Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s Speech

4 Jan



On December 23, 2016 the UN Security Council by a vote of 14-0 adopted Resolution 2334, notably with the United States abstaining, condemning Israeli settlement expansion. It was treated as big news in the West because the Obama presidency had finally in its last weeks in office refused to use its veto to protect Israel from UN censure. Especially in the United States, the media focused on the meaning of this diplomatic move, wondering aloud whether it was motivated by Obama’s lingering anger over Netanyahu’s effort to torpedo his efforts to reach agreement with Iran in 2014 on its nuclear program or meant to challenge the incoming Trump leadership to deal responsibly with the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict and also by indirection to mount criticism of Trump’s reckless pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and his apparent readiness to side openly with extremist Israeli leadership while in the White House.



The likely lasting importance of the resolution is the evidence of a strong international consensus embodied in the 14-0 vote, with only the US abstention preventing unanimity. To bring together China, Russia, France, and the UK on an initiative tabled by Senegal, Malaysia, and Venezuela, is sending Israel and Washington a clear message that despite the adverse developments of recent years in the Middle East the world will not forget the Palestinians, or their struggle. It is also significant that the resolution calls upon the new UN Secretary General to report back to the SC every three months on progress implementing the resolution and explicitly keeps the Council seized of the issue. Such provisions reinforce the impression that the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict will remain on the UN policy agenda in the months ahead, which by itself is extremely irritating to Israel.


            It is quite obvious that 2334 is largely a symbolic initiative, which is a way of saying that nothing on the ground in occupied Palestine is expected to change even with respect to Israeli settlement policy. Israel responded to the resolution even more defiantly than anticipated partly because this challenge to its policies, although symbolic, was treated as more threatening than a mere gesture of disapproval. Israeli anger seemed principally a reaction to the American failure to follow its normal practice of shielding Israel by casting its veto. It may also reflect concerns in Israel about the growing civil society challenge posed by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) that is gaining traction in recent years, particularly in Europe and North America. In effect, 2334 may be the beginning of a new phase of the legitimacy war that the Palestinian people and their supporters have been waging in recent years in opposition to Israeli occupation policies and practices, not only in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but also in Gaza and to discredit its diplomacy on the world stage. If Trump delivers on his provocative pledge to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem it is likely to intensify offsetting international efforts to induce the UN to exert greater pressure on Israel to address Palestinian grievances in a manner more in accord with international law.


The motivation for the US change of tactics at the UN was greatly elaborated upon a few days later by John Kerry, the American Secretary of State. He mainly connected 2334 with a US effort to save the two-state solution from collapse. Kerry insisted that the two-state solution could still be salvaged, although he acknowledged that it was being put in increasing jeopardy by the steady expansion of Israeli settlements, which he acknowledged as signaling Israel’s ambition to impose their own version of a one-state outcome on the Palestinians. Kerry articulated the widely held belief that the formal annexation of occupied Palestinian territories would force Israel to choose to be either ‘Jewish’ or ‘democratic.’ It could not be both if the 5 million or so Palestinians living under occupation were added to the 1.7 Palestinian minority in pre-1967 Israel. At such a point Israel would either have to grant all Palestinians full citizenship rights, and no longer be Jewish, or withhold these rights and cease further pretenses of being democratic. Significantly, Kerry refrained from saying that such a solution would violate basic Palestinian rights or antagonize the UN to such a degree that sanctions would be imposed on Israel. Secretary Kerry relied on the practical advantages for Israel of making peace with Palestine, and refrained from warning Israel of dire international consequences of continuing to violate international law and defy the unified will of the international community.


For a variety of reasons, as suggested, 2334 and the Kerry speech were welcome corrective to the relative silence of recent years in response to the failure of the parties to move any closer to a sustainable peace. It was also a belated indication that at least part of the American political establishment was no longer willing to turn a blind eye to Israeli wrongdoing, at least with respect to the settlements. Yet 2334, and especially the Kerry speech, do not depart from fundamentally mistaken presentations of how to move diplomacy forward. There is no mention of the widely held belief in civil society that the train carrying the two state baggage has already left the station, stranding the hapless diplomats on the platform. In fact, both 2334 and Kerry seek to breathe life into an opposite impression that the only feasible peace arrangement must be based on achieving two independent, sovereign states; no consideration is given to the alternative of a secular one state solution with equality for the two peoples based on democracy and human rights.


            The second serious misrepresentation of the situation is the assertion of a false symmetry as between the parties rather than a necessary recognition of disparities in capabilities and responsibilities that have doomed the ‘peace process’ from its inception. The Palestinians are living under a harsh occupation regime, in refugee camps spread around the region, or in a worldwide diaspora, while Israelis are living in freedom, prosperity, and relative security. Israel violates international law in numerous systematic ways, while Palestine endures an oppressive occupation that it is unable to challenge. In this spirit, Kerry declares that both sides are responsible for the lack of diplomatic progress, which overlooks the consequences of Israeli settlement expansion, ethnic policies in Jerusalem, and the blockade of and attacks on Gaza. Reasonable expectations about how to move forward should be grounded in the realities of these disparities and how to overcome them. A start would be to acknowledge that Israeli compliance with international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, is a precondition for the resumption of any further negotiations.


Considered more carefully, it is probably not surprising that 2334 is somewhat more critical of Israel than the Kerry speech, although the speech is not nearly as ‘anti-Israeli’ as the mainstream Western media would have us believe. 2334 condemns not only recent settlement expansion moves but declares in its first operative clause that all of the settlements established by Israel since 1967 in occupied Palestine, including those in East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” Kerry deep in his speech, almost as an aside, acknowledges the continued US acceptance of this wider illegality of the settlements, but simultaneously reassures Israel that it is taken for granted that land exchanges would enable Israel to keep its largest settlements if future peace diplomacy ever does lead to the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestine. In effect, the fact that these largest settlements built on the best land in the West Bank are widely considered flagrantly unlawful from the time they were established is treated as essentially irrelevant by Kerry with respect to working out a deal on peace.


Even more telling, 2334 while affirming the international consensus supportive of a two-state solution does not go on to give any indication of what that might mean if transformed into political reality. Kerry outlines the American vision of such a solution with ideas, which if carefully considered, would make the plan unacceptable to Palestinians even if we make the huge, and currently unwarranted assumptions that Israel might in the future become a sincere participant in a peace process, including a willingness of its government to dismantle substantially the settlement archipelago.


