7 Jul

[PREFATORY NOTE: The Declaration on Apartheid below is an initiative initiated by the wellknown
Tunisian mathematician, Ahmed Abbes, and endorsed by scholars and artists worldwide. If impressed
please distribute widely as there is a campaign underway to reach 1,000 signatures.]

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
6 juillet |

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Over 700 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries have signed the following declaration calling for the dismantling of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants all its inhabitants equal rights and duties. The signatories include many distinguished figures, including the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, academics with legal expertise Monique Chemillier-Gendreau and Richard Falk, scholars Étienne Balibar, Hagit Borer, Ivar Ekeland, Suad Joseph, Jacques Rancière, Roshdi Rashed and Gayatri Spivak, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, composer Brian Eno, musician Roger Waters, author Ahdaf Soueif, economist and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Sir Richard Jolly, South African politician and veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils and Canadian peace activist and former national leader of the Green Party of Canada Joan Russow.

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
Whereas :

1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity ;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people ; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law ;

3-The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, Adalah, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people rather than limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017] ;

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic ;

5- Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.

Considering :

i- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates in its first article that ’all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ And taking account that the inalienable right of self-determination is common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, and as such, a legal and ethical entitlement of all peoples.

ii- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which stipulates in Article I that ’apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.’ The States Parties to this Convention undertake in accordance with Article IV :
_ “(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime ;
_ “(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.”

The endorsers of this document :

A- Declare their categorical rejection of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and exiles wherever they might be in the world.

B- Call for the immediate dismantling of this apartheid regime and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants and implements on all the inhabitants of this land equal rights and duties, regardless of their racial, ethnic, and religious identities, or gender preferences, and which respects and enforces international law and human conventions, and in particular gives priority to the long deferred right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their towns and villages during the creation of the State of Israel, and subsequently.

C- Urge their governments to cease immediately their complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime, to join in the effort to call for the dismantling of apartheid structures and their replacement by an egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.

D- Call for the establishment of a National Commission of Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability to accompany the transition from apartheid Israel to a governing process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. In the interim, until such a process is underway, issue a call for the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation of Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Endorsed by 723 academics, artists and intellectuals on July 8, 2021 (click here for the full list), including

Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
Sinan Antoon, New York University, United States
John Avery, Writer, Denmark
Bertrand Badie, Sciences Po Paris, France
Étienne Balibar, Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, United Kingdom
Anthony Barnett, Writer, United Kingdom
Edmond Baudoin, Auteur de bandes dessinées, France
George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law/Professor, musician, United States
Nicolas Boeglin, Professor of Public International Law, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Hagit Borer, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Council of Elders of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland
Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, United States
Anouar Brahem, Musician, Composer, Tunisia
Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, France
Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library, United Kingdom
Hafidha Chekir, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, Al Manar University, Tunis ; Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Tunisia
Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Professeure émérite de droit public et de sciences politiques, Université Paris-Diderot, France
David Comedi, National University of Tucumán and National Research Council, Argentina
Laurent Cugny, Professeur, Sorbonne Université, France
Eric David, Emeritus Professor of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Professeure émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
Ivar Ekeland, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
Brian Eno, Artist/Composer, United Kingdom
Adolfo Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980 (Nobel Peace Prize 1980), Argentina
Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
Emmanuel Farjoun, Emeritus Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Jan Fermon, Avocat. Secrétaire général Association Internationale des Juristes Démocrates, Belgium
Domenico Gallo, Chamber President in Supreme Court of Cassazione, Italy
Irene Gendzier, Prof Emeritus in the Dept Political Science, Boston University, United States
Catherine Goldstein, Director of Research, Paris, France
Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Sondra Hale, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, United States
Judith Herrin, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Présidente d’honneur de l’association EJE (Gaza), France
Shir Hever, Political Economist, Germany
Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Boston College Center for Human Rights & International Justice, United States
Moshé Machover, Mathematician, KCL, United Kingdom
Kate Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Ireland
Dick Marty, Dr. Jur. Dr. H.c., former Chair of the Committee of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland
Georg Meggle, Philosopher, Prof. em. at University of Leipzig, Germany
Jan Oberg, DrHc, peace and future researcher, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus professor, Sorbonne University, France
Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University ; Visiting Professor, The Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the center for Middle East Studies, Brown Universities, United States
Karine Parrot, Professeure de droit à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
Ghislain Poissonnier, Magistrate, France
Susan Power, Head of Legal Research and Advocacy, Al-Haq, Palestine
Prabir Purkayastha, Editor,, India
Jacques Rancière, Professeur émérite, Université Paris 8, France
Roshdi Rashed, CNRS/Université de Paris, France
Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London, United Kingdom
Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita Sociology University of Bradfor, United Kingdom
Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, United States
Alice Rothchild, MD, retired, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, United States
Joan Russow, Researcher, Global Compliance Research Project, Canada
Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Leila Shahid, Former Ambassador of Palestine, Palestine
Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker – Essayist, France
John Smith, Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London, United Kingdom
Nirit Sommerfeld, Singer, actress, writer, Germany
Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University, United States
Jonathan Steele, Author and journalist, United Kingdom
Annick Suzor-Weiner, Professor emeritus, Université Paris-Saclay, France
Salim Tamari, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine
Virginia Tilley, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States
Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Roger Waters, Musician, United Kingdom
Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, United Kingdom
John Womack jr, Harvard University, United States
* Institutional affiliations are given only for identification purposes

* The full list of signatories is available here.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Version française ; versión en español ; versione italiana ; النسخة العربية

Plus de 600 universitaires et artistes appellent au démantèlement du régime d’apartheid en Palestine historique
Signataires de la Déclaration sur l’élimination et la répression du crime d’apartheid en Palestine historique
Qui était Edward Said ? Une interprétation biographique, un souvenir existentiel
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  1. roberthstiver July 8, 2021 at 12:22 am #

    A great read and initiative. Might readers be provided a website via which joining the list of signatories will be possible?

