheless, it is extinguished if it is legitimately suppressed by a competent authority or has ceased to act for a hundred years…

        The problem with Evangelical is that they suppress A juridic person [which never is a natural person] – by a not competent authority.

        In addition to that – they have no way to correct their ways – they have no legit Church-Law/s as a general rule/core of guide against disputes/actions. Thye have different rules and statement – which are just in the air and do not act – actually act in the same essence that is of the Scripture.

        However, Evangelical Church does excellently – with the smallest amount that they have right. And once again – they only have it right by A juridic person [which never is a natural person] among Evangelicals.

  4. Beau Oolayforos October 22, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Grateful as we might be for your commentaries, we hope that you are wrong in predicting future massacres in Gaza. Arguably, hopefully, future historians will see the bloodbath of 2014 as a watershed event, one that galvanized civil society worldwide, made people think “Ich bin ein Gazan”, imagining what it would be like to have to live there.

    • Richard Falk October 23, 2016 at 9:14 am #

      Of course, I agree. It would be terrible to have any further Israeli massive military
      operation in Gaza, but there are rising speculations that this could happen in the coming
      months, possibly timed to be just before or just after a new US president is inaugurated in
      2017 (recall the 2008-09 attack prior to Obama taking office).

      I wish I could share your optimism about a new climate of opinion arising from the 2014
      massacre. Here in the US at least there are many distraction in the region and at home, and
      I fear that except for campus activists Gaza is not very present in the political consciousness.

      Best, Richard

      • ray032 October 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        It was Israel that broke the Truce with Hamas by sending Apache helicopter gun ships into Gaza in 2008. Hamas retaliated with rocket fore into Israel. The Israeli provocation got the desired result and the planned Operation Cast Lead started while the World was preoccupied with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour in the Lame Duck session of the Bush Presidency.

  5. ray032 October 23, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Richard, I came across this video Today on Hillary Clinton which made it sink in, the US is bombing 4 Middle Eastern Countries TODAY.

    This is totally in line with the Revelation by General Wesley Clark, former NATO Commander, he was informed within months after 9/11, the US has a plan to to bring down Middle East Nations, and the 4 Nations being bombed Today are on that list from 2001.

    My question to you, Professor, Falk, is the US bombing of Syria and Libya in accordance with International Law and/or UN Resolutions? Surely UN Resolution 1973, proclaimed on St. Patrick’s Day of snake fame, March 17, 2011, no longer gives the US legal authority to bomb Libya Today?

    With a faster and faster news cycle, this video reminded me of significant past news items noted at the time, but forgot.

    • ray032 October 23, 2016 at 9:47 am #

      If this US General is right and Truthful, and we can see the proof of it unfolding in this material World TODAY.

      In my analysis, assessment and Judgment, Putin and Russia have some legitimacy in finally standing up and opposing the US Agenda.

      Naturally, more than any other human alive Today I would see this World unfolding along the lines of the Future I saw on the Way published by THE KANSAS CITY TIMES 40 years ago, on 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.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

      The World couldn’t see that in 1976, but the spirit of the letter can be seen Generally unfolding with the Revelation of the latest details Day by Day by the secular MSM, in our Generations, in these TIMES. The Trump campaign is Trumpeting the same Vision in other words.

      As of this writing, I still see the choice in the most abhorrent US Election I have seen since I started watching from CanaDa in the 50s, being between BAD or WORSE.

  6. Rabbi Ira Youdovin October 23, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Walker Percy’s conspiracy theory for explaining the severe drop in participation on anti-Israel websites is akin to Donald Trump’s ranting about the election being rigged against him. Both seek to explain away inconvenient truths without offering a shred of evidence. And just as Trump spewed his birtherism thesis long after he was shown Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate, Percy continues to peddle his fantasy even after Prof. Falk debunked it. Worse, he makes his nonsense toxic by citing it to support another of his pet theories: that Jews are to blame for their long history of persecution, including the Nazi Holocaust.

    Misguided apologetics ill serve the Palestinians by distracting them from facing reality. The Palestinian-Israel conflict is being driven from radar screens everywhere by larger events enflaming the Middle East. Palestinian suffering, including the plight of its refugees, is both real and long-standing. But it’s mild when compared to what’s happening in Syria, Iraq and other war-torn venues throughout the region.

    The hard lesson to be learned here is that rejecting compromise by holding out for total victory—i.e. Israel’s elimination—believing that history is on their side, which has long been at the heart of Palestinian strategic thinking, may be suicidal to legitimate Palestinian national aspirations. A familiar bit of Jewish wisdom says it best: If you grasp for too much, you may wind up gasping nothing. I say that not with triumphalism but with sadness, having long advocated creating an independent Palestinian state. Regrettably, I’ve never been able to get this message across on this website, where anybody dissenting from the approach advocated by Prof. Trump and his followers, which puts total blame on Israel, is denounced as a hardliner in league with the West Bank settlers.

    Prof. Falk recently posted that Israel has never offered a sustainable peace plan. As “sustainable” requires agreement by both sides, this assessment is technically accurate. Israel would never accept a plan that entails its disappearance. Nor should it be expected to do so. But there has never been a Palestinian consensus for recognizing Israel in its present status as an independent nation state. Factions, like Fatah, have been prepared to recognize Israel. But their opponents, such as Hamas, are not. Tragically for the Palestinians, their rejectionists have always had enough power to fatally disrupt any agreement that included recognition.

    Rejectionism is affirmed unambiguously in the Hamas National Covenant, not in reaction to alleged Israeli misdeeds but as a principle that reigns independently of what happens on the ground. Briefly stated: there is no place for Israel in the Arab/Muslim Middle East. Prof. Falk assures us that this and other objectionable items in the document are no longer operative. But if so, why are they still there? Credible sources report that elements of Hamas’ leadership circles, as well as among its rank-and-file, would be willing to recognize Israel in exchange for Israeli recognition of a viable Palestinian state, a just resolution of the refugee issue, etc. Should the moderates gain the upper hand, revise the Covenant, consent to a reasonable plan for disarmament, etc., irresistible pressure would build from inside and outside Israel demanding that its government move toward satisfying Palestinian demands. At day’s end, neither side would get everything it sought. But compromise is inherent in agreements between enemies.

