Visit to Gaza: UN Press Release

6 Dec

(I recently completed a mission to the Gaza Strip, entering by way of Egypt at the Rafah Crossing; as I am now in Doha attending the final days of the UN Climate Change negotiations, I have had no chance to write a post describing the moving and difficult circumstances that confront the people of Gaza, and the hopes and disappointments that followed the ceasefire that followed the Israeli onslaught; there are concerns about whether it will be fully implemented in accordance with expectations, and if not, whether events will move toward renewed cross-border violence. There are new hopes and complexities on two further fronts: the aftermath of Palestinian success in being confirmed as a non-member state by the General Assembly on November 29, and the new priority being accorded to reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. More than ever since Hamas assumed governing authority in June 2007, foreign leaders have been visiting Gaza, according Hamas an upgraded diplomatic status)

 

 

Israel must abide by cease-fire agreement in the Gaza Strip       

 

CAIRO (5 December 2012) – Concluding his week-long mission to the region, Mr. Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, called on Israel to abide by and fully implement the cease fire agreement that ended the recent crisis with Gaza.

 

“The initial purpose of my visit was to assess the overall impact of Israel’s prolonged occupation and blockade against the Gaza Strip, which is an integral part of Palestine,” Mr. Falk explained, “however there arose an urgent need to investigate Israel’s seemingly deliberate attacks against seemingly civilian targets during recent hostilities. We visited the sites of attacks and spoke with surviving family members. It is clear that some attacks killed and harmed civilians in a grossly disproportionate manner and thus clearly appear to violate international law.”

 

The Special Rapporteur continued, “There is a widespread feeling among Palestinians that Israel is above the law, and that Israel is likely to continue to have the benefits of impunity even when it flagrantly violates international humanitarian law.  Experience has shown that Israel fails to meet its international obligation to promptly and impartially investigate its own actions. Experience has also shown that Israel is not likely to carry out its obligations under the cease fire agreement; indeed during our visit we heard Israeli warplanes flying directly overhead and received reports of Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip.”

 

For the Special Rapporteur, “Sustained pressure from the international community, including both Governments and civil society, is essential to secure Israel’s the full implementation of the cease fire agreement, without which it is extremely unlikely to hold. Worldwide support for the recent General Assembly resolution that made Palestine a non-Member observer State should serve as a starting point for the more concerted international protection of Palestinian rights.”

 

The Special Rapporteur stressed that talks to clarify how certain aspects of the cease fire agreement will be implemented, in particular with regard to access to maritime and agricultural resources, must be swiftly concluded.  “Every day Palestinian fishermen and farmers risk being shot at or detained by Israeli forces. Already since the agreement was reached, Israel has detained 13 fishermen, confiscated 4 fishing boats and sank another fishing boat.  Such actions signal an Israeli intention to maintain the continuity of its coercive style of occupation rather than explore whether implementing the ceasefire, agreement might not lead toward a more relaxed atmosphere and a more hopeful future.”

 

“At the same time, Palestinians and the international community are confronted with huge challenges to address underlying problems that have been severely aggravated by Israel’s occupation and blockade.” The Special Rapporteur pointed to the urgent need for access to clean water and sanitation, productive agricultural land, and new infrastructure. “We received extensive briefs on what could be done if sufficient resources and political will are made available. One example is the construction of a desalinization plant to meet urgent water and agricultural needs, but in many such cases funding is not forthcoming as donors are reluctant to invest in infrastructure projects that Israel is likely to bomb in one of its periodic large-scale attacks against Gaza.”

 

According to Mr. Falk, “Unless these underlying problems are addressed soon, it appears that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, as predicted by a recent United Nations report. Some of the experts with whom we spoke actually believe that 2016 is a more reasonable assessment.  This indicates the gravity of the human rights crisis in the Gaza Strip.”

 

The Special Rapporteur noted that his visit to the region consisted of meetings in Cairo and the Gaza Strip, with Governmental, inter-governmental and civil society representatives, as well as victims and witnesses.  He received helpful briefings from UNRWA and other United Nations agencies, which provided an in-depth picture of the magnitude of the challenges in Gaza and the difficulties of addressing such challenges in a situation of occupation and blockade.  He expressed his special appreciation to the people of Gaza and those international civil servants with whom he spoke for their support and engagement.