  2. A6er July 8, 2021 at 3:39 am #

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

  3. janfrie July 8, 2021 at 4:13 pm #

    Yes .. a link to the petition would be appreciated. I have been unable to find it on the web.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin July 12, 2021 at 6:12 pm #

        Back when I was a teenager many years ago, my high school ran a “Model United Nations Day”. Participating students would show up in our Sunday best to spend hours grappling with big issues by exchanging big words which we were sure communicated big ideas to a world that desperately needed to hear them. But alas, despite our commitment and enthusiasm, the resolutions emerging from these sessions were most often unhelpful at best, and might have been dangerous had anyone outside our small circle of friends had taken them seriously.

        I was reminded of our Model United Nations while reading “Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine”, a manifesto written by a young Tunisian mathematician currently being shopped around by Prof. Falk. It calls for “the immediate dismantling of [Israel’s] apartheid regime…”. A casual reader might assume that the document calls for changes in the status quo that respond to the Palestinians’ rights and independence in the context of a two state solution. That would be an error. As Prof. Falk has repeatedly made clear, his aim is to eliminate (or “dismantle) the State of Israel, replacing it with a single state encompassing all of historical Palestine and Gaza which would be ruled by a Palestinian majority that has demonstrated little interest in the well-being of the Jewish inhabitants. Indeed, Hamas, the faction Prof. Falk champions, explicitly states in its National Covenant a commitment to killing Zionists and destroying their state.

        There’s a history here. Countless attempts have been made through the ages to wipe out Jews and their institutions. This is the latest. But where this “Declaration” most resembles our teenage resolutions is that it pays zero attention to how this would come about; the impact an “immediate” radical structuring of the security, political, economic psychological security would have on everybody—Palestinian and Israeli— as well as on the region.

        My sense is that Prof. Falk doesn’t really care about those details. His singular aim is to eliminate Israel. Full stop. If what happens afterward is bad, he’ll blame it on the United States, Sunni Muslim states, etc. But I believe that at least some of the people who signed the document do care…as do I. I believe that Palestinians and Israelis are “entitled to egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.” I believe this can be achieved in the context of two states living in peaceful co-existence, which can be realized if the Palestinians can reach a politically viable consensus for accepting Israel’s legitimacy, and the Israelis break the stranglehold right-wing extremists have on the state’s policies toward Palestinians. These two requirements are transactional: change for the better on one side will inspire change for the better on the other.
        For years, I’ve supported Israeli institutions working to end the Occupation and enhance the quality of life for the two million Palestinians who live inside Israel with full Israeli citizenship. I invite those who signed the Declaration to take the same tack regarding Hamas and smaller Jihadist groups.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk July 13, 2021 at 12:28 am #

        Rabbi Youdovin:

        It is no surprise that you dislike this Declaration, but in your efforts to discredit it by discrediting me you indulged your imagination, and
        neglected reality, and in this sense you are disseminating fake news Trump style. For starters, Ahmed Abbas is not a young
        mathematician, but an acclaimed figure in his field of middle age with a world reputation. Also, I do not favor Hamas nor do I have
        a ‘solution’ for the future that I am ready to impose on the two peoples. I believe firmly, and have always written to this effect, that the guiding principle is one of self-determination, which even the UN cannot override as it did in 1947 when it supported the partition of Palestine without consulting the resident population. It is true that I believe the evolving nature of Hamas as a political actor has been misrepresented since 2006 but that does not mean I would prefer their version of self-determination for the Palestinian people. When Hamas was punished by a prolonged blockade along with the people of Gaza for winning an internationally monitored election that Washington had urged Hamas to take part in if it wanted to avoid its ‘terrorist’ identity, than it was deliberately pushed to choose between resistance and surrender . My own conversations with Hamas leaders convinced me that the organization wanted to abandon its earlier tactics, and eagerly sought a long-term ceasefire and a political path to reach its nationalist goals, and let Israel know this, but received no response. As for Israel, if it can find a way to govern that does not depend on proclaiming Jewish supremacy as a foundation of its constitutional order as made explicit in the 2018 Basic Law and can accommodate Palestinian basic rights, finding a formula so that the Jewish people can co-exist with other peoples on the basis of equality, including with respect to rights of return, property ownership, and so forth. My views are not very different than those reached recently by B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch on the question of apartheid. and its implications. The main difference is that in my UN study Virginia Tilley we conceptualized apartheid in relation to PEOPLE rather than LAND so as to make it inclusive of refugees/exiles, victims of dispossession and displacement at the time of the Nakba and Naksa.

        I respectfully suggest that you stick to the realities of my position if you have any interest in dialogue rather than falsely attributing views to me that have nothing whatsoever to do with my actual beliefs. I thought you mature enough to distinguish debaters’ tricks from dialogue!

  4. Fred Skolnik July 13, 2021 at 1:21 am #

    It is almost “admirable” that out of the millions and tens of millions of scholars, artists and intellectuals in the world the promoters have managed to scrape together 700 willing to affix their names to this shameless perversion of both history and language. And from over 40 countries no less. That makes an average of around 18 per country. Nice work! And so much for your “growing number” of people hopping on the bandwagon and coming out as Israel haters.

    There is no historic Palestine. There is an historic Land of Israel that the Arabs coming out of the Arabian Desert conquered in the seventh century in a rampage of rape, massacre and forced conversion. “Palaestina” was the name given by the Romans to the province of Judea after their own conquest to obscure its connection to the Jews, and was revived after 2000 years by the British under the Mandate.

    “Naqba” (“disaster”), a word later coopted by the Palestinians, was how the attacking Arab states described their failed effort in 1948 to destroy the State of Israel and massacre its Jewish population.

    Israel does not “unleash violence” any more that the Allies did in World War II. It responds to barbaric terrorist attacks as any other country would.

    Israel’s Arabs are a national minority with all this entails, like the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, and infinitely better off, as attested by their declared refusal to live under Palestinian sovereignty under any land swap. West Bank Arabs are living under military occupation as a result of the war initiated by Jordan for the reasons Hussein explained very clearly in his book about the war. To label any of this as apartheid, along with the rest of the wild language of the Declaration, in a malicious effort to criminalize and delegitimize the State of Israel, reveals more about the haters than it does about Israel.

