The Hidden Costs of War Crimes to the Criminal

20 Aug

[Prefatory Note: I am republishing on this blog site a letter and some documentation written by Fred Branfman, a friend and political comrade of more than 40 years. We met first in our shared opposition to the Vietnam War, and engaged in acts of civil disobedience in Washington to express our solidarity with younger Americans who were facing prison for their opposition or death and injury as conscripted soldiers, and our sense of identification with the millions of Vietnamese who were enduring the ravages of high technology war, many without ever having left their villages, much less their country. As he writes, Fred was moved and shocked by the so-called secret war being carried on in Laos by the United States through extensive covert operations, without even the slightest effort to show respect for the US Constitution’s requirements relating to war, and in cruel defiance of international law.  Fred is also very conscious and sensitive about the complexities of his middle class Jewish background, and how it bears on his outlook on Israel-Palestine relations. Throughout his life he has exhibited a primary identity that is preoccupied with what it means to be ‘human,’ taking his cues from religion, ethics, and empathetic experiences. As such, his reflections on the meaning of the events in Gaza in relation to our assessments of Israel’s behavior, whether as Jews or as human beings is relevant for all of us. Fred’s central point about the moral victimization of the perpetrator of crimes as well as the abuse of those being targeted is crucial.]

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

I hope you will consider sending this just-published piece (original version below) to supporters of Israel’s actions in Gaza you know. Most U.S. supporters of Israel that I know are decent people who reflexively support Israel without confronting the actual facts of the atrocities it is committing. But in so doing they must understand that what is at stake is not only Israel’s humanity but their own.

The most painful memories of my life have been triggered by the recent Israeli bombing and shelling of civilian targets in Gaza: the many months I spent interviewing Lao ricefarmers about their 5 years under U.S. bombing – the most significant unknown event of the 20th century. The World Can’t Wait website has just published “Laos: Birthplace of Modern U.S. Executive War and a New ‘Ahuman’ Age” – its lessons apply not only to Laos but to Israel, Gaza, Syria and the many other cases where civilians become the main victims of automated murder.

It is critical to human civilization itself that we make the issue of civilian murder in Gaza personal, by (1) having the personal integrity to look at the facts of, not rationalizations for, Israel-caused civilian destruction in Gaza (please see “The Civilian Impact of Israel’s 2014 Attack on Gaza” below); and (2) to acknowledge that what is at stake here is not only Israel’s humanity but our own. Those who are indifferent to the murder of civilians in Gaza today are also indifferent to the destruction of our own children and grandchildren through climate change tomorrow.

In retrospect it seems like an accident of fate that I so directly encountered the U.S. mass murder of the gentlest, kindest people on earth in Laos. But I regard it now as both the most agonizing and precious experience of my life. For imagining what it means to be on the ground “looking up” at the bombers, rather than “looking down” as we inevitably do in the West, adds a crucial dimension to human existence – and one which may well determine the fate of our species as we confront the growing horrors of the 21st century. ­ Fred

TO ISRAEL’S U.S. SUPPORTERS: PORTABLE GAS CHAMBERS, CHEMICAL WARFARE, BLINDINGS, MASS BOMBING AND SHELLING OF CIVILIANS – WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?

Note: This message is addressed to U.S. supporters of Israel both because only U.S. pressure can bring about the political settlement which alone can save Israel and Palestine, and because it appears that most Israelis – consumed by fear, hatred and the dehumanization of even Palestinian children – are presently impervious to either reason or human decency.

Dear U.S. Supporters of Israel in Gaza,

If you believed that the IDF could destroy Hamas by employing portable gas chambers or chemical weapons to publicly gas over 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 400 children, chosen at random – or deliberately blinding them – would you favor doing so? I guess not, perhaps you even feel insulted at the suggestion that you might.

But this raises a basic question: if you would not favor gassing Palestinan civilians, how do you justify your support for blowing them to bits? The controversial issue is not Israel trying to destroy Hamas tunnels. Nor is it the attempt to destroy rockets, as if the Israelis can claim that they reasonably suspected the 46-48,000 U.N.-estimated buildings they either partially or totally destroyed of containing rockets. Nor is it rightfully condemning Hamas for rocketing civilian targets as well. As even long-term apologists for Israeli violence like the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier acknowledge, the issue is massive Israeli bombing and shelling of he civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which is wholly disproportionate to combatting tunnels and/or rockets.

