Commentary on Netanyahu’s Visit to the United States

2 Mar

Pondering the Netanyahu Visit

 

It is far too simple to be merely outraged by the arrogant presumptuousness of tomorrow’s speech by the Israeli Prime Minister to a joint session of Congress two weeks prior to national elections in Israel. The Netanyahu visit has encouraged various forms of wishful thinking. Perhaps, the most common one is to suppose that bump in the road of U.S./Israeli relations will lead to a foreign policy reset that is more in accord with American national interests (in the spirit of the Mearsheimer/Walt critique of the baneful influence of the Israeli lobby) or that it signifies the death knell of AIPAC or the permanent alienation of the Democratic Party from its knee jerk support for Israel. In my view, none of these developments will happen in the wake of Netanyahu visit, no matter how obnoxious or divisive or inappropriate as his presence appears to be.

 

First of all, it is important to separate three main dimensions of the Netanyahu speech to Congress: (1) its impact on efforts to reach a diplomatic solution in relation to Iran; (2) its impact on U.S./Israel relations; (3) its effects on the Israeli elections scheduled for March 17th. In my view, the biggest damage is likely to result from (1), with few lasting consequences arising from (2) and (3), although on (3) there is a serious possibility that the speech, contrary to Netanyahu’s apparent intentions, will weaken his reelection prospects because Israelis will worry (needlessly) that there will be permanent negative fallout with respect to the Israel-United States relationship if Netanyahu remains as the head of the Israeli government.

 

There is a fourth dimension, even more speculative than the others, yet probably of significance: (4) the impact of the speech on the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Here, we need to be careful to distinguish allegations of anti-Semitism that are used to stifle criticism of Israel and what I would call genuine anti-Semitism that exhibits and stems from hatred of Jews. It is a sad commentary on the current situation that these two contradictory realities are merged in toxic ways by current Zionist discourses on anti-Semitism, playing on Jewish post-Holocaust fears to shield Israel from justifiable criticism for its abusive behavior toward the Palestinian people and the related neglect of Palestinian fundamental rights.

 

My greatest worry is that the Netanyahu speech will stiffen still further the anti-Obama will of the Republican members of Congress, as abetted by the most diehard Israel supporters among the Democratic lawmakers, as to put a impassable roadblock in the path of mutually beneficial negotiations with Iran that are now at a critical make or break stage. To some extent this roadblock is likely to be somewhat disguised by taking the form of retaining strong sanctions (never justified) until Iran demonstrates its good faith for several years by adhering to all the limitations on its nuclear program, including free access for international monitoring. If diplomacy fails, it will have at least two detrimental effects: first, it will definitely tilt the domestic balance in Iran toward the hardliners, and likely make Iran more repressive internally and more belligerent externally; and secondly, it will increase regional tensions, and if Iran proceeds with its nuclear program, as it most probably would, this would greatly heighten the prospect of a military confrontation.

 

In such a setting, the Netanyahu speech is a dangerous wild card that would never have been played by responsible political actors, although threatening to deliver such a speech might have achieved a comparable harmful result without the backlash. But no one has ever claimed subtlety to be a Netanyahu virtue. Yet let suppose that Netanyahu had given in to pressure to cancel the speech with the side effect of psycho-political gratitude from most sectors of influential opinion in the United States. At that point Netanyahu could have exacted more than a pound or two of flesh from a foolishly grateful and supine Obama White House. We should not forget that in the context of nuclear weapons policy in the Middle East there is a surrealistic element present: Israel mounts its objections to a remote possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons while avoiding any objections to the retention of its own nuclear arsenal, secretly developed. Such a diplomatic asymmetry should not be allowed to pass unnoticed. Indeed, it should not be allowed!

 

When it comes to weakening support among Democrats or Jewish voters, the news of Israel’s demise, to invoke the authority of Mark Twain, is greatly exaggerated. Democrats will explain their absence from the speech as a reaction limited to the Speaker John Boehner irresponsible and partisan rupture of Congressional protocol and to Netanyahu’s untimely presence. At the same time, they will do as other American political leaders, such as John Kerry are doing, seize the occasion to reaffirm their support for the unbreakable nature of the Israel/U.S. partnership. Already we hear strident reassurances to Israel of the underlying American commitment to the security and wellbeing of Israel as understood by the Israeli government. As for Jewish voters and funders, they may possibly be conscience stricken, and even annoyed, for the moment, but it is highly probable that even if Netanyahu wins the election in two weeks their fundamental allegiances will be reaffirmed. I believe this is especially true in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Copenhagen synagogue incidents and the regional rise of ISIS.

 

Such a prediction should not be interpreted as a sign that the rise of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle will lose its impressive recent momentum within universities, churches, and labor unions. In this sense, I expect the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country will widen after the Netanyahu visit—mending fences in Washington while mounting new challenges to Israeli policies and practices throughout civil society. This will be expressed by further victories for divestment initiatives on American campuses and robust growth for the BDS campaign.

 

As far as the Israeli elections are concerned, it seems a black box. What is so notable, as authoritatively observed by Uri Avnery, is the deliberate unwillingness of the centrist anti-Likud coalition led by Isaac Herzog to dwell on the need for ‘peace’ or for a just solution to the conflict. The electoral debate seems to have evoked little interest in Israel, and what disagreement there is, concerns bread and butter issues relating to economic policy. There is one misperception that it is important to counter, the idea that persists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the outlook for a just peace would greatly improve if Netanyahu and Likud are defeated. There is not a shred of support for this kind of mindless optimism that remains so prevalent in the ranks of liberal Zionism, which hangs on to the vain belief that a two-state solution is still feasible and has any appeal for the Israeli electorate. It should have been clear years ago that a tacit consensus exists in Israel, and is not opposed by Washington, that Oslo diplomacy has reached a dead end. The only requirement for the sake of public opinion is to keep aloft the banner of false consciousness that with tough concessions on both sides a sustainable peace can still be achieved, and only by such means.

 

The issue of anti-Semitism is not likely to disappear. As mentioned, it will continue to be used to blunt and divert criticism of Israel. As well, the continued frustration of Palestinians and other Arab victims of Israeli policies and Islamophobia are likely to commit hate crimes (although to a far lesser extent than to be the target of such crimes). There is no doubt that the deft playing of the anti-Semitic card by Zionist forces has encroached upon academic freedom throughout the world, targeting critics and civil society peace and humanitarian activists. Troublesome as this is, more disturbing is the extent to which such tactics are reinforced by academic administrators and politicians who are either complicit or craven, scared by the disproportionate influence of Zionist advocacy in the media, government, and among the wealthy. For elaboration see the fine March 1, 2015 analysis and commentary by Philip Weiss in Mondoweiss online news service: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/netanyahus-speech-israel

 

What we can hope for in the wake of this latest Netanyahu experience is some greater appreciation of what is at stake in the Iranian diplomacy and the realization that the Palestinian ordeal is the defining human rights issue of our time, but don’t look to Washington for this to happen anytime soon. I expect that even Obama will swallow hard, and then do his best to resume relations as if nothing had ever happened, perhaps harboring secret fantasies of a devastating defeat for Netanyahu and his Likud Party on March 17th.

116 Responses to “Commentary on Netanyahu’s Visit to the United States”

  1. Beau Oolayforos March 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    You are too kind – ‘diplomatic asymmetry’? ‘Diplomatic hypocrisy’ would still be too kind. Long ago in your blog, you warned us of Bibi trying to goad the US into a belligerent encounter with Iran, and now it looks to be crunch time. Thanks also for directing us to Weiss’s article – may all his words come true.

  2. Mark Cline March 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Dear Dr.Falk:
    Thank you for all your articles,they explain a great deal . They help me understand much of what goes on in the world. Those of us in the “peasant” class are almost totally lost in what is transporting around us in the world. Learning the background of events helps in understanding. I appreciate all that you and your group is doing.

    Watching the world from Bethel,Alaska
    Mark Cline

  3. wingsprd March 2, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    Whatever happened to the Nuclear Disarmament Program? The only way the world will be safe!