For instance, Kerry reflects Washington’s view of a two-state solution by presupposing that if any Palestinian state is ever established it would be entirely demilitarized while Israel would retain unlimited options to remain as militarized as it wished. Such one-sidedness on the vital matter of security is affirmed, despite an expectation that in the course of allowing a Palestinian state to come into existence the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative would be fully implemented. Such a development would allow Israel to count on demilitarized regional security cooperation with the entire Arab world, including full normalization of economic and cultural relations. Even if the Palestinian Authority were persuaded to accept this fundamental inequality in the sovereign rights of the two states, it is doubtful that the Palestinian people would accept such a humiliating and compromised status over time. In effect, the Kerry outline of peace expresses a continuing commitment to pro-Israel partisanship and is less a formula for a sustainable peace between these two peoples than it is a presumably unintentional setting of the stage for an indefinite continuation of the conflict under altered conditions.


Yet there are two qualifying considerations that should be taken into account. There are reliable reports that Kerry wanted to make his speech of late December two years ago, and was prohibited from doing so by the White House that feared a backlash that would burden its already difficult task of governance. In effect, as with such famous retirement speeches as Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial-complex a half century ago the citizenry is warned when it is too late even to attempt to address the problem until a new leadership takes office. In my view, even if Kerry had been allowed to speak when there was still time to act, there would have been little behavioral effect because Israel is now unconditionally committed to the Greater Israel image of a solution, there was insufficient political will in Washington and around the world to push Israel hard enough, and because the image of ‘peace’ was too one-sided in Israel’s favor as to be either negotiable or sustainable.



Similar partisan features undermine the credibility of other aspects of Kerry’s advocacy of how best to proceed. While recognizing the importance of the refugee issue, Kerry calls for some kind of solution that allows Palestinian refugees to receive monetary compensation and the right to return to the state of Palestine, but not to their homes or village if located in present day Israel. And no where is Israel’s unlimited right of return available to Jews worldwide, however slight their connection with Israel or Judaism might be.


Kerry went out of his way in the speech to demonstrate that the US abstention in relation to 2334 was in no way intended to rupture the special relationship between Israel and the United States. In this vein, Kerry pointed to the fact that the Obama administration had been more generous than its predecessors in bestowing military assistance upon Israel and had over its eight years protected Israel on numerous occasions from hostile initiatives undertaken it various UN venues. His point being that Israel’s defiance on settlements made it politically awkward for the United States to be an effective supporter of Israel and created tension between its preferred pro-Israeli posture and the more pragmatic pursuit of national interests throughout the Middle East.


Despite this friction between Washington and Tel Aviv, the US was the only member of the Security Council to refrain from supporting the resolution, limiting its departure from Israel’s expectations by refusing to block 2334, although it apparently toned down the criticism through threatening to use its veto if the language used was not ‘balanced.’ Kerry went out of his way to celebrate the recently deceased former Israeli president, Shimon Peres as a heroic peace warrior, which amounted to a not subtle dig at Netanyahu. Kerry quotes approvingly Peres’ self-satisfied assertion that 78% of historic Palestine should be enough for Israel, which Peres was comparing to the excessive demands for even more land by the settler one-staters. Of course, 78% gives Israel much more than the 55% it was awarded in 1947 by UNGA Assembly Resolution 181. At the time, the entire Arab world and Palestinian representatives rejected this UN proposal as unacceptable despite given 45% or more than double the territory of Palestine after Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian land occupied since the 1967 War. Beyond this, Kerry’s inclusion of land swaps as integral to his version of the two-state solution would result in further encroachments on territory left to the Palestinians, a result obscured to some extent by giving Palestine uninhabitable desert acreage as a dubious equivalent for the prime agricultural land on which the unlawful Israeli settlements are built. At best, territorial equality would be achieved quantitatively, but certainly not, qualitatively, which is what counts.


At the same time there are some positive aspects to Kerry speech. It did create a stir by its sharp criticism of Israel’s policies on settlements, as well as open doors to debate and broke the silence that was enabling Israel to proceed with its plans for territorial expansion. It is worth noting that James Zogby, long a dedicated advocate of Palestinian rights who has been surprisingly effective in the face of the constraints of the American setting, has expressed his strong appreciation for Kerry’s speech in the following words: “To some, especially Palestinians, this may seem like ‘too little, too late.’ But as someone who has been a part of the effort to create an American debate on Israeli policies, Kerry’s intervention is both welcome, validating, and empowering. He laid down markers that should help liberals and progressives define a policy agenda on the Israel-Palestine conflict—exactly what we need as we enter the challenges of the Trump era.”


Overall, the impact of 2334 is likely to be greater than it would have been if Israel had not reacted so petulantly. Even if Trump reverses the American critical approach to further Israeli settlement expansion, the UN has been reawakened to its long lapsed responsibility to find a peaceful solution for the conflict and end the Palestinian ordeal that has gone on for an entire century since Lord Alfred Balfour gave a British colonial green light to the Zionist project in 1917 to establish a Jewish homeland in historic Palestine. As well, civil society activists that have thrown their support to the BDS Campaign and governments critical of Israel’s behavior are likely to feel encouraged and even empowered by this expression of virtual unity among the governments belonging to the most important organ of the UN System. Of course, there have been many resolutions critical of Israel in the past, and nothing has happened. The harsh occupation persists unabated, the dynamics of annexation move steadily forward, and the Palestinian tragedy goes on and on. Despite this inter-governmental step at the UN, it still seems that the Palestinian fate will be primarily determined by people, above all by various forms of Palestinian resistance and secondarily by the extent of global solidarity pressures. Whether resistance and solidarity on behalf of justice is sufficient to neutralize the iron fist of geopolitics and state power remains the essential challenge.

James Zogby, long a dedicated advocate of Palestinian rights who has persevered in the face of the many difficulties present in the American setting, deserves a respectful hearing for his praise for of the Kerry speech. He has expressed his strong appreciation with the following words: “To some, especially Palestinians, this may seem like ‘too little, too late.’ But as someone who has been a part of the effort to create an American debate on Israeli policies, Kerry’s intervention is both welcome, validating, and empowering. He laid down markers that should help liberals and progressives define a policy agenda on the Israel-Palestine conflict—exactly what we need as we enter the challenges of the Trump era.” Let us join Zogby in acknowledging a few drops of water in the glass containing Palestinian hopes, but let us also recognize that even with Kerry break with silence, lots has to happen before we can begin to believe that the glass is half full.

