Weaponizing the ‘New Anti-Semitism’

22 Sep

Prefatory Note: This post consists of an opinion piece developed by several members of California Scholars for Academic Freedom (cs4af) titled “Weaponizing the ‘New Antisemitism’”.  In addition to myself, those responsible for this short essay are Vida Samiian, Co-coordinator, California Scholars for Academic Freedom, Professor of Linguistics and Dean Emerita, California State University, Fresno and Lisa Rofel, Co-coordinator, California Scholars for Academic Freedom, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Co-Director, Center for Emerging Worlds, University of California, Santa Cruz, and David Lloyd, Professor of Literature, University of California, Riverside. The piece was initially published in The Abolition Journal, September 20, 2018, with this link https://abolitionjournal.org/weaponizing-the-new-antisemitism/

Let me add that I did not contribute to the parts of the response that describe my positive credentials. I do believe that such indirect smears are intimidating for younger more vulnerable members of the academic community, creating a public image of a controversial personality that could be harmful when career decisions are made behind closed doors. The direct effort to discredit Corbyn is also shameful, depriving the public of the opportunity to understand the views of an important political figure rather than to create diversionary attention to such irresponsible charges that cannot be left unanswered without leaving presumptions of doubt, or worse.]

Weaponizing the ‘New Antisemitism’

It was shocking to read on August 31, 2018 the following headline in the British tabloid, The Sun “Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to a disgraced ex-UN official who ‘blamed Boston bombings on Israel.’”The “disgraced ex-UN official” referenced by The Sunis Professor Richard Falk1, a widely respected scholar of international law and a consistent advocate of human rights for all. The tabloid’s intent was to demonstrate that allegations of antisemitism directed at Corbyn were justified because he was praising a notorious ‘antisemite’.

Revealingly, the article raised, out of context, views Professor Falk had expressed about the blowback dimensions of the Boston Marathon and concerns about how the U.S. Government handled skeptical reactions to the official version of 9/11. It made much of the fact that Falk had commented that Israel’s outsized influence on the conduct of American foreign policy contributed to blowback effects, generating rage and frustration vented in violent extremism. However, a careful reading of Professor Falk’s body of work demonstrates that nowhere in his writings is any animus whatsoever against Jews as a people. His criticisms were directed at the U.S. government for refusing to pursue policies that genuinely promoted mutual respect and understanding. As a public intellectual, it is within Professor Falk’s expertise and right both to academic freedom and Frist Amendment protections to analyze and criticize US policy without fear of intimidation or slander.

This kind of attack tricks the mind by extending the discrediting label of antisemitism to any line of thought or action that is seen as critical of Israel. The old antisemitism was about the hatred of Jews; the new charge of antisemitism is about criticism of Israel, although it seeks to conflate criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews. Ironically, it also identifies all Jews with the state of Israel, an unheard-of and potentially racist denial to Jews of the right to criticize the state that pretends to represent them.

The California Scholars for Academic Freedom2, a group of over 200 California scholars who defend academic freedom of faculty and students in the academy and beyond, join Professor Richard Falk in voicing concern regarding the smear tactic used by ultra-Zionist defenders of Israel in defaming an internationally known academic and human rights leader. Beyond that, we are gravely concerned with the attempt to shut down debate by smearing opposition voices to prevent their message from being heard or heeded. Such tactics are intrinsically shameful as they try to evade substantive argument by recourse to character assassination.

In this instance, it shifts the conversation away from Corbyn’s programs, which are more difficult to discredit because they speak to the many ordinary people in Britain who have suffered for many years from neoliberal regimes of austerity. Blairites in the Labour Party who are allergic to Corbyn because of his supposedly socialist message seem quite content to hide behind this dirty campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite.  It is a perfect catch-22: he dare not ignore the charge or it will be taken as true, but by responding he is weakening his own message and political credibility as a future national leader.  Labour’s main constituencies in Britain want to determine whether his economic program is workable and likely to make their lives better than they are under a Tory government. They are deprived of this understanding by these demeaning taunts.

The attacks on Corbyn and Falk are all too familiar to any of us who have expressed our criticisms of Israel or on US policy in the Middle East. For those of us in academic life, ideas are as vital as oxygen, and when we are made to pay a price for telling the truth as we see it the outcome is not only chilling, but a direct attack on the freedom of thought and expression. It signals to many members of academic communities to shut up about Israel/Palestine or their careers will be in jeopardy.  Where successful, such censorship also raises the specter of wider efforts to curtail freedom of expression.

The issue is not entirely new. During the Cold War it could prove toxic for faculty members to be perceived as Marxists or even as intellectuals who thought that Marxist traditions of thought were important for their historical relevance to the ideological battles going on around the world. Professors at some leading universities were required to sign loyalty oaths, and if they refused, were expected to resign or were fired. This narrowed the experience of students and closed minds to alternatives to the ideology prevailing in the United States. If a democratic society is afraid of ideas, especially controversial ideas, then it forfeits much of the claim of being democratic and ends up cheering demagogues.

During the long campaign against South African apartheid within universities, churches, unions, and in a variety of other settings, there were criticisms made of demands that investments be divested or that athletes and cultural figures boycott South Africa. There were discussions about the limits of nonviolent activism, and again criticism was made of professors who were seen as encouraging militancy. Yet what was not done was to smear scholars and activists with epithets designed to portray opponents of apartheid as despicable human beings.

Why has this red flag of antisemitism has been waved so vigorously and irresponsibly in the last few years and not earlier? For decades, supporters of Israel would come to discussions where pro-Palestinian positions were being expressed armed with questions prepared in advance, and often delivered in an angry tone of voice. The purpose was to gain the upper hand substantively, or at least to join the issues in ways that would convince most of the audience that the issue was too complicated or controversial. But rarely if ever was the anger directed at the character of the speaker unless, as in the rarest of cases, the background of Israeli critics included membership in organizations or authorship of screeds expressing hatred of Jews, that is, genuine antisemitism.

With the appointment of Kenneth Marcus, a former Israel lobbyist, as the top civil rights enforcer of the US Department of Education, we are already witnessing a new level of aggression against any criticism of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and denial of human rights to Palestinians in the occupied territories. The request to reopen the Rutgers University case after four years is a case in point. Equally alarming is the British Labour Party’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism which conflates not only criticism of Israel but also anti-Zionism with antisemitism, in defiance of both logic and history, given the long tradition of Jewish anti-Zionism. These efforts are alarming attacks that shake the foundation of our first amendment rights protected under the Constitution.

The shift in tactics also reflects Israel’s awareness that its positions cannot be convincingly defended because they are so clearly at odds with elemental notions of law and morality. Unable to win debates where the facts are so damaging to their political messaging, they seek to silence the messenger by defamation. In consequence, reputable scholars lose academic appointments or are silently blacklisted and university institutions are increasingly reluctant to antagonize trustees or donors by hosting serious inquiries into the Palestinian national movement or events that view critically the evolution of the Zionist project. The resulting media feeding frenzy justifies its complicity by claiming that with so much smoke there must be fire somewhere.

In short, our political and academic freedoms are being hijacked by these defamatory tactics. Worst of all, the charges made under this ‘new antisemitism’ that confuses political criticism with racial hatred is harming the quality of political life in democratic societies and dangerously merging political controversy with ethnic prejudice.