It is the actual massive bombing and shelling of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure that raises the basic question: as a human being, where do you draw the line? How do you justify to yourself your support for mass misery inflicted on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians through a bombing and shelling campaign that – whatever its stated intent – not only murdered 1400 civilians and maimed thousands more, but destroyed hospitals, schools, businesses, and Gaza’s only power station plunging all 1.8 million Gazans into darkness and depriving them even of drinking water, created over 400,000 refugees, and traumatized a U.N.-estimated 373,000 children? (Please see “The Civilian Impact of Israel’s 2014 Attack on Gaza” below. You own integrity requires that you at least acknowledge the facts rather than, as do so many of Israel’s supporters, accept at face-value Israeli claims that it sought to avoid civilian destruction.)

I answered such questions for myself 45 years ago, when I discovered that civilians were well over 90% of the victims of U.S. leaders’ mass bombing of northern Laos. I concluded then that there is never any moral or legal justification for mass bombing or shelling of civilians. Period. Full Stop.

The “World Can’t Wait” website has just posted a PowerPoint presentation on the years-long bombing of northern Laos, perhaps the worst unknown crime of the 20th century. It combines an analysis of automated war, the writings of the rice-farmers who suffered most and were heard from least, and my personal story in discovering and trying to expose it to the world. A Lao mother summed up the nature of mass bombing of civilians for all time: “There was danger as the sound of airplanes led me to be terribly, terribly afraid of dying. When looking at the faces of my children who were losing the so very precious happiness of childhood I would grow in­creasingly miserable. In reality, whatever happens, it is the innocent who suffer.”

The question of protecting civilians in wartime far transcends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it is a basic measurement of the progress of human civilization itself. What is at stake in your support for Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza is not only Israel’s humanity but your own.

There are two basic questions regarding warfare: (1) whether a given war is considered legitimate, e.g. whether it is “aggressive war”; and (2) how civilians are treated once a war is launched. These are two distinct questions – even if you consider a given war legitimate there is no moral or legal justification for waging it in a way that mainly murders and maims civilians.

The evolution of international law on this question, beginning with the 1907 Hague Convention, has been slow and painful. But it is today unequivocal: waging war in a way that results primarily in civilian deaths and damage is a punishable war crime. Article 85 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions states categorically that “the following acts shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol … launching an indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” – a precise description of Israeli bombing and shelling in Gaza.

Israel claims that it is justified in maiming and murdering civilians because Hamas is using them as “human shields”. But it must be understood: there is always a military and political rationale for bombing civilians. In Laos, Deputy CIA Director James Lilley explained that though North Vietnamese soldiers were not in the villages they would hide there if the U.S. didn’t bomb civilians. Prime Minister Nethanyahu today offers a similar rationale for mass civilian murder.

Other rationales include hoping that mass murder of civilians will turn the population against their leaders, as when former Israeli General Amos Yadlin stated in the N.Y. Times that Israel must bomb partly so that “Gaza’s people (are) given the chance to elect new leaders”. And, as the U.S. Senate Refugee Subcommittee concluded after visiting Laos, the bombing’s purpose was to hurt the enemy by destroying its “social and economic infrastructure.” This was also General Curtis Lemay’s basic rationale for burning alive over 100,000 Japanese civilians in the firebombing of Tokyo on March 9, 1945, an act for which Lemay acknowledged at the time, and his assistant Robert McNamara later
also admitted, was a war crime – for which they should have been executed. (PIease see Note 1 below.)

And it is precisely because there is always a rationale for bombing civilians that the progress of human civilization is largely measured by the extent to which civilians are protected in times of war from indiscriminate bombing and shelling, and that those who violate these rules are prosecuted for crimes of war. Protecting civilians against indiscriminate murder, in short, is not only a question of war. It is a measure of your own humanity.