While keeping open a suspicious eye, it is important to acknowledge positive aspects of the Kerry speech: It did create a stir by its sharp criticism of Israel’s policies on settlements, as well as open doors to debate and broke the silence that was enabling Israel to proceed with its plans for territorial expansion. In the period ahead, we may even become nostalgic for the posture, even if mainly hypocritical, of seeking a peaceful, negotiated future for the Palestinian people. Or maybe the stripping away of illusions will highlight the continued dependence of the Palestinians on struggle and solidarity.






23 Responses to “Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s Speech”

  1. Fred Skolnik January 4, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    The “unlawful Israeli settlements” are almost exclusively built on what were barren hilltops for obvious security reasons and the settlers do very little farming down below. Learn a little geography before you start talking about prime agriculrural land. You might also remember that half of Israel’s 55% was desert (the Negev). This is just for your information. It is pointless to engage you because like Dostoevski’s man of resentment you are going to go right on insisting that two plus two equals five.

  2. Fred Skolnik January 5, 2017 at 12:06 am #

    While we’re at it, another misconception you have turned into a first principle is the Bantuland myth, which also derives from your ignorance of West Bank geography and distances. At the very worst, a few salients in the West Bank might add 15 minutes of travel time from point to point. For 20 years travelers between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv had to make a big detour adding half an hour to the trip because Jordan held the Latrun salient. So what. Believe me, no one felt the difference. And of course your use of the term “settlement expansion” is a shameless deception, since almost all building since the early 1990s has been done within existing boundaries.

  3. Schlüter January 5, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    See also:
    „President Elect Trump: Has His Struggle for Survival Already Begun?“:
    New Year regards
    „Thanks to my Readers – Dank an meine Leser“:

  4. Gene Schulman January 5, 2017 at 1:35 am #

    Getting back to basics. Another good piece on the ‘conflict’, Richard. But I must subscribe to Jeremy Hammond’s interpretation of Kerry’s speech. Though it seems there is a change of sentiment in the Obama camp, the lies continue:

    “John Kerry gave a speech last week professing US support for the two-state solution.

    It was a lie.

    Contrary to its rhetoric, in actual deed, the US has long opposed the two-state solution.

    But I’m not even talking about the difference between words and actions. Even John Kerry’s rhetoric demonstrates the US’s rejectionism.

    How can that be when he explicitly stated that the US supports the two-state solution?

    Well, you have to know how to decipher the euphemistic language US officials use, and you have to understand the legal foundations of the two-state solution.

    John Kerry’s speech contained a Big Lie about one of the key legal documents upon which this solution is built: UN Security Council Resolution 242.

    See, in his speech, Kerry repeated the Zionists’ interpretation of Resolution 242, which unfortunately is popularly believed to be the correct one.

    But UN resolutions aren’t open to private or unilateral interpretation. Rather, they must be understood according to the will of the Security Council, and the documentary record and language of the resolution itself belie the interpretation that John Kerry repeated in his speech.”

    Anyhow, what can we expect from a future with Donald Trump’s pro-Israel stance?

  5. ray032 January 5, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    Happy New Year of the Lord 2017, Richard et al!

    Yesterday morning I was thinking I should send you an email inquiring why you have not addressed this UN resolution as yet and then I got the alert of this new post. That thought was inspired by something I read yesterday, but that article is supplanted by this article I read this morning.

    This is how I introduced the article in my Public FB News Feed;

    This is the View from an Independent British Journalist living on the ground in Nazareth.

    Western MSM hardly ever propagate his views and understanding of the realities on the ground in Occupied Palestine with their unquestioning pro-Israel Propaganda.

    Christ preached to Jews exclusively, before Christians existed, in Judea and Samaria during the Occupation of Palestine 2000 years ago.

    The Intervening Centuries saw many great Nations and Empires appear and disappear in this Material World, the US being the latest, greatest of them all, now in the declining Days of Empire in this world.

    It should be a Wonder to all Thinking People, how it came to be after 2000 years, the occupation of Judea and Samaria in Occupied Palestine is still the major, unresolved issue in the carnage in the Middle East, confronting This Material World TODAY?

    “A report published this month by military prosecutors found that it was routine for soldiers and settlers to tamper with evidence at sites where Palestinians had been shot. Efforts to investigate were often rendered futile as a result.
    Calls for shoot-to-kill

    Human Rights Watch has noted that, in the months before the Hebron shooting, senior government ministers and security officials had repeatedly called for a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinian attackers, even when they posed no threat.

    Separately, both the Sephardic chief rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, and the army’s chief rabbi, Eyal Karim, have called for the execution of Palestinians suspected of attacks.

    But more significantly, senior military figures broke ranks during the trial to voice support for extrajudicial executions, indicating that officers in the field may be regularly turning a blind eye to crimes like Azaria’s.

    Uzi Dayan, a former deputy chief of staff, testified in Azaria’s defence. He declared that he had personally covered up for his own soldiers when they killed Palestinians without justification.

    In one case he cited, his troops had shot dead five Palestinians returning home from work. He had blocked an investigation. Such matters should not be aired in public, he added.

    Speaking more generally about extrajudicial executions, he said: “I’ve ordered to kill terrorists just because they’re terrorists, regardless of their condition, whether they are dangerous or not.”…………………………………………….

  6. Kata Fisher January 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    I hope everyone has had awesome holidays and of course a New Liturgical Season and/or New Year.

    A Note:

    I read some news on this, and it’s clearly and without the doubt that entire regions are given over to the devil, and his purpose — and Israel is the epicentre of a devil and his purpose.

    Just recently, I have studied some prophetic Book of the Bible that I have already studied a few years ago — and lo and behold I ended up being firmly in conviction that everything as of right now is in satanic seals of devil, and his purpose among regions — and Holy Land Territory is no exception — all is in power of devil, given over to him. It’s all in satanic rules and rules of false prophets.

    They still believe in racist, colonial-era two-state solutions and they are in mad-man like confusions.

    In addition to that, International Law (in its effect) and Human Rights Laws (in its effects) were and are very questionable — and are as good as all lost-doctrine in heresy.

    There are few things of satanic seals within International Law and is Charters — that makes it as good in works/effect — as heretical religious doctrines. It just awfully unratified, and unclean.

    In essence, the transformation of humanity (at will) should have taken place by the Institutions of such Law’s — instead, it is a licence to commit horrendous bloody crimes — and all corruption that comes with all of that.