1.  RICHARD FALKis Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and has been a Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he currently co-leads UCSB’s Orfalea Center Project on Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy.  He taught international law and politics at Princeton University for 40 years. In 2001, he served on a three-person Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories that was appointed by the United Nations, and previously on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo.  He acted as counsel to Ethiopia and Liberia in the Southwest Africa Case before the International Court of Justice. In 2008 Falk was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to a six-year term as UN Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” He serves asChair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Board of Directors and as honorary vice president of the American Society of Internal Law. He is the author of over twenty books and editor of another twenty and numerous journal articles. He received his BS from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; LLB from Yale Law School; and JSD from Harvard University.

  1. CALIFORNIA SCHOLARS FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM(cs4af) is a group of over 200 scholars who defend academic freedom, the right of shared governance, and the First Amendment rights of faculty and students in the academy and beyond. We recognize that violations of academic freedom anywhere are threats to academic freedom everywhere. California Scholars for Academic Freedom investigates legislative and administrative infringements on freedom of speech and assembly, and it raises the consciousness of politicians, university regents and administrators, faculty, students and the public at large through open letters, press releases, petitions, statements, and articles.


80 Responses to “Weaponizing the ‘New Anti-Semitism’”

  1. Fred Skolnik September 22, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

    When “The Guardian” raises an eyebrow on behalf of Jews you can be sure that something is going on. Corbyn has a long record of indiscreet remarks that tell us a great deal about him:


    Accusing Jews of antisemitism is totally misguided. Jewish hostility to the State of Israel is an entirely different kettle of fish. Philip Roth is a case in point:


    As for Jew hatred as such and British antisemitism in particular:


    As I’ve said. if Israel wasn’t Jewish, it wouldn’t be hated, and if it was criticized it would be criticized in the language of criticism, the same language that the left uses when criticizing Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria, Serbia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Somalia, Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba. Where are the BDS movements? Where are the blogs? Where are the armies of blog crawlers? Where are the videos? Where are the links? What do you think it is that draws all these “critics” to Israel and nowhere else?

    • Richard Falk September 23, 2018 at 4:46 am #

      You repeat this canard over and over, but it is either uninformed or mendacious.

      Since 1945 only Zionist Israel, in the dusk of European colonialism, dispossessed the majority resident population and disallowed the return of Palestinian Arabs
      to their homes so that it could claim ‘democratic’ legitimacy as a Jewish state. Historical and ethno-religious arguments are irrelevant.

      • Fred Skolnik September 24, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

        I thought we were talking about antisemitism and criticism of Israel and that is what I addressed and that is the issue that you are now avoiding.

        As for your response to an argument that I didn’t even bring up above, Israel did not dispossess anyone. A partition plan was offered that created a Jewish majority in part of Mandatory Palestine. The Arab world rejected it and initiated a war. In this war Arabs were displaced from the State of Israel and an equal number of Jews were displaced from Arab countries, losing everything they owned. Resolution 194 called for the return of refugees willing “to live at peace with their neighbours.” This, as you know, the Arabs refused to do, with both sides digging in behind armistice lines in an unresolved conflict.

  2. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ph.D. September 23, 2018 at 4:25 am #

    Bravo! As a former academic (a Senior lecturer in Politics at the University of Colombo) and a diplomat (currently Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Moscow) who has seen Prof Falk at work while I was Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva and an elected Vice President of the UN Human Rights Commission, I cannot but applaud the California Academics and agree wholeheartedly with the defense of Prof Falk’s proven record of intellectual and scholarly integrity which goes back over half a century (according to my personal recollection).

    I would only add that these smear tactics, though unconnected, cannot be isolated from the overall ideological climate in the US-UK in which there is a McCarthyite Russophobic witch-hunt emanating from the most unexpected liberal and progressive quarters.

    I say this because we must note that the attacks on Corbyn are not only on the charge of anti-Semitism but because he has refused to be stampeded into Russophobia and keeps insisting on independent inquiries and evidence of official Russian involvement in the Salisbury affair as well as the Syrian government’s involvement in chemical attacks.

  3. Beau Oolayforos September 24, 2018 at 12:32 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    First of all, we need to take a step back and get a little perspective. The Sun is a Murdoch product. It is very properly referred to as ‘tabloid”. It belongs to the same genre as the Bild Am Sonntag in Germany, a sensationalist rag which is a laughing stock in that country for anyone with an IQ which even pretends to venture into the triple digits.

    The Sun is read by the same pathetic demographic which shoots up Fox News day and night. It would be surprising and maybe a little suspicious NOT to be vilified by them. These propaganda outlets reach many people – they definitely rouse the rabble – but the more hateful and anti-democratic their rhetoric becomes, the more it will be rejected…e.g., by the Great Silent Majority which ‘elected’ Hillary Clinton?

  4. Gene Schulman September 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm #

    Ach. Poor friend. If he had his way he’d paint Israel right back into a new ghetto. But he might not have to wait too long. When the US economy collapses and can no longer afford to support Israel and its wars, who else will be there to help them?. The ghetto walls have already been built, they just need someone – their neighbors? – to man them.

    • Fred Skolnik September 25, 2018 at 9:58 pm #

      Ah, poor uninformed Gene. U.S military aid amounts to less than 3% of Israel’s annual budget and is given to protect what America perceives as its own interests, to counter the influence of Russia and radical Islam in the Middle East. Israel’s friends include all the moderate Arab countries in the Middle East, who understand radical Islam a little better than you do and who cooperate with Israel in security matters

      • Richard Falk September 26, 2018 at 4:01 am #

        Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt ‘moderate’????!

      • Fred Skolnik September 26, 2018 at 4:31 am #

        In religious terms, as opposed to radical like Iran and the terrorist organizations. Radical Islam, I hope you understand, believes that Islam is destined to rule the world, for that is the will of Allah.

      • Gene Schulman September 26, 2018 at 8:43 am #

        I don’t remember there being a radical Islam before Israel came along to radicalize it. I do agree about what America perceives as its own interests, which is one of the problems. Perception is easily managed,

      • Beau Oolayforos September 26, 2018 at 11:21 am #

        Correct me if this is wrong, but it seems to me that the Beirut barracks bombing in ’83 was a watershed event. After the loss of hundreds of Marines, it was decided not to sacrifice any more American lives, but rather to give a carte-blanche to Israel, who would gladly do the fighting for US. Hence the military subsidies?

      • Fred Skolnik September 26, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

        Yes, this is wrong. America did its own fighting in Iraq just as Israel does its own fighting when it is attacked.

      • Fred Skolnik September 26, 2018 at 9:35 pm #

        You have a short memory, Gene, or a short reading list. Radical Islam has existed from the beginning. How it expresses itself is a function of circumstance and opportunity. Of course Israel is a bone in its throat. Too bad. The Arabs don’t own every square inch of the Middle East, just as they didn’t own Spain and Persia.

  5. Mike 71 September 26, 2018 at 10:55 pm #

    The so-called “California Scholars for Academic Freedom’s” credibility is belied by its support of the academic boycott of Israel. Has it called for the firing or discipline of University of Michigan Associate Professor John Cheney-Lippold, who reneged on an offer to write a letter of recommendation for a student to study abroad, on discovering that the student desired to study in Israel, which is in violation of the University’s anti-discrimination policy? How about other precedents, including Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas, Oberlin College Professor Joy Karega, William Paterson College Professor Clyde Magarelli and of course, the notorious Steven Salaita, all publicly condemned for espousing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online or in their classes.

    Has “California Scholars for Academic Freedom” condemned disruption. of the May 3, 2018 pro-Israel event at the University of California Irvine Campus, which has been referred to the Orange County District Attorney for criminal prosecution, as was the 2011 criminal prosecution of the “Irvine 11,” for conspiracy to commit similar disruption of an address by former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren? Surely, any credible organization promoting “academic freedom” would do so, or be exposed for fraud, hypocrisy and application of “double standards” for refusing to do so!

