Fred Skolnik and The Politics of Vilification

6 Jun

[Prefatory Note: I feel somewhat apologetic to blog subscribers. In most respects I realize that I am wasting the time of readers by posting this response to one of my most habitual and vindictive detractors, Fred Skolnik.  I will try to make amends by posting  a more substantive text as soon as possible. I share my defensive response in this setting because it does illustrate the standard operating procedure of dedicated hasbarists, regardless of whether their work reflects personal passion or is done on assignment. Identifying the motivation is not the point. The intention of such tactics is a concerted effort to shift the conversation, to discredit critics and criticism, and to engage in a site of struggle by trying above all to draw attention away from the overriding reality–Israeli responsibility for the extension of the Palestinian ordeal of prolonged suffering.]


I would have assumed that someone with Fred Skolnik’s achievements, the principal editor of the widely praised 22-volume Encyclopaedia Judaica, and the author of several favorably reviewed novels, would put his spare time to better use than vilifying an academic critic of  Israel, and even engaging in dirty tricks to invoke market forces to diminish his adversary’s reputation and influence. How wrong I am!


It is appropriate that I acknowledge being his target of choice, perhaps his only target, but the recipient of sustained attention by Skolnik, especially in the comment section of my blog of world issues. For several years I tried to reason with Skolnik, virtually pleaded with him to refrain from insults directed at me and others whose views of Israel he found abhorrent, but to no avail. He continued to submit long and frequent comments on complex controversial issues as though he alone possessed the wisdom and knowledge to provide clear answers, which happened to coincide with alt-right Israeli official views. The arrogance and one-sidedness of his comments made it seem hardly worthwhile to respond. The gaps in interpreting the facts and applicable consideration of law and morality were too wide to make dialogue useful. In the end, after wavering and hesitating, I began to block those comments that were either virulently anti-Palestinian or weighed down with nasty personal insinuations that questioned the motives and moral equilibrium of those with whom he disagreed. Skolnik, as with many other ultra Zionists, was quick to play the anti-Semitic card, and even put it more crudely by insinuating that persons like myself harbored sentiments of ‘Jew-hatred.’ An outrageous smear!


Not content with mere insults, Skolnik recently took action. He, along with other known Zionist disrupters and enemies of academic freedom, submitted hostile commentary on the Amazon website in the form of a review of my recently published book, Palestine’s Horizon: Towards a Just Peace (Pluto, 2017), awarding the lowest possible rating of a single star. I paste the text of Skolnik’s review below:


 How not to create a Palestinian state, May 21, 2017



Fred Skolnik


This review is from: Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace (Paperback)  

“I feel almost inclined to congratulate Prof. Falk for producing a book that is, for him, fairly moderate, that is, does not, as far as I can see, accuse Israel of Nazism, fascism, genocide or apartheid – whether incipient or actual – as he occasionally does in his blog. What he focuses on is how the Palestinians can achieve the aim of self-determination. He judges that the two-state solution won’t work, because the current “moderate” Palestinian leadership is incapable of bringing it about and Israel, in his view, does not wish to. Therefore he is implicitly proposing a one-state solution, namely one in which the State of Israel will cease to exist but the Jews will be allowed to maintain a homeland in a bi-national state where millions of Arabs – descendants of refugees and any other Arab who shows up on its doorstep – will be permitted to settle in the country, thus assuring an Arab majority and turning the Jews into an “ethnic” minority with guaranteed rights.


The fact that this proposal, which can only be called crazy in the light of reality, cannot and will not ever bear fruit, and virtually assures the Palestinians another century of suffering if they seek such an outcome, does not daunt Prof. Falk in the least. Given the nearly 1500-year history of Jewish life under Arab rule, it hardly needs to be explained why this will never happen, nor does Israel’s legitimacy as a sovereign state have to be justified. The State of Israel, my friends, is not going to disappear. The only way the Palestinians will get a state of their own is by relinquishing the Big Dream of a great massacre on the shores of the Mediterranean, disavowing terrorism, reconciling themselves to the existence of a sovereign, non-Muslim state in the Middle East, and negotiating a settlement whose basis will be a fair trade-off of land leaving 75% of the settlements within Israel’s final border and involving around 5% of West Bank land – barren hilltops exchanged for barren hilltops from the Palestinian point of view – a limited return of refugees (something like 30-40,000, which coincidentally represents the number of original refugees still alive, but maybe as many as 100,000), and some imaginative solution for Jerusalem. These are the parameters and this is the reality. It’s up to the Palestinians to decide whether they wish to live in dignity or in misery. Prof. Falk is not giving them very good advice.”


Actually, the language of the review is more temperate than Skolnik’s typical style, notable for its degrading innuendo and invective, which is only deployed indirectly in this review. When Skolnik falsely writes that my blog posts accuse Israel of “Naziism, fascism, genocide, or apartheid” he is making use of a standard hasbara tactic—claiming that a critic is making far more extreme contentions than is the case so as to be as discrediting as possible. In the list is added “or apartheid,” which indeed has been alleged by me, and is the theme of my co-authored ESCWA report. But why would someone add naziism, fascism, genocide unless you were engaged in a professional hatchet job?  


What is also objectionable about the review is that ignores the main arguments of the book, which barely touch on the premature topic of attaining a proper solution, although it does suggest in passing that Israel has deliberately rendered a fair two-state compromise unobtainable due to the settlements and assorted other irreversible encroachments on the Palestinian territorial remnant, which if freed of settlements would still only amount to 22% of the land encompassed by the British mandate. I also believe that the insistence on being ‘a Jewish state,’ so acknowledged by the Palestinian governmental representatives is a claim inconsistent with international human rights standards, with the modern secularist consensus, and with the equality of citizens and nationals subject to sovereign governmental authority. In this sense, to give up that claim of Jewish exclusiveness is a vital precondition with respect to the search for a sustainable and just peace. Unlike what Skolnik contends it is not a call for the destruction of Israel as a state, but for its abandonment of an unacceptable set of practices and policies. When South African dismantled its apartheid structures of control it did not cease to exist as a state. On the contrary, it became a legitimate state! Again Skolnik obscures the real issue by implying that my criticism of Zionist overreaching is a call for the destruction of Israel as a sovereign state.


Returning to the review, giving my book the lowest possible rating on the Amazon website is a callous attempt to be hurtful. I have a long list of books published by the most selective of university presses and mainstream publishers. Of course, no one is obliged to agree with the analysis or admire the scholarship, but to translate disagreement into this sort of unfair assessment illustrates what I mean by complaining about ‘the politics of vilification.’


Skolnik is active on other fronts as well. After years of seeking to maintain a degree of civility on my blog with respect to commentary on Israel/Palestine by blocking comments that either nurture hate or question the character and motives of those with whom someone disagree. I decided to block Skolnik’s submitted comments altogether having failed to persuade his to accept the guidelines for submission that I have established and seem to have gained the approval of most of those most engaged in discussion. He long abused the comment section by submitting frequent, repetitive dogmatic harangues laced with vitriolic attacks on those he dislikes.  Incidentally, my blog deals with a range of contemporary issues, and only encounters these issues in relation to Israel/Palestine. Also, I should add that I have blocked many submitted comments that strike me as truly anti-Semitic or hateful toward Israel and Zionism.


