Parodies of Parity: Israel & Palestine

14 May

Parodies of Parity: Israel & Palestine

 

As long ago as 1998 Edward Said reminded the world that acting as if Palestinians were equally responsible with Israelis for the persisting struggle of the two peoples was not only misleading, but exhibited a fundamental in misunderstanding of the true reality facing the two peoples: “The major task of the American or Palestinian intellectual of the left is to reveal the disparity between the so-called two sides, which appears to be in perfect balance, but are not in fact. To reveal that this is an oppressed and an oppressor, a victim and a victimizer, and unless we recognize that, we’re nowhere.” [interview with Bruce Robbins published in Social Text (1998)] I would rephrase Said’s statement by substituting ‘any engaged citizen and morally sensitive intellectual’ for ‘the American or Palestinian intellectual of the left.’ We do not need to be on the left to expose the cruel hypocrisy of suppressing gross disparities of circumstances, or more to the point, blocking out the multiple diplomatic, military, material, and psychological advantages enjoyed by Israel as compared to the Palestine. “It is elementary, my dear Watson!” as Sherlock Holmes so often exclaimed, or at least it should be.

 

Unfortunately, a principal instrument of the mind numbing diplomacy of the United States is precisely aimed at avoiding any acknowledgement of the disparity that at the core of the encounter. As a result, the American public is confused as to what it is reasonable to expect from the two sides and how to interpret the failure of negotiations to get anywhere time and again. This failure is far from neutral. It is rather the disparity that has done the most damage to peace prospects ever since 1967: This pattern of delay has kept the Palestinians in bondage while allowing the Israelis build and create armed communities on occupied Palestinian land that was supposedly put aside for the future Palestinian state.

 

Beyond this appeal to intellectuals, Said’s message should be understood by everyone everywhere, and not just by Americans and Israelis, although these are the two populations most responsible for the prolonged failure to produce a peace based on justice. Elsewhere, except possibly in parts of Western Europe, such a discourse as to shared responsibility for the ongoing struggle is not so relevant because the ugly forms of Israeli exploitation of the Palestinian ordeal have become increasingly transparent in recent years. Only in America and Canada has the combined manipulations of hasbara and the Israel Lobby kept the public from sensing the extremities of Palestinian suffering. For decades Europeans gave Israel the benefit of the doubt, partly reflecting a sense of empathy for the Jewish people as victims of the Holocaust without giving much attention to the attendant displacement of the indigenous Arab population. Such an outlook, although still influential at the governmental level, loses its tenability with each passing year. 

Beyond this, there are increasing expressions of grassroots solidarity with the Palestinian struggle by most peoples in the world. It is a misfortune of the Palestinians that most political leaders in the world are rarely moved to act to overcome injustice, and are far more responsive to hegemonic structures that control world politics and their perception of narrowly conceived national interests. This pattern has become most vividly apparent in the Arab world where the people scream when Israel periodically launches its attacks on Gazan civilian society while their governments smile quietly or avert their eyes as the bombs drop and the hospitals fill up.

 

In Israel, the argument as to balance also has little resonance as Israelis, if they pause to wonder at all, tend to blame the Palestinians for failing to accept past Israeli conflict-resolving proposals initiatives made over the years. Israelis mostly believe that the Barak proposals at Camp David in 2000 and the Sharon ‘disengagement’ from Gaza in 2005 demonstrated Tel Aviv’s good faith. Even Netanyahu, at least when he is not seeking reelection, and is speaking for the benefit of an American audience disingenuously claims Israel’s continuing dedication to a peace process based on seeking a two-state solution while he explains diplomatic gridlock by contending that lacks a Palestinian partner in the search for peace, and never deigns to mention the settlement archipelago as an obstacle.

 

Looked at objectively, by assessing behavior and apparent motivation, it is the Palestinians that have no partner for genuine peace negotiations, and should have stopped long ago acting as if Israel was such a partner. That is, Israel inverts the Said disparity, contending that the public should point its finger of blame at Palestine, not Israel. Of course, this is hasbara in its impurest form. Israel never made a peace proposal that offered Palestinians a solution based on national and sovereign equality and sensitive to Palestinian rights under international law. And as for Sharon’s purported disengagement from Gaza, it was justified at the time in Israel as a way to deflect international pressures building to pursue a diplomatic solution and it was managed as a withdrawal that didn’t loosen the grip of effective control, leaving Gaza as occupied and more vulnerable than it was when the IDF soldiers patrolled the streets. Since 2005 the people of Gaza have suffered far more from Israel’s military domination than in all the years following 1967 when occupation commenced, and it should be clear, this outcome was not a reaction to Hamas and rockets. Hamas has repeated sought and upheld ceasefires that Israel has consistently violated, and offered long-term arrangements for peaceful coexistence that Israel and the United States have refused to even acknowledge.

 

Where the equivalence argument is so influential is with the Obama administration and among liberal Zionists, including such NGOs as J Street and Peace Now that are critical of Israel for blocking progress toward a two-state solution. It is a blindfold that obscures the structural reality of the relationship between the two sides, and believes that if Israel would make some small adjustments in their occupation policy, especially in relation to settlements, and if the Palestinians would do the same with respect to refugees and accepting Israel as a Jewish state, then a negotiated peace would follow as naturally as day follows night. In effect, Israel is expected to curtail unlawful settlement activity in exchange for Palestine suspending its rights under international law affecting the situation of several million Palestinian refugees. As is widely known, Jews from anywhere in the world have an unconditional right to immigrate to Israel, whereas Palestinian living abroad with deep residence roots in the country are almost totally banished from Israel including if their purpose is to resume residence so as to live with close family members.

 

In Ramallah back in March 2013, and speaking to a Palestinian gathering, President Obama did forcefully say that “The Palestinians deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it,” and this will require “a state of their own.” Obama even then acknowledged “that the status quo isn’t really a status quo, because the situation on the ground continues to evolve in a direction that makes it harder to reach a two-state solution.” Such a display of circumlocution (“..continues to evolve in a direction”) so as to avoid clearing mentioning Israel’s continuous encroachment on the land set aside by the international consensus, is for a discerning reader all that one needs to know. The unwillingness to challenge frontally Israel’s unlawful and obstructive behavior is underscored by Obama’s reassurances given to a separate Israeli audience in Jerusalem on the same day that he spoke guardedly to the Palestinian, with such phrases as “America’s unwavering commitment,” ‘unbreakable bonds,” “our alliance is eternal, it is forever,” “unshakeable support,” and “your greatest friend.” No such language of reassurance was offered the Palestinians. His two speeches left no doubt that Israel retained its upper hand, and could continue to rest easy with this status quo of simmering conflict that had worked so long in its favor.

 

The Secretary of State, John Kerry, ploughs the same field, calling on both sides to make “painful concessions.” Obama in his Jerusalem speech illustrated what this concretely might mean, assuming that the two sides were equally called upon to act if peace were to be achieved. The Palestinians were called upon to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while Israel was politely reminded in language so vague as to be irrelevant, “Israelis must recognize that settlement activity is counterproductive.” To ask Palestinians to recognize Israel is to affirm as legitimate the discriminatory regime under which the 20% Palestinian minority lives, while asking the Israelis to recognize that the counterproductive character of settlement expansion is to misunderstand Israeli intentions. If their goal is to avoid the establishment of a Palestinian state then being ‘counterproductive’ is exactly the result being sought. Besides asking the Palestinians to abridge their rights while requesting Israel to admit that their settlement activity is not helping the diplomatic process is to appeal to their self-interest, and avoid a demand to cease and reverse an unlawful, likely criminal, activity. The false equivalence is a metaphor for the deformed framework of diplomacy that has unfolded largely as a result of the United States being accepted as the presiding intermediary, a role for which it is totally unsuited to play. This lack of qualification is admitted by its own frequent declarations of a high profile strategic and ideological partnership with Israel, not to mention the interference of a domestic Israeli lobby that controls Congress and shapes the media allocation of blame and praise in relation to the conflict.

 

Kerry expresses the same kind of one-sidedness in the guise of fairness when he calls on the parties to make compromises: “..we seek reasonable compromises on tough complicated, emotional, and symbolic issues. I think reasonable compromises has to be a keystone of all of this effort.” What kind of compromises are the Palestinians supposed to make, given that they are already confined to less and less of the 22% of the British Mandatory territory of Palestine, and since 1988 have sought no greater proportion of the land. Kerry’s approach overlooks, as well, the defiant refusal of Israel to act in good faith in relation to the 1967 Security Council Resolution 242 that called upon Israel to withdraw without claiming territory through its use of force or by taking advantage of being the occupying power. In the interim, while being unwilling to do anything concrete to implement its view of decades that Israeli settlement activity is ‘counterproductive’ the United States proclaims and proves its readiness to oppose any Palestinian attempt to gain access to the UN to express its grievances, an effort which Obama denigrated as “unilateral attempts to bypass negotiations through the UN.” The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly made clear that it favors a resumption of direct negotiations with Israel, despite being at a great disadvantage within such a framework, and insists persuasively that there is no inconsistency between its seeking greater participation in international institutions and its continued readiness to work toward a diplomatic solution of the conflict. If Israel and the United States were sincerely dedicated to a sustainable peace, they would encourage this Palestinian turn away from violent resistance, and their increased effort to push their cause by persuasion rather than missiles, to advance their cause by gaining respectability through joining institutions and adhering to lawmaking treaties instead of being confined in a prolonged rightless lockdown euphemistically disguised as ‘occupation.’