    The proposal to dismantle and Syrianize the State of Israel with the inevitable results, which any reasonably informed 12-year-old child could predict, could only be made by totally irresponsible people who do not consider themselves accountable for the consequences of their proposals, just as they didn’t in Syria itself after urging the West “not to intervene,” at a price of 500,000 dead Syrians. In another time, people of integrity who gave such disastrous advice fell on their swords. Today they run to the blog sites to polemicize or return to their cushy university jobs with a shrug of their shoulders..

    The Palestinians could have had a state at almost any time since 1947. The response of the Arab League in 1947 was “nations don’t concede or compromise, they fight,” and the response of the Arab League in 1967 was “no negotiations, no recognition, no peace.”

    If any of you disagree with me, please correct me, point by point, from beginning to end, so that you won’t be able to slide around what is unanswerable.

    • Sean Breathnach July 15, 2021 at 1:56 am #

      “What is it that you expect Palestinians to reconcile themselves to? There comes a time when even the most stubborn have to recognize that appeals to colonized people for peace and patience are nothing more than demands to surrender and accept their subjugation.
      I hope that an increasing number of Americans see Israel’s latest blatant program of ethnic cleansing and its vicious attack on Gaza as instances of colonialist violence that has never and will never stop within the Zionist project.
      I hope they see that it is simply wrong to expect, let alone demand, that Palestinians wait any longer to overturn, by any means necessary, the system of apartheid in which their homes, lands, hopes, and lives are just not as important as those of Jewish settlers. I hope, and think, they understand that the time for hemming and hawing is over. Way over.
      This is not a conflict between Israel and Hamas, but between the whole Zionist movement—which includes all the forces mentioned above—and the whole Palestinian people. It is a fight that pits enormous, well-coordinated, military, financial, and political power against the enormous, but still ill-organized, power of millions of people.
      I know it seems impossible to imagine the defeat of Zionism, but we have to recognize both the reality and fragility of Zionist power.
      Yes, Israel has the fourth-largest army in the world, with nuclear weapons, and the support of the Imperial High Command in Washington. Yes, per Bresheeth-Žabner, “Israelis, of left, right and center, do not doubt that they can continue to oppress and suppress Palestinians with impunity.” Yes, “Palestinians have been abandoned by the west, by the Arabs, by Israeli liberals, and by liberals the world over.” And, yes, after securing the betrayal of a few Arab monarchies, Jared Kushner crowed, “We are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.” So, Mission Accomplished?
      Problem is, there’s those seven million Palestinians whose lives Israel must control, and who, despite being betrayed by Arab countries, ignored by Western liberals, and crushed again and again by arrogant Israelis armed with American-supplied weapons and impunity, just won’t stop rebelling against their subjugation. The impossible-to-ignore breadth of betrayal itself, capped off by the accelerated ethnic cleansing that, it is now evident, none of them can escape, has only created unprecedented Palestinian unity and solidarity. Even the streets of ‘48 Israel are burning with rage. Israel has erased the Green Line, and the Palestinian General Strike has forgotten it.
      As David Hearst says, the Abraham Accords—Netanyahu and Trump’s gambit “that opening relations with Arab states was the means by which he could bypass a Palestinian state and ignore Palestinian rights”—have been revealed as a “delusion,” and the Arab signatories to be fools as well as traitors. Add to that the always-obvious but always-ignored fact that, as Sharmine Narwani put it: “Strip away the spin and the gloss, and you quickly realize that Israel doesn’t even have the basics of a normal state. After 64 [now 73] years, it doesn’t have borders. … and it needs a gargantuan military just to stop Palestinians from walking home.” Add to that the fact that the deceptive historical and ethical narrative of Zionism has been exposed and discredited for everyone who peers outside the mainstream media Overton window—and that’s too many people. Israel’s feared “de-legitimization” has already left the barn; Gaza and Sheikh Jarrah are just sealing the door.
      All of which makes it possible for Hearst to say: “The project to establish Israel as a Jewish state has never been in more peril than it is now, when it thinks it is on the cusp of victory.” After all, Israel, as the “regime of Jewish supremacy,” depends on a program of brutally colonizing seven million people forever, with the necessary acceptance and approval of the rest of the world. History has some lessons about that. “No justice, no peace,” isn’t just a slogan; it’s political analysis. Given who has what to lose in the actual context, if those seven million Palestinians continually rile thing up and make life uncomfortable for their colonial masters, there’ll be a lot of the latter re-settling on the East Bank. Of the Hudson.
      Like Hearst, I have favored words like “project” and “enterprise” over “state” because I also see an Israeli state as the unfinished project of the Zionist enterprise. As I’ve remarked before, the question: “Does Israel have a right to exist?”—which we rightfully deconstruct as demanding our ratification of the colonial ethnic cleansing whereby Zionists have established 1948 Israel, should really be deconstructed further. It is not about the past, but the present and the future. It is actually asking—and that is why Zionists are so insistent on getting our answer—“Will Israel exist?” It is asking: “Do you accept the legitimacy of Zionists to be establishing a colonial-settler Jewish State, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, brutally enforced submission, and all?” The settlers’ motto is “Finish ’48!” Because the Nakba isn’t over, and never will be. Just look.

      Israel does not yet exist, because seven million Palestinians still do. And we have to be aware, as Bresheeth-Žabner warns us, that: “Israel has been preparing for many years for a window of political opportunity – a historical juncture which will enable it to vacate Palestine of most of its remaining indigenous population.” We cannot let this uprising or the next become Zionism’s next big opportunity.
      Every American is engaged in this fight now, and must make a choice—because their government has already made one for them, the choice for Zionism, which silence and inaction ratify. The clear and simple choice we all make is either to continue to support Israeli Zionism, which is colonialism, ethno-religious supremacy, and apartheid, or to oppose and defeat it.
      Don’t overcomplicate it. It really is a simple choice. This is Zionism:”
      Copied from; ‘Apartheid does not have the right to defend itself, or to exist’ by Jim Kavanagh. The full article here:

      • Richard Falk July 15, 2021 at 3:21 am #

        For reasons I don’t understand and certain do not agree with WordPress refuses to give its approval to this important comment of
        yours. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Fred Skolnik July 15, 2021 at 4:27 am #

        Dear Prof. Falk

        When I saw this big block of writing I thought that someone had actually rolled up his sleeves to address the issues in a substantive way, but it turns out to be a kind of rant woven around all the au courant catch-phrases – wouldn’t you agree? – so why is it posted as a reply to me?