    But one thing that everyone can mark — Jordan’s landmark and its establishment are like licentious-woman in her bloody holy grail cup that does not stop in her evils (Church-Harlot and False Prophets in their satanic seals). She and they were then and are now. Who so ever gets deceived by them and their satanic seals — lo and behold, there is nothing to be done — but wish good luck to them, permanently.

  7. Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 6, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    As a liberal Zionist committed to Palestinian independence, I am saddened by Prof. Falk’s post. As circumstances within Israel-Palestine, and throughout the entire Middle East, rapidly change, he continues to advocate the same approach that has for decades has failed to bring the Palestinians closer to their objective. Einstein defined insanity as pursuing a failed strategy over and over again hoping that it will eventually succeed. Prof. Falk is by no means insane, which makes his resistance to adjusting to readily apparent realities especially puzzling. Tragically, the losers here are not the Israelis but Palestinians, who may be influenced by his views.

    Prof. Falk’s approach is to place all blame on Israel while shielding the Palestinians from any responsibility for their plight. This turns the Palestinian cause into a Blame Game, an adversarial competition with the side emerging with a cleaner slate winning. But the Real World doesn’t work that way. Resolution of conflict comes when both sides accept an agreement that awards each at least its minimum objectives, and leaves both with a sense that accepting compromise gives them more than could be reasonably expected to accrue from perpetuating hostilities.

    There are remarkable similarities between Israel’s Jewish population and the Palestinians. Opinion polls indicate that both communities have majorities prepared to negotiate peaceful co-existence with the other on the basis of “two states for two peoples”, and far smaller minorities who reject compromise and work to undermine cooperation: Israel’s Expansionists and their political allies, on the one hand; Hamas and allied groups, on the other.

    Tragically, the minority Rejectionists on both sides have managed to dominate the scene to the point of dictating national policy. An important factor in their success is that they feed on one another. Israeli expansionism lends credibility to the extremist positions unambiguously stated in Hamas’ National Covenant; threats to destroy Israel, bolstered by terrorism on the ground, are a strong disincentive to Israeli voters electing leaders prepared to stand up against the Settlers.

    The central point to be emphasized here is that the dynamic is mutual. While it’s true that Netanyahu endorses a two-state solution while his government creates obstacles on the ground, it’s no less true that claims of Palestinian willingness to accept Israel are discredited by both word and deed. Consequently, demands that Israel change its ways are meaningless unless accompanied by demands that the Palestinians change, as well. Indeed, as J.J. Goldberg notes in The Forward, UNSCR 2334 meets this criterion by making demands on both sides. But playing the Blame Game doesn’t allow for this flexibility, so Prof. Falk responds with sharp criticism.

    n.b. None of this is intended to draw attention away from the horrors Israel imposes on the Palestinians daily, or Israel’s utterly unhelpful response to UNSCR 2334. But if the objective is moving the Palestinians forward along the road to independence, rather than trashing Israel and waiting for a deus ex machina such as BDS or the ICC to bring salvation, an objective analysis of the facts at hand reveals that the road being chosen is not the best road to travel.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Kata Fisher January 6, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

      Rabbi, This is what I understand:

      A Note:

      Two state solution mantra is as good, and as racist as Hamas Constitution — its not about two peoples two states mantra.

      The actual reality of the earth in Holy Land is One peoples of many races, and of colorations and of bad vibes.

      Two state solution is a Grave advised and prepared. Messianic Jews need to straight out their religious practices, and reach out to Jews that are in generational satanic seals with actual, authentic practices of First Generation of the Church.

      Israeli have the grave problem with some Jewry in satanic seals — and they (Israeli) do not have spiritual or natural authority over them (in civil- ecclesiastical terms) they are without any spiritual authority over Jewry in satanic seals. They are in revolting obnoxiousness because of those satanic seals. It is not cultural, and it is not of Faith. They do not keep Faith of Jews. There are and can be legitimate alternatives.

      It’s not in best interest of Arab-Israel to squeeze themselves between Jordan and-and another Landmark in Israel — they will be pressed between those major, and two illegitimate states, along with them selfs illegitimate in accordance to reflection on contemporary conditions — let’s not advise the Palestinian state because it will not be for grave consequences for Arab-Israeli and people tribes among all.

      In addition to that Two state solution is an absolute evil, and absolute annihilation of the Jews of Faith. Two state solution is in current condition/s extremely evil — for all people tribes of Faith.

      The future of Holy Land belongs to Messianic Jews-Israeli and people tribes Jews, and to Arab-Israeli — not too radical jihadism (which is without God, and not in Faith of Islam that they claim), and it does not to belong to radical Jewry and their evil ways, and it does not belong now — they are without God themselves — all in satanic seals, are devil directed and in devil direct toward the guilt of blood.

      Radical jihadism, radical Jewry has had their foothold for a while, let them be accursed in accordance with Ecclesiastical Laws — or let them be converted to the will of God trough Faith.

      Civil folks have one impossible in time to deal with — all evil of satanic seals — they have to stop to listen to false prophets in satanic seals — be those of Jews, of Muslims, of heretical Christianity which is not the Church, or wicked leaders. Absolute lies are harboured by those wicked in satanic seals — and is almost as close as impossible to pinpoint them in it — where all those things in /of satanic seals come from.

      Just stop losing to them, and start to be managing, fostering all good will of coexistence among peoples that are people tribes within Holy Land. Otherwise, civil folks are in bad adds with Ecclesiastical realities — and in the end will work evil, as well — just because they are heeding and/or giving ear to that what those in satanic seals are perpetuating.

      The problem and shame to all of the world that the will of the people-tribes have been mismanaged, and misdirected by numerous false prophets — who do not seek out good will among the people tribes Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs.

      Manage radicals in satanic seals and their leaders in satanic seals, and manage false prophets in satanic seals — those that always work out perpetual evil’s and blood on everyone’s hands, no matter what they do. Is best to manage those wicked — so that people tribes can have some air.
      I say it again, the future of Holy Land belongs to Messianic Jews-Israeli and people tribes Jews, and to Arab-Israeli — now it may not be visible — but give it few years, next generation — they will see it.

      Ist best to start directing folks in good will and not in the filths of satanic seals. All filth’s of satanic seals is like the frozen state of rebellion/revolting against coming good will. Folks have to grow up and make harsh, grown up decisions for others — when they can’t do any more in wrong way. Time is up with each generation.

      Two state solution is a being a Grave dug by those in satanic seals — for all in good will, people tribes and of Faith.

    • Richard Falk January 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

      Dear Rabbi Youdovin:

      Among my NY resolutions is a pledge to keep my responses conversational and informative, rather than argumentative
      and denigrating of the other. I know this pledge will be tested, but at least I will try. My past record with resolutions does
      not encourage me.

