Palestinian Hunger Strikes: Why Still Invisible?

19 Aug

 

 

            When it is realized that Mahatma Gandhi shook the British Empire with a series of hunger strikes, none lasting more than 21 days, it is shameful that Palestinian hunger strikers ever since last December continue to exhibit their extreme courage by refusing food for periods ranging between 40 and over 90 days, and yet these exploits are unreported by the media and generally ignored by relevant international institutions. The latest Palestinians who have aroused emergency concerns among Palestinians, because their hunger strikes have brought them to death’s door, are Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq. Both had ended long earlier strikes because they were promised releases under an Egyptian brokered deal that was announced on May 14, 2012, and not consistently implemented by israel. Three respected human rights organizations that have a long and honorable record of investigating Israeli prison conditions have issued a statement in the last several days expressing their ‘grave concern’ about the medical condition of these two men and their ‘utmost outrage’ at the treatment that they have been receiving from the Israeli Prison Service.

 

            For instance, Hassan  Safadi, now on the 59th day of a second hunger strike, having previously ended a 71 day fast after the release agreement was signed, is reported by Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, to be suffering from kidney problems, extreme weakness, severe weight loss, headaches, dizziness, and has difficulty standing. It is well established in medical circles that there exists a serious and risk of cardio-vascular failure for a hunger strike that lasts beyond 45 days.

 

            In addition to the physical strains of a prolonged hunger strike, the Israeli Prison Service puts deliberately aggravates the situation facing these hunger strikers in ways that have been aptly described as cruel and degrading punishment. Such language is generally qualifies as the accepted international definition of torture. For instance, hunger strikers are punitively placed in solitary confinement or put coercively in the presence of other prisoners or guards not on hunger strikes so as to be taunted by those enjoying food. It is also an added element of strain that these individuals were given false hopes of release, and then had these expectations dashed without even the disclosure of reasons. Both of these strikers have been and are being held under administrative detention procedures that involve secret evidence and the absence of criminal charges. The scrupulous Israel human rights organization, B’Tselem, has written that the use of administrative detention is a violation of international humanitarian law unless limited to truly exceptional cases, which has not been the case as attested even in the Israeli press. Hassn Safaedi’s experience with administrative detention exhibits the manner of its deployment by Israeli occupation authorities. Administrative detention was initially relied upon to arrest him when he was a child of 16, and since then he has served a variety of prison terms without charges or trial, and well authenticated reports of abuse, amounting to a total of ten years, which means that during his 34 years of life a considerable proportion of his life has been behind bars on the basis of being alleged security threat, but without any opportunity for elemental due process in the form of opportunity to counter evidence, presumption of innocence, and confronting accusations. Amnesty International has recently again called for an international investigation of the treatment of Palestinian detainees and reassurances that Palestinians are not being punished because they have recourse to hunger strikes.

 

            It is important to be reminded of the context of hunger strikes. Such undertakings require great determination of which most of us are incapable, and an exceptionally strong inner commitment that connects life and death in a powerful, almost mystical, unity. It is no wonder that Palestinian hunger strikers have been inspired by the 1989 Tiananman Square Declaration of Hunger Strikers:  “We are not in search of death; we are looking for real life.” The ten IRA hunger strikers, led by Bobby Sands, who died in 1981 at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland transformed the British Government’s approach to the conflict, leading to establishing at last a genuine peace process that was climaxed by the Good Friday Agreement that brought the violence mostly to an end. Hunger strikes of this depth send a signal of desperation that can only be

Ignored by a mobilization of moral insensitivity generating a condition that

Is somewhere between what psychologists call ‘denial’ and others describe

as ‘moral numbness.’

 

            So why has the world media ignored the Palestinian hunger strikers? Must we conclude that only Palestinian violence is newsworthy for the West?

Must Palestinian hunger striking prisoners die before their acts are of notice? Why is so much attention given to human rights abuses elsewhere in the world, and so little attention accorded to the Palestinian struggle that is supposed to engage the United Nations and underpin so much of the conflictual behavior in the Middle East? Aside from a few online blogs and the Electric Intifada there is a media blackout about these most recent hunger strikes, another confirmation of the Politics of Invisibility when it comes to Palestinian victimization.

 

            After all, the United Nations, somewhat ill-advisedly, is one of the four parties (the others being the United States, Russia, the European Union) composing The Quartet, which has set forth the roadmap that is supposed to produce peace, and should exhibit some special responsibility for such a breach of normalcy in the treatment of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons. Addameer, al-Haq, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel have called on three international actors to do something about this situation, at the very least, by way of fact-finding missions and reports—UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, the European Union, and the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Is it too much to expect some sort of response?  We do not expect the United States Government, so partisan in all aspects of the conflict, to raise its voice despite its protestations of concern about human rights in a wide array of countries and despite President Obama’s almost forgotten promises made in his June 2009 Cairo speech to understand the suffering of the Palestinian people and to turn a new page in Middle Eastern policy.