    Time is not on the side of the peacemakers. Palestinian intransigence, both real and perceived, has created in Israel a political climate conducive to policies that are deleterious to the pursuit of peace and justice. This is not to condone these policies or place blame on the Palestinians. Explaining how something happens is not saying that it is just, or even excusable. But a critical factor in strategizing for a better Palestinian future is that its leaders and people appreciate that a just and sustainable peace may be more difficult to attain a year from now than it is today. And it would be helpful if those among the Palestinians’ overseas supporters who urge militancy and back Hamas also reconsider the implications of their advocacy. They don’t pay the price of failed policy. The Palestinians do.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk October 23, 2016 at 3:05 pm #


      I will limit myself to one point, which I think is important for clarifying the gulf between us. It is
      my strong belief that ever since 1988 the PLO, and the PA position, has never challenged Israel’s
      existence as a state. In fact, the 1988 PNC decision, never departed from and never acknowledged by Israel or the US,
      was to offer full normalization of relations based on an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders. I am not sure
      whether this formula would produce a sustainable peace, but it is misleading to act as if the Palestinian governmental
      representatives have adopted a rejectionist position. The Hamas position is more complicated, but also not properly treated as rejectionist, as of 2006 when with Washington’s encouragement they entered the political process in Gaza their representatives and international leaders by backdoor and open diplomacy have been seeking long-term coexistence on the basis of 1967 borders.

      For discussion to be useful I believe that it should not characterize the Palestinian position in ways that make it seem
      as if there is no receptivity on their part to pursue in good faith a diplomatic solution based on a political compromise. It is my opinion, which may be more controversial as it is based on circumstantial
      evidence, that the Israel political leadership in recent years have not acted as if they have any serious interest in a
      negotiated solution, in part because of the absence of pressure from within or internationally, and partly because of support for
      and pursuit of policies that employ annexationist approaches to their presence in the West Bank. As you know, the current Israeli president has always openly and unconditionally opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state and Netanyahu has seemed only to endorse such an outcome when it was internationally opportunistic for him to do so, and to adopt a rejectionist position when this was internally politically helpful.

      Best, Richard

    • Kata Fisher October 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

      Dear Rabbi,

      This is what I understand:

      Palestinians already have a civil-ecclesiastical state in Holy Land – and it is Jordan. They can not have another civil-ecclesiastical state in Holy Land.

      However, they have accomplished ecclesiastical state – as they sit between Israel and Jordan – and that is acceptable – on the basis that it will not cause future civil-ecclesiastical issues of grave consequences for next generations.

      Because of curent civil-ecclesiastical issues – they are in the threat to be alienated and are in needs of modern arms.

      In actual terms entire Holy Land areas would have to be not armed in modern terms – but because of the wickedness, it is not so, nor is possible.

      All Holy Sites that are current have to remain as they are – and excavations of these areas / ancient graves have to be of limits and forbidden due to ecclesiastical issues. Civil folks will try to excavate ancient ecclesiastical graves – and that would have to be forbidden because they would be playing with the devil – in pro suit of such evil things.


      Anything that Israeli try to take over by bombing and destroying is criminal war crimes and will not be omitted. War criminals are war criminals because they commit war crimes that are not necessary.

      Those areas that are destroyed by Israeli – on which Arabs settled/conquered and lived (as ancient/current descendants of the exiles and other tribes among them) and then settlements were put on by Israelis on those areas for the Jews – are and will only bring civil-ecclesiastical curses upon inhabitance of those settlements.

      When folks have Jews getting the heck out of Israel – that has to be for those folks because that is best for them.

      It should be made possible for Jews that migrated from all over the world/ lands into Israel to emigrate as well – just in case that has to be for them and their Families.

      The open lands/bare lands only is/are a civil-ecclesiastical right and are equally belonging to migrating Jews to Holy Land and local Arabs. It is not Israeli’s war booty – at all. Jordan made itself quite a booty by expelling Jews from Jordan’s Holy Land territory.

      They can make it but will bring the curses that will not fail.
      Same thing with another Arab state/Palestinian state – it will bring the curses that will not fail.

      Old plans were ( and civil-ecclesiastical-illegal – just as Jordan is in Holy Land) – were two states and flip- flopping the population – but actual reality shows that it can not be done.

      Canonical position of psychical and perpetual persons are better to be taken into considerations – it was never done, and they are not doing that and are creating chaos of grave harm for everyone involved.

      I do regret that I have no ability to catch up on all things of satanic seals – but these things I do understand.

      • ray032 October 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

        Kata, in my understanding, the “civil-ecclesiastical state in Holy Land” has been addressed already by the Prophet 2600 years ago.

        So says the Lord, “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool; which is the house that you will build for Me, and which is the place of My rest?

        And all these My hand made, and all these have become,” says the Lord. “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit, who hastens to do My bidding.

      • Kata Fisher October 24, 2016 at 8:52 am #

        Hi Ray,

        This is what I understand about that:

        End times temple is standing in Jerusalem – and there will be no other Third Temple that is built for sacrificial purposes. The Line of Levities is not retrievable/restorable -it’s abolished for all times. The order of the Priest-King order replaced it – few years short of two millennia – it was made confirmed that it so.

        Almost 2000 Years without the Temple for sacrifices?
        Biblical Number 2 I believe is interpreted as a witness.

        He has not left without leaving witnesses to Himself.

        There are grave misinterpretations of Second and Third Coming of Messiah among folks that is creating grave consequences for all and is delaying peaceful integrations of the tribes of exiles within the Holy Land.

        Not only that – but is creating curse-full land grabs that are ecclesiastically illegitimate and straight out curse to and upon civil-ecclesiastical Jews that are integrating within the Land.

        Lay-folks are not paying attention what is going on and clergy is either unable to oversee it according to their orders – or is gravely hindered to correct those evil things that are going on.

        I hope you are doing wonderful during this fall season. Its getting colder and soon all levels will be off. I truly hope for raining season – which is already poor and will most likely be very poor during the fall – ensuring for early blizzards.

      • Kata Fisher October 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

        This is what I understand

        – it has to be Jewish national state for Israeli Jews and Palestinian. It can not be in no other way because Jews will not preserve in the Middle East – not in the current circumstances, and not in the future.

        They will only war – like their restless ancestor Esau among them.

        Israeli Palestinians have their ecclesiastical Islamic state within Israel – while keeping in mind that Jordan still owes back Ecclesiastical Land of Israel and its exiles.

        While at this point in time – it would not be appropriate to demand Land back from Jordan – Jordan still can revoke their expelling of Jews and make bare lands within Holy Land open to MI refugees and as well as for Jews that are migrating back into the Holy Land.