  4. Jerry "Peacemaker" March 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    At the end of the day, there can be zero doubt that Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal, compassionless, and a very dangerous human being undeserving of any invitation to speak before the Congress of the United States. Becoming the recipient of honors requires honorable actions, and Netanyahu’s actions during Operation Protective Edge were as far from honorable as is possible.

  5. Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    Ooh! From where did baroukh pop up? I thought we were through with the trolls. This shows that Pr. Falk’s essays are still relevant to the issues. It is good to see you back in form, Richard, explaining the situation and what is important. For myself, I have no delusions about what is going on with the Netanyahu speech: More hasbara about the dangers of Iran, the rise of anti-Semitism, and of course the election in Israel. It is all one big circus. Congress will give Bibi standing ovations (just like AIPAC), Bibi will be re-elected, and life (and death) will continue as before. Obama has no say in the matter, not that he wants any. My sympathy for all who suffer under US and Israeli sanctions – Iran, Syria, Russia, Palestine, et al.

    • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 5:49 am #

      No sir. I prefer being among high-minded individuals such as the one speaking in this forum http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2015/3/2/watch_in_un_speech_noam_chomsky

      My sympathy is not with the terrorists, which in this case are Israel and the US, but rather with those who suffer under this tyranny. I believe I am on the “right side”, and suggest you join me, Mssrs Falk, Chomsky, and others who know there is a very strong basis for criticism of Israel.

      • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 6:53 am #

        Well, sir, instead of just reiterating your hasbara about Israeli benevolence, why don’t you try to clue us in with some some hard facts. Until you can do that, I will continue to believe that Israel is the cause of the troubles affecting the Middle East.

        Mssrs Chomsky and Falk are not self-hating Jews, they are informed citizens who recognize that Israel and the US are the “terrorists” committing murder in formerly peaceful countries. They lend their expertize to informing the international public (including you) of these facts.

        Please, also, explain to me just what is a “real” Jew.

      • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 7:48 am #

        Just to be polite, I will respond to each of your “hard facts” with the following comment: Yes to all, Israel is the root cause of each of them.

        You still haven’t explained to me just what is a “real” Jew. Do you even know, yourself? Accusing others of not being is no answer.

        Now, I have had enough of jousting with your nonsense. Trolls do get boring. No need to respond ;-(

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 8:12 am #

        Again you prove how biased you are and you are completely discrediting yourself once again.
        How can you affirm that Israel is the root cause of problems Israel is not involved in, for example in the civil war of Syria?
        Did I accuse anyone of not being a Jew? I only said that they are self-hating Jews. Self-hating Jews are Jews, period. I explained that self-hating Jews want the world to believe that they are not as the other Jews. Who is a Jew is pretty simple to define. It is someone who was born from a jewish mother or who decided to become a Jew through conversion and was accepted by an orthodox rabbi.
        The one broadcasting nonsense is you when you claim that Israel is responsible for everything, not me.
        I asked you what kind of “hard facts” you are looking for to provide you with some but you don’t care about “hard facts” showing Israel is innocent of everything you accuse it and that’s probably the reason you didn’t answer.
        People like you that made up their mind and are not ready to change their mind usually stop the conversation like you just said you will because they don’t have any standing argument and it is easier to flee than to accept that they are wrong.

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 8:50 am #

        Dear baroukh:

        Do you believe that “Nuclear Disarmament Program” is needed in a middle east — and no further nuclear deals – no more, in fact, is the only way forward?

        I believe: “no further nuclear deals” and this is why: grave threat to the human existence.

        Do you believe that nuclear need can be fully abolished (depleted) and replaced with natural “above the earth” resources? – that what is abundant to the humanity.

        I can believe that this is the only way to remove grave threats in the region, and that is sustainable long-term approach, all together.

        If not, can you tell us what then can be done?

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

        Hi Kata, I believe that we shouldn’t increase the number of countries with nuclear weapons and in the case of Iran, having nuclear weapons should in any case be forcefully forbidden for countries supporting terrorism.

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

        Hi baroukh,

        You believe “we shouldn’t increase the number of countries with nuclear weapons” — we believe one and the same thing — from different prespective.

        Can you please give us your rationale and justification why you believe that “having nuclear weapons should in any case be forcefully forbidden?” (for any of the countries), including Iran.

        I do understand that different countries either do support terrorism, and in another hand there are countries that can’t prevent terrorism. (Very same condition).

        I also believe that in the case of Iran it is best to make a breaking point, and for all — and no more to add on to any nuclear deals / production.

        We can believe that “no more nuclear deals / production” should start right now, for all.

        In addition to that, any nuclear disarmament would be appropriate, and science should be pursued that depletes all existence of nuclear waste.

        What do you believe is possible and what is not possible based on current human condition?

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

        Iran is actively supporting and sponsoring terrorism. Iran wants hegemony on the Middle-East. Do we real want to allow such a rogue state to build nuclear weapons?
        Obama is on the verge of a very bad agreement with Iran, giving it almost all of its requests.
        I still didn’t make my mind about Obama. Is he a disguised islamist or a charismatic leader who lacks a vision?

      • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

        You are now channeling Netanyahu’s speech before Congress today. If it were up to me, I’d bar you completely from this blog because you haven’t expressed one original or non-hasbaric idea. I see you’ve found a new friend in Kata. You go well together. Billet deux and all.

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

        I didn’t hear or read what Netanyahu said before Congress today.
        If he said the same thing, it is not because I repeat what he said but because it is the truth.

        You’d bar me from this blog only because you can’t accept that I don’t share your highly biased view on Israel. Again you prove that you are ready to discuss only with people who agree with you.

        You claim that I didn’t express any original idea. Because all these facts were already discussed before, it means that they are not relevant. By the way hasbara means explanation and it is not propaganda at all.

        It is painful for you to see that Kata wrote that my comments were constructive, right?

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

        Dear baroukh,

        I believe that there was too much noise (for all), and vision is far off. I think that Obama is just fine. I also believe that if he is not Church-Charismatic (authentic) himself – someone in his family line was. You do not get leader without prophetic anointing – that I believe, in fact, Obama’s intended leadership has not even started this far, and his calling is to be prayed and hoped for — by all.

        Can you please explain to me what are general views on what Iran wants in reference to its hegemony in/on the Middle-East?

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

        You are quite wrong about the nature of the agreement. It is more restrictive than I would have expected to be negotiable.

        On Obama, you cannot be so out of touch, or so in touch with the extreme right, to consider him to be possibly ‘a disguised Islamist.’
        You may be right that he lacks a coherent vision, especially in foreign affairs.

      • rehmat1 March 3, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

        I have this everlasting reflection – Why Israel which has 240-400 nuclear bombs under its Jewish-belt – lectures Muslim neighbors that they don’t need nuclear bombs to defend themselves from Judeo-Christian imperialism?

      • Kata Fisher March 4, 2015 at 8:57 am #

        rehmat1:

        “240-400 nuclear bombs under its Jewish-belt” is difficult issue and doctrine. Why so much – and just that short time? OMG.

      • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

        The reason I didn’t answer is for the same reason the Reverend Berube took you to task; you weren’t saying anything constructive. Though you deserve it, I’m kind of sorry Pr. Falk deleted your comments, because it leaves my own and Rev. Berube’s without meaning. Future readers cannot see to what we are responding.

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

        Gene,

        I believe he was saying things that were constructive – but it is really hard to structure it into a all perspective-acceptable.

        In general, need a lot of brainstorming to get to one single point that will make or brake point of understanding (for one or many).

        And often it is double-edged sword, and it can act both ways.

        I am very sorry, too that his comments were deleted — if possible, can we get them back?

        I mean, a lot of things get said here — but I do not think that is anything too toxic that just can’t be better understood.

        If you have turned off next Hebrew prophet — I’ll be very upset! (Smile).

        Often, when people say “old fool” they mean “wise old school”!

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

        Thanks Kata for your comments.
        The fact my comments were deleted proves only one thing, that Richard Falk or the one who deleted my comments is autocratic and can’t stand controversy.

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

        I deleted your comments that contain personal insults and attacks, which
        you are free to post elsewhere but not here. It has nothing to do with
        controversy, which is welcomed so long as it remains substantive.