 

            Since I have been following this saga of hunger strikes unfold in recent months, starting with Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi in December 2011, I have been deeply moved by the consistently elevated human quality of these hunger strikers that is disclosed through their statements and interactions with family members and the public. Their words of devotion and loving solidarity are possessed of an authenticity only associated with feelings rarely expressed except in extreme situations when life itself is in jeopardy. This tenderness of language, an absence of hate and even bitterness, and a tone of deep love and devotion is what makes these statements from the heart so compelling. I find these sentiments to be spiritually uplifting. Such utterances deserve to be as widely shared as possible to allow for a better understanding of what is being lost through this long night of the soul afflicting the Palestinian people. Surely, also, the politics of struggle is implicit, but the feelings being expressed are at once deeply political and beyond politics.

 

            I can only hope that informed and sensitive writers, poets, singers, and journalists, especially among the Palestinians, who share my understanding of these hunger strikes will do their best to convey to the world the meaning of such Palestinian explorations in the interior politics of nonviolence. These are stories that deserve to be told in their fullness maybe by interviews, maybe through a series of biographical sketches, maybe by poems, paintings, and songs, but they need to be told at this time in the same spirit of love, empathy, solidarity, and urgency that animates theses utterances of the Palestinian hunger strikers.

 

            I paste below one sample to illustrate what I have been trying to express: a letter from Hassan Safadi to his mother written during his current hunger strike, published on July 30, 2012 by the Electric Intifada, translated from Arabic by a young Palestinian blogger, Linah Alsaafin, who contributed a moving commentary that is a step in the direction I am encouraging:

 

“First I want to thank you dear mother for your wonderful letter, whose every word penetrated my heart and immersed me in happiness, love and tenderness. I am blessed to have a mother like you. Please thank everyone who stood in solidarity and prayed for me.

What increased my happiness and contentment was you writing that you raise your head up proudly because of me…I hope your head will always be lifted high and your spirits elevated oh loved one. As for waiting for my release, I remind you mother we are believers.

We are waiting for God’s mercy with patience…as Prophet Muhammad related God’s words, “I am as my slave thinks…” As you await my release, think positively and God willing, God will not leave you and your work and He will not disappoint your expectations.

Thank God I have a mother like you, a patient believer who prays for me from her heart, and I thank you dear mother for the beautiful song you wrote that warmed my chest as I read the lyrics..

Congratulations to Nelli’s [his sister] twins…I pray to God they will be attributed to Muslims and to Islam and for them to receive the best upbringing, and for their time to be better than our time.

Say hello and salute Abu Jamal and thank him for his efforts and say hello to Ayah and Amir and tell them I miss them, tell everyone who asked about me I say hello, and pray for them.

How beautiful the last line in your letter is! “God is with you, may He protect you and take care of you…I leave you in His safe hands.”

Please mother, always pray for me using those words especially in the month of Ramadan, happy holidays.

Your son”

 

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35 Responses to “Palestinian Hunger Strikes: Why Still Invisible?”

  1. david singer August 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Mr Falk

    Perhaps in the interest of properly informing your readers about Hassan Safadi – you might have included the following bio written by the same Linah Alsaffin:

    “Safadi is no stranger to spending time in Israeli prisons. He was first arrested when he was just 16 years old, in 1994. From 2007 to 2010, he became the longest administrative detainee in Israeli prison, with his detainment renewed every six months over and over again.

    After his release, he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority for 48 days and spent the next five months being summoned for interrogation regularly. Prior to his arrest by Israel in 2007, he had spent 43 months in prison. In total, Safadi spent 10 years as an administrative detainee in Israeli prisons, without ever once being sentenced or charged officially.”

    Hope you devote as much time in your next article to the tens of thousands slaughtered in Syria and the hundreds of thousands there who cannot get enough food to live on.

    Now there’s a story the world media would certainly latch on

    • Richard Falk August 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      Mr. Sanger: Thanks for pointing out this omission. I will edit the post to
      take note of Hassan Safadi’s frequent imprisonment, but I suspect I interpret
      it differently than you do.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

        Under other circumstances, I would respond to this post questioning the factual accuracy of some of its claims. But why bother when dissenting posts are frequently ignored , or rejected as being unworthy of a response because the views expressed are “unbridgeable” with those of Prof. Falk. Time and again this tactic mocks the blog’s stated purpose of being “an open channel for serious dialogue, including debate.“ For this reason, this likely will be my last post on this blog. It’s not a venue for free discussion.

        It’s no surprise that opinions voiced here are overwhelmingly anti-Israel, and that dissenting views are treated harshly. (Although the outright anti-Semitism expressed in some posts is jarring, especially as their authors are welcomed and praised by the moderator.) But ignoring or dismissing dissent raises serious questions about whether the blog’s real purpose is to promote serious discussion, or to be a venue for one-sided Israel bashing. As some of my views have been deemed “unbridgeable” with those of Prof. Falk—thus cutting off discussion—I want to ask “why”?