    Of course, Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to a “discredited former U.N. official (Professor Falk),” who blamed the Boston Marathon bombings on Israel, despite evidence showing the Tsarniev brothers being responsible for assembling and placing the pressure cooker bombs along the marathon route, which killed three and disabled many others. But even more egregious, Corbyn was exposed in 2014 laying a wreath at the graves of the “Black September” murderers of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and calls Hamas and Hezbollah “his friends.”

    Prof. Falk’s purported lack of animus towards Jews neither extends to their rights to self-determination, as provided under UNGAR 181, nor territorial integrity, as recognized under UNSCR 242 and 338, nor their “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The “old anti-Semitism” was hatred of Jews before they had a state of their own; the “new anti-Semitism” is merely an extension of the old, applied after they acquired a state of their own through a War of Independence (“armed struggle” to you Marxists). But of course, the debate on “academic freedom” neither includes the academic boycott of Israel, nor the disruption of Israel related events on California (Irvine, Berkeley, San Francisco State and other) Campuses!

    The problem with Corbyn’s Labour Party is not the “Blairites (Neo-Liberals),” but the twin evils of anti-Semitism and socialism. While some dissatisfied Israelis leave to migrate elsewhere, they are not nearly on the scale of Venezuelans, Cubans and perhaps even Brits, if Corbyn was to be elected Prime Minister. Still, the Israeli economy expanded at 4% in 2017, while that of Venezuela suffered massive inflation, poverty, stagnation, starvation and emigration.

    Marxism has exceeded its “sell by date” and now belongs on. the ash heap of history. It has even been abandoned by the kleptocracies of the Russian Federation, the Peoples’ Republic of China and even the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea. Currently, there are more Marxists, toadies and “useful idiots” in the D.P.R.C. (Democratic Peoples” Republic of California), than there are in the D.P.R.K. (Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea).

    The angry screeds of hate directed at Kenneth Marcus, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights enforcer, are as vicious as those who hate Jews (the traditional pre-state anti-Semitism) and those who hate Israel (the contemporary post-state anti-Semitism). Marxists despise student civil rights, particularly when those rights include Jewish and pro-Israel students!

    Israel’s possession of lands captured in “defensive wars of necessity” are no more illegal than the Soviet Union’s 1945-1991 possession of its Eastern European “buffer zone,” likewise captured in a “defensive war of necessity.” The Soviet possession ended with negotiated peace agreements, while Israel’s possession continues as Palestinians refuse to negotiate peace in exchange for modification of Israel’s possession.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidetis (Latin: as you possess, you may continue to possess)

    Who is in a better possession to define anti-Semitism than its victims, the Jewish people? Would you deny the victims of South African “Apartheid,” the right to define “Apartheid?” Shouldn’t the victims of oppression have the right to define the nature of that oppression? Both anti-Semites and White Supremacists would deny their victims those rights. Just as South Africans are entitled to Majority Rule in their nation, Israelis are entitled to Majority Rule in their nation! But for the proponents of “double standards,” there is no such right!
    A tiny minority of Jews have rejected Zionism, a legitimate nationalist movement, while the vast majority have not.

    Isn’t it a violation of the First Amendment to suppress the expression of pro-Zionist students, as has happened at the University of Michigan, Rutgers and University of California at Irvine, among other campuses? Again, the “double standard” arises. Marxists are no respecters of freedom of expression and willingly suppress the expression of their opponents! Israel’s rights to self-determination, territorial integrity and Democratic Majority Rule, are just as vested in law and morality, as are those rights in other democracies. It is the Marxists and their mindless toadies, who seek to “kill the messenger,” including allowing the regular defamation of Fred Skolnik, to continue. The Palestinian “one to the exclusion of the other” doctrine, driven by an arrogant, greedy, self-centered sense of entitlement to “all the land between the river (Jordan) and the sea (Mediterranean),” rather than recognizing two states for two peoples, keeps the Palestinians internationally isolated, perpetually impoverished and stateless!

    • Richard Falk September 26, 2018 at 11:35 pm #

      Twisted reasoning from start to finish, especially ignoring the similarity of circumstances
      facing the Palestinian people to that of the African majority in South Africa victimized by
      its apartheid regime.

      • Fred Skolnik September 27, 2018 at 12:24 am #

        There is no similarity of circumstances. How many times do you have to be reminded that the partition plan gave the Jews a majority in the State of Israel, that the kind of “separation” that existed in South Africa never existed among Israeli Arabs living in the State of Israel, and that the West Bank is under military occupation, which can only be likened to a form of apartheid if you arbitrarily claim that all military occupations are forms of apartheid?

      • Richard Falk September 27, 2018 at 1:41 am #

        Really?? o requirement that Israeli apartheid resemble that maintained by Israel. It depends on systematic victimization
        based on ethnic identity by inhumane means to sustain structures of domination by a distinct ethnicity. Israel’s various
        domains of domination over the Palestinian people seems to qualify, although an authoritative view has to await a judicial

      • Mike 71 September 28, 2018 at 12:18 am #

        There are no separate water-fountains, public transport, public schools, toilets, or restaurants, based on race or religion in Israel. But in contrast, no Jews are allowed to live in Algiers, Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, or other Arab cities and towns, where they and their ancestors had once lived for generations, making Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and others “Apartheid States!” Mahmoud Abbas has publicly stated numerous times that no Jews would be allowed to live in the proposed Palestinian state, making it yet another “Apartheid State!”

        In an “Orwellian Inversion,” Prof Falk seeks to impose a 20% minority “Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime” on a 75% majority Jewish population. How that would differ from the former “Apartheid South Africa,” once ruled by a 10% minority “White Supremacist Apartheid Regime,” over a 90% majority Black African majority population, Prof Falk refuses to explain. Just as South Africans are entitled to “Majority Rule” in their nation, Israelis are likewise entitled to “Majority Rule” in their nation. Israel, as all other nation-states, has the right to regulate immigration and exclude terrorists and Fifth Columnists, through its “inherent right to individual or collective self defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.

      • Richard Falk September 28, 2018 at 3:38 am #

        Apartheid does not imply separation of the sort that existed in South Africa, only domination and
        victimization based on ethnicity…

      • Mike 71 September 28, 2018 at 9:57 am #

        What you propose is little different from the former “Apartheid South Africa.”
        A 20% minority “Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime,” as you propose, would necessarily involve the domination and victimization of the 75% majority Jewish population of Israel. It may not be necessary for that “Apartheid Regime” to impose racial segregation, as was the case under “South African Apartheid,” or American “Jim Crow” racism as it existed into the 1960’s, but it would still necessarily involve domination and victimization of the majority by a significantly smaller minority. Again, explain. how that differs from the former “Apartheid South Africa,” even without the practice of racial segregation. Also explain why the Arab states which “ethnically cleansed” their Jewish populations from Algiers, Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and other cities and towns where they and their ancestors had lived for generations, are not “Apartheid States,” and why the “Judenrein” Palestinian state publicly advocated by Mahmoud Abbas would not be yet another “Apartheid State!”