      • roberthstiver July 15, 2021 at 9:36 am #

        “Like!” Yes, I *like!” your superlative contribution to this post by the admirable Professor/Dr. Falk! As an American too-often sadly and reluctantly complicit with the belligerent-and-malign machinations of “the Imperial High Command in Washington,” I thank you as I thank Jim Kavanagh for his Counterpunch tour de force. Viva Palestine!

        (If, as I expect, you know your countryman Raymond Deane, longtime pro-Palestine stalwart, please pass my regards to him the next time you meet. We’ve somehow lost contact, but, 10 years or so ago, we were very frequent and cordial correspondents; inter alia, I have at least one CD of Raymond’s classical-music compositions.)

    • Sean Breathnach July 16, 2021 at 5:22 am #

      Dear Fred, I thought that you might like to read what is actually happening on the ground in Israel/Palestine. If you disagree with any of Jim Kavanagh’s article, well please correct it, point by point, so that you won’t be able to slide around what is unanswerable.

      • Fred Skolnik July 17, 2021 at 7:32 am #

        Dear Sean

        Since, unlike Jim Kavanaugh, I live in Israel, I know exactly what is happening on the ground. Unfortunately, aside from the rant, I don’t find any substantive points in the article. If you do, please, list them, one by one, and I will be glad to address them.

  5. Fred Skolnik July 14, 2021 at 1:22 am #

    Yes, you can use the delete button to keep your readers from seeing what a sham the Declaration is, but you can’t keep yourself from reading every word I wrote and that’s good enough for me. Good luck with the rationalizations. You’ll only be fooling yourself/

    • Richard Falk July 14, 2021 at 2:22 am #

      Please resend, and I will post. It seems I unintentionally put it in the. spam folder, or possibly a result of the WordPress filter
      or my subconscious.

      • Fred Skolnik July 14, 2021 at 2:35 am #

        It is now posted above. Thank you.

  6. Fred Skolnok July 16, 2021 at 7:27 am #

    To put a cap on things, Prof. Falk, if I may.

    I understand the Arab point of view perfectly. They have expressed it often enough. They conquered the Middle East in the name of Allah and believe that all of it consequently belongs to them. What I don’t understand is your point of view. Certainly you don’t believe that conquest in the name of Allah grants a nation sovereign rights. How then do you conclude that the Land of Israel belongs in toto to the Arabs? In the early 1880s, when Zionist settlement began, there were at the most 450,000 Arabs living under Turkish rule in a territory that today accommodates nearly 15 million people with room for more. Surely enough territory to accommodate two peoples. What is more, the Arab population had no sovereign aspirations, thought of themselves as living in Greater or Southern Syria (using the term “homeland” [“biladi”] only with reference to their individual villages) and considered themselves an inseparable and indistinguishable part of the Arab nation. In 1947, they numbered 1.2 million and the Jews numbered 600,000. Each made a claim, one side on the basis of historic origins, the other on the basis of conquest (and you can be sure that the intention of the surrounding Arab countries was each to take a piece, as Jordan did). The partition plan gave the Jews a majority in the territory allotted to them – indeed 55% of the whole but half of it a desert (the Negev), meaning that they received half as much habitable land as the Arabs. What on earth can any fair-minded person find objectionable about this? I am asking you this in all seriousness.

  7. Fred Skolnik July 18, 2021 at 8:51 am #

    Prof. Falk, are you really censoring my reply to Sean where I ask him to list the substantive “points” in the Kavanaugh article, of which I myself see no evidence but rather a jargonized rant, and untertake to reply to each of them.

    • Richard Falk July 18, 2021 at 9:57 pm #

      No censorship. In my opinion, yours is the ‘jargonized rant’ and Kavanagh’s essay is persuasive and eloquent counter-narrative that incorporates the best of law and morality to depict the fundamental flaws of the Zionist project. I find your comfort zone to reflect
      delusional thinking common in all racist political arrangements.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin July 20, 2021 at 7:55 am #

        Jim Kavanaugh:

        You write: “I think my article says everything I want to say about this subject…” Prof. Falk suggests that you expand your piece into a small book. My request is simpler: “What would you have Israel do? Or…”What would you have the world do to Israel?

        “End Apartheid” is a slogan, not a plan or a program. You appear to leave Israeiis no alternative to either going back to where they came from or living under the rule of an Arab majority that has never accepted their presence. Either way is tantamount to committing suicide, You say the Palestinians have the right to fight using “every means necessary.” That’s a pretty broad spectrum: nuclear weapons? Bio-chemical weapons? Suicide bombers? Hi-jacking airplanes filled with innocent people? Or shooting them in the airport? This expects this in a rant, but not in a reasoned analyis.

        You seem to be advocating Jihad. Is that what you want?

        You ask rhetorically whether Israel has the right to exist, but then fudge the answer with double talk. It’s a simple question. If your answer is “No, Israel has no right to exist and nothing is off the table in seeking its destruction” then just say it, so we’ll know where you stand and whether conversation is possible. You write : “No justice, no peace,” isn’t just a slogan; it’s political analysis.” I agree, but suggest that it cuts two ways. A just and viable resolution to the conflict demands justice for both Israelis and Palestinians which entails negotiation and compromise on both sides.

        Jihad is not a rational alternative, especially when a better one exists. My question to you is: can the Palestinians overcome their internal dysfunction to achieve a consensus on what they want for their own future and the future of their region? If a proposal of this nature is presented for negotiation, we will have a real test of whether your analysis of Zionist history and ideology is accurate.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Sean Breathnach July 21, 2021 at 3:33 am #

        Dear Ira,

        I know your questions are not to me, but my simply short answer to you would be, Israel first needs to treat Palestinians like human beings. When that happens everything else will fall into line.