 

In the end, we cannot see the situation for what it is without reverting to theSaid insistence that the relation between oppressor and oppressed is a paramount precondition for sustainable peace. Unless the structural distortion and illegitimacy is acknowledged, no viable political arrangement will be forthcoming. From this perspective the Kerry emphasis on ‘reasonable compromise’ is as mind numbingly irrelevant as it would have been in seeking a peaceful end to racial struggle in apartheid South Africa by demanding that ANC and Nelson Mandela become amenable to compromise with their racist overlords. Peace will come to Israel and Palestine, and be sustained, if and only if the oppressor becomes ready to dismantle its oppressive regime by withdrawing, not merely by disengaging Gaza style. At present, such a readiness is not to be found on the Israeli side, and so long as this is so, direct negotiations and these periodic calls issued by Washington to resume direct talks have one main effect–to free Israel to realize its ambition to establish ‘Greater Israel’ while keeping the Palestinians in chains. This ambition has not yet been explicitly embraced by the Israeli leadership, although only those who refuse to notice what is happening on the ground can fail to notice this expansionist pattern. Israel’s new coalition government even more rightest and pro-settler than its predecessor makes Israel’s ambition to end the conflict by self-serving unilateral action less and less a well kept state secret.

82 Responses to “Parodies of Parity: Israel & Palestine”

  1. Fred Skolnik May 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    As I have pointed out to you, Israeli immigration policy is no different from the immigrant policies of dozens of other countries regarding national minorities. A Palestinian state could absorb as many Palestinians as it wished to, but it is a measure of the utter callousnes of the Palestinian leadership that they are in no hurry to dismantle the refugee camps all around the Middle East and give their people a better life. The Jewish leadership agreed to a partition plan that gave it 55% of the historic Land of Israel, half of it uninhabitable desert. I have news for you: they would have taken even less, even much less, anything in fact to establish an independent state and revive national life. Not so the Palestinians. There is very little interest there in the welfare of the Palestinian people. And what is required of them, when all is said and done? – a tradeoff of territory and a declared end to the conflict, which means no more terror, no further claims on either side and mutual recognition. They could have had this in a month after the Six-Day War and they could have it today if they reconciled themselves to the existence of a sovereign non-Muslim state in the Middle East.

  2. baroukh May 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Each time I read a text from you on this matter I wonder if you are willingfully blind or you clearly know that what you write is pure pro-palestinian propaganda. What you write is so far from the reality! It would be funny if it wasn’t sad.

  3. Gene Schulman May 14, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    Richard, If your blog weren’t so important as a source of reasoned information, I would pity you for your masochism. It pains me to read such stupidity as that which comes from the likes of such hasbarists as baroukh, Skolnick, and their ilk. Skolnick merely repeats himself every time he returns, and baroukh can do nothing but insult. Actually, it is good you don’t censor their comments. They allow us to see the weakness of the Israeli position.

    • baroukh May 14, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

      Where do you see an insult in my previous comment, Gene Schulman?
      The Israeli position is not weak at all. It is only painful and time-consuming to comment all the things which are either not precise or outrightly false in the text above. But for sure, you don’t see a single such thing, right?

      • Jerry "Peacemaker" May 15, 2015 at 10:49 am #

        baroukh,
        Assuming your vision includes finding the best possible solution to the Israel-Palestine situation, your focus would not be on your own struggle with “painful, time consuming, either not precise or outrightly false” – but the painful, 60-years-consuming situation endured by both the Israeli and Palestinian people, and all people of the Middle East, indeed beyond. Comments would reflect a genuine desire to go through all the details, articulate alternatives offering better results, with a focused intent on resolving an important-to-humanty, war and peace issue. The great vision to consider and work toward is future generations where young people – Israeli, Palestinian, and the entire Middle East – have forgotten the terrible past and live together in true peace, friendship and brotherhood.

      • Richard Falk May 15, 2015 at 10:52 am #

        Jerry “Peacemaker”:

        I appreciate your attempt to be constructive to live up to your adopted name!

    • baroukh May 14, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

      But “such stupidity” from yours is indeed an insult. So it is funny that you claim I am insulting while you are the one who does it.

    • Richard Falk May 15, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Gene: I share your assessment of these endlessly hostile comments and mechanical rationalizations of Israel’s
      wrongdoing, but surely masochism is made of sterner stuff. At worst, ‘stupidity’ irritates, but rarely wounds.
      See you soon, hopefully, unless you again run off to Djerba!!

      • Gene Schulman May 16, 2015 at 8:35 am #

        Back in Geneva tomorrow (Sunday). Passed by the Said Hotel this morning, but it seems they’ve never heard of Edward there😉 Alas.

  4. Björn Lindgren May 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    First, thank you for your recent highly informative and clarifying articles on the Palestine/Israel issue. Good reminders, indeed.

    When reading your “Parodies of Parity: Israel & Palestine,” it is clear, but often forgotten, how important parity is for solving the conflict. Here, the US, has long been a dishonest broker.

    What later became known as the “Pentagon papers,” was ordered by McNamara to investigate why the US was in Vietnam. Though he was deeply reponsible for the war, he had begun to doubt the reasons for it. When this secret and internal investigation was disclosed by Daniel Ellsberg, many of the norms, values, reasons, and goals behind the attack on a poor Asian peasant nation became clear. Or, at least clearer.

    Noam Chomsky’s “The Responsibility of Intellectuals” and Barbara Tuchman’s “March of Folly” have also been important in understanding the logic behind the war that was no mistake.

    Since 1967 it seems to me that the US governments really don’t know why they support the Israeli governments and their expansionist policy and the subjugation of the Palestinian people and their rights.

    Of course, one could explain the US policy by saying it was part of their geostrategic positioning against Soviet Union, or, now, their “creative destruction” of the Middle East – i.e. control of oil, dominance, and rush for military bases. Or simply for selling arms.

    Now, both Israel and the US are pariah states, neglecting their national interests, the wellfare of their peoples and the rights of the Palestinian people. And destroying international law.

    The Nobel Peace Prize President is now well into his 8th war. Nor do anyone have any high expectations of the next, Clinton II or Bush III.

    The US, Israel, and Palestine have long been helpless. Here, Europe (breaking away from the US and NATO?) and Russia could be of use in a real peace process?

    As I have commented before, a long-range nonviolent rising of the Palestinian people would gain international support and sympathy. If such a struggle can reach a tipping-point (in effect, reach a parity), then an international conference could take up the work to establish a Palestinian state according to the borders existing up to1967.

    Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  5. rehmat1 May 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    Dr. Edward Said made many prophetic statements. For example he said, “Palestinian will get their freedom when Americans gain their freedom.” The AIPAC has proved his statement for the last four decades.

    Israelis who are themselves immigrants have an 101% apartheid immigration policy.

    The recent earthquake in Nepal exposed Israeli Jews using Hindu women in India and Nepal – and non-Jewish western women as surrogate mothers to produce ‘Jewish babies’ to counter occupation’s demographic threat.

    As expected, the Jewish-controlled mainstream media doesn’t tell its readers how the West’s only democracy in the Middle East uses various methods to enforce its concept of ‘racial purity’ inside Israel.

    1. Recently, it’s revealed that the Zionist regime forcibly injected African Jewish immigrants with birth control. The victims were 130,000 Ethiopian immigrants who still live in poverty and hated by their fellow European Jews. These Black Jews cannot rent or own a house in a White Jewish neighborhood.

    2. Given its anxieties over the ‘demographic threat’, the Zionist entity faces particular difficulties in dealing with the issue of children born to foreign workers. One way it has tried to tackle this question is by preventing it from arising in the first place. In 2000, the Interior Ministry told manpower agencies that they could not bring in care workers for home nursing if their spouses already worked in Israel. The measure was particularly aimed at workers from the Philippines, which is the largest provider of foreign home care personnel. According to a Dec. 23, 2003 Associated Press report from Jerusalem: “An Israeli company has required thousands of Chinese workers to sign a contract promising not to have sex with Israelis or try to convert them. The male workers cannot come into contact with Israeli Jewish women – including prostitutes – become their lovers or marry them,” spokesperson Rafi Yaffe said. He said there was nothing illegal about the requirement and no investigation had been opened against the company. Read more here.

    3. Israel’s 2003 Citizenship Law forbids a marriage between Israeli Jews and Israeli non-Jews. They can only do that outside Israel. However, the Israeli Jew will loose his/her citizenship. If an Israeli Arab marries a Palestinian, he/she has to move out of Israel.

    4. However, none of the above Israeli bigotry beats the entity’s Law of Reurn that allows any foreigner who has the proof of his mother being Jewish, can become Israeli citizen automatically with the biblical right to live on land stolen from the native Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/05/14/israels-obsession-with-racial-purity/

  6. carlton May 16, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Where there should be an uprising is in the United States, which is basically supporting all this nonsense, not ony in the various forms of “official” and “unofficial” (fungible) financial aid, but also in the legislative and executive areas including all of the international pressure that we bring to bear. That this ihas not yet happened is just proof of how un- and misinformed our citizenry is, due in no small part to the massive hasbara operation put in place by the most over-organized group (,2% of humanity and 2% of Americans who give over 50% of the political money to our corrupt politicians)) on the planet.

  7. Henry Norr May 16, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    Hi, Richard. Good piece, as usual, but there’s one formulation that seems so far out of line with the rest of it (and with reality, IMO) that I suspect it’s a typo: in the first sentence of the third paragraph, you refer to “Americans and Palestinians” as “the two populations most responsible for the prolonged failure to produce a peace based on justice.” Surely you meant to write “Americans and Israelis,” no?