      • Fred Skolnik September 27, 2018 at 2:04 am #

        This is pure double-talk. It isn’t even clear here whether you’re talking about the occupation or about Israeli society itself, but you are repeating word for word the unfounded and distorted allegations that you made in your recent apartheid report, so with your permission I will repeat word for word my reply:

        “It hardly needs to be said that if Israel’s occupation were a form of apartheid, then all occupations would be forms of apartheid, including the Allied occupation of Germany. A military occupation by definition entails separation between the occupying power and the occupied population and the existence of two different legal systems for occupying and occupied nationals, one civil and one military. Furthermore, all separation measures instituted by Israel are solely for purposes of security…. With or without the settlements, Israel would maintain order and fight terrorism in precisely the same way (security roads, the security fence, checkpoints, roadblocks, curfews, arrests).

        As for Israeli Arabs, they “eat in the same restaurants as Jews, travel on the same buses and trains, use the same public spaces, are treated in the same hospitals as Jews, treat Jews in these hospitals as doctors and nurses, serve as lawyers and judges in Israel’s legal system, teach and study in the universities, and … vote and serve in the Knesset. This is certainly not the situation or condition that the word apartheid was coined to describe.”

        You are deperately trying to inculpate Israel when the indisputable fact is that Israel occupied the West Bank because Jordan initiated a war. The occupation continued because the Arabs declared at Khartoum: “no peace, no recognition, no negotiations” – and for the next 25 years couldn’t even bring themselves to pronounce Israel’s name. The occupation became oppressive because the Arabs engaged in terrorist acts against Israel’s civilian population.

      • Mike 71 September 27, 2018 at 6:16 am #

        That portion of my comment which you cited addressed the hypocrisy and “double standards” of an organization purportedly supporting “academic freedom,” which this pseudo organization does not! Perhaps, in Prof. Falk’s world, as in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” some are more equal than others,” allowing them to practice “academic freedom,” while others are not.

        As to “Apartheid,” you totally ignore the expulsion of over 850,000 Jews from Algiers, Aleppo, Amman, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and other Arab cities and towns where they and their ancestors had lived for centuries, making Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other Arab nations “Apartheid States!”

        As Mahmoud Abbas has stated publicly numerous times, no Jews would be allowed to live in the proposed Palestinian state, thus making it yet another “Apartheid State.” Apparently, you have no conceptual understanding of “double standards” and again, as Orwell pointed out, “some are more equal than others!”

    • Fred Skolnik September 28, 2018 at 5:21 am #

      Dear Prof. Falk

      You have painted yourself so deeply into a corner with this apartheid nonsense that you have to redefine almost every word you use in your “argument” to make the apartheid label stick. Why bother? Why pervert language and strain your credibility when there are so many other suitable words you might use to express your animus. If you said “discrimination,” even I wouldn’t object, though I would certainly explain why such discrimination exists, but to say that a car doesn’t have to be a vehicle to be called a car and a plane doesn’t have to be able fly to be called a plane approaches plain and simple craziness.

      The Arab-Israel conflict is national, not ethnic or racial. The natural element of dominance in a military occupation reflects the outcome of a war. What on earth does this have to do with your “ethnicity”? Was the “dominance” of the Allies in Occupied Germany also “based on ethnicity”? Are security measures instituted in response to terrorist acts “victimization based on ethnicity”?

      You also refuse to recognize that Israeli Arabs are a national minority, with all this implies. Until you are prepared to say that Turkey with its Kurdish national minority is an apartheid state, which you rightly haven’t thought to do, you really have no moral right to call Israel an apartheid state. I would sincerely advise you to tone down the wild language. Rhetoric isn’t going to help the Palestinians. All it does is inflame them and raise false hopes.

  6. Fred Skolnik September 27, 2018 at 1:42 am #

    Dear Mike

    I don’t know if the spoiled middle-class children of the new political left that emerged in the 1960s can be called Marxists. Both in America and Israel, unlike the old socialist left, they are totally alienated from working-class people. What characterizes them is resentment of all forms of authority, not to mention their self-involvement, which recalls the rebellion of “sensitive” children against authoritarian fathers. In Israel itself, on the left, because its ideals are hollow, masking resentment rather than reflecting compassion, and precisely because it has no ties to or sympathy for the downtrodden and dispossessed of the Other Israel, it resents the established order on behalf of the Palestinians. As I always say, it is not the Palestinians as victims that interests these people but Israel (and America) as culprits.

    • Mike 71 September 27, 2018 at 8:54 am #

      Fred, perhaps you are right here. Unlike Prof. Falk, most contemporary college “snowflakes,” with their “trigger warnings,” “micro-aggressions” and “safe zones,” with embedded Teddy Bears, are too intellectually weak to comprehend the complex issues. This speaks to the deteriorating quality of American public education. These are not “hard wired” doctrinaire Marxists like Prof. Falk, driven by a rigid ideology. They are the product of “Helicopter Parenting” by over-protective parents, seeking to separate them from all of life’s unpleasantries, large and small!

      If they were truly opposed to authoritarianism, including that of their parents, they would be anarchists, or perhaps Libertarians, rather than succumb to the “intersectionalism” of the contemporary left. The ideals of the Israeli left, like the ideals of leftists elsewhere are hollow, as they have no compassion for the working class, including Arab Israelis, who are likewise victimized by BDS and other discriminatory actions. BDS caused the moving of SodaStream from the West Bank into Israel proper, costing many well paying jobs at the significantly higher prevailing Israeli wage rate.

      But, most telling of all is the hypocrisy of both the “old left” and the “contemporary left.” Israel has an ineffective and largely ignored “Peace Now” and the U.S. has an insignificant “Americans for Peace Now,” as if the previous administration was at war with Israel. But why are there is no “Palestinians for Peace Now?” We are still waiting for the emergence of the Palestinian Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin
      Luther King Jr.

    • Beau Oolayforos September 27, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

      Dear Sir – You’ve said nothing to refute my admittedly tentative little hypothesis. Your curt, irrelevant response only bolsters it. Iraq was 20 years after Beirut. If Israel does its own fighting, we should cancel the welfare checks.

      • Fred Skolnik September 27, 2018 at 11:29 pm #

        You also have a short memory or a short reading list. American troops fought in the First Gulf War and have been actively deployed in the Middle East and around the world on numerous occaions since 1982.

        As I said, America gives foreign aid to protect what it perceives as its interests. If you wish to be a foreign policy advisor, apply for a job at the State Department.

      • Mike 71 September 27, 2018 at 11:48 pm #

        Israel has engaged in its “inherent right of individual or collective self defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter since admission to the U.N. in 1949. Israel receives no “welfare checks,” as it is economically self-sufficient with an economy growing at 4% per annum. In contrast, the Palestinians have never been economically self sufficient, but perpetually dependent upon foreign “welfare checks.” Israel does receive some defensive weapons and technology from the United States, and in return, provides defensive technology and military intelligence to the U.S.

        As to cutting “welfare checks,” President Trump has been doing exactly that by cutting aid to the Palestinian. Authority used to fund “Pay for Slay” subsidies to the families of deceased and incarcerated terrorists, as required under the “Taylor Force Act” and further cutting aid to the P.A. as an incentive to return to direct negotiations with Israel. So far, Mr. Abbas prefers to forfeit the financial aid than return to the negotiating table, but that could change as the P.A. approaches financial collapse.

        The U.S. is also cutting the “welfare checks” for UNRWA, which unlike the UNHCR, does nothing to resettle refugees, making refugee status inheritable for successive generations. The UNHCR has resettled hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of refugees in new homelands since its establishment. One remedy would be to have the UNHCR take over UNRWA responsibilities to resettle refugees in new homelands; another would be transfer of U.S. funding from the UNRWA to those Arab and other nations willing to integrate Palestinian refugees into their societies.