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

        I don’t agree the comments you deleted contained personal insults and attacks. I didn’t mean “old fool” to be offensive and if it was for you, I apologize. For the rest, my comments were free of insults and attacks.

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        If I didn’t regard being called ‘a self-hating’ as a severe insult, then indeed I would be one. You
        cannot be so obtuse as to suppose that ‘old fool’ and ‘self-hating Jew’ are not offensive remarks. I
        will continue to delete any such comments whether you regard them as insulting or not.

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

        Professor Falk,

        Baroukh appears to be a youth.

        Also, we do not know his background (knowing that Jewish people can be from any possible country) and application of terms can be distinctly different then what is applied here in US.

        Otherwise, I do apologize for him since I do not believe that he was saying those things to be mean.

        I hope this is helpful.

        I am sorry that you felt distressed about this.

        I wonder what his calling will be.

        Maybe, he can’t tell as of right now.

        Baroukh: you should meditate on your calling, and find out what that is.

        A note: earlier post was in a wrong place.

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

        Your intentions are benign as always, but Baroukh was seeking to be aggressive,
        and seemed to believe that he had all the answers, and they happen to coincide with
        Israel’s official policies. I cannot accept such a betrayal of reality!

      • baroukh March 4, 2015 at 5:04 am #

        Hi Kata, I am not a youth and english is not my mother tongue.
        So I do apologize to Professor Falk myself if he was bothered by the way I explained my point of view.

      • Kata Fisher March 4, 2015 at 8:45 am #

        Hi Baroukh,

        David wrote this article:

        http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/70164

        Don’t you find just adorable or just hilarious that contemporary Jews (as Lawyers) are interpreting point in time and the he Scripture?

        Did these things in Psalm 83 actually take place? Do you understand any of this what David wrote?

        Is he confused on point in time, at all?

        Baroukh: please tell us the truth – what is going on?

        Let’s such the Scripture, and see what is going on, according to the Psalm of David? I certainly would not know.

      • Gene Schulman March 4, 2015 at 9:05 am #

        Ye gads, Kata, throw scripture out. All three monotheistic books are compilations of contradictions. You can find anything you want in them to support any argument you want. Why don’t you learn to think for yourself instead of asking baroukh to interpret for you.

        You might want to read the French philosopher Michel Onfray’s “Atheist Manifesto” to better understand those contradictions.

        David Singer is in the same camp as baroukh –
        hasbara!!!

      • Richard Falk March 4, 2015 at 9:17 am #

        Gene: I am in total agreement with you, although as you know, I do not share the outlook
        of what has come to be called the ‘new atheism.’

      • Gene Schulman March 4, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        Thanks, Richard: As I have said before in an earlier comment, I too do not share the view of the new atheists such as Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris or Dennett. I don’t even approve of their science! Onfray’s atheism is quite different; he attacks the theocracy of the monotheistic religions and shows the contradictions in their Good Books. Concluding that theocracy is the opposite of democracy!

      • Kata Fisher March 4, 2015 at 11:03 am #

        About their “new atheists” science — they can’t impose on anyone to explain anything religious by any means!

        If is not explained – it just remains as it is.

        I read Wikipedia…easy scan on main idea’s! To go about whole thing – would be waste of leisure in time….

      • Kata Fisher March 4, 2015 at 10:58 am #

        Almost hilarious!

        “Skip the books — you on hooks!” – I never heard such thing…

        Rabbinic conclave! Where are they? Don’t they have things to explain?

        Theocracy is not democracy. What is then self-governing?

      • baroukh March 4, 2015 at 4:47 am #

        I don’t agree with you, Professor Falk. This is not an insult and this was not meant to be an insult. In my mouth, a self-hating Jew is a Jew who would have strongly prefered to be something else even in a subconscious way. Self-hating Jews are not actually “self-hating”, they only don’t like the fact they are Jews and they try to show themselves to the world as not like the others. Whether this is true or false in your case, this is for sure not an insult.

        It is only very difficult for me to understand how a Jew can be so negatively biased towards the only country of the Jews.

      • Richard Falk March 4, 2015 at 7:30 am #

        I can only tell you that calling someone ‘a self-hating Jew’ in an American context is intended as a discrediting insult.

        I am not ‘negatively biased toward the only country of the Jews,’ I am opposed to a government that behaves as Israel behaves,
        and especially with regard to the dispossessed Palestinian people. That I opposed George W. Bush, or even Obama, does not make
        me ‘a self-hating American.’ You seem to believe that an ethnic tie should take over one’s conscience, and that a government should
        be defended even in a democracy regardless of its behavior. Isn’t this what was meant by being ‘a good German’ during Nazi times?

      • baroukh March 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

        As far as I can tell, you seem more than opposed to Israel’s government. You are so obsessed by Israel that it makes me believe that you oppose Israel existence. If not, how can you agree with Israel existence and at the same time, denounce any way that its government uses to defend this country and its citizens.
        Regarding the “dispossessed Palestinian people” expression you used, you are old enough to know that when you were young, no Palestinian people existed so I don’t understand how a people that didn’t exist a few dozens of years ago can be dispossessed of something that never belonged to it.

      • Richard Falk March 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

        Not at all obsessed. If you take the trouble to look at my publications over the years reflecting my
        interests, you will notice that until I was given the UN job in 2008 I devoted almost no attention to Israel
        and had no strong views.

        As to denying the existence of the Palestinians at the time of the nakba indicates to my how extreme
        is your alignment with the extremist wing of Zionism, and helps account for your line of argument.

      • baroukh March 5, 2015 at 1:44 am #

        Dear Professor Falk,

        since 2008, you are literally obsessed… I didn’t know you before.
        If you had no strong view, it is interesting to understand how you changed from this state to the current one (buying in “Palestinian” propaganda).

        I don’t deny there were Arabs living on these territories in 1948.
        I deny that they formed a Palestinian People it was possible to distinguish from other neighbouring Arabs. The ultimate proof of what I affirm is in the 1947 UN partition resolution. This resolution doesn’t talk about a Palestinian People, it talks about Arabs. This resolution divided what remained of the Palestine region after 2/3 were already cut out to create a first Arab country on this region and this resolution intended to create a Jewish country and an Arab country (not a Palestinian one). Another proof: you won’t find a single book from the time you were young which referenced a Palestinian People, even books in Arabic. Why?

        As to calling the creation of Israel “nakba” indicates to me how extreme is your alignment with the extremist “Palestinians” and helps account for your line of argument.

      • Gene Schulman March 5, 2015 at 2:10 am #

        baroukh certainly does not know his history. He must be very young and only became conscious about fifteen years ago when all the hasbara began. The Palestinians even appear in the Old Testament, but baroukh, despite his name, probably hasn’t even researched that. Of course, the Zionist never studies history, he only makes it up to suit his purposes as he goes along.

        I find a few personal and hominem statements in this comment that make it worthy of deletion. If this troll is getting paid for his work, his masters are certainly not getting their money’s worth.

      • baroukh March 5, 2015 at 2:39 am #

        Gene Schulman, I am not young and the one who doesn’t know history is you. You should read again the Torah, there is no Palestinian there. There are Philistines and they don’t have any relationship with the “Palestinians” of today and they got instincts centuries before. The palestinian adjective was used less than one hundred years ago for both Jews and Arabs and more for Jews actually. I learned history and I know it way better than you for sure as you affirm again and again false things. I am not paid to write here and nothing I wrote is worthy of deletion. That you want constantly my comments to be deleted proves only one thing that you are autocratic, you like to talk only with people with the same biased point of view of yours and you don’t have any argument standing mine. Purim Sameah!

      • Richard Falk March 5, 2015 at 6:58 am #

        Baroukh:

        I am afraid you are writing from a very sectarian religious perspective, which from
        my perspective is both biased, and able comfortably to erase the Palestinian experience.
        To call someone who reaches an alternative view by reference to international law,
        morality, and other means of assessing fairness in situation of competing claims
        demonstrates to me that you have no interest in conversation because you already
        know the truth. Your last sentence is so one-sided as to be outside the boundary
        of useful discussion, although I am not doubting your sincerity in espousing such
        an extreme, and exclusionary, position.