What seems of some interest is that Mr. Skolnik has gone to the trouble of collecting all of his blocked comments, publishing them in a presumably sympathetic Israeli newspaper (Arutz Sheva or Israel National News). I would have expected Skolnik to be ashamed of these comments, but apparently he is sufficiently proud of them to arrange publication. I have not checked to see whether he omitted some of the more inflammatory blocked comments or edited them to create the impression that I am censoring views of pro-Israeli subscribers to the blog, which I am not. I reprint from the newspaper the list, allowing readers, with the degree of fortitude to assess for themselves, whether I am being too restrictive in response to Skolnik’s attempts to have his views presented on this blog site. I would welcome feedback.


Below are the comments Skolnik submitted, which were blocked either because of tone, substance, or repetitive character, as published in the Israeli newspaper. I apologize for the formatting that cuts off some words of the text. If someone can help me format in a better way I will adjust the text here as now published. I would call attention to the headline and the lead paragraph that conveys the aggressive sentiments that Skolnik reins in to some extent when he submits his comments. Calling me an Israel-hater and an anti-Semite is defamatory besides being false. 





From the annals of an Israel hater: The Richard Falk files



From the annals of an Israel hater: The Richard Falk files

An anti-Semite’s true colors are shown as he refuses to post answers to his posts unless they villify Israel even more than he does. This writer kept a record of the the Israel-hater who was, unbelievably, a UN representative to the Middle East.

Contact Editor

Fred Skolnik, 01/06/17 18:33






Fred Skolnik

The writer is Editor-in-Chief of the 22-volume second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, winner of the 2007 Dartmouth Medal and author of The Other Shore (Aqueous Books, 2011), an epic novel depicting Israeli society at a critical juncture in its recent history.

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The following is the “dialogue” that developed between Richard Falk, former UN Human Rights Council Rapporter for Palestine and recent author of a UN report accusing Israel of apartheid, and myself after he published an entry on his blogsite called “Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression” complaining about the cancelation of his book launches in England because of “strong pushback by Zionist militants threatening disruption.”

Note: Please notice the repeated response to my remarks is: “Your comment is awaiting moderation,”  which is his excuse for not posting them, as indeed he did not, ever.

Fred Skolnik May 5, 2017 at 9:14 am # 

Israel’s efforts to undermine the anti-Israel activities of its declared enemies are no less legitimate than the effort of its enemies to undermine Israel’s economic and academic life, not to mention efforts to bring about its extinction.

Richard FalkMay 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm # 


These are not equivalent activities:

–I am expressing views on the basis of academic study, which is in the mainstream of discourse in a democratic society, even if the views are controversial;–BDS activists are protesting by nonviolent [means] what they and most of the world consider to be unlawful and unjust policies and practices.


Israel, the US Government, and its militant supporters, are interfering with academic freedom and nonviolent protest activities, by engaging in smear tactics, and even by threatening violent disruption. These two sets of behaviors are in no sense equivalent, and to treat them as if they are, is to be ‘heartless’ and ‘ignorant.’

Fred Skolnik May 5, 2017 at 5:39 pm # 

I beg to differ. You are not acting as an academic but as a polemicist publically active in discrediting and delegitimizing the State of Israel. Israel has every reason to regard you as a hostile individual bent on harming it and acting accordingly. As for militant supporters of Israel, they are no more militant than Israel’s detractors. When people like yourself call for boycotts of Israel, Israel’s supporters are going to call for boycotts of people like yourself. When BDS people disrupt Israeli events, Israel’s supporters are going to disrupt BDS events. What do you expect?

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Fred Skolnik May 7, 2017 at 12:05 am # 

May I ask you, Prof. Falk, if you are still wondering why you are attacked personally, and if you have the courage to reply, what your response would be if one of these barbaric Hamas terrorists whom you call freedom fighters entered a Jewish home and murdered an entire family, including infants, and then declared: “I had been reading Professor Falk’s blog where he compared us to French and Dutch partisans and asked rhetorically, ‘Can you blame them?’ and ‘What do you expect?’ so I felt fully justified on the highest moral grounds as elucidated by Professor Falk, to murder these miserable Jews.”

What would you say then, Prof, Falk? Or would you just run away if you couldn’t scrape up a winning reply? Yes, I’m challenging you, even if you lack the courage to confront these questions, so that it will be just a little bit harder for you to pretend that you are something other than what you actually are.

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Richard FalkMay 7, 2017 at 9:00 am # 

Mr. Skolnik:

I have no intention taking the bait of responding to a horrendous terrorist hypothetical, which avoids any considerationof the ethics of resistance. I could pose 100 analogous hypotheticals about the brutalization of the Palestinian people,which would in no way cast light on the ethics of Israel’s security claims. You play games designed to personalize our differences rather than confront the discriminatory and oppressive realities of Israel-Palestine relations. I will not take this bait.

Fred SkolnikMay 7, 2017 at 9:38 am # 

You are not “taking the bait” because you lack the courage to face the implications of your rhetoric or even to post the comment you are responding to,

I, for my part, would take any “bait” you wish to toss into the arena, even “100 analogous hypotheticals,” because I am not afraid to have my views challenged.

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Fred SkolnikMay 7, 2017 at 11:21 am # 


Any way you cut it. Prof Falk, the fact remains that you are afraid of me and I am not afraid of you. You are afraid of me because there are so many holes in your thinking, knowledge and understanding and I expose them and you don’t know how to defend them other than by pleading personal insult or going into your empty rhetorical mode. I am not afraid of you because I am prepared to address any issue or allegation on a factual basis. 

To be honest with you, I even think that all these protestations and outcries of yours about the suffering of the Palestinians is just a little bit bogus. It is not really the Palestinians as victims that interests you but Israel (and America) as culprits. I am quite sure that if Israel was an Arab country and the Palestinians were indigenous non-Muslim Sudanese, let us say, and you had the same conflict and the same occupation and the same “ethnic cleansing,” we’d hardly be hearing a peep from you. Isn’t that so?


Richard Falk May 7, 2017 at 11:42 am # 

I am convinced, Mr. Skolnik, that you refuse to get my point, and thus respond by your usual tactic of insult. It is time that you stopped worrying about my integrity and motives, and started giving genuine attention to the reality of Israeli responsibility for Palestinian suffering.So long as you brush aside or photoshop this core reality by rationalizing Israeli cruelty as a response to ‘the barbarism’ of the Palestinians or their alleged refusal to make peace, you are engaging in the standard hasbara practice of shifting the conversation to the messengerand avoiding the message. And when you do pause to address the message it is done in such a dogmatic and one-sided manner as to lackany credibility. You seem to be looking in the mirror without seeing yourself.