  7. Beau Oolayforos September 28, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    We all applaud the “inherent rights of self-defense” when we see unarmed protesters being slaughtered in Gaza. As a US taxpayer, let’s see…do I want to help feed little Palestinian kids, or finance the snipers’ rifles (, drones, bombs, etc) that kill them? $10 billion a year for 10 years, is it? No welfare? It would buy a lot of meals, hospitals, etc, just as Ike pointed out in his Farewell Address.

    • Mike 71 September 28, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

      The “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, is limited to U.N. nation-state members, not “non-state entities,” nor “non-member states.” Thus Palestinians, not being a U.N. nation-state member, do not meet the required criteria to exercise that right. Read Article 51 in its entirety for its correct application and limitations.

      The so-called “peaceful protesters” along the Gaza-Israel border are neither peaceful, nor unarmed; they have rushed the border and tried to tear down the border fence, rather than confine their “protests” to the Gaza side of the border. In the words of Gaza leader Yo Yo Sinwar: “Tear down the fence, cross the border and then tear their (Israelis) hearts out.” Perhaps, under your twisted concept of “peaceful protest,” that would qualify, but the vast majority of rational individuals would certainly differ. Palestinian commentators have acknowledged that the vast majority of those shot and killed by the IDF in the violent “border riots” were members of terrorist groups Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Your twisted concept of “peaceful protest” in addition to being risible, is also a blatant fraud!

      • Beau Oolayforos September 29, 2018 at 8:36 am #

        Yes, how true…it’d be risible and a blatant fraud not to understand how that little nurse, clad in white, posed a mortal danger to your heroic snipers, safe in their nests. She needed to be killed…heck, they’d’ve murdered Florence Nightingale.

        Cold comfort to me to know that my “twisted concepts” are shared by the vast majority of people, and nations, on planet Earth. Talk about painting oneself into a corner!!

      • Mike 71 September 29, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

        If that nurse, and more recently a member of Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders), who were among the border rioters, not “unarmed peaceful protestors,” as you misrepresent them staying on their own side of the border, had not rushed the border fence to tear it down and attack the civilians across the border, they would not have been shot and killed. Historically, in all wars in which medics accompanied troops into combat, they have become casualties. Actions do have consequences and those people assumed the risk of being shot and killed in rushing the border. The real fraud in this discussion is your consistently misrepresenting the facts. Apparently, you are still incapable of separating fact from fantasy!

      • Fred Skolnik September 29, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

        You’re avoiding the issue, or pretending not to understand what was happening in Gaza.. When you participate in a riot whose declared aim is to overrun the border and murder Israelis and there are hundreds if not thousands of armed terroritss in your ranks, innocent people are also going to get killed..

      • Fred Skolnik September 29, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

        And by the way, according to the latest Gallup poll 74% of Americans have a favorable view of Israel.

  8. Beau Oolayforos September 28, 2018 at 11:14 pm #

    Listening to one of Corbyn’s speeches on the radio makes me feel that you are indeed in excellent company.

    • Mike 71 September 29, 2018 at 6:19 am #

      Being in the company of anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, who denies the Jewish people the right to self determination, makes one an anti-Semite! Corbyn has already made the British Labour Party unelectable, as he has not only earned the condemnation of the Conservative party, but also driven most leftist Jews from the ranks of the party and fragmented the party.

      • Beau Oolayforos September 30, 2018 at 5:34 pm #

        Sorry, I only heard a speech of his on the radio, talking about the 10-year anniversary of the Financial Crisis, not knowing who it was at first, & thought “Hey, this guy is making sense, talking about constructive solutions…no phony, hateful rhetoric…” Sorry, Sir, but when I finally found out who’d been speaking, I only connected the dots back to Dr. Falk.

      • Mike 71 October 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

        Perhaps you didn’t listen to the same Corbyn speech that I listened to, but they are widely posted in videos on The Sun and the Daily Mail, in which he calls for the eradication of Israel. Corbyn has never called for “constructive solutions,” but only those which have bankrupted Venezuela and impoverished Cuba. As to hateful rhetoric, Corbyn has issued plenty, most recently calling for a British Arms Embargo on Israel, which would deny it its “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter. On “connecting the dots back to Dr. Falk,” just as he is an anti-Semite, Corbyn and you are anti-Semites as well!

    • Fred Skolnik September 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

      No, it isn’t $10 billion a year, it’s 3.8 billion, and I’ve explained why America gives it. You never get even the simplest facts right, do you?

      Prof. Falk has produced an entry about the “conflation” of antisemitism and criticism of Israel. I have replied by asking him why these “critics,” like yourself, are drawn to Israel and not to any of the countries that I mentioned in my first comment, and I am sincerely at a loss to understand what it is that has caused you, for example, to single out Israel as the object of your unrelenting attacks. Maybe I’m wrong about you. Maybe you are just a caring individual. I assume you’ve been around for a while, as I think you mentioned grandchildren somewhere, so please show us what you’ve had to say about the genocides in Rwanda, Nigeria, Biafra, Bosnia, Guatemala, Kurdistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia and the human rights violations in dozens of countries around the world. Show us your comments. Convince us that you go after everyone and not just Jews.

      • Gene Schulman September 30, 2018 at 7:52 am #

        The genocides mentioned in your list were not perpetrated by Israel, and for better or worse, have ended. However, the genocides being undergone by the Palestinians, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis et al., are being perpetrated by Israel and are ongoing with no end in sight. As far as going after Jews, it is because you insist that Israel is a ‘Jewish State’ that makes it appear that way. It is Israeli and USA behavior that is under scrutiny, not the Jews.

        You know all this as well as I do. Twisting the facts, as you and your cohort above do, will not change them.

      • Richard Falk September 30, 2018 at 7:55 am #


      • Mike 71 September 30, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

        There is no “genocide” of the Palestinians perpetuated by Israel; if there was, they would not be increasing in population over the past seven decades. They thrive in UNRWA handouts, as most are unemployed and have few marketable job skills. Their purported supporters prefer to keep them dependent and subservient. But there is one little mentioned mass killings of Palestinians: that in the Yarmouk Refugee Camp south of Damascus perpetuated by Basher Assad. As those deaths cannot be attributed to Israel, they receive absolutely no condemnation on this blog. Some killers of Palestinians are allowed to do so with impunity, but not Israelis acting in defense of their nation!

        Israel does not target Syrians, taking no sides in the Syrian Civil War, nor do they bear any responsibility for Libyans, or Yemenis, who are targeted by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis target the Yemenis for the same reason that Israel targets Palestinians: to suppress rocket attacks on their cities. There was a rumor that the Saudis bought Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system to defend their cities, but the Saudis deny that.

        Under the terms of UNGAR 181, there were to be two states, “one Arab and one Jewish,” but if that resolution is not binding on. the Palestinians, neither is it biding on the Israelis, who may incorporate land captured in “defensive wars of necessity.” As the victorious belligerent of the 1967 “Six Day War,” Israel may retain possession of captured land until possession is modified by treaty. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidetis
        Israel possession of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) continues, as in refusing to negotiate peace in exchange for the return of captured land, Mahmoud Abbas acquiesces in continued Israeli possession of the land!

      • Richard Falk October 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

        Zionist apologists like only GA Res. 181, which is after all only a recommended outcome as far as its authority is concerned. Israel has no
        trouble defying the ICJ 2004 Advisory Opinion by a 14-1 vote invalidating the separation wall. You demean yourself by engaging in such a pathetic manipulation
        of law to serve Israel’s purposes, making your assertions unworthy of serious response.