        It is all about right way appropriating civil ecclesiastical Lands – making sure that additional Landmarks do not take place, and in the best case – the Jordan Landmark would have to become neutral/ecclesiastical in essence with Holy Land – and they have to peacefully transition it to Israelis/Holy Land. At some point in time Israeli can figure out with Jordan – where territories for Arab Saud stops – and where Ecclesiastical Palestine/Holy Land is. The borders with Palestinians/Palestinian-Jordanians would have to be absolutely ecclesiastical in essence within Israel/Holy Land.

        Exiles and refugees have to be integrated/re-integrated (for Palestinians). It can legitimately be within Jordan – that dispossessed Palestinians can be reintegrated.

        American Jews can handle all that in a valid way, as soon as they start making Israeli folks repenting with issues concerning constitutional items and constitutional sovereignties with the US and other lands. It can be accepted that bad- gaming is over for everyone. It just seems to be just and right.

        Constitutional sovereignties of Iran were manipulated and what was done is irrevocable – for many generations. It has created grave chaos for all involved.

        What was done in the past can not be annulled – but it can be corrected more and more with each new generation.

        Jordan can start integrating Palestinian refugees and MI refugees – Jews were expelled from Jordan – with that Jordan can take in refugees and allow for Jewish communities on bare lands within Holy Land that Jordan Landmark closes it off.

        Things with state-landmarks within Holy Land are bad business. No one wants to have anything to do with that. However, all involved better be figuring out how to peacefully integrate /reintegrate exiles of Israel – be they ancient or added on to the Hebrews.

        Otherwise, they will see all their undertaking overthrown – and themselves will see themselves starched to thin until they collapse – like ancient Rome.

        Of course – I only understand that.

    • walker percy October 24, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Ira, can you please elaborate on your comment: “Israel would never accept a plan that entails its disappearance”. I have heard this sentiment before, but I am still not sure what it means. Would you consider that Jews losing the majority the equivalent of Israel disappearing? Is that what you mean when you talk about “national suicide”? The implications of this kind of reasoning are disturbing, for two main reasons. First, it implies that all Jews vote the same way, and all non-Jews vote the other way, and so we know in advance how all of these individuals will behave. Second, it means you think that Israeli the laws that privilege Jews (ensuring what is euphemistically known as “Israel’s jewish character”) will be overturned once another group of citizens controls the government. To me, that does NOT equal national suicide or Israel’s disappearance, in fact the peaceful transition of power as the result of fair elections is the hallmark of democracy. If Israel is seen as blocking the assimilation of stateless Palestinians in order to prevent them from voting, the world will begin to understand that this is simply a form of electoral fraud. If Palestine is not to be a separate country, than it must be absorbed into Israel, with full citizenship granted to those millions (the feared one-state solution). While this currently remains unthinkable for Israeli Jews, there are historical precedents of this succeeding, and failure to do so will eventually really lead to national suicide. To summarize: Do you really believe that Jews losing the majority in Israel will inevitably lead to some kind of new Jewish holocaust? Does this reveal a guilty conscience on the part of Zionists, who deep down understand that their past behavior would most likely lead to their annihilation if the hundreds of millions of humiliated, impoverished Arabs that surround them had their way? If you can help me to understand this aspect of the conflict, I will be grateful, and I promise to curb my snark in response.

      • Fred Skolnik October 24, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

        Dear Percy

        If Rabbi Youdovin wishes to reply to you, I’m sure he will, and if Prof. Falk will permit me to reply to you in a timely fashion, then I will also be happy to clarify what is meant by “disappearance,” namely, Israel will not permit the “return” of millions of descendants of refugees born outside Israel, for which there is no historical or legal precedent, nor moral justification given the displacement of an equal number of Jews from Arab lands, and which would entail the creation of a Palestinian majority in the State of Israel, just as the “return” of, say, 200 million Indians to Pakistan would entail the creation of an Indian majority in Pakistan and consequently its disappearance as an independent state.

        As for Israeli Arabs democratically achieving an electoral majority in Israel, however problematic that might be, insofar as such a majority might also entail the disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state, just as the Kurds achieving an electoral majority in Turkey might entail the disappearance of Turkey as a Turkish state, that is unlikely to happen, given the fact that the birthrate of Israeli Arabs is now equal to the national Israeli average (3.0 children per family).

        For what it is worth, and in an entirely different context, Lincoln rejected the right of the Southern states to secede with the argument, among other things, that no nation has ever had any law or instrument that permitted it to decree its own demise or nullification. If you have trouble with the idea of a “Jewish” national state, think of it in the same way that you think of France as a French national state or Spain as a Spanish national state.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin October 24, 2016 at 11:01 pm #


        You ask me to explain something I wrote. But before giving me a chance to respond, you launch into a tirade condemning an explanation that isn’t mine. As the old adage puts it: “If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.”

        My reference was to Palestinian demands for borders that are close to Israel’s residential, commercial and industrial heartland, while refusing to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, thus implying a continuing determination to eliminate Israel, and insisting on the right to stockpile heavy weapons. As I note, this position is not held by every Palestinian individual and faction. But it is Hamas policy and Hamas dominates the Palestinian political landscape. To accept that potentially lethal configuration would be running the risk of national suicide which no responsible government would or could take.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • ray032 October 26, 2016 at 4:58 am #

        Fred, you are being disingenuous to compare the French or Turkish National State to a “Jewish” National State. Jewish is a religious concept.

      • Fred Skolnik October 26, 2016 at 8:06 am #

        No, Judaism is a religious concept. The Jews are a people or nation (“am,” or even “goy” in the Bible, as I’m sure you know, being a great student of the Bible yourself). i

      • Walker Percy October 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

        Ira, thanks for your response, but I don’t think you answered my question. I want to know, first, whether “destruction of Israel” is meant literally or figuratively. Is this an authentic danger or a posture to justify militarism?

        I asked about the “Jewish character of Israel”. Would the loss of its Jewish character equal national suicide? Does every culture have a national character that must be preserved at all costs, including wars of choice to neutralize much larger surrounding countries, turning entire societies into stateless, impoverished potential revenge-seekrs?

        Are you saying that, if Israel was not Jewish, the spiritual purpose of the country would be lost, or that everyone would be killed? We all know that the stereotypical Jew is a neurotic hand-wringer, is that the personality type running Israel and developing the hasbarist handbook, with these hyperbolic arguments?

        We should be looking to Helen Thomas as having the correct answer to the problem of Israel. It would only take a few years to implement, and it will only inconvenience (but not otherwise harm) those who have been unfairly benefiting from apartheid. Once all of the dual citizens have moved back to the States and Europe, the leftover losers in the settlements will have to fight it out with the Arabs, but all the smart ones will have abandoned them to their much-deserved fate.