    • Richard Falk May 16, 2015 at 11:56 am #

      Hi Henry: Thanks so much for pointing out such an awkward (hopefully, not a Freudian) mistake! I will fix right away!
      Hope you are fine, and ‘keeping the faith.’ Warm greetings, richard

  8. Beau Oolayforos May 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    Said is echoed by Susan Abulhawa somewhere in her writings, beginning something like “This is not an issue of sides…” – eloquent, of course, in her own way.
    There might be a case for not being too hard on Barack. Eisenhower said, re the MI Complex, something like “Pity the future president who doesn’t understand the military as I do.” And here we are, with a $621 (?) billion ‘defense’ budget, that he is evidently powerless to trim even a little. And then the White House hospitality to Palestinian-American victims of Israeli violence, leaving people to connect the obvious dots that such cases, despite the hasbara, are evidently commonplace.
    It might be a good sign, too, the pop-ups on the computer saying “Should the US Continue to support Israel? Vote Now!” Becoming more and more debatable?

    • Richard Falk May 18, 2015 at 7:04 am #

      Susan Abulhawa is the most trustworthy and talented guardian angel of the Palestinian narrative. I recommend
      her two novels for their literary quality as well as their articulation of the Palestinian worldview, incidentally
      in a manner that is empathetic with the Israeli other..

      • Beau Oolayforos May 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

        So let’s give what we can to Playgrounds for Palestine, try to speak the truth & shame the devils who like to call Arab kids “little snakes”.

  9. carlton May 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    In reality, “Americans and Palestinians may NOT be so out of line in this context. If you mean to say that it should have been “Israelis”, aren’t “Americans”(Jewish Americans in conjunction with our pusillanimous and corrrupt politicians) really enabling the ENTIRE Israeli enterprise?

  10. carlton May 18, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    To Skolnick: Richard Falk is just trying to make the least bad of a bad situation created by Israel and its diaspora. Leave it be. He just doesn’t want to be the one to say that, after the theft of Palestine territory to create the faux “Jewish homeland”, any rational discussion is pointless. In other words, he’s doing all of you a big favor by humoring you, so kindly try to be a courteous interlocutor.

    • Rbbbi Ira Youdovin May 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

      Dear Richard,

      Earlier today, I posted a comment proposing a view of the new Israeli government that differs from yours, and questioning the wisdom of opposing the UN’s endorsement of an independent Palestine in the context of a two-state solution.

      The post was immediately accepted onto the blog, but has since disappeared.

      Perhaps you’ve taken it down in order to post it when you’ve had time to write a response. Or perhaps its disappearance is the result of technological incompetence on my part.

      I can’t imagine your censoring a post submitted in good faith as a contribution to free discussion of a critical issue.

      If the post has been eaten by some creature in cyberspace, please tell me and I’ll be happy to resubmit it.

      Cordially,

      Ira

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk May 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

        Ira:

        It was not removed by me. In fact, I wrote a short comment in response. I am in Amsterdam,
        and will try to find out why. Pehaps, try sending it again. I am rather limited in my ability
        to deal with these technical issues, but I can assure you that it was not removed.

        Richard

  11. Rbbbi Ira Youdovin May 18, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Richard,

    I’m currently in Copenhagen heading for Paris. Perhaps we can schedule a luncheon appointment at EU Headquarters in Brussels and resolve the entire Israeli-Palestinian mess.

    Seriously,, my purpose in writing in-depth comments is to further real conversation. Brief comments tend to undermine conversation, but I appreciate your scheduling difficulty. Please give me an idea of when you think you’ll have some time and I’ll re-send then.

    Cordially,

    Ira

    • Richard Falk May 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

      Ira:

      It is best to re-send your comment as soon as convenient so that it remains within the flow. I agree about the
      value of in-depth conversion, but I am going for a working visit to Japan in a few days, and will not be back in
      SB until the end of the month, and might then still be busy. I will respond as best I can as soon as I am able.

      Best,

      richard

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 19, 2015 at 5:03 am #

        Israel’s newly-installed right-wing government is an irresistible target for those hoping that the Palestinians will emerge as the sole victor in what they regard as a zero-sum winner-take-all conflict with Israel. But a close analysis—one that seeks to draw conclusions from facts rather than vice versa—suggests a far different picture.

        I have little good to say about the new government. And I’m by no means a fan of Bibi Netanyahu. But to his credit, it must be said that this is not the coalition he wanted.

        Israel’s is a parliamentary system. The party winning an electoral plurality short of a majority must persuade other parties to join a coalition commanding more than half the Knesset seats. The currency in these negotiations is concessions on issues in the new government’s platform, as well as ministerial positions. A smaller party’s strength in negotiations is determined not only by how many seats it brings to the table, but by how much they are needed.

        Right up to the deadline for submitting a government for Knesset approval, Bibi tried unsuccessfully to bring centrist parties into the coalition, beginning with the Zionist Union Party, Likud’s primary opponent which calls for an immediate resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians leading toward a Palestinian State in the context of “two states for two peoples.” Bibi offered the powerful position of Foreign Minister to ZU’s leader, Isaac Herzog, and is keeping the position open should Herzog change his mind.

        Similar offers were made to other centrist parties. All but one turned them down believing, as Herzog did, that being in the opposition would better position them to oppose Likud extremes than being junior partners in a Likud government. This left Bibi no alternative to approaching two ultra-Orthodox parties and the secular extremist Jewish Home party of Neftali Bennett. However, Bibi refused Bennett’s demand to be appointed Foreign Minister (albeit at the price of having to make Ayelet Shaked as Minister of Justice.)

        The government sworn in last week holds a shaky one-vote Knesset majority. And while centrist and left-centrist Israelis and Diaspora Jews join the chorus voicing outrage, in fact it will likely be unstable, short lived and, at day’s end, nothing more than a footnote in the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

        The real story is how this government came to be. As of three days prior to the elections, virtually all public opinion polls were predicting a victory for Zionist Union. Bibi turned the tide with an eleventh-hour campaign blitz aimed at voters’ fears that the dovish Herzog would be willing to make concessions on the West Bank without first obtaining credible commitments that the Palestinians, particularly Hamas, would not use it for launching attacks on Israel, as Hamas did in Gaza after Israel removed every soldier and settler a decade ago. Bibi’s often (mis)quoted election day pledge was not that there would never be a Palestinian State, but that he would not allow one to be created on his watch (which he quickly clarified as meaning until Hamas agreed to recognize Israel, and accept an agreement achieved through negotiation as satisfying all existing claims.)

        Prof. Falk complains about the disparity between Israeli and Palestinian power, as well as their relative responsibility for resisting a fair and just resolution. Well…as the old saying goes, it takes two to make an agreement. PA president Abbas has already voiced his willingness to recognize and live in peaceful existence with Israel. But Hamas has not. No matter what Prof, Falk claims he was told by unnamed Hamas people, the simple fact is that a sacred commitment to eliminate Israel is enshrined (and repeated manyl times) in the Hamas Charter. As Hamas has the power to overthrow Abbas, perhaps via a civil war similar to the one waged after the Gaza withdrawal, no Israeli government—indeed, no sane government—would agree to create conditions which allow Hamas to position artillery and rockets in close proximity to the state’s industrial, commercial and residential center, as well as to its international airport.

        Hamas has the power to change that situation in the Palestinians’ favor. I’m not saying that negotiations will be easy. The settlers remain a powerful, and potentially violent force. But the settlements are not popular among a majority of Israelis who are appalled by the racism of many settlers and deeply concerned that Israel could find itself imposing a permanent and increasingly apartheid regime on the West Bank.

        Apropos, I must voice my puzzlement and alarm over Prof. Falk’s opposition to a two-state solution, which comes at a time when the Palestinians are at last winning their long struggle for international support and recognition. With the UN poised to vote recognition of a Palestinian state living alongside the Jewish state of Israel, where is the wisdom in campaigning against it? The two-state concept isn’t a scheme hatched by Israel and the United States. 135 nations endorsed a prior UN resolution affirming it. The Arab League issued a plan for achieving it. Most of those signing pro-BDS resolutions are in agreement with the Presbyterian resolution which explicitly affirms its commitment to Israel.

        The Palestinians are no longer a helpless population of victims. They have power. And they have support, including from Israelis and Diaspora Jews. My prayer is that they will eschew ill-advised guidance to hold out for more, a strategy that will bring them more years of suffering and increasing vulnerability to forces within the Arab/Moslem world currently inflicting death and destruction on their siblings.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  12. Gene Schulman May 19, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    Though Gilad Atzmon may take issue with Prof. Leeche’s definitions of ‘apartheid’ and ‘colonialism’, I think this is one of the clearest short presentations of the history and ongoing struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians I have read. I certainly agree with his conclusions about a one state solution. Both Fred Skolnik and Rabbi Youdovin would profit from reading it.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/19/why-israel-should-not-exist/print

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 19, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

      Mr. Schulman,

      You write that Fred Skolnik and I would profit from reading Garry Leech’s essay.

      Fred did read it and responded. His response has been censored from the blog.