The Civilian Impact of Israel’s 2014 Attack on Gaza

n CIVILIAN DEAD AND WOUNDED: A U.N.-estimated 1396 Palestinian civilians killed including 222 women and 418 children, thousands more wounded. (Source: Information Management Unit in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, from “Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis”, Washington Post. August 6, 2014)

n CHILDREN: “Pernille Ironside, who runs the UNICEF field office in Gaza, said the agency estimates that roughly 373,000 Palestinian children have had some kind of direct traumatic experience as a result of the attack and will require immediate psycho-social support … (She) added that she’s seen ‘children coming out of these shelters with scabies, lice, all kinds of communicable diseases.’” (Source: “Amid Gaza’s Ruins, Impact on Children Most ‘Severe’: UN Official”, Common Dreams, August 6, 2014)

n ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE: “175 of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants had also taken devastating hits, plunging an already despairing economy into a deeper abyss” (Source: “Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll”, NY Times, August 6, 2014)

n MOSQUES, FARMING, INDUSTRY: “As many as 80 mosques have been damaged or destroyed. Many farming areas and industrial zones, filled with the small manufacturing plants and factories that anchored Gaza’s economy, are now wastelands.” (Source: “Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis”, Washington Post. August 6, 2014)

n THE WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: Oxfam said: “We’re working in an environment with a completely destroyed water infrastructure that prevents people in Gaza from cooking, flushing toilets or washing [their] hands.”(Source: “Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power”, The Independent, August 5, 2014)

n 400,000 REFUGEES, 46-48,000 HOMES: “Frode Mauring, the UN Development Programme’s special representative said that with 16-18,000 homes totally destroyed and another 30,000 partially damaged, and 400,000 internally displaced people, ‘the current situation for Gaza is devastating’.” (Source: “Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power”, The Independent, August 5, 2014)

n ELECTRICITY: “Mr Mauring said that the bombing of Gaza’s only power station and the collapse at least six of the 10 power lines from Israel, had ‘huge development and humanitarian consequences’ (Source: “Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power”, The Independent, August 5, 2014)

n SCHOOLS, REFUGEE CENTERS: “United Nations officials accused Israel of violating international law after artillery shells slammed into a school overflowing with evacuees Wednesday … The building was the sixth U.N. school in the Gaza Strip to be rocked by explosions during the conflict. (Source: “U.N. Says Israel Violated International Law, After Shells Hit School In Gaza”, Washington Post, July 30, 2014)

n HOSPITALS: “Israeli forces fired a tank shell at a hospital in Gaza on Monday … It was the third hospital Israel’s military has struck since launching a ground offensive in Gaza last week.” (Source: “Another Gaza Hospital Hit by Israeli Strike”, NBC News, July 21, 2014)

n HOSPITALS, HEALTH WORKERS: “There has been mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza … Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International (said) ‘the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes.’” (Source: “Mounting Evidence Of Deliberate Attacks On Gaza Health Workers By Israeli Army”, Amnesty International, August 7, 2014)

NOTES

1- Robert McNamara, from the Errol Morris film Fog of War:
“LeMay said, ‘If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.’ And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”

14 Responses to “The Hidden Costs of War Crimes to the Criminal”

  1. rehmat1 August 21, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    Dr. Falk – I’m sure you and your friend Fred must be aware of the fact that without Jewish “victimization” aka Holocaust – the World Zionist movement would have never succeeded in fooling the Western world by putting it spell of “collective” guilty conscience of hating and killing six million Jews.

    In June 2014, Detroit-born Jewish novelist David Erik Nelson wrote that the Jewry keeps the myths of anti-Semitism, Holocaust and the “poor weak Israel” alive to satisfy their sense of victimization and shield Israel’s crimes against Palestinians and Arab nations. The Jewish sense of victimization has been awarded handsomely by DHS donating 73.7% of $118 million to Jewish communities for the security of their homes, schools, community centers and Synagogues.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/26/jewish-author-on-myth-of-jewish-victimization/

  2. starkmad2013 August 21, 2014 at 7:12 am #

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    Richard Falk posted: “[Prefatory Note: I am republishing on this blog site a letter and some documentation written by Fred Branfman, a friend and political comrade of more than 40 years. We met first in our shared opposition to the Vietnam War, and engaged in acts of civil dis”

  3. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 21, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Prof. Falk draws a dichotomy between “Jewish” values and what he calls “Human” values. As regards Jewish values, his January 11, 2011 post “On Jewish Identity” revealed that his knowledge of Judaism is sparse. I raised this issue in a reader’s comment and he replied that he was only relating his impressions of Judaism. Impressions are not facts. The spectrum of Jewish values is broad. Values-based views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict range from extreme hawkish to extreme dovish. Prof. Falk is either unaware of this diversity or deliberately ignores it, erroneously equating Jewish values with an intent to annex all of biblical Israel. Members of Rabbis for Human Rights who position themselves in front of bulldozers and arise pre-dawn to help Palestinians harvest their dates would strongly dispute that judgment, as would the 1.5 million member Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish religious organization in the world, which has opposed West Bank settlements from the outset.