      • Fred Skolnik October 27, 2016 at 2:11 am #


        To answer your question very simply, if Israel became an Arab state, the Jews would be massacred, expelled, or allowed to live under Arab rule as a cowed and subjugated population in the way they have always lived in Arab lands. (I’ll be happy to provide you with a scorecard of Arab massacres, pogroms and riots against their Jewish minorities through the centuries.) If the dynamics or the theory of all this interests you, you can try to imagine what would happen to any national state if its national identity was forcibly obliterated – to France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Japan or the United States. If you wish to play chess with human beings like Helen Thomas, you can start by moving the Arabs back to Arabia. I also have no idea which surrounding countries you believe Israel has neutralized through “wars of choice.” You seem to be sailing away from reality on the wings of your rhetoric,

      • Walker Percy October 28, 2016 at 11:11 am #

        You wrote, “I also have no idea which surrounding countries you believe Israel has neutralized through ‘wars of choice.'”
        You should read Mearshimer and Walt. They explain clearly and irrefutably that AIPAC pressure was the real cause of for the invasion of Iraq, a war of choice. It also now appears that Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and to a lesser extent Jordan, have all been destabilized intentionally by the US operating as a vassal to Israel. The chaos and misery being experienced in those places today is a direct result of our continuing actions in the Middle East, and the only conceivable rationale for US policy is to protect you guys over there. You have voluntarily placed yourselves and your children in harm’s way, and fanned the flames of ethic hatred, so that the rest of us have to somehow figure out how to rescue you, even if it means destroying whole countries in the process. Sounds sickeningly familiar.

      • walker percy October 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

        Fred, what exactly do you mean when you say that majority rule in israel will result in as situation where jews are “allowed to live under Arab rule as a cowed and subjugated population in the way they have always lived in Arab lands”.? I have read elsewhere about the idea that jews would be assigned automatically to a lesser status, known as Dmimmitude, if non-jews ever took control. WTF. We live in the 21st century, yet christians, muslims and jews appear to be engaged in holy war based on fantasies of the middle ages. How did this happen, and how can we make it stop. Why are we at war with the Muslim people? As we know from history, Muslims cannot tolerate military humiliation, it drives them into a suicidal frenzy and drives them to seek revenge, which consumes them. Why are we droning their weddings and sponsoring Israel, a country of haters, who proudly boast about their superiority over non-Jews, as they send out assassination squads to secretly destroy anyone who blows the whistle?

      • Fred Skolnik October 28, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

        I think, Walker, that the idea that the United States is Israel’s vassal and acts in accordance with its dictates is precisely the point at which you lose touch with reality. You are also misinformed about the nature of the Arab-Israel conflict, whose root is the inability of the Arabs to reconcile themselves to the existence of a sovereign non-Muslim state in the Middle East.

      • walker percy October 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

        fred, suggest you check definition of vassal:

        “A vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another….Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute” Wikipedia

        38B Tribute?

      • Fred Skolnik October 30, 2016 at 9:57 am #

        Thank God for Wikipedia!

        I suppose this means that the United States was the vassal of Great Britain and the Soviet Union since it provided military assistance to them in World War II.

        Taking you at your word, may I propose the following scenario:

        Bush: I’m not invading Iraq.

        Rumsfeld: The Israelis said we have to.

        Bush: Oh. I didn’t get that memo. We better do it real fast then.

      • Walker Percy October 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

        since I seem to have your attention, maybe you will do us Falk fans a service and let us know, once and for all: who are you? Are you working for the GoI, or being otherwise compensated for your impressive, assiduous efforts to refute every negative comment about Israel on this blog, and, presumably, others? Were you assigned to this work, and are others in your line of work assigned to police other corners of the Internet? Do you have the ability to see into WordPress to find our our true email and IP addresses? Would you recommend taking extra-legal action against someone whose rhetoric crossed a red line? We read in the JPost today, “Justice minister warns BDS activists against testing Israel’s self-defense”. We are left to our imagination what she has in mind, and who decides who qualifies as a BDS activist. Should we be worried? We all know what Zionists can do to those they perceive as working to thwart their plans. The Gazans with their rockets are no threat, but the Falks with their websites, that’s another story.

      • Fred Skolnik November 1, 2016 at 5:24 am #

        The answer to all your childish questions is of course no. As for BDS activists, if you count yourself among them, I have already pointed out the monumental hypocrisy at its root, but apparently it hasn’t registered. You are all like people boycotting a drugstore and then sneaking around to the back after hours to stock up on medical supplies. Anyone who continues to enjoy the benefits of Israeli medical research and technological advances and calls for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions has the integrity a flea.

      • walker percy November 2, 2016 at 9:07 am #

        fred, as usual, you did not answer my questions, so I will ask again: are you part of an organized effort to refute comments on the internet that you believe cast Israel and Zionism in a negative light?

        Also: your analogy with the drug store is irrational at best and probably dishonest. I can decide what I am going to buy with my own money. I may have inadvertently supported Israel by buying some products that included components that I had no idea were made in Israel, but that in no way obliges me to spend money on other products made entirely in Israel. Of course, I would never visit Israel personally, as that would show disrespect for the Arab victim countries that have, for many years, requested that all of people of good faith avoid traveling there. Travel to Israel is a real sin, also, because it contributes to the false image that Israel is a safe and a fun tourist destination, a highly misleading image that is carefully cultivated by the GoI. In particular, the Birthright brats need to quit it, and the even more disgraceful Lone Soldiers should be shunned by everyone in their right minds back home.

    • Laurie Knightly October 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      In 3rd paragraph, you refer to Prof Trump [last sentence] – total blame on Israel and in line with settlers. Is this what you meant to say? If so, it’s not coherent. Care to elaborate?

      • Laurie Knightly October 24, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

        This, above, referred to Ira’s comment. I had not read of Trump’s connection to the settlers and have now tracked the info in this.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin October 25, 2016 at 7:42 am #


        Good Catch! Twice.

        I’ve already posted an apology to Prof. Falk for the “Prof. Trump” remark. As I explained. It was entirely unintentional. I have no recollection of posting it, although I assuredly must have. A Freudian slip? Perhaps, but with am asterisk I noted in my apology.

        The second good catch was spotting one of the most incoherent sentences I’ve every written during a lifetime of writing incoherent sentences. I appreciate the opportunity to translate my gibberish into something (hopefully!) intelligible.