        I have been candid in stating my position that Palestinians are entitled to an independent state. Prof. Falk and I may disagree over specifics, such as borders, refugees, Jerusalem, the holy places, and water rights. We may disagree on how best to pursue the goal of Palestinian statehood. These are huge and often contentious issues. But as we are of one mind on the ultimate goal, which is Palestinian statehood, our differences should be discussable, even if irreconcilable at day’s end. The term “unbridgeable” applies when conflicting parties cannot agree on a document they both can sign. But if the goal is serious discussion, the possibility of ultimate agreement should not be a criterion for acceptability. We can learn from views we cannot ultimately embrace.

        One example. I believe that the best, perhaps the only, path for achieving Palestinian statehood is through peaceful coexistence with Israel in the context of a two state format—-two states for two peoples. But likely there are readers of this blog who favor a one-state format. On the surface, these views are unbridgeable. Perhaps they are. But I welcome the opportunity to hear reasons for favoring a one state format, hoping that my interlocutors will be willing hear, and respond to my views. To me, that’s what constitutes “serious discussion.” It is not possible on this blog.

        Prof. Falk’s views the Israel-Palestinian conflict through a prism he calls “constructive imbalance.” The underlying thesis is that American government policy, media bias and public opinion has been so radically pro-Israel that the only way for achieving “transparency” is to construct a narrative that is equally one-sided in favor of the Palestinians. (I believe I’m quoting Prof. Falk’s words almost verbatim and welcome correction if I’m wrong.) In his narrative, Palestinians can do no wrong and Israelis can do no right. (Those who think I’m exaggerating are invited to scroll through the nearly two years of posts and responses collected on the blog’s webpage for evidence that I am.)
        I must add in passing that Prof. Falk’s assessment of pro-Israel bias is woefully overdrawn and decontextualized. Moreover, even if his assessment were accurate, an approach rooted in the thesis that two wrongs DO make a right, is what ethicists universally warn is a very slippery slope.

        The chilling effect “constructive imbalance” has a serious discussion is obvious. If doctrine has it that one side is always right and the other always wrong, discussion is, indeed, impossible. And lest there be any misunderstanding, I hasten to add that this caveat applies equally to those who believe that Israel can do no wrong while Palestinians can do no right.

        Far more serious than the damage “constructive imbalance” does to this blog, is the damage this genre of thinking does to the quest for peace. Reliable opinion polls reveal that majorities among both Israelis and Palestinians accept a two state format. However, they are blocked by powerful groups that reject compromise. On the Israeli side, these include many of the West Bank settlers and their political supporters, some holding high government positions. Among the Palestinians, Hamas has repeatedly refused the revise the commitment stated in its Charter to destroy Israel. The rejectionists on both sides see the conflict as a zero-sum game which each intends to win by subjugating or annihilating the other.

        The two state format is the only alternative to perpetuating the conflict ad infinitum, with periodic eruptions of violence, thus condemning the Palestinians to infinite statelessness. Those sincerely committed to Palestinian statehood in the context of an equitable peace should do everything possible to strengthen the moderates on both sides, Palestinian and Israeli. Indeed, there are many Jewish groups and individuals in Israel and throughout the world who are zealously working toward that end.

        “Constructive imbalance” works in precisely the opposite direction. As practiced on this blog, it demonizes Israelis, which reinforces the message conveyed by Hamas and its rejectionist cohorts.

        Moreover, “constructive imbalance” precludes rational assessment of possible positive changes on the other side, which is essential to the process of peacemaking. If Israel is held to be incapable of doing anything but evil, developments such as the reduction of West Bank check points and dramatic improvement in the West Bank economy must be dismissed as aspects of a heinous Zionist plot, rather than embraced as confidence-building measures on which to build growing trust.

        The tragedy for the Palestinians is that they appear to be moving toward yet another self-defeating intifada, when the pathway to a negotiated peace is wide open. Shouldn’t their supporters be encouraging them to try this route?

        One final point. Throughout this long post I’ve tried my best to adhere to Prof. Falk’s caveat about focusing on the message, not the messenger. This is not an easy thing to do, for his views are so idiosyncratically his, and he periodically writes about how events in his own life shaped them.

        However, I’ll cross a line by closing with a question that’s only partially rhetorical. Prof. Falk, you have characterized yourself as subscribing to a code of ethics that transcends racial, religious, ethic and national borders, and have quoted Emerson as best articulating your beliefs:

        “The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded. It is a doctrine of the oldest and of the newest philosophy, that man is one, and that you cannot injure any member, without a sympathetic injury to all members.”

        How do you reconcile these lofty ideals with an approach that deliberately, unfairly and cynically demonizes Israel and its people!?

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk August 20, 2012 at 4:15 am #

        Dear Rabbi Youdovin:

        I appreciate your frustrations with this blog, and I do not question the sincerity and hostility that my views on the Israel/Palestine generate on your side. My sense of why communication is difficult–unbridgeable gaps–is that you consistently mischaracterize my positions and intentions. Let me give a couple of illustrations.

        First, when I talk about ‘constructive imbalance’ it has nothing to do with ‘Israel bashing.’ What I have tried to explain is that I conceive of my role to be one of reporting the realities as truthfully and accurately as I can, giving emphasis to issues neglected elsewhere. The ‘imbalance’ is perceptual, not substantive. It is in my judgment ‘constructive’ because it appears to me to be nearer the actual situation, more consistent with international law and global justice, and to some extent tells that part of the story that needs to be heard.