      • Mike 71 October 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm #

        The 2004 ICJ “Advisory Opinion” has no more “force of law” than does the “recommended outcome” of UNGAR 181. To reiterate, if UNGAR 181 is not binding on the Palestinians, neither is it binding on the Israelis. Perhaps, we should return to “The Law of War and Peace” as postulated by Hugo Grotius and let the stronger belligerent determine to outcome by military force, as happened in 1967. Besides, the “Advisory Opinion” directly contravenes Israel’s “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter. Unlike the ICJ’s “Advisory Opinion,” Article 51 is mandatory, not “advisory” in nature.

        In an obvious instance of “projection,” you are doing exactly what you accuse me of doing! You demean yourself by engaging in pathetic manipulation of arguments, which do not carry any force of law, to serve anti Israel objectives. There is an old adage about the practice of law; if the facts are not in your favor, argue the law; if the law is not in your favor, argue the facts; if neither the law, nor the facts are in your favor, pound the table. But of course, your consistent refusal to provide a “serious response” evades the question!

      • Richard Falk October 7, 2018 at 4:37 am #

        I think it is an overstatement to use ‘genocide’ in these contexts. Surely, Israeli is
        guilty of crimes against humanity in these national contexts, but there is no evidence
        of governmental intentionality to eliminate an entire people or a part of the people. Genocide
        as a legal concept identifying mass killing based on racial identity is not of the essence of
        Israeli criminality that must be specified in each of these national settings. Such allegations
        are so serious that they should be accompanied by their rationale. I realize you were responding
        to the provocations of FS, and that does give you a certain latitude of response because of his hasbara style
        of polemics.

      • Fred Skolnik October 1, 2018 at 10:32 am #

        That’s the whole point, Gene. If Israel can’t be implicated these “caring” people couldn’t care less how many Africans, Arabs, Slavs or Asians are slaughtered in local wars!

        You’re really losing it now. Yemen, Libya, Syria? Are you crazy? And the Palestinians of course. Genocide no less! And a big amen from Prof. Falk! Gene, you’re probably embarrassing the Israel haters as much as yourself.

        Israel IS a Jewish state, just as Turkey is a Turkish state and Spain is a Spanish state. And calling it such in your opinion is what prompts the haters to go after it instead of going after, say, Sudan, where the Darfur genocide continues until today, with half a million dead? That’s genocide! And that’s a perfect example of how the minds of the haters work, where calling Israel a Jewish state is a far greater offense than the murder of half a million non-Muslims by Sudanese Arabs.

        Prof. Falk, the silence of your Beau on the above should tell you why Israel’s supporters are apt to be suspicious of a great many “critics of Israel.”

        No, Prof. Falk, there is no “new antisemitism.” It is the old antisemitism disguised as Israel hatred. Why is it so hard for you to understand that Americans and especially Europeans brought up in homes where Jews were always spoken of disparagingly will grow up with a certain aversion to them, compounded in many cases, when it comes to Israel, by anti-Americanism, or by what sociologists (and Sartre, and James Baldwin, and anyone else with a brain in his head) have always recognized as the need of certain types of individuals to elevate themselves above a despised group. You do understand that most people who hate or dislike Jews (about 1 in 4 in over 100 countries according to the last ADL survey) will also hate or dislike Israel. Or would you prefer not to understand this?

        How do we know when it’s antisemitism? I’ll say it for the twentieth time: by the language. If you as a scholar are unable to recognize the nature of a text (or a comment) by the kind of language it uses, or what it presents as evidence, or what it ignores, or a dozen other clear signs, then you are no scholar, or have simply been blinded by your biases.

      • Richard Falk October 1, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

        Your position is purely polemical.

        Israel is not a state like other states. In the twilight years of colonialism an essentially European movement
        displaced and dispossessed the resident population, and established its own exclusive Jewish state by violent imposition.
        This whole process erased Palestinian collective rights of self-determination, and continuously expanded its ambitions,
        territorially and psycho-politically.

        There is no doubt that authentic anti-Semitism culminating with Nazi genocide created a strong incentives and even justifications
        to establish a Jewish sanctuary, but is not a sufficient excuse for what has happened. And unlike all other situations the tragedy from its outset
        was presided over by the UN, starting with the partition resolution, and reinforced by geopolitics. To pretend that this is like Turkey
        and Spain and elsewhere is a debater’s trick not worthy of debate. You know better.

        To call people like me who call attention to this ‘haters’ is merely to polemicize still further in a rather frantic effort to invalidate all criticism of Israel regardless of its behavior and smear the critics. More humility and empathy for those victimized might get better results.

      • Fred Skolnik October 1, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        I have substantively addressed your false assertions about Israel’s statehood and the Arab-Israel conflict more than once so I will not repeat myself. Once again you are ignoring whatever you cannot answer.

        It only remains for me to ask if you are actually endorsing with your resounding Amen! Mr. Schuman’e insane assertion that Israel is guilty of genocide in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

      • Beau Oolayforos October 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

        Please pardon me for overstating the US taxpayers’ generosity toward the Jewish State of Israel. If the Welfare Model doesn’t suit, maybe we should put it down to care & maintenance of what many are fond of calling “Our aircraft carrier in the Middle East”, and of her Captain… one can almost hear the good ol’ boys in the back room, backslapping & chuckling “Yeah, Bibi’s an s.o.b., but he’s OUR s.o.b.”

      • Mike 71 October 2, 2018 at 12:34 am #

        But, we have already ended taxpayers’ generosity toward the Palestinian Authority’s “Pay for Slay” subsidies for the families of dead and incarcerated terrorists, as required under the “Taylor Force Act,” and also ended taxpayers’ generosity toward UNRWA, which unlike UNHCR, does not resettle refugees, but only creates more of them by making refugee status inheritable for generation after generation.

        The President is doing his part to reduce the welfare rolls, while maintaining support of those allies which contribute to our national security. I share your concern for the overburdened American taxpayer and applaud the President for reducing welfare, particularly for those who murder Americans and Israelis!

      • Gene Schulman October 2, 2018 at 12:53 am #

        You can deny my, and Prof. Falk’s, allegations all you want, but that does not invalidate them. Yet you keep repeating over and over again the same things – mostly personal insults – and never come to a different conclusion. I think it was Uncle Albert Einstein who said that was the definition of an idiot. I’ll go further and personalize it – to me it’s the definition of an arsehole (block it if you will, Richard, but it’s the truth).

        No need to bother responding to this, because it will neither be heeded nor answered. I’m very tired of reading your meaningless diatribes.

      • Mike 71 October 2, 2018 at 11:46 pm #

        Gratuitous insults are the last resort of the mindless toady who has no original thoughts of his own, but only serves as an echo chamber for his master. What purpose does your insulting Fred Skolnik prove other than that you can neither appeal to reason, nor civility, nor gather any substantive facts in support of your arguments.

        But then, some insults are tolerated on this blog, while others are not. Perhaps, if Prof Falk either blocked them all, or tolerated them all, on an equal basis (NO “Double Standards!”), then the quality of the debate could be raised to a much higher and more civilized level!

      • Richard Falk October 4, 2018 at 12:57 am #

        You and FS are flooding this website with dogmatic Israeli propaganda and typical smear tactics. I
        will resume blocking unless you both are willing and able to adopt a tone of civility. We are not fools,
        and will not waste our time with legalistically formulated Israeli apologetics. Any student of law understands
        that law/facts can be interpreted in different ways, and the adoption of conclusionary language gives your game away.