    In this instance, playing the Jewish card is gratuitous, as Fred Branfman makes no reference to his being Jewish. Prof. Falk inserts it as a ploy for enhancing the letters’ credibility, just as he did in a 2008 journal article in which he accused Israelis of behaving like Nazis, noting how difficult it was for him, as a Jew, to make the allegation. Anybody can call Israelis Nazis. But when a Jew says it, that’s something!

    Concerning Prof. Falk’s positing a category of ethics he calls “Human” values—suggesting something akin to natural law which transcends sectarian values and is thus superior to them—many, perhaps most, serious ethicists agree that no such category exists. Even something so basic as “thou shalt not kill” is understood in a myriad of ways in societies throughout the world. At one time, it was a conceit of the predominantly white western world, which knew Christianity, Judaism and secularism. But expanding knowledge and appreciation of Islam and the eastern religions has made that notion obsolete.

    Prof. Falk apparently builds his system by choosing what he likes from a variety of religious and secular traditions. As he’s the sole arbiter of what goes into the system, it winds up being more parochial than many religious traditions whose ethical systems reflect the collective experience of many folks over many years.

    I’ll respond to Fred Branfman’s letter in a separate post.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  4. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 21, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Dear Fred Branfman,

    To begin, I want to thank you for a thoughtful post written in a gentle tone that is a refreshing change from the harangues that dominate this blog.

    I share your concern for what the Gaza war is doing to both sides, physically and emotionally. The only way to halt this mutual deterioration is to still the guns. To do this, one must understand the nature of the conflict, and how it differs from other conflicts. Misleading analogies preclude understanding, and thus impede progress toward ending the suffering.

    Gaza is profoundly different from Laos. There, the United States conducted a secret war thousands of miles from its shores fearful that a Communist takeover would precipitate a “domino” toppling of the entire region. In Gaza, Israel faces an enemy on the other side of a shared border. That enemy makes no secret of its intent to wreak genocide and ethnic cleansing on its neighbor, and has acquired thousands of weapons (3000 missiles were fired from Gaza during the fighting) and dug dozens of tunnels toward achieving this objective. Appreciation of this basic fact is conspicuously missing from your analysis.

    What would you do were you Israel’s prime minister?

    During the recent round of talks in Cairo, Egypt drafted a plan that called for Israel to ease the blockade and agree to give Hamas a seat at the negotiating table in exchange for de-militarizing Gaza. This wasn’t intended as a final document that would resolve all problems. To the contrary, it was intended to create an environment in which nobody was dying from war wounds or suffering from hunger. Israel accepted. Hamas refused, And artillery barrages from inside Gaza commenced even before the existing cease fire expired.

    According to most reliable accounts, the sticking point was de-militarization. Hamas, or at least its military wing, was unwilling to give up its guns. But opening the portals without an agreement to de-militarize would be a suicidal concession that no sane government—of Israel or anywhere else—would accept.

    Although I’m no expert on the inner workings of Hamas, I believe that progress toward at least an extended cease fire is blocked by an internal power struggle. One faction is prepared to negotiate for some alternative to the status quo. Another is determined to fight on.

    There’s more than an ideological or emotional disagreement at work here. Hamas’ leaders undoubtedly understand that they will not be able to defeat Israel militarily. So they’re resorting to what’s called lawfare —Prof. Falk and others trying to drag Israel to the International Criminal Court, and a propaganda war of images and statistics aimed at undermining Israel’s legitimacy. The sad reality is that an increasing body count is an asset in this kind of warfare. Indeed, the rejectionists could not wait until the cease fire ended before commencing fire, knowing that Israel would have no alternative but to return fire in legitimate self defense, and, as Prof. Falk put it, the bodies began piling up.

    Mr. Branfman, Hamas is fully complicit in the carnage. Until this reality is appreciated and factored into a strategy to end the fighting, innocent people will continue dying. I know it may be difficult for you to accept this. So I ask once again: were you Israel’s prime minister, what would you do?

    One final point. Your allusions to the Holocaust were, at best, disingenuous and perhaps libelous. Israel has never used, nor plans to use, portable gas chambers and chemical warfare. I think you know that. To be sure, you didn’t say that they did. But the reference, alone, creates a false image that angers the people you wish to reach. This is a poor strategy for winning folks to your side.