      In any event, let me clarify my position, which is intended to express what I believe to be the obstacles to a negotiated peace
      under present conditions: I believe that the current Israeli political leadership, not necessarily the citizenry, is opposed to the establishment
      of a viable and independent Palestinian state; such opposition partly reflects Netanyahu’s seemingly genuine views as expressed
      during the 2014 electoral campaign and elsewhere, the continuation of settlement expansion, including efforts to legalize ‘outposts’ under Israeli
      law, the political leverage, resolve, and territorial ambition of the settler movement itself, and the absence of political pressure from either Arab neighbors or US/

      In contrast, I believe that the Palestinian Authority would swallow an agreement that called for a minimal Palestine, provided it was sufficiently
      viable to be swallowed by the Palestinian people and Hamas; I think the credibility and even survival of the PA depends on achieving this goal in the near future, and
      their behavior in conversation, secret negotiations [See Palestine Papers], and public diplomatic posture are consistent with this interpretation.
      On Hamas: there real diplomatic and political position has long moved beyond the language of the Covenant. I base this conclusion on lengthy conversations
      with top Hamas leaders in Doha and Cairo, a view confirmed by such other informed observers of high reputation including Henry Siegman and Uri Avery, as well
      as the public formulations of Hamas’ current goal, which call for long-term peaceful coexistence based on Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders and an end of the blockade.

      Finally, even if the political will existed in the Israeli government, contrary to my perceptions, the settlement process has gone beyond thresholds of
      reversibility at least two or three years ago, and the assumption (probably accepted by the PA) that Israel could retain the ‘settlement blocs’ would be
      difficult for the Palestinian people to accept, especially given the near unanimous view in the recent SC Res 2334 that ALL settlements are unlawful under
      the 4th Geneva Convention.

      For these reasons, I believe it is delusional as matters now stand to hold onto to the two state consensus as the basis of peace between the two peoples. I personally
      believe that secular states are normally more legitimate than ethnic or religious states, but there may be exceptions, and this is up to the peoples involved to determine in some
      internationally acceptable manner. At this stage, I would also agree that a one secular state solution is not politically attainable, leaving only the Israeli one state as
      presently attainable, but at the cost of continuing the conflict indefinitely. I believe in the end that both Jews and Arabs are entitled to exercise equal rights of self-determination, and that such a norm is the only ethically and politically path to pursue. I share the view of Edward Said and many others that whatever the merits of legitimacy challenges to the Zionist movement and the establishment of Israel, present realities must be respected, and no further dispossession of either people will ever be justifiable.

      This is hardly a comprehensive statement of my views, but it summarizes the essential elements. I would mention one further factor. In light of the disparities of position as between the Israelis and Palestinians along several dimensions of power and influence, it is essential that any future negotiating framework be based on equality as between the parties, avoiding the Oslo framework of entrusting Israel’s strongest ally with the role of third party intermediary and partner in what is generally described as a unique ‘special relationship.’

      For all these reasons, I am skeptical about traditional diplomatic approaches AT THIS STAGE and put my faith in nonviolent Palestinian resistance and the global solidarity
      movement, in people, not governments or inter-governmental institutions, but without discounting their continuing relevance.

      With wishes to you and all blog readers for the best possible year in 2017, Richard

      • Kata Fisher January 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

        Professor Falk,
        You wrote:

        ” I personally
        believe that secular states are normally more legitimate than ethnic or religious states, but there may be exceptions, and this is up to the peoples involved to determine in some
        internationally acceptable manner.”

        I like to make one note about that — and it is just a general note.

        A Note:

        I am almost absolutely sure and without a doubt that Israeli constitution has outlined what type of the “state” Israel is to be. If is already in the constitution of Israel — it should not be altered, at all. Only, it should be carefully proofread and understood what exactly Israeli constitution is saying.

        I do not believe that it will be good chipping of the constitution — that what already is accomplished, and attempt changes to the structure that are invalid, and most likely unconstitutional to begin with. Israel is not and can not be a fully secular state — it’s part of same entities that Arab world is; however, Israel is not to be ruled by the king-type of structure but the courts and Juridic Persons / Hebrew Prophets. However, Israeli have not developed their structure completely, and they are still a process of doing that. It’s best not to be unconstitutional. A secular state is out of the question. However, that does not mean that lay-people institutions won’t be secular — but Israeli court is not and won’t be fully secular.

        I do not think I am mistaking on that.
        It’s best to go back and refocus on happenings with Jordan solution/s between Jews and Arabs, all together. There is an Illegal ecclesiastical landmark in Holy Land — and it happened ecclesiastical illegal, and it is illegitimate in the Holy Land. To make it natural for emigrating Arab and Jews will be the best solution, in order to allow people tribes to legitimately integrate within the Holy Land/State of Israel.

        I do not recognise Jordan as a sovereign state/monarchy in Holy Land during the Church Age — this is my absolute understanding in Conscience — and I would go against my Conscience in Spirit to recognise the establishment of Jordan and its Landmark as good, and legitimate when is not good and when is ecclesiastical illegitimate. It should be completely neutral Arab Saud Province in Holy Land next to the Holy Land Territory (out of it).

        Nations along with League of Nations and UN did their own thing during the Church Age. For that reason, we have current evils.

        During the Church Age, the only legitimate thing in Isreal is to have exiled Hebrews/Non-Hebrews (Hebrew-Arab and Jews and generational people tribes among them) freely integrate within Holy Land Territory as well as other territorial reasons, under legitimate International migration laws. Unless ecclesiastical restrictions apply, and refugees and/or exiles have to be legitimately redirected to specific regions due to the grave harms.

        There were ecclesiastical illegal expulsion and swapping of a Jewish and Arab population in the Middle East. This was most likely due to the wishes of diabolic, racist, evil, two-state mantra by colonist and those after them who were blinded in things of satanic seals than just as blindness of satanic seals now.

  8. ray032 January 10, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    Rabbi, you are to be commended for acknowledging this: n.b. None of this is intended to draw attention away from the horrors Israel imposes on the Palestinians daily, or Israel’s utterly unhelpful response to UNSCR 2334.

    Israel used F-16 jet fighters, Apache attack helicopters, tanks and artillery in the murderous bombardment of Gaza in 2014. The only recourse of the Palestinians was home made rockets with no guidance systems than mostly landed in empty fields and had to have a direct hit to to some small damage, compared to Israel’s 1 ton bombs that brought down multi storied apartment blocks, mosques and a lot of the small businesses in Gaza.