      • Kata Fisher July 20, 2021 at 11:47 pm #

        Nothing depends on planed works. All depends what God does and has done while humanity is snoring. There are ten DO NOT’S in the Scripture. Therefore, they can start to do 10 DO NOT. To end apartheid, and just to start with … just remove the armed folks from the holy city and the TEMPLE! This can’t happen because some of the folks is all up to hoardings of stuff to rebuild the temple. Where the temple is suppose to be? And really, should be they doing that, at all? By all means if the third temple suppose to be built and is not already standing in Jerusalem – they can go on with their plans that are absolutely ridicules in this point in time. Wild things start happening when obnoxious and just Moran lay-people start with interpreting Scriptures that are written and rewritten for preservation, and are messing with not discerned writings in Church age. I don’t do superstition – but I will not refrain from saying “good luck to ya’all.” … and should do that with nose stuck up! ( it looks just great to me.) I, too, get to get my portion of obnoxiousness! How much land can one hoard on, and for what purpose?

      • Kata Fisher July 21, 2021 at 10:55 pm #

        The Temple of Ezekiel suppose to look like a human. It suppose to have a structural head. But where exactly is it or suppose to be? Or where it suppose to be? There is a part of the temple (a future temple) in Jerusalem. + the hoarded on things? Let’s just keep all obnoxious lay-people out of this – What it is and what it should be. Just figure out what exactly is there – for sure. Look the scriptures, and I mean ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES there is. Do not be ignorant. K.F.

  8. Rabbi Ira Youdovin July 22, 2021 at 10:44 am #

    Dear Sean,

    While I appreciate the sincerity of your thoughts, I must respond with a single Hebrew word: hah-lah-vai. Roughly translated it means “were it only so”. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entailed only Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians, it could be ended quickly by revisions of Israeli policy. But the situation is far more complicated and involves Palestinian complicity….a fact that Prof. Falk, Jim Kavanaugh and others would have us ignore.

    On a personal note, I used to think much as you do; that Israel could satisfy Palestinian demands by enabling them to live a better life. So did a sizeable Israeli peace camp pressing for a two-state solution. That pressure played a major role in Prime Minister Sharon’s decision to remove every Israeli—soldier and civilian—-from Gaza, affording the Gazans an opportunity to build a better life for themselves. Toward this end, they left behind and undamaged the greenhouses Israeli settlers had built for a lucrative flower-growing industry. Shortly thereafter, Hamas defeated Fatah in a bloody civil war, seized control of Gaza and destroyed the greenhouses to eradicate all traces of Israeli presence, turning the region into a platform for bombarding southern Israel with Iranian supplied missiles, rockets and mortar mounted in densely populated civilian areas.

    And not long thereafter, the Palestinians rejected an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that would have given them upwards of 90 percent of the West Bank with land swaps to make up for the loss, as well as other significant items.

    These and other verifiable facts clearly demonstrate that the root of Palestinian rejectionism lies not in Israeli policy but in Israel’s very existence. Fred Skolnik spells this out in a series of well researched comments on this thread (which Prof. Falk predicably denounces as “delusional thinking common in all racist political arrangements”—thus evading any responsibility for responding with anything other than an ad hominem attack.)

    Please understand that (1) I do not mean to imply that Israel is guiltless. The Occupation is reprehensible and should be ended as soon as possible. But so long as the Palestinian political landscape is dominated by the genocidal aspirations codified in the Hamas Charter (it’s available on line; check it out) withdrawing from the West Bank would risk repeating the Gaza fiasco, this time with Hamas artillery within easy striking range of Israel’s major residential and commercial areas. No rational government anywhere would take that risk.

    And please understand (2) I do not mean to imply that all, or even a majority of the Palestinian people share Hamas’ extremism. The moderates need to consolidate their power in an effective peace camp with leaders who can mobilize centrist opinion to overcome the extremists. The same can be said of the Israelis. Jim Kavanaugh portrays the conflict as a clash of civilizations, a flawed analysis designed to support his call for “dismantling” Israel. In fact, it’s a conflict between extremists on both sides, each of whose bellicosity fuels the other’s.

    Sean, your conclusion is correct but incomplete. If each side can regard the other as comprising human beings with inalienable national rights that can be reconciled through negotiation, then things will fall into place. But it takes BOTH SIDES.


    • Richard Falk July 22, 2021 at 11:18 pm #

      Ira: it takes both sides only AFTER symmetry exists. It takes one side, that of the dominant or oppressor side so long as
      asymmetry is present. Inter-racial peace became possible in South Africa when Mandela was released from prison and
      DeKlerik announced the abandonment of apartheid. Palestinians have no choice but to resist or surrender as long as the
      Zionist mandate is actualized by multiple forms of inequality and discrimination. If you don’t believe me, read the reports
      of B’Tselem, HRW, or read the books of Uri Davis.

      • Fred Skolnik July 23, 2021 at 12:03 am #

        Citing as “proofs” such biased sources as B’Tselem, HRW and Uri Davis (who joined Fatah and converted to Islam) is worse than a bad joke. Of course there is asymmetry after one side wins and the other side loses a war. There was also asymmetry between the Allies and Germany after the Germans lost the war, but they repudiated their Nazi leaders and sought peaceful coexistence. They did not blow up Allied civilians in buses and restaurants and fire rockets at Allied population centers. But even under these circumstances the Allied occupation lasted ten years. In these ten years the Palestinians too could have had an independent state but they very quickly and very unequivocally made their intentions clear. They still can, but the hope that people like yourself are giving them that the State of Israel will vanish can only prolong their misery for another 70 years. If you think otherwise, you are very naive, not to mention uninformed.

      • Richard Falk July 23, 2021 at 10:22 pm #

        Discrediting those you disagree with is not an argument. It is not even respectable polemics.
        The analogy to the WW II occupation of what had been Nazi Germany is a terrible analogy. What
        had the resident population of Palestinian done wrong to justify their permanent displacement and
        dispossession? What other than a biblical claim and a colonialist pledge by the UK foreign office
        legitimated the Zionist Project? Resistance and apartheid inevitably followed.

      • Kata Fisher July 23, 2021 at 8:53 am #

        70 years is a rational number.