        Also to allege that I am overly tolerant of anti-Semitic commentary is your opinion. In my opinion I regard a wide range of criticism of Israel and aspects of the Jewish tradition to be just that, neither more nor less. I may not share such ideas but I do not find them hateful or intended to evoke hate. I would agree that the boundaries here are blurred and that there is considerable room for disagreement. It is also true that I am generally sympathetic with those who are oppressed, and must seek their rights from within such a structure, whether they be blacks in South Africa or Palestinians living under occupation.
        I feel you exclude this structural inequality in your discussions of how to solve the conflict, and the sort of one sided expectations you have about Hamas, and its Covenant. It would be more apropos for the Palestinians to ask the Israeli leadership to stop talking about the West Bank as ‘Judea & Samaria.’

        Also, I agree with you that two states for two peoples is the image of a solution to the conflict that continues to be most widely shared, but my own position is that the important goal is ‘a just and sustainable peace’ that is respectful of the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians, and if possible, is achieved through equitable diplomatic channels, not by of a peace process in which the strongest side is reinforced by its closest ally, major arms supplier, and the world’s dominant state. I believe using the guidelines of international law, as generally understood in relation to the issues in contention is the best means to gain an appreciation of the contours of what is a just and sustainable peace and to offset the one-sided diplomatic framework that has operated unfairly and to Palestinian disadvantage ever since 1993 (as established by the annexation and expansion of Jerusalem and the settlement phenomenon).

        And finally, I think you are right to complain about my unwillingness to debate all commentators. You suggest that the blog is unfair to the Israeli position, but my sense is that compared to Zionist blogs it is far more open to a range of views that do not accord with the opinions of the moderator. I should undoubtedly have been clearer about this. My primary rationale for this blog is to have an outlet for commentary that is not often represented in the print and TV media, and secondarily to have a forum for discussion and reaction. I never meant to assume responsibility for engaging with those comments that fall outside either my competence or my understanding of fruitful dialogue. I had come in many respects to think that our exchanges were fruitful, and I am sorry that you do not share this assessment. At the same time, as you somewhat angrily point out, I do believe we are too far apart in formulating our points of departure to allow for either a meeting of minds or a clarification of points of disagreement. For me, the biggest gap relates to the asymmetries of power and circumstances of the two parties, which I believe must inform any serious discussion.

        With best wishes

      • david singer August 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        Mr Falk:

        How do you interpret Hassan’s frequent imprisonment?

        I appreciate the amendment made by you to your post – but note that you make no mention of Hassan Safadi’s arrest and subsequent treatment by the Palestinian Authority.

        Why not?

        There also seems to be some confusion as to whether Hassan served a variety of prison terms in Israel for 43 months without charges or trials prior to 2007 as your correction appears to indicate – or whether he did so as a result of convictions after trial as Linah Alsaffin appears to have reported..

        In addition Addameer reported on 6 August:

        “Hunger striking prisoner Hassan Safadi’s brother, Saleh Safadi (30 years old), was arrested in the middle of the night by Palestinian Authority Preventative Security forces. Around 30 members of the PA forces raided their home at 3:00 am last night and took Saleh to Jenaid prison, without giving any reasons for the arrest. Saleh previously spent 1 year under Israeli administrative detention in 2007.”

        Given your position as UN Rapporteur – could you elicit a full report on the records of these two brothers so that your readers may be better informed as to why they would possibly be people of concern to the security forces of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

      • Richard Falk August 21, 2012 at 1:01 am #

        Mr. Sanger:

        I was aware of this factor, but I didn’t want to elaborate for several reasons:
        –the PA often collaborates with Israeli Occupation Forces in relation to Palestinians objecting to occupation;
        –the question of PA behavior is outside my UN mandate, which is focused only on Israeli behavior as occupying power Israel’s conformity to international law in relation to the . I attempted to broaden the mandate but this was rejected by the Human Rights Council, unwisely in my view.

        From the perspective of a Palestinian person detained there are serious human rights violations from both sources, but I have no special information on why HS was detained by the PA and whether he was abused on that occasion.

      • david singer August 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

        Mr Falk

        I am bemused by your following responses:
        :
        1. “I was aware of this factor, but I didn’t want to elaborate for several reasons: –the PA often collaborates with Israeli Occupation Forces in relation to Palestinians objecting to occupation”

        What entitles you to make this presumption rather than the presumption that the person is of security concern to both Israel and the PA.?

        Isn’t co-operation between the two security forces to be commended rather than denigrated?

        2. “the question of PA behavior is outside my UN mandate, which is focused only on Israeli behavior as occupying power Israel’s conformity to international law”

        Surely you don’t believe this entitles you to avert your gaze and not make any comment. In your position you could pick up the phone and get the correct records that led to Safadi’s imprisonment by both Israel and the PA

        3. “I attempted to broaden the mandate but this was rejected by the Human Rights Council, unwisely in my view.”