    Israel has all the economic-military political power and leverage in the totality of the conflict, with the Palestinians having very little leverage. Except when a minority of Jews in Israel, and an increasing number of Jews and Gentiles outside of Israel, their consciences activated in recognizing common humanity, speak on the Palestinian’s behalf via the non violent economic pressures of the BDS movement.

    Under those circumstances and realities, do you have any specific ideas on how the Israeli government stop doing the immoral things you acknowledge. You have acknowledged the sins of Israel on many occasions but always give it a pass, as you do once again with the rest of the paragraph I cite in commending you.

    After a expanding 50 year Jubilee of Israeli Military Dictatorship suppressing the Civil rights of Palestinians contrary to intent of The Balfour Declaration, what concrete actions can be taken to have Israel moderate it’s illegal behaviour?

    Should the International Community all have a say to affect the Israeli election, since violent action and peaceful economic sanction to the occupation is unacceptable, according to Israel and all the politicians outside Israel they finance and support, paying for all expense trips to Israel where they are wined and dined to listen to the exclusive Israeli version of the reality on the Palestinian ground?

    I fully understand how and why Palestinians, after a 50 year Israeli Military Dictatorship in their own land, increasingly relate to ‘abandon all hope ye who enter here.’

    I can see no way Israelis will benefit if that is allowed to sink even further for Palestinians, and it sometimes appears to me, Israel is heading toward a Masada II and not seeing it.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 11, 2017 at 11:54 am #


      I don’t want to ignore your questions, but neither will I engage in what will assuredly be yet another fruitless exchange. For example, you portray Israel as initiating a vicious attack on Gaza. But there is ample evidence to support the view that Israel was responding to a long history of mortar and rocket bombardments from inside Gaza, and also knew that Hamas was digging tunnels through which to wage deadly attacks on nearby Israeli communities. You and others on this blog deny this. I and many others dispute your denial. And so it goes on and on. End of story.

      In a larger sense, however, my two most recent posts do respond to your question about halting the violence (which comes from both sides, as the UN resolution states.) Violence will end only when peace and reconciliation are achieved. This will require changed behavior and concessions on from both Palestinians and Israel.

      I do appreciate your interest in ending the violence. But regrettably, I believe your thinking to be moving along the wrong track.


      • ray032 January 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

        Ira, thanks for the reply of no reply. Again, you distract and deflect.
        It doesn’t take much intelligence to figure out violence will end when Peace and Reconciliation are achieved.

        When the Palestinians have no leverage against the might of the Israeli Economy-Military State and the Israeli Military Dictatorship ruling Palestinian lives in occupied Palestine for the last 50 years, what options are there to stop Israel from taking more and more Palestinian land, the very purpose of the 50 year of idle faux Peace negotiations.

        This I address to you not as Ira, but as Rabbi. It not an option, but a commandment of God, Israel has to declare a Jubilee Year every 50 years to live in peace with it’s neighbours, i.e. the Palestinians. Israel will never live in Peace in the land TODAY without declaring The Jubilee.

        You cannot claim the land without declaring a Jubilee Year. You know the conditions spelled out for Jubilee. They are more explicit than the ancient claim the land is given to the Jews, Palestinians out. The conditions of the Jubilee will remove many of the roadblocks to Peace.

        I am not advocating unilateral Israeli withdrawal without a real Peace Agreement, but that takes Trust building measures. Israel, having all the leverage, has been conducting idle talks for the last 50 years, all the while expanding on Palestinian Land, the very land that is the reason for Peace negotiations. This is prima facie evidence Israel has not been negotiating in genuine Good Faith for 50 years.

        Genesis 34 records the account of the Jewish Patriarchs seeing “The Promised Land” for the 1st Time some 3750 years ago.
        Jacob’s daughter Dinah “went out to look about among the daughters of the land.”

        She met up with the “Prince of the Country” who fell madly in love with her. The Torah records it with these words, “And his soul cleaved to Dinah the daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl and spoke to the girl’s heart.” Of this, there is no doubt, with multiple references to that effect in the account. The Prince desperately wanted to marry her.

        We can only guess the ages of the Prince and Dinah but most probably they were young, and the Prince most probably swept Dinah off her feet having lived in the shadow of her brothers most of her life, and bedded her.

        I understand the record as God fulfilling his promise to Abraham concerning The Promised Land as the Jewish Torah version explicitly details. The Prince asked his father to speak with Jacob and the Torah records this exchange between the Patriarchs and the indigenous People: “My son Shechem his soul has a liking for your daughter. Please give her to him for a wife.
        And intermarry with us; you shall give us your daughters, and you shall take our daughters for yourselves.
        And you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you; remain, do business there and settle there.”
        The Prince then spoke up and said, “”May I find favour in your eyes. Whatever you tell me I will give. Impose upon me a large marriage settlement and gifts, and I will give as [much as] you ask of me, but give me the girl for a wife.”

        Jacob’s sons answered, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin, for that is a disgrace to us.
        But with this, however, we will consent to you, if you will be like us, that every male will be circumcised. Then we will give you our daughters, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people.”

        The Torah version uses the word “cunning” in the way the Patriarchs spoke. The KJV uses the word “deceitfully.”

        How much did the Prince love Dinah? The record is clear, “And the young man did not delay to do the thing because he desired Jacob’s daughter, and he was the most honored in all his father’s household.” Not only that, he convinced all the other men of the city to be circumcised, saying to them, “”These men are peaceful with us, and they will dwell in the land and do business there, and the land behold it is spacious enough for them. We will take their daughters for ourselves as wives, and we will give them our daughters.”

        The record goes on to paint this picture of Jacob’s sons, Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that Jacob’s two sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword, and they came upon the city with confidence, and they slew every male.”

        Not only that, they took all the women. children, flocks and crops, plundering everything in the City.

        Israel is negotiating with as much Good Faith with the indigenous people of Palestine TODAY as their ancestors did 3750 years ago as recorded in the Torah.

        My question to you Rabbi is the same, With the Israeli intransigence, having all the leverage, what do you suggest will move Netanyahu to negotiate in Good Faith and stop “the horrors Israel imposes on the Palestinians daily?”

        You omit to acknowledge while he gives lip service to a Two State solution, he did say a Palestinian State will never come to be under his watch as he acts in service to the Settler extremists.