        Noting relevant happens when Church age just stops – and everyone is in one boat and don’t know what is going on.

        Two state solution is irrational item, and it is not a house keeping item.

        There are two administrations – to make it clear: its Jewish and is Arab. That will be just fine. You don’t need two states and the borders and all that funky stuff.

        By the way – you will not be forgiven by Palastenian Christians in Holy Land. There are few things that will not be forgiven because they can’t be.

        Helenist/Roman approach will not work in Holy Land – just as same as it has worked in Germany. Palestinians don’t have the Leaders to repudiate.

        Why don’t you make hoarded on Temple material vanish by dumping it on the Abbas- Hamas private property. Let them figure out with finishing what their ancestors have started on the temple grounds.

        Let them figure out the private property on temple ground.

        What you need to do is something very shocking. Just do Temple material dump in someones back yard.

        You don’t need t tear down houses of innocent people that have no idea what is going on. If you inform them – they, too, would be most likely happy to relocate, and vacate holy grounds.

        Let us just not be ignorant, and stupid and not understand all the woe and why. One you understand – you just know.

        I don’t know about you – but don’t be wrong.


      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin July 23, 2021 at 2:45 pm #


        What do you mean by “symmetry”?


      • Richard Falk July 23, 2021 at 10:15 pm #

        By symmetry in my usage here, it is intended to convey a sense of relevant forms of equality
        supportive of motivations for accommodation. Regardless of the justifications for the Zionist
        Project its enactment by way of the permanent displacement and dispossession of the majority
        population needed to be sustained by structures of domination as Arab resistance to such a vision
        of a Jewish state on what had long become a non-Jewish society was blend of colonialism and
        racism, and would encounter resistance as Jabotinsky clearly foresaw, which has by now been widely
        acknowledged to be a form of apartheid, an international crime. The state of Israel and its Jewish
        citizens have now with the passage of time established a right of residence but only if apartheid
        structures and ideology repudiated and dismantled. There will be no sustainable peace until this

      • Fred Skolnik July 24, 2021 at 9:10 am #

        Sorry, Prof. Falk, I am not discrediting anyone as an argument but pointing out the biases of your sources. You should be able to do a little better when you build a case.

        The argument with regard to asymmetry is precisely the Allied occupation of Germany. It is your saying that it is a “terrible analogy” that is not an argument. Tell us why it is “terrible.” Show us a war in which there was not “asymmetry” between the victor and the loser, not that it really matters in the Israel-Arab conflict, as what Israel has offered more than once, which I have enumerated more than once, is perfectly reasonable, the basis being a land swap.

        The Zionist claim or aspiration was certainly not biblical, that is. God-inspired. It was based on the simple fact, which you are certainly aware of, that the Land of Israel was the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Jewish nationalism was no different from any other expression of nationalism in the 19th century. Italy had been dismembered by foreign powers and now wished to reclaim itself, as was the case with the Jews and the Land of Israel. What business did the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders and Ottoman Turks have being there? The only difference was that unlike the Italians the Jews had been dispersed by their conquerors.

        What the resident Arab population did wrong in 1948 was to participate in an aggressive war whose aim was to destroy the State of Israel and massacre its Jewish population. And what did an equal number of Jews displaced from Arab countries in this total war against Israel do wrong to justify the confiscation of everything they owned?

        As I have pointed out the precise demographic realities at the time, why are you repeating the canard about “displacement and dispossession of the majority”?

        There are no apartheid structures in the State of Israel. There is an Arab national minority living under condition no worse and usually far better than national minorities elsewhere. Insisting that a thing doesn’t have to be what it is by definition in order to be called that thing is as arbitrary as calling a table a chair or a car an airplane. It is a shameless perversion of language whose only purpose in to denigrate and criminalize Israel.

      • Fred Skolnik July 24, 2021 at 11:03 am #

        And just to put a finer point on it: Had the Arabs been dispersed from the Arabian Desert and had the Jews subsequently conquered it, and had an Arab movement arisen to reestablish Arab sovereignty in their ancient homeland, would you not have been among the first to support it, just as you would have been among the first to support a movement among American Indians to establish an Indian state in a piece of America where they happened to be in the majority and was in any case sparsely populated? And if you’re going to call this too “a terrible analogy,” please tell us why.

        And by the way, you won’t find me recommending books or reports by extreme right-wing settlers or organizations to prove a point “if you don’t believe me.” Be serious!

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin July 24, 2021 at 9:23 am #



      Your requirement of a priori symmetry reiterates the long-standing Palestinian demand that their demands be met as a prerequisite for negotiations. That’s a recipe for surrender not constructive negotiations. Effective diplomacy entails each side meeting at least the other’s minimal demands. Your plan calls for Israel meeting the Palestinians’ maximal demands while the Palestinians are required to do nothing. That’s not symmetry.

      More revealing is your view that the most the Jews can hope for is a “right of residence”, which is far short of the right to statehood. That thoroughly discredits your frequently stated claim that you seek nothing more than a “slight modification of the Zionist program”. In fact, you want to eliminate the sovereign state of Israel leaving 7,000,000 Jews living under Arab sovereignty on land on which they’ve lived, worked and developed for more than a century. That doesn’t establish symmetry. It perpetuates asymmetry, but in a different direction.

      Besides, dismantling a stable UN-member state in a region filled with chaos would be both irresponsible and dangerous to the Palestinians as well as the Jews. In your zeal for destroying Israel, you ignore this reality. Do you really believe that Shiite Iran would allow Sunni Palestine to live in peace? And without the Israeli army to protect it, what would be the chances of Palestine surviving?

      Finally, you assert that there’s no chance for Israeli-Palestinian peaceful co-existence without Israel agreeing to the conditions you put forward. The reality is that there’s no peace so long as extremists on both sides prioritize conquest over peace. Your priorities are clear. And clearly, you’re on the wrong side of history.


