Israel as An Outlaw State and U.S. Complicity

26 Aug

[Prefatory Note: The following post, was previously published as a co-authored two-part article by Akbar Ganji and myself  in AlJazeera English on August 20-21, 2014; its basic premise is that the persistent defiance of international law by a sovereign state should carry delegitimizing consequences; the geopolitical grant of impunity to Israel evident throughout the aggressive military operation being carried out against an essentially helpless civilian population in Gaza suggests that neither the UN, nor governments in the region, nor leading governments in the world possess the political will to challenge such a frontal assault upon the authority of international law. We write from two very distinct backgrounds as members of civil society devoted to human rights and the global rule of law, and invite others to join in reflecting upon how civil society can bring law to bear more effectively on the behavior of the Israeli government, and in the process, help empower the people of Palestine in their quest for national self-determination and the fulfillment of their rights under international law so long denied. We try to make this central argument by positing the idea of 'Outlaw State' as a descriptive designation that might have some influence in civil society mobilizations of the sort associated with the global solidarity movement backing the Palestinian struggle and supporting such militant nonviolence as animating the BDS Campaign.]

 

 

 

The United State and the Outlaw State of Israel

Richard Falk and Akbar Ganji

Israel has become an outlaw state. In his book, The Law of Peoples, John Rawls defines (pp. 5 and 90) an outlaw state as one that systematically violates the universal principles of human rights, and commits aggression against other nations. Israel is guilty of repeated such violations as well as several massive acts of aggression, making it reasonable and responsible to identify it as an outlaw state. Such a pattern of behavior also contradicts the most basic principles of international law as embodied in the UN Charter pertaining to the use of international force, and obstructs the fundamental promise in the Preamble of the Charter “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

It has become appropriate for the international community and global civil society to act accordingly

Israel’s military aggressions against other countries

Israel was born in 1948. Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly is widely regarded as the most convincing legal basis for founding the State of Israel. We should recall that the Palestinians were awarded 45% of the historic Palestine, while 54% was allocated to Israel, and 1% was set aside as a special zone to be used for the internationalized city of Jerusalem. After the 1948 War with the neighboring Arab nations, Israel’s territorial gains reduced the Palestinian share to only 22%. In the 1967 War Israel proceeded to occupy the Palestinian territorial remnant that had been temporarily administered since 1948 by Jordan and Egypt, and since that time has encroached on Occupied Palestine in several unlawful ways—by establishing and expanding large and numerous Israeli settlements, constructing a network of settlers-only roads, building a separation wall deep in Occupied Palestine declared illegal by a 14-1 majority of the International Court of Justice in 2004, keeping the 1.8 million people of Gaza under siege since mid-2007 in ways that constitute collective punishment, and annexing and enlarging the metropolitan area of Jerusalem. These actions called ‘facts on the ground’ have been accepted as new “realities” by the U.S. Government and by several European governments, making the establishment of a viable Palestinian State virtually impossibility. Present trends in Israel make permanent the denial of fundamental Palestinian rights, above all, the right of self-determination, and accompany this with a unilateral “validation” of Israeli expansionism. Furthermore, Israel has attacked Gaza three times in the last six years (2008-09, 2012, 2014) in a manner that constitutes aggression under international law and the UN Charter and involves numerous violations of the law of war

This denial of Palestinian rights and deviation from the rules of international law and norms of global justice should not be interpreted in isolation from a wider pattern of unacceptable Israeli behavior. In this regard, it is highly relevant to take note of various acts of aggressions committed by Israel against several other sovereign states as well:

Military attacks on Iraq in June 1981 that destroyed Osirak nuclear reactor that was under construction, with the apparent purpose of disrupting an Iraqi program to develop nuclear weapons and to preserve Israel’s undeclared, yet clearly existent, regional monopoly over nuclear weaponry

Invasions of Lebanon in 1978, and 1982, coupled with the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon until 2000. In September 1982 Israel was charged with complicity in the Sabra and Shatila massacre carried out by Maronite Phalangist militia units in which between 1500 and 3000 Palestinian civilians were murdered in cold blood. The Kahan commission, established by the government of Israel to investigate allegations involving Israeli complicity associated with the 1982 Lebanon War, found that then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon “bears personal responsibility” as the military commander on the scene who facilitated Phalangist entry into the camps and watched the massacres unfold.

Military attack on the PLO Headquarters in Hamman, Tunisia in October 1985, killing 60, which was condemned by the UN Security Council.

Invasion of southern Lebanon in 2006 that resulted in the 33 days warfare directed at Hezbollah, the destruction of residential sections in the southern Beirut associated with the formulation of the ‘Dahiya Doctrine’ rationalizing and justifying Israeli reliance on disproportionate uses of military power.

Attacks on October 2, 2007 on Syria destroyed its nuclear reactor in Deir ez-Zor region.

The attack of May 2010 in international waters on the Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara that was part of the Freedom Flotilla bringing humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza in defiance of the international blockade, killing nine Turkish nonviolent peace activists.

At least three additional military attacks on Syria during 2013 and 2014 that involved bombing of targets to stop weapons from going through the country to reach Hezbollah in Lebanon, targets associated with location of Syrian Army units to lend assistance to the anti-Assad insurgent forces, and in retaliation for causing the death of an Israeli Arab in the Golan Heights.

Repeated military attacks in Sudan in 2009, 2011, and 2012, supposedly to disrupt the supply of weapons to Hamas in Gaza, causing many deaths.

In addition, Israel has occupied Syria’s Golan Heights since 1967, built unlawful settlements, and established a permanent presence. Israel has refused to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as called for by unanimous Security Council Resolution 242.

Add to these infringements on the sovereignty of Arab states the destabilizing fact that Israel secretly and illegitimately acquired and has continued to develop an arsenal of an estimated 300 nuclear warheads, the only state in the Middle East that has a nuclear arsenal, and the only country in the world that refuses to acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons.

Systematic violations of human rights and the apartheid regime

Israel has always declared that it is the only democratic state in the Middle East. As pointed out by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in his book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, Israel’s occupation regime in the West Bank has systematic discriminatory features of an apartheid regime. Further, the Palestinian minority resident in Israel is subject to as many fifty discriminatory laws that greatly restrict their individual and collective rights.

Recall that the South African regime also had a nominally “democratic” government, but it served only the white minority. The African black majority population was governed by a different set of laws, a cruel and exploitative apartheid regime in which the majority’s human rights were violated systematically. Palestinians in the West Bank have been living without the protection of law or the possession of rights since 1967, being subject to military administration and the oppressive practices of the Palestinian Authority, while the unlawful settler population enjoys the full protection of Israel’s rule of law.

As Gideon Levy, the progressive Israeli journalist writes Israel is “really only a democracy for its Jewish citizens who are quick to fall in line with the mainstream every time Israeli tanks roll across the border,” because even Israeli citizens that are opposed to their country’s aggression are attacked and threatened. A large number of Israelis are relatively recent immigrants, particularly from the former Soviet Union and Easter Europe, who enjoy a far more protected status than the several millions of Palestinians live under an apartheid regime in which they cannot vote in Israeli elections, do not have passports, cannot own property in many parts of Israel, and do not enjoy the social mobility that every human being is entitled to possess. The Palestinian people are also denied the right of self-determination, do not have any prospect of having an independent sovereign state of their own, or to join with the Israelis in the shared existence of a bi-national state in which the two peoples seek to live together on the basis of balanced unity, equality, with distinct spheres of autonomous administration and governance that is organized within the framework of a single sovereign state.

Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians

Not only does UN Security Council 465 speak twice of “Palestinian or Arab territories occupied since 1967,” but also declare and affirm that the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories represent a violation of 4th Geneva Convention. Grave violations of this Convention – as for example the defiant refusal to dismantle the settlements as unlawful under Article 49(6), or to dismantle the separation wall as mandated by the International Court of Justice – appear to be war crimes of great severity.

Israel removed its military forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip in its ‘disengagement’ initiative in 2005, but in actuality kept effective control of Gaza, and remained bound by the obligations contained in international humanitarian law as applicable to an Occupying Power. In effect, Israel transformed the conditions of life in Gaza from direct military administration to life imprisonment of the population in the largest open-air jail on earth. Israel retained its total control of Gaza’s entrances and exits, of its airspace and offshore waters, disrupting life within the prison walls by lethal periodic violent incursions Most Palestinian people living in Gaza have effectively been locked in there ever since 1967, and more unconditionally since 2007. At the same time, Israel has periodically launched massive military operations against Gaza, imposed and maintained an illegal blockade, committed frequent acts of cross-border violence, and committed numerous grave war crimes there over a period of many years:

Israel attacked Gaza in 2008-2009, killing 1417 Palestinians, injuring 5303, creating 51,000 internal refugees, destroying 4000 homes, inflicting $2 billion economic damage, and disallowing the delivery of materials needed for reconstruction efforts.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza in 2012 killed 105 and injured 971, provoked by the Israeli targeted assassination of the Hamas military leader, Ahmed Jabari, as he was delivering a signed truce document.

Israel’s 2014 aggression against Gaza launched on July 8 has so far killed 2130 Palestinians , injured nearly 11,000, with 75-80% of the casualties being civilians. This massive Israeli military operation has caused more than 660,000 Gazans to be internally displaced, highlighting the denial of any right of Palestinians to leave the combat area throughout the military onslaught that has terrorized the entire population of Gaza. 577 Palestinian children are estimated to have been killed and as many as 3300 injured. In contrast, Israel’s losses in this attack have led to 68 Israeli deaths, of whom 65 were soldiers. The casualty disparity and the ration of both sides as between military and civilian deaths are both very significant indicators of relative moral responsibility of the carnage caused.