 

Mr. Falk’s next report to the Human Rights Council, which he intends to present in June 2013, will fully address the many concerns that were raised during the mission.

 

ENDS

 

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Occupied Palestinian Territory: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx
OHCHR Country Page – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

 

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/index.htm

 

Thematic mandates: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/themes.htm

 

Country mandates: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/countries.htm

 

For further information and media requests, please contact Kevin Turner (+41 79 201 0122 kturner@ohchr.org)

 

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:

Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

 

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en

 

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19 Responses to “Visit to Gaza: UN Press Release”

  1. Ken Kelso December 8, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Mr Falk barring all posts critical of him on this thread.
    This is apartheid by the Hamas apologists.
    Hey Richard, why didn’t you visit the widow of Ribhi Badawi in Gaza?
    Ribhi Badawi was murdered by Hamas when Hamas tied his body to a motorcycle and dragged his body through the streets of Gaza.
    5 other Palestinians died this way by Hamas.
    Here’s an article about Ribhi Badawi and his widow talking how Hamas murdered him only cause he was a rival of Hamas.
    Falk cant even bring himself to criticize this barbarism by Hamas.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/hamas-victim-dragged-streets-collaborator-widow-article-1.1208004

    • Ken Kelso December 8, 2012 at 7:38 am #

      Richard Falk seems to have a problem saying Palestinian Fascist Rejectionists.

      http://news.yahoo.com/hamas-leader-vows-never-recognize-israel-140726192.html

      Hamas leader vows never to recognize Israel
      Dec 8, 2012

      GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed on Saturday never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.

      “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told a sea of supporters at an open-air rally, the highlight of his three-day stay in Gaza.

      “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”

      In an uncompromising speech, Meshaal also vowed to free Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, indicating Islamist militants would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as a bargaining chip.

      Israel last year released 1,027 Palestinians from its jails in return for the liberation of Gilad Shalit, a conscript soldier who was seized by Palestinian guerrillas in 2006 and hidden for more than five years in Gaza.

      Thousands of Palestinian detainees remain in Israel. The Jewish state says many of them are terrorists. Hamas calls them freedom fighters.
      “We will not rest until we liberate the prisoners. The way we freed some of the prisoners in the past is the way we will use to free the remaining prisoners,” Meshaal said to cheers from the huge crowd that had flocked to see him.

      Meshaal was born in the nearby West Bank but has lived most of his life in exile. He entered Gaza 24 hours ago to attend Saturday’s rally which marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas.

      • DaBkr December 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

        nobody-least of all falk seems worried about the ‘impunity’ of Hamas sending missels into Israeli cities and targeting civilians which is a war crime. that he makes no pretense to be anything more then blatantly one-sided in his support of Hamas and his concern for the moral of Gazans that he ignores the massive ‘victory’ parades and speeches vowing to “never except Israel as a Nation and to never cede an inch of land from the north to the south and the river to the sea”. He must think the palestinians are joking. some joke.