      • baroukh March 5, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

        I didn’t make any reference to the religion (except when answering the lie from someone that “Palestinians” were referenced in the Torah) but I have a very sectarian religious perspective, right? That’s pretty funny.
        I am not erasing any “Palestinian” experience. I only say the truth. The “Palestinian” people is a relatively new invention to fight Israel, relatively new as it happened in your lifetime. Saying that this is false is misleading. That many people believe that they belong to a Palestinian people is now a fact, a relatively recent fact but still a fact.
        I have an interest in conversation but I only say that Israel’s government does everything possible to comply with international law and to be moral despite the conditions imposed on it by terrorists. I only say that any other country in the same situation would have make a slaughter (a real one) if not a genocide including all the countries complaining about Israel’s actions but they dare complaining.
        My last sentence was a mirror of your previous last sentence. Calling the creation of Israel “nakba” shows an obvious bias of yours. If there was a “nakba”, it was not the creation of Israel but the refusal of its existence which leaded to a second arab country on the Palestine region to never be created for dozens of years including when all the disputed territories were in Arabs’ hands for a little less than 20 years.

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

        Gene: I realized this but I thought it more important to discourage the resumption of trolling..I am sorry for cutting your comment
        loose in this way.

    • Rev. Steve Berube March 3, 2015 at 6:53 am #

      Actually baroukh, I believe what Gene Schulman (who has the integrity to use his real name) is getting at is that you offer nothing to the debate. You offer no serious rebuttal or alternative perspective that is helpful.

      You talk about defamation but refer to Dr. Falk as an old fool.

      You defend Israel without reservation and call anyone who dares to question Israel as anti-Semitic even when the critique is directed squarely at the government of Israel.

      Criticism of Israel that is rooted in law, in fact and/or in first hand accounts is legitimate if Israel wants to remain part of the international community.

      Many in the international community criticize Israel because it fails to live up to its obligations under the 4th Geneva Convention, to which it is a high contracting party as determined by 14 of 15 jurists on the International Court of Justice.

      (By the way, I fully acknowledge that Hamas firing rockets that can hit civilians is also in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.)

      As someone who has actually lived in Palestine and witnessed violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws by the Israeli military and para-military I believe their is a moral responsibility to bear faithful witness.

      Dr. Falk’s insights are supported by many Israelis and Jews around the globe who also speak out in favour of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

      If Israel signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it would stand on far more legitimate grounds in criticizing Iran. Netanyahu making wild claims in front of the UN about Iran that are contradicted by Mossad de-legitimizes the fear tactics bandied about by Netanyahu.

      • Gene Schulman March 3, 2015 at 8:25 am #

        Welcome, good Reverend, and thank you for your informative contribution. Guess baroukh can’t call you a self-hating Jew.

      • baroukh March 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

        Dear Reverend,

        > Actually baroukh, I believe what Gene Schulman (who has the integrity to use his real name)
        You forgot “unlike you” between the parentheses.
        Baroukh is my real first name.
        By the way, attacking verbally Israel with your real name doesn’t need courage.

        > is getting at is that you offer nothing to the debate. You offer no serious rebuttal or alternative perspective that is helpful.
        I can discuss any subject you want. But Gene’s problem is that he is ready to talk only to people who agrees with him that Israel is the satan of the Middle East.

        > You talk about defamation but refer to Dr. Falk as an old fool.
        As I said in a different comment, I didn’t mean to be offensive with this expression and if it was for Richard Falk, I apologized.
        Still this doesn’t mean that what Gene wrote about Israel is not defamation.

        > You defend Israel without reservation and call anyone who dares to question Israel as anti-Semitic even when the critique is directed squarely at the government of Israel.
        Unfortunately you can’t read all my comments again but I didn’t call anyone criticizing Israel as anti-Semitic. That’s completely false. I said that the anti-Semites do it but it doesn’t mean that all the one who do it are anti-Semites. There is strictly no problem in criticizing with honesty the government of Israel but there is no reason to criticize Israel in a disproportionnate manner in comparison to criticize really rogue states elsewhere.

        > Criticism of Israel that is rooted in law, in fact and/or in first hand accounts is legitimate if Israel wants to remain part of the international community.
        Again there is no problem in criticizing Israel with honesty.
        I understand from your words that there is a risk Israel won’t remain member of the international community. Still for rogue states, the question of belonging to the international community is not questioned as for Israel.

        > Many in the international community criticize Israel because it fails to live up to its obligations under the 4th Geneva Convention, to which it is a high contracting party as determined by 14 of 15 jurists on the International Court of Justice.
        How does it fail to live up to these obligations? It is not enough to say it doesn’t. You must bring proofs this is really the case.

        > (By the way, I fully acknowledge that Hamas firing rockets that can hit civilians is also in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.)
        It is not only that they “can hit civilians” but they are targeted at civilians. This is hugely different. Hamas is terrorist organization and its purpose is to increase casualties in both side among the innocent civilians..

        > As someone who has actually lived in Palestine and witnessed violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws by the Israeli military and para-military I believe their is a moral responsibility to bear faithful witness.
        What do you mean by “para-military”?
        Which violations did you witness?
        It is not enough to say that you witnessed violations without giving details. And if you witnessed bad behaviors of soldiers, does it mean that they got orders from their hierarchy and beyond from the government of Israel to behave that way?

        > Dr. Falk’s insights are supported by many Israelis and Jews around the globe who also speak out in favour of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
        I think that they are supported only by self-hating Jews and the ones who pray the “peace” God.

        > If Israel signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it would stand on far more legitimate grounds in criticizing Iran.
        If Israel has got nuclear weapons, it has got them for a long time and never used them even during the Kippur war when Israel was almost wiped off the map. So Israel proved it was capable of not doing bad things with nuclear weapons. This is far from being the case with Iran. Why is Iran so eager to work on nuclear technology if their utltimate purpose is not to build nuclear weapons?

        > Netanyahu making wild claims in front of the UN about Iran that are contradicted by Mossad de-legitimizes the fear tactics bandied about by Netanyahu.
        Netanyahu claims are not contradicted by Mossad. They may be contradicted by specific ex-Mossad agents who became leftists extremists and who may want to enter a leftist government.

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

        In brief response to your comments where you raise specific questions:
        Israeli violations of the 4th Geneva Conventions: I would suggest you familiarize yourself with decisions of the ICJ regarding Israel especially relating to settlements and the separation barrier aka the wall. It is not hard for you to Google that one.

        Breaches of international humanitarian and human rights laws by Israeli military and para-military forces: There are copious well documented reports that relate closely to my experience: I would suggest you read, Our Harsh Logic, which are first hand accounts recorded by members of Breaking the Silence. I had to put the book down on several occasions because of personal memories similar to those described in the book. I would also suggest Amnesty Internationals report from Feb. 2014 entitled, Trigger-Happy: Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank. As for my reference to para-military forces there are both “border” police and private contractors used at check points to supplement Israeli military personnel.

        Regarding Israeli Nuclear weapons: I would refer you to the hundred’s of articles published about Mordechai Vanunu who revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons program. If you want a credible source I would suggest you read Jane’s Intelligence Review which has articles on Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

        By the way, in my books, calling someone an old fool or a self hating Jew is normally seen as biased and prejudiced and antagonistic.

      • baroukh March 4, 2015 at 5:29 am #

        Rev. Steve Berube, regarding settlements and the security barrier, declaring them illegal and calling them violations of the 4th Geneva Conventions is obviously biased. Israel conquered this territory from Jordan who gave up on them when signing a peace agreement with Israel. The relevant UN resolution doesn’t state that Israel should withdraw from all these territories.

        When force is used, I wonder if it is possible at all to prevent completely breaches as the soldiers are human beings and can do mistakes. Yet, they shouldn’t receive any order that are in violations of the humanitarian and human rights laws.

        Border policemen are soldiers they are not para-military forces. Regarding private contractors, I never heard such a thing being used in the disputed territories. Do you have any proof of that?

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 4, 2015 at 7:47 am #

        Dear Baroukh,
        Israel argued it’s case before the International Court of Justice and 14 of 15 judges ruled against Israel. This is not a bias, it is a fact in law. I suspect these judges from 15 different nations understand international law far better than I do.