    I conclude by asking you the same question I’ve repeatedly asked on this blog. Is your objective trashing Israel? Or is it promoting peace? The mood on this blog has been for the former. Perhaps you can help swing it in a more constructive direction.

    Sincerely,

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Mark Palmer August 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      Dear Rabbi
      Asking the question “what would you do?” is an interesting question, and a rhetorical one at that, given the political realities of today’s Israel. If you are part of a Government that is deeply aligned with the settler movement and opposed to a Palestinian State, and increasingly committed to anti-democratic legislative agenda, and you govern a country that is continuously moving to the right, and you are a politician keen to remain in power, room for manoeuvre will be extremely limited.
      As you can imagine, any talk of a potential lasting peace based on Palestinian “rights” rather than “needs” of Israeli security will be tantamount to political suicide.

    • Taylor Brown August 23, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Thank you for your political analysis Youdovin. One thing I would like to mention however is your statement that “Gaza is profoundly different from Laos”. In one sense yes Gaza is profoundly different. But that sense seems to be mainly a political one not so much a moral one. The moral similarities will never become apparent if you remain in the realm of politics. Here, I think Branfman is trying to promote the perspective of he victims. He’s not offering a political analysis. And from the perspective of a person who has been the subject of an indiscriminate bombing campaign coupled with an indefinite occupation, I don’t think the ceasefire politics brokered by hostile foreign governments offers much consolation.

      Not that I object to anything you say, I just think should still be willing to address his basic question: “if you would not favor gassing Palestinan civilians, how do you justify your support for blowing them to bits?” Presumably, from your defense that Israel has never used ‘portable gas chambers’ and chemical warfare never mind the reported white phosphorus or the accumulative ocean of teargas against nonviolent demonstrators, you don’t support portable gas chambers for the Palestinians. Correct? Okay, then do you support bombing them instead? If so, why?

      I think you give a compelling political analysis here. But the moral question is equally compelling and deserves attention.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 24, 2014 at 8:24 am #

        Dear Taylor Brown,

        Please forgive my tardiness in getting back to you. My family is in town visiting, so just about everything else has been on hold.

        You are absolutely correct that in an ultimate sense, killing innocents—children and adult—can never be justified. But assigning blame, which is where ethics and politics meet, is not always so clear. I disagree with your assessment that Branfman’s post reflects a pure moral judgment devoid of politics. His references to Laos and, especially, the Holocaust, are pointedly political.

        I by no means support the Occupation or many of the tactics employed to enforce it. The ones you mentioned are particularly abhorrent to me. But the focus of Branfman’s post was Operation Protective Edge, and the analogies he drew were inaccurate for the reasons I stated.

        Assigning guilt in the present situation is difficult. Deliberately firing on civilians is a violation of International Law. But so is putting civilians in harm’s way by firing from positions in close proximity to their neighborhoods, schools and hospitals. Moreover, Hamas rejected Netanyahu’s call for “quiet in exchange for quiet” prior to the escalation and subsequently rejected or violated eleven separate cease fire agreements, including the most recent one. The famous author Amos Oz, an outspoken peacenik, put it this way:

        “If your neighbor sits on his porch holding his baby and firing a machine gun at you, what do you do?”

        Israel may be guilty of using excessive force. But Hamas is the one refusing to terminate the hostilities to no apparent advantage while casualties continue to mount. As gruesome as the concept may seem, it would appear that Hamas wants the carnage as a weapon in it’s campaign to de-legitimize Israel.

        Btw, Branfman has not yet responded to my question about what he would do as prime minister of Israel

        Faithfully,

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  5. rehmat1 August 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin – I’m sure you would be pleased to learn that US vice-president Joe Biden agrees with most of your “Jewish Values”.

    “The truth is that Jewish heritage, Jewish culture, Jewish values are such an essential part of who we are that it’s fair to say that Jewish heritage is American heritage. The Jewish people have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita as all of you standing before you and all of those who went before me and all of those who went before you,” said Biden.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/18/joe-biden-american-heritage-is-jewish-heritage/

  6. oldguyincolorado August 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Sometimes very bright people say ridiculous things. Even Einstein was not immune from this very human failing.