  2. Rabbi Ra Youdovin December 8, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    The hypocrisy of Prof. Falk’s report on Gaza is breathtaking. Reading through paragraph after paragraph condemning Israel, one is astonished by the total omission of any mention of the more than 8,000 rockets Hamas and its terrorist cohorts have rained down on southern Israel over a period of years, an average of three attacks every day, forcing more than one million Israeli civilians—men, women and children—huddling in shelters and living in fear. Not one word! The Report denies a central fact of the incident. In defending its citizens who had been under constant attack for a long period of time, Israel was exercising a right and responsibility incumbent on every government on the planet.
    Is Prof. Falk blind? He denies that he distorts facts. Indeed, when anyone suggests that he does, and presents evidence to support the assessment, the professor denounces it as personal assault on his integrity (which is not tolerated on this blog). But anyone with access to CNN or BBC can see that his Report on Gaza is simply untrue.
    The aforementioned is the most blatant example of Prof. Falk’s mind-boggling one-sidedness, which includes a proclivity for revising history with astonishing impunity. But it’s by no means the only one. He writes: “Experience has shown that Israel fails to meet its international obligation to promptly and impartially investigate its own actions.” Really??? Let’s look at the Goldstone Report, which called upon both Israel and Hamas to investigate their actions before, during and after Operation Cast Lead. Israel complied. It conducted a thorough investigation which persuaded its general staff to reduce the scale of Operation Pillar of Defense in order to reduce civilian casualties. (Prof. Falk has cynically dismissed this as a public relations ploy.)
    What did Hamas find in its investigation as ordered by the Goldstone Report? Well… Hamas never conducted an investigation. In fact, Hamas has never conducted an investigation into its own conduct. But Prof. Falk’s “experience” is somehow different from the obvious facts.
    Example #2: “Hamas assumed governing authority in June 2007…” “Assumed governing authority” sounds like an orderly transfer of power, doesn’t it? That’s what Prof. Falk wants us to believe. But in fact, Hamas seized power in Gaza following a year-long fratricidal war with Fatah in which at least two hundred Palestinians died and many more were wounded—not one of them by Israeli hands. The Palestinians called it Wakseh, meaning humiliation, ruin, and collapse as a result of self-inflicted damage. I’m sure Prof. Falk knows this history. But he doesn’t want his readers to know it.
    Example #3 : “Every day Palestinian fishermen and farmers risk being shot at or detained by Israeli forces.” Sounds like Israel is in the habit of using Gaza’s offshore waters as a shooting gallery. I’ve checked the records and can find no more than a very small number of shootings in waters around Gaza during the 45 years since Israel took control. At least half of these incidents involved terrorists attempting to smuggle armaments into Gaza.
    Example #4: “We visited the sites of attacks and spoke with surviving family members. It is clear that some attacks killed and harmed civilians in a grossly disproportionate manner and thus clearly appear to violate international law…There is a widespread feeling among Palestinians that Israel is above the law, and that Israel is likely to continue to have the benefits of impunity even when it flagrantly violates international humanitarian law.”
    Two of Prof. Falk’s favorite tactics are on display here:
    1. Taking Palestinian allegations at face value without any attempt at real investigation: no effort to find corroborating witnesses, etc. That Palestinians “feel that Israelis are above the law” has no legal standing in any reasonable venue.

    2. Israel is accused of “flagrant violations of international humanitarian law”, but no reference is made to Hamas’ well-documented flagrant violation of international humanitarian law in positioning rockets and rocket launchers in heavily populated areas, thus putting civilians in harms way; and in in its indiscriminately firing rockets into centers of Israeli population, which is also well-documented.

    Moreover, Prof. Falk and others apply a curious yardstick in judging the morality of Hamas’ rocketry. When a Hamas rocket aimed at a civilian neighborhood where Israeli children are asleep in their beds misses its target—either because of faulty calibration or the effectiveness of Israel’s new Iron Dome anti-missile system—it is cited proof that Hamas’ has peaceful peaceful intentions: “Look at how little damage their rockets actually do.”

    In accusing Israel of violating the terms of the ceasefire agreement by barring fishermen from a restricted area, Prof. Falk deliberately misinterprets the ceasefire agreement. This is what he text says:
    “Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after twenty-four hours from the start of the ceasefire.” (bf mine).
    In other words, Israel agreed in principle to loosen restrictions, but not until procedures for implementation are negotiated. To my knowledge, these have not been set. Until they are, Israel is under no obligation to revise anything. “forgets” that the cease fire is incumbent on both parties, and that Hamas’ record in honoring commitments is far worse than Israel’s. The greater worry for those who want the ceasefire to hold and lead to regional peace is to found in the words of Hamas’ leader Khlid Mishalm, who immediately after the ceasefire who reaffirmed Hamas’ intention to destroy Israel and called for a third Intifada.
    Part of the greatness of Ghandi and Dr. King is that they made equal ethical demands on both sides to the conflict. Regrettably, Prof. Falk marches to a different drummer.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Sonia Kovitz December 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      Thank you for introducing words of sense into this wholly impermeable, hateful, solipsistic cacophony of non-sense.

  3. Rabbi Ra Youdovin December 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Prof. Falk,

    This came to my attention shortly after I submitted my previous post. I apologize for posting a second time so soon after the first, especialy as both are lengthy. But the Meshal speech warrants attention.