      As for me, several weeks ago I posted a comment asking Prof. Falk to address the myriad issues cited by the overwhelming majority of scholars and other experts on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, as well as neutral observers, as precluding the possibility of achieving and sustaining a single bi-national state. I suggest you consult his response.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Gene Schulman May 20, 2015 at 2:45 am #

        Rabbi Youdovin,

        I have no illusions about the difficulty of bringing about a one state solution. As one of my Israeli friends has pointed out, the prejudices and historical hate in the Zionist camp stand so staunchly in the way:

        ” I agree with most of the writer’s working assumptions. I can’t agree with the conclusion though, that a secular state could survive in the Middle East. To survive, it would have to deal pretty harshly with religious groups who no doubt will challenge it’s existence. By Harshly I mean probably infringe on basic human rights. And I can’t see Zionist Jews living in peace with muslims here. They former are brainwashed completely and programmed to hate the latter and the latter have suffered so much under the former it would take ages to get them to forgive. ”

        But I still think it is the only option given the admission that a two state solution is no longer under under consideration, if it ever was. At least it is a goal worth shooting for. And the only fair one, in my opinion. The alternatives are that the ethnic cleansing continues until the Palestinians are eradicated, or the Israeli population becomes a minority and decides to leave and rejoin the diaspora. The latter would not be a bad idea.

        Gene

      • carlton May 20, 2015 at 6:20 am #

        No people “deserves” a country. You are just part of the “entitlement” society. Especially if and when they steal the land (Deir Hassin) from its owners, and please don’t say God gave it to them. They left it 1900 years ago because there were better pickings elsewhere. Working the land was not very remunerative compared to the trading cities all over the middleeast even before Christ and later Europe.

      • zak June 5, 2015 at 9:10 am #

        For some reason I can’t comment on your other post, so I will point out here that your propaganda most certainly is not concerned with rational and reasonable discussion, as you claimed in the other post outlining how the original had dissapeared.

        Let’s start with the security guarantees (I’m ignoring the comments regarding Israel’s domestic politics because this doesn’t even rise to the level of a joke when trying to apply it as an excuse for blatantly violating international law, for example, no one would take seriously the idea that the world should allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon because of the nuances and complications of its domestic politics and parliament). The withdrawal order by the UNSC issued in 1967, repeated dozens of times since, and confirmed by international institutions like the UNGA, ICJ and UN Charter, is not preconditioned on security guarantees.

        UNSC 242 is very explicit and negotiations for peace are neither paired with, nor described as a precondition for withdrawal. You know this, I know this, and so does everyone else. And it’s unsurprising, the two orders – Israeli withdrawal and negotiations for peace between Israel and the Arab states – are based on two separate principles – the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory through force and the right of all states to live in peace and security. It is true that negotiations between various actors in the 70s embodied a “land for peace” framework or language, but this is irrelevant in terms of the law. Belligerent occupations are legal, they are governed by the Geneva Conventions, and could be cited as security measures, but Israel’s is not. In 1967, the Israelis tried to male their case at the UN that their preemptive attack was self-defence. Nobody bought it, not even the US – the discussions at the UN during that period are a matter of public record. And in any case, Israel was ordered tl withdraw (UNSC orders are binding, just in case you wanna bring up that standard talking point, the ICJ made this clear in 1949 in its ruling on reparations). The Israeli occupation is illegal, regardless of the security concerns. The ICJ also confirmed in 2004, in its ruling on the illegal wall, that Israeli has no ability to invoke the right to self-defence found in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter in regards to the OPT as it is the Occupying Power. Israel is required to withdraw, according to the law, no ifs, ands or buts, and without preconditions.

        The Palestinians – including Hamas – have zero obligation under international law to provide any security guarantees to Israel in order for the withdrawal order to be enforced. In any case, it’s a moot point. We have decades of diplomatic and public records that tell us this security pretext is just that, a pretext, for maintaining the status quo – continued expansion, or the favoured term by Israeli commentators and officials, changing “facts on the ground”.

        Hamas campaigned publicly in 2005-06 on a platform of accepting the two-state solution. Again, this is a matter of public record (not sure why you would insert comments about professor Falk and mysterious, unnamed sources lol) and even if this were a point of contention, we can go back in history to see it for the pretext it is.

        Professor Falk is a little off in his timeline. It’s true that in 1988 the PNC declared Palestine a state on the 1967 borders, but the acceptance of this as a framework by the PLO leadership goes all the way back to the late 60s and early 70s. By 1976, the PLO began backing UN resolutions regarding the two-state solution (the first one was vetoed by the US and boycotted by the Israelis who hysterically decried the resolution as “drafted by the PLO”). By 1977, when Arafat addressed the UN, it was fully understood by everyone that the PLO had accepted the position of the UN – the two-state solutiom. Hamas didn’t emerge as a group until the late 80s. Hamas also didn’t start any substantial rocket campaigns until the early 2000s. What’s your excuse for the 30 years before Hamas rockets?

        This is, of course, to say nothing about the legal status of the rockets (they are absolutely legal as national liberation movements have the right to use armed force in their struggle for self-determination, and attacks against non-combatant targets are consistent with the principle of “reprisals”, check out the ICRC online database if you have any doubts, while NO IsraelI military actions are legal inside the OPT as the Geneva Conventions and ICJ make clear), and the timelines of those rocket campaigns – Israel always violates ceasefire agreements, as its negotiators, military and intelligence personnel publicly attest to, and after violations which target Hamas members end in deaths, Hamas inevitably responds. Professor Falk mentioned this. You ignored it. Didn’t even address it.

        Then, of course, the hasbara about the Charter – as if people are going to believe these Hillel talking points forever lol. Come on man, it’s 2015, you really think people don’t have access to the internet and can’t see the truth in today’s day and age? Not a single major Israeli political platform or Israeli administration since 1948 has ever accepted the two-state solution (that is, the real version, demanded by the entire world every year for the last 40 years at the UNGA, the “peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” resolution). In fact, many platforms actually explicitely rule out the two-state solution by rejecting an “additional Palestinian state west of the Jordan river” – because, of course, Jordan is Palestine, regardless of what the Palestinians, Jordanians and international law have to say on the matter – or demanding the annexations of major settlement blocks – ongoing war crimes which would leave a fragmented, swiss cheese like territory for the Palestinians to call a state, or “fried chicken” if they want, in the words of Israeli officials. There have been demands in these platforms and by ruling governments in Israel to maintain control of the airspace, waters and borders of any Palestinian state, to maintain a permanent or indefinite IDF presence in these territories or on their borders, rejection of the right of return and rejection of the legal status of East Jerusalem. But you wanna keep talking about the Hamas Charter which was drafted almost a quarter century ago by a dozen men who wanted to shift grassroots action against the illegal occupation away from the corrupt Fatah leadership? lol, after even US State Department reports conclude that Hamas’ actions have unequivocally demonstrated a shift away from their founding document and towards the international consensus – the two-state solution? You gotta do better than that.

        But wait, there’s more. Press me on this and I’ll be forced tk bring up the similar hasbara that was launched against the PLO in the 80s for ita Covenant – which also explicitely called for the liberation of all of “historic Palestine”. This propaganda was rationally demoliahed by Israeli figures back then, like the Hamas Charter nonsense is today. As the PLO entrenched itself firmly within the international consensus, Israel was forced to bring up the Covenant, and counter the PLO “peace offensive”.

        The nonsense of the Charter is even weaker than the shrieks about homemade rockets (usually containing empty warheads, by the way, as conceeded by Israeli experts and data) coming from a besieged population under a half century long, illegal military occupation.

        At the end of the day, for you to stick to baseless propaganda regarding withdrawal, security and Hamas, it’s clear you’re not interested in discussion or reasonable solutions. The Palestinians are not illegally occupying the Israelis, it’s the other way around and the law is clear. the burden of a solution rests on Israel to conform to international law. The pathetic attempts to demonize the victims in order to justify the crimes of the oppressor is exactly what professor Falk’s article was about. It’s a shame you didn’t actually read it, but decided instead to latch on to one thing he said – the framework of equal parties which has dominated the Israel-Palestine conflict – and go on a hasbara exercise full of holes, ommissions and outright lies.

        I will point out that comments between you and professor Falk make it seem like you two are personally or professionally familiar with one another and because of that, I toned down my language and attiude. I don’t to offend anyone, but the sheer amount of nonsense in your post still forced me to be clear and detailed.

      • Richard Falk June 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

        Thanks, Zak, for this clarifying comment, the main points of which I fully agree, especially the proper reading of SC 242,
        including the separation of negotiation and withdrawal issues.

      • zak June 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

        The typos I have in my post make me cringe lol but not a big deal. There is one though, I noticed that I have to correct. When I meantioned Arafat’s first speech at the UN, that should be 1974, not 1977.

        Professor Falk, thank you for the response, it always amazes me when people try to frame UNSC 242 as a “land for peace” suggestion lol, as if they’ve never read the resolution themselves.

  13. rehmat1 May 21, 2015 at 8:36 am #

    When some bigot calls Israel being a “democracy” – I always smell a dead fish.

    America’s internationally-known author, women rights activist, Marianne Williamson, is a Zionist Jew and blind supporter of Israel. In an interview with Kevin Barrett, PhD, she said Israel is no a democracy.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/08/31/marianne-williamson-israel-is-not-a-democracy/

  14. Laurie Knightly May 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    The Islamic State is a plan to unite Muslims by force, starting with Iraq and the Levant – to be ruled under the aegis of a caliphate. The Judaic State has a similar objective for a rabbinate in the Land of Canaan to be effected by an expulsion of the inhabitants, and then create a hegemony to extend from India to Mauretania. The latter is currently sponsored by the ‘exceptional’ United States which plans to dominate the entire world and outer space as a moral imperative for humanity.