    The real question here is: is the goal of establishing a secure and peaceful Israel a worthy one, and if so, can it be achieved in a humane fashion? All the Jewish people want is a home of their own. Best that it be their historical one. Currently, the Arabs hold over 95% of the lands in the ME. Back then (Herzl’s time), there were Jews in much of the ME and there was plenty of room for the Jew in “Palestine”. The Jew was there, too, and more Jews actually began buying additional land and doing something with it. The land they sought was best described by Mark Twain (in 1859) as the “Prince of lands where one would not wish to live” (paraphrase). That was how bad it was. It really hadn’t changed much by Herzl’s time. The Arab did not own most of it: The Ottoman Empire did. Then came the Mandate, etc. I know you know all of this history. So why did the Arab start to say “kill all Jews”? Simple: the Jew could and did do with that land what no Arab could. Anyway, they were Jews (and you know what the Quo’ran says about them – I presume you have read the Quo’ran – I am fairly certain that Prof. Falk has not because I have asked him that question on more than one occasion and he refuses to answer it – at least I have not seen it – and if he has read it, I wonder when he did so).

    The goal of the Arab world is to rid itself of all Jews – just look at the history of the ME from 1920 to current date: expulsion, pogroms, Jordanian Constitution, etc.

    The goal of Israel is to have a secure land for itself (and it has @ 1.6 million Arab citizens – most Arab States have only a few Jews – or none – when they previously had thousands or more); and prosperous neighbors (good for business, you know).

    These goals are not compatible. The goal of Israel is laudable. The goal of the Arab is extermination. If you can somehow wrap your arms around those basic differences and understand how the greater Arab world holds the Palestinians hostage in their fight to rid themselves of the Jew, you will begin to understand the frustration of Israel in its efforts to make a genuine Western style peace (not an Islamic one – you need to read and understand the Quo’ran on this one) and why Israel may sometimes “appear to slip from grace” in reaching for a state of its own; one with security and prosperity not only for itself, but for its neighbors as well.

    The real problem with the ME and Israel is that for Israel the issue is political (and therefor potentially resolvable) and for the Arab it is religious and therefor an article of faith. There is no reasoning with an article of faith.

    In comparison, everything else you folks seem to be discussing in the blog of Prof Falk is, as one of my clients used to say: “Just so much fly shit in pepper” (sorry Rebbi).

    • Kata Fisher August 21, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

      Dear oldguyincolorado,

      This is what I understand:

      Entire wrong way to Israeli approach is that they are not going by Spiritual authority of Old Testament – they are tripping up them-self and creating chaos in the process.

      The more they shift away from that; it is better for all. Holy Land is under spiritual authority of Old Testament, and that is what has to be applied to it, as well.

      Surrounding nations need to be brought together and asked for the Land of Holy Land back, at any time at their free will. That is short-term and long-term approach that would be Biblical and valid.

      Any territory that Jews get back under spiritual authority of Old Testament they should be content with it, and should continuously ask the nations for the Holy Land to be given back.

      In the meantime Arabs in the region need to annul their religious articles/charters when they are on the territory of Holy Land, in Holy Land.

      Arab-Muslims have no spiritual authority with their Charters over the Holy Land and in Holy Land. There can certainly be brilliantly healthy Islam Faith in Holy Land. However, Holy Quran is part of the prophesy in Church age that is not discerned, for Jewish-exiles (contemporary Muslims) that fell off from Faith of Old Testament, and in essence as text cannot be parted and misapplied.

      It does not apply to Jews; unless there is God-directed conversion to the practices of Islam and Islam Faith (any misleading or forced conversion/s is invalid to any Faith).

      Recently, there was a marriage between Jewish girl and a Muslim boy in Israel, and the girl was grafting into the Islam Faith by that marriage (she was converting to Islam). This would be a valid conversion due to mixed marriage, and order of the Scriptures in his point in times. (Right here Israelis—as government are fulfilling the Scriptures and Laws of the Scriptures in this point in times).

      There was a religious riot in Israel because of that, and they had to send the security officers there in order to keep upset Jewish congregation restricted.

      Israeli is taking responsibility toward Arab-Muslims citizens/residence in Holy Land, and need to reconsider all improvements and updates about this as well. Not only that, they are grafting in other exile-Jews that happen to wander in and out of the Holy Land over the time that are Non-Jewish.