    I’m posting it with no comments of my own, and asking for your reaction.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    ________________________________________
    December 8, 2012
    Leader of Hamas Delivers Defiant Speech at Anniversary Celebration
    By STEVEN ERLANGER
    GAZA CITY — Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, gave a defiant speech on Saturday, vowing to build an Islamic Palestinian state on all the land of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
    Speaking before tens of thousands of supporters on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Mr. Meshal said the Jewish state would be wiped away through “resistance,” or military action. “The state will come from resistance, not negotiation,” he said. “Liberation first, then statehood.”
    His voice rising to a shout, Mr. Meshal said: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land.” He vowed that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants would one day return to their original homes in what is now Israel.
    “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said. “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.” He also promised Palestinian prisoners held in Israel that they would be freed using the same methods that have worked in the past — the kidnapping of Israelis and Israeli soldiers, like Gilad Shalit, who was released last year in a prisoner exchange after five years as a hostage.
    Mr. Meshal’s harsh words reflected longstanding Hamas principles rather than new, specific threats toward Israel. But they will only reinforce Israel’s belief that Hamas is its enemy and intends to continue to use military force to reach its goals.
    Mr. Meshal, on his first visit to Gaza after 45 years of exile, having fled a West Bank village at 11 with his family during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, was in a joyous but not conciliatory mood. He promised Palestinian unity, but only on the basis of Hamas’s principles, which would mean a subordinate role for Fatah, the main Palestinian faction in the West Bank. He called the United Nations General Assembly’s vote granting Palestinians enhanced status as a nonmember observer state — engineered by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank — “a small step but a good one.”
    He insisted that Hamas had won a great military victory by achieving a cease-fire with Israel last month after eight days of rocket launches and airstrikes, and said it could form the basis, with the General Assembly vote, of a new Palestine Liberation Organization that would contain all Palestinian factions. An inclusive Palestinian Authority and a P.L.O. based on Hamas principles, however, would almost surely find itself shunned by Israel and much of the world. It would also be a humiliating defeat for Mr. Abbas, who supports a two-state solution and has negotiated with Israel.
    The P.L.O., run by Mr. Abbas of Fatah, is the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people and does not now include Hamas.
    The celebration took place under cloudy skies, mixed with periods of rain. But few of the supporters, many waving the green flags of Hamas, left the crowded square.
    Mr. Meshal and Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, emerged together from a giant replica of a Hamas rocket called the M-75, which is supposed to be able to travel 75 kilometers, or 47 miles, from Gaza City, putting it close to Tel Aviv. Many experts have said they think the M-75 is a repainted Iranian Fajr rocket, but the one on display bore the words “Made in Gaza,” in English. The crowd cheered and a band played a song praising Hamas leaders for being fearless in the face of death.
    The stage featured the rocket, a banner showing the walls of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock, and large photographs of Mr. Meshal and of Ahmed al-Jabari, Hamas’s military commander who was killed by an Israeli strike on the first day of November’s fighting.
    While nearly everyone in the crowd carried Hamas flags, Mr. Haniya and Mr. Meshal brandished large red, white, green and black Palestinian flags from the stage, pressing the day’s theme of reconciliation and Hamas’s claim to leadership of the larger Palestinian movement, encouraged by the latest fighting and by the victory in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is the Palestinian branch.
    “We are imposing a new reality on the Israeli occupation,” said Salah Bardawil, a Hamas spokesman. “All the factions are here, and the Hamas flags embrace the Palestinian flags and the Fatah flags. We need to extend the Arab revolution to all Palestine from the sea to the river, and every refugee returns to his home.”
    But Hamas is also anxious, some members say, about the current challenges to President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, who ran as the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate. To ride the wave of a Muslim Brotherhood ascendancy is fine, they say, unless it fails.
    Those who came said they were thrilled to be here, proud of Hamas and its claims of victory over Israel in November. The conflict ended without an Israeli ground invasion and in a cease-fire brokered by Egypt, leaving Hamas with the sense that it had stood up to Israel despite the deaths here and the loss of many of its largest rockets.
    The rally was also an entertainment for those with young children, providing a sense of excitement in what can be a difficult life here.
    Many expressed the hope that Hamas and Fatah could finally reconcile in the interests of the larger Palestinian nation. Some Fatah representatives were invited to the rally, and few yellow Fatah flags, let alone Palestine flags, were seen in the waves of Hamas green. But the Fatah flags were often attached to poles also bearing the Hamas and Palestine flags.
    People recalled that at an earlier rally here marking the cease-fire, a senior Fatah leader, Nabil Shaath, praised “the resistance” for its victory over “the enemy” and added, “The war has turned Hamas into a legitimate partner for Fatah.”
    Abu Muhammed, 43, said he thought that the day showed Hamas’s new sense of self-confidence and demonstrated that “the mood is going toward reconciliation.” Nearly everyone in Gaza wants the two factions to reconcile, he said. The split “only favors Israel,” he said.
    Mr. Meshal is thought to be more favorable to reconciliation with Fatah than is Mr. Haniya. But Mr. Haniya also basked in Mr. Meshal’s presence.
    A man named Wissam, who refused to give his surname, said Hamas was trying to show its dominance, but for him, “It’s one day for one movement in Gaza, but there are other movements.” Every faction, he said, “wants to show that they are the biggest and most important in the field.”
    After pushing Fatah out of Gaza in 2007, Hamas banned Fatah anniversary celebrations.
    Wissam wanted all the factions to celebrate together on one day, he said. When reminded that there was already a Palestinian national day, he shrugged and said, “That day is considered to be Fatah’s.”
    Fares Akram contributed reporting.