Fred Skolnik May 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm # 

This is precisely what I mean about empty rhetoric. You are just throwing phrases into the air like “Palestinian suffering” and “Israeli responsibility,” which is no different in actual fact from saying “German suffering” and “Allied responsibility.” The Arabs initiated a war against Israel in 1967 and Israel defended itself as any other country would have. And insofar as the West Bank is concerned the specific and undeniably guilty party was Jordan, by Hussein’s own admission. The consequence of this war was the occupation of the West Bank and the consequences of refusing to make peace and choosing terrorism were Israel’s perfectly legitimate security measures, which continue to be in force to this day to the extent that the terrorism continues.

This is admittedly a one-sided representation of events, and that is because there was only one guilty party, but even if my “one-sidedness” were unjustified, you would hardly be the one to complain about it, given your own one-sidedness, so there is a bit of hypocrisy here too,


Richard Falk May 7, 2017 at 1:12 pm # 

Until you are able to acknowledge at least that ambiguity surrounds responsibility for the 1967 warwe have no basis for dialogue or conversation. See such knowledgeable accounts as Peeled, Quigley, andmany others. To pretend that it was a simple case of Arab attack and Israeli defense is a falsification of historical complexity. I do not use the sort of dogmatic, either/or language that you rely upon. I can even appreciate your partisanship, but you link it to discrediting what you perceive to be the partisanship of your adversary, and in the process the reality of historical complexity is completely obscured.


Fred Skolnik May 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm # 

You seem to be saying that unless someone agrees with your version of events, you have no wish to speak to him. That is of course your right but we are not engaged in negotiations here but in a debate that should be founded on facts and not on opinions. I have laid out the verifiable sequence of events more than once. There is nothing ambiguous about Syria’s shelling of Israeli settlements prior to the war or Nasser’s actions or Hussein’s motives, nor about the thinking of Israel at the military and political levels as reflected in published protocols of internal discussions. I will be more than happy to take up each point with you to try to get at the truth of the matter and maybe such a discussion will have a salutary effect, clarifying in a historically valid way how the 1967 war broke out.


Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Fred Skolnik May 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm # 

Whether you wish to reply or not, your holding back my last comment, made in the same spirit as the previous comments, both yours and mine, leads me to think that you are acting in extremely bad faith.


Richard Falk May 8, 2017 at 7:54 am # 

I you would stop concentrating on my motives, and start addressing my assessments–for example, historical complexity surrounding the 1967 War making your kind of analysis without credibility, given the scholarly literature that you ignore, merely restating your dogmatic one-sided views.


Fred Skolnik May 8, 2017 at 8:37 am # 

But that is precisely what I am doing: I am not talking about your motives above but precisely about your assessment. Why are you pretending otherwise? Here is my assessment:

I have laid out the verifiable sequence of events more than once. Again, there is nothing “complex” or “ambiguous” about Syria’s shelling of Israeli settlements prior to the war or Nasser’s actions or Hussein’s motives, nor about the thinking of Israel at the military and political levels as reflected in published protocols of internal discussions. I will be more than happy to take up each point with you to try to get at the truth of the matter and maybe such a discussion will have a salutary effect, clarifying in a historically valid way how the 1967 war broke out. 

“Peled, Quigley” are not scholarly sources. Quigley is a legal expert who is qualified to discuss the issue of preemptive strikes from a legal point of view but not the sequence of events that led to the war.

It seems to me that you are determined to lead the discussion away from demonstrable fact toward the freewheeling realm of “interpretation” and opinion, which is to say from history to polemics. When you try to shift the blame for the 1967 war onto Israel’s shoulders, you disregard the actual sequence of events that led to it. When you try to turn Israel into the aggressor in its war against terrorism, you disregard the specific circumstances of each clash or simply and arbitrarily reverse the actual sequence of events in order to underpin your interpretation of them.

It seems to me that what you really wish to say, though never too explicitly, is that since the creation of the State of Israel was unjust vis-à-vis the Arabs, all-out attacks on it and acts of terrorism are fully justified or understandable or whatever word you wish to use, and that the “solution” to the problem is to eliminate the State of Israel entirely, by flooding it with the descendants of the original refugees and any other Arab who shows up on its doorstep.

But that is not the history and that is not the justification and that is not the solution. At a certain point, even in polemics, reality should intercede, and the simple reality is that Israel is not going to disappear and the Palestinians are not going to get a state until they disavow terrorism and negotiate a settlement. 

Once again, I invite you to present your assessment of events. Start with Jordan, as the occupation of the West Bank is the crux of the matter today. Assess Hussein’s book on the war. That is a primary document. Assess the protocols of Israel’s deliberations before the war. I have given you a link more than once and you have ignored it. That is where you will find the history.

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation. 

Fred Skolnik May 5, 2017 at 10:01 am # 

I see that this is going to remain between ourselves. Nothing like a little logic to send you scurrying to the panic button. 

You are again being naive to the point of stupidity. When people like yourself call for boycotts of Israel, Israel’s supporters are going to call for boycotts of people like yourself. When BDS people disrupt Israeli events, Israel’s supporters are going to disrupt BDS events. What do you expect?

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

John  May 8, 2017 at 6:50 am # 

Richard,I sat behind you at the Cork Conference and mentioned that I had lived in South Africa during the apartheid era for several years.I said then – and I say again now – that what is happening in Palestine is nothing like what happened in apartheid South Africa. The nationalists there were just as racist and just as supremacist as the Zionists in Palestine but there were far fewer of them.In Israel, we now have a regime largely like the Nazis, with their global thugs engaging in global thuggery at events such as your book launch.Nazi rabble were deployed to shut everyone else up just like the Zionist rabble are now.The means and the methods may have charged but their essential thuggish has not.

How to defeat such thuggery?Well, it may take what it did to defeat the Nazis.That may well be the only way to gain Palestinian freedom.That or a real Civil War in Israel among Israelis – hard as that is to imagine.Even then, it is impossible to predict the outcome as being favourable or otherwise.

Fred SkolnikMay 8, 2017 at 10:47 pm # 

“Largely like the Nazis” means gassing and incinerating millions of people. Is that what you wish to say? And where were you when Arab terrorists were blowing apart Israeli women and children in buses and restaurants?


Richard Falk May 9, 2017 at 9:01 am # 

Stop lecturing me on how to administer this blog. You are participating of your own free will. If you so strongly disapprove, why bother? And I must say your approach to ‘historical complexity’ associatedwith the 1967 is, at best, simplistic, as is your dismissal of Quigley, whose archival research is very convincing on the various ambiguities associated with the various phases of that encounter. It is not amatter of avoiding your arguments because they are so well-evidenced and well reasoned, it is a sense that there is no point engaging with such extremist and self-serving constructions of the facts, relevant law,allocation of responsibility, and so forth.

John May 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm # 

What I was referring to was the thuggish behaviour of both the nazis and zionists.Where were you when the zionist thugs murdered thousands of largely innocent Gazans, including hundreds of children?No doubt lounging on a sofa overlooking Gaza and cheering on the bombers.Hasbara thugs like you have no place in decent civilised society.Just crawl back under the sewer cover you normally live under.

Richard Falk May 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm # 

I normally would block this comment as it steps across the civility line by mounting such an intense personal attack, but because you are clarifying an important point and responding to an attack I am making exception. I ask you in the future to limit comments to substantive disagreements.