    Back in 1992 General Matti Peled of the Israeli Defense Forces, eminent commander of logistics during the 1967 war, came to San Francisco and begged the audience to stop funding Israel. General Peled and the entire Council For Peace and Security [ 200 retired senior generals and colonels] had been explicit that Israel’s security did not depend on the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and that holding these lands would actually be detrimental to their security. He revealed how the military provoked border incidents to justify their military operations and that this expansion had caused political, diplomatic, and human problems of great magnitude.

    And so it has……

    • Laurie Knightly May 23, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      The points I made are well described in Israel Shahak’s book Open Secrets, Pluto Press, 1997. The book is currently reviewed by Ludwig Watzal on line. Israeli professors, military people et al were coming to UC Berkeley to lecture and discuss Palestine at least 30 years ago before I ever heard of Richard Falk. My grandfather served in the British Army in the occupation years before the Mandate began – 1917 to 1920. I was in Bethlehem during the Israeli invasion of 2002. Mauritania has an interesting history in attempts to resist Israel’s pressure. Israel’s Declaration of Independence refers to claim to Eretz Israel which is the land of Canaan. Many Jews do not believe that Jews slaughtered all the inhabitants of Canaan under God’s direction nor that they are entitled to do so again.
      I have strongly disagreed with Prof Falk regarding the relevance of religion in seeking resolution to the injustice of Palestine. The comment section had yards of scriptural myth which was much more self serving than substantive. He countered by making a defense of theology which is what learned decent people do rather than make personal attacks. I would add, however, that he has never demonstrated to me specifics rather than abstractions on the matter.

  15. Gene Schulman May 23, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Fred, nothing justifies anti-Semitism. Not even people like you. Their is nothing anti-Semitic in Laurie’s comment, she is talking about Israel, the self-described Jewish state. It is that self-description that disqualifies it from being ‘a light unto others’. And, unlike you, she gives her references. Nothing made up.

    • Fred Skolnik May 23, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      All states describe themselves as being national states.

      Someone’s interpretation of Israeli government policy is not evidence of anything, The idea that Israel seeks hegemony anywhere is simply crazy and is not a statement that would be made by anyone who has the most elementary understanding of Israel’s thinking. Certainly Israel seeks friends and allies, which is perfectly legitimate. And as I’ve mentioned more than once, only a very small minority of Israelis wish to annex the West Bank. That is the limit of the territorial ambitions of Israel’s extremists. Anything beyond this, in any shape, size or form, is completely foreign to religious thinking and as far from the minds of secular Jews and the idea of conquering Great Britain.

      • carlton May 23, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

        To Skolnick-The Professor wrote a very eloquent piece, and it has been sadly blighted by your campaign of vitriol. I think everyone must be very tired of you by now. Please take your puerile resentmentsand criticisms. elsewhere. There are places for this.

      • Fred Skolnik May 24, 2015 at 12:10 am #

        I see, Professor Falk, that you have once again tilted the board, choosing to turn a blind eye to the malice and calumny of your admirers. I realize that you are incapable of understanding how anyone can be personally offended by gratuitous insults to his country or his people, being yourself completely alienated from yours. Alienation is a disease, not a virtue, and people who profess to love everyone generally love no one. Your callousness with regard to the victims of Arab terror – moralizing about America’s sins when the victims of the Boston Marathon killings weren’t in the ground yet and fulminating about Israel’s sins when Israeli women and children were being blown to pieces in buses and restaurants – bears me out. You seem to have a very high opinion of your own moral character but I find a moral vacuum in you which no amount of jargonized rhetoric and double-talk can hide it. You are simply moved by a monumental animus toward Israel which comes right out of the belly and not from anything Israel does or does not do. I am reminded of that Nazi business in your 2008 BBC interview: “If this kind of situation [Israel and Gaza] had existed for instance in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison [with the Nazis].” If? You are actually saying that “the manner in which … the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur,” which resulted in acts of genocide that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, somehow didn’t measure up to the abominations of Israel and therefore was unworthy of a comparison with the Nazis such as you made for Israel. You are completely shameless. Erase this too if you care to and keep right on welcoming with warm words the rehmats and rays and lauries and walker percys and the rest of your hate-filled admirers, coming to their rescue whenever anyone exposes them for what they are.

      • Gene Schulman May 24, 2015 at 12:31 am #

        Sorry, this response was misplaced. It should follow Fred’s “exposure”, which exposes nothing but his own prejudices.

        Fred, I hope Prof. Falk does not erase the above rant. It shows just what you and all the other hasbarists really are. Nasty, spiteful, insulting name callers without an ounce of logic or truth in your arguments. QED

        REPLY

      • Richard Falk May 24, 2015 at 12:32 am #

        Fred Skolnik: Yes, I do feel strongly tempted to block this comment, which again is an exercise in self-
        satisfied ultra-nationalist vitriol. Despite your obsessive wish to personalize your disagreements, showing
        no respect for opinions that differ from yours, I can assure you that whatever my faults they are not those
        you attribute to me. I have neither love nor hate for a state, and have no feelings of alienation about my
        identity as Jew, American, etc..but I choose to honor most my sense of what it means in the 21st century to be
        ‘human’ and transcend partisan passions that are tearing the world apart. If you would try to listen instead
        of instructing and insinuating you too might still be able to learn. Your style of invective convinces no
        one but those who share your warped worldview.

      • Fred Skolnik May 24, 2015 at 12:44 am #

        I do not consider labeling me a Nazi or a war criminal a depersonalized opinion and I do not consider references to Jewish money, greed and bad character a part of civilized discourse. When this is the level, the hater becomes the subject and not his arguments.

      • Richard Falk May 24, 2015 at 2:05 am #

        I see no hope. This is the end of this kind of exchange, at least that is my intention.

      • Fred Skolnik May 24, 2015 at 3:24 am #

        Be that as it may. It is not my intention to impose myself on you any further. There is of course nothing self-satisfied or ultra-nationalistic about Israel’s case in the face of an enemy that has vowed to obliterate it. It also does not rely on a falsification of Middle East history. I will not reiterate, point by point, the fictions that you are promoting unless you you ask me to, and then maybe you too “might still be able to learn.”

      • baroukh May 25, 2015 at 2:48 am #

        There is no hope that people seeing the truth will fall for pro-palestinian propaganda. That’s right.

      • Fred Skolnik June 4, 2015 at 7:55 am #

        Well, Prof. Falk, when your Mr. Schulman declares that there is not an ounce of truth in anything I am saying, that is a substantive matter and I would think that a reply would be in order if your intention is to discuss the issues. If you are going to erase everything that is unanswerable, then you might as well stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself. I replied in this manner because it is at the heart of the fictions that you are propagating, time and time again, namely that the Palestinians are an “indigenous” people and that Palestine is their “ancient” homeland. Neither of these statements is true and I would be more that happy if you addressed them in place of Mr. Schulman. I’m sure you are aware of where the Arabs came from and that they did in fact conquer the Middle East in the bloodiest and most brutal manner possible and no amount of rationalization and double-talk is going to obscure that fact, even if it spoils a very central element of your argument. The Arabs are not an indigenous population. They are a conquering population, as unpleasant it is for you to be reminded of this.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin May 24, 2015 at 7:11 am #

        Richard,

        I have no desire to get in the middle of the spitball-throwing contest raging between you and Fred Skolnik. But I do want to comment on something you wrote:

        “I have neither love nor hate for a state…but I choose to honor most my sense of what it means in the 21st century to be ‘human’ and transcend partisan passions that are tearing the world apart.”

        The Hamas National Charter is a particularly odious expression of partisan passions phased in militant threats and pursued by violence. You claim that the Charter represents no more than “vague aspirations”, and besides, is no longer operative. Yet, it remains unrevoked and unamended…and you continue to support Hamas with neither question nor reservation as it persists in pursuing its very concrete objectives.

        There’s a profound disconnect here that perhaps you will endeavor to explain.

        Sincerely.

        Ira

  16. Laurie Knightly May 23, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Fred’s reference to Mein Kampf is well explained in Godwin’s Law. It’s a credit to this blog that it took this long. Global ambitions and/or regional dominance are still common among diverse groups. Both the UK and the US saw the creation of Israel as a useful base for their need to control the production of oil and to secure Jewish funding for their political/global ambitions. It was not expected to get completely out of their control. The strategy now is to keep the Islamic world weak and fragmented lest they wise up to their inherent strength in a political unity.

  17. Gene Schulman May 24, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    Fred, I hope Prof. Falk does not erase the above rant. It shows just what you and all the other hasbarists really are. Nasty, spiteful, insulting name callers without an ounce of logic or truth in your arguments. QED

  18. Laurie Knightly May 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    The objective of many of us involved in the issue of Palestine is to deconstruct the myths used to massively massacre, expel, loot, and destroy the indigenous population that was living there.
    Hamas was founded some 40 years following the Zionist seizure of Palestinian land. The radical organization is an effect, not cause, of the unresolved existent situation. There is no doubt that living on violently confiscated lands poses dangers to one’s own expropriating people but considering the disparity in weaponry, exposing the self imposed situation on Jewish children must be a risk they choose to take. An increasing number of these children and their parents have matured to seeing a very different territorial narrative. They, and their benefactors, are speaking out in spite of the threats and insults used against them.

    If someone tell us, therefore, that Jews made the desert bloom, we will research who owned the desert, its heretofore condition, and your blooming rights in land owned by another. We learn, therefore, that the area was not desolate but there was little arable land that was not cultivated. “In reality, before the Zionists came, the Bedouin exported 30 million tons of wheat per year, the area of Arab-owned orchards trebled between 1921 and 1947, and the production of vegetables was in 1938 ten times what it had been in 1922.”
    This is one tiny example of the fraudulent narratives one can easily discover. It’s sad that the bloom statement had any credence in the first place.