    • Richard Falk December 9, 2012 at 3:00 am #

      Dear Rabbi Youdovin:

      When you frame your disagreements with me in such personally insulting terms..’hypocrite’ etc….
      it makes me reluctant to respond. I certainly do not want to respond in kind, nor to defend myself,
      but I also find it artificial to ignore such language that couples disagreement with personal
      defamation.

      I am still traveling in the region, and could not undertake a serious response, to all that you
      allege, for at least several days, and only then if you will agree in the future to stick to the
      substance of the issues in controversy.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin December 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

        Dear Prof. Falk,
        Please believe me that I do not take pleasure in using words like “hypocrisy”. However, I can think of no other way to characterize something that purports to be an objective and accurate report on Gaza yet contains so many omissions and misrepresentations. These cannot be accidental. I’m sure that most fair-minded readers will agree, and think it significant that none of your followers on this blog have sprung to your defense. (Although they probably will now!)
        Please understand, also, that insult is a two-way street. As one who supports the legitimate national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, and seeks a peaceful resolution of their conflict, I am insulted by your relentless animus toward Israel.
        I’m not asking that you “defend” yourself, and never would. I’ve asked some legitimate questions that merit answers. Just one example: why were the many months of Hamas’ bombing of Israeli civilian neighborhoods omitted from the report? Other issues are listed in my post, and require no repetition here. I’ve also asked for your reaction to Khaled Mishaal’s bellicose speech, which reaffirms in no uncertain terms Hamas’ intentions to conquer the total area of the British Mandate—from Sea to River—and annihilate a member-state of the United Nations.
        I understand that you are traveling in the region, as am I. I will welcome your response whenever you have an opportunity to send one.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk December 10, 2012 at 1:32 am #

        Dear Rabbi Youdovin:

        I could also easily impugn your motives if I was so inclined, including the claim to favor legitimate aspirations for both sides while refraining from any real critique of the implications of ‘Greater Israel’ expansionism that makes a genuine Palestinian state less attainable with every passing day. The point is I am trying to avoid insulting you when I respond, which is something you and your ‘friends’ (e.g. Fred Skolnik) do not do. Either we maintain a civil tone of respect or the preconditions of dialogue do not exist. This is my view. I do not feel like defending my good faith and sincerity nor attacking yours.

        Richard

      • Deepak Tripathi December 10, 2012 at 6:05 am #

        Dear Richard,

        You show more tolerance than anybody on this forum, and it disappoints, but does not surprise, me that someone bearing a priest’s identity should be no persistently hostile toward an individual when matters of great importance are discussed, and peddle the same narrative again and again. To post on someone else’s personal blog, even though open, is like walking into that person’s home and abusing them. I do hope in vain that such people will reflect on what they do, and feel ashamed of themselves. As if these people have nothing else in life. Fortunately, others who admire you and follow your blog do have other things to do. They do thoroughly disapprove of offensive behavior of those who think they are on a divine mission. But those who have learned to pause know the virtue of the quality of waiting and watching occasionally.