        Why then did you accept the job? Shouldn’t the human rights of Palestinian Arabs wherever they live – be it the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan , Syria or anywhere else- have been the the focus of the Human Rights Council?

        4. ” From the perspective of a Palestinian person detained there are serious human rights violations from both sources, but I have no special information on why HS was detained by the PA and whether he was abused on that occasion.”

        Surely you can get that information from the PA given the position you hold.

      • david singer August 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        Mr Falk

        I am still awaiting a reply to my post on 22 August.

        In relation to one of the other prisoners – Samer Al-Barq -could i draw your attention to the following:

        On April 25 2010 Jordan’s General Intelligence Division (GID) re-arrested Jordanian citizen Samir al-Barq, and detained him until summarily deporting him to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on July 11, where Israeli intelligence forces immediately arrested him. On July 18 al-Barq was charged by an Israeli military court with membership in and training with an enemy organization and planning terrorist attacks. The GID had previously detained al-Barq for over two years between 2006 and 2008 without charge.

        http://www.ecoi.net/local_link/153346/269281_de.html

        Could you please edit your post to bring this matter to the attention of your readers since it is obvious this information was apparently unknown to you.

      • Richard Falk August 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

        Mr. Sanger: Considering your personal attack on me that never led to any apology or retraction, and considering that you published it in another site with no communication with me, I am astonished that you expect me to engage in
        any sort of dialogue with you.

      • David singer August 27, 2012 at 4:21 am #

        Mr Falk

        You have been corresponding with me in relation to editing your post regarding Hassan Safadi so I am not sure what you mean about not wanting to enter into any dialogue with me..

        Are you embarrassed to learn about Samer Al-barq’s past? Are you going to edit your post to reflect what you now know about him like you did with Safadi when I brought his antecedents to your attention?

        As I have said previously if you wish to particularise anything I wrote that you allege was a personal attack on you then I will readily withdraw it if your claim is justified.

  2. monalisa August 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    thank you for bringing this into light.
    It is widely assumed that people only resume to hunger strikes when conditions in prisons are too harsh and almost unbearable.

    The Western mainstream media are usually big companies and working with politics and from where money comes. So it cannot be expected that they will something report which could maybe wake up for example US citizen asking where millions and millions of tax payers money spent by the US government for Israel is going and for what. The government could risk something.
    But there is a lot of other media, smaller magazines and news papers, Internet and so forth – so I think people are well informed based on the fact that we have different countries on our globe who are sometimes more reliable and independent reporting when it comes to the Middle East.
    In Europe people are more and more aware what is going on in Israel and how Palestinians are treated.

    Concerning what US President Obama said in his speech in 2009 in Cairo had been immediately seen as a hollow speech by the Egyptian news paper as well as by the population.
    Egyptians were always aware that their former Presidents had to obey US dicatorship – or whatever it could be called (since Sadat).

    What I see is that the Israel government got somehow their wrong doings into their head and their ignorance and arrogance together with denials of facts is immensurable.
    Together with some sentences here and there of their politicans openly said and written down by news papers or documented on TV’s shows the way it is going and how they regard other cultures/countries.

    Take care of yourself,

    monalisa

  3. rehmat1 August 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Dear Rabbi – I’m sorry to say that a great majority of Israel Zionists and Palestinians, with the exception of Fatah, are not pro-two-state solution. why? Israeli regimes have never been sincere in accepting an independent Palestinian state along Israel – as that would negate Theodor Herzl’s dream of ‘Eretz Yisrael’. That’s why Zionist regime always dish the impossible condition – Palestinians accept Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ before they sit down to negotiate with Israel.

    Palestinians on the other hand – don’t want a de-militarized (toothless) whose borders and airwaves are controlled by Israeli army. The only, workable solution to Israel-Natives conflict , is – a ‘one-state solution’ – under a democratic secular government with equal rights for both the native Muslim and Christian Palestinians and the foreign Jews who landed into the historical Palestine. Two Jewish bloggers, Roger Tucker (USA) and Gilad Atzmon (UK) agrees with this solution.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/06/18/palestine-the-third-option/

    • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      Gilad Atzmon is a holocaust denier and Neo Nazi.
      Didn’t Richard Falk write the foreword in his book?

    • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      rehmat1 the nutjob is back.
      rehmat1 who thinks Israel was behind 9/11 and not the Arabs.
      Just google, rehmat1 israel 9/11

      • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 6:05 am #

        Mr Falk, you have repeatedly run Israel-bashing pieces, because Israel has the nerve to try to protect its children and other civilians from the Palestinian terrorists who blow up buses, disco’s, shopping centers and otherwise carry out mass atrocities.

        The so called “suffering of the Palestinian people”. They chose the path they are on when they launched their terrorist campaign in 2000. They must walk down that path.
        3 times in the last 12 years Israel offered the Pals a state, even though no state called Palestine existed in history.
        Israel`s hands are clean. All it has done it protect its people from the
        Pal murderers who hide in amongst their own civilian population.

        Falk believes the world should support the Pals who build bomb factories inside apartment buildings, or strap bomb belts to retarded and disturbed teens, or make promises of 72 virgins to repressed adolecents, bomb supermarkets, or blow up school children while they are watching a play.