    Because Israel declared all British and Ottoman land claims null and void, it’s of little use to speak in rational terms on this and other issues. The Jews installed their own land laws based on a system of usufruct resembling what was there previously. Some 93% of the land is now government ‘owned’ and leased by Israel. And plans for expansion are easily located. It’s little wonder that distrusting indigenous militias have formed in opposition.

    The injustice is still far from imposing an ethical solution on behalf of the Palestinians.

    • baroukh May 27, 2015 at 12:09 am #

      How do you determine who owned what Laurie? This whole land belonged to Jews at the time they were expelled by Romans, was never sold to anyone and Jews never abandonned the hope to get it back. Moreover Jews remained present (obviously in low numbers) on this land for all that time. So how did Jews lose their rights on it and how did Arabs gain their rights on it?

      Moreover you have a problem with history. The citation you copied-pasted states “before the Zionists came” and talks at what happened between 1921 and 1947 and between 1922 and 1938. The problem is that these timeframes are part of the Zionism history. Zionists didn’t appear magically on that land in 1947.

      • Laurie Knightly May 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

        Yes, I was quoting Ascher Ginzberg’s report to the 1891 Basle Congress – A Truth About Eretz Yisreal. He was startled in his many Palestine visits to learn that the people were not ‘savages of the desert’ nor ‘donkeys’ as he had been told by the Zionists and that the land was well cultivated and had merchants, intelligent inhabitants etc. His concern was not for the people of the region but for a different strategy to eventually dominate them and to do so politically/culturally with broader support.

        During the Ottoman period there was almost no land acquisition for foreigners so when referring to the history, it’s more productive in brief comment sections to cite from the British Mandate period when the Zionist position began to be stated as the official foreign policy of nations. This global scheme eventually morphs into the destruction of Palestine which is a recent disturbing history.

        As to your land dispute with the Romans, it may be difficult to prove a personal connection but check with them on that.

      • baroukh May 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

        Funny to state that words talking about a period after 1921 come from a report to a congress on 1891.

      • baroukh May 28, 2015 at 2:33 am #

        Regarding “As to your land dispute with the Romans, it may be difficult to prove a personal connection but check with them on that.”, so you say that we should expel the palestinian Arabs manu militari and wait enough time, right?

      • Laurie Knightly May 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

        My reference to statements like ‘we made the deserts bloom’ being not true in 1891 as revealed by Ascher Ginzberg is just a piece of the Israel myth. Not only is it quoted often but is stated in the Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel in 1948 as one of the justifying claims to the land. Stated is: ” ….immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation, and defenders, they made the desert bloom……” The reason this has relevance is that it’s one part of the dishonest Zionist claims of a barren Palestine and its undeserving inhabitants.

        The Jewish theological claim had to do with Noah getting drunk and seen naked by his son so God cursed grandson Canaan and his descendents. So there was a divine order to kill all of them. Then God got enraged at the Israelites for things like making molten images of calves, divination, sorcery and burning their sons and daughters as offerings, 2 Kings 17: 7-19, and he banished them indefinitely. I was privileged to spend some time with Rabbi Elmer Berger, Zionist Ideology: Obstacle To Peace et al, during my years in NYC after he left ACJ and when he was president of AJAZ. Reformed Judaism opposed Zionism in its early years but did join the movement eventually. Berger was an amazing advocate of justice so he was the victim of slander and death threats; he devoted his life successfully, however, to a different Judaism with universal and moral values. It was a privilege then to study with people like Elmer Berger and it is a privilege now to do likewise with one Richard Falk.

        The legal instruments pertaining to the territorial narrative are a valuable expose of the British, American, Jewish, and international crimes against the Palestinian people. As to receiving criticism of quoting early documents, I find that US Constitution still seems relevant albeit rather aged. I have also noted that the nebulous and unsubstantiated Zionist claim is from thousands of years ago and this makes references to the last century seem like yesterday.

      • Fred Skolnik May 28, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

        Dear Miss Knightly

        It is hard for me to understand (actually I do understand) why you are so resentful of the Jewish claim that they made the desert bloom, which they certainly did, whether of not the Bedouin harvested wheat. All these tortured citations from sources that suit your purposes do not disguise the fact that you completely misunderstand the nature of the Arab-Israel conflict, which is not about land ownership but about sovereignty. Two nations made a claim to the same land, and the Jewish claim was no less valid than the Arab claim, unless you believe that the Arab conquest of the Middle East and Spain, which was a rampage of rape, massacre and forced conversion, is a legitimate way to establish sovereign rights, in which case you should have no objection to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

      • carlton May 29, 2015 at 4:29 am #

        I have checked previous comments and you, Fred,and Barouhk are just going over the same ground, very limited ground I might opine. Unfortunately, there is just no substance to what you are saying relative to the original proposition. It’s very clear that both of you have been drinking the Kool Aid since early childhood. You have your interests, which are not subject to rational discusson, so once you have told us what they are, we can take it (or leave it) from there, and we have.

      • carlton May 29, 2015 at 4:29 am #

        I have checked previous comments and you, Fred,and Barouhk are just going over the same ground, very limited ground I might opine. Unfortunately, there is just no substance to what you are saying relative to the original proposition. It’s very clear that both of you have been drinking the Kool Aid since early childhood. You have your interests, which are not subject to rational discusson, so once you have told us what they are, we can take it (or leave it) from there, and we have.

      • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2015 at 6:40 am #

        Well, Carleton, if you will point to any irrational statement I have made, I will be glad to discuss it with you rationally. While you are looking, you might consider that if no people deserves a country, as you put it it, neither do the Arabs or the Palestinians. Or you might talk it over with Prof. Falk, since he seems to believe just the opposite.

  19. carlton May 29, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Fred, you have to read what I said. That’s a prerequisite. I did not say that you had made an irrational.statement. I said that,”You have your interests and they are not subject to rational discussion”. There’s a difference.

    • Fred Skolnik May 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      You[re too subtle for me. Carlton. Or do you mean that you’re the one who’s irrational? If a discussion can’t be rational, it means that at least one side or the other is irrational.

      • carlton May 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

        Or Both. Ratiocination is a process, not substance. You procede from premises based on agreed upon rules of logic. My interests are no more ratonal or irrational than yours, and I hope I didn’t imply that they were..

      • Richard Falk May 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

        Carlton: Your position is reasonable and convincing, and I am grateful for your comments. Fred Skolnik participates tin this comments
        section solely to attack those who dare criticize Israel, however well grounded in fact and reason their concerns may be. Richard

      • carlton May 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

        Prof. Falk- Thank you for your comment, which gives me an opportunity to let Fred know by way of this blog that his position about criticism of Israel shows how naive and ill-read he is, because, if he is concerned with things you say, he would be absolutely in heaven with that dog bone of his in Israel, where the dialogue is far more intense than in politically-correct America, whose guidelines, I have observed, you honor..

        But the importantissimo point about criticizing Israel (in America) is that it’s ludicrous and is getting worse.. Mort Klein (ZOA President) has just criticized the “Pope” (he’s resurrecting historic Catholic enmity towards the Jews) because he praised the Palestinians. In other words, it’s gotten so bad that organized Jewry (ADL APAC, etal.) are not satisfied with just defaming and attacking people’s livelihood for anything that they think is critical of Israel, but now they also condider it reprehensible to praise anyone considered to be antagonistic towards them. That is true paranoia. So, Fred, you’ve really got your work to do, and it’s a growth industry, so you chose correctly.

  20. Laurie Knightly May 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Two problem issues have been mentioned here:

    1. The Charter of Hamas is cited with its objective of reclaiming Palestine from its foreign domination. Subsequent documents show a willingness to make concessions, refused by Israel, but Hamas did not make a formal renunciation of that original position. Just two documents – Declaration of Establishment State of Israel and Plan Dalet [plus earlier plans A, B, C,] make the Hamas charter look weak by comparison. In the ensuing years, there is endless info on plans for expulsion of the inhabitants and expansion of territory. Martin Van Creveld’s history of the IDF, for instance, is a brilliant work by ‘one of the world’s great military historians.’ The diaries. interviews, histories, archives etc are very clear that there was no plan ever to accept the 1947 Partition as the boundaries of Israel. There were no plans to allow the Palestinians to return to their homes – not then or ever.

    2. If Israel has a ‘right’ to exist as a state, so does ISIL. The Muslim World was a caliphate except for Somalia, Indonesia, and Malaysia from 624AD to 1925AD. The colonial powers divided that part of the world to address their own greedy ambitions and cheated/lied to do so. As opposed to the Jewish God’s temporary land gift to the Israelites around 2000BC, the Muslim claim is within legal memory. Their ingathering of ‘terrorists’ to gain sovereignty over the area has as much or more validity than the military exploits of the US and Israel.

    • Fred Skolnik May 30, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      Miss Knightley

      The “endless info” comes from people like yourself with an axe to grind. Israel has had no plans for expulsion or expansion “in the ensuing years.” It has had contingency plans in the event of war, as all countries do that are under threat. Israel, for example, had a contingency plan for the establishment of a military government in the West Bank in the event that Jordan launched an attack and, as a consequence, Israel occupied the West Bank, which is exactly what transpired in 1967. As for 1948, if you can find anything in Israel’s Proclamation of Independence that outdoes Hamas, then I’m sure you can do the same for America’s Declaration of Independence or any other document you get your hands on and are capable of reading. Plan Dalet referred to hostile Arab villages serving as bases for the Arab gangs that were terrorizing the Jewish population and could not be allowed to operate as such behind the lines of the Israeli army as it advanced to meet the invading Arab armies. And yes, Israel did not intend to allow the refugees back in the new reality that had been created by the war initiated by the Arabs. This reality produced an equal number of Jews displaced from Arab countries who had lost everything they had. The reality created a de facto population exchange no different from the population exchange that resulted from the war between Pakistan and India.