Israel has carried out 59,000 attacks on Gaza, dropping 15,000 tons of explosives on Gaza, which amounts to about 30% of the explosive power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The United States as Israel’s servant

The United States has supported Israel without reservations since its founding in 1948. According to an agreement between the two countries, that has become a law in the U.S., The United States has committed itself to preserve Israel’s strategic and military superiority in relation to other countries in the Middle East. From 1949-2014 the U.S. has provided Israel with nearly $122 billion in aid, calculated by reference to fixed dollars. Counting the aid to Israel in 2003 dollars, from 1949 – 2003 the U.S. has provided Israel with $140 billion worth of military assistance, which has been increasing since 2003. The basic annual commitment to Israel is $3.1 billion, which is far more than military aid that has been given to any other country in the world, and this figure is an understatement, hiding a variety of supplemental appropriations and other benefits accorded uniquely to Israel. In effect, the United States has been subsidizing Israel’s aggressions, and ignoring American military assistance legislation that seeks to withhold such aid to countries that are not acting defensively and in accordance with international law.

 

The Obama administration has even increased the aid to Israel through its reliance on various special appropriations. Most recently Congress appropriated an additional $225 million for further development of the Iron Dome defensive weapons system.

The U.S. Senate has even approved a resolution according to which if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear sites in the future defying international law, the U.S. is obligated to help Israel. It reads in part, “If the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.” Of course, the language as written of ‘legitimate self-defense’ is understood to mean any action taken by Israel that is alleged to be ‘defensive,’ whether or not in conformity to international law, which limits such claims to situations of response to prior armed attacks. (See Article 51, UN Charter).

Among the many UNSC resolutions that seek to criticize or condemn Israel for its actions against the Palestinians, almost all have been vetoed by the United States. In fact, the U.S. government opposes virtually every resolution approved by any UN organ, including UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), if it is deemed to be critical of Israel, and this includes even initiatives to establish fact-finding commissions of inquiry to determine whether charges of war crimes are well-founded. When Israel attacks the defenseless and completely vulnerable Palestinian people, the U.S. justifies such high-intensity and disproportionate violence as ”self-defense,” obstructs the issuance of a UN call for an immediate ceasefire, and gives diplomatic and material aid and comfort to Israeli aggression from start to finish.

After a fact-finding report on Israel war crimes in Gaza in 2008-2009 was approved by UNHRC, the U.S. and Israel successfully intervened with the Secretary General to prompt him to urge the non-implementation of the report in relation to Israeli accountability for war crimes. The US Government also used its leverage to prevent even the discussion of this important report, generally known as ‘the Goldstone Report,’ in the UNSC. When recently, the UN HRC approved a resolution to investigate Israel’s possible was crimes in Gaza, the U.S. cast the only negative vote.

Amnesty International has reported that the evidence of systematic attacks by Israel’s military forces on schools and hospitals in Gaza during the current warfare is overwhelming. It includes targeting those civilians seeking to escape the worst ravages of the Israeli attack by seeking shelter in United Nations schools and other buildings marked with the UN logo.

Human Rights Watch has reported on evidence of intentional shooting of Palestinians who were fleeing their homes, even after they had been ordered to do so by Israel’s military, and has declared such behavior to be a war crime.

We can only comprehend this partisan pattern of U.S. policy toward Israel by taking account of the leverage exerted on the government by the formidable lobby working on behalf of Israel known as AIPAC. Former President Jimmy Carter and the former President of Ireland and prior head of the UN HRC Mary Robinson have condemned this one-sidedness of American policy toward Israel and Hamas, insisting that as a first step Israel immediately ends without conditions the blockade of Gaza, allowing the long suffering people of Gaza to have finally some semblance of a normal life.

Consequences

The U.S. policy toward Israel has had dire consequences:

It has completely discredited the claim of United States to act as an impartial arbitrator between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hatred and resentment toward the United States has been increasing throughout the region, not only because of the blind support of Israel by the U.S., but also due to the military onslaughts directed against Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, and by drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.

According to a poll right before the current war, 85% of Egyptians and Jordanian, 73% of the Turks, and 66% of the Palestinians view the U.S. unfavorably, while 84% of Israelis have a positive view of the U.S.

What Israel has done in the region with the support of the U.S. has contributed greatly to the growth of extremism and discord throughout the Middle East. If such policies are not reversed even more chaos, extremist violence, bloodshed, and devastation are likely to emerge in the future.

The Middle East and North Africa have been unstable for decades, and the consequences of the intensifying instability are spreading to other regions and endangering world peace.

These policies of unconditional support for Israel have long been against the national interests of the United States. The Israel-Palestinian conflict is the mother of all problems in the Middle East. Israel has undermined all efforts to find a peaceful solution by way of diplomacy. It has rejected both the Arab Initiative of 2002 and ‘the roadmap proposed by the Quartet – the U.S., Russia, the European Union, and the UN – which require that Israel to withdraw to its pre-war green line borders of 1967 with the expectation that a sovereign and independent Palestinian state would emerge. This view of what is required of Israel as a precondition for peace have been consistently endorsed by the United Nations and enjoy wide support of world public opinion, already set forth in Security Council Resolution 242 that has been frequently reaffirmed since its unanimous adoption in 1967. It should be understood that ending the occupation of Palestinian territories is not by itself sufficient to achieve a sustainable peace. Of paramount relevance is also some arrangement that acknowledges the rights of several million Palestinian refugees who were forcibly expelled over the course of many years from Israel, most dramatically in 1948, as part of the catastrophe of national dispossession known to Palestinians as the nakba.

There are also serious questions at this time as to whether the two-state solution is any longer a viable and desirable goal, if it ever was. The question of Palestinian self-determination as the proper foundation for a sustained just peace is more open to debate and reflection in 2014 than ever before. Israel’s expansionism has put the international two-state consensus under a dark storm cloud, and the international community, along with representatives of the Palestinian people must now consider new ways to achieve a just peace for both peoples, which cannot be realized without upholding Palestinian rights.

We believe that a crucial step in this direction is the widespread acknowledgement by civil society, by governmments, and by the UN that Israel has become an outlaw state, and that appropriate adjustments to this reality must be made.

 

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79 Responses to “Israel as An Outlaw State and U.S. Complicity”

  1. Gene Schulman August 26, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Richard, thank you for this bill of sins committed by Israel and the United States. It lists things most people have either forgotten or never heard about. Of course, Israel has been an Outlaw State since its inception, aided and abetted by the US. This is confirmed by many books, including Victor Kattan’s “From Existence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, and Rashid Khalidi’s “Brokers of Deceit: How the US has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.”

    Although it is heavy, I don’t put as much weight on AIPACs’s influence as you. I believe the US and Israel are equally at fault in the ME, and the US relies on Israel to help in its dirty work as much as Israel relies on the US to protect it from criticism and legal retaliation. AIPAC’s importance seems more as a cheer-leader and producer of propaganda to keep people misinformed as to the true machinations of these twin Beezlebubs.

    I don’t expect to hear any meaningful acknowledgement.

  2. Gene Schulman August 26, 2014 at 5:46 am #

    Forgot to log in for follow-up comments

  3. Fred Skolnik August 26, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Though the declared aim of this blog is to engage in “constructive” dialogue and ostensibly to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, any casual but objective visitor to this site would have to conclude that its sole purpose is to vilify and criminalize Israel. There is simply nothing else here.

    This is attempted by a shameless falsification of the nature and course of the Arab-Israel conflict, whose victims are indeed the Palestinians, but only because their leaders have been unable to reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East.

    This time Prof. Falk begins his narrative with the Israeli occupation, mercifully sparing us his characterization of the conquering Arabs as an “indigenous” population and the Land of Israel as their “ancient” homeland as well as omitting any mention of the fact that the occupation was a result of a war initiated by the Arabs and that for the following 20 years at least the Arabs could not even bring themselves to pronounce Israel’s name, let alone recognize its existence and make peace with it.

    As for the rest, what we encounter here is once again a perversion of legal and commonly understood language in which terms like apartheid and collective punishment are redefined in order to apply them to Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself against periodic attacks by murderous terrorist organizations is denied.

    Prof. Falk has come down not only on the wrong side of history, allowing himself willingly or not to be pushed into a corner of the Middle East where the only friendly faces he will find belong to murderers who go under names like Hamas and ISIS. He has also come down on the wrong side of the Palestinian struggle, refusing to give them the advice they sorely need but instead encouraging the fantasy that Israel will somehow disappear.

    I am aware that Prof. Falk’s regular readers have their litany. I will not waste space by once again engaging in pointless arguments with them. If they wish to pose whatever pointed and what they no doubt believe are unanswerable questions – a list of them even – I will gladly reply, though I have the feeling that they really don’t want to hear the answers.

    • Oldguyincolorado August 26, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      Agreed. Perhaps we should invent a new term for what he does: Falkism. Sounds religious, don’t you think? In fact, I think it is – all imbalanced articles of faith wherein logic and truth are sacrificed and a new “Golden Calf” is worshiped.

      I repeat what I have said before: Israel is not always right, but she is not always wrong. With Falkism, your side is never wrong.

  4. Fred Skolnik August 26, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Prof. Falk

    By removing Mr. Kelso’s comments you are applying a different standard than you apply to anti-Israel comments that endlessly “reference” the same books and articles and videos. Nothing is more important here than presenting the evidence of what Hamas is doing in Gaza, because it is only by concealing this evidence that Israel can be accused of was crimes.

    • Kata Fisher August 26, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Dear Oldguyincolorado & Fred,

      Dear Oldguyincolorado: Your arguments are null and void, and this is why: 1) Israel is lawless, and it is in a dead-end in her approach. I am sure that they will come up with something new to their excuse.

      Meaning, what are the laws of man and Laws of God that state of Israel has obeyed. It is like that church harlot (illegitimate Israelites) that we and you all have here in USA—they do whatever they want. We can’t graft them in– they all need Baptism in God’s Spirit. 2) Talk about new cow that is to be scarified and danced betwixt… I am not sure what sin-sacrifice that would be…However, I am sure that I can figure out.

      Besides, now days’ having a cow is well beyond anyone’s needs. Besides, it is an awfully stinky thing.