        The core thesis of my post was that Palestinians share responsibility for their tragic plight. That genre of thinking doesn’t go down well on this blog. Almost without exception, it is denounced as Zionist hasbara and dismissed without further consideration. That response both flies in the face of reality and is deleterious to the Palestinians. If the policies they’re pursuing policies undermine their quest for independence and security in a better future, aren’t their interests better served by recognizing this error and fixing it? The same goes for those of their overseas supporters who urge them to hold fast to failed policies. You may or may not see at least a modicum of wisdom in this approach. But this is what I meant to say in that ill-begotten sentence.

        Finally, I don’t recall you asking for my thoughts on what would constitute a Palestinian State. But as you’re asking now…

        First, a caveat. Any description I propose must be drawn in vague terms. focusing on what might be called “external” matters, i.e. how a new Palestinian state would relate to Israel in the context of peaceful co-existence. I’m neither Palestinian nor Arab, so there’s little I can reasonably say about how the citizens of a Palestinian state should structure their society.

        This being said, I see an independent Palestine of a size equal in size to what was taken by Israel in1967. That would include all of Gaza and a landmass drawn from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel (via swaps). It would have its own laws, legislature, court system, etc. Because the two states would share a border, an ecosystem, water resources, etc. there would be joint commissions and other vehicles for facilitating cooperation.

        I could go on. But you get the gist.

        One additional thought, this one in response to Walker’s post. To me and many others, a two-state solution is the only possible for achieving a just peace. This blog focuses almost exclusively on opposition posed by West Bank settlers and their supporters who seek to impose Israeli sovereignty over the entire West Bank and subjugate Palestinian residents to a permanent second class status. But virtually unnoticed on this blog are extremists among the Palestinians and their supporters who seek to see Israel and the Occupied Territories become a single political entity the Palestinians would dominate by sheer force of numbers. That’s certainly the outcome championed in Walker Percy’s post.

        That line of thinking is naïve and dangerous. It assumes that resolving a long-standing conflict entails little more than evicting numbers of Israeli settlers, replacing them with larger numbers of Palestinian refugees and holding an election to determine the character of the new entity.

        It isn’t nearly that simple. Successful relocation requires the availability of homes, schools, jobs, medical facilities and trained personnel to operate them. Many of the settlers who would be evicted have jobs which demand workers with skills in cutting edge computer technology. The relocated refugees would be unable to fill that job, leaving them unemployed and creating a long-term disadvantaged population. Achieving a better result requires a bi-partisan, cooperative effort in geopolitical planning, economic creativity, social engineering and gentle persuasion.

        This raises a key question I’ve raised many times on this blog: is the objective to beat up the Israelis and defeat their American supporters by turning the clock back to 1967 or 1948? Or is it to create a better future for Palestinians and Israelis? The two objectives are not co-extensive. In fact, they are mutually exclusive.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  7. ray032 October 23, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Richard, I hope you will answer my question on whether, in your Expert opinion, the US and NATO are in violation of International Law, bombing Syria and Libya these Days without UNSC sanction?

    I came across a video on Libya Today which I shared in my FB news feed with this intro,

    Propaganda is loosely defined as actively trying to put your own view across, and have others accept it, so we are ALL propagandists in that sense.

    The problem is which propaganda is True and which is False, and who can recognize the difference?

    I just came across this True to my mind propaganda, which raises very serious issues and reasons why we should not trust Western news media without question? It’s an old adage, “Truth is the 1st casualty of WAR” These Days, the US is bombing 4 countries in the Middle East without calling it WAR, and they don’t want too many people to question it? And where it is bringing this world?

    CanaDa took part in the destruction of prosperous Libya under Gadaffi. If there will be any Historians left the way this world is developing in OUR generations, they would not look approvingly on it.

    The juxtaposition of Obama saying NATO is bombing to protect civilians, and seeing the dead and wounded Libyan civilians killed by the American-Canadian-NATO bombing, is heart wrenching for those who still have a heart. It was not surprising to hear a FOX news personality callously say there are no American boots on the ground and AMERICAN lives are not being lost, as if Libyan lives have no value. That’s how much American POWER cares for innocent civilians in other Countries.

    The President did see clearly though, even with his false, lying propaganda. Everything he said would happen, if NATO did not remove Gadaffi in a standard American style orchestrated regime change “before it happened,” DID HAPPEN only AFTER the US started the bombing.

    • Richard Falk October 24, 2016 at 8:01 am #


      I am in the middle of some rather intense meetings, and have no time to respond properly.

      In brief, there is no basis in international law for such a use of force without the consent of the
      legitimate government. In other words, legally the Russian involvement is on sounder legal footing,
      although its targeting of hospitals and residential areas may constitute war crimes. Without a
      UN mandate the use of force to support the insurgent side in such a political rebellion is contrary
      to international law as I understand it. There may be some ambiguity with respect to areas firmly
      under control of rebel forces and arising from argument that Damascus government has forfeited its
      legitimacy due to its violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, especially Protocol 1
      to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

      Sorry not to give a more complete answer.

      Best, Richard

      • ray032 October 24, 2016 at 10:31 am #

        Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule for this reply. I think the issue needs in depth discussion. Otherwise the Law of the Jungle will prevail.

  8. Laurie Knightly October 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    Many thanks to Hilary Wise for giving credit not only where it’s due but where it confronts a vindictive power base of such magnitude.

    Mistaken, however, is Richard Falk when he claims that the Wiesenthal cited him as the 3rd most dangerous anti-Semite of 2013. No, they did not. The list was entitled the Top Ten anti Semitic, Anti Israel Slurs of 2013 and Falk ranked third. A ‘slur’ is disparaging or insulting, but not by definition untrue or unwarranted. It’s not very serious and the use of the term as saying much is archaic; a ‘slight’ could qualify. One could speculate that the word was chosen prudently. Most featured was Falk’s use of the term ‘genocidal’ and the canine cartoon suggesting a disregard for justice. Also further down on the list was another cartoonist that featured Netanjahu poisoning the peace talks and circumcision shown as crude, grotesque and barbaric. Whether Hamas was entitled to resist apartheid, annexation, mass displacement, and collective punishment as suggested by Falk was also challenged. Some of us believe that if the Palestinians had access to modern sophisticated free weaponry, they could target the enemy more efficiently – and thereby more acceptably.