      • Richard Falk July 24, 2021 at 11:02 pm #

        I acknowledge that my explanatory powers must be failing if I cannot get this simple point across to you–apartheid or if you wish to avoid the word, domination by means of racial identity, is not an object suitable for negotiation. Either it is disavowed as in the South African case or it persists, and is the case of persistent conditions of oppressive order exists as in the rural South of America. Can you imagine white racists in the ante-bellum South negotiating with representatives of slaves? This is what you are proposing to the Palestinians, and aside from Hamas, which you denounce as ‘terrorists’ the Palestinians, as represented by the Palestinian Authority, have been so dehumanized as to accept this charade. Under these circumstances, it is Hamas that has made the only honorable gesture toward peace–a long-term ceasefire–which pauses the violence and doesn’t pretend to be ‘a peace process.’


      • Fred Skolnik July 24, 2021 at 11:41 pm #

        I understand why you are responding to Rabbi Youdovin and not to me – and so do you. It is very big of you to put aside the word apartheid for a moment to indulge Rabbi Youdovin, but now you have come up with something even worse – the relationship between slaves and masters! If I told you what I thought of this despicable analogy, you would ban me for life. Slaves indeed!

        You should also back away from the race fiction. The conflict is national, not racial, and at its extremes, religious, but far more so on the Arab side. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything.

        I have addressed a great many of the issues substantively, including those embedded in your reply to Rabbi Youdovin, point by point. Your silence doesn’t really fool anyone. If someone were to challenge my arguments, I would also respond point by point. Let us see you do the same instead of avoiding every issue that you can’t handle, from “There is no historc Palestine …” right down to the apartheid fiction and everything in between.

      • Richard Falk July 25, 2021 at 4:03 am #

        Fred: We are two card players playing with different decks, and each of us is
        convinced that ours is the legitimate one. We have no chance to convince one another,
        and it it aa utter waste of time. Whatever I were to say, you would refute, and vice versa.
        Actually, I only find dialogue useful; argument or debate, especially on issues with heavy emotional
        resonance, results in a sequence of restatements of opposed positions, and in your case laced
        with anger and resentment. Richard.

      • Kata Fisher July 25, 2021 at 1:03 am #

        Iran is Islamic Minority – just as Sunni Palestine is. Iran, just as everyone else has its purpose, and they serve God’s plan and God’s purpose.

        There is no division in Islam – just as there is no division in the Church. And you should know very well that there is no division in Judaism. Lay-people is divided, and there is plenty evidence to prove that – in fact, they should not be a part of Faith Body – but they are. For that reason they are called schism – whether is shims or not contained schism I really do not care about that. What everyone should worry about is house keeping items.

        Iran has Spiritual Authority over things that are going on in Holy Land – just as a a valid of Jewish Faith Rabbi has.

        What exactly is the “Palestine Authority” in reference to Ecclesiastical People. Most likely nothing relevant – but would be more then happy to find out what id does and what it is.

        Are they Sunni Leaders that do not have Spiritual authority over the Palestine minority. Israel and Iran does. Why would that be so? It is possible that is so.

        Land swamp will not work in Holy Land because you cant swamp the land of Ecclesiastical people. You really cant because pretty much everything is theirs.

        In Church age – the Temple is the human, and everyone is fine exactly where they are – unless, God Himself and His Time changes otherwise. They are there for a reason – and just as it should be … so that Temple is not built in wrong place and in wrong pint in time. You have everything as it should be in this point in time.

        There can be human agents – or an human facilitators – in times, but humans cant do it.

        Don’t do anything that is messing it up. God will not put up with it, and he will tear down the hell. To start with tarring down the hell.

        Humans are not God. Yes, like the saying goes, “Don’t play God.”

        Find out what God has already done, and what he is doing in this point in time. Zion will correct itself. and heap of its mess up.

        I don’t know about Zionist – is it all schism, for real. They will become full blown schism if they do not figure out what they are doing, and why, and what time. They need to be contained, and they need to be contained right now. This point in time. Contain them.


      • Fred Skolnik July 25, 2021 at 5:22 am #

        There is actually only one deck, Prof. Falk – the one that contains the facts of the matter. In scholarship and historiography there is an accepted and proven way to ascertain the facts of the matter. In polemics, which is what you are engaging in, facts are of little consequence. There are instead what you call above “positions” or views or “interpretations,” so in effect you can say whatever you like, which is by and large what you are doing. I have laid before you certain indisputable facts (and indeed neither you nor anyone else here has disputed them in any substantive way). I understand that nothing I say will cause you to think twice or modify any of your “positions,” but in the end all the anti-Israel rhetoric achieves nothing, other than, at the most, creating the illusion among Palestinians that all they have to do is kill a few Jews occasionally and people like yourself will do the rest, which guarantees them another 70 years of misery.Take it from me, Prof. Falk, Israel is not South Africa and Israel is not going to vanish. This is what you should be thinking about if you care about the future of the Palestinians in any sincere and rational way.

      • Richard Falk July 25, 2021 at 10:27 pm #

        Mr. Skolnik: As long as you use the dogmatic one-truth language of an extremist there is no room for dialogue, and you
        only reinforce the pessimism of those like myself that kept some hope alive of a GENUINE political compromise. Your reliance
        on Palestine having been the national home of the Jewish people or that the Arabs conquered the land of Israel centuries ago
        has no moral or legal relevance for me, but the nakba and laksa do. These are not facts to be proven or refuted, they are interpretations
        reflecting many influences, including education, personal experience, social location. You seem to think that ‘your facts’ are decisive for others, but that is not the way political conflict is best understood, and certainly not the way it is resolved.

  9. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 2, 2021 at 11:23 am #

    Prof. Falk’s assertion to Fred Skolnik that he prefers narrative to hard data calls to mind Daniel Patrick Moynhan’s famous dictum: “everyone is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts.” Prof. Falk disagrees. He presents his opinions as facts, and is intolerant, often to the point of being abusive, with those who disagree. Someone else does the same thing: Donald Trump.
    The comparison doesn’t end there. Prof. Falk justifies his approach by arguing that “facts are not the way political conflict is best understood, and certainly not the way it is resolved.” One hears echoes of Trump telling Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker that “disinformation in a lovely word.” And his observation that he speaks a language different from Mr. Skolnik’s is reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway’s infamous claim that Trump presents “alternative facts”.