      • Mike 71 October 4, 2018 at 7:55 am #

        If you can cite law and draw conclusions from legal interpretations, there is no logical reason why, I, or anyone, else cannot do likewise. As you are purportedly trained in the law, you should understand that reasonable persons can differ on questions of legal concepts and the interpretation of statutes. However, you refuse to engage in any meaningful dialogue with those who differ with you on significant issues of International Law. Perhaps, you lack the confidence to debate such recognized and knowledgeable legal scholars as Professor Alan Dershowitz, whom you refused to debate on the legal basis for the existence of Israel. I can’t speak for Fred, but I can say that my opinions are no more “dogmatic,” conclusory, or rigid than your propaganda, and that, unlike you, I am unafraid to debate recognized authorities in International Law, which I have studied informally.

        Both Fred and I have been civil in the face of arguments that you refuse to answer in reasonable tones, particularly in the face of Gene Shulman’s repeated factual misrepresentations, defamation and insults. I have never seen Gene post anything substantively accurate, or civil, and to reiterate, he does nothing significant, other than to parrot his master.

      • Richard Falk October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

        Alan Dershowitz is a criminal law specialist not an international law expert. He is know for his
        vicious attacks, in Skolnik style, on critics of Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian
        people, and trying, sometimes successfully to destroy the career of such critics. He is openly identified
        with support for Trump and the rightest wing of the settler movement.

        It can be fully responsible to disagree with my understanding of international law in the context of the
        Israel/Palestine struggle, but to act as if I do not understand this branch of law after teaching at the
        leading universities and that you and Fred have the clear opposite answers is so far from the domain of
        reasonable discussion as to be not worth the trouble of addressing.

        If you both continue in this vein, submitting mean-spirited and demeaning insults tied to Israeli propaganda
        positions (as in how you deal with Gaza fence protests), I will resume blocking, which I regret to do. But the
        alternative is worse.

      • Mike 71 October 5, 2018 at 1:45 am #

        As usual, you mischaracterize the positions of your critics. Prof. Dershowitz is a critic of “settlements,” President Trump and the current Israeli government. As a criminal law specialist, he, no doubt, appreciates that the doctrine of self defense, as applied in criminal law, is analogous to that incorporated in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter. You taught criminal law at Ohio State, which should provide you some understanding of that concept. If any of Prof. Dershowitz attacks on critics were “vicious,” they were likely only those aimed at both traditional and contemporary anti-Semites.

        As to your purported concern for the lives of Palestinians, you continue to maintain your silence regarding the estimated 4,000 recently murdered by Basher Assad in the Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus. Can you explain that? Is that perhaps because their deaths cannot be attributed to Israel, thus serving no anti-Israel purpose?

        I try to be civil in the face of what former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird characterized as your “mean spirited anti-Semitic rhetoric,” regarding your attribution of the Boston Marathon killings to Israel. Perhaps, some day you will learn that being uncivil induces uncivil responses. A word to the wise should be sufficient, but time will tell!

      • Fred Skolnik October 3, 2018 at 12:01 am #

        Of course it invalidates them, Gene. My denials are based on fact. Your allegations are based on opinion pieces and second-hand sources that you are totally unequipped to evaluate or verify, though most often you are just stamping your feet and cursing. I am not Einstein but I call this the empty shell syndrome, which describes you perfectly. I repeat myself because Prof. Falk repeats himself. My language is no different from yours and even milder as your animosity and resentment takes hold of you and even than Prof. Falk’s as his frustration grows as a result of having the holes in his knowledge and reasonimg pointed out to him. The least offensive but most incisive of my remarks get censored. I have pointed out these holes below. Prof. Falk has pressed the delete button. If someone pointed out the holes in my arguments, I would certainly respond. That is one of the difference between us. Prof. Falk does not like to be challenged. He prefers a controlled environment. That is why he refused to debate Alan Dershowitz and that is why he refuses to debate the issues point by point in these comments. I am now waiting for Prof. Falk to post what he has censored and repudiate your moronic and malicious “allegation” that Israel is guilty of genocide in Libya, Syria and Yemen. I am also expecting him to allow me to reply to you so that even if you are a protected species you won’t get the idea that you can get away with using this kind of language. The little ploy of announcing in advance that you will not answer what you know you will not be able to answer doesn’t fool anyone.

      • Richard Falk October 4, 2018 at 12:53 am #

        Unless you cease your insulting language and dogmatic Israeli propaganda I will resume blocking by
        popular demand. Also, limit the number of response, and try, at least, to adopt a tone of civility.

  9. Fred Skolnik October 2, 2018 at 12:17 am #

    The lame sarcasms aren’t going to work, Beau. Did you recalculate that $10 billion a year in aid yet? Did you put together that portfolio of your outraged responses to the real genocides and human rights violations taking place all around the world? No? Just the Jews? So I’m not wrong about you after all!

    • Beau Oolayforos October 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

      Dear Sir,

      Your commentary, and that of your colleague, seem oddly personal. These are public, not private issues. Do I owe you some kind of resume, or portfolio? Read the message, sir, and respect the messenger’s privacy. Still, I must admit that being called an anti-Semite, for the first time in my life, is highly amusing to me, just as it will be to all my much-esteemed Jewish classmates, co-workers, and friends.

      • Fred Skolnik October 4, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

        You are wrong again. The subject of this post is whether criticism of Israel is a new form of antisemitism. That is certainly a personal issue. I am pointing out that someone who habitually goes after Israel and no one else in the world such as it is is naturally going to arouse suspicion.

      • Richard Falk October 4, 2018 at 10:53 pm #

        If you check my bibliography you would find that criticism of Israel is a very
        small part of my work, and issues ranging from the Turkish massacres in 1915 to
        South African racism were much more central until I was appointed to UN position
        in 2014, and was obligated to focus on Israel. I defy you to find a preoccupation
        with Israel in my earlier activity that goes back to 1955. So much for your constant refrain, direct and indirect, of Jew hatred, which is nothing less than a smear, and
        you should know it if you really want to protect Jews from anti-Semitism.
        Further, the fact that you deal with Arabs more than I does not make you more sensitive
        to their suffering.

      • Fred Skolnik October 4, 2018 at 11:37 pm #

        I have never said that you personally have not spoken up on other issues. I refer specifically to people popping up in the Comments section here, wondering if they they have expressed such strong feelings anywhere else. I have also not accused you of Jew hatred. I have explicitly discussed Jewish hostility to the State of Israel on a number of occasions. But as I have also said on a number of occasions, there are certainly antisemites in the world and they are cerainly more than likely to be Israel haters as well I have also characterized what the signs of antisemitism are in a givem piece of Israel criticism.

      • Fred Skolnik October 5, 2018 at 6:31 am #

        And once again, regarding insulting language, it is actually you yourself who set the tone here with your first comment above, referring to me as “either ignorant or mendacious” and later to Mike’s “twisted reasoning.” This was about as bad as it got, on either side, until Mr. Schulman went into his toilet mode.

  10. Fred Skolnik October 2, 2018 at 12:36 am #

    Prof. Falk

    Your refusal to remove your endorsement of Mr. Schulman’s insane assertion that Israel is guilty of genocide in Libya, Syria and Yemen does you very little credit. This too is now going to be part of your resume.

    And by the way, what is “polemical,” or false, about my characterization of antisemites? Do you think the ADL survey is a fabrication? that there are no antisemites in the world today? that there are no antisemites among Israel’s “critics”? You know better.