Fred Skolnik May 10, 2017 at 4:08 am # 

Bravo! Yes, that is a clarification all right!

“Largely” like the Nazis means a little more than thuggish behavior.

To tell you the truth, John, I was in a shelter.

Gazans were killed because Hamas fired 4,500 rockets at Israel’s civilian population from in and around schools, playgrounds, hospitals, clinics, mosques and residential buildings and did not even allow its own civilian population to evacuate these areas when Israel warned them of impending attacks via flyers, emails and phone calls..

That is my clarification, Prof. Falk, without John’s sewer covers.

Fred Skolnik May 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm # 

This is a perfect example, Prof. Falk, of the kind of people you attract. Why aren’t you censoring this comment for its “dogmatism” and “one-sidedness,” not to mention its viciousness?

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Fred Skolnik May 9, 2017 at 9:51 am # 

The ploy of replying to my comments without posting the comments themselves is underhanded to say the least and certainly unworthy of someone who professes academic integrity. Are you really that afraid even to have the comments seen by your readers?

You challenged me and I responded. Calling a view that relies on Hussein’s own explanation of why he attacked Israel simplistic, extreme and self-serving is next to absurd. Your argument in this case, as in the case of Nasser’s actions and declarations, is not with me but with him, so by all means ignore me but do address the following statements made by Hussein:

-Jordan attacked Israel because Egypt misled Hussein by telling him that it had destroyed 75% of the Israeli air force and was advancing toward Tel Aviv and inviting him to join the final war (see Hussein’s book on the war, p. 60ff.).

-Jordan was further deceived when it picked up planes on its radar moving toward Israel and believed they were Egyptian planes, confirming Nasser’s assertions.

-Jordan received Israel’s pledge, communicated via Gen Odd Bull of the UN and the US State Dept., that it would not act against Jordan if Jordan did not act against Israel — “too late” to stop the Jordanian attack.

-And again, tt is absurd to suggest that the idea of grabbing land motivated Israel’s response in a Mapai-dominated political culture in which Begin was thought of as an irrelevant blowhard. The idea of territorial “expansion” was not part of political or public discourse at the time. Published protocols of internal discussions at the military and political level and even the most superficial knowledge of the atmosphere in Israel before the war will give anyone who is interested a clear idea of Israeli thinking at the time.

A writer like Quigley who doesn’t know a word of Hebrew or Arabic is not doing the “archival research” that is necessary to understand the Arab-Israel conflict

All this has nothing whatsoever to do with any extremist or simplistic views or even with me but with historical evidence that you should be prepared to address before advancing your own one-sided and dogmatic views.

When you allow the word Nazi to appear in your blog with reference to Jews and/or Israel and censor a simple clarification of what “largely like the Nazis” really means, you deserve to be lectured. 

I persist in responding to you because you are a public figure publishing in a public forum some of the vilest filth on the Internet with refernce to Jews and Israel

Response: Your comment is awaiting moderation.














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27 Responses to “Fred Skolnik and The Politics of Vilification”

  1. Gene Schulman June 6, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    No, no, no, Richard. Why can’t you just let sleeping dogs lie? By raising and publishing the garbage spewed out by Skolnik again you are only letting yourself open for further insult and disparagement. As much as I support you and your position, I refuse to re-read anything written by this ultra Zionist jackass. Will you publish his response to this? Will you publish his partner-in-crime Ira’s response? I won’t read it.

    Btw: Just in case he reads this comment, he will note that all comments await moderation. For a reason.

    • Richard Falk June 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

      You are probably right. I have spent so many years in the classroom that I am virtually incapable of closure
      when confronted by opposing viewpoints. I am aware of the force of your arguments, and I would not recommend reading
      this post of mine.

    • Ben June 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

      I agree with Gene. I once engaged with Fred on your blog here saying something along the lines of “If it served his purpose Fred would declare the earth flat.” It must be extremely difficult to expose yourself to the type of one-eyed nasty criticism that critiquing Israeli policies generates. But as I saw very quickly from reading Fred’s posts, he is not trying to debate, just to impose his view. Posting negative Amazon reviews is now another weapon in the ideologue’s armory unfortunately. Perhaps the only way we can strike back is by posting positive reviews of books on the conflict we admire. As such I submit my own effort for your reader’s assessment:

  2. anan June 6, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    Dear Prof Falk, I find your dialogue with Fred Skolnik to be very informative, nuanced, subtle and helpful. Both of you are highly intelligent and historically informed. Please don’t ban Fred Skolnik; but rather continue your public dialogue with him, so that the rest of us can learn from it.

    I haven’t finished reading the entire chain between both of you; but am enjoying what I have read so far.

    Your blog is one of the few places where informed substantive discussions about Palestine take place with people of different perspectives. Thanks for this.

    I don’t think it is helpful to call Fred “Hasbara”.

    Fred Skolnik, I don’t think that Prof Falk is an enemy of Israelis and Jews. There are very real enemies of Israelis and Jews, including Salafi Jihadi extremists who want to wipe Israelis and Jews from the face of the earth. There are soft Islamists who want to establish Sharia all over Israel and the world. There are BDS campaigners who want to end Israel. Prof Falk does not belong to one of these camps. I don’t think there is any edge to impugning his motives. We cannot always agree, but we can disagree agreeably and respectfully.

    • Sean Breathnach June 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      I don’t agree with you that the people you mentioned really want to wipe Israel off the map. It’s the treatment of Palestinians over 50 years, by Israel that people are concerned with. If Israel wants to be accepted by all people they must make peace with the Palestinians and treat them as equals. Until then, there will never be peace.

      • anan June 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm #

        I am sure that you agree that Salafi Jihadi extremists want to wipe Israel off the map. Soft Islamists (such as the Ikhwan) want to impose extreme Sunni Sharia law inside Israel; which is much the same thing from Israel’s point of view.

        Some but all BDS supporters also want to end the Israeli state. Some BDS supporters support a two state solution. BDS is a coalition of both; and people in between.

        Sean, do you support a one state or two state solution to Palestine Israel; if you don’t mind my asking?

        Both Israelis and Palestinians need to love, respect and understand each other for there to be peace. I think the positive, nuanced, informed discussion between Falk and Fred in my opinion contributes to this.

        At the same time we need to be realistic about what peace means. The moment the Palestinians make peace with Israel . . . they will probably suffer a wave of violent attacks, terrorism and retaliation from Islamists for betraying the true Islamic nation and the true Arab nation. This is one of the main reasons most Palestinians are too afraid to formally make peace with Israel (even if they secretly want to). For there to be peace Palestinians need assurances that the world will protect them from Islamists.

        It is reasonable for Israelis to request Palestinians to provide Israelis security guarantees. [100% effort only; no one can protect Israel from Islamists.]

        I think Palestinians and Israelis might have made peace long ago if not for the negative spoiler role played by Arabs, the muslims world and Islamists in particular.

        I find Jewish people to be very compassionate, multicultural, diverse, liberal. I think most Jewish people want muslims to be as successful as possible.