    Re to comments:

    Christianity has a long sordid history of cruelly forced or coerced conversion. To suggest otherwise is an insult to human intelligence. Convert to Christianity of death/exile/ruin was very common and types of coercion are still unrelenting – including on this blog. A Christian is one who accepts the teachings of Jesus and is not subject to a validity designation by Kata Fisher or her gods, devils, and self proclaimed divine anointment. Also, Jordan is not Palestine; it’s Jordan, and has a very long legal history. Islam is also very a forced authoritarian theology and Judaism appears to be increasingly less so – unless politically expedient.

    Doomsday has been predicted since about 365 AD with thousands of subsequent threats far into the future regarding its immanence. Most of us were well aware of the Russia/US enmity before it appeared in the Kansas Star in 1976, and cited several times here. Such events as Korea/Vietnam War/Cold War/arms race etc etc were quite noticeable and the repercussions are still apparent. We heard about Russia’s involvement later in Afghanistan also. History is an unrelenting description of wars. Very patronizing suggestion……

    As to the 2 state solution, I asked Ira for a description of a Palestinian State and he did not respond. I was curious as to specifics because places like Iraq/Jordan/Syria etc have been suggested and/or a small police state type enclave as a proposal. Emptying Gaza made a Jewish free bombing ground and it’s not over. To simply say 2 states has little meaning in this case – neither does ‘future details to be determined’ as is usually included. Was he suggesting that Israel return part of the land? If so, include some specifics.

    • Kata Fisher October 24, 2016 at 9:33 pm #


      I am sufficiently familiar with different doctrines because I have spent serval years examining denominational theology and some of the Apologetics of Protestant Church – and one of them is this: ” A Christian is one who accepts the teachings of Jesus.”

      Disputes over doctrines may like to be sorted out in Church conclaves – and

      while I do not have time to dispute on different interpretations – of different things – I, in fact, can assure you that actual Church does not accept the teachings of Jesus.

      The teaching of Jesus can be of any Jesus and interpreted/taught by anyone – which in end can be another Gospel, all together.

      Actual Church is in the spiritual, personal, and sacramental relationship with Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This means that actual Church only interprets the Ancient Scriptures and New Testament in the exactly the One and the same Spirit in which Ancient Scriptures and New Testament was received.

      This means that actual Church only believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth According to the Apostles and Apostolic Teaching/Apostolic Interpretations of the Gospel withing Apostolic Church Order – that is reflected in Supreme order.

      This means that Actual Church handles Holy Scripture in a specific Order – the one which was passed on to by the Apostles – while Receiving Faith trough Spirit which was in Apostles and the Faith of Apostolic Church is confirmed in Apostolic Order of the Church by the Spirit in the Church.

      This things are somewhat tough Church Doctrine – but for all what’s wort it … Church in Rome calls it Supreme Order – and there is Canon Law (Law of the Gospel /Law of the Spirit) which Accompanies that Supreme Order.

      It can be boring.

    • Fred Skolnik October 24, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

      Dear Laurie

      Regarding a Palestinian state, Israel’s opening position with regard to borders is known to everyone: a tradeoff of territory that would leave 75% of the settlements inside Israel (the so-called settlement blocs) and which would involve 5% of West Bank land. One exchange possibility that has been mentioned is Wadi Ara, which would be a tremendous bonus for the Palestinians, given the barren hilltops they would be giving up in such a tradeoff, but of course the 200,000 or so Israeli Arabs living in Wadi Ara refuse to live under Palestinian sovereignty (according to polls) and you might ask yourself why anyone would choose to live under “apartheid” when he can magically live under an enlightened democracy such as Abu Mazen or Hamas would give him.

    • Richard Falk October 26, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks, Laurie, for pointing this out. You are the first to do so, and are obviously
      a closer reader than most of us, including myself! Others have actually introduced me in
      public settings without noting the word ‘slurs.’ Best greetings, Richard

    • ray032 October 26, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

      Laurie, I discovered a small example of what Facebook is doing at the request of Israel just Yesterday. Facebook has given Israel Carte blanche to delete anything that shows Israel in an unfavourable light without question or challenge.

      I saved the YouTube link to Netanyahu addressing a US Congressional Committee on December 12, 2002, three months before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

      I would think it’s most highly likely Israel, AIPAC and other Lobbyists were speaking to the White House, Senators and Congressmen/women in private long before Netanyahu said these exact words in Public:

      “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I GUARANTEE YOU, that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region, The reverberations of what will happen with the collapse of Saddam’s regime, could very well cause an implosion in a neighbour regime like Iran”

      The hundreds of thousands of humans just like us killed since the US believed Netanyahu’s GUARANTEE, cannot make a claim on it.

      YouTube deleted the video with this message, “This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.”

      But while I have you online, Laurie, I think you’re missing a lot with the comment you made downstream, “Doomsday has been predicted since about 365 AD with thousands of subsequent threats far into the future regarding its immanence. Most of us were well aware of the Russia/US enmity before it appeared in the Kansas Star in 1976, and cited several times here.”
      THE KANSAS CITY TIMES was adsorbed by THE KANSAS CITY STAR years later.

      THE KANSAS CITY TIMES, on September 13, 1976, published this Vision of the Future 40 years ago. The Future is NOW:

      “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.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

      The World couldn’t see that in 1976, but surely can in these TIMES as Western propaganda demonizes Russia and Putin incessantly History proves is the 1st step inciting an ignorant population to accept WAR with Russia. The Trump campaign is Trumpeting the same Vision in other words and only the wilfully blind will not acknowledge that reality.

      THE KANSAS CITY TIMES followed up with another report on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976.

      I would think I was the only human on planet earth to notice at the end of the 1983 TV movie ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was destroyed in a Nuclear Holocaust, the movie pauses at the exact same picture frame THE KANSAS CITY TIMES used in THE ALL SOULS DAY record 7 years earlier.

      You would have to be familiar with Biblical Scriptures as The Rabbi and Fred are, to recognize “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” are the 1st two parts of the 3 part “Writing on the Wall” recorded in Daniel 5 during the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years earlier. The article from 1976 does record this, ““The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,”

      The 3rd part of the Writing tells of the decline of the 1st Biblical record of the Imperial Hegemonic Military-Industrial Superpower, then known as Babylon, now known as Iraq, and the rise of Persia, now known as Iran.

      The US is the latest, greatest of all the Nations wearing the Mantle of the Imperial Hedgemonic Military-Industrial Superpower these last 2600 years.

      The Tail struck the Head, and that 2600 year old Biblical-Babylonian Superstructure is now unravelling in the Middle East and the World because of that US action having arrived at the end of that Age.