    Of course, people and groups see things in different ways. For Palestinians, the 1948 War was the Nakba (catastrophe), while for Israelis, it was the “War of Independence”. Each side’s perspective has to be accepted within its own context. But to allege that the war was Israeli ethnic cleansing consistent with Zionism’s aim to extend its sovereignty over the entirety of biblical Israel, while omitting that Israel accepted partition and the War began when the armies of four Arab nations invaded the newborn state to join the Palestinians in their attempt to drive the Jews into the sea, serves to formulate and perpetuate a Trump-style Big Lie.

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, I believe there is much wrong with Israel, especially in regard to its treatment of the Palestinians. But contrary to Prof. Falk’s claim, reconciliation between conflicting parties comes when each of them lessens the hold narrative has on its behavior, and becomes more sensitive to the other’s hopes and fears. His persistent and dogmatic demonization of Israel ill serves this end.

    And by the way, as Prof. Falk believes that Israel is illegitimate and has no right to exist, what would he consider to be the “GENUINE political compromise” he recommends?

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk August 3, 2021 at 10:17 pm #

      Ira: as you often do, you twist my views beyond recognition in order to have a suitable target for your venomous attacks. This has
      facts or narrative, it has to do with the ridiculous claim that Palestinians are as responsible for their historic plight as is Zionism, and later Israel. I maintain that Fred’s facts about Arabs invading the territory that became Palestine more than a thousand ago is not a relevant moral and legal fact in assessing claims of self-determination. I am saying that Israel has no right to suppress and discriminate against non-Jewish ethnicities within territory under its control. Israel by its persistence has a right to exist, but it has no right to. commit core crimes such as are more less proclaimed by the 2018 Basic Law.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 5, 2021 at 8:13 am #


        You write: “Israel by its persistence has a right to exist, but it has no right to. commit core crimes such as are more less proclaimed by the 2018 Basic Law.”

        Here is the actual text of that law. Please indicate which clauses “proclaim the core crimes” as you allege. The disclaimer “more or less” is duplicitous when used to modify a venomous accusation, as you do here.


        Basic Principles 1. (a) The Land of Israel is the historical homeland of the
        Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was
        established. (b) The State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish
        People, in which it realizes its natural, cultural,
        religious and historical right to self-determination. (c) The exercise of the right to national self-determination
        in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People. State Symbols 2. (a) The name of the State is “Israel”. (b) The State flag is white, with two light-blue stripes close
        to the edge, and a light-blue Star of David in its centre. (c) The State emblem is a seven-branched menorah with
        olive leaves on both sides, and the word “Israel” at its
        base. (d) The State anthem is “Hatikvah”. (e) Details regarding the State symbols shall be determined
        by law. State Capital 3. Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel. Language 4. (a) Hebrew is the State language.
        (b) The Arabic language has a special status in the State;
        arrangements regarding the use of Arabic in state
        institutions or vis-à-vis them will be set by law. (c) Nothing in this article shall affect the status given to the
        Arabic language before this law came into force. Ingathering of the
        Exiles 5. The State shall be open for Jewish immigration, and for the
        Ingathering of the Exiles. The Connection with
        the Jewish People 6. (a) The State shall strive to ensure the safety of members
        of the Jewish People and of its citizens, who are in
        trouble and in captivity, due to their Jewishness or due
        to their citizenship. (b) The State shall act, in the Diaspora, to preserve the ties
        between the State and members of the Jewish People. (c) The State shall act to preserve the cultural, historical
        and religious heritage of the Jewish People among Jews
        in the Diaspora. Jewish Settlement 7. The State views the development of Jewish settlement as a
        national value, and shall act to encourage and promote its
        establishment and strengthening. Official Calendar 8. The Hebrew calendar is an official calendar of the State, and
        the Gregorian calendar shall serve alongside it as an official
        calendar; the use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian
        calendar shall be determined by law. Independence Day
        and Memorial Days 9. (a) Independence Day is the official national holiday of the
        (b) Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars, and the
        Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, are
        official memorial days of the state. Days of Rest and
        Statutory Holidays 10. The Sabbath and the Jewish holidays are the established days
        of rest in the State; non-Jews have the right to observe the
        days of rest on their days of Sabbath and holidays; details
        regarding this matter shall be determined by law. Entrenchment 11. This Basic law shall not be modified except by a Basic Law,
        passed by a majority of the members of the Knesset.

        Btw, Israel’s right to exist does not rest on it’s “persistence” as you claim. It’s right to exist is rooted in the UN’s 1947 Partition Resolution and subsequent vote in welcoming Israel as a nation state. As one who frequently quotes UN resolutions. It’s odd that you neglect to mention these in your narrative.


      • Richard Falk August 5, 2021 at 9:38 pm #

        ira: I limit my response to one feature of the Basic Law–the claim of an exclusive right of self-determination in
        the state of Israel for the Jewish people despite the modern history of Palestine as a majority non-Jewish state, and the continuing presence of a significant non-Jewish minority. It is comparable to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution asserting that only white or Caucasian Americans enjoyed a right of self-determination. From such a claims follow resistance, oppression, and a series of law, practices, and policies that maintain ensure Jewish dominance and non-Jewish victimization, hence, the increasing normalization of the allegation of apartheid. Conssider South Africa. It has a right to exist, but it had no right to impose an apartheid regime on its society. Richard

      • Richard Falk August 5, 2021 at 10:55 pm #

        Even the UN possessed no legal authority to override the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and
        while Israel’s apologists invoke the partition resolution they ignore or violate those resolutions that call for the implementation of
        international law–settlements, Jerusalem, right of return for refugees.

  10. Kata Fisher August 5, 2021 at 11:07 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk – this is really cute:

    • roberthstiver August 6, 2021 at 10:33 pm #

      I don’t know about “cute,” but I found it wonderful! Great, essential interview!

      • Kata Fisher August 8, 2021 at 8:19 pm #

        It is Psalms 11



    […] 6 July 2021 — Global Justice in the 21st Century […]

  2. The Declaration of Falsification and Lies: Declaration on the Supression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine - July 29, 2021

    […] =================================================================== […]

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