      • Kata Fisher January 12, 2017 at 7:56 am #

        Rabbi and Ray:

        This is what I understand:

        I can agree with Rabbi — another illegal Landmark between Israel and Arabs can be allowed.

        It’s best for the Church members to wash their hand from all between Jews and Arabs, and things of generational satanic seals among them — all that came from wicked, false/counterfeit and so-called Christian-churches in Satanic, Kundalini/Nazi spirit along with wicked, counterfeit Jewry in the same spirit (Kundalini/Nazi spirit) and wicked, false Muslim — all that claim Arabism but are in false prophets Kundalini/Nazi spirit. That is all one house in neurotic pursuits, ill will, and absolutely nothing that will add up to the human good. They are in the spirit of Antichrist, the devil generational y and personally — only waking up to the inheritance and will of their ancestral gods, in Satan.

        Any Righteous Israeli Hebrew or Hebrew-Jew knows better than that. It is valid to allow the wicked to have their ill ways and let them be accursed, and given over to the worst devils then they are right now. After all, it’s up to next generations of theirs — and the next generation will have to mend for it — for all. That means that all which happened with Jordan in Holy Land, and that what is happening now, and that what happens — if they add additional two entities with a landmark/s.

        For the authentic Church is best to wash hands from all of that and allow evil human wills because we know that even wars and hate accomplish their purpose, and so legitimately wicked are wiped out and damned among them selfs, and are accursed according to their and ancestral devils.

        I do understand that it is best to wash hands from all of that and let them be accursed.

        However, I do know that One State Solution would not create illegitimate mash-ups — for few reasons.

        There are plenty authentic Arabs of Faith, Jews of Faith, and authentic Church that a legitimate mash-up can be in fact sustained. Not only that but Israeli jurisdiction can sustain it, just as well. Jordan and all other jurisdictions are ecclesiastical illegal in Holy Land and they will not be sustained — they will be turned upside down — when those in the spirit of the devil are ragingly mad and start wishing for some civil-ecclesiastical blood. Legally, they have a full claim to do just that. Historical happenings never chance much at all.

        For that reason, I am telling to the Church authentic that have nothing to do with affairs of Jews and Muslims in Holy Land — things they mull around and so on the implement, except, direct their will to the peaceful coexistence.

        What that means for you is this: Have nothing to do with things of satanic seals and of satanic seals. It will spiritually excommunicate you — and/or tripped you and falsely accuses you. In fact, they do not even deserve your attention because they are of the ill-will — no matter what is done. They are in devils, in the spirit of antichrist — devil directed. Is best for Church Arabs, Jews of Faith to wash their hands and let them be accursed. World Survived Holocaust, and I do not know that anything will not be survived. The wicked are doing wickedly all the time and they are confined to hell each day.

        When they are told that they are accused and given over to the devil and destruction — they think the Church is a hatefull liar.But to us — It’s just hilarious how wicked they are.

  9. Rabbi Ira Youdovin January 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    Thank you for taking the time to present your views on obstacles blocking a negotiated Israel-Palestine peace. Your doing it in a concise and orderly manner is a rare achievement for anyone writing in the give-and-take, arena of the Blogosphere.

    I agree with most of your analysis, save for two important items: one factual; the other a question of strategy. The first is our long-standing disagreement over Hamas. I don’t question your report that Hamas leaders told you that its National Covenant no longer expresses the organization’s actual positions. But I do question the accuracy of what they told you. If the Covenant is obsolete, why not revise it, especially the parts in which Hamas portrays itself as anti-Semitic, rejectionist and jihadi?

    It’s reasonable to speculate that the answer lies in internal Hamas dynamics. There have been persistent reports of a division in its leadership ranks, which is not uncommon among groups of this genre. One side wants to modify its approach: seeking common ground with other Palestinian elements, particularly Fatah, by recognizing Israel, and joining the political process which seeks a negotiated resolution of conflict. The other side is determined to continue its militarism with the objective of eliminating Israel. This tension is reflected in the compromise underlying Hamas’ offer of “long-term peaceful co-existence with Israel (in Arabic “Hudma”), to which you refer.

    Peaceful co-existence with Israel represents a marked, and most welcome, softening of the group’s long-standing rejectionism. But a Hudna, which stops short of normalizing relations with Israel, together with Hamas’ refusal to modify its National Covenant, indicates that while an evolution in Hamas policy may be in progress, the moderates have not as yet gained control of the organization, and may never gain control. Additionally, the continuing strength of its milititaristic extremists is demonstrated by its continued stockpiling of offensive weapons and persistence in digging attack tunnels into Israel. Hamas revising its Covenant and renouncing terrorism would be a Game Changer. But that hasn’t happened as yet.

    Which brings me to the second point of disagreement. You make a persuasive argument for why movement toward an equitable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is impossible at this time. I won’t dispute your pessimism, but do question your decision to rely solely on nonviolent Palestinian resistance and global solidarity as vehicles for pursuing Palestinian national objectives. However one assesses the potential effectiveness of these strategies—and your assessment is likely far more optimistic than mine—there is little question that whatever they achieve is achieved at a snail’s pace. But time is not on the Palestinians’ side. You’ve already declared a two-state solution to be dead, and the notion of a bi-national state is rejected by virtually everyone.
    (With good reason, as the sad fate of post-Ottoman forced marriages such as Syria and Iraq strongly argue against creating another unsustainable middle eastern mash-up, this one between Jews and Muslims/Israelis and Palestinians, who share nothing other than mutual animosity and the unhappy plight of inhabiting the same geographical space.)

    So I must ask a delicate question: Why don’t you, and others who have purchase on the Palestinians’ attention, press Hamas leaders, publicly and privately, to abandon their extremist objectives and tactics so as to join, and strengthen, a united Palestinian front dedicated to seeking a peaceful and equitable resolution of conflict with Israel. Such a development would energize and strengthen the once formidable peace camp in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora that has been demoralized by the same factors and absence of progress you cite—including, no…ESPECIALLY the growing influence of the Settlers Movement and its central role in dictating government policy.

    Richard, you speak about mobilizing the power of the people. This is an invitation, and a challenge to you, to do just that.



    • Richard Falk January 14, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      Dear Ira:

      On all these issues discussed in the comment your positions are clear and thoughtful. Let me briefly respond.