        I agree that soldiers are human beings and they make mistakes. I also know that they are called to respect the law and if they break it there is a need for justice. This concept is clear in international treaties.

        As for border police not being para-military that is a matter of interpretation.

        As for whether there are private contractors actually at the check points, this clearly indicates you have never gone through one, I would refer you to Machsom Watch.

      • baroukh March 4, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

        Dear Rev. Steve Berube,

        do you have a link about this story where Israel argues its case and 14 out of 15 (unbiased) judges ruled against it?

        If you know that soldiers are human beings, that they make mistakes, that the mistakes they make were not through orders they received from their hierarchies, that when it is provable that they did mistakes, they are condemned for them, how can Israel be condemned?

        Border police is not part of the police but part of the army. So they are not para-military but military. There is no place for interpretation.

        Regarding the private contractors, I went through several check points (unlike what you believe) and the soldiers there were either soldiers during their regular service duty or reserve soldiers. I don’t understand why Israel would use private contractors when it can call people in reserve duty.

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 5, 2015 at 3:23 am #

        Please learn how to use Google. Rulings by the ICJ are readily available as are several articles relating to all of the issues I have raised as well as those by Dr. Falk and others. Part of the responsibility of being an adult is to be willing to learn and to explore issues not just from a perspective that reinforces your personal perceptions.

      • baroukh March 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

        I am not sure a real Reverend would answer “please learn how to use Google” but never mind…
        I obviously know how to use Google. I learn and explore issues from other perspectives as well. And that’s the reason I asked you for a link. Now I could say: “please learn how to do a copy-paste of a link” to mirron your comment but I won’t. I’ve just read the wikipedia piece about it and the following part is important:
        “Israel rejected the ICJ ruling and emphasized the barrier’s self-defense aspect [14], and stressed that Israel will continue to build the barrier. The United States also rejected the ruling, declaring that the issue was of political rather than legal nature. Colin Powell stated that barrier was effective against terror, and noted that the ICJ ruling was not binding, but insisted that Israel not use the barrier to predetermine permanent borders.”
        If “Palestinians” want this barrier to be dismantled, they should start with the first step to make it not needed anymore.

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

        I am glad you know how to use Google.

        Israel’s rejection of the ICJ ruling does not mean that the ICJ ruling is not rooted in law. It indicates Israel’s disregard for international treaties to which it is a signatory. By ignoring the ICJ rulings Israel is acting out of national or alternatively neo-colonial political interests and not international law.

        Regarding the effectiveness of the illegal barrier – that is subject to a great deal of debate. Palestinians claim they shifted their tactics after the end of the second Intifada away from terror attacks. There is statistical evidence that points in that direction. Hence, it could be argued that perspective is as credible as that of Colin Powell’s judgement.Ultimately, in logic, neither point can be fully proven or disproven.

        By the way, wasn’t Colin Powell the one who told the UN that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction? So what makes Colin Powell credible on the issue of the wall? He was a political appointee of George W. Bush. As Secretary of State and prior to that as Chair of the Joint Chiefs Powell was responsible for protecting and advocating for America’s political interests.

        Further to that point, Colin Powell is not an internationally recognized jurist with expertize in international law. The wall is illegal based on the ruling of the ICJ.

        On the other hand, Richard Falk’s credentials are vastly superior to Colin Powell’s on the subject of international law. I would accept his legal opinion over that of Colin Powell any day. (Dr. Falk, with all due respect, you should know that if I wanted an opinion about military tactics I would probably be more influenced by Colin Powell’s perspective on that issue.)

        I am also glad you know about Wikipedia. Perhaps you should read what it has to say about Nakba. Otherwise, Google can provide you with over 580,000 links.

      • baroukh March 7, 2015 at 11:28 am #

        Rev. Steve Berube, that 14 out of 15 judges rule something doesn’t mean that it is rooted in law either. I am convinced these judges are biased against Israel as the UN is. The purpose of the barrier is not to grab land but to protect Israel’s citizens from terror attacks. Moreover as said by the United States, this ruling by the ICJ and the associated UN resolution of its General Assembly are not binding (unlike UN Security Council resolutions), so Israel rejecting this ruling doesn’t make it not respecting the international law.

        Regarding the effectivement of the barrier (which you can’t call fully illegal as it follows for a big part the 1949 armistice line called green line and incorrectly called 1967 borders, what could be illegal is only the parts which don’t follow the green line and even these parts are not illegal because the green line was not meant to become a border, it was only an armistice line and Israel always stated that this barrier doesn’t predetermine permanent borders), there is actually no debate even if you say the opposite. That “Palestinians” claim they shifted their tactics after the end of the second Intifada is actually an evidence that the barrier is effective. Actually as long as it wasn’t completed, “Palestinians” were using the remaining holes to carry out terror attacks and as soon as it was completed, the number of terror attacks was drastically reduced pushing the “Palestinians” to shift their tactics.

        Regarding Colin Powell and the weapons of mass destruction, this is actually funny. I like when people, like you, claim that the US started the second Gulf war because of the weapons of mass destruction in Irak and they couldn’t find them. Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction in the past but you believe these weapons disappeared afterwards. Do you really believe Saddam Hussein destroyed them or used them all? The weapons of mass destruction were existing and were transferred to Syria where they were destroyed lately as part of all the mass destruction weapons there by the international community after Assad used them in the civil war.

        Regarding Nakba (catastrophe), as I said, the actual Nakba is the fact that the Arabs didn’t create a second Arab country on the Palestine region as they should have done according to the 1947 UN resolution. They didn’t do it because they couldn’t accept the creation of Israel and started a war to destroy it and to slaughter all the Jews there. The second Nakba (catastrophe) for them is after the 6 days war, when Israel proposed to withdraw fully from the conquered territories against peace and recognition and the Arabs boldly refused the peace proposal with the famous three “No” of Karthoum. Almost 50 years later they affirm that they are ready for that. This is a little late and in addition to creating a Palestine state, they want to almost empty it from inhabitants as they want Israel to accept the “right” of “return” of the “Palestinian” “refugees” (proof that they still didn’t abandon their dream to destroy Israel).

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

        Dear Baroukh,
        Your comments have no basis in how law works. Judges are the ones who determine the applicability of the law. They also have no basis in the 4th Geneva Convention.

        Your reality is rooted in a myopic vision that will never allow you to understand why there has been a sea change in the attitude towards Israel in the international community.

        When you speak of self hating Jews I cringe. How do you know what is in their hearts. What gives you the right to make such a critical and prejudiced statement?

        I suspect you would have lumped in those such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Micah and many of the other prophets in exactly the same way.

        It is sad to see a nation that was supposed to be a light to the world be so far away from what it was meant to stand for.

      • baroukh March 7, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

        Judges are the ones who give rulings but if they are biased, their rulings are incorrect. I suppose there were judges in Nazi Germany. they gave rulings and I suppose you don’t think these rulings were good.
        Is it true that the ruling by the ICJ and the corresponding UN resolution of the General Assembly are not binding?

        The sea change in the attitude towards Israel is mostly based on biased media reports for years, on antisemitism and on the fact you can’t fight terrorists and look good.

        Regarding self-hating Jews, I don’t know what they have in their hearts. It is only a deduction because I see that they cause damages to their own people by broadcasting a biased view on it and causing more antisemitism.

        Regarding the “I suspect you would have lumped in those such as Isaiah, Jeremiah,…”, it is pretty funny! I consider all these guys the opposite of self-hating Jews.

        Regarding “It is sad to see a nation that was supposed to be a light to the world be so far away from what it was meant to stand for”, this nation is a light to the world but the world has got so much darkness and so many people and nations across the ages trying to switch off the light (annihilating the Jewish People), that it was/is very difficult to enlighten the world in such conditions. Stop supporting the darkness and you will be able to see the light.

      • Rev. Steve Berube March 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

        It is amazing that you would compare 15 international jurists to WW II Germany. Then again, I should have expected no less.

        Your continuing reference to self hating Jews continues to show your narrow understanding of what democracy and freedom of speech is all about.

        As for Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Micah and the other exilic prophets your understanding provided me with a good laugh.