        Kind regards,

        Deepak

      • Richard Falk December 10, 2012 at 7:27 am #

        As always, Deepak, I appreciate your thoughtful and supportive message. It is
        frustrating that even educated persons who seek the moral high ground seem to have little sense about the parameters of civil discourse. I will keep trying to hold my ground without becoming rigid.

        Warm greetings, Richard

      • pipistro December 12, 2012 at 10:28 am #

        Dear Richard,

        I don’t exactly know why, but I’ve got a vague inner feeling that this blog is under “siege”. Maybe I’m wrong, but, as a result, this might stifle a constructive debate, widening indiscriminately the topic set by means of your assessments.

        As a matter of fact, the stances of Mr. Meshal are – in my opinion – to be easily underestimated, compared with the path and the related policies followed by Hamas since its old rhetoric of 1988 (Statute). Moreover, it must be underlined that Hamas has succeeded in getting and keeping the trust of Palestine as a whole, in spite of the reiterated accusations built against it by the US/Israel with the irresponsible complicity – for now – of the their Western clients.

        On the other hand, Israel’s behaviour with respect to the ceasefire and towards Palestinian fishermen, farmers and civilians in general, is something everyone can appreciate and evaluate, just watching at the facts (and crimes) on the ground.

        Best regards.

        Pipistro

  4. rehmat1 December 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Any rational person will tell you Dr. Falk, this ceasefire will be broken by Israel as it did so many in the past. As David Ben Gurion prophesized long time ago: “Israel cannot exist without wars and conflicts”. I’m glad, everyone in Hamas or Islamic Jihad is not ‘sell-outs’ like Mahmoud Abbas and Meshaal. One of the tasks US-Israel gave to Morsi was to stop both Hamas and Islamic Jihad receiving arms from Iran or Hizballah. However, looks like the resistance group will stop re-arming themselves only when American stop giving Israel $3 billion military aid each year.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/25/hamas-resistance-committed-to-rearming-itself/

  5. Rabbi Ira Youdovin December 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    1. You accuse me of “refraining from any real critique of the implications of ‘Greater Israel’ expansionism…” This, despite the fact that the first comment I posted on this blog following the UN resolution on Palestinian statehood began with the words: “As I Jew and a Zionist, I welcome yesterday’s vote of the UN General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood on land occupied by Israel in 1967.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “real critique.” But as the resolution calls for the borders of Palestine being drawn “on the basis” of the 1967 Green Line, it’s pretty clear where I stand on the matter. (n.b. If this isn’t clear, please tell me and I’ll try to explain.)

    2. I must raise a mild objection to your reference to me and my “friends”. Even with “friends” inside quotation marks, the reference hints at a planned conspiracy against you…or at least that’s the way it strikes me; I could be wrong. For the record, I’ve never met Fred Skolnik or any of the others who post criticisms. Frankly, I don’t know who they are, where they live, etc. I’ve never had any contact with them other than our posts on this blog. Moreover, I’ve stated many times that I don’t agree with everything they write (and hope that they don’t agree with everything I write.

    3. I’ve never asked you to defend yourself. I’ve challenged things you wrote or omitted, and asked that you address my questions. I ‘m prepared to withdraw any assessment you find offensive should reversal be indicated, even if I do not agree with your conclusions.

    4. I would welcome a respectful discussion on key issues ,and have attempted to start one on several occasions. Each time, you have rejected my efforts, which were always respectful, on the grounds that our views are “unbridgeable.” The anger that sometimes appears in my posts reflects frustration over your making strong allegations against Israel, and then refusing to discuss them.

    But I’m willing to try again if you are.

    Ira

  6. arjun kanuri May 8, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like
    to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    • Richard Falk May 8, 2013 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks for your inquiry. Send any ideas to me at I will consider carefully.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Visit to Gaza – UN Press release - December 6, 2012

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  2. Richard Falk Visit to Gaza: UN Press Release by Richard Falk on 12/09/2012 | ikners.com - December 9, 2012

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  3. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Visit to Gaza: UN Press Release - December 10, 2012

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