        The routine mass-murders and crimes committed by the Palestinians only decreased significantly when Israel goes in Judea and Samaria and started destroying the houses of suicide bombers and of terrorists operatives, and killing the terrorist leaders.
        Proving that these are effective steps.
        One only needs to ask, which side blows up buses full of children and which side targets ringleaders and masterminds?

      • monalisa August 22, 2012 at 6:31 am #

        to Ken Kelso,

        I apologize for commenting on your above remark.

        However, anybody who read the official US version book of 9/11 comes to the result, that this version cannot be true.
        Too many omissions, too many questions not answered.

        And to accuse Afghanistans from Hindu Kush (whereas always being so eager to show how superior USA or Israel is and how far behind in technical developments Afghanistan is !) for such things and not seeing the fact that the US commands the air at New York and elswhere in USA as well as is able to monitor incoming and outgoing flights and even be able (and very proud of it !!) to steer airoplanes belonging to foreign or domestig airlines by remote control is still either a denyer of facts of which US government is very proud of or is just wanting to accuse people/groups in order to let other people/groups come free of accusations.

        And each time when questions arise or facts are put on the table the horn is tuted of “anti-semitic” or the hurdy-gurdy starts with the same.

        In any other country this tragic event would have been thoroughly investigated by the police. At first comes usualy who is benefitting from such crimes – and even that has been omitted. Whereas there were millions of US Dollars involved. And then comes the fals flag crimes – USA is widely known for their CIA and FBI agents crimes – of which are many documented. Same goes to the Israeli Mossad.

        Moreover, to accuse technically not so much developed countries shows just how much the whole thing has been made up.

        Read the book. Ask questions.
        However, if you are just such an individual who likes to accuses other people without true facts – OK, I cannot help you to remain as such.

        monalisa

      • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 6:42 am #

        monalisa, do you also believe in the Mossad Shark, Mossad Vulture and 4000 Jews not showing up at the World Trade Center?
        Earth to monalisa, did you not hear the calls of the people on the 4 planes hijacked on 9/11. The people on these planes called their family members to talk how the planes were being hijacked by Middle Eastern looking men who took control of the cockpit of the planes. So your nonsense about remote controlled planes is garbage.

        http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/binladen_10-29-04.html

        Bin Laden Admits 9/11 Responsibility, Warns of More Attacks
        A tape aired by Al-Jazeera television Friday showed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden admitting for the first time that he orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and saying the United States could face more.
        Oct 29, 2004

      • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 8:19 am #

        http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5393

        ‘Incitement Index’ shows PA facilitates demonization of Israel

        Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon presents “Index of Incitement” to Knesset•
        Index finds that Palestinian Authority is actively working against normalization with Israel on all levels.

        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Palestinian Authority is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace.
        Shlomo Cesana
        August 13, 2012

        Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stands next to a map that doesn’t show Israel.

        “All terrorism is legitimate,” “the Jews are swindlers,” and “Israel is not on the map” are just some of the “educational” messages regularly disseminated in Palestinian Authority-controlled institutions, according to the “Index of Incitement,” presented to the Cabinet on Sunday.

      • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 8:22 am #

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11649

        Op-Ed: PA Prisoners Are Hungry, But For What?
        May 14, 2012

        Arnold Roth
        The writer is a lawyer who made aliyah from Australia and lives in Jerusalem with his family. His daughter, Malki, was murdered in the horrific Sbarro terror attack.

        Fewer (much fewer) than 1% of the Arab prisoners hunger-striking in Israeli prisons are administrative detainees. Almost all were charged, tried and convicted for the most serious offences you can think of.

        The media are filled with reports about a protest strike by Palestinian Arab prisoners and their friends. What’s it about?

        Two terms keep coming up in almost every report: the strikers are “unjustly imprisoned” and it’s a “battle for freedom and dignity”. But this is not about justice or dignity. Those key terms ought to mean something but as happens so often, they have been hijacked in the name of a vicious war and turned on their heads.

        Some of the talking heads say/scream/shout that this is about administrative detention. But fewer (much fewer) than 1% of the Arab prisoners hunger-striking in Israeli prisons are administrative detainees. Reliable statistics we have seen say there are between five and ten such individuals among the 1,500 to 2,000 hunger strikers. [The protestors estimate that overall there are about 300 administrative detainees in the Israeli prison system.]

        The two who began hunger-striking in March are men called Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahlah who are administrative detainees, held so far for nine months and 22 months respectively. Their petition came before the High Court of Justice on Monday and was heard and rejected.

        The court pointed to the ongoing ties of the petitioners to terrorist funding and terrorism and that they are a clear and immediate security risk to Israeli citizens. It added (which is also significant) that the Israel Prison Service is meeting or exceeding the standards required by international law regarding prisoner treatment already.

        Diab and Halahlah are in fact leaders in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The angry voices are demanding that we think of them as unjustly shunted off to prison for the equivalent of failing to pay for a television license. The media and the ranks of ‘activist’ NGOs are currently filled with such voices.