    All sovereign states have a national identity, irrespective of the circumstances under which they were established. The national identity of Israel is Jewish, in the same way that the national identity of Turkey is Turkish and Spain Spanish. This is self-evident, and you yourself acknowledge this when you argue that Israel should not be what it is, namely a Jewish state.

    The partition plan did not victimize, displace or dispossess anyone. The suffering of the Palestinians is a direct result of the war initiated by the Arabs in 1948, just as the suffering of the Germans is a direct result of the war initiated by their leaders in 1939.

    And once again, don’t get overly pious with your “humility” and “empathy.” As I said, I have had more human contact with Arabs in a month than you will have had in a lifetime. Those whose declared aim is to murder me and my family are my enemies and I will treat them as such. For you the Palestinians are an abstraction. Not for me.

    Your responses now consist entirely of characterizations of me or my arguments and a few untenable mantras that I have time and again shown to be false. You are proving yourself to be totally at a loss when pressed on any point. If the truth is really your object, I will be happy to discuss the conflict point by point, but without your usual escape hatch.

    Point 1

    I say that the establishment of the State of Israel in a portion of Mandatory Palestine where there was a majority of Jews was totally justified, given the nature of the claims made by the two parties, one based on historical attachment, the other on conquest (as enunciated by Azzam Pasha of the Arab League).

    • Fred Skolnik October 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm #

      A little heat and you run away. If you don’t wish to be challenged, close down your Comments section. If you don’t expect to be challenged, given the slanderous nature of your blogsite, you are totally divorced from reality.

  11. Fred Skolnik October 4, 2018 at 2:17 am #

    Calling responses to your assertions dogmatic when your own assertions are dogmatic and every questionable allegation that is challenged a “smear tactic” and language no different from the language of your admirers and even your own uncivil exposes perfectly the double standard you unfailingly employ. I’ll close (unless there are further provocations) by asking you what kind of response you expect, for example, to a slanderous allegation that Israel is guilty of genocide in Libya, Syria and Iraq and why you yourself do not repudiate it instead of giving it your blessing. Otherwise, I’ll note that this recourse of yours to “interpretation” only underscores the paucity of demonstrable facts in your assertions.

    • Fred Skolnik October 4, 2018 at 2:48 am #

      That is, “Libya, Syria and Yemen.”

  12. Gene Schulman October 4, 2018 at 6:57 am #

    I think Fred’s Zionist handlers must be paying him by the word. Otherwise, why would he keep repeating himself over and over? I mean, one might think he would have to go to the toilet sometime during the day. Or does he save it up to spew out here?

    • Mike 71 October 4, 2018 at 8:05 am #

      As usual, this is another one of Gene’s gratuitous insults, and one of his most juvenile ones yet. As usual, Gene is full of himself, and full of something else which I need not specify here!

  13. Fred Skolnik October 4, 2018 at 7:55 am #

    Again, Prof. Falk? You’re giving your pet a lot of leeway.

    And what exactly is it about my last remark that frightens you? What you are saying by your silence is that your animus toward Israel is so powerful that you can’t even bring yourself to exonerate it when an allegation (Libya, Syria, Yemen) is patently false. The words just won’t come out of your mouth.

    One thing I grant you. You understand the nature of blogspeak a lot better than I do. I am used to addressing any challenge to an argument that I make. You understand that on a blogsite you can get away with ignoring whatever is unanswerable and make the same untenable assertion even a day or two later on the same post, knowing that what went before will have been completely forgotten.

    • Gene Schulman October 4, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

      Compare my ‘gratuitous insults’ to the cesspool of what you and your obedient cohort intentionally (and gratuitously) spill on Richard Falk in every one of your long repetitive nonsensical arguments. If he doesn’t respond to your challenges, it’s only because you who snarlingly twists the history and facts, he has done so many times before, and finds it of no use debating with an attack dog. Calm down, Fido.

      • Gene Schulman October 5, 2018 at 8:30 am #


        I apologize to Fred for drawing on my access to external sources, in this case Counterpunch (again), to counter his non-arguments. I think, however, that Stanley Cohen’s piece helps put paid to all the Zionist nonsense Fred believes in. I know he’ll slough it off, but perhaps other readers of this blog might find it of interest.

        Also, I would like to mention a recent incident with my young(er) Israeli friend from Tel Aviv, who was passing through Geneva last week and stopped in for lunch with us. I met T**** several years ago while he was studying for his MBA here at the university. We became pals and he became a member of our dining club, until he moved back to the ME and worked for several NGOs over the years. Now he’s a yuppie swinger in Tel Aviv. When I asked him what he thought of the Gaza massacre, and how his compatriots looked at it, he said, ‘Aw, no one pays attention to that. It’s not in their orbit of thought.’ That kind of shocked me, but taught me how average Israelis think, especially from someone I had known as a liberal, democratic, young thinker. Sad.

  14. Kata Fisher October 5, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    I am afraid that with everything that is going on in Holy Land – is best to accept it in the frameworks of Buddhism.

    When we start developing aversions and indifference for what is going on in Holy Land – we most likely lose our humanity and/or become more spiritual.

    Once again, in frameworks of Buddhism – we see what is now.

    Spiritual people are neither impacted by their suffering or sufferings of others. That does not mean that they do not have conscience awareness about suffering.

    What is taking place in Holy Land should be actually realized what it is – inhabitance in the land given over to the devil, and will only see small amount of people, and then larger getting heck out of there.

    After all, it is and will be said:

    Do not ever go there.


    • Mike 71 October 7, 2018 at 1:13 am #

      Dear Kata,

      I understand your concern for Prof. Falk’s safety. I’m absolutely certain that he will heed your advice about traveling to the Middle-East. About 10 years ago, he boarded a flight to Israel and the Israeli authorities were so concerned for his safety, as well as the safety of their own people, that they immediately sent him back home!

      The position of the Israeli government on “Just War Theory” is set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: See: http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/war/

      • Richard Falk October 7, 2018 at 3:04 am #

        With this comment you have again reached a deadens on this website. I have tried to accommodate
        your views, but your invective and personally insulting style is below even my low standards of civility.

  15. Fred Skolnik October 6, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

    Prof. Falk

    If you are going to prevent me from replying to the haters, please omit any mention of my name on your website.

    • Richard Falk October 7, 2018 at 3:06 am #

      I will accede to your wishes. And from my viewpoint your use of the word ‘haters’
      for those who oppose your dogmatism is an excellent exhibit of why I have decided
      once more to block comments that fall below my modest standards of civility. I do
      this reluctantly.

      • Fred Skolnik October 7, 2018 at 3:49 am #

        It is certainly justifiable to call someone a hater who uses extreme language with reference to Jews or Israel. Accusing Israel of genocide in Libya, Syria and Yemen or referring to Israel as Nazilike reveals a deep-seated animosity that goes far beyond reasoned discourse. As for the dogmatism, are you completely unaware of your own?

      • Fred Skolnik October 7, 2018 at 5:58 am #

        And to make this even clearer to you, the haters are not “opposing” anything that I or anyone else is saying but just pitching in with their own malicious allegations. I realize also that you only regard as offensive what you see as personally insulting, and that is simply because you are totally alienated from anything larger than yourself – country, countrymen, kinsmen, even family as you once expressed it, substituting an abstract “humanity,” which demands the least emotional commitment and therefore will never cause you to be “offended” on its behalf. I, on the other hand, never feel insulted by personal remarks but am deeply offended by slanderous remarks directed at the country and people I identify with and to whom, unlike you, I am deeply attached.

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