      There are even more specifics in that 1976 record. It says, “there are 30 months before the Fate of the World will be sealed with EITHER Destruction OR “the Universal Brotherhood of Man.”

      Exactly 30 months LATER Israel signed the 1st Peace Treaty with an Arab State, Egypt. The 1st Camp David Accord really did symbolize the possibility of achieving Universal Brotherhood since the recreation of temporal Israel from the Bible.

      As is so evident in the Middle East TODAY, the Destruction part of the 1976 Prophecy became apparent with the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the World War in Syria being a stepping stone on that Path of Destruction.

      That 1976 newspaper does not tell the Public, the Secret Service called me out of a crowd of Republicans in the Lobby of The Crown Centre Hotel for questioning. They were looking up to the Podium of The President of The United States on the Secret Service restricted balcony as the President was expected to be standing there.

      To my great wonder and surprise, instead of questioning me in some anti-room, the Secret Service Agent led me to stand at the Podium of the President in full view of the 3 Networks broadcasting live, and those Republicans in the sardine packed Lobby down below.

      These are the Facts of my Life experience. I thank God I’m still alive to remind this Generation about it.

      As to not being believed or disparaged fro my Faith, that is no problem for me. This is the Vice-President of The United States giving the finger to me personally at that 1976 Republican National Convention.

      • ray032 October 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

        here’s the link

      • ray032 October 27, 2016 at 3:51 am #

        I’ve wondered what Bob Dole and the others were laughing about hearing the same words that pis*ed off the VP so much? Bob Dole is still around to confirm the incident.

  9. Rabbi Ira Youdovin October 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm #


    Laurie Knightly has pointed out a reference to “Prof. Trump” in my recent post. In context, it appears to be a caricature, comparing you to Donald Trump. This would be its appearance but not its reality.

    Yes, the phrase came from my word processor. But it was totally unintentional. I assuredly did type the words, but have no recollection of doing so. One could say it was a Freudian slip. But, despite our many disagreements, I don’t see you as being in the image of Trump. Earlier in the post, I did compare Walker Percy to Trump for spinning conspiracy theories to explain the diminution of participation on anti-Israel websites, much as Trump spins conspiracy theories to explain his falling numbers. That must have stuck in my head.

    In any event, the phrase shouldn’t have been there. I apologize and hope you will accept my apology.


    • Kata Fisher October 26, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Rabbi you may like to know that

      Professor Vidovic

      who was in his mid-nineties this year – when he passed on (this year)

      called Physiologist – those who were claiming to study human spirit “a fraud” – he called Sigmund Freud a fraud, too. He stated that Sigmund Freud is a fraud.

      He claimed that contemporary Theological University’s in his region are as same as “bogus” (B.S.)

  10. Fred Skolnik October 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    Prof. Falk

    Once again you seem to be rationalizing in the privacy of your mind your censorship of whatever challenges the assertions made on this website in too discomfiting a way, however mildly stated,

  11. ray032 October 27, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    The latest report from Nazareth by Jonathan Cook

    Settlers’ takeover of Israeli security posts ‘alarming’
    27 October 2016

    The settler movement’s capture of top posts in security establishment reflects the wider trends in Israeli society

    The top posts in Israel’s national police force are now in the hands of hardline religious settlers who are seeking to make “alarming” changes to policing in both Israel and the occupied territories, critics have warned.

    The growing influence of the settler movement was highlighted this month with the appointment of Rahamim Brachyahu as the force’s chief rabbi. He lives in Talmon, a settlement close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

    Roni Alsheikh, who was made police chief late last year, lived for many years in one of the most violent settlements, Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron. According to Israel’s Haaretz daily, Alsheikh lobbied hard on behalf of Brachyahu for the chief rabbi position.

    It is the first time members of the religious settler community have held either of these top posts. Both have expressed their commitment to accelerating a programme called Believers in the Police, established five years ago, to recruit settlers and fast-track their promotion to officer rank.

    Brachyahu has described the influx of religious settlers into the police as “a beautiful partnership, bringing something Godly into something that has historically functioned as not Godly.”

    He has also declared his intention to place a stronger emphasis on Jewish religious law, or halakha, in policing work. His goal, he has stated, is to create a book of Biblical and rabbinical commandments for use by all police officers as they go about their duties.

    That has raised deep concern among Palestinian leaders because Brachyahu has defended a notorious rabbinical handbook for settlers known as the King’s Torah. It argues that Jewish religious law justifies killing Palestinians as a preventative measure – including children in case they grow up to become “terrorists”.
    Struggle for God’s laws

    “Religious fundamentalist, ultra-nationalist settlers are gaining power over many areas of public life in Israel,” Aida Touma-Suleiman, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, told Al Jazeera.

    “But the transformation of the police is especially alarming, because it is supposed to be a civilian agency. Now there is a struggle in the police about which has priority – God’s laws or the state’s laws.”

    The gradual infiltration of religious settlers into the police has mirrored a similar process in the Israeli army that began two decades ago, noted Jafar Farah, director of Mossawa, an advocacy group for Israel’s large Palestinian minority.

    Although the so-called national religious community – who adhere to the ideology of the settlers – make up only 10 per cent of Israel’s population, recent figures suggest that as many as half of all new army recruits are drawn from their ranks.

    “There is a clear coalition of interest between the right-wing government and the settler leadership to get their people into high positions in the major state institutions, including the security services, the courts and the media,” he told Al Jazeera.

    “The goal is to control the decision-making processes and the public discourse in Israel.”
    Extremist rabbis

    Believers in the Police targets settlers who have previously served in the army. The programme expects to produce 500 graduates over the next five years and move them into senior posts. Among those teaching on the two-year course are Dov Lior, the rabbi of Kiryat Araba, Alsheikh’s former settlement. Lior was one of several senior rabbis to endorse the King’s Torah.

    In an effort to increase the enrolment of religious settlers in the Believers in the Police programme, a recruitment video was released earlier this year using footage exclusively of police actions against Palestinians. Activities included demolishing Bedouin homes, raiding the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, dealing with terror attacks, and checking Palestinian identity cards.

    Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, declined to speak about the Believers in the Police programme, but told Al Jazeera Brachyahu’s appointment followed “a careful selection process that chose him as the right person to fill this role in the national police”.

    Israeli police operate both inside Israel and in parts of the occupied territories under Israel’s full control, including East Jerusalem and settlements in the West Bank. The force has long been criticised for corruption and the mistreatment of Palestinians.