      Just imagine a Rabbi having to buy off that awfully stinky thing…

      Now, would this be an appropriate religious joke? I would not think so. It is not a joke.

      Dear Fred,

      Falkism: it is. Meaning, how can one reconcile the skewed reason to the truth? What is truth?
      Let’s not get too wrap up with too many irrelevant things. When they become relevant, they will be addressed. Have some Patience & Kindness, please.

    • Ken Kelso August 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

      Then Mr Falk mentions Gideon Levy.
      The fact Gideon Levy is free to write his anti Israel views shows how democratic Israel is.
      Tell me what happens to someone in Gaza if they would criticize Hamas?

      Mr Falk should ask the Yazidis about living in a 1 state solution with Arabs.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/world/middleeast/iraq-isis-yazidis-kurds-sunni-arabs.html?_r=0

      For Yazidis Betrayed by Arab Neighbors, ‘It Will Never Be the Same’
      By AZAM AHMED
      AUG. 26, 2014

      .

      • Ken Kelso August 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        Falk cant seem to understand that its Hamas that are the warmongers and war criminals.
        How many more Gazan’s are Hamas prepared to sacrifice.

        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3191891/posts

        Hamas Clarifies Truce Would Only Be to Plan Next War
        Arutz Sheva ^ | 12/8/14 | Ari Yashar

        Even as Israeli representatives are in Cairo to discuss a truce with Hamas on Tuesday, the terrorist group is taking pains to clarify it has no intentions of desisting from trying to wipe Israel off the map.

        Hamas’s “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement presenting its position on the ongoing talks in Egypt.

        “The warriors in Gaza are waiting with Allah’s help to renew the fighting, or to return to planning the next campaign. There’s no escape. Either jihad or planning (for the next jihad),” declared the statement.

        The remarks leave no doubts that even in the case of a truce, from Hamas’s perspective the lull in fighting would only be an opportunity to rearm for the next terror war on the Jewish state. This facet is particularly concerning in light of reports of Israel agreeing to finance Hamas’s officials in Gaza as part of an agreement.

        Slamming this proposal, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) stated Monday “this is political protection money: you pay us, then we’ll shoot you later; you don’t pay us, then we’ll shoot you right now. …It is impossible to fight our enemy with one hand and to fund it with the other.”

      • Gene Schulman August 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

        “If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country…We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?” David Ben Gurion,

      • Fred Skolnik August 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

        This is an unsubstantiated quote whose only source is Nahum Goldmann, an adversary of Ben-Gurion.

        But it is true that the Arabs only see one thing, that the Jews stole their land. What they don’t see is that the land isn’t theirs.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 12:11 am #

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39527.htm

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 1:15 am #

        Yes, of course, George Galloway. Good for you, Gene. But if you’re on to Ben-Gurion, you might as well get the other side of the argument by actually reading Ben-Gurion. You can start with his “Medinat Yisrael Mechudeshet,” “Zikhronot” and “Yoman ha-Milchamah.” These are all multi-volume works but I’m sure you can handle them. Then you’ll really know what Ben-Gurion had to say.

        I’m willing to take you seriously for a moment, unless you go back to hiding behind other peple who are as hostile to Israel as you are. The issue was never real estate or private property. There was no such thing as “Arab land” unless it was privately owned by Arabs. The issue was sovereignty. The Arabs insisted that they had sovereign rights over the entire Middle East and North Africa. The Jews claimed sovereignty over a little piece of the Land of Israel. A compromise was proposed in which the Arabs did end up getting everything, except a little piece of the Land of Israel.

        The historical argument that a great injustice was done to the “Palestinians,” that is to say, to a population consisting largely of fellahin who had no sovereign aspirations and no sense of themselves as living anywhere other than in Greater or Southern Syria and being anything other than part of the greater Arab nation, and for whom their specific “homeland” (biladi) was their village – this argument is nonsensical in moral, historical and political terms, and also pointless and irrelevant, for the moment this Palestinian identity solidified, Israel too recognized it, and the moment the Palestinians, under Arafat, were willing to recognize Israel and negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state, Israel entered these negotiations. It also makes very little sense to argue about why these negotiations have failed. Everyone will explain their failure in his own way. The only relevant question is what will happen tomorrow. That is in truth the only question that should be discussed in a blog that purports to concern itself with the well-being of the Palestinian people. That is what sincere people would be discussing there. But it is hardly discussed at all in any practical terms, which leads one to suspect that the welfare of the Palestinians is not what concerns Israel’s critics after all, just as they don’t seem to be overly concerned about the welfare of victimized populations in Syria and Iraq. It is Israel as the culprit that interests them and nothing else. Well, good luck to you, Gene.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 2:27 am #

        A great injustice WAS done to the Palestinians, and Zionist Israel IS the culprit. No hasbara justifications can erase these facts.

      • Oldguyincolorado August 28, 2014 at 10:54 am #

        Now lets see: ignore the actions of The Ottoman empire (Treaty of Severs and all of its signatories (-the US was not one of them ) ; in case you forgot, The Ottomans Agreed to the establishment of a Jewish nation in this area – on lands owned by the Ottoman Empire – it did own it then, didn’t it? And Jews even lived there, for generations)), the English (and not just the Balfour Amendment), the League of Nations, the UN (1947-48 approval), the attacks by the Arab powers in 1948 (and continuing), the denial by Arab States of citizenship to any Palestinian who lived in other Arab lands, the expulsion of Palestinians by Arab countries, the festering refugee camps run by Arab countries , the closing of border crossings by Arab countries which are contiguous to the lands occupied by Palestinians, Jordan (which kept the Palestinians in horrible conditions from 1948-1967) etc. ad nauseum and blame it all on Israel. How logical. Right out of the Arab play book. Injustice against the Palestinians has taken place, but before the Arab blames Israel alone as the sole culprit, it best first look into a mirror. As I constantly say: Israel is not always right, but she is not always wrong (no one is, including me). And folks like you should avoid slogans – they add nothing to intelligent discussions.

      • Oldguyincolorado August 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

        Prof Falk, how is one to interpret your response to me of 8/23 at 3:34? You said that this is not an open forum, it is to express your views (you have stated this earlier), and if I am not happy, set up my own blog or basically go elsewhere.

        Civility is of course appropriate, but you then infer that I am a racist (talk about offending ones sensibility – here, mine). I pointed out to you that all I was doing was referring you, and others, to relevant historical documents and suggesting that they be read. I also pointed out to you that as to racism, you walk on very thin ice. Do you not understand that how you characterize Israel is in fact racist? To borrow from your most recent response to me, as above, the words you use to express your views regarding Israel in fact causes others to express anti-Semitism. Zionistic or otherwise. Others on this blog have indicated that to you in the past. It seems to me that mischaracterizing apartheid , genocide, ethnic cleansing , etc. when referring to Israel , causes unbelievable damage. Arabs live as citizens within Israel (those in Palestine are not citizens of Israel); Arabs are not killed by the State of Israel within its borders so there is no genocide there; Arabs are killed by the State of Israel when they attack Israel and that is not genocide; as to ethnic cleansing, Israel occupies disputed land as do the Arabs – the taking of vacant disputed land is not ethnic cleansing. I am sure that there have been incidents where Arabs have been forced to move because of what Israel did, but to characterize this as ethnic cleansing (a la Bosnia) is a gross abuse of that term and designed to raise hatred of Jews, generally – similar to calling Israel a Nazi state.

        You, and others, ignore the fact that the final borders between the parties have to yet to be agreed upon and that it might ultimately turn out that both parties are squatting on land of the others. Only time will tell – Israel has offered to discuss land swaps. The PA says they will not give up “one stone” . So what is Israel to do? Nothing?

        As to attacking you personally rather than directing my comments to the specific issues raised in your blog, many of my comments do deal with the subject matter. So do the comments of others. My comments regarding you are directed towards your total failure to even consider any facts or views, not held or subscribed to by you, are even worthy of consideration.

        Israel is not always right, but in similar fashion she is not always wrong. Just like me. Just like you.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 2:57 am #

        I understand your point of view, and do not altogether disagree with it. However, I do not share
        your sense of the linkage between anti-Semitism of the genuine kind involving ethnic hatred with
        making transparent the nature of the policies being pursued by a state, in this instance Israel. To
        disguise the apartheid character of its policies in the West Bank by continuing to rely on the language
        of ‘occupation’ is to overlook long-term moves toward de facto annexation (settlements, roads, wall) and
        to disregard the deeply ingrained and systematic discrimination in treatment of settlers and Palestinians
        is to hide the apartheid character of the structure. The situation is not time-neutral; the diplomatic path
        traveled on for several decades has allowed Israel to accumulate facts on the ground to such an extent that there
        is widespread agreement at this point that the situation has become irreversible, and the two-state chimera
        is just a way of consolidating the situation still further.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 3:27 am #

        Whenever you misuse the word apartheid to characterize Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, I will correct you. An occupation by definition entails separation between the occupying power and the occupied people, including a separate legal system, In this the Israeli occupation is no different from any other occupation in modern history and to try to link it to the policies of South Africa is a perversion of language.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 3:55 am #

        Re “roads, wall,” permit me to add this: The security roads are there for no other purpose than security. I think you know this but are ignoring it because acknowledging it would spoil your argument, which seeks to imply a racist motive which even you can’t believe. The security wall or fence is also there for purposes of security. It was constructed in accordance with topographical conditions but I honestly can’t say if anyone had it in mind in certain sectors to “adjust” Israel’s borders and neither can you. But like the settlements, the issue is irrelevant, since any peace agreement will entail a fair exchange of territory. For you the entire point of these posts of yours is to establish Israel’s culpability. For me, in addition to defending Israel against malicious slander, the point is to represent the conditions under which peace can be achieved.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 3:05 am #

        P.S. to OldguyinColorado: states are not the same as people–a state/society structure may be oppressive by its nature
        as slavery was, as prolonged occupation is; true, when we discuss human fallibility this applies to all of us, and our
        views should always be viewed as conditional and contingent on finding out additional information. As you obviously know,
        politics is particularly tricky domain, as governments and their opponents often do not disclose their true reasons
        for contested action, and interpretations must be made, which are likely to be partial, at best. I think you find me
        dogmatic in my criticisms of Israel’s behavior, and to some extent this is true as I feel I am swimming against the media
        tide, especially in North America, that consistently slants news and commentary in a pro-Israel direction.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 8:59 am #

        I am really at a loss to understand why you are deleting Ken Kelso’s comments when they represent Hamas in precisely the same way as your admirers represent Israel.