  3. anan June 6, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    “John May 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

    What I was referring to was the thuggish behaviour of both the nazis and zionists.Where were you when the zionist thugs murdered thousands of largely innocent Gazans, including hundreds of children?No doubt lounging on a sofa overlooking Gaza and cheering on the bombers.Hasbara thugs like you have no place in decent civilised society.Just crawl back under the sewer cover you normally live under.”

    John, how is Fred Hasbara? There was a war between the IDF and Hamas’ militia. Bad things happen in war. No doubt many IDF soldiers were heart broken over civilian casualties in Gaza.

    Are you referring to the 2008/2009 war? If so, based on number I have . . . the IDF killed 1400 fighters in Hamas’ militia; and killed at least 492 civilians. A majority of those killed by the IDF were Hamas soldiers fighting an active war with the IDF.

    One of several reasons for the 2008/2009 war was hubris on the part of Hamas’ leadership. They thought that the IDF were cowardly incompetent inferior losers, wimps who had been defeated by Hezbollah in 2006; and were confident that they too could defeat the IDF in glorious battle and be written into the pages of history as warrior heroes and conquerors, similar to Alexander the Great or the 300 Spartans.

    Hamas wasn’t fighting for altruistic motives for but was fighting for glory.

    Similarly the IDF were fighting for glory.

    Building a modern military requires the deepest of commitment; over a decade of training and sacrifice. Hamas didn’t bother with any of that, but rather tried to wing it out of hubris.

    The IDF had hubris of their own of course.

    Fred and the IDF do have a place in decent civilized society. So do the Palestinians. Without that; there can never be peace. If the Palestinians and Israelis fight each other for a million years until every last Israeli descendent is dead; how will that benefit Palestinians? Will Palestinians derive any happiness or joy from it; or would they have forgotten why they were fighting in the first place?

    You of course realize that in 2008/2009; Hamas murdered large numbers of gays, Fatah supporters, Mustafa Barghouti supporters . . . taking advantage of the distraction created by their war with the IDF. Was that right or just?

    I praise Hamas’ recent support of a two state solution based roughly on 1967 borders. But remember, this support is only recent. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood). The Ikhwan are Salafis (more moderate than AQ or ISIS) inspired by Sayyid Qutb who believe in soft global islamism. Or eventually taking over the world’s entire legal and governmental system through mostly nonviolent means.

    You can’t really support Hamas; unless you are misinformed about them. It is understandable that so many people around the world, around the muslim world, around the Arab world, from Palestine and Israel are suspicious of Hamas.

    Israeli fear of Hamas is justified. The Egyptians have similarly attacked the Ikhwan in their own country; with broad popular support.

    • Brewer June 7, 2017 at 3:32 am #

      “There was a war between the IDF and Hamas’ militia”
      ” the IDF killed 1400 fighters in Hamas’ militia”
      “You can’t really support Hamas; unless you are misinformed about them.”

      My information has it as follows.
      Hamas had, for five months, strictly observed a truce (which they were negotiating to extend) when Israel broke it by crossing into Gaza and killing several Palestinians (allegedly Hamas people digging a tunnel). These facts are not in dispute, they are published by the Israeli Intelligence & Terrorism Information Centre.
      Militants retaliated with rockets (which killed an average of 2.6 Israelis per year during the surrounding decade), Israel responded with Operation Cast Lead.
      Any military analyst will tell you that a sustained attack like Cast Lead requires a lead up time that probably pre-dated the beginning of the truce. This is not a War in any sense of the word I am familiar with. 6,000 sorties and bombing runs against a populace equipped with small arms and home-made rockets with a kill ratio of over 3 civilians to one hostile, nearly one child for one hostile..
      B’tselem reads the numbers of dead Gazans thusly:
      Did not take part in the hostilities, 773. Of them, women (over 18) 107.
      Of them, minor boys & girls (under 18) 320. Took part in the hostilities,
      One reason for the discrepancy may be that all Hamas personnel are counted as soldiers by most media and Israel. One exception is the Washington Post at the time:
      “No. In addition to its military wing, the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network. Indeed, the extensive social and political work done by Hamas – and its reputation among Palestinians as averse to corruption – partly explain its defeat of the Fatah old guard in the 2006 legislative vote. Hamas funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. “Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities,” writes the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz.”

      “The IDF Spokesperson announced that, “1,166 names of persons killed in the course of Operation Cast Lead have been collected, of which 709 are terrorists from the Hamas terror organization, and some from other terrorist organizations. In addition, there are 162 males aged 16-50 as to whom final determination has not been made. Also, we are aware of 295 persons who were killed and were not involved, 89 of them under age 16, and 49 women.”
      Notice how there are only “terrorists from the Hamas terror organization”. No Hamas teachers, ambulance drivers – those who absorb 90% of Hamas’ budget (according to Council on Foreign Relations) are listed in their “709 terrorists” or your “1400 fighters in Hamas’ militia”.

    • Sean Breathnach June 8, 2017 at 12:51 am #

      To start with your last point first.

      I’ve no doubt that Jewish people are compassionate, multicultural, diverse and liberal but I haven’t seen it in the treatment by the Israeli State of the Palestinian people for at least the last 50 years. Every obstacle has been used to make life harder for Palestinians. There has been no compassion in the treatment of Vanunu Mordechai, who spent 18 years in prison for disclosing that Israel had nuclear weapons and is still been made to pay by been constantly harassed.

      Peace might have been achieved long ago, not because of the Arabs, but because the US was not an honest broker, they support Israel with impunity, no matter what they do.

      The Israeli army are the strongest in the region and as we all know, are well capable of protecting Israel.

      Islamists will attack Palestinians after peace is proclaimed? We will never know until peace is achieved.

      Love, won’t be achieved for a very long time between Palestinians and Israelis. Understanding and respect will only come when a just peace is agreed.

      One or two state? Who knows which will work. All I do know is that the present state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely.

      If the BDS or any other entity want to end the Israeli State, it is only because they can see the injustice that is perpetuated on the Palestinian people for 50 years. The Palestinians are not served well by the present leadership and change is needed. Change of leadership is also needed on the Israeli side, Netanyahu doesn’t inspire confidence, to put it mildly.

      • anan June 8, 2017 at 9:26 am #

        Some Israelis are compassionate to Palestinians. Some are not. The same is true for Palestinians being compassionate to Israelis.

        The first pro Israeli President was LBJ. Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush Sr. made significant efforts for peace that didn’t succeed. It isn’t America’s job to force a peace settlement on Palestinians and Israelis. It is there job. Palestinians and Israelis are powerful and have their own agency.

        Arabs and muslims have a terrible record mistreating Palestinians in Arab and muslim majority countries. The Israelis copy. The Arabs and muslims haven’t made a good faith effort to use their considerable power and leverage for Palestinian Israeli peace. Sure you can argue that this isn’t the job of the Arab world and muslim world.