        Obviously, it would be really helpful for you to go away and study history, international law and exegesis. Also, you should check out Miss Manners.

      • Kata Fisher March 8, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

        Dear Reverent,

        I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.

      • baroukh March 9, 2015 at 3:20 am #

        I didn’t compare them. I gave you an extreme example to make you understanding a point.

        That there are self hating Jews in the world is a proven fact. That I believe that some people are self hating Jews is part of my freedom of speech and I never said that they should shut up. They can continue saying what they want even if I am convinced that they are wrong in doing bad to their own People.

        Why did you laugh when I said that all these prophets were for me the opposite of self-hating Jews?

        I know History (for example that the Palestinian People is a relatively new invention). I know international law enough to understand that a ruling of the ICJ and the corresponding UN General Assembly resolution are not binding even if you refused to answer. Regarding exegesis, I know exegesis better than you on the Torah. Regarding other later writings, you can be better than me as they are not interesting to me besides the fact that they brought barbarians closer to the understanding that there is One God.

        Regarding Miss Manners, you are a lot ruder than me and I didn’t expect that from a Reverend.

      • Richard Falk March 9, 2015 at 8:35 am #

        Baroukh:

        It may be your free speech to describe people as ‘self-hating Jews,’ but it is mine to remove such
        insulting and personalized attacks from this blog. It happens to be true that I feel I am self-hating
        in the tradition of the Jewish prophets, that is, criticizing the established order of their day.

      • baroukh March 9, 2015 at 9:32 am #

        To delete my comments is not free speech (it is autocratic because you are in charge of this blog) especially when I didn’t do any attack and I apologized if my comments made you feel insulted.
        The Jewish prophets were the opposite of self-hating.

      • Kata Fisher March 9, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

        Dear Baroukh,

        I have a reflection:

        Expect nothing less from a Reverend– he will tell you about generational sins.

        Church on manners is, in fact, nothing that you can’t believe…

        He did not say that to be rude or mean; he is Reverend– he would know how to fix things?

        I am sure that here is at least one nuncio of Rome that knows how to fix things, and not do anything “rude” or “mean”?

        “Bakhita, Bakhita, Bakhita!!!”

      • Kata Fisher March 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

        More about

        Bakhita

        Why? I do not know.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Bakhita

      • baroukh March 10, 2015 at 3:12 am #

        I do think that he said that to be rude but never mind.

      • Gene Schulman March 10, 2015 at 3:46 am #

        I have been reading a new book of a collection of Tony Judt’s late essays: “When the Facts Change”, edited by his widow, the historian Jennifer Homans. Notable for this blog is Part Two, on Israel, the Holocaust and the Jews. Especially the chapter on Israel: The Alternative, where Judt discusses the possibility of a bi-national state as the answer to Palestine. I would recommend it as must reading for commenters such as baroukh and others on Richard’s blog. A little history that might have a large effect. Of course, one can disagree with some of Judt’s opinions, but overall is writings are profound.

        It seems to me that people with hard-wired opinions on Israel/Judaism have had them imprinted in the womb. These are difficult to change because of their congenital character, but we must remember that congenital isn’t the same as heredity. Genes can’t be changed, but nurture (culture) can. So I believe there might be hope for people like baroukh to see the light. If only they would educate themselves and rid themselves of prejudices.

      • Gene Schulman March 10, 2015 at 6:16 am #

        PS – The title of Judt’s book comes from a favorite quote of his, attributed to John Maynard Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind.” Perhaps when these facts sink into baroukh’s brain, he might also change his mind.

      • baroukh March 10, 2015 at 7:14 am #

        Why would I change my mind when I am right?🙂

      • Gene Schulman March 10, 2015 at 8:32 am #

        @ baroukh: Not to denigrate the ill, but that’s Alzheimer’s sufferers say too. They don’t know they don’t know.

        @ Kata: Can you never stay on the subject? You should abort your way of thinking.

      • Kata Fisher March 10, 2015 at 8:55 am #

        Gene,
        I had a mind in conscience ever since I was a child. My conscience was aborted just for a short while (by church-harlot, and almost became as a harlot, lol)…

        I did not change, at all – nor did I ever changed my mind. I became unmerciful, in conscience — and I can be unmerciful in solid mind and conscience.
        That what is women that are ordained in Church-Charismatic-Catholic is unmerciful by mind and conscience.

        Now days I am just sluggish…and can’t stop sloping around (not slopping)! I do and can apologize for being here.

      • Kata Fisher March 10, 2015 at 10:06 am #

        I do have another reflection:

        http://biblehub.com/text/joel/3-3.htm

        “Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. 3 “They have also cast lots for My people, Traded a boy for a harlot And sold a girl for wine that they may drink. 4″Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre, Sidon and all the regions of Philistia? Are you rendering Me a recompense? But if you do recompense Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your recompense on your head.…”

        http://biblehub.com/joel/3-3.htm

      • Kata Fisher March 10, 2015 at 10:07 am #

        http://www.rense.com/general50/children.htm

        Is this true?

        Gene, can you even believe this – if true?

      • Kata Fisher March 10, 2015 at 10:14 am #

        As you see – the “Land” was not divided up by “God” or in power of God’s will in a being. The Land was not vacated (nation of Israel was not scattered) by God. (Not in all circumstances/conditions – if you look systematically at the fact – “why”? are some of Israel nation where they should not be and in other hand there are others in the Land that should have it been).

        I was just brainstorming…did not proofread.

      • baroukh March 11, 2015 at 12:22 am #

        “@ baroukh: Not to denigrate the ill, but that’s Alzheimer’s sufferers say too. They don’t know they don’t know.”
        => This is a common logical problem… That A implies B doesn’t mean that B is invalid for people without A and any other such reason.
        They don’t know they don’t know but I know I know and I know you don’t.

      • Gene Schulman March 11, 2015 at 2:28 am #

        Yes, that’s what all religious fundamentalists say, They’ve got word straight from god through the holy books. No need to read anything else, or otherwise educate yourself. You already know everything. Even your example of a logical problem is problematic. You actually no nothing!
        My last word to you, sir. I’ll let the reverend take over again, if he still has the stomach for it.

      • baroukh March 11, 2015 at 2:32 am #

        Again the same logical problem…
        The fact that all religious fundamentalists say this doesn’t make everyone sure of what he affirms a religious fundamentalist.
        You are the one affirming things which are false. I affirm only facts so if someone doesn’t know anything, it is not me.

      • Richard Falk March 11, 2015 at 9:00 am #

        Let’s avoid this childish word play while the world is ablaze, and suffering abounds. I
        have wanted to keep this comments section of the blog reserved for serious conversation
        in which the contributors listen as well as talk. Your comments are not in this spirit.

      • Kata Fisher March 11, 2015 at 9:57 am #

        A note:

        (I posted this just few seconds ago, and it went above the thread that I intended — I used new thread and no reply link. Sorry).

        I can ask pastor Jonatan to replace me here — he will stomach anything. He went trough a lot, and nothing would shock him. It would be a hassle for him since he has a lot going on.

        It is not about Hermeneutics, just as it is not about exegesis (biblical).

        It is more how do you interpret reality? Based on Humanities? – you will have to take all objectives in their perception.

        You have to make a first order of objectives; second, third, and so on. Your objective center has to hold based on natural laws that are established (Specifically, International Law – in this case).

        Now, interpretation of the Law will be difficult if you do not refer to objective perception/s in a valid order.

        I believe that we should look at things that David wrote down, with refreshed conscience.

        I believe, there is a clear perception of reality – as David wrote down.

        I find this article much relevant:

        http://www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com/2015/03/palestine-end-occupation-and-right.html

        Especially this conclusion: “It is time for international law to be resurrected, debated and enforced as the only basis for ending the conflict in former Palestine.

        The sooner this process is begun – the sooner some sanity will return to the Middle East.”

        I would not waste much time on Books ( as Philosophy / Theology) but rather Law and History (natural and spiritual).

        Application of Law in a valid way will, in fact, solve your problem – and History with Philosophy / Theology will verify the Law in application.

        I do not think that there is much to go about. It is simple as organization of issues: first order; second, third, and so on.