      I have no idea how you go about determining that a work of history based on documents that you have never seen and are in any case incapable of reading is “brilliant.” I have the feeling that you find it brilliant because it tells you what you want to hear. You might try a few histories that read the documents a little differently. Try “Toledot Milchemet ha-Komemiyut,” which is an official history, “Ma’arachot Palmach” by Yigael Allon “Toledot Milchemet ha-Atzma’ut by Uri Millstein, and “Kelalat ha-Brachah” by Shabetai Tevet.

      Your habit of dragging the Jewish religion into the discussion at every opportunity is one more example of your ignorance or your malice. Jewish “theology” had nothing to do with the Zionist movement.

      • Richard Falk May 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

        Mr Skolnik: It is simply unacceptable for you to question the motivations of any critic of Israel.
        We are trying to understand a complex and disturbing set of developments involving Israel and the
        Palestinian people, and are quite prepared to address other interpretations, but not these constant
        allegation of malice and ignorance, which are clear expressions of your arrogance. I would like to
        avoid comments that personalize the issues being discussed, and would ask that either you respect
        this guideline, or shift your attention to websites you find more to your liking.

        Richard Falk

    • Richard Falk May 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      I thank you, Laurie, for your consistently thoughtful and illuminating comments. They contribute greatly to the quality of discussion. Best, richard

      • Fred Skolnik May 31, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        Since you choose to ignore, for obvious reasons, my previous reply to you, I can only repeat it:

        I do not consider labeling me a Nazi or a war criminal a depersonalized opinion and I do not consider references to Jewish money, greed and bad character a part of civilized discourse. When this is the level, the hater becomes the subject and not his arguments.

        (I am sure you would not wish to see a compendium of the remarks made by your admirers, and by yourself, week after week and month after month, about Jews, Israel, Israelis and defenders of Israel.)

      • Richard Falk May 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

        Mr. Skolnik:

        I have done of those things that you allege, and yet your discourse constantly veers from the substance
        to the personal when responding to my ideas and criticisms. And I don’t recall these labels being used with reference to you by others, and even if they were, this
        was not the case with Laurie Knightly and others who you still insist on questioning their motives in the course
        of rejecting their assessments.

      • Fred Skolnik May 31, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

        You have a very selective memory. You really don’t want me to quote the remarks made about Jews by walker percy, rehmat and ray, among others, nor to quote again your Mr. Schulman’s determination that Rabbi Youdovin and I are war criminals or a few of his choice remarks about the Jewish character. As for Miss Knightly, her snide remarks about the Jewish religion, which she drags in at every opportunity, deserve to be exposed for what they are.

      • carlton May 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

        Fred, this has gone one too long. As they say, you really ought to get a life. I guess I will be adding myself to your list of the gentile defamers when I say that, after a while, it sounds like you are playing to type, i.e. those that use being the status of “victim” (of the holocaust, which, by the way, I definitively do NOT deny so as not to alert the knee-jerkers) as a club to garner faux moral authority to carry out an “open season” warfare on the “others” that “did it” to you. Most of us are not Germans, but we are blamed nevertheless. It’s time to move on and realize that the only continuing “holocaust” worth talking about for the past 60 years is in Palestine. Your position is only stirring up antagonism for you, which we all know is a good way to keep the troops alert. But it’s a very old story by now, in spite of the herculean efforts by some to keep it alive.The Jews (.2% of humanity) like it for obvious reasons, but the other 99.8% believe that such a false claim for power is not doing the world any good.

      • Fred Skolnik May 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

        Carlton, you’re not the one to moralize. When Prof. Falk or any of his admirers promotes a demonstrable fiction, I will correct it. It’s as simple as that. If you have something specific to say about the conflict, I will be happy to address it. So far you haven’t really said anything.

      • Fred Skolnik May 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        To close this off, here is your Laurie:

        “Sept. 14, 2014

        Ira, Just do a search for Cristian Zionists and Second Coming. The ingathering of Jews is vital to each of the Jewish and Christian plans for the destruction of others and religious/ethnic triumph of themselves. Nothing to worry about till the messiah shows up.”

        I’ll leave it to you to characterize this for what it is.

      • Laurie Knightly May 31, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

        It would not be possible to discuss the ‘Holy Land’ without some religious reference. The Nation had an article concerning Archaeological Digs, August 18, 2008, that describes the plight of the 50,000 Palestinians who reside in Silwan. There has been no lack of international objection to this injustice – to no avail. Some 64% of their houses are reported to be slated for demolition in favor of settlers, a City of David Park and a museum. Rafi Greenberg, professor Tel Aviv University did not find a match in the excavated shards/relics and biblical claims. Other archaeologists concurred, The Israeli Antiquities Authority paid no heed and bulldozers covered the remnants of earlier civilizations to build homes for settlers. This is part of the plan to make all of Jerusalem unified. The design is for one more destroyed Palestinian neighborhood wrecked like hundreds of others. It’s too late to stop it even if there were a will to do so. That is also planned. A gradual destruction with a dual legal system disguised as a security measure. And we learn this from groups like B’Tselem and their ilk.
        .

        Zionists would have a weaker case without evangelical groups like Christian Restorationism, Christians For Israel, and Christians United For Israel etc. It was once about Armageddon but that appears to be morphed into a desired Jewish/Christian reunion that would somehow atone for past hatreds. It has been predicted that these Christians will become more like Reformed Judaists. It does not bode well for outgroups. The original Christians that were living in Palestine have dwindled in numbers. Their future is uncertain.

        When speaking of Islamic nations, one must include all the competing factions/claims there as well. People are willing to destroy each other using religion as a mandate to do so. Is it really about Assad in Syria or because the Alawites drink wine and don’t pray 5 times a day? Same problems. Different actors.

        I find in study groups, we bring a diverse amount of information to an issue. This wonderful digital world expands the possibilities in ways I never could have imagined. These connections are invaluable. Thanks…….

    • zak June 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

      ISIS has no “right to exist”. Similarly, Israel has no “right to exist”. No state on the planet has a “right to exist”, or right to have the “legitimacy” of its existence recognized. These concepts do not exist in international political relations. They are talking points invented by Israelis to deflect attention.

      Mexico, for example, has never recognized the “right” of the US to “exist” on half of Mexico. No Mexican political party or administration has ever recognized such rights or legitimacy. And for a very simple reason – such a right does not exist under international law. We have the UN Charter which is relatively easy to read and contains many rights and responsibilities. The right to exist is not one of them. States have a right to live in peace and security, but they do not have a right to exist. States have a right to self-defence under very specific circumstances (Israel, for example, does not have such a right in regards to the OPT, as the ICJ made crystal clear in 2004, because it is the Occupying Power), but they do not have a right to exist. States have a right to sovereignty within their borders, but again, they do not have a right to exist. You can’t just claim something is a legal right just because you say so. That’s not how rights and responsibilities work under the law. The law dictates what rights and responsibilities you have. These may be good or bad, helpful or detrimental, you may like them or not like them, but that’s irrelevant. The law is the law.

      What happens, in international relations, is that borders marking sovereignty are recognized by other states, and since the inception of the UN, the only legitimate form of recognizition is through UN membership. Israel has had such recognition (along its legal borders, pre-June 1967) since 1948. Everything else is just theatre.

      Have the Israelis ever recognized Palestine’s right to exist? Can we find even a single Israeli administration or major party platform recognizing this right? lol, there’s no such concept, it’s a tactic of diversion to get you to stop talking about the occupation, the law, and Israel’s rejection of the law. Don’t fall into the trap.

      The facts are clear. The status of Israel and the OPT are clear. The law is clear. the international consensus on how to resolve the conflict is clear. There is no debate, no confusion, no controversy. The entire world has been voting for the two-state solution for about 40 years now, every year, at the UN General Assembly. The US, Israel and a handful of pacific islands you’ve never heard of, stand in complete isolation, every year, in rejecting this resolution, called the “peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”. The Arab League supports it. Iran supports it. The Islamic Conference countries all support it. The NAM countries all support it. Only the US and Israel reject it.

      What is the two-state solution, the international consensus? It’s not ambigious, confusing or up for debate. The annual resolutions are clear. It requires a full Israeli withdrawal to its legal borders (pre-June 1967), the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state in the whole of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and a “just resolution” to the refugee crisis. There’s no controversy about the illegal settlements, the legal rights of refugees, the responsibilities of the Occupying Power, the responsibility of UN member states to follow UN Security Council orders, the status of Jerusalem, Israel’s legal borders or anything else of major significance in this conflict.

      And that’s exactly what the Israeli hasbarists don’t want you to talk about. They’d rather you engage in irrelevant discussions about Hamas, rockets and non-existent rights to exist.

  21. Rabbi Ira Youdovin June 1, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    An irony in the War of Words currently erupting on this blog is that Prof. Falk’s dismissing Fred Skolnik’s comments as “an exercise in self-satisfied ultra-nationalist vitriol’ without addressing their substance is precisely what he accuses his critics of doing when they call him an anti-Semite but ignore what he has to say? What’s sauce for the goose, etc?