        Why do you object to this:

        “Nine times more Jewish civilians have been murdered by Palestinians in the West Bank than Palestinians murdered by Jews there”

        when the impression given on your blog is that Palestinians are being periodically decimated in the West Bank (the total is in fact 50 in the last 11 years, at least half directly engaged in terrorist activity, the others killed under suspicious circumstances,

        or this:

        “PA spends 6% of its budget paying Palestinians in Israeli jails, families of suicide bombers. Hamas terrorist who orchestrated 2002 Park Hotel massacre, in which 30 Israelis died, gets $3,000 a month; bomb-maker jailed for 67 killings gets $1,000.”

        And even this, as distasteful as it might be:

        “Arabs hate anyone that dare not believe and behave like them.
        Strange that a race that does not advance intellectually/spiritually over the millennium still manages to exist. Maybe its their hate that keeps the Arabs going”

        when you allow the following even after I pointed it out to you twice:

        “Looking what the descendents of the Patriarchs are doing Today, it must be part of the genetic makeup of the Chosen People”

        and this:

        “When the Patriarchs of the original tribes of Israel saw the “Promised Land” for the 1st time 3800 years ago, the Jewish scriptures show them as being lying deceivers, murderers and thieves. That trait seems to be lingering these days.”

        You are applying a double standard. What may strike you as Mr. Kelso’s aggressiveness or persistence is no different from the aggressiveness and persistence of your more active admirers, There is no way to rationalize the way you are moderating comments.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 9:08 am #

        I simply disagree. I find the tone and personal insults that characterize almost everyone
        of Ken Kelso’s serial posts to be far below the threshold of civility. Perhaps I have made some
        errors of judgment, but I have tried to be fair, including to you, old guy, Mr. Singer, Rabbi Youdovin, others,
        all of whom are also from my perspective both uncritically pro-Israel and inclined to brand critics of Israel
        as anti-Semites, self-hating Jews, which I find unseemly as well as typical tactic of killing the messenger.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 9:22 am #

        It’s your call of course but with complete impartiality I can say that the tone is no different from the tone of a rehmet or a ray or some of the others we have seen here.

        And once again: Israel’s supporters state time and again that they regard criticism of Israel as legitimate. However, they distinguish between criticism and expressions of hatred. As I have stated time and again, the giveaway is the language. When the language becomes violent or extreme and is furthermore laced with gratuitous remarks about Jewish origins and history, not to mention the character of the Jewish people, and employs double standards and selective morality in everything that pertains to the State of Israel, that is a sign of something more than simple criticism.

      • Ken Kelso August 29, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        Thank you Fred for your response.
        My posts prove how Falk is 100% is wrong.
        Falk deletes my posts cause he’s no different then Hamas or the Ayatollah’s running Iran.
        Falk like them want no opposition.

      • Oldguyincolorado August 29, 2014 at 11:41 am #

        Fred, looks like my observations are redundant. Sorry to be re-plowing what you just said.

      • Oldguyincolorado August 29, 2014 at 11:36 am #

        I do not want to kill any messenger. My issue with the messenger is that he provides less then all of the relevant facts, uses the vilest of terms to convey his message and is somewhat myopic in viewing the effect of the words he chooses to use. I criticize Israel from time to time but in the process I find no need to use “trigger words” to do so. I do not hate myself nor do I hate others who try to point out that Israel makes mistakes on occasion. What country or person does not? The problem with the messenger is that his choice of words makes those particular words central to many of the topics he raises and those words become paramount in the discussion – in that process the issues get lost. Who knows, he might be correct that a bad act has taken place but often we never really get to discuss it because he uses such emotionally charged words that we are forced to talk at one another rather than reason with one another. When we do get to an issue we seem to be faced with his admitted dogmatism. I applaud him for admitting this trait, but it is not useful in making his points.

        There is usually more than just one way to make a point.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

        Richard,

        Have you completely lost it?

        You accuse me of being uncritically pro-Israel. In fact, I’ve often stated on this blog my strong disagreement with aspects of Israeli policy, especially toward the Palestinians. Moreover, I was the founder and for ten years the executive director of a Zionist organization that opposes the Occupation and works to combat anti-Palestinian discrimination both in Israel and in the Territories.

        You accuse me of branding all critics of Israel as anti-Semites. In fact, I’ve repeatedly stated on this blog and elsewhere that criticism of Israel, even harsh criticism, does not necessarily reflect anti-Semitism. Some does. Far too much anti-Semitism is posted by your readers and welcomed, even praised, by you. If you want examples, I’ll be pleased to provide them. But most have already been called to your attention, and have not been removed.

        You have a fixed notion that anybody who rejects your views, which are one-sided and extreme, (a) insults you, (b) is uncritically pro-Israel and (c) sees all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. This is just another instance of your “constructive imbalance”, which depicts reality as what you’d like it to be, not as it really is.

        Something else. I’m pro-Palestinian and you’re not. I want the Palestinians to enjoy a safe and secure future in a state of their own, living in peaceful co-existence with the state of Israel. Your top priority is destroying Israel, even if it means fighting a futile fight right down to the last drop of Palestinian blood.

        You initiated this thread by posting a manifesto “Israel as An Outlaw State and U.S. Complicity”, which seeks to delegitimize Israel and discourages negotiations with its criminal regime. It first appeared in AlJazeera on August 20-21, 2014, when a consortium of states, including Egypt and Qatar, were working feverishly to generate enough commonality between Israel and Hamas to facilitate their agreeing on a cease fire that would put at least a temporary end to death and destruction in Gaza, as well as easing the blockade.

        Had Hamas followed your advice, there would still be missiles flying in and out of Gaza instead of children once again playing on its beaches; no people walking freely in the streets; no fishermen laying their nets into a newly expanded area stretching to six miles from shore.

        Why would anyone throw a Molotov cocktail like this manifesto into an already tense arena? Obviously, someone who wanted to disrupt progress toward a negotiated cease fire. Negotiated settlements in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are an anathema to anyone whose primary objective is eliminating the State of Israel. You disavow any intention of harming Israel. You take umbrage, call the suggestion an insult, and say that the person making it is defaming you. But your own words and actions tell a different story. When the Presbyterians endorsed a resolution calling for divestment from three American companies selling Israel materials it uses to enforce the Occupation, you berated the Church for affirming its commitment to Israel’s sovereignty and security. This doesn’t sound like a man with no desire to harm Israel! I’ve asked you several times to reconcile the apparent discrepancy and have received no reply other than silence.

        Moreover, your “constructive imbalance” doesn’t help the Palestinians. To the contrary. A central aspect of Martin Luther King’s genius is that he demanded from blacks the same ethical standards he demanded from whites. You cite Dr. King as a role model. But you ignore his example. During your six years as Special Rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Commission you reported not one Palestinian violation, and found justification for those that made the press and media. This sent a clear signal to the rejectionist jihadis and terrorists among the Palestinians, especially in Gaza, that they could act with impunity with no concern that the agency responsible for controlling violations would register even a mild complain. The thousands of missiles fired from Gaza in recent months in order to provoke an inevitable Israeli response were smuggled in during your watch, as were the dozens of tunnels dug in preparation for attacks on Israeli civilians. And the warmongers in Hamas leadership circles gained ascendency over the moderates.

        Yes, Israel acts with impunity in regard to UN resolutions, has maintained a cruel Occupation for 47 years and offers its Palestinian citizens legal but not social and economic equality. I acknowledge this without you having to point an accusatory finger, which invariably initiates yet another round of an endless and pointless blame game on this blog. The question is not who’s to blame for the stalemate, but how do we get out of it?

        Here, we come to a stark confrontation of objectives. If the objective for either side is to eliminate or permanently subjugate the other, we can stop talking and go back to finger pointing. Neither side will willingly concede the central subjective for which each has long struggled to attain or maintain. A bi-national state satisfies neither Jewish nor Palestinian legitimate national aspirations. Virtually the only people who favor a one-state solution are those who see it as an opportunity to position itself to defeat the other. A bi-national state is a prescription for more wars.

        However, if we can agree that the only feasible approach is two states for two peoples, we can begin addressing the many obstacles that must be overcome. In this regard, your “constructive imbalance” is destructive. Let’s take an example:

        I agree with you that the Occupation has elements of apartheid, and that unilateral annexation could lead to an apartheid regime on the West Bank. But in fact, a majority of Israeli and Diaspora Jews feel the same way. They fear that Israel could wind up having to choose between maintaining its Jewish character by denying equal rights to an increasing number of resident Palestinians, or being a democracy that guarantees equal rights for all its citizens. That debate, which is of critical importance to future developments, goes unreported on this blog. The notion of widespread Israeli and Jewish sensitivity to Palestinian rights and needs is antithetical to your narrative which depicts Israelis and Jews as being monolithically hostile to Palestinians, thus reinforcing your campaign for de-legitimizing Israel.

        You say the chances of a two state solution are zero. They are if you don’t want it to happen and champion a Palestinian group that remains unwilling to accept the permanence and legitimacy of Israel. I’d still like to hear why you describe Fatah as “collaborationists”, and that Hamas is the only “authentic” Palestinian voice?

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

        Rabbi Youdovin:

        I apologize for putting you inappropriately in the same category with those who are unconditionally pro-Israeli.