        Of the other strikers, almost all were charged, tried and convicted for the most serious offences you can think of. Hundreds are in prison for murder. Quite a number of them are unrepentant multiple murderers.

        We are tracking the online news photographs (there are many) being pumped out by the wire services to enhance the global impact of this protest. We ourselves have more than the usual amount of familiarity with some of the names and faces.

        When we look past the sad-faced mothers and the photogenic children in the foreground, what we see (and most others don’t notice) is people like Abdullah Barghouti in the posters at the back. This places the whole affair into a different perspective.

        That particular prisoner (see our post: 10-Apr-07: Regarding Abdullah Barghouti) made the bomb that stole our daughter’s life from us. He has never denied the charges against him. On the contrary, like so many jihadists, he was proud of them before he went to prison; he remains proud of them now.

        That particular prisoner, Abdullah Barghouti, made the bomb that stole our daughter’s life from us.
        He says publicly – on US television, for instance – that he will kill more Jews when he gets the chance. More than that: he regrets that the bombings he carried out did not kill more Jews. In his own unforgettable words, “I feel bad because the number is only 66″.

        Prisoners like Barghouti, and not some mythical jaywalkers capriciously locked up administratively by the vindictive Zionist entity, are the cause for whom the Palestinian Arab protestors and their many supporters are out there shouting and burning tyres. The evidence is there in front of your eyes.

        And if you ask: which editor would want to be seen fanning the flames of protest in support of a convicted psychopath like Barghouti serving 67 life terms, then a partial answer is: maybe the editors at UPI, APF, Daily Star – Lebanon, Scoop New Zealand and numerous others. Click on any of the links int he previous sentence to see pictures of hunger-strike protestors standing in front of Abdullah Barghouti’s grim portrait.

        What would you say to the people demonstrating for rights, justice and dignity for Abdullah Barghouti and the hundreds of other convicted murderous thugs?

        Is theirs the cause that gets you up every morning?

        Is the shortage of cable movie channels in their [prison] lives something that gets your adrenalin going?

  4. monalisa August 22, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    to Ken Kelso:

    Osama Bin Laden has never been wanted by FBI for the 9/11 attack.
    Since 9/11 to his “officially claimed death” by USA (I doubt it at all, he was a very sick man and could have died ten years ago, as has been reported by Pakistani news papers)), the FBI website didn’t register him for 9/11. He was on the want list for other crimes like the bombing of an US embassy for examble. But according to FBI there weren’t enough facts for wanting Osama bin Laden for 9/11. Since this tragedy of 9/11 I was looking up very regularly the FBI website.
    To fake a video is easy – and I am sure you know that. The viedeos shown in TV’s of the so-called Osama Bin Laden’s face looked the last eleven years almost all the same.
    I wonder why the body of the so-called Osama Bin Laden after being murdered by the US death squad had dumped into the sea. Maybe the US death squad and US politicans wanted to avoid any medical investigation/examination if that is really the body of Osama Bin Laden – as he had been permanently under medical treatment because of his kidneys.
    And as the USA put it proudly (!”!) into the open on the TV that this so-called Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by an US death squad: Who knows what future politicans will think of it ?
    By the way : it was against the International Law to murder someone in a foreign country and officially acknowledge it (practically a covert secret service murder put into the open).

    There was an accident of another aieroplane – so I wonder why this hasn’t been investigated properly. And yes, I heard the voices – could be that this had been the other areoplane.

    And all in all: it seems too well placed; and filmed too right at the time. As the filming team was awaiting that something will happen, or had ordered to wait at certain places. Who knows ??
    And concerning the other building’s reportage earlier than actually have taken place is too something very questionable. (I saw and heard the so-called excuses by BBC !!)

    To me it looks like the case of JFK: have you ever visited the museum of JFK in Dallas ?
    If yes, you will know what I mean. If not, go there to see what had been wrongly reported in the 60ties.
    The whole case was a false-flag murder.
    It isn’t the first time that such false-flag attacks happened in the past and I am sure the next one is already prepared carefully by some people in some secret service department (I am always wondering how can people so easily murder other people !!).
    You can look up of other such tragic happenings, for example Gladio.

    I feel always very sorry for victims’ families, relatives and friends when they are without knowing it involved in political games or placed like chess pawns as well as of the greed for more money (in the case of 9/11 I think both were intertwined)..

    monalisa

    • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Before I respond, Monalisa, now JFK is a false flag.
      So who killed JFK according to you?

      • monalisa August 22, 2012 at 8:57 am #

        to Ken Kelso:

        not according to me !!

        Its according to the bullets which hit JFK !!
        The one person – said he was a communist – had been murdered before he could defend himself. But where he stood could not have been the only case for murder. That’s the point. You know nowadays can everything be drawn correctly when a crime took place: The directions as well as where any person stood/sat/ etc. while hit by a bullet.

        But according to the different directions the bullets came and hit JFK the questions remains who ?
        Where politics and money meet – as I above already stated – everything is possible.
        And concerning the FED and its affiliates and the proposed changes JFK wanted to make …. so, he wasn’t able to change the FED ….