    And why is it unacceptable for Fred to question the motives of anyone who criticizes Israel when Prof. Falk and others not only question but condemn the motives of Zionists, whom Prof. Falk has characterized as “people who cannot feel the suffering of others?” Same goose. Same gander.

    Prof. Falk castigates Fred Skolnik and others (like me!) for “attacking those who dare criticize Israel, however well grounded in fact and reason their concerns may be.” In fact, Fred’s comments are filled with fact-grounded refutations of postings by Laurie Knightly and others that were woefully lacking in fact and reason. Instead of receiving counter-arguments, which might be expected in civil discourse, Fred was bombarded with angry put-downs designed to preclude open discussion.

    But as hope springs eternal, let’s give it another try…but with a new wrinkle. In the hope of initiating a constructive exchange of views with no reference to motives, I’ll raise specific issues with Laurie Knightly, inviting her response.

    Ms. Knightly:

    1. You write that Israel’s Declaration of Independence, together with Plans Aleph-Daled prove that Israel never had any intention of honoring partition. Fred Skolnik already explained that Plans Aleph-Daled were contingency plans for the 1948 War initiated by the Arabs. What’s in Israel’s Declaration of Independence that causes you to believe that Israel had always intended to gain sovereignty over all of historic Palestine/Israel? Specific citations would be appreciated.

    2. Apropos (this one’s equally for Prof. Falk): You write repeatedly that Zionism’s supreme objective is achieving sovereignty over all of historic Palestine/Israel. I have repeatedly invited you to produce evidence of this. You repeatedly have refused to respond. So I again extend the invitation. Zionists write a great deal about what they hope to achieve. So please cite chapter and verse.

    3 . Ms. Knightly, on Sept. 14, 2014 you posted this note directed at me: “Ira, Just do a search for Cristian Zionists and Second Coming. The ingathering of Jews is vital to each of the Jewish and Christian plans for the destruction of others and religious/ethnic triumph of themselves. Nothing to worry about till the messiah shows up.”

    I’m not a scholar of apocalyptic Christian literature, but I believe that some of it does look forward to a Judgment Day when the “faithful” are rewarded and “sinners” punished. You write as if this is a vision held by most, perhaps all, Christians. In fact, it’s held by a very small minority. Regarding Jewsh texts, I invite you to cite any that supports your allegation of a Jewish Armageddon.

    4. You write: “Both the UK and the US saw the creation of Israel as a useful base for their need to control the production of oil and to secure Jewish funding for their political/global ambitions.” Could you elucidate a little on this theme? The British issued the Balfour Declaration years before oil became a major concern. Besides, Palestine/Israel are far from the oil fields in Arabia, Iran other parts of the Middle East. Indeed, when oil became a major concern in the mid-late 1930’s, Britain Mandate policy tilted toward the Arabs to the extent that Jewish immigration was almost totally barred as the Holocaust built in Europe.

    If you think I’m wrong, please present corroborating evidence.

    5. You write: “The Islamic State is a plan to unite Muslims by force, starting with Iraq and the Levant – to be ruled under the aegis of a caliphate. The Judaic State has a similar objective for a rabbinate in the Land of Canaan to be effected by an expulsion of the inhabitants, and then create a hegemony to extend from India to Mauretania…”

    Same request: please produce evidence that Israel plans to be ruled by a rabbinate in the Land of Canaan. Israel is not a theocratic state. Never was. Never will be. The primary thrust of Zionism in its formative period was anti-religious. It still is. “God” figures more prominently in America’s Declaration of Independence than in Israel, where there is only one reference to a Supreme Being who identified by a more secular pseudonym (Rock of Israel) so as not to exclude the religious minority. The reference—“With trust in the Rock of Israel…”—- has about the same theological force as an American president concluding a speech with “God bless America.” There are more Palestinians in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) than religiously observant Jews. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a secular Jew, as are most members of his government.
    Can you provide evidence to the contrary?

    Ditto for your claim that Israel, with American complicity, plans to extend rabbinical hegemony from Mauretania to India. As a rabbi, I like the idea because it would create many new jobs for me and my rabbinical colleagues. But Ms. Knightly, can we get serious about this?! During the early stages of discussion on how to address the looming threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, there was talk of staging a one-time airstrike on Iranian nuclear installations. This talk soon died when Israel’s defense and security experts asserted that Israel lacked both the technology and resources to carry out the plan. Teheran is about 1000 miles from Tel Aviv; Mumbai is 2500 miles. If Israel lacks the capability to get a squadron of supersonic fighter-bombers to and from Teheran, how could it be capable of occupying a vast area more at more than twice the distance? But if you have evidence that says it could, I’d welcome an opportunity to examine it?

    6. Finally, a look at your uninformed and crudely disrespectful treatment of Jewish theology. You write: “The Jewish theological claim had to do with Noah getting drunk and seen naked by his son so God cursed grandson Canaan and his descendents. So there was a divine order to kill all of them. Then God got enraged at the Israelites for things like making molten images of calves, divination, sorcery and burning their sons and daughters as offerings, 2 Kings 17: 7-19, and he banished them indefinitely.”

    Yes, there are a few crazies hanging around who take the Noah story literally. They are few and far between…and entirely without power. There are approximately 15 million Jews in the world. That’s not many when it comes to world populations. It’s approximately the margin of error in the Chinese census. But it’s large enough to embrace a vast diversity of opinions, some of them of the nutbag variety. Here again, if you have information to the contrary, let’s have it.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. As the old saying goes, “you are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own ‘facts’. I’m not questioning your motives. I am requesting the kind of supportive material that would be requested in any informed conversation on serious issues. If, as Prof. Falk often remarks, his website is not the place for that sort of thing, so be it.

    With all due respect,

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk June 1, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      Rabbi Youdovin:

      I am just back from Japan, and about to leave for Turkey, and cannot do justice to your long comment.

      On Zionist objectives, I don’t think one needs to base an interpretation of objectives on a detailed
      assessment of explicit Zionist formulations. I was the faculty advisor for a long PhD thesis at Princeton
      by a talented student who did try to make the maximalist case along with the claim that many Zionist political
      figures did not acknowledge their true goals, i.e. aside from Jabotinski who is the mentor of Netanyahu and his
      influential father.

      My own views derive from the support given to the settlement movement by every Israeli government since 1967
      whether Likud or not. In addition, the current president of Israel, Rudi Rivlin, is an outspoken exponent of
      an Israeli one state solution, and in my view Netanyahu is a covert exponent. The genuine endorsements of a
      two-state solution are mainly made by Diaspora liberals and marginal groups in Israel. I know the polls give
      a somewhat different impression, but the last electoral campaign in which even the Herzog party was virtually
      silent on the Palestinian issue is further convincing.

      I continue to believe strongly that we would all be well served by putting aside angry assessments of the
      motivation of others. If offended, then it is best to leave this website. In the end, what you and Fred S.
      choose to regard as ‘anti-Semitic,’ Jew hatred, malice toward Israel diverges from my understanding and beliefs.
      I, too, abhor such belief systems, but I also feel deeply troubled by Israel’s policies and practices, and
      these should not be shielded by trying to discredit critics.

      Best wishes, richard

  22. truthaholics June 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    As long ago as 1998 Edward Said reminded the world that acting as if Palestinians were equally responsible with Israelis for the persisting struggle of the two peoples was not only misleading, but exhibited a fundamental in misunderstanding of the true reality facing the two peoples: “The major task of the American or Palestinian intellectual of the left is to reveal the disparity between the so-called two sides, which appears to be in perfect balance, but are not in fact. To reveal that this is an oppressed and an oppressor, a victim and a victimizer, and unless we recognize that, we’re nowhere.” [interview with Bruce Robbins published in Social Text (1998)]

    • Fred Skolnik June 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      You are mistaken along with Edward Said. No intelligent observer will imagine that there is going to be parity between an occupying country and an occupied country. The status of the Palestinians is no different from the status of the Germans under the Allied occupation after World War II. The difference is that the Germans at least repudiated their Nazi leaders while the Palestinians have not repudiated the terrorist organizations or relinquished the dream of destroying the State of Israel. They are responsible for their own suffering. They could have had a state a month after the Six-Day War. Their answer, at Khartoum, was the three famous noes: no negotiations, no peace, no recognition.

      • Laurie Knightly June 3, 2015 at 9:03 am #

        This revelation has possibilities. Now that we know that it was the Palestinians who caused World War II, they could be brought to a trial like Nuremberg or preferably the International Court of Justice. The Palestinians always said yes to legal due process. The terrorist groups that were existent in Palestine would be revealed and made accountable with punishment and reparations – or their relatives would be acceptable. This could usher in something like the Marshall Plan which would restore Palestine to its rightful owners, rebuild their destroyed homeland and make them an international success. It’s unusual to have the Germans lauded for their actions so this is a rare point of view.

        There is probably some way. moreover, to validate bombing Iran for not being a rogue nuclear power like their ethical neighbor. This is an action which is currently Hasbara approved/encouraged and should be injected in the conversation at all times.

      • Fred Skolnik June 3, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

        You are trying to be ironic, I assume, but you are only being incoherent. In any case, the Land of Israel is not the homeland of the Palestinians. The Arabs come from Arabia. The Jews come from Judea. The Arabs wanted everything by virtue of conquest and got pretty much everything except a small corner of the Middle East. When they reconcile themselves to the existence of a sovereign non-Muslim state in the Middle East, the Palestinians will get their state and begin to live a decent life.

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