        I like to add this note – a fact (a Church-fact) that Apostle Paul wrote down and about and the Gospel, itself. Spiritual realities of evil are so powerful (in humans) that would, in fact, deceive God’s Elect – and only if that were (was possible) and were not (is not) possible. (See Matthew ch. 24 / 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians).

        To solve current world-problems – all available has to be applied in order to get clear picture for the way ahead.

      • Kata Fisher March 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

        I was thinking on this. Can you watch this, at least twice, and really think on this — just the way the “spirt” of deception has worked.

      • Gene Schulman March 12, 2015 at 1:15 am #

        You are absolutely right, Richard. I apologize for my contribution to this silly word play. From now on I will confine my comments to the subject of your posts, and cease from trying to convince the unconvincable.

      • Richard Falk March 12, 2015 at 8:13 am #

        Thanks, Gene, I do think it will make the interaction more interesting and useful. Hope you
        are doing fine, with health fully restored.

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

        I had a straight-forward reflection:

        “Shut down” (Abu-Ghraib prison).

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/world/middleeast/iraq-says-abu-ghraib-prison-is-closed.html?_r=0

        It’s shut.

        See – they closed it! – deleted history..
        “Shut them all”
        “All?” – what does that mean?

        Hiding something?
        What would that be?

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

        I have another reflection:

        “Nazi Gold”

        “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_gold

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

        This has cut trough the conscience of my mind:

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

        This are belonings (“the gold-rings of Buchenwald victims”).

        (I forgot) – this is the reference:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_gold

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

        I have another reflection:

        “Where did gold go?”

        ????? – where is it?

        Is it in Rome?

        “Where should it be?”

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

        I have another reflection:
        “What is this and what are all these terms?”

      • Kata Fisher March 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

        “What is this and what are all these terms?”

        http://www.uek.ch/en/publikationen1997-2000/golde.pdf

      • Kata Fisher March 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

        I came across this article:

        http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1999/spring/nazi-gold-merkers-mine-treasure.html

        “ow much non-monetary gold (e.g., dental gold) was melted down and mixed with the monetary gold (i.e., central bank gold) and thus indicate how much restitution still should be made to victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs.(71)”

        “At an international Nazi Gold conference held in London in December 1997, several countries agreed to relinquish their claims to their share of the remaining 5.5 metric tons (worth about sixty million dollars) still held by the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC) and donate it to a Nazi Persecution Relief Fund to help survivors of the Holocaust. Almost all of the claimant nations similarly agreed to such a policy during the course of 1998. Early in September 1998, in a ceremony held in Paris, the TGC announced its task was completed and went out of business. Thus, the Merkers story ends on a noble, selfless, just, and moral note, as upwards of fifteen countries were willing to forego receiving gold stolen from their nations by the Nazis and allow it to be used as compensation for victims of Nazi persecution.”

        A very important note:

        This is what I understand: they (noter nations) have to give up the gold that was looted by Nazi to the State of Israel. “5.5 metric tons” or is it more or less”? Or can they cut / melt gold bars and distribute it to individuals.

        That gold has to be properly distributed back to the nation of Israel. That is, to the current Israel and its bank gold-reserve – if not deliverable to individuals.

        What happened is that gold as “matter/substance” has to be moved to valid ownership. Individual returned (in gold) or Corporately (returned to the Israel, in gold-reserve).

        I am almost sure about this and without doubt.

      • Gene Schulman March 13, 2015 at 3:49 am #

        Thanks, Richard. All is well. Hope you are too.

        The following is a reflection, not on Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, rather on his appeal for French Jews to emigrate to Israel. What chutzpah!

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/13/israel-against-the-jews/print

      • Kata Fisher March 10, 2015 at 6:53 am #

        About culture:

        Mother’s womb is a cosy place.

      • Gene Schulman March 6, 2015 at 9:43 am #

        @ baroukh

        I have a reflection: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/06/the-speech/print

      • Kata Fisher March 6, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

        Sorry – that moment went on other place then what I intended.

        Dear Richard,

        I like to write a personal note to you:

        Did you reflect on any poetry lately? I have been waiting forever to read some of poetry that you may have put together.

      • Kata Fisher March 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

        I ment to say not “moment” but comment.

      • Richard Falk March 7, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

        Thanks, Kata, I have and will..

      • Kata Fisher March 8, 2015 at 8:45 am #

        I am very happy. Thank you that you did.

      • Gene Schulman March 7, 2015 at 11:12 am #

        I doubt if Uri considers himself a self-hating Jew. Only someone with a minimum number of pixels in his brain would think so. Look in the mirror to see of whom I speak. ;-(

      • Gene Schulman March 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

        Look up the word metaphor.

      • Kata Fisher March 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

        Gene,

        I left you a comment on Churchill, but it is gone.

        First, it was in the thread – just below Mr. Clif Brown’s comment – but is gone.

  6. Heidi Morrison March 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    I had my students in my Israeli-Palestinian conflict class read this blog post today. One student said he thought the blog left out the most important issue of Netanyahu’s visit, and that being that he was invited by Boehner (not Obama). This opened up a discussion about how Americans tend to only care about issues that relate to domestic affairs, when clearly from your blog post this visit has a lot to do with international affairs that many mainstream Americans are not paying attention to. Another student said he saw Netanyahu’s speech at AIPAC yesterday and never realized it was connected to potential military confrontation with Iran until he read your post. He said he thought Netanyahu was just explaining the dangers Israel faces.

    Your article helped the students see past the superficial level of the news they receive. Thanks.

    • Richard Falk March 4, 2015 at 7:37 am #

      Thanks, Heidi, for sharing this experience with your students. Because of the unfortunate bipartisan consensus on unconditional
      support for Israel, the American issue raised by the speech, was as your student suggests, the protocol issue raised by Boehner’s
      partisan invitation, which is really marginal to the enduring detrimental effects of the whole incident.

      I hope you are doing fine. If you come to SB let me know, and we can meet.

  7. Kata Fisher March 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    Professor Falk,

    Baroukh appears to be a youth.

    Also, we do not know his background (knowing that Jewish people can be from any possible country) and application of terms can be distinctly different then what is applied here in US.

    Otherwise, I do apologize for him since I do not believe that he was saying those things to be mean.

    I hope this is helpful.

    I am sorry that you felt distressed about this.

    I wonder what his calling will be.

    Maybe, he can’t tell as of right now.

    Baroukh: you should meditate on your calling, and find out what that is.

  8. rehmat1 March 3, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    I never took Netanyahu’s ‘Iranophobia’ seriously and therefore, rather ignore his anti-Iran rant at AIPAC annual conference of ‘US fifth column’.

    However, I would leave it to my good Canadian professor Tony Burman (Ryerson University, Toronto), to describe the purpose of Netanyahu’s address at AIPAC.

    “On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s alarmist-in-chief, will make a mockery of American democracy by going to Washington to speak to a formal session of the US Congress. Ostensibly, he has been invited by Congressional Republicans to repeat his government’s wild-eyed warnings about the “existential” threat of Iran,” Burman said.

    “But more to the point, this is about a spineless politician coming to the end of an Israeli election campaign, willing to do anything to wreck a potential deal with Iran and, in the process, eager to give the finger to his archenemy, President Barack Obama,” said Burman.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/03/03/america-shutdown-jewish-lobby/

  9. Clif Brown March 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    To me the most amazing thing about Netanyahu’s visit is that there won’t be a single question to him from the media about so many decades of blatant expulsion of the Palestinians or Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons ready to launch. He is far safer from embarrassment in the United States than he is in Israel.

    As for Iran spreading terror, the US is hardly coddling Iran. the practice of terror by Israel is a daily thing in the occupied territories – teens shot, 3AM pounding on doors by armed men seeking to take a census of Palestinian youth, skunk-water trucks roaming Arab neighborhoods in the middle of the night spraying with abandon, the burning of orchards, spontaneous assaults on farmers (forbidden to be armed) by settlers (guns always on display). Iran is the pariah while the US cannot stop sending more money to Israel and effusive praise for it is always to be heard in DC. Netanyahu’s tongue should burn when he points out terror in the world.