        Nevertheless, by continuing to propose negotiations and the two-state solution, while the settlements go on expanding and
        Israel invests heavily in the control of Area C, 60% of the West Bank, seems like willfully wrong advice to give the Palestinians,
        especially when coupled with the insistence that what critics of the Oslo approach are hurting the Palestinians and only you &
        Fred Skolnik are sincere in their commitment to a just peace. Israeli public opinion is very ambivalent when analyzed more
        carefully, and the Knesset election of a new President who is an avowed proponent of an Israeli one-state solution is certainly some
        kind of signal as are Netanyahu’s furious reaction to the unity government and constant escalation of security demands. There is
        no credible evidence that after more than 47 years of occupation that Israel has any intention of creating a viable and independent
        Palestinian state. There is an excellent analysis along these lines in Ali Abunimah’s book THE BATTLE FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE. Finally,
        the insistence on a Jewish state, as distinct from a Jewish homeland, is not morally tenable given the existence of a 20% Palestinian
        minority; I have come to believe this is the fundamental flaw in the way the Zionist project has been realized in Israel, and almost
        inevitably does over time produce a new wave of anti-Semitism in its most virulent ethnic form of hatred of and violence against Jews as Jews.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        Rabbi Youdovin will of course reply for himself. Looking at what you have just written, I can see that you persist in a number of notions that are certainly necessary in order to build your case but are basically and demonstrably erroneous. With all due respect, I really don’t understand how you go about “analyzing” Israeli public opinion “more carefully,” or evaluating the analyses of other people, when you lack an intimate knowledge of Israeli society. The vast majority of Israelis wish to see an end to the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, in which as many of the settlements as possible will be included in Israel’s new negotiated borders. As I have pointed out many times, these new borders will involve around five percent of West Bank territory, for which Israeli land will be exchanged. Only the smallest minority of Israelis wish to see the West Bank annexed. That is the reality. The “ambivalence” derives from serious doubts about whether Abu Mazen can deliver such a peace.

        The ideology of President Rivlin is totally irrelevant in this matter. If you refuse to understand this or accept it, I cannot help you. As for Netanyahu, I really don’t know what an ideal (that is, unattainable) solution would look like to him, but the solution he is aiming for is the two-state solution I have just described. Whatever measures are being taken to “control” West Bank territory is related to security, taking into account the possibility that the peace process could stretch out for many years. As for the settlements, you use the word expansion as if to imply that their boundaries are being widened or that new ones are being added. This is not true. All building activity since the early 1990s have been within existing settlements. (The unauthorized outposts, mostly a few caravans on a barren hilltop, are also irrelevant, though their existence is regularly waved in Israel’s face; certainly they should be dismantled, but that can only come about in an atmosphere where progress is being made toward peace.)

        The Israeli response to the Palestinian unity government is entirely understandable. Israel views Hamas as a terrorist organization whose ultimate aim is the elimination of the State of Israel. That is how much of the world views it. It is inconceivable that Israel would run the risk of what some would see as the inevitable takeover of a Palestinian state by such an organization and the prospect of having rocket launchers set up 15 feet from Jewish Jerusalem. What Hamas declares to Western journalists is irrelevant. Israel will have to rely on itself to understand its intentions.

        Finally, I can only blanch at your assertion that the “insistence on a Jewish state” is “morally untenable” because 20% of its population is Palestinian. Is the insistence on a Turkish state also morally untenable because 20% of its population is Kurdish? This is hypocrisy. Though you are always denying it, you are in fact seeking to delegitimize the State of Israel, and you are certainly fueling and reinforcing such feeling among its enemies. Israel exists as a sovereign Jewish state with an Arab national minority and the Arabs had better learn how to live with it. Their inability to do so has only caused them misery.

      • Gene Schulman August 30, 2014 at 2:32 am #

        Fred,

        I must take exception to your critique of Richard’s response to Ira. You open by accusing him of not having an intimate knowledge of Israeli society and therefore is unable to analyze Israeli public opinion. How do you know he doesn’t have intimate knowledge? Is such limited to Israelis? To you? Does one have to have intimate knowledge in order to make objective judgements of what is wrong thinking? You make such judgements all the time about people you have never even met.

        You say that the vast majority of Israelis wish to see a two state solution. I have seen polls that contradict this, showing that the majority of Israeli public opinion is against two states, and would prefer to have only one state, i.e., one state in which Israel dominates the Palestinians, as exists today.

        Of course Abu Mazen will not be able to deliver the peace you describe, because he does not legally represent the Palestinians as he holds no official office, and further, seems to be a collaborator with the Israeli government. One well-known source has informed me that Abbas is not crazy, though. He knows that the Palestinians, Hamas or otherwise, cannot defeat Israel militarily, so is willing to drag things on until the Palestinian bomb explodes. That bomb being the demographic bomb, which will doom the Jewish state and convert Israel into a secular state for both peoples.

        It is interesting that your solution, and description of a final settlement and border adjustment is the usual hasbara that has been supposedly offered for years, but never comes to pass. The fall back excuse being that Hamas is a terrorist organization and not to be dealt with, except by force. Actually, it is Hamas who has proposed and agreed to all cease fires, and offered to accept Israel as a legitimate state based on meeting certain reasonable demands, which Israel promises and never lives up to. Why should your scenario be any more valid than the one I offer? What inside track do you have that is not open to others?

        For me, “the insistence on a Jewish state” IS morally untenable. Not only because 20% of the population is Palestinian, rather because of the principle of separation of religion and state. The US constitution is based on such separation. The EU failed to create a constitution because some wished to insert a clause that would identify it as Christian. Most everyone condemns Muslim countries identifying themselves as “Islamic States”. Why should Israel be a Jewish state? Such a position immediately contradicts its claim to be a democracy.

        Your analogy of Turkey and the Kurds is not valid. That is political difference. Israel as a Jewish state is religious difference.

        I can’t speak for Richard, but I am willing to admit that I believe Israel is illegitimate, so long as it clings to its Jewish nature, and so long as it continues to deny that it was founded on false premises. The world has been fooled by its alleged victim hood of the Holocaust. As Avram Burg taught us: “It is Time to Forget the Holocaust and Move On”.

      • Fred Skolnik August 30, 2014 at 3:10 am #

        I am happy to see that you have finally spoken in your own name and elaborated your own understanding of the issues.

        As for understanding Israeli society – its mood, its trends, its aspirations, its ethos – without having lived there and without knowing the language, that is quite simply impossible. I have been to France, read the language, know the history, and yet would not presume to analyze French society, not even among friends and certainly not by relying on anti-French literature. Prof. Falk, on the other hand, is “analyzing” Israeli society as a public act and seeking to influence his readers accordingly. I personally feel that this is irresponsible. He may have views that accord with his biases and that is understandable, but when he becomes a pundit he becomes just another journalist cranking out “interpretations” of events that he is really not equipped to understand, a kind of Tom Friedman (who at least has a little Hebrew and Arabic and lived in Israel and Lebanon for a while) pontificating about the Middle East.

        Polls consistently show that Israelis favor a two-state solution. I have never seen one that doesn’t. Maybe you have. But anyone with any understanding of Israel understands that the last thing the vast majority of Israelis wants is to annex the West Bank.

        Abu Mazen hold the office of president under emergency powers and Hamas recognizes him as such as evidenced by the terms of their supposed reconciliation.

        Hamas did not propose and agree to every cease fire. Egypt proposed every cease fire and Hamas broke every cease fire.

        Hamas has never offered to recognize Israel as a legitimate state. It has occasionally propounded a strategy of living with Israel until the time is ripe to destroy it.

        You are persisting in the fallacy that the Jewishness of Israel is religious and not national. Israel is Jewish in the same way that Turkey is Turkish and Spain is Spanish. Religion and state are certainly separated in Israel, which is a secular state. Once again, you are arriving at a conclusion without any knowledge of the country, and a very foolish one. You do not understand how Israelis define thwmselves as Jews. The only area in which religious law predominates, in each of the religions practiced in Israel, is family law.

        Your views about Israel’s legitimacy are presumptuous. They certainly aren’t going to help the Palestinians.

      • Gene Schulman August 30, 2014 at 3:30 am #

        I didn’t expect you to agree with me, but you leave absolutely no room for the least discussion. As I have criticized you before, you just continue to repeat the same hasbara and disdain other views. I happen to know many Israelis – in Israel and out – who agree with me, and would sneer at your mulish arguments.

        Richard is not a journalist, rather a scholar. The comparison with Tom Friedman is an insult.

      • Fred Skolnik August 30, 2014 at 3:40 am #

        You made your points, I pointed out their fallacies, and you are again retreating behind meaningless assertions (“I know many Israelis who agree with me”). We are back to square one.

      • Gene Schulman August 30, 2014 at 6:24 am #

        Well. yes, I’ve made my case, but Fred has not pointed out any fallacies, only accused me of meaningless assertions. So I will revert to using “references” as ammunition to counter him. I challenge any reader of this blog to refute the truths related by the author of this essay (with the exception of Fred, Ira, and other hasbarists):

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/29/the-entire-world-is-under-siege/print

      • Fred Skolnik August 30, 2014 at 6:32 am #

        I pointed out the fallacies paragraph by paragraph. Your meaningless assertion is that “many Israelis” agree with you.

      • Oldguyincolorado August 29, 2014 at 10:42 am #

        I note that Ken and Fred have dealt with much of what you just said to me, so I will not engage in any “piling on” and get to a point that I feel you are missing: in the real world, whether you like it or not, world Jewry is equated with the State of Israel. Why do you think that anti-Semitism is on the rise? Why are non-Israeli Jews attacked in other areas of the world; or synagogues placed under police protection (and schools as well), or business’s vandalized with Nazi symbols, etc. In part this may be because of latent anti-Semitism, in part because of a misunderstanding of what Israel has to do in order to protect herself, in part because Israel does err on occasion and in part because vile words have been used to describe every move Israel makes (including those moves which are justified).