        Money is always in the game …
        and arrogance and ignorance too…

        monalisa

    • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Richard Falk do you believe the JFK killing was also a false flag operation like 9/11?

      • monalisa August 22, 2012 at 9:44 am #

        to Ken Kelso:

        you are funny: I brought the JFK-case up as an example. You could have looked up the case of Gladio.

        why do you ask Prof. Falk ?

        I am not an US citizen …. for your info …
        And the Dallas JFK-museum tells a lot ….

        monalisa

      • Ken Kelso August 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        Mona, I love hearing about these crazy conspiracy theories.
        It gives me a big laugh.

  5. monalisa August 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    To Ken Kelso:

    You are wrong: there is nothing to laugh about JFK, but I am not an US-citizen, so it concerns US people whether to find out the truth or not.

    I am more concerned about Gladio and with it all what is related – and that is true and no conspiracy theory.

    Also: a theory goes as long as facts don’t exist.
    There is a lot where people said this couldn’t be true and after a few years facts were found out. Concerning Gladio and all what is related with it – no this went to court. No conspiracy. Sorry – nothing to laugh.

    Concerning 9/11: There are several hundreds of experts who question the official version.
    And this is the interesting point: experts are question the official version based on facts seen through their profession and their business.
    I wasn’t convinced with the official version written in the official book.

    And meanwhile some so-called “conspiracy-theories” are facts.
    Sorry, I cannot see your point of view.
    But sure, to laugh is good for your health.

    PS: I am not Mona: my nickname is monalisa.

    monalisa

  6. Liat Nagar August 24, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    To Richard Falk,
    I would like to comment on the letter you have discussed with such admiration written by Hassan Safadi to his mother while engaging in a hunger strike. This letter does not necessarily signify all that you attribute to it. It is important to understand that it’s common within the Arab culture, and is certainly part of the Arab mentality, to express these kinds of sentiments in the somewhat flowery, semi-mystical tonality you see in this letter. I am not questioning the sincerity of the letter insofar as Safadi’s comments to his mother are concerned, however, would point out, as one who has spoken to many Arab people and read Arab literature, that this letter that has moved you so much is not extraordinary.

    You speak of “the consistently elevated human quality of these hunger strikers that is disclosed through their statements and interaction with family members and the public”. It’s actually the use of language that is ‘elevated’, rather than ‘human quality’, because this is how many Arabs speak and write – the sentiments expressed don’t necessarily equate with higher human qualities. The authenticity you refer to of “their words of devotion and loving solidarity”, the “tenderness of language”, does not necessarily equate with “an absence of hate and bitterness” in other areas – the writer would hardly be demonstrating these latter qualities in a loving letter to his mother. The authenticity on display here relates to cultural norms and practice in the use of high-blown sentiments expressed with formality. It has nothing to do with the spiritually uplifting situation you have projected on to it. In itself, it is not something that implies any sort of higher hope or encouragement for future possibilities. A Palestinian person could express himself/herself to his family and/or the public in this way one day, and orchestrate a suicide bombing attack on Israeli citizens the next day. The two sides of the equation can co-exist.

    If you want to read Arab literature of worth that is moving on a deeper, less superficial level, writing that is bereft of this highly sentimentalised construct, and instead expresses Palestinian anguish powerfully and effectively, read Mahmoud Darwish, whose poetry I deeply admire, but whose politics I abhor.

    To take sides in the way that you have and represent situations unrealistically and without intellectual rigour that reaches beyond idealisation,doesn’t contribute effectively to the discussion.

    • Barry Meridian August 26, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      Mr Falk have you ever disagreed with anything the U.N and international law said?
      For instance, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility in 81.

      • Richard Falk August 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

        I have often disagreed with the UN, e.g. authorizing force in Libya, sanctions on Iraq after 1991; many times.

      • Barry Meridian August 27, 2012 at 7:46 am #

        Mr Falk, let me ask you about a specific situation in International law and you tell me what you would have done.
        You know when Israel arrested Eichmann from Argentina in 1960, the U.N had an emergency meeting and demanded that Israel return Eichmann back to Argentina. The U.N and all the Arab countries said it was against International law to kidnap Eichmann from Argentina.

        If you were in the U.N back in 1960, would you have agreed with the U.N and all the Arab countries that Israel had to send Eichmann back to Argentina, cause it was against international law to kidnap him? Or you would have agreed with Israel that it was right to kidnap Eichmann cause of all the crimes he committed?

      • Richard Falk August 27, 2012 at 7:55 am #

        Mr Meridian:

        A good question, but I believe you misstate the UN position as I recall it (I am away from my books or a library these days). My recollection is that the UNSC did say that Eichmann’s abduction in Argentina was an unlawful violation of its sovereignty, but supported the Israeli intention to prosecute Eichmann. Although there is some confusion inevitably present, I agree with such reasoning. It enables the avoidance of setting precedents for intruding on the territory of foreign countries to arrest suspected war criminals but authorizes in this instance the prosecution of a major Nazi war criminal. This represents my position, as well, although it does not answer the question of what happens ‘the next time.’

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