      As you suggest, the issue of how to deal with Hamas is one of interpretation, especially of dominant intentions. I have been
      convinced that the leadership is unified behind the idea of pursing short and long term objective by essentially political means
      rather than through armed struggle, and that perception is worth testing by a forthcoming response. It is surely true that among those active in Hamas there are some whose vision is maximalist and in accord with the Covenant. It is a question of judgment whether such Hamas extremists would or would not be marginalized by moves toward accommodation via a hudna, and whether a long-term ceasefire could evolve into peaceful coexistence, and from there to a sustainable peace.
      The same problem has often in the past complicated diplomacy as during the long process of seeking a compromise in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. My view is that waiting for
      maximalists to be discredited openly is not a productive course of action, although I agree the alternative may not work. There are guarantees. And for
      those like myself to call publicly for Hamas to abandon its Covenant or be forthcoming would not be effective so long as Israel remains
      an occupying power that presses the advantages of its overwhelming military and geopolitical strength.

      I agree that time works against Palestinian aspirations and a reasonable accommodation, but I do not favor diplomacy under present
      conditions for reasons previously explained. Two developments would have to occur for diplomacy to be again become potentially useful: some recalculation of interests in Israel and
      a diplomatic framework with a level playing field (that is, unlike Oslo; the US is not suitable as the intermediary). My hope is that
      the best present tactic for a solution is to change the political climate, and the only way to do this that I can imagine if for changes in outlook to occur
      in the US and Israel, and the only way to bring this about is through a robust global solidarity movement that exerts some pressure for change.
      With Trump here, and Netanyahu in Israel, I am not encouraged. At the same time, the Palestinians will not surrender, and are more likely to
      give way to frustration, and resort to tactics of desperate resistance to ensure that the world does not forget their struggle or grievances, or dismiss
      their claims as ‘a lost cause.’

      Finally, I also agree that liberal Zionism has been increasingly demoralized by the course of recent developments in Israel, the rightward drift
      and the increasing leverage of the settler movement. Where we may disagree is whether the US tendency to apportion blame symmetrically is accurate
      or helpful. I agree that Palestinian disunity and leadership deficit is an undeniable part of the overall picture. In the wider setting of the
      conflict, and my relation to it, I do not consider myself at this stage to be anything more than a witness on the sidelines who seeks to exhibit a humane understanding based
      an overall commitment to peace and justice for both peoples.

      Best wishes,


    • Fred Skolnik January 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      Dear Ira

      As there is very little point in addressing Prof. Falk, for the reasons I indicated above, I will address you and add that in the matter of “interpreting” what Hamas wants and how Hamas will act, the conclusions of armchair quarterbacks and other amateurs is next to meaningless, Israel has professional intelligence officers who speak the language, follow the internal dialogues, are fed by sources within Hamas, and know how to “interpret” the information they receive and certainly do so objectively. I myself am far from being an expert in Arab affairs but it is next to impossible for anyone with the slightest understanding of what Hamas represents not to realize that it is as unlikely for Hamas to relinquish the God-ordained dream of getting everything, meaning the State of Israel itself, as it is for the religious settlers to give up the dream of getting Judea and Samaria, which is to say, it is impossible unless they relinquish their faith. The difference is that Hamas is very likely to take over any Palestinian state that comes into being while the settlers are very unlikely to take over the State of Israel. This is admittedly my opinion but it is at least based on intimate knowledge of the country and its people and is not a product of bias one way or the other but an objective assessment.

  10. Kata Fisher January 13, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    A Note:

    Recently, just in the past of some few hours — I was reflecting that if is possible for youth activist that are Arab and Jewish — democratic youth to form requests to Abbas, Netanyahu, and other difficult persons (regardless if they are civil or ecclesiastical /religious) in abuse of their office/their positions to abandon them — make room for aware in conscience, and democratic individuals. Will and can this be legitimately implemented, and possible?

    Or, at least give them strong reasons why they should abandon in abuse of office/their positions?

  11. ray032 January 16, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    The View from Nazareth and Jonathan Cook

    Forget the empty posturing of world leaders in Paris yesterday. This photo tells us what the Israel-Palestine “conflict” is really about.

    Imagine for a second that the little boy – how old is he, eight, nine? – is your son, trying to adjust his keffiyeh because it keeps falling over his eyes and he can’t see anything. Image your small son surrounded by masked Israeli “soldiers”, or what looks more like a Jewish militia than an army. Imagine that the boy is likely soon to be bundled into the back of a military van and taken for interrogation without his parents or a lawyer present, or even knowing where he is. That he could end up beaten and tortured, as human rights groups have regularly documented.

    Maybe you can’t imagine any of that because you, a responsible parent living in Europe or the United States, would never let your child out to throw stones.

    Then you need to know more about the story behind this picture.

    This photo was taken in Kfar Qaddum last month. The boy and his friends aren’t there to bait Israeli soldiers or indulge a bout of anti-semitism. Jews from the violent – and illegal – settlement of Kedumim have taken over their farm lands. Kedumim’s expansion has been further used to justify the army closing the access road in and out of Qaddum. The village is being choked off at the throat. In short, these villagers are being ethnically cleansed.

    Parents living in such circumstances do not have the privilege of concealing from their children what is happening. Everyone in the village knows their community and its way of life are being extinguished. Israel is determined that they will leave so that the Jewish settlers next door can grab their land. Israel expects these villagers to join the rest of the aid-dependent Palestinian population in one of the ghettoised towns and cities in the bantustans of the West Bank.

    Even little boys understand the stakes. And unlike your child, this one knows that, if he doesn’t resist, he will lose everything he holds dear.

    • ray032 January 16, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Settlers are allowed to carry weapons to show Palestinians who is Boss in Palestine.

      Looking at the running shoes most of these Masked men are wearing leads me to believe they are not IDF in regulation uniform, but militant settlers terrorizing Palestinians.

  12. Fred Skolnik January 16, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    Actually the photograph doesn’t tell you anything, and since Jonathan Cook wasn’t there he also shouldn’t be trying to tell you anything. I have no idea what the little boy is doing among the soldiers. If he is being taken into custody it would most likely be because he was throwing rocks at people. I speak from personal experience. A child throwing rocks at people anywhere in the world would also be taken into custody. Testimony by a child surrounded by Hamas people that he has been tortured has as much value as Jonathan Cook’s fulminations. Here in any case is another view of West Bank land. I can’t verify it one way or the other, just as none of you can verify any of the malicious allegations you are picking up at second and third hand, so why do you repeat them?

  13. Julie Grassley (@JulieGrassley) February 20, 2017 at 4:08 am #

    If the settlements are illegal how are they still happening? Why are we sending money to Israel if they are oppressing the Palestinians? Why are more countries not stepping in to stop this?

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