        I do not object to your being dogmatic in expressing your views – although I object to what appears to be a singular disregard of facts and views which fly in the face of much of what you say . As you well know, to be dogmatic means to assert your views in not just a positive way but often with an undercurrent of arrogance and often without any real proof or evidence. It carries with it an almost religious connotation. I sometimes wonder if you understand where your approach to Israel is taking all of us. It seems not to be a good place – and for the most part that is where most dogmatisms end up: extremism. I recognize that you feel the same way about Israel but you ignore the extremism of her enemies. I know that we can go on with a “tit for tat” discussion about extremism but that serves no real purpose in what I am discussing with you.

        Now I happen to be a Jew. I do not always agree with what Israel does but agree with much of what she does do. I do not defend her “just because” but there are many who attack her “just because” . Even where I disagree with what her government does, I, as a Jew, am automatically linked to that. Frankly, so are you (even though you try to distance yourself from that – as I understand it, you were born Jewish).

        When vile words are used to characterize the actions of Israel, her enemies (especially the “just because” type) embrace those words and “run with them”; especially if those words are uttered by a Jew. Words which are either not true about Israel or are given new and often ad hoc definitions in order to vilify Israel They are interpreted under the old meanings because that fits the needs of the “just because” group. The result is an increase in the fuel which fires world wide anti- Semitism. Not to understand this is a fatal flaw when characterizing the actions of Israel. This is not to say that, from time to time, Israel should not be criticized. It is the choice of the words used which must be scrutinized. If one chooses the wrong words, great harm can come to Jews everywhere: Even to those who disagree with every action of Israel (and at first blush you appear to be one such person – I say this because one of the questions you seem not willing to answer is one of mine: have you ever said anything in favor of Israel ?).

        I do not know if any of this is reaching you. I can only hope that you will take the time to re-read some of what you have written and your choice of words when referring to Israel, because frankly, in the real world those words refer to all of us. And I object to them. If you really mean them then you cause far more harm than the good you think you do.

      • Pamela August 30, 2014 at 11:44 am #

        Who’s land is it if it is not theirs? It appears to be theirs. My fathers library has a very cool book (some colored pictures!) about nomads of the world in his library that I remember from childhood. This part of the earth is called Palestine and the people there called PALESTINIANS.

      • Fred Skolnik August 31, 2014 at 2:20 am #

        Pamela

        Palestine (Palaestina) was the name given by the Romans to the province of Judea after they conquered the Jews in order to obliterate the connection to the Jews. The name derives from the biblical Peleshet or Philistia, referring to the so-called Lands of the Philistines. The Philistines were an Aegean Sea People who arrived off the coast of Syria, Phoenicia and Egypt from the West in around 1200 B.C. and occupied the territory between Gaza and Ashdod. The British revived the name under their Mandate. The Arabs came out of the Arabian Desert in the 7th century and conquered the Land of Israel along with the rest of the Middle East. They have absolutely nothing to do with the Philistines, Philistia, Palestine or Palestinians.
        The Jewish claim should be clear enough.

      • Gene Schulman August 31, 2014 at 2:41 am #

        Whatever you want to call them is moot. The fact is, there was an indigenous people living in what is commonly called Palestine today, and they weren’t Hebrews or Jews, except for the few odd settlers from Russia. It was the Zionist Ashkenazim from Europe who usurped the land, illegally and without justification. in 1947, 1948. They still occupy it.

      • Fred Skolnik August 31, 2014 at 3:08 am #

        There were no odd settlers from Russia here when the Arabs conquered the Land of Israel in the 7th century in a rampage of rape, murder and forced conversions. But there were certainly Jews who had been continuously present for at least 2000 years. It is estimated that around 2.5 million Jews were living in the Land of Israel just before the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans. At the beginning of the 7th century an army of 20,000 Jews was raised in the revolt of Tyre, Since that time the native Jewish population varied in accordance with the edicts and massacres of foreign conquerors. As I pointed out to you, and you seemed to understand this, no one usurped anyone’s land. The State of Israel was established, the Arabs attacked it, and the refugee problem was consequently created. I am not going to repeat what I have already written about it unless you again go into your Nazi-hasbara-ethnic cleansing-trolls-genocide-bah mode or try to hide behind some hysterical diatribe from Counterpunch.

      • Richard Falk August 31, 2014 at 7:14 am #

        Fred Skolnik:

        You often belittle the significance of the settlements as obstacles to peace, and contend that
        all recent contentions of ‘expansion’ are misleading because whatever growth takes place is within
        the settled boundaries established 20 years ago. How then would you explain or explain away the following
        report, which is one of many along the same lines in recent years:

        http://news.yahoo.com/israel-plans-expropriate-400-hectares-west-bank-army-092041942.html

        Israel to expropriate 400 hectares of West Bank, army says
        Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel announced plans on Sunday to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank, the military said.
        “On the instructions of the political echelon… 4,000 dunams at (the settlement of) Gevaot is declared as state land,” the army department charged with administering civil affairs in occupied territory said, adding that concerned parties have 45 days to appeal.
        It said that the step stemmed from political decisions taken after the June killing of three Israeli teenagers snatched from a roadside in the same area, known to Israelis as Gush Etzion settlement bloc.
        Israel has named three Palestinians from the southern West Bank city of Hebron as being behind the murders.
        The Etzion settlements council welcomed Sunday’s announcement, and said it was the prelude to expansion of the current Gevaot settlement.
        It “paves the way for the new city of Gevaot”, a statement said.

      • Fred Skolnik August 31, 2014 at 7:32 am #

        A number of announcements of this kind have been made over the years and not implemented. We’ll see. But there are very few examples of expropriations of this sort, and basically there has been no settlement expansion in the sense I am talking about since around 1991. The issue is irrelevant because the disposition of the settlements will be negotiated and I have outlined Israel’s position in regard to land exchange, which is not extreme and is not really a species of bullying since we are talking about barren hilltops for barren hilltops. If it ever comes to serious negotiations, which do not seem to be in the offing at present, this will certainly not be the stumbling block. At the end of the day, the Arabs will have to give up the idea of flooding Israel with millions of refugee descendents.

  5. A6er August 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  6. david singer August 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Professor Falk

    I write reluctantly – but I cannot permit you to again produce unchallenged as fact your revisionist history of the Jewish-Arab conflict as encapsulated in your opening paragraph:

    “Israel was born in 1948. Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly is widely regarded as the most convincing legal basis for founding the State of Israel. We should recall that the Palestinians were awarded 45% of the historic Palestine, while 54% was allocated to Israel, and 1% was set aside as a special zone to be used for the internationalized city of Jerusalem. After the 1948 War with the neighboring Arab nations, Israel’s territorial gains reduced the Palestinian share to only 22%.”

    My differences of opinion with your summation are the following:

    1. Israel was born in 1920 with the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres – as unanimously endorsed in 1922 by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

    2. 76.9% of Mandatory Palestine (Transjordan) was excluded from the the provisions of the Mandate calling for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine in 1922 by article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine. This decision was accepted by the Jewish leadership – but not by the Arabs.

    3. The Report of the Peel Commission in 1937 represented a further attempt by the Mandatory Authority to divide the remaining 23% of Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. It was accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs.

    4. In 1946 full independence was granted to Transjordan n which no Jews lived.

    4. You omit to mention that Resolution 181 was rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.

    5. You omit to mention that of the 23.1% of Mandatory Palestine then remaining – two thirds of the 54% allocated to Israel consisted of the then arid Negev desert whilst the 45% allocated to the Arabs contained the majority of the remaining fertile land located in Palestine.

    6. You omit to mention that six Arab armies (from the neighbouring Arab nations) invaded Palestine.

    7. You are in error stating that after “the 1948 War with the neighboring Arab nations, Israel’s territorial gains reduced the Palestinian share to only 22%.”.

    Israel made no territorial gains. These were made by Egypt and Jordan.

    Professor Falk – what you have been consistently doing is framing the conflict as the “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict which with respect is not correct.

    Coincidentally – Matti Friedman in an article released on the same day as yours states:

    “The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s—the quest for a “two-state solution.” It is accepted that the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” meaning that it is a conflict taking place on land that Israel controls—0.2 percent of the Arab world—in which Jews are a majority and Arabs a minority. The conflict is more accurately described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab”—that is, a conflict between the 6 million Jews of Israel and 300 million Arabs in surrounding countries. (Perhaps “Israel-Muslim” would be more accurate, to take into account the enmity of non-Arab states like Iran and Turkey, and, more broadly, 1 billion Muslims worldwide.) This is the conflict that has been playing out in different forms for a century, before Israel existed, before Israel captured the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and before the term “Palestinian” was in use.

    The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party. It also includes the implicit assumption that if the Palestinian problem is somehow solved the conflict will be over, though no informed person today believes this to be true. This definition also allows the Israeli settlement project, which I believe is a serious moral and strategic error on Israel’s part, to be described not as what it is—one more destructive symptom of the conflict—but rather as its cause.”

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183033/israel-insider-guide/2

    Until you face up to the real origins of Israel and its undoubted legitimacy in international law – you will be doing a disservice to the cause of the Palestinian Arabs and put the existence of the Jewish State under continuing threat.

    • Kata Fisher August 26, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      David,

      I have a reflection:

      45%, 54%, 22%, 76.9%, 23%, 23.1%, 54%, 45%, 22%

      I look at any of these numbers, as I read, I feel like a slap to my spirit.

      • david singer August 27, 2014 at 12:03 am #

        Kata

        The different numbers come from two perspectives – whether you date the origin of the Jewish-Arab conflict in Palestine from 1920 (as most respectable historians and international lawyers do) or from 1947 (as Arab propagandists do).

        Only 27 years difference in the starting point – but what a lot of significant events are buried when one chooses to start from 1947.

        It never ceases to amaze me that Professor Falk should continually use 1947 as his starting point as he once again demonstrates in this article.

        Professor Falk has obviously accepted the PLO narrative that everything decided in international law from 1920 is null and void.

        For an eminent international lawyer such as Professor Falk to accept that narrative – especially as it purports to unilaterally repudiate the unanimous decision of the League of Nations in 1922 – is

        I agree with his opinion on the binding effect of international law and the need for member States of the UN to be bound by such law – but that does not mean Professor Falk can selectively choose the starting date from which such laws should be followed.