        “The Israeli army are the strongest in the region and as we all know, are well capable of protecting Israel.” I don’t think the IDF has as much capacity as you think. Nor do I think the IDF are as capable of protecting Israel as you do. Many other military analysts have similar views. There are officers in the IDF who are humble and realistic about IDF capacity and quality, albeit not enough for my tastes.

        “Islamists will attack Palestinians after peace is proclaimed? We will never know until peace is achieved.” Oh, I think we do know. The Islamists are coming for the Palestinians. Hamas knows this. The PA knows this. This in my opinion is a major reason Hamas publicly endorsed the 1967 borders and two state solution (which I praise.)

        The Islamists have already attacked Palestinians on a massive scale (mostly expatriates who live in other countries). AQ, ISIS and their allies have already killed over a million muslims and over 200 K non muslims all over the world.

        My hope is that Gaza and the West Bank unite with a coalition government; and that the PA NSF is significantly strengthened through global FID. The Israelis have discouraged global FID for the National Security Forces. This is a mistake.

        “Love, won’t be achieved for a very long time between Palestinians and Israelis.” I hope you are wrong. Humans have an amazing ability to love their enemies. Look at the greatest Palestinian . . . Yeshua ban Yoseph. Look at how quickly love developed between Americans/Japanese and Americans/Germans after WWII.

        “Understanding and respect will only come when a just peace is agreed.” We don’t agree. First understanding, then adjustment. Without understanding . . . a just peace cannot be determined; or implemented. Without mutual respect . . . Israelis and Palestinians cannot agree to or implement peace. Note that that moment peace is announced, the Palestinians and Israelis will be viciously attacked by Islamists. Peace will be very hard to implement.

        “One or two state? Who knows which will work. All I do know is that the present state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely.” You know as well as I do how horrified and afraid Israelis become when they hear this. Do you really think Palestinians and Israelis are ready for a one state solution? Such an option (marriage) can’t be considered until there is deep mutual love, respect and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. I don’t think either of them are there yet.

      • Richard Falk June 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

        I think you are making many thoughtful remarks that need to be taken into account. At the same time, the present disparities
        between Israelis and Palestinians on all levels makes it misleading to act as if there must be equivalent moves on both sides.
        How can that spirit of reconciliation that you rightly stress emerge so long as the Israelis are subjugating the Palestinians
        and have the unconditional backing of the US Government. I find every analysis that presupposes ‘balanced’ responsibility either
        for the impasse or moving forward to be misleading, and basically, an indirect endorsement of Israel’s claims.

      • anan June 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

        Prof Falk, thank you for your considerate response:

        “the present disparities between Israelis and Palestinians on all levels makes it misleading to act as if there must be equivalent moves on both sides.”
        I don’t accept that these disparities are as large as many believe. Palestinians are powerful. Palestinians are great. Palestinians have good. Palestinians have agency and determine their own fate and their own outcomes. To imply otherwise is a form of soft bigotry, soft racism, soft sectarianism. Sadly some Palestinians themselves have fallen for the false canard that they are weak and dependent on others. This is their psychological challenge that fellow Palestinians and the friends of Palestine (of which I think you are one) should help them with.

        Palestinians and Israelis share common values and common long term interests. This is why they need to collaborate to achieve their shared objectives.

        Israeli policies are only one of many challenges Palestinians confront. Among these greater threats is the lack of confidence described earlier, Islamists, long term water shortages, low total factor productivity (which in practical terms means that Palestinians aren’t inventing as many new amazing products that transform the world as they need to; and Palestinians aren’t improving process as much as they need to), weak governmental institutions; and high structural unemployment (which means that many Palestinians can’t get employment even in the middle of a cyclical boom with massive labor shortages).

        Palestinians need
        -large scale cross border product development/process innovation collaboration
        -free trade of goods and services and capital,
        – and free cross border business development with Israel.

        Palestine needs large scale Israeli
        -legal tourism,
        -business travel,
        -student travel,
        -and legal immigration from Israel.

        This is essential to persuading international business/investors to collaborate with Palestinians.

        Palestine also needs to work out deals on
        -natural water sale royalties with Israel
        -Israelis issuing large numbers of work, tourist, business and student visas to Palestinians
        -an Israeli funded Marshal Plan for Palestine (that I think should include a type of “affirmative action” or “reservation” or “positive discrimination” to allow large numbers of Palestinian students to attend Israeli educational institutions with scholarships)
        -Settling all remaining Palestinian citizen claims on property domiciled inside Israel proper (including those that might have been purchased for below market prices by Israelis or others)
        -Making market value payments for all Palestinian property confiscated or purchased for below market prices inside Palestine by Israelis. And getting buy in that all Israeli owned property domiciled inside Palestine will be regulated and taxed by the PA.
        -Israeli assistance to strengthen PA governmental civilian and security institutions.
        -military collaboration with the IDF to fight Islamists

        A final peace settlement needs to set up a pathway for the PA to tax and regulate all material economic activity in the West Bank and Gaza with territory swaps of equal value.

        Palestinians are extremely dependents on annual grants from the international community. The international community could offer considerably greater economic aid to Palestine in return for a Palestinian Israeli peace agreement and successful implementation.

        All of these tracks have to happen simultaneously. Solving one of them first helps solve another later. Solving another later helps solve a third. So on and so on. This is how peace comes.

        “How can that spirit of reconciliation that you rightly stress emerge so long as the Israelis are subjugating the Palestinians and have the unconditional backing of the US Government.”

        I think Trump might yet prove to be the most balanced US president on Israel/Palestine since Bush Senior or even earlier. We don’t know yet. At best America can be a close friend and ally of both Israel and Palestine; much the way Russia, India, China are. It is unrealistic and inappropriate for Palestine to expect anything better than that. It isn’t America’s job to solve Palestine’s problems or the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

        “I find every analysis that presupposes ‘balanced’ responsibility either
        for the impasse or moving forward to be misleading, and basically, an indirect endorsement of Israel’s claims.””

        Honestly who cares about Israel’s claims or Palestine’s claims? I don’t. Isn’t it better to focus on solutions that benefit both Israel and Palestine? I am on both their sides and refuse to choose between them.

        Your dialogue with Israelis such as Fred Skolnik is an important contribution to peace. Please keep doing it. The fact that Fred continues to value reading your words and discussing with you demonstrates his respect for you, his belief that you are not an enemy of Israel; and his belief that you mean well. If Fred and other Israelis didn’t believe this; they wouldn’t dialogue with you so much.

        One of the problems is that Israelis and the friends of Palestine/Palestinians rarely interact together on the Palestinian Israeli question. Israelis are quickly shut down and thrown out of pro Palestinian discussion platforms. Similarly pro Palestinian and Palestinian voices are often dismissed on pro Israeli platforms.

        Your blog can serve as a safe meeting ground for them to dialogue with each other and understand each other.