    A judicial-led commission of inquiry concluded in 2004 that the police were institutionally racist, viewing the fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Palestinian as “the enemy”. Farah noted that dozens of Palestinian citizens have died in unexplained circumstances at the hands of the police over the past 16 years.

    But the growing presence of religious hardliners in the force is adding to concern.

    “Relations between the police and Palestinian citizens are already disastrous,” said Touma-Suleiman. “But the situation will deteriorate much further if the ideology of the settlers becomes the norm among the police.”
    Police brutality

    Statistics released in the summer showed that in the four years to 2015 some 60 per cent of arrests made by the police were of non-Jews – meaning that they were nearly three times more likely to be detained than Jewish citizens.

    Yossi Gurvitz, an Israeli journalist and researcher on the settlers, told Al Jazeera: “Palestinians already face brutality from the police. There must be fears that the level of brutality will increase.”

    In one of his first pronouncements after his appointment, Alsheikh argued that Palestinians did not suffer bereavement in the same way as Jews. He added: “Our enemies chose to sanctify death.”

    In March, he also ended a 12-year dialogue project that had sought to reduce friction between the police and Palestinian communities in Israel.

    Palestinian leaders fear that the growing presence of extremist settlers in police ranks has emboldened settler youths behind a recent wave of violence against Palestinians, both in the West Bank and Israel. The police have been accused of failing to investigate attacks that have included the torching of mosques and churches.

    Farah said the growing settler influence would contribute to a “sense of impunity” regarding violence both from the settlers and from police officers.
    ‘Subhuman’ Palestinians

    In a sign of their growing confidence, violent settlers burnt down a home in the Palestinian village of Duma last year, killing three members of the Dawabshe family, including a toddler. Several settler leaders closely involved with Believers in the Police denied that the Duma attack was an act of terror.

    They include Eli Ben Dahan, a settler rabbi who is now the government minister in charge of the military administration ruling over the occupied territories. He has called Palestinians “subhuman”.

    Another likely flashpoint is policing of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israeli police control access, and have been allowing ever larger numbers of religious settlers to enter the site. That has included settlers committed to the destruction of the mosque to replace it with a Jewish temple.

    Such visits have sparked repeated clashes between Palestinians and the police, and were blamed for triggering last year a spate of so-called “lone-wolf” attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    Settler politicians involved with the Believers programme, such as Uri Ariel and Bezalel Smotrich, have demanded that Jews should have a legal right to pray in the al-Aqsa compound, despite the likely danger that it would spark regional turmoil.
    Growing intolerance

    The settler leadership has made no secret of its intentions to dominate the police force.

    In a 2011 interview, Nahi Eyal, founder of Believers in the Police, said his aim was to help the settler community “find our way into the command ranks”. He told Israeli media he had reached that conclusion after his son was badly injured in clashes with police over the destruction of a handful of homes in a small West Bank settlement in 2006.

    “If you want to change something, you have to do it from within the organization,” he said, in apparent reference to foiling future police efforts to take on the settlers. “You have to get inside [the police] and lead it.”

    The settler movement has recently captured top posts in Israel’s other main security services, including the Mossad spy agency and the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency. Gurvitz said the takeover of branches of the security services had become easier in recent years because of wider trends in Israeli society.

    “The public has become far more religious and far less tolerant. The problem is in the society more than the police,” he said.

  12. Rabbi Ira Youdovin October 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm #


    If I shared your sky-high estimation of Jewish and Israeli power, I would sleep better at night assured that we Jews rule the world, as evidently you believe we do, But regrettably, your views are meshuggeh (borderline insane), the product of a dark imagination that embraces the age-old anti-Semitic canard about Jews being responsible for all the bad things happening in the world.

    You say that America acted as Israel’s “vassal” in attacking Iraq to destabilize the Middle East. Prof. Falk is an expert tennis player and ardent fan, so he won’t mind me channeling John McEnroe: “Walker, you can’t be serious!”.
    The United States is the most powerful nation in the history. Its population numbers more than 320 million. Israel’s is slightly more than 8 million, including approximately one million Palestinian citizens. America’s land mass covers half a continent. Israel is the size of New Jersey, America’ s fifth smallest state. The US military has global outreach that enables it to strike anywhere in the world. Israel is strong, but its air force lacks the capability to attack Iran, less than a thousand miles away.

    Considering this stark imbalance of power, why would American leaders cowtow to Israel’s orders? Are they afraid that Jews will throw matzo balls at the White House? Or kidnap Christian children and force them to take bar mitzvah lessons? Or deny Gentiles with the flu access to kosher chicken soup? Yes, the so-called Israel lobby is strong. But to allege, as you do, that it single-handedly persuaded Washington to invade Iraq is frankly ridiculous. Besides, Israel doesn’t need American intervention. It can defeat the armed forces of any middle eastern state, or all of them attacking together. There’s only one existential threat to Israel in the region: an Iranian nuclear weapon. Israel and its American lobby worked hard to turn Washington against signing the agreement proposed by President Obama. That fact the effort failed shoots to Hell your theory about Israeli/Jewish omnipotence in shaping American policy.

    Besides, what does Israel gain by toppling Mubarak, when Egypt is holding to its peace agreement with the Jewish state? Or King Abdullah of Jordan, which maintains friendly relations and some economic cooperation with Israel? Or Bashir Asad, who has kept Syria’s border with Israel quiet and has, at times, hinted at a willingness to normalize relations in exchange for the Golan Heights. For that matter, Israel, while eager to improve relations with the entire Arab/Muslim world, has been mostly content with the old order. Arab rulers have shouted undying support for their Palestinian brothers and sisters, but done nothing to support them other than voting for meaningless resolutions. Why mess that up?

    Walker, when you spin conspiracy theories without a shred supporting evidence you become a party joke. But when the theory is driven by unmitigated hatred for a race, nation, ethnic group or religion, the joke isn’t funny. We’ve been to this rodeo before, but with better cowboys.

    Most absurd of all, you fancy yourself as being so serious a threat to Israel and the Jews that Zionist groups are bullying companies like Google and Facebook to bar you and like-minded bigots from the internet. Walker, you’re no threat to Israel because nobody takes you seriously. The only thing you threaten is Prof. Falk’s reputation. When the locker room conversation turns to discussing whether he allows anti-Semitism on his blog, your posts are always the star of the show.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin


  1. UC Berkeley: Zionism = Colonialism | Rehmat's World - October 21, 2016

    […] said American Jewish professor and former UNHRC’s special envoy for Palestine in an interview he gave on October 17 to David Hearst’s Middle East Eye news […]

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