        The PLO can do and say whatever they like and be judged accordingly..

        Professor Falk does not have the liberty to treat international law with such contempt.

    • Kata Fisher August 27, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Dear David,

      Professor Falk may be acting as one who is under the Law of the Spirit. It is possible for a person to act under the Law of the Spirit and has no idea that is doing so…(smile).

      You wrote this:

      “Only 27 years difference in the starting point – but what a lot of significant events are buried when one chooses to start from 1947.”

      I am in agreement with you that there are definitely some important events that are buried in between.

      You also write:”The PLO can do and say whatever they like and be judged accordingly…”, and I am in agreement with you.

      This is how judgment may be appearing to be and is: “They get what they get, and they do not throw a fit.”

      This is what I understand: they can choose the blessing or a curse in this point in time – but wait, can they do that on their own behave? We rather judge no one, especially, when they behave like jamboree of spiritual babes?

      It is visible that there can be blessing or a curse toward both Israel and Palestinians (as well as all other in Holy Land and all around). Israel, however, it does appear to be in a judgment that started to look more and more as a double blessing, instead. However, I may be wrong about that?

      We can also note that subtracting from this point in time; the time of 1920’s is well about four generations. I think that sounds just right.

      This is what I understand:

      There are some legal bindings, natural and spiritual that took place in between, 1920, and 1947 & even after that. It looks like a double-edged sword issues have taken place, and can take now as well. Were the prophets among them, I still wonder about that – and where exactly?

      Meaning, we can look at natural legal bindings, and see how spiritual legal bindings appear now? Now, also, the Law of the Spirit can overlap with these bindings and push against either and/or both: “natural legal bindings” & “spiritual, legal bindings.” With that, either can be annulled and/or corrected.

      I do not see by Spirit any reason for any of disagreements, only move of the Spirit I do see.

      A very important note:

      David: can you look at some of those instances, and see if anything relevant may be there? Please, if you can also reflect on this as you wrote, and have said before on August 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm:

      We have to deal with the here and now.

      Mc Mahon made his position perfectly clear in 1937. If Husayn misunderstood him or felt he was cheated by McMahon does that provide the excuse to dismantle the State of Israel now?

      The 1937 Palestine Royal Commission had this to say about the McMahon Pledge:

      “We have not considered that our terms of reference required us to undertake the detailed and lengthy research among the documents of 20 years ago which would be needed for a full re-examination of this issue. We think it sufficient for the purposes of this Report to state that the British Government have never accepted the Arab case. When it was first formally presented by the Arab Delegation in London in 1922, the Secretary
      of State for the Colonies (Mr. Churchill) replied as follows : –

      ” That Ietter Sir H. McMahon’s letter of the 24th October,1915 is quoted as conveying the promise to the Sherif of Mecca to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him. But this promise was given subject to a reservation
      made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among,other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the district of Damascus. This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty’s Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the
      independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. The whole of Palestine west of the Jordan was thus excluded from Sir H. McMahon’s pledge.”

      Do you want me to go back and show you how Churchill actually betrayed the Jewish people denying to them the right to reconstitute the Jewish national Home in 76.9% of Palestine – now called Jordan – promised to them in 1920 by the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres – but excised because of Article 25 being inserted in the Mandate for Palestine document.in 1922?

      Does that mean Israel should go in now and take over Jordan?

      We cannot turn back the clock and undo the past.

      The Arabs of Palestine ended up with 76.9% of Palestine in which not one Jew lives today.. This has never been enough for them. They have always wanted 100% – free of any Jews.

      Until they get over their Jew-hatred – the prospects for peace are very slim.

      As Professor Falk indicates – Jordan could be the trump card to end the conflict.

      Until the world starts to focus on promoting direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel to redraw the existing boundary between their two sovereign states – the 130 years old conflict between Jews and Arabs is set to continue with the distressing results we are all witnessing at this very moment.

      http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/border-control-blocking-uncivil-comments/#comments

      • Richard Falk August 28, 2014 at 7:14 am #

        Mr. Singer:

        You misrepresent my position. I have indicated that the Jordan option is worth exploring, no more than that,
        and then only if Palestine’s authentic representatives give their blessings and take part as equal parties.
        To propose negotiations between Jordan and Israel over the fate of the West Bank is a major step backward from
        what already seems hopeless.
        And the further point is that you can and should turn the clock back in situations such as this one in which the
        Zionist Movement used force and colonialist credential to dispossess a people and deprive it of its right of self-
        determination. This is not a historical argument as much as it is a normative argument.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 7:21 am #

        Perhaps the following will help Mr. Singer to better understand. A fine historian speaks of the present: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/28/the-muses-and-death/print

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 7:31 am #

        Prof. Falk

        You are once again fictionalizing Middle East history. The Zionist movement did not dispossess the fellahin, Arabs, Palestinians or whatever you wish to call the people living in the Land of Israel when the early Jewish settlers arrived, and certainly did not use force under Ottoman and British rule. The Zionist Movement purchased land privately. And once again: the Arabs or fellahin living here had no sovereign aspirations and no sense of themselves as living anywhere other than in Greater or Southern Syria and being anything other than part of the greater Arab nation, for whom their specific “homeland” (biladi) was their village. Nothing was further from their minds than self-determination.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 8:06 am #

        ” Nothing was further from their minds than self-determination.” Until Israel declared themselves a state and began ethnically cleansing the Arabs from stolen territories!

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 8:00 am #

        Fine historian, Gene? Who says? Sand is a discredited historian with a harebrained theory of Jewish origins whose sole purpose is to delegitimize the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. His hostility to Israel is comparable to your own hostility to America.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 8:18 am #

        Gene says Sand is a fine historian, along with many others who agree with Gene.

        Gene bears no hostility to America, only to what it has become in the past thirty years: a fascist oligarchy. Gene bears no hostility to Israel, only to what it has become over the past 67 years, a racist oligarchy.

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 8:15 am #

        At least you understand, Gene, that they only became Palestinians after Israel became a state. But then the surrounding Arab countries invaded Israel with the declared aim of destroying it, just as they said they would before the partition vote.

        We have already talked about the Arab and Jewish refugees, so there is no point in going into that again.

      • Gene Schulman August 28, 2014 at 8:28 am #

        Bah, humbug. Just reiterating the same lies over and over again is not going to win any arguments with me. When you can accept the truth about the history of the conflict without twisting facts, I might return.

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 8:37 am #

        Why should I want to win arguments with you? When you talk nonsense I’ll expose you. I don’t have to say “humbug,” Gene. It’s people who have nothing real to say who say “humbug.”

      • Oldguyincolorado August 28, 2014 at 10:06 am #

        Kata, you are correct: the past cannot be undone. You are wrong as to the length of Arab hostility towards the Jews. Josephus mentions this almost 2,000 years ago. As to a Jew free zone, that is the goal and a basis for the Arab attacks even before the 1940s. I have no comment regarding the rest of your comments except to point out that, historically Mr. Singer is substantially correct: Prof Falk selects the “facts” which support his theories rather than looking at all of the facts which should then lead to his conclusions. Many others have pointed this out to him. Generally, he ignores this to their great frustration. This is bad scholarship, as I have previously mentioned to him.

        As Prof Falk recently told me (substantially): this blog is to express and publicize his firmly held convictions and not to be used for other contrary opinions. If you want to do that, go elsewhere. Only by his sufferance are “others” allowed to have their opinions expressed here. I guess that this blog is just an extension of his classroom and not an open forum. Teachers rules.

      • Richard Falk August 28, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        I wonder why you misrepresent my approach to the blog. First of all, it is entirely different from a classroom
        where the whole idea is to create space for the expression of a diversity of views, and there is rarely, if ever,
        efforts to insult either fellow students or the teacher. It is an exchange of views, and I would be surprised if you
        found any of my Princeton students in my 40 years there who would suggest that my classroom was a closed forum.
        More importantly, I suppose, as you should realize, my objection is to the tendency of you and others to talk about
        me rather than the issues, or about each other, and especially, the embrace of what I call ‘Zionist anti-Semitism,’
        which merges criticism of Israel with allegations of hatred of Jews. I resent this rhetorical technique, and believe
        it is completely foreign to my sensibility.

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        You are once again falsifying how Israel’s supporters characterize Israel’s critics. Israel’s supporters state time and again that they regard criticism of Israel as legitimate. However, they distinguish between criticism and expressions of hatred. As I have stated time and again, the giveaway is the language. When the language becomes violent or extreme and is furthermore laced with gratuitous remarks about Jewish origins and history, not to mention the character of the Jewish people, and employs double standards and selective morality in everything that pertains to the State of Israel, that is a sign of something more than simple criticism. In your own case, given your approach to the conflict and the manner in which you characteristically express yourself, one cannot help but get a sense that you bear great animosity and resentment toward Israel, and that this colors your remarks, and I therefore think it is legitimate to point out the irrational factor in your various assertions.

      • Kata Fisher August 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

        Dear Oldguyincolorado,

        It was not me writing all that. David wrote this on July 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm:

        We have to deal with the here and now.

        Mc Mahon made his position perfectly clear in 1937. If Husayn misunderstood him or felt he was cheated by McMahon does that provide the excuse to dismantle the State of Israel now?

        The 1937 Palestine Royal Commission had this to say about the McMahon Pledge:

        “We have not considered that our terms of reference required us to undertake the detailed and lengthy research among the documents of 20 years ago which would be needed for a full re-examination of this issue. We think it sufficient for the purposes of this Report to state that the British Government have never accepted the Arab case. When it was first formally presented by the Arab Delegation in London in 1922, the Secretary
        of State for the Colonies (Mr. Churchill) replied as follows : –

        ” That Ietter Sir H. McMahon’s letter of the 24th October,1915 is quoted as conveying the promise to the Sherif of Mecca to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him. But this promise was given subject to a reservation
        made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among,other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the district of Damascus. This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty’s Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the
        independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. The whole of Palestine west of the Jordan was thus excluded from Sir H. McMahon’s pledge.”