      • Richard Falk June 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

        I want my blog to serve, in your words, as “a safe meeting ground” for dialogue, but useful dialogue has certain shared
        premises if it is to be useful. For you to overlook the deforming realities of prolonged occupation suggests to me that you
        have not visited the West Bank, much less Gaza. Of course, I affirm the agency and dignity of the Palestinian people, just as
        I do that of native Americans, but to pretend that their grievances can be addressed on a level playing field is to be blind to
        the realities. This especially true since Arab neighbors have turned away from the Palestinian national movement to pursue their
        own regional, anti-Iranian and internally repressive agendas. And with all due respect, despite my years of trying, my interactions
        with Fred yield heat, not light. Undoubtedly, he feels the same about me, but what has emerged is frustration not a spirit much less
        a reality of mutual respect. Fred reads my words with one motive in mind, as far as I can see–to refute and discredit.

        I am sorry not to be more responsive to your very well intentioned line of thought.

  4. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka June 6, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    Dear Richard, this guy sounds a kook, except his shrill, raucous, self-righteous rhetoric greatly reminds me of some folks whose stuff I used to come across some decades ago–the Rhodesian and South African racists.

    Though the pendulum has swung to the right and stayed there for a while, someday Israeli society will itself reject the Skolnik-type discourse.

    You, Richard, are far more in the best Jewish tradition, the great moral-ethical tradition of the prophets who denounced injustice, than the Skolniks of the world can ever be.

    Someday the educated youth of Israel will realize this.

    Please keep on keeping on.

  5. anan June 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Prof Falk, some in BDS support a two state solution. But some in BDS support a one state solution. Some in BDS are acting in bad faith with malicious intent; their real goal is to destroy Israel; and their motivation is anti Jewish bigotry.

    Isn’t it fair for Israelis to ask that BDS publicly endorse the two state solution the way Hamas recently did (and expunge the anti Jewish bigots from their ranks)?

    Do you support a one state solution? If so, then you must realize that for this to happen there has to be genuine love and respect and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Marriage is hard stuff, requiring difficult sacrifice, learning and courtship. Unless Palestinians are willing to make a blood oath to protect all Israelis from Islamist terrorism; or die trying . . . I don’t see how a one state solution works. Even if the Palestinians did make such a blood oath; there is a considerable chance that islamists would punish Palestinians by killing hundreds of thousands of them. Palestinians need to know that this might happen; and willingly commit themselves to protecting Israelis at all costs regardless.

    Is a one state solution really practical today? Not a generation from now, but today?

  6. ray032 June 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    Richard, I almost choked when I read Mike in a previous article, claiming you are “losing respect” and Fred claiming you’re afraid of him but he’s not afraid of you.

    I believe you have more well deserved respect than they can ever dream of attaining with their lives..

    They can’t destroy your Personal Integrity, Decency, Education and Experience, and the Righteousness of the causes your espouse.

    I saw those comments of Mike and Fred as indications they are engaged in psychological warfare with you, trying to undermine your own sense of self worth and accomplishment with your life. They see your fairness as a weakness hence their attack on your character.

    When the UN Secretary-General, the US Ambassador to the UN, and Foreign Minister Baird of CanaDa were all calling for your dismissal from your UN Assignment, I instinctively knew you must be doing something right in whatever it was you did. I had to investigate. Thank God for the Internet. There is no excuse for remaining ignorant of this world any longer. The search confirmed my 1st instinct about you was correct.

    Before I got email notification of this new article this morning, I read in Mondoweiss about Tom Suarez being attacked as viciously as you have been in the past by Zionists because his New website sets Zionist myths vs. the historical record.

    He has sourced and put online, the original British Documents and reports covering the Jewish terrorists fighting the British to re-create Biblical Israel after they restricted Jewish emigration to Palestine, finally realizing the problem they created in catering to the Zionists.

    I read only a few of the original documents so far, but what I have read is informative and interesting. Here are the many topics they fall under:

    • Zionist opposition to Post-War Reconstruction begins, 1943 (two documents)
    • Zionist opposition to Reconstruction continues after the war, 1945
    • Zionist opposition to the Marshall Plan, mid 1948

    • Resolution 181 was the capitulation to Zionist terrorism (1947)
    • Political cartoon, pro-Zionist, anti-Partition
    • Irgun anti-Partition broadside
    • US & British officials knew that the promised Palestinian state would not be (1947-48)

    • Recruiting children for the terror militias
    • Children “of tender years” recruited in a Lehi terror school, 1947
    • Radicalization in the schools

    • Interference in availability of vaccine after Typhoid outbreak in Acre (1948)

    • Exploitation of anti-Semitism
    • Dr. Arieh Altman, anti-Semitism and propaganda
    • New Zionist Organization of America exploits anti-Semitism
    • Ernest Bevin’s claims confirmed by the Jewish Agency
    • US Intelligence describes anti-Semitism as necessary to Zionism
    • Ben-Gurion and the use of anti-Semitism
    • Meinertzhagen

    • An early, apparently unpublished, report on the Irgun (1939)
    • Informant, code named “Z”, on Zionism in Palestine
    • US Intelligence Report: Zionism in Palestine (1943)
    • Lehi’s foiled “Jerusalem Agreement” with the Italian fascists (15 Sept 1940)
    • Robert Weltsch on the Jewish Agency and Zionist leaders, 1942
    • Hatshomer Hatzair (socialist) on Zionist terrorism and fascism (1946-47)
    • Address “given by a Jew before an audience at a dominion club”
    • Va’ad Leumi acknowledges the totalitarian control of the Yishuv (1947)
    • Va’ad Leumi, irreconciliable contradictions (1947)
    • Judah Magnes rails against the totalitarianism gripping the Yishuv (1947)

    WORLD WAR I and the Balfour Declaration
    • Weizmann and James Malcom
    • World War I, the United States, the Zionists, and Edwin Mantagu
    • Montagu to Lord Cecil

    Glorification of terrorism
    • Ben Hecht’s newspaper ads
    • The Irgun flaunting terror, 1941

    • Rabbi Herzog kidnapping trip, 1946
    • Kidnapping of Judge Windham and H.E. Collins, 1947

    • Jewish Agency protecting the bombers

    • British plans to attack Israel, 1955

    • Weizmann and Rothschild discuss the ethnically cleansing of Palestine, 1919
    • Weizmann: Zionist state should reach the Jordan by 1921, then expand beyond it
    • 1941 meeting of top Zionist leaders in which the takover and ethnic cleansing of Palestine is reaffirmed
    • Meinertzhagen
    • Deir Yassin
    • An example of a forced march: The Wadi Araba incident, June, 1950

    • six documents citing Jewish Agency opposition to Jews joining the Allied effort

    • attempt to blow up a Medloc train in the Austrian Alps, 1947

    • Democracy as obstacle to Zionist plans
    • Anti-Terror League (Hashomer Hatzair?)