      Jews /Israeli are responsible to appropriate exile Jews issues (immigration to the Jews and non-Jews / various religions and Faiths), and with that they have to request entire Holy Land territory back, at any given opportunity. Exiles will want to come in, and when they do, they cannot be restricted without a valid reason.

      In addition to that, all these ongoing conflicts are just hindering force to exiles-returning from all different nations /religions into the Holy Land. All of that has to be changed to some acceptable and civilized conditions. Then there are refugee’s issues as well. Everything is intermingled and just in bad conditions. Everything needs to be turned upside down and look toward a point of start.

      A note: discerning of any part of the Scripture cannot be done outside of the Scriptural order. Those who are not under fully activated prophetic anointing, who are not in mature prophetic anointing or Church Charismatic with appropriate anointing should not go about discerning of any part of the Scriptures.

      As Church-Charismatic, I am accountable to make sure that a prophesy in Church age (such as Holy Quran is not mishandled).

      • Oldguyincolorado August 26, 2014 at 10:20 am #

        Kata, I just saw this. I am lost and adrift in your sea of spirituality. I am just a simple old Jew who wishes that we could all live in peace (western style). Unfortunately, those Muslims who adhere to the Charter of Hamas and/or the explicit words of world conquest, as are set forth in the Quo’ran, make ” peace” for Jews (with the Charter) and all non-Muslims (with the Quo’ran) an illusion (unless you speak of an Islamic “peace”). I will fight against both. You should, too.

      • Kata Fisher August 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

        Oldguyincolorado,

        I just saw this, too.

        In essence, Holy Quran is one undiscerned prophesy in the age of the Church (based on the order that was given). With that, interpretation and application of Holy Quran has to be under strict oversight.

        Prophet Muhammad has not written the Holy Quran; someone else did it for him.

        It was also written down over long period of time, so that female –wiz-of- the- wasp was possible? (I know, I know… I have to many obnoxious claims.)

        In the times of the prophets OT (Old Testament) – the prophets would write down Holy Scripture and would hand that down directly, and lay people went about discerning of the prophets and the things that they have received from the prophets written down. What happened because of that?

        Well, you would know that they have received pure Scripture from the prophets, and without any human error.

        Now, you have to understand that Holy Quran acts as a doubled-edged sword and that during the Church age toward Muslims unbelievers but unbelieving world (primarily, unbelieving Church), as well.

        Church has Instructions of Paul Apostle when comes to the handling of the prophesy (for the age of the Church).

        I, however, have no respect for religion. Meaning, whosoever mishandles, misinterprets and misapplies/misuses Secret Texts yields harsh consequences and even destruction upon themselves.

        If they cannot manage themselves and their Faith and / or religion-members and if they cannot respond to the requirements of Laws that are universal to all, and not even their conscience – well then, that is their problem and destruction, as well.

        There is nothing one can do about it, except, to wait, and wait until enough seed of Man and seed of the Beast is mixed and to be done with it.

        Why do they fight so hard to be the apartheid? Religiously and ethnically separated like that is for what time? In Stone Age and all to themselves…they like that? But why?

        They just can’t agree to the times that are appointed, and will wrestle against the will of God.

        We do look on, and we do and we do not care…we get martyrs, in the end. It would be better if no one is killed, but that is impossible for these who are not “under the sin” so that only law of the sin they practice in their will-power.

        Religious and ethnic hate is a difficult doctrine.

  7. Rise Up Times August 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    In Minneapolis Sunday a benefit raised over $10,000 for water in Gaza. Excuse the pun, but a drop in the bucket. Much more is needed. Water is the nectar of life. The body is mostly water. Without it we cannot live.

  8. Fred Skolnik August 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    One has to wonder why, if Jews and Israelis are so demonstrably and obviously despicable, the Jew haters find it necessary to falsify so much, as though they are desperately grasping at straws to “get something” on the Jews. One would have thought that reality would furnish them with the incriminating evidence but apparently it does not. I do not mean just the lunatics who appear in this blog but Prof. Falk himself, who finds it necessary to create the most tortured exercises in illogic to deny Israel the right to defend itself:

    “From everything I’ve been saying, there’s no legal, political or moral argument that would uphold the claim that Israel is acting in legitimate self-defense. There’s been no armed attack by Hamas or Gaza; in any event, Gaza from an international law point of view, is not a foreign state but an occupied territory. It’s not clear that you can exercise self-defense in relation to a territory that you are responsible for administering in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

    And this is not satire either.

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