        Do you want me to go back and show you how Churchill actually betrayed the Jewish people denying to them the right to reconstitute the Jewish national Home in 76.9% of Palestine – now called Jordan – promised to them in 1920 by the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres – but excised because of Article 25 being inserted in the Mandate for Palestine document.in 1922?

        Does that mean Israel should go in now and take over Jordan?

        We cannot turn back the clock and undo the past.

        The Arabs of Palestine ended up with 76.9% of Palestine in which not one Jew lives today.. This has never been enough for them. They have always wanted 100% – free of any Jews.

        Until they get over their Jew-hatred – the prospects for peace are very slim.

        As Professor Falk indicates – Jordan could be the trump card to end the conflict.

        Until the world starts to focus on promoting direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel to redraw the existing boundary between their two sovereign states – the 130 years old conflict between Jews and Arabs is set to continue with the distressing results we are all witnessing at this very moment.

        http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/border-control-blocking-uncivil-comments/#comments

      • Kata Fisher August 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

        Dear Fred:

        I have to tell you that for me being kind to senior citizens would be allowing them their chillaxing time. However, I can be unwilling to be kind, and I will tell you this:

        Your argument is invalid; it is full of logical errors from which you draw your conclusions. Just few days ago you have accused Ray in the similar fashion as now you are doing toward professor Falk.

        …”Criticism and expressions of hatred” is not to be mixed up and confused with a solid “Scriptural discrimination” (I will use the word discrimination) that is only based on the condition of “unrighteousness” of a person – or unrighteousness toward a person. Nothing else.

        Fred, ask yourself this: Are you unrighteous toward Professor Falk and what by what reason?

        Professor Falk would do the disservice toward Israel if he would commit in your ways – he has a specific way. Why don’t you just accept that and boggle your mind a bit along with it?

        Can you apply this to yourself, as well?:

        “In your own case, given your approach to the conflict and the manner in which you characteristically express yourself, one cannot help but get a sense that you bear great animosity and resentment toward Israel, and that this colors your remarks, and I therefore think it is legitimate to point out the irrational factor in your various assertions.”

        Was that “judge myself” in application?

        Self-judgment is an excellent practice, and when you get used to it – you actually start to enjoy it.

        I happened to be “full of fallacies…” like handbook oh church administration, without understanding something, first. But where does it come from? With that, I must ask you this: where is your handbook? Tell us…

        I will not just assume that you have your Hasbara booklets?

        Professor Falk cannot apply any of those booklets…

        I was moved to say this, and at first, I just wanted to say nothing, at all.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 2:48 am #

        Kata: I am grateful for all that you say, and for the spirit that your saying exemplifies. My thanks
        for your blessings. Richard

      • Fred Skolnik August 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

        Dear Kata

        If you continuously step in and write these long replies when Prof. Falk is addressed, you are in effect absolving him from the need to reply himself, allowing him to feel that the remarks addressed to him will simply get lost in your own rhetoric. I think it would be better if you allowed him to respond himself to what is addressed to him and not try to insert yourself into these efforts to engage him. There is plenty of opportunity for you to respond to issues without lecturing us.

      • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 2:47 am #

        I disagree. It is quite appropriate for Kata to comment, and with her distinctive
        style and outlook. I am appreciative of her spiritually grounded attempt to bring
        ideas of humility and self-criticism, which is seemingly absent from the emotional
        resources of some of our most persistent comment writers.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 2:58 am #

        If that is your view, Prof. Falk, I apologize to both of you. But since Kata didn’t really address my response to your assertion that “the Zionist Movement used force and colonialist credential to dispossess a people and deprive it of its right of self-
        determination,” perhaps you will address it now:

        “The Zionist Movement did not dispossess the fellahin, Arabs, Palestinians or whatever you wish to call the people living in the Land of Israel when the early Jewish settlers arrived, and certainly did not use force under Ottoman and British rule. The Zionist Movement purchased land privately. And once again: the Arabs or fellahin living here had no sovereign aspirations and no sense of themselves as living anywhere other than in Greater or Southern Syria and being anything other than part of the greater Arab nation, for whom their specific “homeland” (biladi) was their village. Nothing was further from their minds than self-determination.

      • Gene Schulman August 29, 2014 at 8:02 am #

        Nice to finally read a word of civility from Fred, in his apology to Richard and Kata. But again he keeps twisting history with his description of pre-Israel Palestine. Of course there was little or no animosity between the early settlers and the indigenous peoples. There was no need for it. Indeed, the lands were legally purchased. No one contests that. All the trouble began with the creation of the Jewish state and the ethnic cleansing of those who were already living there, and the illegal expansion of territory originally mandated.

      • Kata Fisher August 29, 2014 at 9:41 am #

        Professor Falk,

        I believe that people have their reasons that are anchored in solid things.
        With that, I only hope that you no longer receive unjustifiable criticism. Unjustifiable criticism, unchecked, can slightly slip off and turn into solid forms of discrimination that is not Scriptural in essence. No one deserves that. Solid / justifiable criticism is just beautiful and much needed.
        I am not writing this to be harsh to anyone, juts a note for reflection.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 9:43 am #

        No Gene, there was no ethnic cleansing, not a single refugee, when Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee’s spokesman, told the UN prior to the partition vote the Arabs would drench “the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood. . . .” The Arab invasion had nothing to do with ethnic cleansing or the Palestinians as such. It was jihad plain and simple. As for the refugees, since you are a devotee of Benny Morris, for better or for worse, I take it, and no one has studied the newly opened archives more thoroughly and more honestly than he has, I suggest you read his later history of the war and you will find that the entire subject is a lot more complex than you imagine.

      • Gene Schulman August 29, 2014 at 9:55 am #

        I have read Morris’ later work. A revision of his earlier revision, after he joined the right wing. Not at all palatable. You might learn more from this: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/29/how-the-us-enables-israel/print

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        If you prefer Counterpunch to Benny Morris, that is your business.

  7. rehmat1 August 27, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I have “reflection” too…

    Many Israelis and political pundits in the Palestinian camp has declared the so-called “permanent ceasefire” negotiated between Netanyahu, Abbas and Egyptian dictator Gen. Sisi, as a victory for Palestinian Islamic Resistance in Gaza.

    If one considers resistance to one of world’s most powerful and immoral armies for 51 days without selling its soul to the Zionist Devil, is a victory; then I agree with him to celebrate it. However, if one reads the contents of the “deal” authored by some Zionist Jewish advisor to US secretary of state, John Kerry (a Crypto Zionist), Israel will only allow the material for the reconstruction of Gaza infra-structure it destroyed during the seven weeks of carpet bombing through Israel-Gaza checkpoints. This “Jewish mercy” would last for thirty days. After one month, the Gazans would have to negotiate with the Zionist regime how to stop the Jewish soldiers restart murdering their children.

    So you see, the Zionist regime has not blessed the Fatah-Hamas “unity government”, one of the reason it murdered three Jew settlers to start the war on July 6. The aim was to destroy Hamas and make Mahmoud Abbas, the undisputed leader of the nine million Palestinians.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/08/27/israel-lost-its-gaza-war-in-public-opinion/

  8. Gene Schulman August 29, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    Dare I post Jeff Halper’s excellent post from today’s Mondoweiss? Perhaps it will help the hasbarists better understand the history they habitually twist on this blog. (Again, apologies for “referencing”.)

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/palestinian-message-disappear.html

    • Richard Falk August 29, 2014 at 3:07 am #

      Gene: I am so glad that you did. Among Zionist critical voices none are more lucid, courageous, and decent than his..and this has been true for many years.

      • Fred Skolnik August 29, 2014 at 5:54 am #

        I am not trying to hound you, Prof. Falk, and I understand why you choose to ignore what is unanswerable, I will only hazard to say here that the reason you are so enamored of this “voice” is because it is telling you what you want to hear. Do you really think Israel is going to jeopardize the security of its civilian population on the basis of your understanding of Hamas’s intentions?

  9. Kata Fisher August 29, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    I have a reflection:

    Should Israel and Palestine / Gaza situation more and more be interpreted as exactly the same situation with West and East Germany, only that the separation wall/s is not complete? Meaning, it is impossible to bring them to just realizations.

    This generation should do all or nothing.

    Two state solutions would push things backwards while things need to be pushed forward.

    If two-state solutions are considered few things can happen—this, however, will not happen: they will not be able to deal with the Nazi spirit roaming around and hermitting in the midst of them.

    It is not all about cramming up different tribes into one Land, so to say; it is rather watching and taping out spiritual realities that are of bloody consequence.

    I know that one solution for all is a difficult concept; however, it may be the only one without everlasting consequences. I do not know that just by my natural understanding.

    When comes to Blasphemy of God’s Spirit and satanic seals in blood lines one can do nothing to the human condition. We can just watch them as they go on, and on, and on.

    You can’t just annul seal of the beast by any means.

  10. Kata Fisher August 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    I just read this:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-israel-to-expropriate-400-hectares-of-west-bank-army-says-2014-8

    Is this once again colonial-Zionism in application?

    What is illegal for Israel to do, and what is not illegal concerning the Holy Land Territory?

    Is this once again colonial-Zionism in application? To me it appears as so, and what they did/intend to do, is Biblically illegal. Scripturally one can not apply colonialism to the Holy Land — not only Holy Land but everywhere else because there will be everlasting consequence (natural/spiritual).

    God did not tell them to do that — why are they doing that?

    I believe that is time to coerce Israel by sanctions, fully forced sanctions.Their pattern is all about any opportunity to war and any opportunity to seize territory and fill for their bellies by the guilt of blood: colonialism.

    I believe if Israeli do not yield to legitimate agreements, and pursue diplomacy to the Holy Land Territory the will be given over to destruction, as they completely and irrevocably fall off from Grace. I am very serious about this fact.

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