    • Zionist appeals to British personnel

    • Forced conscription of Jewish sex workers as spies

    • Chaim Weizmann writes to Balfour from Palestine in May, 1918
    • Arthur Szyk, cartoon to dehumanize Palestians

    • photographs of Zionist letter bombs

    • The Wadi Araba incident, June, 1950: Statements of the survivors
    • Israel frames victims of its terror attack for the murder of a Jewish girl

    • Pro-Zionist Arthur Szyk, 1947
    • Anti-Zionist, from Palestine Chronicle, 1936
    • British hypocrisy
    • Pro-Zionist, anti-Partition

    • Boycott of Britain

    • Zionist bombing of Jerusalem-area police station, Dec 27 1945
    • Train bombing, 1946
    • Diagram of a booby-trapped railway bomb
    • Bombing of the King David Hotel, 1946
    • Scouring the railroads for Zionist bombs
    • Nearly-successful bombing of Allied train into ravine, Austria, 1947

    • anan June 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

      Don’t Palestinians and Israelis need to let bygones be bygones and forgive themselves and each other? How does self flagellation serve anyone?

      Palestinians and Israelis need each other and are deeply interdependent.

  7. Jerry Alatalo June 6, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    After publishing the ESCWA Report here we re-blogged the >25,000-word legal document by Professor Tilley and Professor Falk, and Fred made the decision to travel across WordPress and submit commentary. We allowed all comments and most of the 44 back and forth was between Fred and myself, with a handful from Aaron.

    We finally at one point issued an ultimatum, and invitation of sorts, to Fred to bring specific language from Ms. Tilley and Mr. Falk’s ESCWA Report and show its legal shortcomings from Fred’s perspective. Fred declined or refused to act upon our open invitation to refute the report’s legal assertions, and the chance to “expose” the legal document for the world to see.

    After a few more back-and-forth comments, once again (for a 2nd time) we kindly asked Fred to bring any of the report’s language into the comments section along with a description of the report portion’s deficiencies, as perceived or according to Fred. Fred, once again, declined the invitation.

    …More back-and-forth comments, another (they say the 3rd time’s a charm… not in this instance) open invitation offered to refute Professor Tilley and Professor Falk’s report – using actual language from the document – and “no go”… Long story short: after offering Fred (3) three opportunities to refute the ESCWA report by the esteemed professors (by the way an offer which still stands, if Fred passes this way) Fred ended his commentary some months ago. He hasn’t returned.

    People are strongly encouraged to read Professor Tilley and Professor Falk’s ESCWA Report in its entirety.

    The most basic principle of all is that of not harming others, and that means all people, all life, and all things. All is sacred. Blessed are the peacemakers.

  8. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka June 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    Richard represents a universalist perspective on justice/injustice and right/wrong. His critics such as Skolnik represent a relativist, my country can do no wrong perspective. Skolnik does Israel a disservice by treating it as incapable of tolerating any criticism as valid or valuable; a other than a potentially existential threat. What we need is a Middle Path or Golden Mean that mediates between Richard’s passion for justice and Skolnik’s passion for security, self-defense and survival; between Richard’s universalist and Skolnik’s ‘existentialist’ imperatives. Though I am in Richard’s corner, as a Sri Lankan who has witnessed, even experienced the phenomena of anti-state terrorism and state terrorism I can see it from both sides and isolate that which is specific to the Israeli/Palestinian issue: the fact of the Occupation. We need to mediate– but not be equidistant– between Richard’s seeming moral-ethical absolutism and Skolnik’s moral relativism. For Richard, “injustice” is the greatest evil, while for Skonik “insecurity” is. I stand with Richard on this but understand Skolnik, though I abhor his reactionary rage. We need to recognize the angst on both sides of this polemic. Would the perspective denoted “Ethical Realism” help?

  9. Carlos June 7, 2017 at 1:11 am #

    I agree with Gene’s comment. People who
    know and read your work Richard recognize
    that you are a true and just person
    Interested and fighting for human rights for all.I
    I would not bother to debate with one
    who obviously cannot see any other point
    of view but his own.
    Hold your head high Richard and remain
    proud of your work and achievements for
    human rights. You are highly intelligent and humane. Proud to be a blogger of yours. .

  10. Brewer June 7, 2017 at 6:02 am #

    Something odd about Skolnik. He did not debate like a scholar. I have seen a claim of his defeated by solid documented fact yet he has posted the same false claim at a later date with nary a nod to the contrary evidence – which any good scholar would, even if they had not been persuaded. His writing was never well executed or proof-read. Are we sure he is who he purports to be?

  11. Walker Percy June 7, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Warning: even if you use a psuedonym on this blog, Israel will find a punish you if you tell the truth. This blog is monitored and revenge will be taken, it is the Zionist way. If you start, as Fred does, from the position that Jews losing the majority in Israel is the equivalent to genocide, any steps are justified, any subterfuge is allowed, and any amount of collateral damage is acceptable. The more innocents injured the better, it shows praiseworthy devotion to the cause. Big Brother exists now, it is a joint project of the US and Israeli governments, just like Stuxnet. Information is shared 100% so be careful.

    • Kata Fisher June 8, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      Walker Hi

      Oh, Walker … have they not destroyed you alive!

      My deep condolences to both Professor Falk and Fred — it seems to me that no one knows how to cope with their problems. Its too much that they have head. Not for evil, however.

      Israel or Zionist have tree choices upon themeless:

      a) repent

      b) dismantle the state

      c) civil war among Jews

      Most rational to expect is to dismantle the state — and have courts of Jerusalem govern them. Constitution and the courts are sovereign. The state is not. Jordan Landmark is null and void — just as it is the state of Israel.

      With that — dismantled the state is absolutely legitimate to have in Sovereign Territory, Administrative — so not governing outside the juridic order. Right now Israel is not Juridic State.

      The juridic order of position is never passed on from Church to anyone else — anywhere, and especially not in Israel. What that means is that the deeper pits get dug — the deep pit — pit diggers will have upon themselves.

      That is not my imagination as “ethical moralist” — its eclesialistical Exegesis, in David of ZION! The staff, the rod that strips off wicked earthly powers in Himself Times!
      All my Treaties of the Church are on Tap! Anyone else have their Treaties on tap? Let us know … we can talk about that!

      And “LOL” Walker.

      • Walker Percy June 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

        Hi, Kata,
        Glad to see you are still in fine form. Your commentary has an internal logic that is rather delightful, I have missed it.

        Yes, I am still alive, not sure why. My comments on this blog really annoyed a bunch of people who I guess are running the world now and have awesome powers of disruption and invisibility, and who are bent on payback. Richard told me that no one has ever approached him directly or threatened him, I guess that is because he is of such a high profile that it would be considered reckless, which is saying something. Keep at it, Kata. We are winning. It may be that one day we wake up, open the newspaper and read that the unthinkable has transpired, and that your option b is to be imposed by the global community. It happened in S. Africa, and that is a much, much bigger country. Then, with their hon or restored, the Muslims can stand down, the military industrial complex will wither, and all of those resources spent on blowing up innocent, impoverished folks, and policing the internet, can be redirected to our own needs.

      • Kata Fisher June 16, 2017 at 11:57 am #

        Walker, thank you for your letters,
        I must tell you Walker that I meditated on what you said before I was moved to write down b) option. You know the truth of happenings better than I do, and I am eternally thankful.
        I just happened to stop by here and observe what was taking place.
        Stay in hiding, keep in shape, by staying away from places that you are not welcomed, and never, never come back there.

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  13. sanjana October 29, 2018 at 2:54 am #

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