    He is a lesson to all about how one can have have telescopic vision for one’s own obsessions. Anyone who has used a telescope knows that if you turn it around and look into the “large end” you will see nothing, and when looking at Palestinians, or any party that might contend Israel’s overwhelming power, this reverse use of a telescope again describes Netanyahu.

    Here in the US, what should obsess us is liberty and justice for all. That any member of Congress, let alone the Speaker of the House, should even consider association with Netanyahu is shameful. That the Congress as a whole should cheer him is conclusive proof that our legislature is bought. Our image as the Hypocrite of the World is reinforced for the umpteenth time this week and Sheldon Adelson is undoubtedly smiling.

    • Richard Falk March 4, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks for this comment, and its illuminating metaphor of a telescope turned in the opposite direction.

  10. baroukh March 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    John Kerry’s recent comment before the UN Human Rights Council:
    “No one in this room can deny that there is an unbalanced focus on one democratic country. […] It must be said the (council’s) obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization.”

  11. Kata Fisher March 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    Gene and Baroukh:

    I have a reflection what Churchill had said:

    David Singer wrote this on

    July 28, 2014 at 5:03 am:

    “Ray 032

    The 1939 White Paper merely confirmed what Churchill had said in 1922 – namely that the words ‘in Palestine’ where used in the Mandate for Palestine did not mean ‘all of Palestine'”.

    The next two paragraphs in the White paper that you did not set out confirm the above statement and say the following:

    “ ‘Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that `Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English.’ His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated …. the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the (Balfour) Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home [Kingdom of Israel according to Old Testament Spiritual authority], but that such a Home should be founded IN PALESTINE. ‘”

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

    David already has explained at the same page at anoter point in time /

    July 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm:

    “We have to deal with the here and now.” … “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.”

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

    • baroukh March 7, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

      And what is your point of view regarding this, Kata?

      • Kata Fisher March 8, 2015 at 8:42 am #

        Dear Baroukh:

        This is what I understand:

        David Singer is authorised to make changes to Holy Land Landmark.

        Why him.

        There is nothing special about David, but only God knows who he is. This is what I understand — we all are just human beings that are authorized or not?

        According to my understanding, David Singer is authorised to make changes to Holy Land Landmark.

        According to my understanding, Holy Land Landmark is sovereign, and it is neutral.

        (In my condition) I am not authorized to have a view – nor I can. Simply, I just can’t attain a view nor can retain it.

        I attain understanding, and then more and more of that understanding is just added on, and on.

        People (Jewish people) that are under spiritual authority of Old Testament – or are appointed to that spiritual authority are not authorised to do whatever they want in Holy Land and Landmark of the Holy Land.

        We understand what was done – as people that were not authorised to make changes in Holy Land have done not authorized things – they did whatever they wanted. Over the centuries they did what ever they willed.

        The tables are turned, I believe.

        I believe that changes to Holy Land and the Landmark of the Holy Land will be made and overseen by Hebrew prophets, and anointed.

  12. Kata Fisher March 11, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    A note:

    I can ask pastor Jonatan to replace me here — he will stomach anything. He went trough a lot, and nothing would shock him. It would be a hassle for him since he has a lot going on.

    It is not about Hermeneutics, just as it is not about exegesis (biblical).

    It is more how do you interpret reality? Based on Humanities? – you will have to take all objectives in their perception.

    You have to make a first order of objectives; second, third, and so on. Your objective center has to hold based on natural laws that are established (Specifically, International Law – in this case).

    Now, interpretation of the Law will be difficult if you do not refer to objective perception/s in a valid order.

    I believe that we should look at things that David wrote down, with refreshed conscience.

    I believe, there is a clear perception of reality – as David wrote down.

    I find this article much relevant:

    http://www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com/2015/03/palestine-end-occupation-and-right.html

    Especially this conclusion: “It is time for international law to be resurrected, debated and enforced as the only basis for ending the conflict in former Palestine.

    The sooner this process is begun – the sooner some sanity will return to the Middle East.”

    I would not waste much time on Books ( as Philosophy / Theology) but rather Law and History (natural and spiritual).

    Application of Law in a valid way will, in fact, solve your problem – and History with Philosophy / Theology will verify the Law in application.

    I do not think that there is much to go about. It is simple as organization of issues: first order; second, third, and so on.

    I like to add this note – a fact (a Church-fact) that Apostle Paul wrote down and about and the Gospel, itself. Spiritual realities of evil are so powerful (in humans) that would, in fact, deceive God’s Elect – and only if that were (was possible) and were not (is not) possible. (See Matthew ch. 24 / 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians).

    To solve current world-problems – all available has to be applied in order to get clear picture for the way ahead.

  13. Gene Schulman March 17, 2015 at 3:54 am #

    Well, Kata seems to have got in the last word. Seven comments in a row, ending on March 13. It makes me wonder if she hasn’t frightened everyone away with her “reflections”?

    Also, I hope the lack of commentary since then, or any further post from Richard does not bode ill for this blog. Nor has Richard been incapacitated in some way. Richard, can you reassure us?

    Best, Gene

  14. Gene Schulman March 17, 2015 at 4:02 am #

    My last comment seems to have been misplaced. Probably my own fault:

    Well, Kata seems to have got in the last word. Seven comments in a row, ending on March 13. It makes me wonder if she hasn’t frightened everyone away with her “reflections”?

    Also, I hope the lack of commentary since then, or any further post from Richard does not bode ill for this blog. Nor has Richard been incapacitated in some way. Richard, can you reassure us?

    Best, Gene

    • Kata Fisher March 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

      Dear Gene,

      You are giving our Beloved Professor Falk much trouble.

      Everyone is adult here … and really why should we incapacitate or frighten anyone? No such thing.

      You know the truth? or don’t you? But what truth? What is the Truth /Who is the Truth? Truth of this point in time! – lets start with that.

      How would you know the Truth without the Spirit of Truth. One Who does NOT lie – nor it can.

      What is the truth of this point of time? What do we know without doubt?

      We do not know much without doubt. Right?

      (When evil/evil people come in the name of God / Allah / YAHW) and they rip out piece of the bread from hand of a hungry child — are they not accursed in the same name of God /Allah/YAHW — whom they say that they worship and fear — and are they not accursed in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth by Church-Charismatic?

      If they are that accursed and blind that do not even know how evil they do, and how evil they are?

      I tell you the truth they are accursed and are cut off by Church-Charismatic, and regardless who by Church-Charismatic is or who they are.

      What does that have to do with all Profesor Falk has done and is doing now? Nothing.
      What wicked do (did do) have nothing to do with things that he has done – or is to do.
      What does it have to do with me? Nothing.
      Why?
      Don’t you know that is never to one’s advantage or disadvantage to serve the wicked? Especially, when possible. One can serve the wicked night and day – never enough to get them out of everlasting hell.

      He (Professor Falk) has done nothing wrong, and unworthy of anyone, I believe.

      Why are you so fragmented and anxious, Gene?
      Does not Church comes and tells you what is going on – all that we can understand as observed and revealed to us (individually if not corporately)?

      I’ll say – Let the Church-Charismatic Babble to you, and you can pick yourself what is true and what is not.

      I would not be responsible for any discerning what so ever – don’t you know that?

      Only thing that I can say without everlastihng consequence and I am authorised (on my own responsibility as Roman Catholic) is this: I am ordained by counterfeit church-charismatic their church disorder, and I do not tell you a lie about that. I will not tell you a grave lie because grave spiritual attack / satanic seal has not prevailed against me, as Roman Church-Catholic.

      I do not want to get into Church doctrine again, so I’ll stop at this.

      Trust me, I am not here by random chance to do grave harm (spiritual or natural).
      🙂

      I am glad you are feeling better, Gene.

    • Richard Falk March 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Gene, Kata:

      I am fine, busy and preoccupied with various deadlines, as well as some speaking trips. Going to Vancouver
      for a few days tomorrow, but I promise to get back to work as soon as I can!! Thanks for concern, reassurances.
      Unlike Putin I don’t explain my disappearances by claiming that without such uncertainties life becomes boring!
      Warm greetings, Richard

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Commentary on Netanyahu’s Visit to the United States - March 9, 2015

    […] Go to Original – richardfalk.wordpress.com […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: