An Open Letter to Ban Ki-moon

12 Feb

[Prefatory Note: The post that follows is a modified version of an opinion piece published by Middle East Eye on 6 February 2016. Its focus on the metaphor of ‘shooting the messenger’ has usually been reserved for critics of Israel, and it is only when high officials depart from their scripted roles as faithful servants of the established order that their behavior results in demeaning rebukes. Israel and its most ardent defenders have been repeatedly guilty of shooting the messenger, thereby diverting attention from the damaging message by defaming the agent who delivered the message. It is a tactic that works, partly because the media finds character assassination more marketable than substantive commentary of a controversial nature. In my case, being frequently a messenger due to my UN role for six years, the nastier side of the attack tactics was to describe me (and others) as ‘a self-hating Jew’ or ‘anti-Semite.’ I tried to stay on message, largely ignoring the attacks, especially within the UN itself, but media coverage was preoccupied with an assessment of the personal vendetta that was difficult to ignore altogether without seemingly to acquiesce in the allegations. I should add that my tormenters extended beyond Mr. Ban Ki-moon and included others on the UN Watch mailing list including Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador at the UN, and high officials from other white settler countries, including Canada and Australia. Even the supposedly liberal Samantha Power, although previously a friendly acquaintance, joined the party, calling me biased and ill-suited for the position in statements to the press. She based her attack on the harshness of my criticisms leveled at Israel in my reports that highlighted the mismatch between their policies and practices as the Occupying Power in Palestine with the standards, duties, and principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions.]

 

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ban-ki-moon-benjamin-netanyahu 

Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations:

 

Having read of the vicious attacks on you for venturing some moderate, incontestable criticisms of Israel’s behavior, I understand well the discomfort you clearly feel. Not since the Richard Goldstone chaired the group that released the report detailing apparent Israeli war crimes during its massive attack on Gaza at the end of 2008 have Israel’s big political guns responded with such unwarranted fury, magnified as usual by ultra-Zionist media commentary. Netanyahu has the audacity to claim that your acknowledgement that it is not unnatural for the Palestinians oppressed for half century to resist and resort to extremism is tantamount to the encouragement of terrorism, what he described as giving a “tailwind to terrorism.”

 

The fact your intention was quite the opposite hardly matters. Or your repeated denunciation of terrorism will be disregarded by these irresponsible critics whose sole objective is take attention away from the issues raised. Israel and its keenest supporters have found that there is no better way to do this than by defaming their critics, branding them as soft on terrorism or even as anti-Semites. And it makes no difference, whatsoever, that you have leaned over backwards during years as Secretary General, almost falling to the ground, to deflect even the most justifiable criticisms of Israel during your time as leader of the UN.

 

It is hardly surprising that you should respond to these attacks directed at you by way of a New York Times opinion piece that chides Israeli officials and Zionist zealots for ‘shooting the messenger’ and instead of heeding the message.[Ban Ki-moon, “Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Israel.” NY Times, Feb. 1, 2016] What both intrigues and appalls me is that while I was Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine during the period 2008-2014 you chose to attack me personally in public on several occasions, joining with U.S. and Israel diplomats calling for my dismissal and doing the utmost to undermine my credibility while I was working in this unpaid UN position under difficult conditions. At the time I was doing my best to bear witness to some of the same truths about Israel’s unlawful and immoral behavior that recently got you in similar hot water. My UN mandate was to report upon the reality of Israeli violations of international law while sustaining their apartheid regime of oppressive control over the Palestinian people. The Palestinians need and deserve such a voice as provided by the UN to make governments of the world more aware of their responsibility to take steps that will bring this unprecedented ordeal endured by the Palestinian people to an end. In carrying out these duties it is my hope that future UN Special Rapporteurs receive the support that they need from future Secretary Generals.

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In my case, hurt and offended by being so unfairly attacked by you, the highest UN official, I was encouraged by some highly placed officials in the UN Office of the High Commissioner in Geneva to seek some kind of explanation from you or your office, and hopefully even an apology. You never criticized my reports on Palestine or objected to my criticisms of Israel’s policies and practices, but rather focused your venomous remarks on some comments attributed to my views as expressed on my personal blog that were concerned with the 9/11 attacks and the Boston marathon bombings.

 

It was obvious to me from the content of your attack that you relied on a letter written by Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, Israel’s faithful watchdog NGO in Geneva, that gave my rather carefully qualified blog comments deliberately inflammatory twists, but like you seemed wary of engaging in any debate about the substance of my criticisms of Israel’s polices and practices in my reports. I called your office, and was referred to your affable aide de camp. He seemed immediately apologetic even before I was even able to register my complaint and explain to him my actual position on these controversial issues. After listening to what I had to say, he obliquely accepted my concerns by admitting that ‘we didn’t do due diligence,’ by which he evidently meant that the SG and his advisors relied on Neuer’s letter rather than reading what I actually wrote on the blog, which was nuanced and moderate in tone and content. This UN official volunteered a further explanation to the effect that “we were under great pressure at the time from the U.S. Congress, and this was an opportunity to show that we were not anti-Israeli.” He ended the conversation with a promise to talk with you, and get back to me. I am sad to say, this never happened.

 

This incident occurred while you were campaigning successfully for a second term as SG, and apparently wanted to reassure Washington that you would not rock the boat if reelected. I venture to say that if you had back then voiced such strong criticisms of Israel’s settlement policy or indicated a similar empathetic understanding of Palestinian resistance, you would never have received Washington’s blessings for a second term as Secretary General. I understand that your reticence back then was prudential, even a sensible, although dispiriting, concession to the realities of UN leadership. What I have trouble to this day understanding is your willingness, in old Soviet style, to defame by name a lowly UN holding a position as appointed volunteer, so as to beef up your credentials as a team player when it came to Israel. You even relied through a spokesperson at a news briefing on my status as someone outside the UN civil service to explain why you lacked the authority to dismiss me. Without contacting me in advance for an explanation or afterwards for an apology seems to me to exhibit an extreme version of bureaucratic immorality.

 

In light of this experience, I felt at the time that you were joining with others in shooting a messenger, and invoked the metaphor, who was seeking to convey some inconvenient truths about Israel’s behavior. These truths are rather similar to your own recent comments about the denial of Palestinian rights, especially with respect to the right of self-determination. The folk wisdom of ‘what goes around comes around’ seems to fit your plight. You who expediently took shots at the messenger are now taking umbrage when the tactic is directed at you. This response is reasonable in this instance but awkwardly inconsistent with your own past behavior. You say, “..when heartfelt concerns about shortsighted or morally damaging policies emanate from so many sources, including Israel’s closest friends, it cannot be sustainable to keep lashing out at every well-intentioned critic.” True, of course, but why only now? And only you?

 

Actually, although your critical stress on settlements and resistance is welcome and significant, your overall stance still falls far short of adopting a helpful way forward. You continue to insist misleadingly that compromises are called for by both sides in pursuing the goal of reaching a sustainable peace based on the establishment of Palestinian state. I find puzzling the assertion in your article that “..I am so concerned that we are reaching a point of no return for the two-state solution.” In your statement of 26 January to the Security Council you urge Palestinian unity as necessary so that the Palestinians “can instead focus their energies on establishing a stable state as part of a negotiated two-state solution.” Have you forgotten that every step taken by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to establish unity has been opposed by anger, reinforced by punitive pushback on Israel’s part, a response endorsed by the United States? And wasn’t that ‘point of no return’ reached some time ago, and certainly after what the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, proclaimed as ‘the last chance’ negotiations broke down in the Spring of 2014 after a year of trading allegations and achieving not a single positive result? And how, Mr. Ban, is a two-state solution to be achieved over the opposition and resolve of more than 600,000 Israeli settlers, with more expansion underway and even more promised?

 

You acknowledge being “disturbed by statements from senior members of the Israeli’s government that the aim [of a Palestinian state] should be abandoned altogether.” What you fail to say is that these ‘senior members’ include Israel’s elected prime minister, its president, its current ambassador to the UN. In light of this unified opposition to a two-state approach by Israel’s highest governmental leaders, how can you encourage reliance on this discredited diplomatic path that has resulted in an ongoing process of severe territorial encroachment on occupied Palestine and subjection to a regime of intensified suffering for the Palestinian people? Clinging to the two-state mantra is not neutral. Delay benefits Israel, harms Palestine. There is every reason to believe that this pattern will continue as long as Israel is not seriously challenged diplomatically and by Palestinian resistance, as well as by the sorts of growing pressures mounted by the international solidarity movement and the BDS campaign.

 

More widely, and important to understand, shooting the messenger is part of a broader Israel strategy to minimize attention given to substantive criticisms of their behavior. You are merely the latest victim, and one of the most highly placed. The intensity of defamation seems to be roughly proportional to the perceived impact of your criticism. In this sense, Mr. Secretary General, you have scored highly, especially due to your reminder to the Security Council that the UN will “continue to uphold the right of Palestinians to self-determination.” This is not the language Israel’s leaders hoped to hear coming from your lips, and hardly consistent with earlier your record of steadfast support for Israel that included condemning even the Second Freedom Flotilla that sought to deliver humanitarian assistance to Gaza. To be meaningful beyond a ritual affirmation, self-determination must be understood, given present realities, as something more and other than another delusionary embrace of a diplomatically negotiated two-state solution. At the very least, you might have urged the Security Council to consider the applicability of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) norm to relieving the anguish of Gazan captivity, a timely move considering that Netanyahu has been warning of yet another massive attack, promising that it will be even more lethal than the earlier one-sided massacres.

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You also tell the Security Council that “incitement has no place, and that questioning Israel’s right to exist cannot be tolerated.” Fair enough, but challenging Israel’s postures, policies, and practices should be placed high on the UN agenda of unfinished business if what you propose on behalf of the Palestinian people is ever to have the slightest chance of being achieved. We need all to realize what else should not be tolerated: while the Palestinian flag flies outside UN Headquarters, the Palestinian people have lived for almost 70 years under the daily brutalities of occupation, refugee camps, Gazan captivity, and involuntary exile. Can you bring yourself to call this ordeal ‘intolerable’? Then at least you could leave your UN post with a feeling that when your career was no longer in jeopardy you spoke truth to power.

 

Sincerely,

 

Richard Falk

UN Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council for Occupied Palestine (2008-2014)

Professor of International Law

464 Responses to “An Open Letter to Ban Ki-moon”

  1. Gene Schulman February 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    Well said, Richard. But I doubt you will get a reply to this from the SG. Mr. Ban is just not the man.

  2. Fred Skolnik February 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    You are again pretending that you are being attacked because you are serving up unpalatable truths. That is not the reason you are being attacked, Prof. Falk. You are being attacked because what you are saying is demonstrably false and slanderous, distorted, biased and unfair. You are being attacked because you are calling Israelis Nazis and accusing them of genocide. You are being attacked because you are likening some of the most barbaric terrorist organizations on the face of the earth to the French and Dutch partisans. You are being attacked because of your callousness in glibly moralizing about “blowback” before the bodies of the Boston Marathon victims were even in the ground. I offer these observations because you don’t seem to grasp how balanced people are going to react to your wild and irresponsible assertions. Wake up, Prof. Falk, and spare us the self-pity.

    • Aaron February 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

      Fred, I couldn’t agree with you more.

      Falk has consistently refused to debate any of his allegations on the merits stating always that the evidence is “irrefutable” and thus not worthy of debate.

      He succeeds in enlightening his 7 or so followers by keeping one finger on the moderator button (DELETE) and the other by attracting all the Israel haters out of the back of the closet. It’s almost entertaining. He is a regular one man BDS and Electronic Intifada rolled into one.
      Shabbat Shalom

      • Kata Fisher February 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

        Well, I must disagree – because what Professor Falk is saying has an irefutabel pattern of evidence.

        The Truth that is self-manifesting / self-evident – just for one. Don’t you see these patterns? Why can’t you see them?

      • Kata Fisher February 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

        Also, if you do not understand BDS and Electronic Intifada – they are campaigning for the right. But I do not understand all that, in all details.

      • Cynthia Lichtenstein February 13, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

        Please what is “debatable” about the number of increased settlements in the West Bank or the body count of dead Palestinians compared to the number of dead Israelis? Are the announced numbers in the media merely “allegations” or are they backed up with actual counts?

      • Jerry "Peacemaker" February 13, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

        It seems, Cynthia, that Aaron finds your point “thus not worthy of debate”…

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

        There are no “increased settlements” in the West Bank. Israel has not built a new settlement there since the early 1990s. As for body counts, you might just as well compare the number of dead Germans to the number of dead Americans in World War II. That is not a criterion for determining the rights and wrongs of a conflict.

      • dickerson3870 February 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

        RE “There are no ‘increased settlements’ in the West Bank. Israel has not built a new settlement there since the early 1990s.” ~ Fred Skolnick

        SEE: “Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity”, by Pierre Klochendler, Inter Press Service, 12/16/11
        [EXCERPT] . . . The Israeli occupation, particularly the future of wildcat settlements built by settlers without formal government approval has been a simmering issue ever since their creation during the 1990s.
        In 2005, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson published a landmark report on the question. Commissioned by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, the report found the Israeli government guilty of “institutional lawbreaking” and of the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish over a hundred “illegal outposts”. The damning irony is that the “outposts” were a 1997 initiative by none but Sharon himself, then foreign Minister under Netanyahu, who’d urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
        The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved. Repeated injunctions have since pressed successive governments to address the issue. . .
        ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://original.antiwar.com/klochendler/2011/12/15/fighting-settlers-impunity-and-immunity/

      • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

        That is precisely what the outposts mostly are – a few caravans on a barren hilltop in defiance of the Israeli governmen. If this is your idea of settlements, then you don’t know what a settlement is.

      • Kata Fisher February 19, 2016 at 7:12 am #

        John,

        my words have truly failed me.

    • ray032 February 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      Fred, what you are saying is demonstrably false and slanderous, distorted, biased and unfair.

  3. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    Worth noting:

    1. During the Israeli-Hamas Gaza conflict in 2014, Prof. Falk joined with a group of extremist Palestinian leaders in demanding Ban Ki Moon’s resignation because his balanced view of the conflict offended them. The language of their statement was even more intemperate and unfair than some of the language currently being hurled at Mr. Moon. As is always the case with Prof. Falk, what’s sauce for the goose isn’t sauce for the gander.

    2. As Fred, Aaron and others have already pointed out, Prof. Falk routinely deflects detailed criticism of positions he’s taken by mis-labeling them as alleging anti-Semitism. Those questioning this conclusion are invited to scroll back through this blog to find numerous examples of this tactic.

    3. For Prof. Falk to suggest that Ban Ki Moon was satisfied with his work for the UN is misleading. Example: When the UN set about investigating the Mavi Marmara incident, Mr. Moon, fearing that a predictably one-sided and unfair report by Prof. Falk and his Human Rights Commission would further rile already troubled waters, he established a Panel of Inquiry mandated to report directly to him. Chaired by former New Zealand prime minister and international law expert Geoffrey Palmer, it found that Israel had used excessive force, but was entitled under international law to defend its coastline. That balance established an environment in which Israel and Turkey have been able to move toward re-establishing normalized relations, thus enhancing regional stability instead of adding to its instability.

    Prof. Falk loudly condemned the Panel and its work, insulting Mr. Palmer as being unqualified for the task.

    4. In Prof. Falk’s view, those who disagree with his views—whether in high places like Ban Ki Moon or lesser mortals—do so for nefarious reasons. They have sold out, are driven by political aspirations, are unduly influenced by the vicious Jewish lobby, etc. No opponent is accorded the dignity of acknowledging that her/his dissent stems from honest judgment or conscience. That’s sad. Sadder still is that a statement ostensibly written to bolster the UN Secretary General at a time when he is under attack for supporting the Palestinian’s cause winds up questioning his political judgment and moral integrity. Telling Mr. Moon that he’s getting his just desserts for not hewing to the anti-Israel line undoubtedly made Prof. Falk feel better, but I’m not sure it did very much to bolster the Secretary General.

    5. Saddest of all, at a time when the Israeli- Palestinian crisis has reached a point where the UN Secretary General needs to make a bold public statement urging both sides, and especially Israel, to examine the damage they’re doing to their future, Prof. Falk feels compelled to write a letter that’s all about Prof. Falk At this critical moment, it’s difficult to see how hiss transparent exercise in ex post facto self-justification helps anybody.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman February 13, 2016 at 12:26 am #

      Well, it looks as though I jumped the gun when I posted this a couple of days ago:

      But this article http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44173.htm should not be missed. I’m sure it will bring back all the ‘sayanim’ who regularly attack this blog whenever Prof. Falk writes a column about Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. One doesn’t have to name them, they know who they are, and I can’t wait to hear from them again following this comment ;-(

      Perhaps they should have been named – Fred, Aaron, Ira, et al.

      Perhaps Richard’s turn to poetry turned them off, insensitives all, and they only understand how to attack the way they were trained to.

      • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 1:01 am #

        What a pathetic little fool you are. But don’t worry, Prof. Falk will soon come along to protect you with his delete button. Have you boycotted Google yet? And I seem to remember your boasting about writing customer reviews for the despised Amazon, so it looks like you’re just posturing again after all with the botcott talk.

      • Gene Schulman February 13, 2016 at 2:14 am #

        Ah, Fred. Talk about pathetic. Do you really believe the crap you write, or do they pay you for it?

      • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 2:22 am #

        You know I do and you know they don’t, so why playact? Poor empty Gene, you need a little wit for the comebacks, which you certainly lack. Better stick to the mindless “references.” That’s more your speed..

      • Gene Schulman February 13, 2016 at 6:14 am #

        Wit would be lost on you, Fred, so I don’t even try. Even reason is lost on you, so I’ve stopped trying that too. Goodbye Fred.

    • ray032 February 13, 2016 at 3:24 am #

      1. All people of good will and human decency saw the murderous bombardment of Gaza in 2014 as a great evil perpetrated by Israel. Anti-Zionist policies and pro-BDS took a spile in the larger world.

      2.Projection again! It is Fred, you, and other blind Zionist believers in the Israeli Military Dictatorship in the occupied Palestinian territories that Israel is faultless, sinless and blameless in the current struggle of Justice for Palestinians that routinely deflect detailed criticism of Israeli policy positions Prof. Falk has taken, by mis-labeling them as anti-Semitism.

      3. I was not aware of Professor Falk until I read the UNSG, the Americans and Canadian PM Harper were calling for him to be fired. My 1st thought was he must be doing something right.

      The night before PM Netanyahu woke up to the Mavi Mamara nightmare, I gave him 2 thumbs up when I saw on Canadian TV news, in speaking to Jews in Toronto, he said, “Let Truth reign Supreme.”

      That morning I read in the Jerusalem Post a participant in the raid said 1 Israeli Commando shot 6 people on board himself and say, the Israeli commandos were firing warning shots and dropping stun grenades on the deck of the Mavi Mamara as they were rappelling down the ropes to the deck.

      The joke was the Israeli Pirates claimed they were firing only paint ball guns. That made sense only with the fact the 1 Commando who shot so many by himself, could identify those marked for Death only by the other Commandos identifying them with the paint ball marking.

      I regret I didn’t copy and past that Jerusalem Post report because the link was down later that same Day.

      The phony Turkel which was supposed to be Independent and Transparent, didn’t even call any of the commandos participating in the raid in the middle of the night in International waters to testify, calling only IDF General Staff members. So much for the lie the Truth should reign supreme.

      4. Before this article, I came to the conclusion independently of the Prof. the UNSG was being politically correct in following US instructions following Israeli instructions.

      5. In your blind opposition to whatever the Professor writes, I don’t see this as only about the Professor, but a kind of Divine Justice waking up the UN Secretary-General to the realities of Zionist chutzpah.

      • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 3:32 am #

        I’ll be honest with you, Ray. I don’t believe you give a crap about the Palestinians. I think you just don;t like Jews, and you are as equipped to know what is going on in the Middle East as you are equipped to know what is going on in China or the far side of the moon.

      • ray032 February 13, 2016 at 9:43 am #

        Fred, your reply confirms the Truth in point 2 of my comment!

      • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 10:11 am #

        Your own words condemn you, ray. I pointed this out once before but here it is again:

        “From what he [ray] has written one might conclude that he has a very high opinion of Jews and feels let down by us because of our awful transgressions. But since he has detected what he considers ample evidence of Jewish barbarity in the Bible, it is hard to figure what it is about the Jews that gave him such high hopes. My conclusion is that he doesn’t really have a high opinion of us but in fact resents us deeply, as he has explicitly stated numerous times when he contemptuously throws that Chosen People thing in our faces or tells us, in what strikes me as an embittered voice, that we think we are ‘better than everyone else,’ which is of course one of the ‘complaints’ of antisemites all around the world, to which he now adds the classic accusation of ‘venality’ and ‘worshipping the gods of gold, silver,’ etc.”

        As I say, I don’t think you give a crap about the Palestinians, or about the Turks on the Mavi Marmara, or about anyone else for that matter. If you did, you would have opened your mouth when Israeli women and children were being blown apart in buses and restaurants by barbaric Arab terrorists or when real genocides were going on in Sudan and Rwanda or when Assad was massacring his own people in a war that has now claimed 500,000 i lives or when the Russians killed 1,000 civilians in their recent bombings. Since you have been attaching yourself to other people’s blogs for quite some time now and if I’m not mistaken have a blog of your own, quote me what you’ve had to say about these atrocities. Show me your indignation, Cut and paste something you’ve written about them. Put your money where your mouth is. Or is it somehow only the Jews that wake you up? That;s why you come across as looking like a Jew hater. I’m sure you’re not ashamed of it so why try to hide it.

  4. Imran Ali February 13, 2016 at 4:26 am #

    Monsters don’t lie in horror stories, they lie within our cold blooded souls and bodies.

  5. Harvey Epstein February 13, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    Richard,

    You admit that the basis of what you invariably postulate is that Israel, being the stronger party, is the only one worthy of criticism. You have a giant blind spot regarding the PA, this in spite of one of your recent blogs regarding how its leadership ill serves its followers.

    Your criticism of the PA is really directed internally, within the “Palestinian” world and never, to my knowledge, externally towards Israel. If you did direct it externally, then on occasion you would have found that at least “some” of what Israel did was justified. This you never do. This is your blind spot. Others see it. You do not.

    You lack balance. As an advocate for one side only, this is expected. But for one who appears to want to act as a “judge”, you should recuse yourself. Had the UN really wanted an unbiased view, you would not be the “go to guy”, because as I note above, you admit you start from a very biased position.

    Regards

    • Richard Falk February 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      Harvey:

      I appreciate your careful reasoning, but it proceed on the basis of a false impression of my actual views.

      For instance, it is not so much that Israel is the stronger party, but that in relation to the Palestinians
      it has its boot on their throat. The U.S. was the stronger party in Germany and Japan after WW II, but it was
      seeking to revive these societies, it had a genuine commitment to their recovery, although it exerted influence
      to steer its political life in more constructive directions. Israel as its leaders increasingly acknowledge do
      not have, and may never have had, similar positive intentions, although this is arguable I would agree.

      On the PA, I think the evidence is overwhelming that due to its funding dependence on Israel and the US, and the
      training and orientation of its security forces, it is a quasi-collaborationist political actor, squeezed between the Palestinians
      living under occupation and Israel/U.S., struggling to maintain some sort of legitimacy. From my work at the UN I
      know that it is does not pursue an independent international agenda, although it has become so disillusioned by the
      two-state diplomacy that it is playing the statehood card more defiantly of late, but this does not seem very promising
      to me unless there is an internal change of heart within Israel, which does not seem to be on the current horizon.

      As for balance, whatever that might mean in relation to such a one-sided structure. I believe in self-determination for
      both peoples, and accept the idea that a Jewish homeland would be appropriate but that a sustaining peace depends on
      real equality of treatment for both peoples, including some kind of peace and reconciliation process of the sort that
      established in South Africa and several Latin American countries. I do not feel biased, tried to report on the basis of
      the factual reality that I perceived, resisted lots of pressures from Israel, PA, and U.S. while in UN position, and felt
      qualified on the basis of knowledge and experience. I never applied for this unpaid position that made my life difficult
      for six years. The very innocent Indonesian diplomat who succeeded me, resigned in frustration after a year, claiming despite
      his posture of ‘neutrality’ that Israel failed to uphold its promise of cooperation.

      Best wishes

    • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

      Harvey

      Since Prof. Falk will not reply to me when I point out his fallacious reasoning, you might suggest to him that if Germany had refused to repudiate its Nazi, leaders, refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the very existence of the Allied nations or even pronounce their names, announced to the world: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations, and from the outset launched barbaric terrorist attacks against Allied civilians in their own home countries – well, let him try to imagine how the Allies would have responded,

      • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

        Fred,

        Can you please go about this in more detail-given-version:

        “Germany had refused to repudiate its Nazi, leaders, refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the very existence of the Allied nations or even pronounce their names, announced to the world: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations, and from the outset launched barbaric terrorist attacks against Allied civilians in their own home countries – well, let him try to imagine how the Allies would have responded,”

    • Fred Skolnik February 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      And Harvey

      You might also ask Prof Falk if he considers the following statement by the “innocent Indonesian” even before he began his investigation an indication of his “posture of neutrality”:

      “Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of PALESTINIAN VICTIMS OF VIOLATIONS under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way.”

      • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

        “frustrated every step of the way” = It’s a closed Labyrinth – an a dead-end maze = Nazi-spirit.

      • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

        Additional note:

        Its Antichrist – it’s false – Holy Spirit/false-Christ/s, false-church / false-church order.

        All this, also means Blasphemy of God’s Holy Spirit and satanic seals in blood lines (in work).

        It also means due to abuse of Apostolic Church (Charismatic) Order and Sacramental Order practices (now and in the past).

        It also means this: civil-ecclesiastical abuse of Apostolic Church Teaching and Order.

        When you have that chaos – you can’t have sustained natural / human order. Something has to happen. It is not sustainable – its in full-blown power of Devil.

      • Laurie Knightly February 13, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

        The devil and Kata are in close contact. He checks with her daily and she keeps us informed as to whose bloodlines are in his body bags etc. This contributes considerably to the intellectual discourse on this blog. BTW she should keep her mouth shut considering she’s just one of those stupid nasty females described in scripture. She has informed us that women not on her preferred ‘ecclesiastical’ list are sluts and whores who give birth to illegitimate children. She complained a few times on this blog of having raccoons on her roof. It appears that bats in her belfry are also problematic.

        Biblically, these rules apply only to persons who define themselves as Christians. Also, one cannot just say something is just Old Testament. God was willing/eager to have his son slaughtered for sins of others and Jesus merged with his dad and some holy ghost somewhere in outer space. They are now a for profit corporation called a triune. Some of us are very reluctant to have God interfere with the raising of our sons after seeing the picture of what he let happen to his. Of course, the 1st commandment says having such a picture is a sin as one does not make any images of living things.

      • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

        Lol, Laurie – you are really eager to learn the Truth Apostolic Charismatic from me? But you are misinterpreting everything that I believe and think – and have said. Why don’t you listen to everything that is read?

        I can tell you about sacrilegious ecunimical things of military chapels – and defilement of Eucharistical things (Eucharistical species) and other Order! – and how that brings on various judgment due to exceptional Sacramental things…

        But why should I do that?

        So, I do have a laundry basket full of kids socks – that have to be folded in.

        Also, I am bit sleepy because my hours in the Eucharistical Chappel were late in the night. So you know – I do check-ins where Eucharistical things are locked in (so that lay-people should not do sacrilegious things) – our Priests (from different parishes) is always in the Chappel over the time – Fr. Bill comes just one Hour after I. When you are real, really blessed – you may see Fr. Walter at His Eucharistical Chapel to rest. He is almost a One Hundred Year Old Priest. 94! Ohhh… but you do not know if he is Charismatic-Church or not! – and how his Monday morning services are fired up, and rock!

        But I will say this:

        Raccoon safely disappeared over the night! But this is what happened: The poor thing was being scorched in the sun. And yes, he found his resting place in the rain-well – but I had to go on top of the roof and water-spray with the water – so that he does not die – it was the hot summer day for a funny looking fella like that. I hardly ever meet a wild animal – I just do not even know where he came from.

      • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

        I do have to say this: If you have doubts about spiritual condition of blood lines – the best is to bring them under Authentic Church-Charismatic Ritual – and Baptism in Spirit by Free Fall. That is an only sufficient thing! Nothing else – apart from Apostolic Church Order and Practices. This is what I understand and know 100% to be Truth- valid.

        It has to be Baptism in Spirit by Free Fall – and no touching by bear hands by anyone (as some kind of ministry/ritual) before that. (If you do not have priest and authentic blessed oils of the priesthood).

        Also, Rome will integrate any denomination into the One Order of Faith with Church in Rome – just as they did integrate Anglicans (who remain married). Anglicans-Catholic Church. However, the Roman-Catholic order of priesthood is celibate while Anglicans-Catholic is married.

        However, all should be moving into One Order of and Authentic Church-Charismatic Ritual – and Baptism in Spirit by Free Fall. Plus, valid ordination. Right now, nothing is quite right.

        30.000 denomination is as same as a spiritual-cast of Nazi-spirit. This is a fact. But soon you will see the full manifestation of it in natural, as well.

    • Richard Falk February 13, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

      Harvey:

      One more thing. I suggest you look at the PALESTINE PAPERS, the collection of documents of secret negotiations
      with the PA and Israel, and you will find what I believe is compelling confirmation of the view that despite many
      PA concessions by the PA, the Israel negotiators headed by Livni indicated no interest in finding common ground. Also,
      take account of Netanyahu’s election pledge of a year ago never to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state so
      long as he was prime minister, and compare this with his backtracking in the international arena under pressure from
      Washington.

      • Harvey Epstein February 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

        Richard,

        I appreciate your comments and understand your views. I understand the frustrations of Fred. I do agree with many of his comments. To use as your example, that very “innocent” Indonesian gentleman, ignores the fact that he comes from a 90% Muslim nation which is overtly hostile to Jews, generally, and not just to Israelis. It has no real Jewish presence. It typically responds to its problems by saying that its ills are the fault of the Jews. This is in line with the beliefs of Iran and many other Muslim nations (you do recall that the recent collapse of the crane in Mecca was the fault of the Jews – this according to a senior member of the Iranian Guard; Palestinian men in both Gaza (51%) and the West Bank (37%) have beaten or currently beat their wives because of the Jews – this according a March, 2015 TV interview with the female administrator of battered women clinics in both areas). It is a country which has a Christian minority which is being assaulted by Muslims. Christian villages are fighting with Muslim villages. Why on earth did anyone appoint him to be an “impartial” observer. No matter how “innocent” he might be, he carries too much baggage. Do you really blame Israel for objecting to such an appointee? Perhaps he could have overcome his patent disabilities, but would one really want to chance that? That appointment is as laughable as the one appointing a Saudi as the head of the UN Human Rights council. A country where women have no human rights and only certain people can even come in to work (Jews excluded, of course).

        I am happy to see that you want a Jewish “homeland”, but do you want it to be a Jewish “state”? This difference is a major bone of contention.

        In this “peace and reconciliation”, this “equality between the peoples”, do you envision the right of a practicing Jew becoming a voting citizen within a Palestinian State? The PA has said that this will not happen.

        This “change of heart” of which you speak, does it include the change of heart by the Palestinian, as well: giving up an unrealizable goal of mass migration into the State of Israel; ceasing all calls for Hudna instead of a western style peace; reeducating all of its citizens regarding the fact that all Jews are not the devil; etc.? Does it also include a change of heart by the Muslim donating nations (you do realize that they, too, hold some of the purse strings of the Palestinian)?

        As you know, I have criticized Isreal regarding certain of its specific actions. By way of example, its need to address the educational inequality within Isreal itself between what is provided to Jewish vs. Muslim/Israeli citizens. It would appear that Israel is starting to do something about some of these disparities. I will not here look behind the reasons for those current efforts except to say that it is a late start, but a start it is. I never say that Israel is always right in what she does, but on occasion (perhaps far more often than not) she is correct.

        I also recognize that the Palestinian is not, nor has ever been a citizen of Israel, but is under military and not civilian administration. This is a substantial difference which some folks just seem to forget. It is not as if they started out in 1948 as voting citizens of the State of Israel and were then separated out. They were separated out for other reasons, many of which I and others have previously discussed. In fact, they are more likely Jordanians, rather than Israelis, abandoned by Jordan and thrust upon Israel to administer. But not as citizens of the State of Israel. After all, which nation controlled them between 1948 and 1967?

        As a result of what happened with giving up control of Gaza, the rebuilding of the tunnels, etc., I can understand the hesitancy of Israel in its not so secret negotiations with the PA (which probably can’t deliver on anything). If a change of heart is required, let it be the PA first. After all, it really is Israel which has the most to risk. If Israel miscalculates, the result is “no Jewish State”, and likely no Jews in the ME. If the Palestinians miscalculate, Gaza and the West Bank remain, as do over 20 other Muslim majority states. In this regard, it is not Israel which has its boot on the throat of the Palestinian, but the reverse is true. This has been the case for many decades, it is just that most folks have failed to realize it. Israel is
        being asked to risk everything, and the Palestinian almost nothing.

        Part of the balance of which I speak are some of the thoughts you expressed, as above. Part of the balance is your failure to point out anything specific that Israel in fact does, of a positive nature. It is the later of which I complain.

        Happy Valentines Day to all.

      • Gene Schulman February 15, 2016 at 6:55 am #

        Harvey,

        I was going to take up your challenge and respond to some of your points, but find just too many twisted facts – twisted into the long winded persiflage – to make the effort. Let me just say that prior to the invention of the state of Israel, there was not much anti-Semitism in the Middle East. What there was, and what there is today is directed at Zionism and its ideology, as a reaction to what they have done, rather than at Jews per se. It is quite understandable that the Arabs and other Muslims would identify Zionists with Jews and brush both with same tar, just as most Westerners (of which Israel is among) confute all of Islam with fundamentalist Wahabism.

        That said, I would challenge YOU to point out anything specific that Israel does of a positive nature The failure is not on Richard’s part, rather on Israel’s.

      • Fred Skolnik February 15, 2016 at 8:36 am #

        Animosity if not hatred of Jews and Christians in the Muslim world goes back to the beginning of the Arab Conquest, unless they were entirely subjugated and thereby tolerated under dhimmi law. The history of Muslim-Jewish relations, from the beginning is marked by Muslim pogroms and massacres.

      • ray032 February 15, 2016 at 8:48 am #

        Fred, I’m not going to do your research for you, but the Jewish Virtual Library records the Muslims of the 1st Islamic Caliphate welcomed Jews to settle in the Caliphate when the Europeans were deporting them.

        As to your comment upstream, “As I say, I don’t think you give a crap about the Palestinians, or about the Turks on the Mavi Marmara, or about anyone else for that matter” I’m in good company.

        In Today’s Haaretz it’s reported the Secretary-General of the Labour Party says this concerning Gideon Levy, “I sometimes get the feeling that Levy doesn’t really care about the Palestinians”

      • Fred Skolnik February 15, 2016 at 8:54 am #

        Morocco:
        The country that suffered from the worst series of massacres. In the 8th century whole communities were wiped out by Idris the First. In 1033, in the city of Fez, 6,000 Jews were murdered by a Muslim mob. The rise of the Almohad dynasty caused waves of mass murders. According to testimony from that time, 100,000 Jews were slaughtered in Fez and about 120,000 in Marrakesh (this testimony should be viewed with caution). In 1465, another massacre took place in Fez, which spread to other cities in Morocco.
        There were pogroms in Tetuan in 1790 and 1792, in which children were murdered, women were raped and property was looted. Between 1864 and 1880, there were a series of pogroms against the Jews of Marrakesh, in which hundreds were slaughtered. In 1903, there were pogroms in two cities ג€“ Taza and Settat, in which over 40 Jews were killed.
        In 1907, there was a pogrom in Casablanca in which 30 Jews were killed and many women were raped. In 1912, there was another massacre in Fez in which 60 Jews were killed and about 10,000 were left homeless. In 1948, another series of pogroms began against the Jews which led to the slaughter of 42 in the cities of Oujda and Jrada.

        Algeria:
        A series of massacres occurred in 1805, 1815 and 1830. The situation of the Jews improved with the start of the French conquest in 1830, but that did nor prevent anti-Jewish outbursts in the 1880s. The situation deteriorated again with the rise of the Vichy government. Even before 1934, the country was permeated by Nazi influences, which led to the slaughter of 25 Jews in the city of Constantine. When it achieved independence in 1962, laws were passed against citizenship for anyone who was not a Muslim and their property was effectively confiscated. Most of the Jews left, usually completely penniless, together with the French (“pieds noirs”).

        Libya:
        In 1785, hundreds of Jews were murdered by Burza Pasha. Under Nazi influence, harassment of the Jews intensified. Jewish property in Benghazi was plundered, thousands were sent to camps and about 500 Jews were killed. In 1945, at the end of World War II, a program against the Jews began and the number of murdered reached 140. The New York Times reported the horrible scenes of babies and old people who had been beaten to death. In the riots that broke out in 1948, the Jews were more prepared, so only 14 were killed. Following the Six Day War, riots broke out once again and 17 Jews were slaughtered.

        Iraq:
        a massacre occurred in Basra in 1776. The situation of the Jews improved under British rule in 1917, but this improvement ended with Iraq’s independence in 1932. German influences increased and reached a peak in 1941 in the pogrom known as Farhud, in which 182 Jews were slaughtered (according to historian Elie Kedourie, 600 people were actually murdered) and thousands of houses were pillaged.
        Those were the days of Haj Amin al Husseini, who preached violence against the Jews. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the Iraqi parliament acted according to the Arab League bill and in 1950 and froze the assets of Jews. Sanctions were imposed on those who remained in Iraq. The Farhud massacre and the harassment from 1946 to 1949 to all intents and purposes turned the Iraqi Jews into exiles and refugees. The few thousand who remained in Iraq suffered from harsh edicts. In 1967, 14 Iraqis were sentenced to death on trumped up charges of espionage. Among them were 11 Jews. Radio Iraq invited the masses to the hanging festivities.

        Syria:
        The first blood libel in a Muslim country occurred in 1840, and led to the kidnapping and torture of dozens of Jewish children, sometimes to the point of death, and a pogrom against the Jews. In 1986, the Syrian Minister of Defense, Mustafa Talas, published a book, “The Matzah of Zion,” in which he claims that the Jews did, indeed, use the blood of a Christian monk to bake matzah. Same old anti-Semitism, new edition. Other pogroms occurred in Aleppo in 1850 and in 1875, in Damascus in 1848 and in 1890, in Beirut in 1862 and in 1874, and in Dir al Kamar there was another blood libel which also led to a pogrom in 1847. That year, there was a pogrom against the Jews of Jerusalem, which was the result of that blood libel. In 1945, the Jews of Aleppo suffered severe pogroms. 75 Jews were murdered and the community was destroyed. There was a resurgence of the violence in 1947, which turned most of the Syrian Jews into refugees. Those who remained there lived for many years as hostages.

        Iran:
        There was a pogrom against the Jews of Mashhad in 1839. A mob was incited to attack Jews, and slaughtered almost 40. The rest were forced to convert. That is how the Marranos of Mashhad came into being. In 1910, there was a blood libel in Shiraz in which 30 Jews were murdered and all Jewish homes were pillaged.

        Yemen:
        There were fluctuations in relations that ranged between tolerance and inferior subsistence, between harassment and pogroms. The Rambam’s Letter to Yemen was sent following a letter he received from the leader of the Yemeni Jews, describing edicts of forced conversion issued against the Jews (1173). There were further waves of apostasy edicts which cannot be detailed here for lack of space.
        One of the worst milestones was the Mawza exile. Three years after Imam Al Mahdi took power in 1676, he drove the Jews into one of the most arid districts of Yemen. According to various accounts, 60 — 75% of the Jews died as a result of the exile. Many and varied edicts were imposed on the Jews, differing only in severity. One of the harshest was the Orphans’ Edict, which ordered the forced conversion of orphaned children to Islam. In nearby Aden, which was under British rule, pogroms occurred in 1947 which took the lives of 82 Jews. 106 of the 170 shops that were owned by Jews were completely destroyed. Hundreds of houses and all the community’s buildings were burned down.

        Egypt:
        As in the other Arab countries, the Jews of Egypt also suffered inferior status for hundreds of years. A significant improvement occurred when Muhammad Ali came to power in 1805. The testimony of French diplomat, Edmond Combes, leaves nothing in doubt: “To the Muslims, no race is more worthy of contempt than the Jewish race.” Another diplomat added, “The Muslims do not hate any other religion the way they hate that of the Jews.”
        Following the blood libel in Damascus, similar libels began to spread in Egypt as well and incited mobs to carry out a series of attacks: in Cairo in 1844, 1890, and in 1901-1902; and Alexandria in 1870, 1882 and in 1901-1907. Similar attacks also occurred in Port Said and in Damanhur.
        Later on, there were riots against the Jews at the end of World War II, in 1945, in which 10 were killed and hundreds were injured. In 1947, the Companies Law was passed, which severely damaged Jewish businesses and led to the confiscation of property. In 1948, following the UN resolution on partition, riots began in Cairo and Alexandria. The dead numbered between 80 and 180. Tens of thousands were forced to leave, many fleeing and abandoning their property. The lot of those who remained did not improve. In 1956, a law was passed in Egypt which effectively denied the Jews citizenship, forcing them to leave the country with no property. This was an act of pure expulsion and mass property confiscation.

      • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 9:00 am #

        Gene,

        Israel state does and will do positive things.

        Sayanim have to proofread their legal acts (in relationship to the Israeli state) with the International public opinion (Hebrew Prophets).

        If they do not – they risk violating Israeli state policy – violating Israeli state and its population (in legal terms) which can bring on grave harm destruction upon Israeli state itself. Why? Voiding of Israeli state policy = voiding Hebrew Prophets. (The US /World-wide Sayanim, only) does not equal Hebrew prophets.

        Anything illegal civil-ecclesiastical will be in direct relationship with Times of the Hebrew Prophets, meaning, Church Age.

        International public = Hebrew Prophets.

        Fred, you can add to your argument a Historical Fact that First Generation of Church (which was Charismatic) was persecuted by Jews in Palestine as well by Hellenistic Jews.

        I this age Church Charismatic – we commit you all to legal civil-ecclesiastical acts.

  6. radamontenegro February 13, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    Reblogged this on Gaza through the pink tinted glasses.

  7. Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    A Note:

    In reality, self-made truths can be difficult doctrine.

    Lies are exhausting and lead nowhere – a dead-end. It’s a closed Labyrinth – an a dead-end maze.

    So, go about absolute truth – whenever you can.

    This also means “reject your way.”

    Stubbornness: pick your brick stones, reject the cornerstones. The building will be an awesome sight!

    • ray032 February 14, 2016 at 8:49 am #

      Kata, it seems only you and I write from the foundation of Faith in the Eternal which offends some regular commentators in this Blog, especially Gene.

      I have to confess what you write makes little sense to me, and I cannot relate to most of what you want to say. It is like speaking in unknown tongues from your church charismatic.

      God is one word, but there not enough words in any language to convey all that God is in my view. If I try to convey how I see and relate to the Eternal God to an unbeliever, if they don’t understand me, the onus is on me to get closer to the Word and more exact in the expression of it.

      I respectfully suggest you take some time off from this Blog, praying and meditating on this teaching of Paul in your church charismatic.

      I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all:
      Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
      1 Corinthians 14:18-19

    • Laurie Knightly February 14, 2016 at 8:54 am #

      Kata: You refer to Father Bill. This is disgusting blasphemy! Judges 17:10. And Matthew 23:9 – And call no man your father on earth, for you have one father, who is in heaven. Read further and it describes you who do this as hypocrites and children of hell. You must stop exalting yourself. The voices in your head are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Your lips and tongue have muttered perverseness. I was directed to you in Isaiah under wickedness. This may happen because of your spelling – a case of loose vowels. You must pray instead of prey which is a more common mandate of theological leadership.

      • Kata Fisher February 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

        Laurie, What would be Testscussing?

        This is what I understand:

        In Apostolic Tradition Terms – you can call the Priest whatever you wish or want? It’s not a commandment of Apostolic Faith that you call him Fr. Bill.

        It is the tradition of Apostolic Faith – that he may or May not be regarded as Fr. Through the Gospel! “In persona Christi” means “In persona Christi”! ( “In persona Christi” = Valid Ordination).

        Paul Apostle was, in fact, “In persona Christi”! I can apply to priest what Paul applied to Timothy / his son trough the Gospel (for example).

        But you can and can not even call him (the Priest) “A military Chaplain/s” directed to you (or me) under wickedness of military chapels! – I guess its and must be Ecumenical fish-fry / defilement that ends up in dumpsters full of body / trash bags (civil-ecclesiastical)?

        So Look and see, little lay-people do not know anything what right or wrong.

        Prist in Ordination Charismatic or Faith is in “In persona Christi” = Valid Ordination.

      • Laurie Knightly February 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        Kata, Testcussing? Do you mean text cussing? in your case, when you say something, people usually go WTF? That’s text cussing. And FYI, the Apostolic Faith interprets literally – inspired, inerrant, infallible. And yes, your stuff should all end up in the dumpster. You do get some things correct.

      • Kata Fisher February 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

        Laurie,
        I do misspell a lot. But this time, I just wanted to have fun.
        So I meant to put test-disgusting together. I made a fun word.
        No, I did not mean text cussing. You get things right, too. Apostolic Scripture all together is really difficult – its a lot.

  8. Laurie Knightly February 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Richard, I had no idea that you achieved world stature with just 7 followers and no knowledge of Hebrew. An amazing achievement! Why do these guys concern themselves with us at all? Surely, they have more important avenues for their brilliance than to bother with the paltry few misfits who appreciate your intellect. I think you should relieve them of this belittling burden. Haven’t we heard the word ‘balance’ enough? They seem unable to supply any content themselves and keep expecting you to find some.

    I did read some utterances taken from here in 2 of my discussion groups as samples of why most essayists have either given up comment sections or monitor them for cheap shots, trolls, hasbara. religious agenda, and general irrelevance. I related to the group, for instance, that Zionists did not conquer Palestine. This means that Irgun [since 1938], Lehi, Palmach, Haganah, Revisionist Zionists, Jabotinisky et al were nice Jewish boys returning home after a long absence. They asked the Palestinians politely to get out and they did so. Also, the references to spiritual, religious and political ideology, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel, book of books, all quoted in Israel’s Declaration of Independence have no connection to religion. Mentioned, as well, Charismania and its contributions. People were also interested in the status of Reformed Judaism in Israel and the irony of their loyalty. Plus, Palestinians should not mind their dispossession as things are worse in other Muslim countries. Such a deal!

    It would be wonderful if a large number of Christians returned from the diaspora and gathered to form an Eretz Bethlehem. They have a deep spiritual connection there. Other Christians throughout the world could sponsor their military necessities as they would be surrounded by enemies. Maybe the Catholics and Orthodox could promote this as a solution to their fears, Anyone who believes that people who had members of their identity group suffer anywhere at any time could be deprived of all they owned and their assets given to another selected tribe. This suffering could be vicarious, of course. It’s a very generous philosophy and I’m sure that those who espouse it would be willing to live it.

    • Kata Fisher February 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      Also,

      Professor Falk – the wealth of some diocese is incredible – and shocking that is accumulated as that.

      Liquidating all and returning back to the Body of the Church in local and world-mission – but 10% is more then relevant! With Evangelicals – I believe there is a significant in a theft-stash up style.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-germany-finances-idUSKBN0LN1J820150219

    • Richard Falk February 14, 2016 at 8:58 am #

      Thanks, Laurie, for this wonderful comment, an appropriate non-romantic acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day! Richard

  9. ray032 February 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm #
    • Laurie Knightly February 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

      Good reminder, Ray……..

  10. Kata Fisher February 14, 2016 at 7:02 am #

    Important note: According to Mondoweiss – this bill is expected to be signed by President? Can someone look at civil-ecclesiastical illigal items – in leading/s of it. Is there civil-ecclesiastical lawlessness somhow imposed? https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr644/text

  11. קָדוֹש February 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    The Zionist vilification Professor Falk gets is actually the Israeli state’s first line of defense, for minor threats. The threat in his case is minor not due to any weakness in Professor Falk’s opinions, but because of the neutered condition of the UN Secretariat.

    The Israeli state escalates its responses when the threat is greater. International civil society now poses a greater threat than the UN by making the obvious point that Israeli state officials are hostium humani generis. These independent judgments will survive UN reorganization or replacement, as there is no statute of limitations.

    The prime example of the peoples’ judgment is the KLWCT. Israel’s response included covert destabilization – yet another breach of peremptory norms – and technical means of clandestine warfare. The Kuala Lumpur genocide judgment against the Israeli state is here:

    http://alzaytouna.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=938dbb6d837afd76810b4da18&id=19b04c7358&e=1d30651f06

    As you read it, you can sample the technical means yourself: sayanim have infected the file with OLE ‘magic number’ malware. This is Israel’s attempt to target you if you even consider applying rule of law to Israeli state policy. (It’s not very sophisticated, so you can defeat it by disabling macros if you’re using Word.)

    • Kata Fisher February 14, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      Nice to meet you. You must be the Israel state

  12. Artie Alfreds February 15, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    Richard, you’ve been one of my heroes since 1968. You still rock. Thank you, brother.

  13. Aaron February 15, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Although this will probably also be deleted, note that Falk has blocked numerous of my comments on this posting.

    Obviously not all opinions are welcome, especially when they reveal the truth!! Big brother at work again!!

    • ray032 February 15, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      I’ve had many of my Truthful comments deleted from The Jerusalem Post without them even saying a comment was deleted which is their standard procedure when a comment is deleted.

      So much for Israeli Democratic Freedom of the Press!

      • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 9:02 am #

        It must be their artful listening to their Hebrew prophets🙂

  14. Harvey Epstein February 15, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Gene,

    Just saw your post containing your “challenge”. I see that Fred has more than adequately dealt with the history of anti-Semitism. I am shocked that you have not heard of at least some of the horrors that the Muslim world visited upon on our defenseless co religionists over the centuries. In earlier posts of mine, I pointed out just a few of them. Fred provided a better list. He seems to be willing to spend more time “enlightening” you than I choose to spend. You really need to study a bit more before you make rash statements regarding historical facts, calling views opposing yours “Hasbra”, and closing off your otherwise substantial intellect.

    As to Wahabbism and Islam in general, I suggest that you research what the Madasses are all about as well as studying Sayyid Qut’b, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram and yes, even ISIS. Perhaps you need to read what has been and is going on in central Africa, including North vs. South Sudan and the CAR. They hate Jews and Christians. What was the partition of India and Pakistan all about? Hindus and Muslims fighting with each other. You were a teenager then. Do you not recognize that internally, Shia and Sunni hate each other. I could go over almost every Muslim country and cite anti Christian and anti Jewish acts. I won’t even get started with Europe. Surely you read the papers or get the news from some source.

    In prior posts on this blog, I and others have dealt with the equation between Zionism, Israel and Jews in general. Whether you or I like it or not, they are equated. I, and others, disagreed with Richards view that, as a practical matter, two different kinds of antisemitism can coexist. They can not. The current Pope seems to agree with us. Those who have a “diaspora theology” need to get used to the fact that there is nothing they can do about it.

    As to what positive things Israel does, Warren Buffett says it is the only country in the Middle East that is worth dealing with. The second most productive country in the world, following our own, in much scientific research is Israel. Compare the number of Nobel Prizes earned by Israel, with a Jewish population of less than 7 million, with the entire Islamic world of 1.4+ billion. There is no comparison, because you really need something to compare with. Oh, a couple of muslims with 2 prizes in economics about 50 or 60 years ago, together with a small crop of Peace Prizes ( some for making peace within the islamic world). Israel treats its avowed enemies in its hospitals; sets up field hospitals to treat Syrian war casualties ( recently the Druze intercepted Israeli ambulances in order to kill some of those injured folks). It is trying to pull its Bedouin citizens, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Muslims serve in its hospitals, schools, courts, police and government. I could go on, but you get the idea. Israel is not always perfect (the worlds standard for that small country), but generalized attacks like yours are overbroad and really uncalled for. You are better than that.

    Should the Palestinian get their own state? Of course! With the history of “double talk” by them, seeking Hudna and not peace as well as looking at Gaza, etc., can you really blame Israel for getting frustrated? Even my sainted wife has her limits. When the PA stops teaching its children to kill Jews ( and yes, Christians as well), then you might see the kind of peace you, I and Israel hope for.

    Sorry if you find my comments too verbose, but you need to get your facts straight. Generalization, such as you sometimes use, is not very reliable. In this regard, you really need to make a study of Islam, as taught throughout the world in the madrasahs. I suggest that you start with “In The Shade Of The Quo’ran ” by Sayyid Qut’b. You can find it on line. I have read it in its entirety. It is only @ 30 volumes long and has been subjected to much critique. It forms the bases of much of ” radical” Islam and will give you some insight into what western orientated nations face. Know your enemy.

    Sorry I did not see your post earlier, but Richards blog is not notifying me of new comments. This in spite of my checking the appropriate box.

    Shalom, landsman

    • Gene Schulman February 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

      Harvey,

      One comment shall suffice, which throws the rest of your screed into doubt. You say Israel “.. is trying to pull its Bedouin citizens, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.” No it is not. It is kicking them out and confiscating their property!

      Sorry for your “sainted wife”. She might look in the mirror and see what the Israelis are teaching their children.

      Yes, I too have problems with comment notification.

      Please do not mistake me for one of your landsmen. I am not Jewish. Richard can attest to that.

      Salaam

      • Harvey Epstein February 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

        Gene,

        Again you misstate facts. Bedouins were camping next to toxic waste dumps, in artillery ranges and in areas where Israel could not get to them in order to provide them with basic public services such as clean water, infrastructure, schools and medical services. Most of their settlements were illegally constructed, but Israel allowed them to remain in the vast majority; about 27. There was an intergovernmental misunderstanding regarding the relocation of the rest of the population. The majority of the rest was willing to move, but about 15,000 objected and so Israel did not force them. The relocation would not have required a move of more than about 5 kilometers for any of them. Some settled within a very few feet of major highways; just squatted. Remember, these folks were not city dwellers, but nomads who moved from temporary place to temporary place and just learning to settle in established towns. Israel wants them settled, like the majority of the rest of the population, so that the rest of the country can be developed in an orderly fashion, for the benefit of all. Israel is a small country and a nomadic way of life is no longer practical. It would be different if we were speaking of Mongolia or Siberia, vast lands of great empty spaces. If you are happy to let these folks remain in the 7th century, don’t you ever criticize Israel for ignoring them, too. But you won’t. You will be the first to criticize, won’t you? Lets see, Jews, Arab/ Israelis, Christians, etc. in a 21 st century Israel and Bedouins all left behind. What fodder for the UN Human Rights folks. Shall we also leave them with child marriages, etc. and the rest of Sharia Law?

        In case you do not know, only about 4% of the Bedouin ever graduate from high school and only about 0.7% graduate from college. Israel believes that an educated population earns more money, stays healthier, and prove to be better citizens. But if you are happy to leave them in ignorance, well …… I, for one, am not willing to believe that living next to a toxic dump is in the best interests of an innocent child. But if you are happy to have that take place, well….. It is generally recognized that those who are better educated get more opportunities and earn more money. But if you prefer to see that the Bedouin remain on the lower rung of the economic latter because of lack of schooling, well…. What a caring humanist you are.

        As to my wife, she is sainted. We raised 5 wonderful children. Some had Muslim friends who overnighted in our home, as did their Chinese, Black and Latino friends. Oh, and Israelis, too. We took some on vacation, and some of their parents joined them for house parties in my home, as we also visited them in theirs. In one of my old neighborhoods, the Muslim fellow across the street was in our home as we were in his. On a weekly basis. Same with the Armenian family next door and the Japanese family down the street. My wife and every one of our kids can easily look into a mirror, can yours? What have you taught your children? Show me the text books where Israeli kids are taught to hate Muslims. I have Israeli grand nieces and an Israeli niece by marriage. They were, in part, educated in Israel. Never a mention of being taught to hate Muslims.

        Gene, I have met folks like you before. Richard can only tell me what you have told me: that you profess to no longer considering yourself to be a Jew. You and I have spoken about this before. Did you have a bar mitzvah? Are you not willing to tell your fellow Jews that they are wrong in some of what they do and still remain true to the faith in which you were borne ( like I am, and probably Richard, too) or is it that you believe that Jews have always been wrong? Or are you just struggling with this moment in our history? You are at the extreme of what I call a diaspora Jew. Or did you convert with your greeting of Salaam.

        You are confused Gene, and I am sorry for that. Best that you take a look in your mirror and really analyze who you are and how to best accomplish your goal. Running away is not the way to go.

        Shalom

        Shalom, my self denying landsman

      • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

        A Note:

        There is a lot to civil-ecclesiastical overlap in Israel, and some conditions are difficult.

        In overall, Israel (as a state) has to integrate diverse population – with legitimacy that reflects civil-ecclesiastical rule and order – which is a constitutional rule and order / legitimate civil-ecclesiastical one.

      • Aaron February 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

        Has anyone ever counted the number of times the word “ecclesiastical” has been used in this forum?

      • Gene Schulman February 16, 2016 at 1:51 am #

        Ah, poor Harvey. Why do you waste your time trying to save a poor apostate? Your long screeds about your fairness to your non-Jewish friends are wasted on me. I’ve been around for a long time and know better than to get into the confessional with you and your faithful ilk.

        As a matter of fact, I am an atheist and have been for the greater part of my “thinking for myself” life. I don’t believe in the tenants of Judaism or any other religion. But I won’t debate you on these personal issues. To each his own, as the song says.

        But my religion or lack of, has nothing to do with my sense of justice or morality. Israel’s (Zionist) actions toward its neighbors are plain immoral and defy all international laws.

        I am still waiting for you to “point out anything specific that Israel does of a positive nature.”

      • Fred Skolnik February 16, 2016 at 2:16 am #

        IsraAID expands its women empowerment HoneyAID program in Nepal
        21 Jan 2016
        In Chature village near Kathmandu, 64 women learned how to become beekeepers, forming a cooperative to sell honey to local stores and tourists in Nepal.

        Read More

        Israel sends humanitarian aid to Vanuatu
        21 Oct 2015
        Powdered porridge enriched with nutrients will help supply food to the population following the tropical cyclone last March which decimated 70% of the country’s crops.

        Read More

        Humanitarian Assistance to Guatemala
        19 Oct 2015
        The Israeli Embassy in Guatemala in cooperation with MASHAV and the local Jewish community delivered much needed emergency aid to the survivors of the devastating mudslide which hit a community on the outskirts of Guatemala City.

        etc., etc., hundreds of aid projects over the years. You can read about them at

        http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/aid/pages/default.aspx

    • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

      A Note:

      Pope John Paul II was a laziest Church Leader in the short year hundred, did not concern himself about hardly anything – in a house that is turned up side down.

      But he did say that Iraq should not be invaded. Obviously, what he had to say was not relevant to anyone – nor US / sayanim – who should have observed Israeli State policy. I do not think that I am wrong here, and that they have listened to the False Prophets.

      Today, all dirty laundry of Vatican and its leadership is irrelevant while those things that Pope Francis is saying could be and are?

      I do not know how reliable is what they are doing, not doing, saying, and not saying from Vatican and whats their message to the Church and the world: “We are so wicked in leadership that even Sacraments of the Church are invalid – and children are whored, women are whored, we even have ordained women in our midst, invalid marriages and loads of illegitimate to the Church Order children..” …”Harry anything is valid – lets have Year of Condemnation upon us instead of Year of Mercy.” … “”We mismanaged God’s will in Time.” ” Now what?”

      They should have their things cleaned up – its not impossible for them – they have a house full of Theologians. Lol – what’s going on with snoring folks all over?

      Here is a video-link for reference that explains nicely spiritual-realms dynamics (from an earthly perspective): “The Kingdom of hell on earth.”

  15. Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    A Note and this is important:

    “peremptory norms”

    Was there peremptory norms to the Invasion of Iraq?

    peremptory norms annulled legitimacy of peoples judgment

    The Kuala Lumpur genocide judgment against the Israeli state is to be made invalid.

    Invasion of Iraq

    Has The Kuala Lumpur genocide judgment connection to Invasion of Iraq judgment?

    • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

      Additional Note:

      This is what I am seeing: Somehow Israel can not get their legal, illegitimate things straighten out – while US is all over places illegitimately. In terms of civil-eccalistical issues and legitimacy of those works/issues. Why is this?

      • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        I think this is why things are wrong:

        They take “people judgements/opinions” and they confuse them with “Hebrew Prophets.”

        “Hebrew Prophets” is Israeli state only (in an application).
        While “people judgements/opinions” are for the US (in the application).

        Confusing constitutional policy of Israel state (“Hebrew Prophets”)
        within US “people judgements/opinions” is most interesting civil-ecclesiastical overlap!

        Things are not right, because the order of these things is not right – it seems that overlaps are in no fixed rule of law – without a base.

        “people judgements/opinions” are applied to the policy of Israel state (“Hebrew Prophets”) – without a base.

      • ray032 February 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

        Kata, you still do not make much sense with your serial comments. You already forgot your promise to the Professor. Please try to restrain yourself. You do not contribute anything meaningful to this discussion.

        Kata: Please refrain from sending serial comments, and also, stay on message if you can.
        Kata Fisher February 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

        Professor Falk, Absolutely. I will do that.

        Again, pray on Paul’s teaching.

        I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all:
        Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
        1 Corinthians 14:18-19

      • Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

        Ray, I absolutely will think about what I said. I already do regret that I do not keep my promises. Also, I do agree that I should go about Church-charismatic practice in private.

  16. Gene Schulman February 16, 2016 at 5:13 am #

    Some more toxic waste for Harvey and Fred. This book, well reviewed, seems to give succor to the their sanitized hasbara: http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/02/13/books-israeli-society-carefully-laundered/ This is my last contribution to this discussion, so, Harvey and Fred, no need to waste your time in reply.

    Cheers

    • Gene Schulman February 16, 2016 at 6:22 am #

      Ah, well, I thought of a mea culpa as I read about the good works of Israel in those far away countries. But when I saw the source of your information, I came to doubt the altruism of these acts. A self praising web site, which may or may not be factual. As for the anti-Semitism you describe, it is mostly in the past, which nobody would deny, but compared to contemporary Islamophobia, it is embarrassing. So no apologies.

      How you see me is the view of a prejudiced person who spends his time worrying about the reputation of his tribe in the real world. I am neither hate-filled nor little. I stand at a muscular six-feet tall, and am full of joy and bonhomie for my fellow creatures. And it makes me angry to see them hurt and demeaned and killed by international bullies. And slandered by your small, prejudiced iIk. I am speaking not only of Israel and Palestine, but also of USA and NATO and Israel’s wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and soon to be Iran and Russia. Armageddon, indeed.

      One more time, goodbye Fred.

    • Kata Fisher February 16, 2016 at 6:38 am #

      Good Morning Gene,

      Armageddon is difficult doctrine – it does not seem to be description that you are giving. It’s something else.

    • Harvey Epstein February 16, 2016 at 10:47 am #

      Gene,

      I do not now, nor have I ever intended to disparage you. But a simple question: you speak of basing your atheism upon a simple sense of “morality” and “justice” not based upon Judaism or any other religion. Where on earth do you think that sense of morality and justice comes from? Judaism perhaps? The vast majority of the Christian and Muslim worlds see it as their roots. Or is it that your senses of these things are made up out of whole cloth? Do you really believe that your prior Jewish life had nothing to do with your current sense of humanism or whatever you think it should be called? Like it or not, what you feel is based on Judaism. No matter how you may try to deny this, it remains true. You are like an apple claiming to be an orange.

      As to confessionals, best speak to Rabbi Ira or Kata. They are far more spiritual than am I.

      An explination as to “what Israel does of a positive nature” seems to be a very nebulous question by you. I gave you some items and Fred did, too. If our topic/examples confuse you, or do not meet with your concepts, then perhaps you best refine your question so that we, or one of us, can use your atheistic frame of reference by which to respond. I thought you meant helping your fellow man. Obviously, you meant something entirely different.

      Shalom (your “Cheers” is best left to your drinking buddies and I only take Shabbos wine).

  17. Gene Schulman February 16, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    Richard,

    My apologies for the diversion and not keeping my promise to end my comments. You are right to have deleted those last exchanges. They contributed nothing to your original post.

  18. rehmat1 February 16, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    Ban Ki-moon, Samantha Power (married to a Zionist Jewish professor), Susan Rice, Gen. David Patreus, etc. are all pro-Israel donkeys. The so-called UN Watch is an Israel Hasbara Committee arm whose job is to smear foreign diplomats who dare to speak out the truth like you Dr. Falk.

    The unreported by the Zionist-controlled media is a recent “dog fight” between the French ambassador in Washington Gerard Araud and his Israeli counterpart US-born Ron Dermer.

    It all started by a tweets from Gerard Aruad who quoted French foreign minister Laurent Fabius’ (Jewish) statements over achieving peace in Syria, which stated that “there cannot be a political negotiation while one side is murdering the other.”

    The Israeli con-man couldn’t miss the opportunity to compare Palestinian resistance with US-Israel created ISIS/ISIL to destabilize the Middle East. Dermer tweeted back to Aruad: “hmmm. Wonder if that wisdom will one day be applied to when Jews are being murdered in Israel.”

    Israel’s human rights group B’Tselem has claimed that since 2000, Israelis have killed 8,701 Palestinians while 1,138 Jewish occupiers were killed by Palestinians. These figures include 1,772 Palestinian children killed by Jews vs 93 Israeli children killed by Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/02/10/a-dog-fight-between-french-and-israeli-ambassadors/

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

      Prof. Falk,

      I must again respectfully urge you not to post comments for rehmat1 that identify individuals as Jews or as having connections to Jews. This is an old trick used by anti-Semites to suggest that there’s something sinister about being a Jew, and/or that an international Jewish conspiracy controls the world.

      There are times when an identification of this nature is appropriate. But it’s difficult to see how Samantha Powers being married to a “Zionist Jewish professor” make her a “pro-Israel donkey like Susan Rice, Gen. David Patreus, etc.” Your expressed desire is that this blog will be a forum for serious discussion. This goal is defeated by abusive language obviously fueled by racism.

      I close with a puzzlement. You complain about detractors labeling you as an anti-Semite. Why post and praise blatantly anti-Semitic material like rehmat’s which add nothing of value to the discussion and assuredly strengthens their case against you.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • rehmat1 February 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

        @Rabbi Ira Youdovin – Would you like me throw some so-called ‘antisemite’ your fellow rabbis on your face before claiming that Palestinian have more Semite people among them than the 13 million world Jewry?

        Let me begin with Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi who claims that Nazis didn’t even kill one million Jews. Rabbi David Weiss agrees with him.

        My Toronto Rabbi Wolf Gunther Plaut, in his 1990 book, ‘The Man Who Would Be Messiah’, admitted that Frankist Jews committed Holocaust.

        Reformed Rabbi Allen S. Maller has called Islam, a “religion of peace”.

        Rabbi Jill Jacobs says that Israeli terrorists receive funds from American Jewish groups.

        Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg who authored the 1943 book, “Devil and the Jews”.

        Bigotry is a hallmark of Zionist Jews – Shalom.

        https://rehmat1.com/2015/08/02/rabbi-joshua-trachtenberg-and-jews/

      • Aaron February 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

        “Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi” is a wacko and completely not mainstream.

        “Rabbi David Weiss” you probably mean “Dovid” not David. David is a brilliant Zionist religious scholar while Dovid is a complete Neturei Karta wacko.

        “My Toronto Rabbi Wolf Gunther Plaut, in his 1990 book, ‘The Man Who Would Be Messiah’, admitted that Frankist Jews committed Holocaust.”
        That’s a lie. I know Wiesel his co-author and had met Plaut, a reform Rabbi. Jacob Frankel was merely another of many wanna-be messiahs since time immemorial. The fact that they were evil is without a doubt however to connect them to mainstream Judaism his heresy and an insult.

        Reformed Rabbi Allen S. Maller has called Islam, a “religion of peace”.
        If he has then he probably meant “pieces”.

        “Rabbi Jill Jacobs says that Israeli terrorists receive funds from American Jewish groups.”
        Jacobs, another lefty self hating Jew (just read her web-site) appears to be more concerned about a handful of bad Israeli’s receiving some support then the thousands of Israelis killed and maimed by REAL Muslim Arab terrorists. It’s no wonder why there still isn’t peace in the mid-east when you have such delusional idealists fermenting their own form of antisemitism.

        “Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg who authored the 1943 book, “Devil and the Jews”.
        Bigotry is a hallmark of Zionist Jews – Shalom.”
        Was another wacko reform rabbi who believed in cults and magic and all sorts of sorcerer things that are clearly forbidden in Judaism.

        Why you scrape the bottom of the intelligence barrel for your sources is beyond me. There are thousands of more reputable resources out there that completely debunk your conspiracy theories. I guess you just read what matches your belief.

  19. Laurie Knightly February 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    To summarize the drift here: The contemporary Palestinians are responsible for actions of all countries with a Muslim population – at least back to the 7th century. They led the Ottoman Empire, for instance, and were also in control of European Colonialism – including retroactively. They must atone for Hitler’s crimes and deserve to lose their homeland as a result. All dissension in the ME happens through their directives and military/political power. The Palestinians wanted Jews in Arab countries to be exiled to Palestine. The more, the better.That’s why they issued those orders aided with the help of aliyah pressures/threats – like the Lavon affair. Sure, Israel has made some mistakes; nobody’s perfect. And the Palestinians deserve a home…..somewhere, but certainly not in their own land.

    As the subject of this blog is global justice in general, and we are addressing Israel and Palestine in particular, we were about to hear how Israel has contributed to the resolution of the injustice done there. I cannot see how teaching 64 women in Katmandu how to become beekeepers has helped this issue. Ditto for a nutrient powder in the porridge of people in Vanuatu. Richard can be forgiven for not mentioning these impressive contributions to peace. I’m not speaking of the difference this enormous aid created in those countries while they diverted the food, aid, water, and mobility in Palestine.

    I feel a bit apprehensive about this system of justice. I could return home one day to find that my home has been given to the Yazidis and the dwellings of my relatives demolished due to my resistance. This would be because of what the British did in India for which I am now being held responsible. See how this works?

    As to the Nobel Prize, who represents the control group? It’s Jews as opposed to everyone else lumped together? And Obama gets the peace prize for what was that again? And is he black or white? Is my son an Italian or a Scot like me? I hope that all the successes of Israeli Jews, however, will enable them to soon get off international welfare subsidies.

    Yes, I know what shiksa really means [dirty unclean animal] and what the Talmud and Torah really espouse – via Israel Shahak et al. The 3 Semitic religions are a disgrace to a human ethic guide. Gene referred to ‘tenants’ instead of tenets. His spelling, however, is how the Talmud sees non-Jews. And we often hear the term ‘Islamaphobia’. A phobia is irrational and criticism of Islam is not. As to Kata, you might also be interested in seeing the video of Apostolic Faith Church members in paroxysms of ‘holy laughter’ with Pastor Rodney Browne. They roll on the ground and in this cackling frenzy, babble in tongues, and lose all control. Am I to respect this? Or Armageddon? Or the lavish expenditures of the Vatican? People willing to kill each other over who was Mohammad’s successor? Wouldn’t he have named one if that was his preference?

    • ray032 February 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

      I’m sure this link will drive Fred, Harvey, Ira and Aaron into a frenzy!
      THE JEWS OF IRAQ
      by Naeim Giladi

      I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives
      from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.”
      I write about it because I was part of it.

      http://www.inminds.com/jews-of-iraq.html

    • Kata Fisher February 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

      Laurie,

      I know who Rodney Browne is / was back in 80’s – I heard about him, and did see what his ministry looks like – all that was in Antispirit all over congregations.

      I understand what you are saying because that has what I heard pastors that were the @ study saying @ LU most of the time. However, they were so confused about that whole Church Doctrine.

      I personly observed US Church (Catholic to Evangelical perspective) – I was at LU for four years – even before I did study there, I was well aware of false church-charismatic practices – but did not understand other heretical schisms before that.

      However, US church has little or no clue what valid Church-Charismatic Order is.

      This is what I understand:

      Even Catholics – in their US movements are not having authentic Roman-Catholic-Charismatic-Church Order. It’s nothing like where I come from.

      A priest from my hometown is genuine Church-Charismatic in spiritual gifts of an Evangelist.

      Here in US – I personly observed some of them (In US Catholic Church) – while I did not find them of grave harm – I still had a concern that they are not in actual authenticity-practices because they let lay-people mull around with Sacramental Order and Practices.

      Although, a lot of the Church is in a direct spiritual attack by that – and also leaves Church-Catholic due to that.

      Folks in that Anti-Spirit anointing and no valid sacrament before that – have a difficult time sticking around the Church Chaotic and Euharistical Tables, and similar … and they are actually spiritually excommunicated by that, as well.

      We do not know if they or their descendent will ever come back to the Church after a “Satanic confirmation.” That is exactly what it is because my local Church gives reference to those as “đavolska korizma / Satanic confirmation/charisma” – I remember my fathers brother wife always was saying when something is bad that it is “đavolska korizma” as well as old prist/s did when they talked about evil.

      I did see enough of heretical charisma within the US – and I believe is one with Toronto movement … Before current one’s.

      This things are scary, and especially scary, when you understand what all those things actually are..

      If you like me, too show you videos of “Satanic confirmation/charisma” – I can do that:

      • Aaron February 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

        What does this have to do with Ban Ki Moon?

      • Kata Fisher February 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

        Aaron,

        It has nothing to do with Ban Ki Moon.

        It is continuation of the thread that is relevant for Laurie’s questions that she had for me.

        It may be relevant for human rights abuses, and with that relevant for anyone. Its illegal spiritual abuse of members and nonmembers to the Church Orders and practices.

      • Aaron February 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

        Kata, perhaps you should start a brand new thread so that your group can follow that easier?

      • ray032 February 16, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

        Kata, did you write this yesterday or some imposter?

        Kata Fisher February 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

        Ray, I absolutely will think about what I said. I already do regret that I do not keep my promises. Also, I do agree that I should go about Church-charismatic practice in private.

        Please leave your church charismatic tongue and language for your charismatic church. You cannot use church charismatic terminology with secular people. It does not compute.

        I have an abiding Faith in the Eternal God and I can’t understand your copious quantity of church charismatic language.

      • Kata Fisher February 16, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

        Aaron,
        I do not think that I should start a brand new thread so that my group can follow easier .. I have no group, nor can claim authority over group/ one’s conscience based on the subjects that are civil-ecclesiastical relevant. Why would you suggest that? I do not feel mature enough to do that.

      • Kata Fisher February 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

        Laurie,

        Further about Rodney Browne, the adorable…

        I look at this – and the end of his ministry laying of the hands is nothing that was before. People are actually NOT jumping around and laughing – there is almost a complete order. This looks much more to that what actually authentic Church-Charismatic orderly practice actually is – and it seems to me that he personally has overcome Anti-spirit. I think that that could be interestingly very important to the corporate US Church-charismatic, as well.

        You can look at the end of the video; that is where he prayed over folks lays hands after that.

        Also, I have seen some other videos of him – leading folks into end services prayers. They look just fine to me – still all far from perfect Church Order and Practices Charismatic that actually should be.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      Ms. Knightly,

      With all due respect to Prof. Falk, who praised your thumbnail sketch of Palestinian-Israeli history, I must note that it contains several serious errors. I’ll cite only two:

      1. It’s misleading to say that Zionists “conquered” Palestine, citing Israeli military and paramilitary organizations to illustrate your point. The historical record shows that throughout most of the pre-statehood era of Zionist pioneering, a period of more than a half century, the Jewish newcomers purchased almost every inch of the land on which they settled. But as at least half the land belonged to absentee owners, the resident Palestinians, who were essentially tenant farmers in a feudal system, were victimized by losing their fields and homes to Jewish immigrants who had come to settle and work the land. The Zionists, for their part, acted in full compliance with local laws and customs.

      This is not to say that they had spotlessly clean hands. They didn’t! Their failing, which was a serious error of omission, was to turn a blind eye on the Palestinians whose lives they were disrupting. For the first three decades of Israeli statehood, this fact was buried in a national narrative that depicted the newcomers as being totally good and the Palestinians as being totally evil (as in the book and movie Exodus). This fantasy was demolished in the 1980’s by a small group of historians, called the “new historians”—Benny Morris, Tom Segev, Ilan Pepe and others— who used an expanding inventory of available documents to illustrate the newcomers’ indifference to Palestinians plight. The best and most accessible example of this new perspective is Ari Shavit’s book, “My Promised Land”.

      The Hagana was the primary military arm of the Yishuv, as the Jewish community in pre-state Palestine was called. It emerged in the early 1920’s from a process of consolidation involving a number of small self-defense organizations that had begun nearly two decades earlier. It’s purpose was not conquest. It was defending Jews from Palestinians who, caught in a political/economic system that left them powerless, understandably, perhaps inevitably, resorted to violence.

      In contradistinction, the Irgun and Lehi (aka Stern Gang) were paramilitary organizations that employed terrorism. These, too, were revealed by the new historians, who challenged that national narrative that omitted mention of them, or minimalized the extent of their activity. That question remains a topic of scholarly (and political!) debate. High estimates are proposed by those who want to depict the Zionists as a greedy, blood thirsty cabal; low estimates are proposed by those who want to paint the opposite picture. As with many things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Only three facts seem certain: 1. Their total membership was never large. 2. Both groups were strongly opposed by the Yishuv’s central government. 3. The groups’ contribution to Israel’s becoming a state was small.

      2. The role of Jewish religion in the Israeli national ethos and society.

      It’s difficult for many non-Jews to understand that Jewish identity is a different category of being than Christian identity. Christianity is a religion to which people who identify themselves as Christians subscribe, albeit at varying levels of intensity. Judaism—that is, Jewish religion—is only one aspect of Jewish experience, which also includes secular components. The phrase “Christian atheist” is an oxymoron. But there are many Jewish atheists, many of whom fully participate in the Jewish experience. There’s no totally adequate word that defines the Jewish collective, but “peoplehood” is generally accepted among English speakers.

      I offer this nutshell (I said “nutshell”, not “nutcase”) analysis of Jewish identity in response to Ms. Knightly’s understandable confusion over how references to the Bible, prophetic ethics, etc do not presage the emergence of an Israeli theocracy. Fact is that only a small percentage of Israel’s population is religiously observant to an extent that they would favor the State becoming a theocracy. And none of these people is in the Government. Menahem Begin was the only Israeli prime minister one could call “religious”, and he in no way governed according to the Torah and Talmud.
      Those who warn that Israel will become a theocracy either don’t understand the situation or are deliberately distorting it in order to turn opinion against Israel.

      The phrase “Jewish State” describes a society which reflects Jewish values, and in which the Jewish majority has a special role. Finding a balance between this objective and creating a democracy for all of its citizens is no easy task. But to be frank, Prof. Falk’s inaccurate description of alleged suffering inflicted on Palestinian citizens of Israel obscures—I’m afraid deliberately—the extent to which this balance is being achieved on a daily basis. Arabic is one of Israel’s two official languages. Palestinian Israelis have franchise in both national and local elections. They have a government supported school system with mandatory education through high school. (The separate school system exists by mutual agreement). Palestinian students attend the Hebrew University and other institutions of higher education. Palestinians are treated in Israeli hospitals, and serve as doctors and nurses on the hospital’s staff. Do Palestinians enjoy full social, economic and cultural equality? No. Does the average Palestinian receive the same benefits from the government as his/her Jewish counterpart? No. But Israel is by no means the Apartheid state Prof. Falk claims it to be.

      3. One final word, responding not to this comment but to the one you posted today. I find that much of that comment reflects a stream-of-consciousness mindset temporarily out of control. But I find one statement to be outrageous to the point of being depressing: You write, “I know what the Talmud and Torah really espouse – via Israel Shahak et al.” Really??? You may have read some, perhaps all of the Torah. It’s only five books. But how much of the Talmud have you read? I’m not raising Fred Skolnik’s objection about not understanding the Aramaic language in which it’s written. The Talmud is available in English…all six huge volumes of it. Have you read even one page? One sentence? One word? And you get it all from Israel Shahak, an extremely controversial figure whose field is more politics than Talmud and whose authority in your eyes rests not on his scholarship but on the fact that his perspective agrees with yours.

      Ms. Knightly, I don’t agree with many of your opinions. But they usually reflect familiarity with the subject. But with this one, you shoot yourself in the foot.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Harvey Epstein February 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

        Rebbe, just a short comment about the Talmud : don’t you think that before she starts to read it that she should first take a course on how to read it? My temple has a book on that.

        Regards

      • Fred Skolnik February 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

        To clarify the subject of land purchases and the displacement of Arab fellahin, I would recommend reading Moshe Aumann’s well-documented “Land Ownership in Palestine, 1880-1948,” as well as noting the following:

        “In those instances where as a result of such transactions Arab
        tenant-farmers were displaced (on one year’s notice), compensation
        in cash or other land was paid, as required by the 1922 Protection
        of Cultivators Ordinance; the Jewish land-buying associations often
        paid more than the law required (Pollack and Boehm, The Keren
        Kayemeth Le-Israel). Of 688 such tenants between 1920 and
        1930, 526 remained in agricultural occupations, some 400 of them
        finding other land (Palestine Royal Commission Report , 1937,
        Chapter 9, para. 61).”

  20. rehmat1 February 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    Just a note……..

    Brazilian president Dilma Vana Rousseff who refused to accept Israel’s new ambassador, Danny Dayan, an illegal Jewish settler in the West Bank, blessed the very first Palestinian embassy in Brasilia last week.

    The embassy building resembles the famous Dome of the Rock in the Jewish occupied East Jerusalem. It was built by Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan in 691-92 CE. Embassy is built on the piece of land donated to Palestinian Authority by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a close friend of former Iranian president Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/02/09/brazil-gets-palestine-embassy/

    • Aaron February 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

      Danny Dayan, cannot be illegal since he isn’t a settler. He lives in his ancient homeland.

      Since you refer to him as “Jewish” then I can only assume you support Palestinian apartheid which denies the rights of Jewish residents to live in Judea, Samaria and Gush Katif.

      • rehmat1 February 17, 2016 at 5:34 am #

        So you believe it’s legal for the Western Christians to force your ancestors to hang a sign around their necks, say: “I’m the BASTARD who killed your Lord!!”.

    • Kata Fisher February 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      Rehmat1:

      It is nothing wrong with that an observer state has Embassy – Vatican has it, Palestine can have Faith based observer state and has Faith Embassies all over. I see no problem to all that.

      Dear Ray,

      In fact, that was no Imposter posting it – it was I/me – just the Church next door. I am human, I give myself a lot of brakes! I even enjoy my mistakes… I feel very comfy in my human? Do I have to excuse myself? I do not feel and think that I should do that.

      But I will explain:

      I brainstorm and write – I am not sure how much of another language-thing is to all of that because I never did realise that. Do you think that my communication is too Fragmented? It could be. I perfectly understand Church Charismatic Doctrine and Old Church / First Generation of the Church Traditions. DO I keep them all? Absolutely not!

      Then, I would like to go about this:

      Laurie has legitimate concerns, and often she says things that are pointing to some relevant realities. I will respond to that. Further, she complained about taxes – and I hope that I will use this thread to go about that – not in another one.

      Since Theology Professor read it and proofread it (I believe for doctrinal mistakes) this – I take it from doctrinal perspective to be safe (in public to pass on to another person in Biblical Application/Application of the Scripture) just as it is in private setting (it is for Laurie in my personal understanding / some reffrrence inculded perspective – so she can look and maybe she finds relevant things that she learned as well from her readings of the Scripture):

      First a note for Laurie: The context in which Paul writes is under Cezar Government & contemporarily context is different – in references to your direct questions: Taxes to the Government and then to the Church: Christian Perspective (in Order).

      Further Cezar Government = Cezar Government – we have another context, contemporarily..

      Its a lot – so you may pick specifics – but I think that it should stay in this context that I originally went about.

      In Roman’s chapter 12, Apostle Paul gives servile instructions to the Church in Rome. When we come to chapter 13, part of that instruction is to submit to governing authorities. Douglass Moo writes that there are two reasons why to submit: Because of ordinance of God and justice.[1] Thomas Schreiner adds, “Believers express their commitment to God in how they relate to rulers and the law of the state.[2] He is affirming to the Roman Church that all authorities that exist are appointed by God, because God himself is the only valid authority, so it is He who appointed those authorities in the first place. When there is a rebellion against God appointed authorities, there is a direct rebellion against God, and that rebellion against the authority of God will be met with an appropriate judgment of God (v. 1-2). Then, Paul is teaching about the function of authorities that are appointed by God, which includes an arrangement of social order and social justice. Nevertheless, throughout the Scripture, whether God was using the Nation of Israel to accomplish His will in the world, He was equally using the pagan governments to accomplish His will on the earth. While God used different nations for different purposes, He still was in full authority over them, because all humanity is His creation, whether Jews or Gentiles. Paul instructs both Jews and Gentiles in the Church of Rome to submit to authorities, because they are appointed to administer both good and evil (v.3-4). Paul instructs the Church in Rome to be obedient to the will of God, and submit to authorities, not only because of the fear of judgment, but also because of retaining a healthy conscience. Paul teaches that appointed authorities are there to continuously meet the needs of society; that is, its social order and social justice, and because their work is parallel with will of God, they shall receive God’s providence for their work in society (v.5—6). In verse 7 Paul summarizes Christian responsibility to the civil authority: “Render therefore to all their due: taxes whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor whom honor.” Nevertheless, Paul is teaching that you do not owe anything, but you do it out of love for another. With that, Paul starts teaching the commandments of God, according to the Old Testament.
      Compare to Jesus’ statements regarding one’s responsibility to government.

      In the Gospel’s we read that Christ Jesus was challenged by Pharisees who sent their disciples with Herodians to test Christ and ask him if is lawful to pay taxes to Cesar. They wanted to know if it is lawful to pay the taxes to the Gentile-ruler over them. Christ understanding their way of hypocrisy, asks them to show him the money with which they pay taxes. When they did, He asks them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render therefore to the Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22.16—21; Mark 12.13—17; Luke 20. 20—26).
      According to Paul’s summary, therefore we see that, both Christ Jesus and Paul are teaching the Gospel according to Revelation in the Old Testament. If there are taxes to pay, it is to be paid according to the laws of the governments, to King or to the rulers. If there are customs, what kind of customs is there to be observed? Even fear those who are to be feared. Honor who is to be honored; therefore, Christ is teaching, to the disciples of Pharisees and Herodians, pretty much to figure out that which belongs to Caesar and must be given to him, and that which belongs to God and must be rendered unto Him. Disciples of Pharisees and Herodians would be familiar with Old Testament teaching and would know what is written.

      What is the precedent of the early church in the book of Acts in regard to obedience to government?
      According to the Book of Acts, disciples ware called to fulfill the requirements of their Commissions, and so they preached the Gospel as the Spirit moved them, both to Jews and to the Gentiles. Therefore, disciples were consistently dealing with Jewish Leadership and Gentile governments, as they preached the Gospels. Paul, however, gives an example of a submitted life when he was dealing with the Roman government. Paul also claimed his Roman citizenship (by birth) when he was about to receive lashes; but only to inform Romans solders (who acquired Roman citizenship with a large sum) that it may be illegal for Romans to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and has not been brought to a trial. Nevertheless, when Paul was brought in front of Ananias (who was a high priest, and Paul did not know that) has also harshly rebuked Ananias for breaking the Law, but he likewise was rebuked by Ananias because Paul started to curse Ananias, for Paul found him braking the Law. Nevertheless, when the Jewish conspiracy continued against him, that pushed Paul to deal with Roman government, Paul also appealed to Caesar (Acts 22-24). But in Philippians we learn that Paul also was converting the household of Caesar, (Paul was in Rome when he wrote the letter to the Philippians), and while he was submitted to the Cesar’s government (ch.4 v. 22). Nevertheless, Paul turned and judged the Elymas, the false prophet, Jewish magician Bar-Jesus, who interfered with Paul’s teaching of the Gospel to the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus, when he was on his first missionary journey (Acts 13. 4—12). Paul instructed young Timothy to pray and give thanks to God for rulers and others in authority, so that there is a quiet and peaceful living (1 Timothy 2.1—2).

      How do we apply these biblical principles today?
      “Render therefore to the Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” according to the Gospel. Paul teaches submission in his letters. Submission is a powerful spiritual warfare against evil forces, because Christ Himself was submitted, and His submission had the power to crush Satan’s power for all ages. When we think about that which Apostle Paul is teaching, it is clear that Paul himself was one according to Christ, giving an example of Christ. Nevertheless, submission is a humbling for human nature, and it is not welcomed at all, because human nature rebels against ordinance of God. When one is not submitted to will of God, that person was not humbled and that person’s faith is built on a shaking grounds.
      Paul in general teaches submission, simply because the submission is an ordinance that God requires. God Himself is a God of order, in fact a perfect order. God in His creative design has established an orderly humanity and it was good; however, when humanity fell under sin, that governing order that was established was violated and was lost among humanity. With that, God has used few individuals to partially direct social orders, which was lost. Because His supreme governance included different accomplishments in the world, He then (according to His will and plan), allowed for different functions of the governments which He established, for rule over the humanity. While Christianity is only required to obey God, the same Christianity will submit to even evil government by faith, or will be delivered from evil governments, by faith.
      What Paul is referring to in Roman’s 13 is more for sake of keeping the social order (according to the will of God and purpose). Christianity, in general does not fall under any earthly laws or governments, nor does owe, nor is to owe anything to anyone but love, butis there to assist governments in their dealings within societies, for it is ultimately God’s dealing which are being accomplished, according to His plans.

      Blessings,
      According to the Gospel teaching and the teaching of Paul, the submission to the government as a ruler of society primarily honors God, because He Himself appointed those rulers to administrate both good and evil. Now, when Paul is speaking about responsibility to pay taxes, he is referring to the submission to the social order within the society; that is, recognizing appointed governments for their work in society. And if we carful read Romans chapter 13, Paul connects love and the commandments in the context of tax-dues. Christians owe nor are to owe nothing including (taxes) to anyone, but only love; therefore, out of charity and keeping God’s commandments, taxes are paid without complaints and foremost out of love. While Christianity out of love will give abundantly to the governments in order for them to administer without lacking resources, the same Christianity may not consider a government much effective in their administration and providence or wordy of any respect. So it is only God whom we honor when we give for others to receive, as citizens, as rulers; it is always a way of charity, for Christianity. Because it is irrelevant for Christianity what government does when comes to their earthly social order and justice; it is no doubt that God is in full authority over that. God uses governments to deal with people, and trough the governments he can allow both good and evil upon a society. So, “Render therefore to all their due: taxes whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor whom honor,” as Paul said in Romans.
      Almost at finishing line🙂
      It has been a rocky for me this semester, but I am pressing on :)! Without Joy and Peace; it is impossible to keep up.
      Blessings😉
      BIBLIOGRAPHY
      Moo, Douglas J. Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002
      Schreiner, Thomas R. Romans: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998.
      [1] Moo, Douglas J. Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002
      [2] Schreiner, Thomas R. Romans: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

      Aaron,

      I can’t tell who’s worse, you or rehmat 1.

      Not everybody with whom you disagree is a “wacko.” Most are not. To allege they are is a cheap put-down that hurts you more than the targets of your animus.

      Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg’s “The Devil and the Jews” is an important piece of Jewish scholarship that identifies and analyzes satanic elements that have crept into, and then departed from mainstream Judaism over the centuries.

      It’s been a long time since I read Rabbi Gunther Plaut’s “The Man Who Would Be Messiah” and don’t remember its contents in any detail. I agree it’s highly unlikely that Plaut wrote that Frankist Jews committed a Holocaust, as rehmat1 alleges. Even if they wanted to—and there’s no evidence that they did—they lacked the manpower and materiel to try. On the other hand, the book is a work of fiction which makes no scholarly pretenses to analyzing the place of Frankism in Jewish history.

      Finally, Rabbi Jill Jacobs is not a self-hating Jew. A left-winger, yes. At times extreme and even irresponsible in her statements, yes. But she speaks from a passion for justice in the tradition of biblical prophecy’s commitment to “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.”

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Aaron February 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

        Rabbi,
        It’s 2 AM

        Allow me to get some much needed shuteye and I’ll try to respond tomorrow.

        Laila tov……

      • Aaron February 17, 2016 at 11:34 am #

        Ok Ira,

        Allow me to comment below yours below:

        “Aaron,

        I can’t tell who’s worse, you or rehmat 1.”

        Oh please G-D, don’t compare us. Mea culpa if I miss-communicated!!

        “Not everybody with whom you disagree is a “wacko.” Most are not. To allege they are is a cheap put-down that hurts you more than the targets of your animus.”
        However this is my personal opinion of those I referred to. Sleeping in bed with holocaust deniers in Tehran makes them wacko in my book.

        “Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg’s “The Devil and the Jews” is an important piece of Jewish scholarship that identifies and analyzes satanic elements that have crept into, and then departed from mainstream Judaism over the centuries.”
        Except can you tell me how pervasive this whole subject is in reality? Rehmat cherry picks onesie twosies to help build his argument which is completely without merit.

        “It’s been a long time since I read Rabbi Gunther Plaut’s “The Man Who Would Be Messiah” and don’t remember its contents in any detail. I agree it’s highly unlikely that Plaut wrote that Frankist Jews committed a Holocaust, as rehmat1 alleges. Even if they wanted to—and there’s no evidence that they did—they lacked the manpower and materiel to try. On the other hand, the book is a work of fiction which makes no scholarly pretenses to analyzing the place of Frankism in Jewish history.”
        Exactly my point. Rehmat take Plaut’s writings and converts it into dogma.

        “Finally, Rabbi Jill Jacobs is not a self-hating Jew. A left-winger, yes. At times extreme and even irresponsible in her statements, yes. But she speaks from a passion for justice in the tradition of biblical prophecy’s commitment to “Doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.””
        Well in my opinion, Jews such as her (I refer to her actions re Israel only) who do harm to our State have to hate being Jewish because she can’t accept that HER Israel can be different then that of the majority of her fellow tribesmen.

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

        Just so that neither of you will be taken in by rehmet. It isn’t as if he’s actually read the books he cites. What he does is to find a review or some quote on the Internet, generally on some I Hate Israel site, and pass it off as the product of his own reading. He tried that once with Hitti’s History of the Arabs so I took a quick look in my copy and realized that he hadn’t even read that. You are dealing with a total fraud.

      • Richard Falk February 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

        This is the sort of personal insult that strays across the line of acceptability, even given my bias against deletion, but I am
        allowing it to stand because it is tied to a real substantive assertion, although coupled with a typically opinionated assessment–I
        am never wrong, and you are never right.

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

        What is opinionated about stating the fact that this debased individual with his hate-filled remarks directed at Jews does not even read the books he cites, as is obvious to anyone who follows his links.

  21. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 16, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    Harvey,

    You’re in pedagogic mode, first with Gene and now with Laurie. Regarding Gene, perhaps you should honor his request to leave him alone. If he says he’s no longer a Jew, we should accept it with gratitude and relief!

    I very much admire your intelligence, wisdom and gentle persuasiveness. Your clients over the years have assuredly benefited from having you as their attorney.

    Enjoy your synagogue’s book on the Talmud, but don’t allow it to overly distract you from the wonderful things you have to see and do in Colorado.

    B’vracha,

    Ira

    • Gene Schulman February 17, 2016 at 3:10 am #

      Ira,

      It is people like you who influenced my decision to separate myself “the tribe”!

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 3:56 am #

        Not embittered, Gene? Not bristling with resentments? Just full of bonhomie, aren’t you? You are apparently another Walker Percy.

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 4:46 am #

        I’m not trying to goad you, Gene, though you certainly invite it, but what normal person repudiates his identity – national, ethnic, tribal, religious, whatever you want to call it – because he has come across five, ten or even a thousand kinsmen, out of millions, who are not to his liking? What normal person?

      • Gene Schulman February 17, 2016 at 7:50 am #

        For those who care about such things, I have not repudiated my identity. There has never been such identity to repudiate. As Sartre, in one of his more interesting essays says, it is the outsider who makes the mistake of identifying the Jew. Indeed, I have never considered myself a Jew, nor adherent to any religion.

        I am not the least bit embittered.

      • Aaron February 17, 2016 at 11:11 am #

        Unfortunately for you, you still would have fried in the Camps because your distinction about who you are was completely irrelevant to the Nazi’s. and for today’s anti-Semites out there…not much different.

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 8:11 am #

        Then what are you “separating” yourself from? I wouldn’t think of separating myself from something that doesn’t adhere to me, such as Frenchness, for example. And try as you will, it is Judaism that is the religion, which is observed by some, not Jewishness, which is a national identity in a Jewish national state and an ethnic identity where the Jews are a minority, like Italian Americans and Irish Americans as opposed to Italians and Irishmen living in their own national states. You are bending over backwards to deny the Jews a national identity, which they had before they had a religious identity, and have tangled yourself up in nonsense even at a syntactic level.

    • Harvey Epstein February 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

      Ira,

      Thanks for your kind comments.

      Prior to your note, I felt that future efforts with Gene might be harmful to his psyche and that is not my style, so I was finished with him. Like you, I now accept him at his word and am relieved that he is no longer a Jew.

      As to Laurie, I do not recall ever having directly responded to anything she has had to say ( but my memory could be faulty on this) nor do I ever intend to.. My point was: just in case she ever did try to read the Talmud, you and I both know that it takes a bit of “getting used to”, and a primer on what to expect is best first resorted to. If she did read any portion of it ( which I doubt will ever happen), I wanted her not to be confused, frustrated and just cast it aside.

      As to my time in Colorado, I have 6 very young grandchildren within 15 minutes of me, so you don’t have to guess how joyous a life I lead. The rest of them I have to fly to get to.

      And I do recognize that Rebbes are usually better psychologists than we poor lawyers. And even with lawyers.

      Warmest regards

  22. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 16, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    rehmat1,

    I honestly don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Please try again.

    My objection is not to your quoting Jews who criticize Israel. If you check Google, you’ll probably find a few critical quotes of mine.

    I don’t consider any of the rabbis you mention to be anti-Semites.

    What I do find objectionable is your culling the internet for every quote from Jewish sources that you think might be harmful to Jews and then throwing them into every one of your comments whether or not they’re on topic. Generally, they’re not. And also your proclivity for identifying every Jew, which is a racial profiling in the blogosphere.

    One question: you refer to my late friend and teacher Gunther Plaut as “my Toronto rabbi”. Are/were you a member of Holy Blossom Synagogue?

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  23. Aaron February 17, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Interesting that Falk allows this personal attack against me through yet deletes my “scholarly” commentary on issues and merits.

    • Richard Falk February 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      I am not sure what attack you are referring to..I try my best to be inclusive,
      and have only been deleting those comments that stray far across the line of insult and incivility.
      You have been, in my reading, more ‘belligerent’ than ‘scholarly.’

      • Aaron February 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

        He called me a moron

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

        There was also one of his repulsive references to brains between the legs.

  24. Laurie Knightly February 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    Looks like the same theater piece is happening all over again – same actors, same roles. Now playing the coda once more. My cue is again the land one – if you remember from last time, the Z boys had a frenzy. I will retract my last percentage claim regarding the approximate 6% of land owned by Jews in 1947. This is irrelevant to what subsequently happened. All of Palestine was/is Palestine. A tiny minority religious group cannot claim regional ownership nor can the UN, UK, US nor any other entity offer the land to a phony diaspora population living throughout the world; but they did so. Albeit there are about 100 pages of documents regarding the land transfer, save your energy. The Zionists declared null and void the British Mandate and Ottoman Land Laws. Nothing else to discuss. Again, a reminder – all this can be scapegoated on the backs of the indigenous Palestinian population. Whatever conflicting arguments exist concerning land ownership, however, one factor is certain. The land did not belong to the Jewhadis throughout the world who took opportunistic advantage of a pathetic situation. This does not include authentic holocaust survivors who deserved to live anywhere of their choosing and receive their own deserved reparations as individuals – which they mostly did not.

    A possibility is that ISIL might be trying the same game. The could declare null and void the Sykes/Picot, step up their call for co-religionist combatants throughout the world and ‘redeem’ their land. An Islamic State has the same validity as a Judaic State – and make that Eretz. If stories/photos of their beheading policy are circulated, they could publicize deeds like the Dawayima Massacre where children were killed by smashing their heads with sticks. I do recommend the writings of Jonathan Ofir. If I start to feel nauseated by some comments, I watch a video like Chomsky and Shahak at MIT on Jewish Fundamentalism. We also have some impressive local rabbis here who are honest and candid. This history would be very deficient without the input of Jews with a conscience.

    To Z Boys: Don’t bother to attack me or make any recommendations. Your comments tell me all I need to know about you; I bore easily and don’t value your opinions. I’ve heard it all before and it’s right there in the handbook. Also, I was fortunate to spend some time with Rabbi Elmer Berger in NY during the 80’s and was made aware of the original Talmud/Torah – not the public version. I try never to have heroes but guys like Berger make it tough. If these ‘sacred’ writings are worthy, why have Reformed Judaism? Don’t answer!

    Kata: I have never asked for your opinions on religion or anything else. If I said candidly what I think of your religion and ramblings, it would rival Ray for contemptuous description.

    Gene, I do hope you’ll return. There is no need to address any moser insults – personal or political. From now on, I will not respond to any comments from the Z boys nor Kata. I want that to be clear……… would you care to join me?
    I only wanted to use them for my discussion groups as examples of …………….{censored]

    • Gene Schulman February 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

      Laurie, I shall return, and follow your precepts as outlined here and in your personal correspondence to me elsewhere. You are one of the sanest and best informed commenters on this blog. I shall be happy to support your ideas. I shall ignore the ignoramuses and make neutral, factual comments that will send them home with their tails between there legs.
      Thanks for the invitation. Right now it’s way past my bed time.

      Richard, I’ve been browsing through Waiting for Rainbows. You are consistently sensitive from youth through old age.

      “Those cunning priests, conspiring with grace, embalming the dream as if a vision masterful in deceit, and persuasive with gold.” (punctuation added)

    • Harvey Epstein February 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

      Fred,

      I just indicated to Ira that I never planned on responding to anything that Laurie said. But the “public version” of the Talmud/Torah, the right of “…authentic holocaust survivors who deserved to live anywhere of their choosing (meaning in Israel, too?)” really need to be addressed. I can’t write to her, but perhaps you can, you bad Z boy.

      One of my very best friends’ holocaust survivor parents were on a boat that was going from Europe to the yet to be declared Israeli State. At the insistence of the “indigenous” Muslims, but not the “indigenous” Jews, it was prevented from landing by the British. After the original 4,000 passengers died off to @2,000, all of those remaining holocaust survivors were allowed to land. That ship was stopped within swimming distance of the shore. So tell me, under the theory of Laurie, didn’t the “indigenous” Muslims bear some of the responsibility for that one boat mini-holocaust? 2,000 died; about the same number as are alleged to have been killed in Gaza in 2014, and many of those were Hamas fighters.

      Regards

      • Fred Skolnik February 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

        Good morning, Harvey

        Laurie’s understanding of land transactions in the Land of Israel is as relevant and informed as her understanding of land transactions in Imperial China. The brave announcement that they will no longer reply to us is just a hedge that will enable them to run away when one of their unfounded assertions explodes in their faces.

        There are really just two simple Arab declarations that are the key to the conflict and you can be sure that not Laurie, not Gene, and not Prof. Falk will want to be reminded of them:

        “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions” (Azzam Pasha, Arab League Secretary-General, Sept. 1947)

        “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Quran its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief” (Hamas Charter, Art. 8)

      • Kata Fisher February 17, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

        Fred, I do not know about that. That just does not seem to be right. That seems more like doctrine of Stone Age. Let’s just wave white flags about dead-end doctrine.

      • Gene Schulman February 18, 2016 at 1:43 am #

        Somebody (was it Fred?) up this stream of posts suggested that Israel’s reason for removing its Bedouin population was the altruistic goal of dragging these benighted people into the 21st century. Good luck:

        http://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2013/07/23/bedouins-face-mass-eviction/

      • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 2:20 am #

        To be serious for a moment, Gene, since you are not being serious but just tossing around accusations that you pick up uncritically from your usual sources and which give you what you spend so much time looking for, Israel’s attempt to urbanize a semi-nomadic Bedouin population that traditonally does not respect boundaries and poaches wherever it wants to is no different from the effort being made by Arab countries throughout the Middle East to solve the problem. It is natural that there will be a certain amount of resistance but you would have to know a lot more than you do to make judgments about how wisely Israel is dealing with the problem. In any case, it is a lot more humane than the way China moves around millions of people and I somehow doubt that this troubles you in the least. I would also expect a humanist like yourself to say a few words about Russia’s recent hospital bombings in Syria, with maybe a reference to a Counterpunch article, though of course Counterpunch doesn’t deal with Russian atrocities.

      • Gene Schulman February 18, 2016 at 4:30 am #

        I always find it interesting that when one challenges the statements made by these hasbara trolls, they always seem to divert the discussion to some atrocity taking place in another part of the world – China, Russia, Syria – as though that exonerates Israel from all guilt. We don’t even know, for example, that Russia bombed those hospitals. They say they didn’t. Meanwhile we do know that the US and Turkey were bombing in the same area at the same time. And we also know that Israel bombs Gaza with clockwork regularity.

      • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 4:53 am #

        The point of mentioning the atrocities that you are silent about is to suggest that there is something hypocritical and insincere about singling out Israel as the world’s great transgressor in the face of the real genocides that are occuring right under your nose and about which you are totally indifferent.

        As for bombing Gaza, this is a legal and legitimate response to the terrorist rocket attacks. If civilians are killed it is because Hamas fires their rockets from in and around hospitals, clinics, schools, playgrounds, mosques and residential buildings,

  25. ray032 February 18, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Gershon Baskin, along with Gideon Levy and the Professor, are among the Jews most despised by Israelis. The reaction to Baskin is worse than the attacks launched against Ban Ki-Moon for expressing sympathy and understanding for the plight of the Palestinian people suffering under a brutal 48 year Israeli Military Dictatorship for the 1st time in his term as UNSG. It will be the Jubilee of the Dictatorship in just 2 years.

    Reading Gershon Baskin’s column in today’s Jerusalem Post makes simple common sense to me. He never gets support, only disparaging comments, yet he soldiers on, week after week.

    Am I alone in seeing the need to recognize the common humanity of Jews and Palestinians? Netanyahu wants to build more walls to keep out what he describes as the Palestinian ‘beasts.’

    The references by the majority of commentators in The JP describing Palestinians in terms worse than the Nazis described Jews, guarantee an even worse Future for both Jews and Arabs.

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Encountering-Peace-Palestinian-suffering-makes-no-sense-for-Israel-445285

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 18, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      Whoa, Ray

      In the Jerusalem Post column you cite, Gershom Baskin places blame on both the Israelis and Palestinians. To suggest, as you do, that he blames only the Israelis distorts his consistent message for many years. Indeed, most of the pro-Israel posters on this blog hold the same perspective. It is the moderator and his followers, yourself included, who deny any Palestinian culpability.

      You say that Gershom Baskin is among the most hated Israelis. From where do you get your information? Can you cite an opinion poll? His columns, including this one, are published in the Jerusalem Post, which is a right-wing newspaper. Doesn’t this discredit your claim that the Israeli press is not a free press, an accusation you make because the Jerusalem Post doesn’t publish all your submissions and fails to notify you when it doesn’t?

      More objectionable is your allegation that “the majority of commentators in The JP describe Palestinians in terms worse than the Nazis described Jews.” This is pure and outrageous slander. If you disagree, please cite some examples to support your case. The Nazis described Jews as “life unworthy of living” and pursued genocide. Statements of Israeli extremists regarding Palestinians can be ugly. A few—in fact, very few— advocate racial cleansing. But none advocate genocide. Some of Israel’s enemies claim that Israel is planning a Palestinian holocaust. They’ve said this for years, but it hasn’t happened, which makes one wonder whether they’re speaking from real knowledge or unbridled prejudice.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk February 18, 2016 at 10:47 am #

        Ira: Cf journalist: David Sheen on many examples of Israeli ‘genocidal’ rhetoric, including from government sources,
        prevalent during the 2014 attack on Gaza. Richard

      • ray032 February 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

        Ira, read the comments not only in this article, but all the articles Baskin has written, and you will see how he is mocked and disparaged for advocating and holding out any hope of Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation.

        Nowhere in my comment do I suggest he blames only Israel for the conflict, but I agree with the Professor, Israel has the greater responsibility because of it’s military-economic domination over the Palestinian reality, dwarfing anything they can do to register resistance to Israel encroachment on Palestinian land and it’s slo mo ethnic cleansing.

        As a Rabbi, you, more than Fred, Aaron or Harvey, should be familiar with God’s displeasure with his own people recorded in the Prophets and sprinkled throughout the Torah. If you think this secular generation in Israel is more righteous than the Jewish ancestors, you are looking at the reality with blinders on.

        As Gene pointed out, there is a tendency to distract from Jewish sins by pointing out the sins of other regimes, thus making Israel no better or different than the Gentile Nations, precluding Israel from ever becoming a Light unto the Nations with it’s worldly colonial enterprise in Palestine.

      • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

        No one is saying that the sins of others exonerate Israel. What is being said is that people who ignore the sins of others and focus solely on the sins of Israel are hypocrites, if not worse.

      • Richard Falk February 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

        There are reasons for Americans, in particular, to pay extra attention to Israel: American
        taxpayers contribute more to Israel’s military capabilities than to any other country in the world,
        and have been doing so 1948; as well, the US government claims a ‘special relationship’ with Israel
        that translates into unconditional support at the UN and elsewhere.
        Besides, it is inaccurate to suggest that I and others who are critics of Israel are not critics of
        other abusers of state power. I am on record in recent years with respect to Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran,
        just to mention a few countries in the Middle East.

  26. Harvey Epstein February 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Richard,

    In the heat of battle, some really poor language is often used. “Kill all of those b……s” , or variations of that is what one expects. It should be the norm, or you do not have much of an army in a hot war. Kill the guy who is trying to kill you. People on each side really do mean to kill the other side. That is why it is called war.

    This is not a game of ping pong. But being fair to the IDF, it really does try to avoid as much collateral damage as is possible. I know there are those who disagree, but just look at the massive damage done to Gaza as is evidenced by the photos the Palestinians like to show when describing how evil Israel is. Think for a moment: 18,000-20,000 buildings destroyed. Less than 3000 people killed. One would have expected at least one death per building. Why so few? Similar destruction in Syria would have resulted in tens of thousands of casualties. But not in Gaza. Did Israel make some mistakes. Of course. But the military men, not the UN drones, who looked at it said Israel did a fantastic job in avoiding collateral damage.

    Now if I went to war I would want everyone, both military and civilian, behind me. All on the same page. Look at what our current folks are saying about fighting ISIS. You must kill them all.

    The real question is: in the absence of a hot war, what is the rhetoric of each side. Israel, as a whole, is not interested in killing all Muslims. If it was, there would be no such thing as an Arab/Israeli. Hamas (since your example dealt with Gaza) has a founding Charter. What does that say?

    Richard, this may sound a bit harsh, but you cherry picked.

    My Regards

    And I am still not getting notices of new posts.

    • Laurie Knightly February 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

      Harvey, I only get new posts when I submit one and check the box that says notify me of new posts by email. And this gives me posts for that one essay only. Nothing I have tried to do has changed this. Unless I have done this, I must go thru the whole section and note the dates. Gene had a similar problem and I don’t know if he was able to correct it.

      • Harvey Epstein February 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

        Laurie,

        I check it every time. Still doesn’t work. But thanks for the suggestion.

        Regards

  27. Laurie Knightly February 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    It was not my intent to say that people cannot address comments made by me – or anyone else. I cannot/should not be able to do that. What I meant was not to state nor imply that I sought opinions from certain individuals when I have not done so. Although some commenters have claimed intellectual superiority, extensive scholarship, and enlightened juridical background, there is a paucity of evidence that would support this self regard.

    “It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country….. The Zionist enterprise so far…has been fine and good in its own time, and could do with ‘land buying’–but this will not bring about the State of Israel; that must come about all at once, in the manner of a Salvation; and there is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to neighboring countries, except for Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Old Jerusalem, we must not leave a single village, nor a single tribe.”
    Joseph Weitz, Director of Jewish National Fund, December 19, 1940.

    Perhaps some people aren’t clear on the full legal definition of genocide. Palestine has been destroyed. This does not mean that all inhabitants were killed or exiled.

    “That Ben Gurion’s ultimate aim was to evacuate as much of the Arab population as possible from the Jewish state can hardly be doubted if only from the variety of means he employed to achieve this purpose….most decisively the destruction of whole villages and eviction of their inhabitants.”
    Simha Flapan

    • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      When all is said and done the fact remains that Israel accepted the partition plan and was prepared to live with it. The Arabs did not and invaded the State of Israel with the explicit aim of destroying it.

      Prof. Falk, it is shameless to point people to what you consider examples of genocidal Israeli rhetoric while ignoring such rhetoric, a hundred times more blatant and explicit, among Arab leaders, educators and journalists day in and day out, for over 75 years.

      • Harvey Epstein February 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

        Fred,

        Let me take a page out of Ira’s book: Richard has been fairly clear that he will not recognize any offensive rhetoric by the PA side. His interest is to show that because Israel has its foot on the throat of the PA, Israel will always be wrong. For some reason, which we need not explore, he lacks this sense of balance.

        In a nutshell, let us understand Richards views and not get frustrated over what we perceive to be an intellectual blind spot. He has his infinitely revolving tape recording going on over this, and all we can say will not change that recording. All you can do is point out where the other side is in error. Pointing out his one sidedness seems to fall on deaf ears. For now, I will endeavor to follow my own advice to you (though I admit, up front, that it may be impossible for me to do). Should you find something else of substance in various remarks of his, then focus on that. There is still plenty of fodder that we can, each of us, on any side, chew on.

        Leave the ulcers to others.

        Regards

      • Richard Falk February 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

        Harvey:

        You are intelligent and civil, and so I am puzzled that you mis-characterize my position. It is not that Israel will always be
        wrong because of the structural imbalance, but that this imbalance is fundamental to any approach that is seeking peace and
        transformation. It needs to be taken into account, and to act as Israel & the US do that the two sides are somehow in a symmetrical
        situation is misleading, and hinders the constructive possibilities of diplomacy.
        I have no problem about acknowledging positive sides of Israeli society or successes in Israeli international policymaking, but this
        seems mainly beside the point when the challenge is to find a sustainable and equitable peace based on the equality of the two peoples.
        Same with wrongdoing by the PA, which certainly exists, but is largely irrelevant to the search for a real solution.
        It seems important to confront the present reality that Israel is led by individuals who are opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian
        state, and yet give lip service to two-state solution as the only way forward despite more than 20 years of futile negotiations and ever
        more stubborn ‘facts on the ground.’

      • Laurie Knightly February 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

        And yes, with Eritrea’s human rights record so disgusting, Saudi
        Arabia. as well. why fret over Palestine? Richard just doesn’t understand this commendable means of evaluating criminal behavior. Palestinians must be held accountable for rhetoric of “Arab leaders, educators, and journalists day in and day out for the past 75 years.” We have a gang problem here in Portland also, so you should consider that. Maybe when they update the Bedouin, the ultra orthodox Jews could be forced into contemporary life as well.

        Quote: Every school child knows that there is no such thing in history as a final arrangement – not with regard to the regime, not with regard to borders, and not with regard to international agreements. History, like nature, is full of alterations and change,”
        David Ben-Gurion, Dec 3,1947

        Ben Gurion’s plan was that partition was the first step toward a Jewish state in the whole of Palestine, including Transjordan, the Golan Heights, and southern Lebanon.

      • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

        You’re characterization of Ben-Gurion’s thinking with regard to the partition plan is unsupported by historical evidence. The feeling in Israel at the time of the Arab invasion was that a poorly armed Israel might just barely be able to hang on by the skin of its teeth against overwhelming odds.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

      Perhaps the best way to uncover what an angry person is really thinking is to let him/her go on. Sooner her later, the filters of political correctness fall away and the person reveals the essence of his/her animus.

      After a long series of posts that were prejudicial but within the boundaries of decency, Laurie Knightly tosses off the restraints and resorts to calling her adversaries “Z boys”. For those who are not familiar with Jewish history, “Z boys” is a transparent derivative of “Jew boy”, a term that figures prominently in the lexicon of traditional anti-Semitism. Indeed, using the word “boy” in referring to adults has a long and unsavory history, particularly as used by white racists to defame blacks.

      Now that her motor is running, Ms. Knightly dips deeply into her grab bag of anti-Semitic canards to pull out the clandestine existence of “the original Talmud/Torah – not the public version”. What, pray tell, is in this secret document? I can’t ask Ms. Knightly because she won’t respond to questions from Z boys like me. So let’s guess: recipes for using the blood of slain Christian children for making Passover matzahs? Instruction manuals for how to burn down the local church or synagogue? Plans (from 2000 years) ago for annihilating the Palestinians?

      Ms. Knightly’s alleged Secret Torah/Talmud is strikingly reminiscent of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a fraud perpetrated in early 20th century Russia which purports to be minutes of a late 19th-century meeting where Jewish leaders discussed their goal of establishing global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world’s economies. That meeting never took place and allegations of its intent are entirely fraudulent. But the notorious anti-Semite Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the US in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler was a major proponent.

      And here we have Laurie Knightly hyping its spiritual heir on this blog in an effort to bring its sick sentiments into the 21st century. I’ll leave it to Prof. Falk to decide whether he wants this kind of stuff connected to his name.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  28. Harvey Epstein February 18, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Fred

    I wonder if Gene actually read the article he posted regarding the Bedouin? Look at how their living conditions are described. And they seem to want to keep it that way? As I recall, much of the relocation plan was abandoned. In fact, the “s..t hit the fan” when the government found out that some of the Bedouin objected and the government was being lied to by some of the proponents of that plan. If I am wrong on this, let me know. Even if it did go forward, your comments regarding the life style of the Bedouin are accurate.

    Just read an article describing how some of the Bedouin women are treated. In the established villages, @30% of women live in polygamous relationships. In the outlying areas it is estimated that the percentage could be as high as 50%. This in spite of the 1977 Israeli law which says that polygamy is no longer legal. It is my understand that the government pays “welfare” based on an extended family relationship so that abandoned women and their children are treated as if they actually lived in the same household as the husband. Otherwise they are entitled to fewer funds. The government further ignores the question of additional births by these women from their divorced(?) husbands. All rather convoluted. It also appears that the rate of spousal abuse is rather high, but actual statistics are hard to come by. Perhaps when they are beaten, the husband follows the rules laid out recently by one of the Muftis of Gaza: when you beat your wife, as you have the Quo’ranic right to do, don’t destroy her beauty by hitting her in the face.

    Ah yes, certainly let them keep their time honored customs. Let their “roaming” prevent an orderly development of the Negev.

    But seriously, if the government does wish to engage in condemnation suits, it really should pay fair and just compensation. Each case should be treated on its own merits. A long standing “squatting” should perhaps be viewed as a claim of homestead or a type of adverse possession. This is western law, but it could be applied in the interests of fairness. Seems that the government try’s to do that! The only question being: what constitutes fair compensation. Perhaps a new home with infrastructure helps to fill the gap. The “upside” for the government is that with just compensation, some Bedouin should come off of welfare since they have the means to becoming self supporting. Like living by way of ” clipping coupons”, or some such thing. It would appear on the face of it that the government ought not just kick people out of their homes. But if those homes were built when the builder knew or should have known that permits were required, different rules should apply.

    Both sides have just arguments, but in the end, it will just be a matter of money.

    Regards

    • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

      As I said, this is a problem throughout the Middle East and Israel is trying to deal with it in substantially the same way that Arab governments are trying to deal with it in their own countries. It is just being used here, like everything else, as something to throw in Israel’s face, by people who, in my opinion, couldn’t care less about the Bedouin, just as they don’t care how the Bedouin are treated, for better or for worse, in the Arab countries.

      • Harvey Epstein February 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

        Fred

        Understood. One of my problems with most folks on this blog is that all issues are being dealt with within a microcosm of Israel and the West Bank. Other major players exist and we speak only about one room in this giant middle eastern house of cards. Three or four years ago, who would have thought that the Saudis and Israel would develop strong common interests about anything; that Egypt really would start to teach its children that Jews are not bad and the peace with Israel was a cornerstone for stability within their country; that Erdogan would want to make up with Israel; and that Israel really would have to begin to turn to nations other than just my country in order to be in more than just a survival mode? But the world does turn.

        The Bedouin is a basket case not of Israel’s making. Their world needs to turn. They must get out of the 7th century. It will not be easy for them. Israel must not become a hostage to the maintenance of a Bedouin lifestyle now so out of sync with a modern world.

        Regards

  29. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    Ray,

    Let’s make a deal. I won’t quote the Bible to justify Israeli expansion to the borders of ancient Israel, and you don’t quote the Bible to tell me that God is angry at contemporary Jews. OK? I hope so.

    btw, citing blog comments sent to a right wing Israeli newspaper with a small circulation is not an accurate way of measuring total Israeli opinion on a left-wing figure.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • ray032 February 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

      I have acknowledged there are many anti-Zionist Jews in Israel against the occupation. There are Rabbis who think the State of Israel is against the Torah. The Israeli right wing is becoming more threatening, verbally and physically, in the attempt to silence them.

      You are the only Rabbi I am aware of that doesn’t like quoting from the Tanakh.

      If Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah were alive Today, the Zionists would characterize them as being self-hating Jews because of their chastisements of Israel abandoning God.

      btw, I never heard of David Sheen before Richard mentioned him upstream so I searched Googled and found this. I’ve read similar information elsewhere. I have come to the same perception of the Zionist regime in Israel leading to Jewish Fascism from reading the majority comments in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel and other Jewish media, not from any Arab publications.

      Spot The Difference: Modern Israel Is Looking Like Nazi Germany
      http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/11/21/spot-the-difference-modern-israel-is-looking-like-nazi-germany/

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 12:30 am #

        For your information, many Orthodox Jews, including prominent rabbis, chastize Israel for abandoning God and no one, including the Zionists, calls them self-hating Jews. Your concept of Israeli life and the Israeli ethos is childish and your eagerness to attack Israel and Jews is malicious.

  30. Laurie Knightly February 18, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    My Z boy remark was because of the juvenile quality of some of the ‘testimony’. It has sounded like twelve year old kids whining because ‘other kids are worse than me’. Also, I was given to understand that there were/are censored versions of Talmud/Torah because of unease etc when living in Christian countries back in history. Didn’t know this was disputed. I’ll notify other rabbis of this mistake. Seems there are reputed to be several versions. It’s quite interesting how much vitriol and fabricating that Ira was able to produce here. They crouch, taunt, and then spring – assign motives, and character smearing when a tiny opening finally appears. Gotcha! True to form…….. Yawn………

    • Fred Skolnik February 18, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

      Anyone like yourself, Laurie, who grandly asserts that “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,” along with numerous other references to Jews as such, is placing himself in a very special and familiar category of debased people. The idea that Jews want to rule the world is one of the basic tenets of antisemitism. You’ll find a very clear exposition of it in Mein Kampf. Your character cannot be smeared any more than you yourself are smearing it.

      The impression one gets is that the haters actually keep anti-Israel files like little J. Edgar Hoovers getting the dirt on their enemies. Imagine if they did the same for a truly genocidal nation like Rwanda, spending God knows how many hours a day combing the Internet for incriminating evidence and popping up on any site that discussed Africa to insert a few anti-Rwandan remarks.. You would think they were abnormal. Imagine too that they would “reference” historical examples of African tribal warfare to “prove” that Africans are savages or cite the rapes and murders committed by African Americans to “prove” that black people are criminally inclined. What would you think then? And yet Prof. Falk thinks that all of this is legitimate when it comes to Jews and Israel and that anyone objecting is an arrogant know-it-all and therefore opens the door wide to the Lauries, the rays. the rehmets and the walker percys and even congratulates tham on their insights.

  31. Aaron February 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

    Finally!!

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/208168#.VsaO3fkrK72

  32. Gene Schulman February 19, 2016 at 1:44 am #

    * Let’s see, Ira wants us to stop picking on Israel. He claims that we are as bad as the “Protocols”. Well, when one reads articles like this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44253.htm, it’s pretty hard not to come to the conclusion that the Jews are indeed trying to rule the world. Of course, we Z boys know better, the whole thing was a fraud. I remember when I owned a book shop in Geneva a prominent Jew (you would know the name by the books he has written) popped into the shop one day, said he had heard that I carried the Protocols on my shelves and demanded that I remove them, saying they are fraud and a shame. I told him I also carry copies of Mein Kampf, and as far as I know it is not illegal to sell these titles in Switzerland. I also told him that I think these books have educational value (I still do) and that I would not remove them, and I didn’t like the idea of Jewish censorship being imposed on me. He raged out of the store screaming back over his shoulder, “You’ll hear more about this.” I never did.

    * Let’s see, David Ben Gurion is noted for having said, “Why should we blame the Palestinians. Here, we have come and stolen their land. Why shouldn’t they be angry?

    * Let’s see, The Israelis are only trying to drag the Bedouins into the 21st century (for their own good). Yeah, like the early American colonialists tried to drag the indigenous American Indians into the modern world. The result seems exactly the same.

    * Let’s see, I could go on and on, but Fred and Harvey seem to have turned the discussion into a soliloquy between themselves, so why bother.

    • Gene Schulman February 19, 2016 at 2:08 am #

      Addendum: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/2/18/the-uk-government-bds-and-the-jews

    • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 2:17 am #

      If this is how you come to your conclusions you are even more empty than I thought you were.

      It is perfectly legitimate for Israel to defend itself against malicious calumny and fight efforts to undermine its economic and academic life.

      “Ben-Gurion is noted for” is only good enough in your world. Let’s have the exact source, preferably in Hebrew, so we can see what he actually said.

      • Gene Schulman February 19, 2016 at 2:48 am #

        Here is the whole quote, attributed to Ben Gurion, taken from Mearsheimer & Walt’s The Israel Lobby:

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

        Sorry, I don’t know if the original was in Hebrew or English, or Chinese or Polish😉

      • Aaron February 19, 2016 at 9:26 am #

        Ben Gurion could never had said that because it would infer that there was a country to take.
        There was no country there since the time it was governed by Jewish Kings and destroyed by the Romans.

        Everything after that were just different occupations.

        So if it was a country then it was Israel!!

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 3:58 am #

        But I’ll help you out nonetheless.

        The source of the quote is Nahum Goldmann, an adversary of Ben-Gurion, who claimed that Ben-Gurion made this statement to him in a book published two decades later (The Jewish Paradox, 1978), five years after Ben-Gurion died. There was no recording of the quote, and Ben-Gurion was no longer around to dispute it.

        On the other jand, Ben-Gurion did say:

        “Under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them. Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement, should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price.” Written statement (1920), as quoted in Teveth, Shabtai (1985), Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War.

        “We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption — proven throughout all our activity in the Land — that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.” Letter to his son Amos (5 October 1937), as quoted in Teveth, Shabtai, Ben Gurion: The Burning Ground; and Karsh, Efraim (2000), Fabricating Israeli History: The ‘New Historians’.

        But what is the point of all this scavenging? The fact remains that Israel accepted the partition plan and the Arabs did not. That is why there was a war instead of a Palestinian state.

      • ray032 February 19, 2016 at 8:36 am #

        David Ben-Gurion, like Kerry, warned of future Apartheid

        As for Ben-Gurion: When veteran Israeli journalist and Jerusalem Post columnist Hirsh Goodman — who was born and raised in Apartheid South Africa — went home for 48-hour military leave at the end of 1967 Six-Day War, he listened on his bedroom radio as David Ben-Gurion “came on with his chirpy little voice, his sentences clipped and hard:

        ‘Israel, he said, better rid itself of the territories and their Arab populations as soon as possible. If it did not Israel would soon become an Apartheid State. Demography, he said, was a greater danger than not having the territorial depth the right wing was always claiming Israel needed to defend itself.’

        http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/david-ben-gurion-like-kerry-warned-of-future-apartheid/

      • Aaron February 19, 2016 at 9:34 am #

        But Ben Gurion was obviously miscalculating in his estimates as can be revealed in this evidence:

        http://theettingerreport.com/Demographic-Scare/The-demographic-bottom-line.aspx

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 8:51 am #

        But Israel couldn’t get rid of the territories and their populations as sonn as possible. In Sept. 1967 the Arabs had issued their famous Khartoum Resolution: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. Imagine how many years the Allies would have remained in Germany if the Germans had issued such a resolution.

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 10:09 am #

        Dear ray, can I ask you a personal question? I confess that I’ve lived a sheltered life. I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, had some non-Jewish friends but no one like you, and since then I’ve lived in Israel, so I’ve really had very little direct exposure to Christian Jew hatred. The question is: Do you believe that the Jews killed Christ?

      • ray032 February 19, 2016 at 11:16 am #

        First of all, Fred, I believe Christ lives. Christ lives in my heart and body, and exposes me for all my sins, faults and shortcomings. I believe God knows all my secret thoughts, desires, and motivations which works constantly to have me reform myself through prayer without ceasing.

        Am I a sinner? Yes, but that remains with everyone all the days of existence in the flesh.

        I believe the Romans crucified Jesus at the incitement of a corrupt Jewish religious establishment who had lost the way of Faith and departed from the ways of Hashem. This is not a new thing in the history of Jews, as the Tanahk records in so many places. Rabbi Ira can testify to that.

        I also believe in the 2000 years since, Christianity has lost the way to a great extant, otherwise the kingdom would be established on earth.

        That being said, I believe the sins of all humans, Jews and Gentiles, you, me, and everyone, are killing Christ to this Day.

        The death of the Messiah was foreordained long before Jesus was born into this world. His purpose was to usher in the new Covenant with God so that the repetitive shedding of animal blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins was replaced with the living sacrifice of the blood of Jesus once and for all people for all Time.

        Before Christians existed, Jesus was addressing these words to Jews: You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
        This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
        But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

        THOUGHTS OF GOD
        https://ray032.com/2012/05/31/thoughts-on-god/

        Shalom

      • Richard Falk February 19, 2016 at 11:48 am #

        It is my understanding that the Crucifixion resulted in killing Jesus, and that Christ the
        divinification of the historical Jesus was a theological and metaphysical construction that came after his death
        and ascension, and as such, not mortal. I base this understanding mainly on courses on the history of Christian Thought taken long
        ago, but with extraordinary mentoring teachers who left an indelible imprint: Edwin Aubrey and Paul Tillich. From each I had taken three
        courses, among the most valuable learning experiences I have ever had.

      • Laurie Knightly February 19, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

        Ray: You are now being sucked into saying something derogatory about Jews. Then you will be smeared and Richard will be blamed for circulating your terrible hate mongering – with others of us included. The plan is to hurt Richard. Why don’t you ‘boys’ wise up?

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

        Thank you, ray, for your frank answer. As I say, I don’t have too much direct experience with Jew hatred, so let me ask you this: Does the fact that the Romans crucified Jesus at the incitement of a corrupt Jewish religious establishment cause you to have negative feelings about Jews as such, or provoke negative associations when the word “Jew” is in the air, or lead you to believe that certain contemporary Jewish characteristics are tied to this historical act of incitement? I am really curious about how this works.

      • Kata Fisher February 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

        Professor Falk,

        According to the Faith of the Church:

        He was conceived and born Divine; He was also confirmed that he was divine in Baptism by John in Jordan,

        He was confirmed Divine on the mountaintop (in Transfiguration of his Human flesh),

        and in front of His disciples, and He was confirmed and glorified Divine after his death before and after ascension.

        He, eternal Ever-Existing Divinity Emptied in Human Flesh

        All Transfigurative Work and in (and of) Power of God-Head.

        But the Fact is that Jesus was in Transfiguration/Glorification of his Human flesh before the actual Crucifixion and Death. This is written in Apostolic Scripture.

        What took place there is actual hypostatic union (in confirmation). Confirmation that he was a fully in God-Head Unity while in Human Nature. Just as He is after his Death and Resurrection.

        He, eternal Ever-Existing Divinity Emptied in Human Flesh

        All Transfigurative Work and in (and of) Power of One God-Head, in Unity.

      • Fred Skolnik February 19, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        Not at all, Laurie. Everything derogatory that can possibly be said about Jews has already been said, with yourself in the lead. I am sincerely curious about how this works and solemnly swear not to make any comment whatsoever, other than thanking Ray for his forthrightness,

      • Laurie Knightly February 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

        Sorry Ray, looks like I’m more important than you. Your stuff is just the usual and mine requires a different technique [call in the rabbi] but it all goes to the same target. This is so classic that I can’t thank everyone enough – you’d think it was contrived for the handbook. I’m serious.
        Gene is probably seething with envy…………..

      • ray032 February 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

        Fred, I’ve said it before and I repeat it here. I agree with the Pope. Inside every Christian lives a Jew. If I hated Jews, I would be self-hating.

      • ray032 February 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      • Kata Fisher February 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

        Laurie,

        I think that everything is on one pot here – Hebrew Prophets, people opinions, judgments – it’s like a baby thrown in a bathtub – just kicking and screaming, smash and splash! Folks like Gene get bored by all of that, and they say: “Oh’ what am I doing here? Let’s just shake off this baby dry, all together! – so I can take a nap… I am mature enough, and I do not have to put up with all of that….”

      • ray032 February 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

        Richard, you wrote, “that Christ the divinification of the historical Jesus was a theological and metaphysical construction that came after his death and ascension,”

        In John 10, this view is recorded;
        I and my Father are one.
        Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
        Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?
        The Jews answered him, saying, We don’t stone you for a good work; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.
        Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods?
        If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
        Say ye of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?

        Jesus is referring to the Psalmist who wrote in Psalm 83,
        I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

        This concept originates in the Genesis Garden that we humans were made in the image and likeness of God.

        The Sonship of God is not restricted to Jesus, although he is the Firstfruits as the Scripture says, He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
        But as many as received him, to them HE GAVE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name:
        Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

        These words say to me Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God as others claim.

        In the Revelation of Jesus Christ this Sonship and relationship with God goes even further,
        To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
        He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
        Revelation 3

        This is the goal and objective of my Faith and personal relationship with God through Christ, even if others can’t see it.

      • Richard Falk February 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

        Thanks Ray, very clarifying.

      • Kata Fisher February 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

        Professor Falk and Ray –

        A note to this:

        “These words say to me Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God as others claim.”

        Ray there are servile perspectives to this. Christ took on “collective sin” in perspective onto himself (human nature in all its face-value good/evil). In this case he does it same from different perspectives.

        What he is doing here is fulfilling Righteousness of God, he consistently is fulfilling Righteousness of God (just as He was fulfilling that in his Baptism by John).

        “The only begotten Son of God” reference in the Scripture means God-Head imparted Son of God into the human Nature. Imparted /conceived/ born into the Flesh by the Power of God.

        Humans are made from the dust of the earth (in God’s Image – and Life of God is breathed into them).

        This Creation process is not being “Only Begotten Son of God” meaning this: Adam was not Begotten Son of God. Jesus Christ is and was.

        Only Begotten Son of God is not “Created” – he is EVER-EXSISTING!

        This was, in and will be in fact, only Jesus Christ of Nazareth – it was no one else! However, the entire human race is in “adoption” trough the work of Chris of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

        That is the Church Doctrine.

        There is a lot of the Doctrine of the Church Faith, and it is almost impossible to go about all of that. God in His compassionate nature made easy for the human race – even if we believe in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth – that alone is sufficient to ACTIVATE all that God has in stores for one by generational lines and Baptism.

        Its so easy, we just pray for the needs and God does the rest (within each human). That means, individually and corporately. There is never need to dispute over some Church doctrine – just explain more to that.

  33. Aaron February 19, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    BDS people hate Palestinians that support Israel!!

  34. Aaron February 19, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Perhaps everyone (both sides) should take some pause to reflect on my Rabbi’s weekly comment:

    ===============================================================

    Question of the Week:

    My non-Jewish friends and colleagues often ask me: What is Judaism?

    They are not looking for a complicated thesis, just a simple response. How would you sum up a 4000 year old culture in a few words?

    Answer:
    ‘Judaism’ and ‘simple’ are not often found in the same sentence. But to attempt to answer this, we first need to define what Jews are, then we can define what Judaism is.

    The Jewish people can best be described as a spiritual family. We are connected by our souls, and every Jew is a part of this invisible web by virtue of our Jewishness. You can either be born into the family or join by choice. But once you are in, you are family, no matter what.

    If Jews are a family, the Torah is the family rules. It recounts the family history, defines the family identity, and lays out the expectations of how members of the family should behave and the good they can contribute to the world.

    Some of the Torah is universal, but much of it is about our particular family and its relationships – with our brothers and sisters, our ancestors, our homeland and the Head of the family – G-d.

    If you break the rules, you are still a member, because family is family. But those who keep the rules keep the family together. Those who reject the rules usually find their children or grandchildren will drift away from the family entirely, not even knowing what they are leaving behind. But they can always come back. You can never really leave the Jewish family.

    So if the Jewish people are a family, and the Torah is the family rules, what is Judaism?
    Judaism is a story. The story of a family.

    Every family has its story – its joys and its conflicts, its high moments and its not so high moments. Parents are sometimes proud of their kids or disappointed at them; children follow their parents’ ways or rebel against them. But throughout the family dramas, they remain a family.

    Judaism is our family story. But not a story to just read, a story to live. We are the characters of the story. The story is bigger than you or me or any one person. But it is about you and me and every individual Jew. Each one of us, through our relationship with G-d and the Jewish people, continues the story that is Judaism.

    Shabbat Shalom.

    Rabbi Cohen

    ===============================================================

    Note from Aaron:
    So where did the Jews receive the Torah? Mount Sinai.

    Where did the Tabernacle containing the tablets sit in holiness? Jerusalem
    Where did Jews come to pray 3-4 times a year and offer sacrifice to Hashem? Jerusalem

    I can assure all that it wasn’t Albany, Paris, Moscow or Tehran.

    It was Jerusalem, the city of light and the beacon of hope and yearning for the Jewish people for 3 thousand years.

  35. Kata Fisher February 19, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    A Note:

    I have to make a reply on Laurie’s Post from
    December 26, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    This not just reply for Lauri – but a relevant general clarification (Teaching of the Faith Traditions by Word, by Letter – as passed down by the Church) about undisputable, defended Church Doctrine, in a summary.

    The Church believes in the divinity of Christ of Nazareth, only because of Transfigurative work of God-Head in one essence and different roles: Word and/or Spirit (in one nature -God-Head with the different role, but one work). What I mean is this, in fact: omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence.

    When we claim divinity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth – we claim that Transfigurative work of God’s Spirit – that hypostatic union of Word is into the Human Nature (omnipotence and omnipresence): Word became/made flesh!

    The divinity of Christ Jesus of Nazareth was confirmed by His Transfiguration on the mountain before his disciples. He was Transfigured and was confirmed to be Son of God (Divine) in Human Flesh!

    When Comes to the Therm “Holy Trinity” – this is irrefutably solid Church Tradition of Faith. We can’t take out from the defence base for the Church Doctrine of Faith. It is as valid as Apostolic Faith (in interpretation) of the Word, irrefutably. It is not “tradition only”. In fact, it is an interpretation of the Faith – believe in work of God-Head and its essence of God-Head.

    Also, Roman-Catholic Church Holds that divinity of Christ of Nazareth and Himself is present with us, in fact only due to the Transfigurative work of God-Head trough Spirit of God, in omnipotence and omnipresence!

    For that Reason – only “In persona Christi” Priest can celebrate a valid Eucharistical Ministry. That is why we take the Species Eucharistical on the Table of the Church – just as we do.

    I know this to be 100% True trough Faith Apostolic and Work of the Spirit in the Church trough “In persona Christi” Priesthood – over 2000 years.

    While you may not understand this now – you may understand this when mature in Faith and/or Baptized (or ordained) in Faith and /or Spirit of God.

  36. Gene Schulman February 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    What has all this rabbis and Christ stuff got to do with Ban Ki Moon?

    Time for bed with a good book.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      Gene:

      To answer your question:

      Ban Ki Moon is a Zionist Jew married to his cousin, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, who are all of them Jews.

      Just ask rehmat1.

      Ira

  37. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Richard,

    I don’t want you to think that I ignored your reference to David Sheen’s material. Harvey’s comment expressed what I would have written, and there are already enough comments out there.

    I doubt that any war in history has been without genocidal words on both sides. When one sends troops into potentially fatal battle, ordinary words fail to provide sufficient motivation.

    For the record, the Israeli government repeatedly explained that its objective was not even to destroy Hamas, but to degrade its military capability. One can argue that 2000 dead was too many. In a profound sense, even one death is one too many. But one should also consider how much Hamas’ positioning its weapons in residential areas and near schools and hospitals contributed to the carnage. But either way, 2000 victims in a population of more than 1.5 million is not genocide.

    Ira

  38. ray032 February 19, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    A reprinty from Stratfor. How can the International community remain blind and silent?

    Letter from Gaza: The Human Toll of the Blockade

    By Jasmin Mahmoud

    There are no perfect measures of the toll the Gaza blockade is taking on the 1.9 million residents locked inside, but those that give a glimpse tend to be pretty macabre. The number of suicide attempts handled by Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, for example, has surged in recent years, now up to an average of 30-40 attempted suicides each month, according to medical sources. The typical victim is still in the prime of life, between 15 and 45 years old, and slightly more likely to be male than female. Common methods run the gamut, from hanging to shootings to cutting to jumping.

    Among the oft-cited factors is the lack of agency felt among unemployed Gazans, whose rubble-strewn path to a better life is increasingly shrouded by the unyielding fog of geopolitics. Gazans have few clear opportunities to improve life for themselves or their families. With the harsh circumstances in Gaza frozen largely by unrelenting external pressures, lives inside the narrow strip are led in a sort of permanent limbo, and this situation seems likely to continue.

    Since 2000, after the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada, Israel has continually squeezed access to the Gaza Strip, effectively punishing everyone inside, whatever their support for anti-Israeli militancy. One particularly corrosive result as been joblessness. On Aug. 15, 2005, for example, when Israel declared it would unilaterally withdraw from Gaza, one group whose livelihoods were caught in the turbulence was the thousands of Palestinians employees working at Israeli factories in the Erez industrial zone, on the northern edge of the strip.

    The situation escalated after Hamas won the majority in 2006 legislative elections. Fatah refused to acknowledge the election results, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas labeling the Gaza Strip as a rebellious province. Leaders of Hamas’ militant wing, the al-Qassam brigades, as well as those of the Alweyat Alnasser brigades were then arrested in military operation targeting the Kerem Shalom military checkpoint.

    The siege on Gaza tightened, with Israel closing almost all the border crossings from Israel and cutting off imports of any type of raw material that could be perceived as potentially useful for militants. The three subsequent large-scale military operations launched by Israel destroyed most of the remaining factories and further eroded the commercial infrastructure. Unemployment soared among Gazans, as the cutoff took its toll.

    Today, official unemployment rates typically hover around 67 percent, though many scrape by with work in the informal sector. Poverty rates are closer to 80 percent. Whatever nuance is absent in the statistics, the reality defies sugarcoating: For the vast majority of Gazans, there is no way to get the money needed to live a healthy, normal life. This problem is exacerbated by large size of families in Gaza, which average between five and 16 members, increasing pressure for the necessities of life — work, food, education, medical care, housing, public safety — that also happen to underpin communal stability.

    According to his family, these pressures are the reason that Mohammed Aldremly, age 33, immolated himself on July 12. The father of five could not pay the rent on the family home and could not bear to see his children live hungry and homeless. In his own eyes, he was a failure. So, according to his family, Mohammed “ran away to the next life, where maybe he’ll find a better world.”

    “When this Gaza is your life, there is no difference from death,” says the family, which does not absolve Hamas of blame for the situation in Gaza and hopes it will find a way to let it live without the wars that worsen the suffering.

    In fact, this same environment of frustration and despair exist within Hamas itself. Hamas police officer Nidal Qanita, 35, from Al Shatea camp, burned and killed himself at a police station on June 12 allegedly because the Bank of Hamas cut his salary by around 40 percent, denying him the ability to pay down mounting debts, a close friend of his friend said. It was the first publicly reported instance of a member of Hamas committing suicide. suicide. The friend told me that the Hamas government is facing an economic crisis, the effects of which cannot be assuaged by political means. The friend says he thinks Hamas may soon be facing an internal crisis marked by additional such attempts — a crisis that reflects the despair throughout the broader Gazan population.

  39. Gene Schulman February 20, 2016 at 5:26 am #

    A most interesting article which describes Israel’s place in the world today …. “an anachronism”. Fred, Harvey, Aaron and Ira might take heed.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n04/adam-shatz/israels-putinisation

    • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 6:24 am #

      Why on earth would you recommend a reading of Israel by a foreigner like yourself whose observations you are unequipped to verify or evaluate? I don’t find anything in what he has written that shows anything other than a superficial understanding of the country – once again the equivalent of a Chinese journalist without a word of English explaining America to his Chinese readers.

      • Gene Schulman February 20, 2016 at 7:34 am #

        A very weak argument Fred, as Richard attests. Most everyone in Israel uses English and many Israeli journals are in English, such as Ha’artez and the Jerusalem Post. Both of which I read to get both sides of the picture. It is not at all difficult for a non-Hebrew speaker to know what’s happening in that country. We on the outside probably know as much, if not more than you with your narrow mindedness. Plus, I have many Israeli friends with open minds that contribute to my understanding.

        Gene

      • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 8:08 am #

        But you don’t have an understanding of Israel, Gene. Your views are not based on any objective view or first-hand knowledge of the country but on uncritical “referencing” of whatever gives you what you are looking for. You have already given us your girlfriend’s-brother-fights-in-Israel story (I seem to remember it as being your sister’s boyfriend the first time you told it but maybe I’m wrong) as the defining moment in your life. You were an Israel hater from the start. But try to imagine a girlfriend’s brother or sister’s boyfriend going off to fight in Spain in the 1930s and consequently someone developing a lifelong aversion to Spain and, if he happened himself to be of Spanish or Latino origin, somewhere down the line repudiating his Spanish or Latino identity. I imagine that such a narrative would cause even a psychiatrist to smile. You are not for real, Gene.

      • Gene Schulman February 20, 2016 at 8:25 am #

        An interesting essay, Fred. But it seems to be more your take on 20th century America, than on Toqueville’s 19th century. And even your interpretation of his 19th leaves doubt.

        Anyhow, to return to the original subject, only someone as extremely right-wing as yourself could call Avnery extreme.

      • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 8:37 am #

        No, Gene, I am politically just a tiny bit to the right of center and socially 3 or 4 steps to the left.

        The essay is 90% about 19th century America and 10% about 20th century America.

      • Gene Schulman February 20, 2016 at 9:31 am #

        Here’s a quotable from Dylan Thomas, on America………
        America, which he described as “This vast, mad horror, that doesn’t know its size, or its strength, or its weakness, or its barbaric speed, stupidity, din, self-righteousness, this cancerous Babylon.”

        ‘If Thomas had lived to observe it (died 1953) today, he might have had something similar to say about Israel, except for size. But then Israel is doing everything it can to overcome that via ethnic cleansing and incursions into the greater ME.

      • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 9:42 am #

        You’re just tossing around gratuitous remarks without any reference to reality.

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2016 at 7:07 am #

      Gene: Adam Shatz is consistently worth reading on a wide range of subjects. Also you might remind
      Fred Skolnik that the most perceptive writing about America over its history has been done by foreign
      visitors, e.g. deTocqueville. Also, Jewish observers from within such as Uri Avery, Jeff Halper, Gideon Levy
      are taking similarly critical positions to those that contribute comments here. Richard

      • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 7:19 am #

        e.g. Tocqueville spoke, English, spent a year traveling around America, spoke to hundreds of Americans in their own language.

        In any case here is an essay of mine on Tocqueville:

        http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Toqueville-America.php

        As for Uri Avneri, etc, people with extreme views are not the best source of information for understanding a foreign country.

      • Kata Fisher February 20, 2016 at 10:33 am #

        : )

      • Harvey Epstein February 20, 2016 at 11:37 am #

        Richard, gene,

        Gene, when you quoted me, you did that which most of we ” boys” complain of: out of context, especially when I gave you a clear meaning of what was intended. I spent some time explaining what was going on within the Bedouin world and Fred did, too. By way of clearer example, when one of my sons was little, I would sometimes have to carry him into the shower, kicking and screaming, to force him to wash his hair. If I didn’t , being down wind of him was not a pleasant experience. He grew up and is very fastidious about his grooming. Sometimes evolution requires a bit of kicking and screaming. My son did not die of it. To my knowledge, no Bedouin has died of it and I hope that soon, the vast majority of Bedouin women will learn to read and write ( the boys, too), not be faced with the prospect of polygamy, get clean water, etc. Do you object to this type of modernization or should the Bedouin be left in the dust?

        Richard,

        I am very happy to hear that you do acknowledge that the Palestinians do some bad things some of the time. But in your evaluation, you give them a complete “pass” by calling their bad acts “irrelevant”. That is not realistic. It must be weighed on any scale. Please remember my example of a person who throws a rock at a tiger. Is that person totally innocent if the tiger then mauls him? Of course not.

        Now you are absolutely within most intellectual standards to say that the acts of one side are far worse than those of the other, if that is what you perceive. But to be a just evaluator, should you ignore the bad acts of the lesser party? If you do, are you really being intellectually honest? If you constantly ignore or refuse to classify those acts as bad, don’t you become an enabler? Just as if I ignored the oder from the hair of my then very young and willful son? Also, at some point, on occasion, can’t there be circumstances where the parties are in pari delicto?

        I will stop here, except for one comment to those who are inclined to
        quote scripture: the crucifixion never took place, Jesus was not the son of God, there was no immaculate conception, there was no resurrection, he died a natural death and he was a Muslim as was Moses, etc. I know this to be the actual facts because that is what is set forth in the Quo’ran. Go and read it. And do not say I am being Islamophobic. It is merely said to demonstrate that each is entitled to his/her own opinion based on scripture.

        Shalom

  40. Gene Schulman February 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Harvey, as Richard acknowledged earlier, you are intelligent and, at least civil, compared to Fred, et al. However you don’t draw valid analogies. To compare your son’s education to what is happening to the Bedouins is ridiculous. Your son is not being dragged out of his bed and evicted out of his home to fend for himself. I am sure that if the Israeli authorities had education in mind for them, the Bedouins just might be willing to learn. But why should they have to learn only that powerful ogres do not allow them to live in peace, and are destroying what little civilization, however much it differs from others, they have.

    I know this was directed at Richard but, as for myself, I have read the Quran as well as the Old Testament, and found it as wanting. Both are full of contradictions and, as an atheist, have no use for either, though in both can be found lovely verses as well as ugly commandments and prejudices. What is in scripture (pace Kata, Ray and Aaron) has nothing to do with either political Islam or political Zionism/Judaism. Render unto Caesar ……

    Cheers

    • Richard Falk February 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      I would only add to what you have written that I have friends in Israel who have been working with the Bedoins for
      years, making films of their dispossession, and supportive of their strong wish to maintain traditional culture and
      life style. Israel’s actions appear motivated by developmental ambitions, and are not expressions of empathetic benevolence.

      • Fred Skolnik February 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

        If your neighbor expropriates a piece of your property, developmental ambitions (your plan to put a hammock there) and empathetic benevolence (teaching your neighbor a lesson about how things are done in the modern world) will have very little to do with your response, which will be to take him to court. You refuse to recognize that the Bedouin encroach on land that doesn’t belong to them, and you are of course ignorant of the fact that they have done this not only in the Negev but throughout Israel, from south to north, as well as throughout the entire Middle East, because you are completely indifferent to Israel’s basic sovereign rights. Whatever its plans and however wisely Israel is or is not dealing with specific aspects of this very difficult problem, it is acting in an accepted and reasonable way, through hearings and negotiations, to regulate settlement on state land. In any case, as far as I know, the entire resettlement plan is on hold.

        Here is how Israel sees the problem, which I hope you are capable of considering with a minimum of bias.

        https://www.knesset.gov.il/lexicon/eng/bedouim_eng.htm

        http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/Documents/begin-bedouin270113.pdf

    • Harvey Epstein February 21, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

      Gene,

      Please take a look at my prior posts, above. Israel has a great self interest in educating the Bedouin, etc. If the Bedouin chooses not to learn, remain in a semi nomadic state, treat many of their women as if they were still in the 7th century, etc., how then is Israel supposed to deal with them? Unless you settle them down, how do you get services to them or reasonably develop the country? You can’t. Fred has echoed my memory: Israel has pulled back and not forced the relocation of settlements. See my above discussion.

      Would you prefer that the Bedouin be ignored? Okey. Should Israel continue to provide them with state welfare? Why, if that has resulted in a change of their “traditional lifestyle” and given them more than they had before? And to what benefit to Israel? Just a giant drain on resources with no expectation of change? You can’t teach a person the value of a good education until they realize that it is best for them. Should you just let them “roam the land” like they have done for centuries and despoil the occasional Arab village as they come across it (as has been reported by 19th century observers)? What are you thinking of? The Bedouin will not develop a sense of modern civilization unless they experience it. It isn’t going to “just happen”.

      I am thrilled that at least you have read the Quo’ran. I doubt you really understood it because you indicate that nothing in it has anything to do with “political Islam”. When it comes to a form of government, this phrase “political Islam” is a redundancy. This is not just me saying it. Far greater authorities say it: Sayyid Qut’b and others do. What on earth did King Salman mean when he recently said that from now on Saudi Arabia will be ruled by the Quo’ran? What is the Caliphate all about? What of Iran? It is all a mix of civil and religious law (actually both are united within the Quo’ran) and it mandates the subduing/killing of everything and everyone in opposition to it. If that is not “political” I don’t know what is. Or is it that you just don’t know the meaning of the word “political”? So let me help you: …. of or concerned with government, the state or politics; having a definite governmental organization…. In its practice, as in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Caliphate, etc., the government is a theocracy. That is their politics…..They are states ruled by G.d, or a government run by clerics who claim to rule through Devine Authority….

      You must read a lot. Let me again urge that you read Qut’b. I know he sometimes gets bad press from those who want to be politically correct, but this is no time for “political correctness”. It is time for “understanding” what is really being said. And history supports his rendering of the meaning of the Quo’ran.

      Ira, sorry.

      Shalom

      I am still having problems with notification on posts. That is often the reason why I appear a bit late on some of them. This series I’d getting a bit long to have to dig through.

  41. ray032 February 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Israel’s Putinisation
    Adam Shatz
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n04/adam-shatz/israels-putinisation

  42. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Many thanks to ray032 for posting Jasmin Mahmoud’s carefully reasoned piece on Gaza. From what I know about the situation on the ground there, her portrait of a living Hell that drives residents to despair, even suicide, is accurate.

    As a rule, material like this is posted to support a narrative that depicts Israel as arbitrarily inflicting cruel punishment on a defenseless population. This likely was ray032’s intention in posting it here. But Ms. Mahmoud, an Arab with strong empathy for the Gazan’ suffering, provides detail that describes a situation far more complex than the pro-Hamas cadre would have us believe.

    The blockade is not arbitrary. It serves to interdict the flow of materiel—primarily from Iran and, until recently, Syria— Hamas uses in its on-going campaign of terrorism. This inventory includes thousands of ever-more –sophisticated rockets and missiles that make life Hell for civilian men, women and children living in southwestern Israel, and as far north as Tel Aviv, exacting a psychological toll similar to the one inside Gaza; as well as material and equipment for digging tunnels though which terrorists mount lethal attacks inside Israel.

    Lifting the blockade without Hamas’ commitment to eschew violence and accept Israel’s legitimacy as a neighbor would put tens of thousand Israeli civilians in mortal jeopardy. But the folks who post images of Gazan suffering never demand this from Hamas or smaller terrorist cells like Islamic Jihad. They demand that the blockade be terminated with no regard for the safety of Israeli innocents. No government of Israel, or any other state facing similar threats, would do that.

    The same analysis can be applied to the West Bank. As its critics allege, the Occupation is cruel, de-humanizing and has elements of apartheid. A majority of Israelis agree. They tell opinion polls that they hate the Occupation, don’t trust the settlers and are prepared to support significant concessions to enable the Palestinians to create a state of their own. But they are justifiably resistant to proceed with a withdrawal at a time when removing settlements would bring Hamas artillery and rocket launchers within easy reach of Israel’s residential/commercial heartland and international airport. Netanyahu wins elections not because an Israeli majority wants to expand their state’s borders to its biblical dimensions, but because they fear his opponents might make dangerous concessions to an enemy that has never renounced its commitment to destroy their state. The notion that Palestinian behavior plays a distant role in shaping Israeli policy is simply wrong. In fact, the reality is precisely opposite.

    It’s true that Hamas has offered to enter a long-term truce with Israel (Hudna). But a Hudma is not recognition. It’s what one proposes when it cannot or will not in the commit to recognition and normalization, which makes it nothing more than a hiatus that could, and likely would be exploited as an opportunity to re-load and prepare for larger-scale terrorism down the road.

    Prof. Falk offers assurances that the specific and unambiguous bellicosity in Hamas’ National Covenant, some of it genocidal, represents nothing more than “vague aspirations”, and that these have already been abandoned. But if they’re null and void, why do they remain in the written document? Real life’s experience strongly suggests they remain because the power to determine Hamas’ strategy still remains in the hands of those who harbor hopes of destroying Israel. When Hamas changes its spots, Israelis likely will elect a government committed to establishing an independent Palestine in the context of “two states for two peoples.”

    So the question remains, why don’t the folks who pressure Israel to withdraw also pressure Palestinian leaders, primarily Hamas, to make the adjustments that are a precondition to this happening? Only they can answer that question. I’m eager to hear that answer.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman February 21, 2016 at 1:06 am #

      Let’s turn that around, Ira. Real life’s experience strongly suggests they remain because the power to determine Israel’s strategy still remains in the hands of those who harbor hopes of ridding Palestine of all of its indigenous peoples.

    • Harvey Epstein February 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

      Ira and Kohisultan

      The Rebbe has put into far more eloquent and crystalizing words what I and others have been trying to point out all along: Unless there is a genuine change of heart, and not just by Hamas, but by all of the power brokers in the area, peace will not happen so long as the “end game” is the destruction of Israel. What part of “Israel refuses to commit suicide” is it that some folks do not understand?

      As to Kashmir, I agree that it and other areas of the world face horrible problems with the question of self determination. From what I recall of my studies several decades ago, no one was preaching genocide against the Kashmiris as a matter of national policy ( no one was saying that they all must die); it was just a question of who controlled the area. It is different with Israel.

      Let us be honest here; while Kashmir may hold certain types of wealth (I say it may, I don’t recall), the Middle East has oil which lubricates the industrialized nations. The crossroads of much of the worlds commerce goes through this area. I don’t think you can say the same of Kashmir.

      On a very humanistic level, the voices of the Kashmiri should be heard just as loudly as those of any other people. The same with Tibetans etc.. Many people have “nationhood” aspirations. Frankly, the UN has not done all it can for those who cry out for help. It seems to devote far too much of its time pillorying Israel. But Israel is small, democratic and western oriented. Thus it is weak because it really does care about what others think of it. It is vulnerable. India, China, Russia, and others who repress minorities do not have the vulnerabilities as does Israel. And again being honest with ourselves, what other people are like the Jew who has historically faced such hatred from so many?

      Do I wish that the issue of Kashmir be peacefully resolved? Yes I do. Should the UN and the world focus on it? Of course, along with a number of other similar problems.

  43. kohisultan February 21, 2016 at 6:24 am #

    After reading this and feeling that we in kashmir believe and hope that self determination and the human right violation done by india for the last 67 years inspite of UN resolutions will deliver us with world bodies like UN taking our issue in hand may not be possible when your work in telling the truth is demonized .
    Palestinian people have a voice much bigger than Kashmiris where our right is demonized by india particularly and the world is unfortunately a silent spectator and all world powers thinking or promoting that talks between india and Pakistan will solve it and without the involvement of the main stake holders which is the Kashmiri people .
    Thanks for this open letter as it has given hope that there are people who will voice their opinion even when they are personally demonized .

    • Kata Fisher February 21, 2016 at 9:11 am #

      A Note: If Kashmiris (people of Kashmir) form stronger bonds with Roman-Chatolic Church – they will be more sufficient in their dealings with their current civil-ecclesialistical oppressions.

      • Gene Schulman February 21, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        This is not the place to proselytize, Kata. Please take your placards to the street corner, and stand in line.

      • kohisultan February 21, 2016 at 11:52 am #

        I do not think we need to join a particular group but why not the whole humanity who want justice wherever the world is silent and letting the powerful get away with it . With the ( touted )fastest growing economy india is supposed to be the world powers supporting india and not even talking about it . With the erstwhile Soviet Union when the Cold War was vetoing every possibility of settling kashmir as per UN resolutions and now USA feeling india is a more important strategic partner in the region keeping silent where from 1990 only more than 200000 people have got killed , more than 10000 missing people and hundred of thousands forced to migrate of different religious hues . Why the issue cannot be settled based on the UN resolutions through which the world community has as such promised the people of settlement as per their choice and is pending as the Palestinian problem is .

      • Kata Fisher February 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

        Gene,

        I was not giving thought to proselytize anyone. I personally do not believe in suggesting anyone to leave their congregation and join Catholic Church as a congregation. I do not even believe in that.

        I only believe that God Himself has the authority to move someone from one congregation to another. In fact, they personally come to the Church and by their Free will, ask to be integrated into the Church Order and Order of Catholic Faith. We the Church can not increase no ones Faith in some way, only God can do that.

        We in Roman Catholic Church do not go about Conversion ministry to other congregation, only humanitarian mission, and assistance.

        The fact is that Roman Catholic Charismatic Priesthood, as well as all authentic Church Charismatic that is not Catholic and in the prophetic gift -anointing (authentic Ecumenical Church), in fact, is most sufficient in the spectrum of their expert competencies as well as faster access to imminent civil-ecclesiastical needs to locals. However, UN and world community does not want to assist them when in imminent dangers. So, the Church gets wiped out and killed / oppressed, and so on. This is world-wide, in fact, reality .

        For Example, I know that Pink Salt Mines in India are so mismanaged, and locals have no actual benefit from all that. The condition and tools that they use, are humanly seen, just a shame upon world civility.

        The entire production process can be reorganised and technologies – so that locals can have some benefit from their local natural resources and labors. I guess, it does not happen without Church and priesthood of the Church. But the priest can not always go around and have authority (legitimately) from civil folks to go about observing local needs, and so on that they can apply their local and corporate skils – helping their locals according to their needs.

        Spiritual competencies of the Roman-Chatolic-Charismatic Priesthood would make one faint! They are very capable and effective folks – in Church Order and learned things. Administration and social work / organization is just small part to all of that. But they are kicked to the side and restricted by civil folks.

        Further,

        We had a priest from India in local parishes/Church here on the mission to provide for the needs of their local Church. They certainly can do that for their entire communities locally, just according to the needs.

        Church Certainly will ask for more natural and spiritual Freedom of the Roman-Catholic Church, Freedom to the Priesthood and their calling.

        Church, In its structure and appointing, it is certanly a government that is not limited to observing only – but also to implementing and doing (Legally / Legitimately) LEGAL civil-ecclesiastical social order and justice order. Absolutely, if there is no one else that can!

        And folks will say “NO WAY – they can’t do that.” … ” They will be restricted to their worship places!”

        And the Church can say, “OK, have it your way!” and “Do it yourself!”

        This is a reality, and I am not ashamed about it – and not selfish that I will tell you and not go about it – as a problem.

        I hope this is helpful to expend better understanding on LEGAL civil-ecclesiastical social order and justice order. Meaning, in application – not just talking about.

  44. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Gene,

    You may think that I’ll take angry issue with your post about Israeli hardliners. That’s the way things usually operate on this blog. But in fact, I think your point is valid, and very important.

    Both of us are right! Both the Israeli and Palestinian communities are divided into segments. One accepts the legitimacy of the other and seeks to negotiate a just and sustainable resolution to the conflict. The other sees the conflict as a zero sum game in which the winner will subjugate, ethnic cleanse or annihilate the other. On the Israeli side, these are the West Bank settlers and their political supporters. Among the Palestinians, it is Hamas and smaller groups such as Islamic Jihad.

    Needless to say, this analysis is overly simplistic. None of the four segments is monolithic. There are many non-ideological settlers for whom the West Bank offers a pleasant, rural and affordable lifestyle. They would not resist relocation as part of a peace agreement. Not long ago, the mayor of a large settlement told a television reporter that he would gladly move under those circumstances. He was re-elected several months later. And there are reports of moderates within Hamas are trying to move their organization in the direction of accommodation.

    The hardliners represent a minority in both communities. But they are winning the power struggle by playing on the majority’s fears, so that each side’s terrorist activities and hard line statements adds credibility to the other’s campaign against compromise. Reversing this negative spiral is the key—perhaps the only key—to ending the conflict peacefully.

    I’d welcome a discussion on this with the moderator’s participation. Regrettably, the dominant theme here is an endless hunt for bits of evidence—statements from long ago quoted out of context, etc.—culled to prove the other side wrong, or worse. Instead of looking for points of agreement on which to build trust, which is an essential element in conflict resolution, the momentum here is driving peoples apart. This is deleterious to both sides, but especially to the Palestinians who need to break a status quo that leaves them stateless. I believe it was George Eastman, who created the Kodak Camera Company, who once said: “The tools to solve any problem are already in the room.” Tragically, people don’t always use them.

    Ira

    • Gene Schulman February 22, 2016 at 1:26 am #

      Ira,

      Briefly, because I’m on the run today. But I didn’t want to leave you without a reply. I couldn’t care less whether you take angry issue with me. It is not my purpose to make people angry, rather to rationalize the issues raised by Richard on this blog. If people differ with my opinions, and obviously many do, that is their problem.

      As to the substance of your post, I must say that I do not agree with you that both of us are right. And I think most of my IR friends would also disagree as to your definition of conflict resolution. Trust can be deceiving, especially when one side holds all the cards. How can the Palestinians trust the Israelis when from the very beginning of the conflict, they have been lied to and murdered and expelled from their lands? Indeed, the Palestinians have blood on their hands too, but only in defense of their lives. Their so called ‘terrorist’ tactics are the only weapon they have, and do not compare to the terrorism inflicted on them by the Zionists, both prior to and after the creation of the state.

      Gene

      • Fred Skolnik February 22, 2016 at 2:00 am #

        You are promoting a fiction that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Israel occupied the West Bank because it was attacked by Jordan. Israel instituted security measures in the West Bank because its civilian population was attacked by barbaric terrorists after the Arab nations announced: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. You can stand on your head and “reference” Counterpunch until hell freezes over but you are never going to alter these simple facts. What went on before the creation of the state is very easy to ascertain. The Arab riots in the Mandate period were not a response to Jewish terrorism but a response to the legitimate Jewish claim to sovereignty in their ancient homeland, as was the Arab invasion in 1948. I have given you Azzam Pasha’s statement and the Hamas Charter to consider as the defining statements of Arab ithinking. Not surprisingly you have ignored it, as you ignore anything that is unanswerable. Here are a few more statements to consider:

        1. Citing Damascus radio, TIME (June 2, 1948) recorded Syria calling on all Arabs to “undertake the liberation battle that will tear the hearts from the bodies of the hateful Jews and trample them in the dust.”

        2. Ahmed Shuqeiri, later to head the Palestinian Liberation Organization, stated (quoted from Churchill and Churchill, p. 52): “The surviving Jews would be helped to return to their native countries, but my estimation is that none will survive.”

        3. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said: “We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.”

        4.Edward Atiyah, Secretary of the Arab League Office in London, in his book “The Arabs”: “This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boastings of an unrealistic Arabic press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders, that it could be only a matter of weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re-enter and retake possession of their country.”

        5.Habib Issa in the New York Lebanese paper, Al Hoda (June 8, 1951) quotes Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: “He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw the Jews into the Mediterranean …. Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring
        fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”

      • Richard Falk February 22, 2016 at 9:43 am #

        What you are calling ‘simple facts’ are highly contested ‘opinions,’ or at most ‘plausible interpretations.’ It
        carries no weight to convert what is controversial into a dogmatic assertion. Such a style presupposes that communication
        gets reduced to ‘I am right,’ and ‘you are wrong.’ This gets no where, ever, in my view.

      • Kata Fisher February 22, 2016 at 9:15 am #

        : )

      • Fred Skolnik February 22, 2016 at 10:09 am #

        Are yoy being serious, Prof, Falk? Do you really wish to say that Jordan’s bombardment of Jewish Jerusalem and points west on the night of June 5, 1967, after Israel literally stood on its head to assure Hussein that it had no intention of acting against Jordan if Jordan did not act against Israel, communicated through Gen. Odd Bull, Chief of Staff of the UNTSO, and through the U.S. State Dept., is an opinion or interpretation. You are so enamored of these two words in the absence of concrete evidence for so many of your assertions that you forget that there are also demostrable facts involved in the conflict. Well, I was in Jerusalem that night. I was a witness. What were you? In fact, among the 500 buildings the Jordanians hit, they also put a shell through the window of the typing room of the Israel Program for Scientific Translations, the publishing house where I worked, miraculously not destroying a single typewriter, and since it was the middle of the night also not managing to kill any of the typists, or else you might be telling us that “only” 3 or 4 women were killed when you put together one of your scorecards for other people’s lives. “I am right and you are wrong”? Do you wish to say that Jordan did not attack Israel? Or do you wish to rationalize it, in order to get back to your comfortable ground of “interpretation” and engage in some more double-talk? And are the statements of Arab leaders that I have quoted for you also opinions and interpretations? Get real, as the children say.

      • Richard Falk February 22, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

        Your clarity, Mr. Skolnik, may accurately reflect your experience, but it does not overcome the fundamental uncertainties
        associate with the 1967 War. There are such accounts of shared responsibility as to be found in General Peled’s narrative
        or the scholarly study by John Quigley. As I am at a conference Italy at present I cannot be more specific in providing
        references, but there are numerous challenges to the Israeli mainstream narrative.
        I have always learned most from those with whom I disagree, but only if they are themselves willing to acknowledge their
        uncertainties. As long as you claim to be always right, and those who disagree, always wrong, conversation is a shouting
        match of value to neither side. I do not see how it benefits you.

      • Fred Skolnik February 22, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

        There is no uncertainty with regard to the specific sequence of events that led to the specific war between Jordan and Israel. Hussein himself has acknowledged that Jordan attacked Israel (in his book on the war and on other occasions), explaining himself in various ways, viz. that Nasser deceived him by claiming that Egypt had destroyed 75% of Israel’s air force and inviting him to join in, that his radar picked up planes on the way to Israel from Egypt, seeming to confirm the Egyptian attack whereas they were in fact Israeli planes returning to their bases, that Israel’s guarantees reached him too late to call off his attack on Israel, and even something about “Arab manhood” that prevented him from remaining on the sidelines. Because this fact is not to your liking you are trying to bury it in a larger “context” where opinion and interpretation become the focus of discussion. That is all you are doing. I have already replied to the relevancy of your notion that Israel was not existentially threatened in the war and even that it wanted the war. An existential threat is not necessary to justify defending your population. That is admittedly my opinion. It is enough to remember that Dayan instructed Israel’s hospitals to prepare for tens of thousands of casualties.

        As for right and wrong, you are accusing me of precisely what you are doing in your blog, where you make categorical statements about Israel’s guilt from which nothing on earth will move you.

  45. Laurie Knightly February 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Much said here has little bearing on the situation, but are contrived distractions as a basis for continued Israeli aggression and confiscation of Palestinian land. When one person stated ‘new settlements’ instead of ‘expanded settlements’, for instance, the rebuttal was that it was false – no official new ones and no reference to the perpetual expansion – for defensive purposes, of course. New or expanded? Maybe could throw in here how humane the destruction of Gaza was. A bit tough for decent people to see this.

    In ref to my labeling here to Z, [or Zionist] boys it was said by Ira to really mean Jew Boy – a term with which I was unfamiliar. Told by a Jewish professor that he thinks it meant a Jew who denied being one in spite of having identifiable characteristics. He suggested that it revealed a certain desperation on the part of the accuser. Still makes no sense to me…Admittedly, the professor does not speak Hebrew nor has he been to Israel.

    As to the Koran, since Qutb, the head cleric determines their position. If Islam is reputed to be threatened, the rest can be superceded. Hierarchical religions operate this way. To kill other Muslims, they just declare them inauthentic and they become infidels which makes it OK. Kata does this with the Charismatics. When not under real threat, one can always claim or generate one as do the Israelis and Americans.

    If there were to be a guiding principle to the problem, it would be for evacuation by Israel of territories in excess of the area of the ‘Jewish State’ and repatriation of the refugees to such territories – this would be whether in 1948, 1949, or 1967, and which includes the West Bank and Gaza. If the current unrest makes that not feasible, Israel could still renounce all such claims with promise to restore the lands when hostilities would cease.

    Palestine should never recognize Israel’s right to exist – there being none. If they made such a move it would invalidate their own claims. It is only when there is a complete absence of protests and claims that such a demand could become valid. Find me something in the Charter of the UN that gives credence to the actions of Israel. Why the hundreds of ignored resolutions? Check Plan Dalet, A to D, for the sequence in which the dispossession was planned and executed.

    Lastly, I have read here, in the perpetual dirt pile, that Richard’s geopolitical assertions are ‘demonstrably false, slanderous, distorted, biased and unfair’ and more words to that effect. Those who disagree with that description are labeled ‘sycophants’ stupid and worse. I do believe in social contracts, and was given some rules for this blog use. Kata continues to rattle on with her charisms in spite of many reprimands. If this type of attack and irrelevance is allowed to continue with no repercussions, please let me know. I shall begin at once, to fling mud, submit disparaging intellectual assessments, claim my ethnic superiority and quote some non germane scripture. I do admit that making comparisons to forced Bedouin removal and forcing a kid to have a shampoo would not occur to most people – even if they spoke Hebrew and had been to Israel, but I will check on that.

    • Kata Fisher February 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

      Laurie,

      Look what came across a while back, and I wonder what the actual numbers may be now:

      (2005 data) America’s daily
      Richard Brown writes that “According to the Children Defense Fund (As November 2005), each day / per school day in America:
      4 children are killed by abuse or neglect
      5 children or teens commit suicide
      35 children or teens die from accidents
      181 children are arrested for violent crimes
      380 children are arrested for drug abuse
      1,154 babies are born to teen mothers
      2,482 children are confirmed as abused or neglected
      2.756 high school students drop out (based on the calculation on a school day/180 days of seven hours each).
      3.879 babies are born to unmarried mothers
      4,356 children are arrested” (p. 7).

      Brown, Jr. Richard S. Principles of Student Ministry V.2: An Overview of A Biblically Based Approach to Student Ministry. Virginia Beach: 2007.

      • Fred Skolnik February 22, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

        You have already flung mud, Laurie, going all the way back to the Bible to “prove” what savages the Jews are, which I imagine tou would not think of doing with regard to the Iliad and Aeneid to prove what savages the modern Greeks and Italians are, or combing African mythologies concerning tribal warfare to prove what savages black people are. The “and worse” that I have called you is an antisemite, for the simple reason that you talk like one. I don’t know what kind of a family you come from but I can imagine that it was one where making snide remarks about Jews was the cultural norm. As for your various complaints and allegation about Israel, I have addressed them substantively.

      • Kata Fisher February 23, 2016 at 8:09 am #

        Fred,

        I think that you are comparing cultural norms to Antisemitism has nothing to do with reality.

        If one is going to tell you what the natural condition of Jews is, and that does not make her/him Antiemetic.

        Further, you are confusing spiritual and natural realities when comes to Antisemitism.

        I assure you that what you are saying has nothing to do with reality – Laurie is just telling you about fact reality. That has nothing to do with Antisemitism.

        Sure, you can apply all of that to current Jewish condition (in natural terms): Iliad and Aeneid, then also modern Greeks and Italians, and in African mythologies concerning tribal warfare.

        Still this will not make you a racist and anti-Semitic. We just talk about natural lines. There is nothing racist or anti-Semitic to go about that. Is it fact relevant?

        If you keep confusing things with Antisemitism – you will never get to the root cause of it and really understand it.

        Antisemitism has nothing to do with Laurie. I know this authomaticaly – I am Church Charismatic.

  46. Aaron February 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Feb 22 2016
    Israel Brings Together Both Sides of Canadian Parliament to Fight BDS

    Dr. Charles McVety, national chair of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Canada, the largest pro Israel advocacy organization in the country, applauds the bipartisan initiative undertaken by Canada’s Members of Parliament. Today in the House of Commons, a bill presented by the Conservative party was supported by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to condemn Boycotts, Divestment or Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Dr. McVety expressed the hope that the clarity found through Israel on this issue bless the House with further clarity to uphold Canadian values such as the sanctity of life.

    Professor Frank Dimant, Dean of the Modern Israel Studies Department, Canada Christian College hailed this bill as a clear demonstration of Canadian opposition to the anti-Semitic BDS movement which focuses on demonizing the state of Israel and the Jewish people and nothing else. For this reason, Professor Dimant was regretfully shocked that the New Democratic Party withheld its support from the bill, joining instead with the demonizers.

    For further info contact
    Ken 416 710 2355

    —-30—–

    • Kata Fisher February 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      A note:
      I understand that Rabbi Ira said that folks should go about using tools given.
      I was thinking and meditating on this – I do not believe that he is wrong in that what he said.
      So, is there anything else that needs to be said and not done for folks in Holy Land?

  47. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Gene,

    Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule this morning to write.

    Although I agree with much of Fred’s response, it would not have been my response. My preference goes against extending the endless loop of haggling over the past, which is the leitmotif of this blog. For a change, let’s look to the future. And instead of searching for reasons why Israeli-Palestinian peace can’t happen. Let’s try to explore ways it can!

    Gene, you post doesn’t point any possible pathway to Palestinian national liberation and independence. That leaves them vulnerable and powerless in a Middle East of increasing turbulence when better alternatives, while not a certainty, are likely available to them if they’re willing to alter their strategy to fit current realities, and achieve a unity, or at least a consensus, which will enable the total community to act in a cohesive manner.

    The resistance strategy currently pursued by the Palestinians is familiar. Low-level urban violence together with periodic shelling of small rural population centers is a classic tactic used by populations lacking the military power to counter their adversary. It aims to disrupt the more powerful actor’s normal pattern of life, so that it becomes willing to make concessions it would not otherwise make. Every actor engaged in conflict makes a cost/benefits analysis of the situation: does it get more for hanging tough and taking the blows, or by giving up something in exchange for peace? But this works only if (a) the challenger’s demands are realistic and (b) the challenger is willing to make concessions that meet the adversary’s minimum requirements. If these criteria aren’t met, the dominant party likely will choose to retain the status quo and, possibly, intensify his response.

    Using this template of cost/benefits analysis in trying to understand the current status of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the Israel leadership must ask itself whether removing a significant number of West Bank settlements is worth the huge monetary expenditure and the certainty of kicking up severe internal political turmoil, if at day’s end, the Palestinians still refuse to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and Hamas remains committed to its stated goal of annihilating the Jewish state? The answer is obvious, especially as removing settlements brings Hamas’ cannons and rocket launchers closer to Israel’s industrial/commercial heartland and its international airport.

    For the Palestinians: as difficult as it may be to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and establish normalized relations, is the price too high for ending the Occupation?
    If it is, the “unsustainable” status quo goes on forever.

    Here, I must respectfully disagree with Prof. Falk when he places the total, or near total, responsibility for achieving peace on Israel’s shoulders as the dominant party. When the goal is finding a way for two disparate and mutually hostile communities to co-exist peacefully, the onus is on both of them equally. Israel’s dominance may be reflected in the extent of the financial responsibility it accepts for Palestinian rehabilitation, or even the extent of the risks its willing to take. But no measure of dominance can require any state to accept and make concessions to an entity committed to its destruction. This view is held not only by those in Israel’s center and right wing, but also by Uri Avnery and others on Israel’s far left.

    Gene, you’re undoubtedly asking how this dynamic could work when Israel’s Likud-led government gives nothing more than lip service to Palestinian statehood and announces new settlements even as it pretends to be negotiating for the removal of old ones? I don’t mean to dismiss this question. It’s valid and important. But this post running long. I’ve already dealt with it on this blog and will do so again if asked. Suffice to say that Israel’s peace camp, which in the last decade elected two prime ministers who ran on peace platforms that translated into firm proposals that were rejected by the Palestinians, has been discredited and stifled by Palestinian intransigence. It will be re-energized if a light appears at the end of the tunnel.

    Finally, I want to discuss briefly two alternatives that have been mentioned in this space. One is creating a bi-national state as Prof. Falk proposes? That notion has been around since the early days of the British Mandate, and has invariably been opposed by both sides. So I asked Prof. Falk how he thought it might be achieved and how it would function, and he admitted that he didn’t know. That’s OK, nobody else does. In more recent post, he noted that three Israeli Jews shared his enthusiasm for a bi-national state. So I checked them out. Uri Avnery is inalterably opposed. Gideon Levy’s plan is to leave the settlements where they are, leaving the Palestinians as fragmented in a bi-national state as they are now. Jeff Halper’s plan is so convoluted that it’s a guaranteed non-starter.

    And Gene, referring to your concern that mutual trust is unachievable, it’s important to note that a bi-national state requires a much higher level of trust than the two-state solution. If Israel’s and Palestinians don’t trust one another to get a divorce, how can they possibly live together under one roof?

    The second is the BDS Movement. Thus far, after years of trying, BDS has very little to show for its efforts. Palestinian independence will not be won through votes of student senates on university campuses, religious denominations with shrinking memberships and academic associations. European parliaments and American state legislatures are passing laws making boycotts of Israel illegal. One can rail against these as being anti-democratic, but they’re a fact.

    But most significantly, the majority of those who support BDS do so not to de-legitimize Israel, which is the aim of the movement’s sponsors, but to exert pressure on Israel to end the Occupation. That rift came to light when the Presbyterian Church (USA) endorsed a pro-BDS resolution and Prof. Falk castigated it for affirming Israel’s right to exist, slandering the affirmation as a cowardly act of political correctness. (Ms. Knightly, you can check that quote by referencing it on this blog.) This discrepancy likely will tear the movement apart.

    Gene, enough for now! You probably disagree with some, perhaps most or all of what I wrote. But please don’t dismiss it as Zionist hasbara. I abhor the Occupation and want to end it as quickly as possible. I firmly believe that the Palestinians deserve and need independence in a state of their own, and pray that its advent will come speedily. The notion that a Zionist cannot be pro-Palestinian is a canard. But I also believe that the Palestinians are making unwise political choices that bring them no closer to independence and, indeed, put them at odds with the United Nations, which endorsed a Palestinian state outside the Green Line but not inside it. And I believe that outsiders who see themselves as the Palestinians’ best friends doing them a great disservice in encouraging these choices.

    There’s a wonderful Hebrew saying, which I’ll translate into English so that there’s no squabble over language—Fred Skolnik, please take note—“When you try to grasp too much, you wind up grasping nothing.” That’s the strategy people on this blog are urging on the Palestinians. It’s sad.

    Ira

    • Fred Skolnik February 22, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

      Ira

      Ordinarily I would say that you are wasting your breath, which Gene will soon bear out if he chooses to reply. I have noted in the past that it is not the Palestinians as victims that interest the haters but Israel (and America) as culprits, which is borne out by the fact that none of them shows the slightest interest in a practical solution to the conflict. (This again is my opinion.) But your remarks are so reasonable that they are worth putting out there in spite of this. What undercuts the possibility of a final resolution of the conflict is the very powerful element of irrationality among the Arabs, At the risk of sounding like a racist (though we all know that Jews do not think of Arabs as belonging to another race), this is a distinctly Eastern quality, a certain way of looking at reality that is very different from the Western way, though not necessarily inferior to it. In the Arab case, however, this is compunded by the additional element of hatred, which also tends to override a rational approach to the conflict.

    • Gene Schulman February 23, 2016 at 4:54 am #

      Nice try Ira,

      But I’m afraid you give yourself away when you admit to agreeing with Fred. There is absolutely no point in his screeds on which I could ever agree, and that is why I refuse to engage with him any longer. Not only are his ‘facts’ skewered and usually besides the point, his opinions are biased. On top of which he is rude, and his only purpose in commenting on this blog is to insult and demean Richard. He adds absolutely nothing to the debate.

      I would certainly like to look to the future and probe ways in which peace can happen. However, as the poet said, the past is prelude to the future, and the future looks ever more bleak because of that past. Not long ago I posted on this blog an introduction to a discussion I led in a public forum about seeking solutions to this conflict, and the conclusions of that discussion were rather dismal. Most everyone agreed, Jews and non-Jews alike, that there could be no solution unless Israel changed its ways about its treatment of the Palestinians. As we don’t see any change happening, the status quo will remain. All the worse, ultimately, for Israel. For the time being, as long as the US is Israel’s chief sponsor/protector, financially and politically, Israel will have its way. But as I pointed out, the US is in the process of destroying itself, and both will collapse together.

      You put the burden of seeking ways out of this dilemma on the Palestinians, but what can they do? As I said above, Israel holds all the cards and continues mercilessly to oppress them. They are the occupied, and legally have the right to defend themselves. I applaud their resilience, and feel shame for the Israelis – a Jewish people – for the treatment they inflict on others, no less horrifying than that inflicted on them in their own past.

      Re the BDS movement, I would hardly say that it is a failure. It is becoming more and more popular and is making more and more people aware of the Palestinian plight. The world is beginning to see what Israel is doing and is willing to criticize it more freely. That is why Israel and its lobbies are fighting so hard to suppress it. Unfortunately, as Gilad Atzmon continues to point out, Jewish power is co-opting the movement.

      Finally, I am sure you agree that the Palestinians need an independent state of their own, just ‘not in my backyard’.

      • Gene Schulman February 23, 2016 at 7:59 am #

        I will ignore Fred’s jeremiad and cut right to the hunt. Just to be clear, I want everyone to know that not everyone who criticizes Israel for its actions and behavior is an anti-Semite, or a self-hating Jew, or a Holocaust denier. There are good reasons for criticizing Israel. In order to cover this up, Zionists have a tendency to defuse such criticism with dishonest accusations such as the above.

        For the record, this writer has never denied the Holocaust. How could he when members of his own family suffered it? But as Norman Finkelstein reminds us in his heroic ‘The Holocaust Industry’, Zionism has co-opted it for its own propaganda purposes as justification for the one they are inflicting on an innocent people.

      • Gene Schulman February 23, 2016 at 8:19 am #

        Though the following is quite long, I think what it has to say is worth posting here:

        An Amazing Turn for a Major Leader of the American Jewish mainstream: David Gordis Rethinking Israel

        David Gordis has served as vice-president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now American Jewish University). He also served as Executive Vice President of the American Jewish Committee and was the founding director of the Foundation for Masorti Judaism in Israel. He founded and directed the Wilstein Institute for Jewish Policy Studies which became the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies.
        David Gordis is President Emeritus of Hebrew College where he served as President and Professor of Rabbinics for fifteen years. He is currently Visiting Senior Scholar at the University at Albany of the State University of New York. Here is the article he submitted to Tikkun. We publish it with the same sadness that Gordis expresses at the end of this article, because many of us at Tikkun magazine shared the same hopes he expresses below for an Israel that would make Jews proud by becoming an embodiment of what is best in Jewish tradition, history, and ethics, rather than a manifestation of all the psychological and spiritual damage that has been done to our people, which now acts as an oppressor to the Palestinian people. For those of us who continue to love Judaism and the wisdom of our Jewish culture and traditions, pointing out Israel’s current distortions gives us no pleasure, but only makes saddens us deeply.
        –Rabbi Michael Lerner (RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com)

        Reflections on Israel 2016
        by David M. Gordis

        While reading Ethan Bronner’s review of a new biography of Abba Eban, I was reminded of a time when in a rare moment I had the better of a verbal encounter with Eban. It happened about thirty years ago at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which brought together leaders of American Jewish organizations, sometimes to hear from a visiting dignitary, in this case Eban, Israel’s eloquent voice for many years. I was attending as Executive Vice President of the American Jewish Committee. Eban had a sharp wit as well as a sharp tongue. He began his remarks with a mildly cynical remark: “I’m pleased, as always, to meet with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, though I wonder where the presidents of minor American Jewish organizations might be.” I piped up from the audience: “They are busy meeting with minor Israeli government officials.” A mild amused reaction followed and Eban proceeded with his remarks.

        Looking back on Israel oriented meetings from those days, I attended a monthly meeting, alternating between Washington and New York, with my counterparts at the Anti-Defamation League, Nathan Perlmutter and the American Jewish Congress, Henry Siegman, along with Tom Dine of the America Israel Public Affairs Commission (AIPAC). Though the atmosphere was cordial, a clear fault line separated Perlmutter and Dine from Siegman and me. AIPAC and ADL were on the ideological and political right, particularly when it came to Israel, the American Jewish Congress was on the left and the American Jewish Committee straddled a centrist position, with its lay leadership tending center-right and its professional staff clearly center left. A policy adopted by all four public policy organization was honored inconsistently. The policy was: support whatever government was in power in Israel, right or left, and avoid criticism of its policies. This was honored when a right wing government was in power. However, the agreement dissolved when a left wing Labor government was in control because neither ADL nor AIPAC hesitated to criticize Labor government policies. At our meetings Dine and Perlmutter agreed that a Labor government in control in Israel was a problem for them. So it was Perlmutter and Dine on one side of the divide, and Siegman and me on the other.

        Things have moved a long way since those days. The American Jewish Congress has disappeared from the stage. The current executive of the American Jewish Committee appears to aspire to fill the role of the retired ADL executive Abe Foxman as a leading spokesman for the ideological and political right. AIPAC’s support of the right wing in Israel and its alliance with the right wing in the United States is more palpable than ever. And of course, there has been no significant opposition to the entrenched Likud government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is nearing a half century in duration. Netanyahu’s “facts on the ground” steps to make a two-state solution impossible are bearing fruit, and there still appears to be no significant opposition to these policies in Israel itself. A number of smaller organizations supporting a two-state solution have emerged, notably J-Street and Americans for Peace Now, but recent steps by the Israeli government to delegitimize these groups are proceeding. The bottom line as I see it: The right has triumphed; the left has been defeated.

        The Israel of today is very far from anything I dreamed of and worked for throughout my career. I can clearly remember the day in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. I was in the fourth grade at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. The entire school was summoned to the schoolyard in celebration of the momentous occasion. It was announced that from that day on the school would adopt the Sephardic (Israeli) Hebrew pronunciation and abandon the older European Ashkenazic. I well remember driving out with my parents to Idyllwild Airport, now JFK, to see the first airliner with the Israeli flag adorning its tail. This was a transformative moment. Jews had returned to the stage of history after the devastation of the Holocaust. Israel was to be the great laboratory for the rebirth of an ancient tradition in a new land and in a country committed to being a model of democracy and freedom for the world.

        What happened? We can debate the reasons but the bottom line for me is that it has gone terribly wrong. On the positive side, Israel’s accomplishments have been remarkable. Israel has created a thriving economy, and has been a refuge for hundreds of thousands of the displaced and the needy. Israel has generated a rich and diverse cultural life and its scientific and educational achievements have been exemplary. In spite of these achievements, however, Israel in my view has gone astray. And it in in the area for which Israel was created, as a Jewish state, embodying and enhancing Jewish values that I see this failure. Throughout history, at its best, Jewish life and thought have successfully navigated between three pairs of values that are in tension with one another. First, the Jewish experience has balanced the rational with the affective, the assertion with the question, where often the question emerges as the more important.

        Second, it has embraced both particularism with universalism, probing Jewish interiorities but looking out to the larger world, recognizing the common humanity of all people. Third, it has shaped positions which looked to the past for sources and inspiration but at the same time projected a vision for a world transformed in the future into something better than its current reality.

        Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.

        And most depressing of all for me, is that I see no way out, no way forward which will reverse the current reality. Right wing control in Israel is stronger and more entrenched than ever. The establishment leadership in the American Jewish community is silent in the face of this dismal situation, and there are no recognizable trends that can move Israel out of this quagmire. So, sadly, after a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me. A noble experiment, but a failure.

  48. Laurie Knightly February 23, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    Re to Fred’s smears against me, and others, this is about him – not me. The vile and false accusations, including speculative nasty descriptions of my family, describe Fred and no one else. It’s time for someone to drag him into the shower. Revisionist Zionism lacks neither legal nor moral justification so its defenders must resort to myth and slander. Another ploy is to say – let’s forget about what/how destruction has been done to the Palestinians and move on – as Israel continues to plunder/steal and claim defense.

    Once more a reminder; The Palestinians did not create the holocaust. They do not control the MidEast. They were a Class A Mandate, separate from Jordan, which means declared eligible for independence – this being described in legal documents as a ‘sacred trust of civilization’.The mandates became trusts with the formation of the UN. The Palestinians cannot stop Israel from doing anything – including what’s right, legal, and honorable. They have no voice – stop pretending that they do.

    • Gene Schulman February 23, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Fred is always asking for facts, and any time someone offers them, he resorts to slavering at the mouth and screaming anti-Semitism. Time to give up, Fred, you have no credibility. Laurie shows you up every time, as only she knows how. If any of your handlers are monitoring your comments on this blog, I wonder when you will be sacked. You are a disgrace to those whom you attempt to defend.

      • Kata Fisher February 23, 2016 at 11:32 am #

        Comparison of the Spirit is hitting me hard this morning.

        It most be because of the elderly folks – fighting here.

        Over my life time – I never experienced or came across anything like this among elderly.

        Life-long unfulfilled purposes? What is it? Personal Bitterness? Why?

        Also, I am thinking on this – because Fr. Bill died last night.

        He dealt with all kind of things, and he was battling cancer for few years now – he was always in joy – not bitter.

        Now, you elderly – I do as you to sincerely examine the source of your pain and distress. Perhaps it is the acceptable time for you to do that?

    • Kata Fisher February 23, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      Fred,

      You seem to be not doing the best today. Are you OK? Are you in some kind of distress that is your old age relevant?

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 23, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      Ms. Knightly, please note that I’m not calling you stupid, bigoted or any of the other vile names we Zboys hurl at you. But on the issue of Palestinian power, you are simply wrong.

      The Palestinian and Israeli Jewish communities are interactive. What one does affects the other’s behavior, and vice versa in an endless spiral. The rejectionism and violence perpetrated by Palestinian extremists strengthens the hand of Israel extremists, who argue that nothing Israel concedes will ever assuage the Palestinian’s thirst for revenge, so why even try when expanding settlements and cracking down on the Palestinians’ already limited rights keeps a lid on the boiling pot? And as night follows day, Israeli counter-violence sets Palestinian teenagers to grab a kitchen knife and go out on a suicide mission.

      The Palestinians have power to interrupt this cycle of violence. Reliable opinion polls repeatedly show that a substantial majority of Israelis want to end the Occupation and make sufficient concessions to facilitate the creation of an independent Palestinian state. But they don’t want a state whose leaders are committed to destroying Israel. That’s where the Palestinians have power to change the direction of things.

      Prof. Falk and his followers on this blog love to portray Palestinians as a people totally without power. That way, they can excuse Palestinian ethical violations as being the inevitable consequence of their suffering, and, in fact, escape any responsibility for judging Palestinian behavior because it’s all Israel’s fault!

      That approach may satisfy Palestinian hasbara needs. But it isn’t reality.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  49. Gene Schulman February 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Wow! That’s really cool, Aaron. Made in Israel no less. Enough to make anyone want to boycott G-d.
    ;-(

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 23, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      Gene,

      What are you talking about? Can’t find anything to which your critique might apply.

      Ira

    • ray032 February 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      That was a slick piece of propaganda Aaron posted – to equate BDS as the equivalent to boycotting the God of the Bible. And Israel is mostly secular these days. Some weak minded people will believe it.

      Here’s what the God of Israel says through the Prophet who prophesied concerning a Future Israel when God had already consented to the disappearance of Israel from the Ancient world.

      The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

      Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken; Children I have raised and exalted, yet they have rebelled against Me.

      An ox knows his owner and a donkey his master’s crib; Israel does not know, my people does not consider.

      Woe to a sinful nation, a people heavy with iniquity, evildoing seed, corrupt children. They forsook the Lord; they provoked the Holy One of Israel; they drew backwards.

      Why are you beaten when you still continue to rebel? Every head is [afflicted] with illness and every heart with malaise.

      From the sole of the foot until the head there is no soundness-wounds and contusions and lacerated sores; they have not sprinkled, neither have they been bandaged, nor was it softened with oil.

      • Aaron February 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

        Yes, Ray, you are right about the prophesy. And we have suffered through millennia, including the holocaust and the Palestinian pogroms for our sins. However, guess what? The prophesy also has a positive ending!!!!

        Am Yisrael Hai !!!!!!!

  50. ray032 February 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    Israel is on the brink of a tyranny of the majority

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Tel Aviv is drafting legislation that ought to resolve in observers’ minds the question of whether Israel is the democracy it proudly claims to

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Tel Aviv is drafting legislation that ought to resolve in observers’ minds the question of whether Israel is the democracy it proudly claims to be. The bill empowers a three-quarters majority of the Israeli parliament to oust a sitting MP.

    It breathes new life into the phrase “tyranny of the majority”. But in this case, the majority will be Jewish MPs oppressing their Palestinian colleagues.

    Mr Netanyahu has presented the bill as a necessary response to the recent actions of three MPs from the Balad faction of the Joint List, a coalition of parties representing the often-overlooked fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Palestinian.

    He claims the MPs “sided with terror” this month when they visited Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem who have been waiting many months for Israel to return their relatives’ bodies.

    The 11 dead are among those alleged to have carried out what are termed “lone-wolf” attacks, part of a recent wave of Palestinian unrest. Fearful of more protests, Israel has demanded that the families bury the bodies in secret, without autopsies, and in plots outside Jerusalem.

    There is an urgent moral and political issue about Israel using bodies as bargaining chips to encourage Palestinian obedience towards its illegal occupation. The three Palestinian MPs also believe they are under an obligation to help the families by adding to the pressure on Mr Netanyahu to return the bodies.

    Israel’s Palestinian minority has a severely degraded form of citizenship, but it enjoys more rights than Palestinians living under occupation.

    When a video of the meeting was posted online, however, the Israeli right seized the chance to attack and disenfranchise the MPs. A parliamentary “ethics” committee comprising the main Jewish parties suspended the three MPs for several months. Now they face losing their seats.

    This is part of a clear trend. Late last year, the government outlawed the northern Islamic Movement, a popular extra-parliamentary political, religious and welfare organisation.

    Despite Mr Netanyahu’s statements that the movement was linked to “terror”, leaks to the Israeli media showed his intelligence chiefs had advised him weeks before the ban that there was no evidence to support such accusations.

    At the time many Palestinians in Israel suspected Mr Netanyahu would soon turn his sights on the Palestinian parties in the parliament. And so he has.

    Balad, which decries Israel’s status as a Jewish state and noisily campaigns for democratic reform, was always likely to be top of his list. In every recent general election, an election committee dominated by the Jewish parties has banned Balad or its leaders from standing, only to see the Israeli courts reverse the decision.

    Now Mr Netanyahu is legislating the expulsion of Balad and throwing down the gauntlet to the courts.

    It won’t end there. If Balad is unseated, the participation of the other Joint List factions will be untenable. In effect, the Israeli right is seeking to ethnically cleanse the parliament.

    For those who doubt such intentions, consider that two years ago the government raised the electoral threshold for entry to the parliament specifically to exclude the Palestinian factions.

    The intention was to empty the parliament of its Palestinian representatives. But these factions put aside their historic differences to create the Joint List.

    Mr Netanyahu, who had hoped to see the back of the Palestinian parties at last year’s general election, inadvertently transformed them into the third biggest party. That was the context for his now-infamous campaign warning that “the Arabs are coming out in droves to vote”.

    The crackdown on Palestinian parties may finally burst the simplistic assumption that Israel is a democracy because its Palestinian minority has the vote.

    This argument was always deeply misguided. After Israel’s creation in 1948, officials gave citizenship and the vote to the few Palestinians remaining inside the new borders precisely because they were a small and weak minority.

    In exiling 80 per cent of Palestinians from their homeland, Israel effectively rigged its national electoral constituency to ensure there would be a huge Jewish majority in perpetuity.

    A Palestinian MP, Ahmed Tibi, summed it up neatly. Israel, he said, was a democratic state for Jews and a Jewish state for its Palestinian citizens.

    In truth, the vote of Palestinian citizens was only ever meant as window-dressing. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, assumed that the rump Palestinian population would be swamped by Jewish immigrants flooding into the new state.

    He miscalculated. The Palestinian minority had a far higher birth rate and maintained a level of 20 per cent of the population. None of that would matter had the Palestinian representatives quietly accepted their position as shop-window mannequins.

    But in recent years, as Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has grown ever weaker, confined to small enclaves of the West Bank, the Palestinian MPs in Israel have taken up some of the slack.That was why the Balad MPs met the Jerusalem families. The PA, barred by Israel from East Jerusalem, can only look on helplessly on this issue.

    This month Mr Netanyahu said he would surround Israel with walls to keep out the neighbourhood’s “wild beasts”. In his view, there are also wild beasts to be found in Israel’s parliament – and he is ready to erect walls to keep them out too.

    http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/israel-is-on-the-brink-of-a-tyranny-of-the-majority

    Jonathan Cook is an independent journalist in Nazareth

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 23, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

      Ray,

      I, too, am distressed and angered by the proposed bill which would enable a Knesset majority to oust a member for ideological reasons. But to proclaim that Israel “is on the brink of a tyranny of the majority” is hyperbolic to the point of distortion.

      Let’s look at the facts. The bill is somewhere in the early-middle stages of the drafting process, and has acquired a lengthening list of significant opponents, which includes the Knesset’s Legal Adviisor and key Likud leaders like Benny Begin. It has already been revised once, and stands to receive further revision down the road. If it ever gets to the Knesset floor, it must have three readings before a vote is taken. If adopted, it must then withstand what will certainly be a strong challenge in Israel’s Supreme Court.

      This has become a frequent pattern over the past few years. Extremists submit bills that have no chance of passing in order to impress their constituents. The bills die somewhere in the process. That Netanyahu backs this one is no cause for alarm. He often supports legislation to strengthen ties with extremists in Likud and other Coalition partners, knowing that it will die before becoming law.

      Nevertheless, it is very disturbing that legislation of this nature is proposed at all. Somewhere upstream, Gene has posted a significant piece by Rabbi David Gordis, a leader of the generation of American Jewish leadership that is passing from the scene. I share David’s concerns, although not the certainty of his pessimistic conclusion.

      Ira

      • ray032 February 23, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

        Ira, your recent comments make me think you may have been ‘born again,’ but going deeper than the surface, indicates to me you are attempting to straddle both sides of the fence.

  51. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    Ah Gene,

    It would be so nice if you would read and consider what I write before responding to it. That way, when you disagree with me, as you assuredly will, you might be taking issue with what I actually wrote instead of your mistaken notion of what a Zboy like me would wrote.

    Item. I never “put the burden of seeking ways out of this dilemma on the Palestinians.” What I said is that the burden must be shared, and that the Palestinians are better positioned to get the ball rolling. The major Palestinian concession would be Hamas abandoning its stated goal of destroying Israel. That shouldn’t be all that difficult as Prof. Falk has stated on this blog that Hamas has already abandoned that goal.

    For Israel, making concessions entails removing settlements, which opens the door to Hamas bringing weapons closer to its heartland residential and commercial areas. You stress the importance of remembering history. You make an important point. Israel will not easily forget that shortly after it removed every civilian and soldier from Gaza a decade ago, the vacated area became a launching pad for Hamas rockets.

    About BDS: you write that the movement is sweeping the globe, but that Gilad Atzmon says that Jewish power is co-opting it. What you’re really saying is that BDS is NOT sweeping the globe and, as with everything else, the Jews are to blame. As Mr. Atzmon’s work is not on my nightstand, please tell me how he thinks Jews are co-opting BDS? Are we smashing the soapboxes outside professional agitators bring with them when they invade a campus? Do we rip down the Apartheid Walls they build on the Quad? We have several modestly funded initiatives to assist Jewish students counter these invasions, and the occasional celebrity who will show up to lend support. Unless I’m wrong, what Gilad Atzmon is complaining about is that Jewish students talk back. They defend Israel. And somehow, Jews exercising their right to free speech becomes something nefarious.

    Regarding your prediction that Israel and the United States will collapse together, I hope that the Palestinians aren’t waiting for that to happen.

    Finally, as to your little poke that I accept a Palestinian state but not in Israel’s back yard: where else would a Palestinian state be other than along a shared border with Israel? What I don’t want is a Palestine whose leaders are committed to destroying Israel. But that, apparently, is just another example of Zboy greed.

    Ira

    • Gene Schulman February 24, 2016 at 12:06 am #

      @ Ira,

      Here is one of Gilad’s latest pieces on BDS. It references the British movement, but the same applies in the US with that great ‘philanthropist’, George Soros, providing some of the muscle.

      http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/2/18/the-uk-government-bds-and-the-jews

      As for the video Aaron posted, it was so stupid that Richard pulled it down almost immediately. Glad at least Ray had a chance to see it too, before it came down. Frankly, I thing it should have left posted so readers of the blog could see to what extent the anti-BDSers will stoop to show their ignorance.

      As for my reading what you have to say before responding, I assure you I do. And that is the problem; you keep repeating yourself.

      • Gene Schulman February 24, 2016 at 12:23 am #

        @Ira,

        Here’s another Gilad piece on BDS which just popped up today.

        Re his book, The Wandering Who, I would suggest you DO keep it on your night table and glance into it from time to time. You might learn something about Jewish tribalism and pre traumatic stress syndrome, which you and several other contributors to this blog seem to suffer from.

      • Kata Fisher February 24, 2016 at 6:45 am #

        Fred,

        That is not what Walker said. He just explained oppression around his mind during his child age due to the ills of religion.

        That has nothing to do with mental ilness. Mental illness is deeply rooted possessions of the mind, not oppression/s of the mind.

        I think you are putting words in one’s mouth that are not.

        Also, why haters?

        I would love to understand your analogy basis.

      • ray032 February 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

        Gene, Remember that slick anti-BDS propaganda video Aaron posted? Gideon Levy writes around it in Haaretz Today.

        Israel’s New Line of Propaganda Puts Orwell to Shame

        Israel is resorting to lies and deceit about the occupation and its treatment of the Palestinians to fill the void left by the death of the peace process.

        An all-American youngster – fair-haired, regular churchgoer – returns from his morning run and decides to join the boycott against Israel. He has heard of the BDS movement and about the oppression and occupation, so he collects everything in his home that was made in Israel or by companies trading with it – just about everything he has – and starts shooting the products. Suddenly, another young man appears and suggests he shoot the Bible, since that too was made in Israel. The shooter recoils. He gets the message that appears at the end of the video: “Don’t boycott God. Buy Israeli products.”

        This video was produced by HaYovel, an organization founded by Tennessee couple Tommy and Sherri Waller. He once worked with Federal Express, she is a passionate restoration advocate – of families and “the nation of Israel,” as their website says. Their mission is to bring volunteers from America to help “the Israeli farmers,” i.e. the settlers. The organization’s website enables donations and even to pray for the settlers. Another video on the site shows U.S. veterans volunteering in the vineyard of the West Bank settlement of Har Bracha.

        There are plenty of wacky rightist organizations. But the youngster who persuaded his friend not to boycott Israel said something else. “Most Palestinians aren’t oppressed. Those who are – are oppressed by their own government. Israel provides them with work, free electricity, health care and loads of humanitarian aid. I was there and saw it.”

        Tons of aid or not, it is not only HaYovel that spreads these absurd falsehoods. And these tainted goods now have much more serious sellers: the Israeli government. It is doubtful whether it has more serious buyers than the grotesque U.S. veterans at Har Bracha.

        The propagandist in the video says the same things Israel’s prime minister is saying. Addressing his British counterpart David Cameron, who let slip a rare word of criticism of the occupation in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu preached, “Only Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem guarantees the city’s Arab residents’ roads, clinics, workplaces and other means of normal life that Arabs across the Middle East don’t enjoy.” He said it as an insult to Cameron’s intelligence.

        One may, of course, suspect that Israel’s propagandists are guiding HaYovel and similar groups. Or perhaps great minds think alike. But it’s impossible to ignore the embarrassing change that has occurred in Israel’s propaganda.

        Nobody in the world speaks seriously about the peace process anymore. No one believes that the Israeli government is interested in peace, while the two-state solution is nothing but a monument. At a time like this, propaganda must reinvent itself. Israel can’t say “There’s no partner,” because it’s clear it doesn’t want to talk to the Palestinians. Israel can’t say “two states,” because it’s clear it doesn’t mean it.

        But Israel must say something, so it is now resorting to the Orwellian propaganda of lies and deceit, the likes of which even George Orwell himself couldn’t have imagined; he didn’t even go so far in “1984.”

        The new Israeli “public diplomacy” (hasbara) consists of three principles, at least two of which are outright lies: there is no occupation; the Palestinians are living contented lives; God giveth.

        Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has drafted the new line, following Netanyahu. “The occupation is not an occupation,” she said in all seriousness to Yossi Verter this weekend, adding something about a biblical right. Naturally, this is good news. According to Israel’s spokespeople, the Palestinians’ situation is wonderful, they’re neither oppressed nor occupied – joyful tidings! And there’s more: the world is stupid, and so are the Israelis. So the government finds it easy to sell them anything.

        And the best news is that official Israel is pulling its rusty day-of-judgement weapon of yore out of the attic: there’s a God, so there’s no occupation. In the early days of the occupation, a few wackos used to wander around trying to sell us this merchandise. Not many were convinced. Dredging up this weapon again confirms that Israel has run out of arguments. We’re left only with the delusion and lies.

        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.705799

      • Aaron February 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

        Wow, and Bibi did not win the majority of the electorates vote.

        Try this old Condell link for size: https://youtu.be/c4j_BwUWUwE

    • ray032 February 24, 2016 at 5:15 am #

      Ira, on one point I agree it would be foolhardy for Israel to unilaterally disengage from the occupied territories without implementing a sustained period of Trust and Confidence building measures, having the objective of recognizing in Law, word and deed, the Palestinian people being fully human and equal to Jews, and free to live on their own land. I don’t see this being done, with Israel moving in the opposite direction, with no good end in sight.

      Military and government disagree sharply in Israel
      by Jonathan Cook

      Israel’s frantic cocoon-weaving entered a new phase last week, as Benjamin Netanyahu’s government stepped up efforts to stifle the last vestiges of dissent.

      The military censor’s office, a draconian 70-year-old hangover from British rule in Palestine, extended its powers over Israeli press and TV to prominent blogs and social media.

      The government has also threatened to revoke the press cards of “journalists and editors who are negligent in their work” – aimed at those who depart too obviously from the official line.

      These moves follow culture minister Miri Regev’s announcement of a “loyalty law” that will deny state funding to artists and cultural institutions that are not sufficiently patriotic.

      The education minister, settler leader Naftali Bennett, meanwhile, is reportedly preparing a raft of measures: a ban on access for pupils to literature and theatre not in line with government thinking, cuts to already very limited pluralism education and a new civics textbook vilifying the Palestinian minority.

      In this atmosphere of inculcated ignorance and prejudice, it is easy for Mr Netanyahu to persuade public opinion that the recent wave of Palestinian protests and attacks, which have left more than 160 Palestinians and 29 Israelis dead, is solely the result of “incitement” from Palestinian officials and media. The Israeli right suggests that Palestinians who stab or drive cars at their oppressors, most often soldiers and settlers, are easily inflamed into action by words that appeal to ancient prejudice.

      As the Israeli public discourse grows ever more detached from reality, Israel’s military commanders sound like an oasis of sanity – at least, by comparison.

      The Israeli army actually has an operational interest in understanding what drives the Palestinian attacks – both to better counter them and to quieten growing government pressure for drastic responses, ones that could trigger the collapse of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

      The military have sent intelligence officials into Israeli prisons to interview Palestinians who were not killed during their attacks, including children as young as 13.

      What the army has found should surprise no one. Palestinians feel desperate and hopeless about a situation in which their own and their families’ freedoms are tightly restricted by a seemingly endless Israeli occupation.

      The Palestinians behind the attacks – “lone wolves”, as Israelis call them – are often also facing extreme personal crises: suicidal thoughts, financial troubles or grief from a relative or friend’s death at Israel’s hands.

      Few have had any experience of Israelis beyond the soldiers who mistreat them at checkpoints and during raids on their villages, and the settlers who lord it over them.

      These findings have provoked a widening rift between the government and military.

      Mr Netanyahu and his allies, drawing on the Israeli right’s traditional “iron wall” philosophy of ruthlessly crushing Palestinian dissent, have demanded greater privations for those under occupation to make them submit.

      Last week, the government responded to an attack on a checkpoint by a Palestinian security official that injured three Israeli soldiers by locking down Ramallah, the Palestinians’ current economic and political capital.

      The army effectively overruled that decision the next day. Gadi Eisenkott, the chief of general staff, has repeatedly warned that collective punishment will only fuel Palestinian anger and increase attacks.

      He argues that more permits for Palestinian labourers to work in Israel, improving the Palestinian economy, is “an Israeli interest and a restraining factor”. He also prefers nurturing existing ties with the Palestinian security forces.

      The military doves, however, are no less deluded than the political hawks.

      The politicians want a collective stick to beat the Palestinians, one that will only intensify the conflict.

      The military, on the other hand, want individual perks for good behaviour to perpetuate the status quo a little longer.

      What neither side wishes to talk about is the framework that creates Palestinian despair and anger: the occupation.

      The personal crises identified by the military that spur Palestinians to violence – debt, depression and the killing of a friend or relative – are not a stroke of bad luck befalling individuals. They are an inevitable by-product of the systematic abuses inflicted on an entire occupied population.

      Lawlessness from land-hungry Jewish settlers, severe movement restrictions, home demolitions and “policing” by a hostile army ensure Palestinians live as a subjugated people, slaves to ever harsher repression.

      Anyone who challenges Israelis’ bubble of illusions faces the Israeli government’s wrath, as UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon found last month. When he pointed out the obvious – that it was “human nature to react to occupation” – Mr Netanyahu accused him of “stoking terror”.

      Worse vitriol rained down on Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, when she made much the same point – and urged an investigation into the apparent executions of some of the Palestinians recently killed by the army. She was accused of “defamation” and officially barred from visiting Israel.

      The blinkered assumptions of both Israel’s politicians and its generals mean neither can find a way out of the current mire.

      Those who wish simply to perpetuate Palestinian suffering may triumph over those who would prefer to intensify it. Either way, Palestinians will continue resisting.

      http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/military-and-government-disagree-sharply-in-israel

    • Laurie Knightly February 24, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      Re: to disengagement from Gaza
      ” The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. When you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders, and Jerusalem. Disengagement supplys the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”
      Dov Weissglass, Sharon’s Chief of Staff
      During this period, 6,100 more settlers were added to the W Bank. If the Geneva Accord is mentioned, Israel just states that it doesn’t apply here.
      This is like the US declaring waterboarding as not torture. Change the name to ‘enhanced interrogation’ and all is legit.

      James Wolfensohn, ME envoy of the Quartet
      “Instead of hope, the Palestinians saw that they were put back in prison.” He attributed the success of Hamas election victory to the non implementation of the agreements regarding Gaza.

      “Among ourselves, it must be clear that there is no place in the country for both peoples together…With the Arabs we shall not achieve our aim of being an independent people in this country, The only solution is Eretz-Israel, at least the west part of of Eretz-Israel, without Arabs…and there is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries, Transfer all of them, not one village or tribe should remain,,,”
      Joseph Weitz, former Deputy-Chairman of the Jewish National Fund

      Other NGO’s and Internationals [like me] know what they saw there. Gaza is tiny about 25 miles by 3 miles. It wasn’t difficult to observe/study the situation – before and after the exit. Would any sane person trust Sharon on this? He was a settler himself. Why destroy thousands of buildings in Gaza on exit and ship the rubble to Egypt? Some 60,000 truckloads.

      Also, FYI. because Ira pronounces me wrong, does not make it so albeit he is of that opinion. It’s unique in modern history to uproot and devastate a people settled on its land for centuries, and donate the land to disparate foreigners. Some of us find this objectionable. Israel has had two objectives:
      1. Seize as much Palestinian land as possible.
      2. Remove the Palestinians by military hostilities, terror and expulsion.

      And they have not officially stopped doing that since 1948.

      • Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 11:30 am #

        “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions” (Azzam Pasha, Arab League Secretary-General, Sept. 1947)

        THE COVENANT OF THE HAMAS – MAIN POINTS

        “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Quran its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief” (Hamas Charter, Art. 8)

        Goals of the HAMAS:

        ——————

        ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian

        movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is

        Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of

        Palestine.’ (Article 6)

        On the Destruction of Israel:

        —————————–

        ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will

        obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ (Preamble)

        The Exclusive Moslem Nature of the Area:

        —————————————-

        ‘The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession]

        consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one

        can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.’

        (Article 11)

        ‘Palestine is an Islamic land… Since this is the case, the

        Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem

        wherever he may be.’ (Article 13)

        The Call to Jihad:

        ——————

        ‘The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the

        individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation,

        it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.’ (Article 15)

        ‘Ranks will close, fighters joining other fighters, and masses

        everywhere in the Islamic world will come forward in response to the

        call of duty, loudly proclaiming: ‘Hail to Jihad!’. This cry will

        reach the heavens and will go on being resounded until liberation is

        achieved, the invaders vanquished and Allah’s victory comes about.’

        (Article 33)

        Rejection of a Negotiated Peace Settlement:

        ——————————————-

        ‘[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and

        international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of

        the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than

        a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of

        Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by

        Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a

        waste of time, an exercise in futility.’ (Article 13)

        Condemnation of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty:

        ———————————————-

        ‘Egypt was, to a great extent, removed from the circle of struggle

        [against Zionism] through the treacherous Camp David Agreement. The

        Zionists are trying to draw other Arab countries into similar

        agreements in order to bring them outside the circle of struggle.

        …Leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism is high treason,

        and cursed be he who perpetrates such an act.’ (Article 32)

        Anti-Semitic Incitement:

        ————————

        ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and

        kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the

        rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind

        me, come and kill him.’ (Article 7)

        ‘The enemies have been scheming for a long time … and have

        accumulated huge and influential material wealth. With their money,

        they took control of the world media… With their money they stirred

        revolutions in various parts of the globe… They stood behind the

        French Revolution, the Communist Revolution and most of the

        revolutions we hear about… With their money they formed secret

        organizations – such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and the Lions –

        which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies

        and carry out Zionist interests… They stood behind World War I …

        and formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the

        world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge

        financial gains… There is no war going on anywhere without them

        having their finger in it.’ (Article 22)

        ‘Zionism scheming has no end, and after Palestine, they will covet

        expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates River. When they have

        finished digesting the area on which they have laid their hand, they

        will look forward to more expansion. Their scheme has been laid out

        in the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.’ (Article 32)

        ‘The HAMAS regards itself the spearhead and the vanguard of

        the circle of struggle against World Zionism… Islamic groups all over

        the Arab world should also do the same, since they are best

        equipped for their future role in the fight against the warmongering

        Jews.’

        (Article 32)

      • Laurie Knightly February 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

        Yeah, sometimes when you dispossess people of their homeland, their kinsmen object. Isn’t that silly? WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?

  52. ray032 February 24, 2016 at 5:31 am #

    Richard, you are mentioned in this article.

    ‘Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron’

    The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. “Problems started very early but increased after the second intifada. Settlers tried to convince my father to sell the house. My father said no, they threatened him. They said this is Israeli land, not Palestinian. But this is my father’s land, for many generations”, Ayat, one of the Jabari daughters says.

    On four occasions since 2008, Israeli courts have ordered the tent to be removed, but after each time the settlers have rebuilt it. The family’s case is still going through the court system.

    “When we first came here they [the settlers] stabbed my little brother in the stomach, then hit another of my brothers on his eyes. Another time they pushed my father from the hill and he broke his shoulder. Every day, every night they throw stones at us”, Ayat says. She explains the settlers want the land so they can connect up the different settlements in the city center with those on the outskirts.

    The story of the Jabari’s family, sadly, is representative of that of many vulnerable Palestinian families in Hebron living close to Israeli settlements, civilian communities established on Palestinian land occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. Settlements are illegal in international law, as set in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from deporting or transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

    Hebron is the only Palestinian city in the West Bank, besides East Jerusalem, that has settlements in its city center. Between 500 and 800 settlers live in Hebron 2 (H2), the Israeli controlled center of Hebron, in a number of separate settlements and outposts. Kiryat Arba, the largest of the settlements on the outskirts of Hebron, has a population of approximately 8,000 settlers. It was established in 1968, and was the first Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Several hundred Israeli soldiers are posted in Hebron, allegedly to protect Israeli settlers living there against possible attacks by Palestinians.

    Palestinians living close to settlers face serious challenges in accessing basic health, water and sanitation services as well as in accessing work, education and worship. Many streets are closed to Palestinian motorists and are accessible only by pedestrians, forcing residents to carry provisions such as food, water and cooking-gas canisters by hand and pushcart. Ambulances are often unable to reach households due to street closures, and some schools can be reached only on foot. Children and teachers are required to go through daily searches at checkpoints. Whilst these measures are justified by the Israeli authorities as necessary to protect the settlers residing in the city, they hinder not only the urban development of Hebron, but also the ability of Palestinian residents to live a normal life.

    “Nobody can drive on Prayers’ Road (the main road going through Ayat’s neighbourhood and connecting Kiryat Arba with the old city of Hebron) or in any other part of Wadi Al Hussein”, explains Ayat. “From 2002 to 2005 people could not even walk here. This street is closed, we people cannot walk freely or drive. Every day children go to school walking up the hill, but this is dangerous in winter because of the snow and the rain. There is no pavement there. But walking on the main street is even more dangerous. Here we have four checkpoints and people need to go through them every day. We are surrounded by three settlements”.

    In addition to access and movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities, Palestinians in H2 also face harassment at the hands of Israeli settlers, including property damage and confiscation, physical attacks, verbal abuse, and the intimidation of children on their way to school.

    “Today people do not walk here because they are afraid of the settlers,” admits Ayat. “Sometimes when settlers see women with hijabs they try to take these away. People from other parts of Hebron are afraid to come here. Internationals are afraid too. We do not have any visitors, and friends coming here. Before the checkpoints they used to visit us. We live in a jail, I am sad for my family, the children cannot walk on the street, my family does not know what is outside. I imagine Palestine in a jail. Life here in H2 is different from that in the rest of Hebron but in reality we are all in jail. Put me in your suitcase when you leave?”.

    In 2014 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine, Richard Falk, stressed that settlements in H2 have led to severe restrictions and an atmosphere of tension that negatively affects all Palestinians. The lack of resources to carry out comprehensive investigations and the obligation for Palestinians to file complaints and testify at police stations inside Israeli settlements, also deter victims of violence from lodging complains against settlers. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the large majority of complaints about settler violence filed in recent years have been closed by the Israeli authorities without indictment. The United Nations has called on Israel to respect and implement the humanitarian needs and human rights of Palestinians in Hebron, including their right to freedom of movement and their right to be free from discrimination. It also calls on the authorities to ensure that those responsible for violence and intimidation are held accountable under Israeli law.

    “Why nobody does anything to help here?”, asks Ayat. “We are human beings, this is why I stay. What else can I do? I hope to do something, to give life back to this area but it is not easy… it is so quiet here, can you hear?”. I nod, as I hear the silence in the neighborhood from her house.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/having-a-settler-for-neighbor-in-hebron/

  53. Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    You missed a few, ray

    Pseudo-scholarship, intersectionality, and blood libels against Israel

    © Arutz Sheva

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:38 AM

    Jews have been accused of harming and murdering non-Jews since the twelfth century in England, when Jewish convert to Catholicism, Theobald of Cambridge, mendaciously announced that European Jews ritually slaughtered Christian children each year and drank their blood during Passover season.

    That medieval blood libel, largely abandoned in the contemporary West, does, however, still appear as part of Arab world’s vilification of Jews—now transmogrified into a slander against Israel, the Jew of nations. But in the regular chorus of defamation against Israel by a world infected with Palestinianism, a new, more odious trend has shown itself: the blood libel has been revivified; however, to position Israel (and by extension Jews) as demonic agents in the community of nations, the primitive fantasies of the blood libel are now masked with a veneer of mendacious academic scholarship.

    On February 3rd, for example, Jasbir K. Puar, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University delivered a lecture at Vassar College, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters,” sponsored, shamefully, not by radical student groups but by the school’s American Studies Department and departments of Political Science, Religion, and English, and the programs of Africana Studies, International Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Jewish Studies.

    The Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have begun to use different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war.The lecture examined “the use of technologies of measure to manufacture a ‘remote control’ occupation, one that produces a different version of Israeli ‘home invasions’ through the maiming and stunting of population. If Gaza, for example, is indeed the world’s largest ‘open air prison’ and an experimental lab for Israeli military apparatuses. . , what kinds of fantasies (about power, about bodies, about resistance, about politics) are driving this project?” In other words, Professor Puar’s central thesis was that Israeli military tactics involve the deliberate the “stunting, “maiming,” physical disabling, and scientific experimenting with Palestinian lives, an outrageous resurrection of the classic anti-Semitic trope that Jews purposely, and the Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have begun to use different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war.sadistically, harm and kill non-Jews.

    Puar, who writes on “gay and lesbian tourism, queer theory, theories of intersectionality, affect, homonationalism, and pinkwashing” (the perverse theory that Israel trumpets its broad support of LGBT rights to obscure its mistreatment of the Palestinians), is also, unsurprisingly, on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, a leading coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement on campuses.

    More alarming than her open support of the BDS movement, and her vocal support for Vassar’s own ongoing BDS campaign, was Puar’s explicit support for terrorism against Israeli citizens as a corollary aspect of the BDS movement. BDS “is such a minor piece of how Palestine is going to be liberated, [and] we need BDS as part of organized resistance and armed resistance in Palestine as well,” she said. “There is no other way the situation is going to change [emphasis added].”

    When pro-Palestinian activists and critics of Israel, such as Professor Puar, repeat the claim that Palestinians somehow have an internationally-recognized legal “right” to resist so-called occupation through violent means, they are both legitimizing that terror and helping to insure that its lethal use by Israel’s enemies will continue unabated. Those who lend their moral support to terrorism, and who continually see the existence of “grievance-based violence” as a justifiable tool of the oppressed, have made themselves apologists for radical Islam and terrorism, not to mention questioning Israel’s right to protect its citizens from being slaughtered.

    In her speech, Professor Puar also leveled a grotesque, disproven charge against Israel, namely, that its soldiers harvest organs from Palestinians it has killed, charges that have been made by others, without any substantiation, including after the deadly 2010 earthquake in Haiti where Israeli experts assisted with search and rescue operations and were later accused of harvesting organs from Haitian victims of the natural disaster. “Protests, stabbings, flagrant refusals of IDF control, clashes and revived commitment to a peoples’ rumble,” Puar said, “have resulted in more than 120 deaths by field assassinations of young Palestinian men, largely between the ages of 12 to 16, by IDF soldiers. On January 1st, 2016, the Israeli government returns 17 bodies of these youth that purportedly lay in a morgue in West Jerusalem for two months. No explanation has ever been given for their detention.” And without offering any proof or citing the source of her information, Puar then mendaciously claimed that “Some speculate that the bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.”

    Puar continued with spurious charges against the Israeli military, leaving out entirely any context in which Palestinian terrorism, including the reality that the “field assassinations” to which Puar so carelessly refers took place during current “knife Intifada,” in which incited Arabs randomly sought to, and were often successful in, murdering Israeli civilians, a jihad that necessitated military intervention by the IDF.

    She also accused Israel of randomly, and recklessly, targeting medical facilities and other infrastructure as a deadly way “to provide the bare minimum for survival, but minimal enough to attempt to defeat or strip resistance” where . . . “the target here is not just life itself but resistance itself.” Puar’s view that Israel’s military operations are characterized by disproportionality and a disregard for human life—even of its mortal foes—was in fact totally contradicted by a report prepared by The High-Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict in 2014, which found that “during Operation Protective Edge . . . Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.”
    In her speech the central, repellant theme was that Israel is also intent on “Targeting youth, not for death but for stunting” as a “tactic that seeks to render impotent any future resistance.” Even Israel’s attempt to not kill Palestinians, but to stop their knifing or shooting without killing them, is given a perverse character by Puar, who contended that “Maiming masquerades as let live when in fact it acts as will not let die,” and that this technique, as part of a sadistic, imperialistic militancy on the part of Israel, “is used to achieve . . . tactical aims of settler colonialism.”

    Professor Puar is a feminist and gender studies specialist, and one may wonder why she has invested so much of her academic energy in vilifying Israel. But her obsession with Israel and its various perceived modes of oppression and brutality toward a weak, innocent victim group is consistent with many academics in the humanities and social sciences who increasingly find a linkage as they seek to affirm the rights of the victimized and name the villains responsible for this oppression.

    The more that seemingly unrelated instances of oppression can be conflated, it is thought, the greater the ability to confront these oppressors and neutralize the negative effect they have on society. This trend has been called “intersectionality,” and it has meant that someone who is a gender studies professor, or queer theorist, or American studies expert can, with no actual knowledge or expertise about the Middle East, readily pontificate on the many social pathologies of which he accuses Israel, based on its perceived role as a racist, colonial oppressor of an innocent indigenous population of Arab victims. For Professor Puar and her fellow travelers, to know one victim group is to know any victim group—with Israel being a tempting and habitual target of their opprobrium.

    Thus, for instance, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have often linked racism and police violence “from Ferguson to Palestine,” as their placards have announced, making Israel somehow complicit in American racism and police brutality and creating a moral equivalency between Palestinian and black American victims of brutality. “Intersectionality holds that various forms of oppression,” said David Bernstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, “constitute an intersecting system of oppression . . , [and] the BDS movement has successfully injected the anti-Israel cause into these intersecting forms of oppression and itself into the interlocking communities of people who hold by them.”

    Supporters of the Palestinian cause have come to accept the fact that Israel will not be defeated through the use of traditional tools of warfare. Instead, the Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have begun to use different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war. By dressing up old hatreds against Jews, combined with a purported goal of seeking social justice for the oppressed, and repackaging ugly biases as seemingly pure scholarship, Israel’s ideological foes have found an effective, but odious, way to insure that the Jew of nations, Israel, is still accused of fostering social chaos and bringing harm to non-Jews—the ugly trope that Jews still exhibit murderous, sadistic militarism and racism against non-Jews, in the current day with the Palestinian Arabs as victims.

    Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, author of Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews, is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

  54. Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 6:46 am #

    Problems in Eden

    © Arutz Sheva

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:19 AM

    It is with growing despair and sadness that I read, listen and even see the news everyday. The despair arises from a foreboding for the future: the future of the Middle East, Europe and America.

    The Middle East best illustrates why I am—we should all be—worried. The West decided it would be best if every country should be and would want to be democratic with zealously guarded and guaranteed human rights that subsume society’s rights to those of the individual. Many outside the West consider it a deeply flawed system. There certainly are many, many problems in the West, ranging from rampant crime, violence, child prostitution and, it seems, a system of government that is not working. The early strengths of Western democracy seem lost. There is little or no balance. And most worrisome, the electorate is not sufficiently informed to correct the direction or choose good leaders.

    Nowhere is the ignorance more telling than most people’s understanding—or I should say complete lack of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite many opportunities to end the conflict, the Palestinian Arabs choose not to. Whether it is corruption, self-interest of the leadership, a clash of civilizations, or obstinacy born out of a poor understanding of the modern world I do not know. Yet, they have managed to convince many—especially in the West—that they are the victims in a struggle to develop a state
    .
    The Palestinian Authority barely functions, with factions fighting for control and corruption rife. They have made no attempt to honor the Oslo Accords that with Israel’s help and the support of the world would have led to the viable State of Palestine they claim to want. From the very beginning, the education system was not changed—you cannot nor could you ever find a map that showed two states in a Palestinian Arab office or schoolbook, hardly a show of good will and desire to reach statehood by accommodation. If you teach children to hate and glorify martyrdom, then they will hate and strive to be martyrs.
    In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority as it exists has no program of human rights, women are treated miserably, there hasn’t been an election in over 10 years, and the “country” is divided between the “West Bank” and Hamas-ruled Gaza. Gaza, despite a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces, has declared and waged war on Israel. They are not embarrassed to state that they want to kill Israelis—men, women, children, old, young—it doesn’t matter.

    Even worse, many in the West cannot tell the difference between good and evil in the two societies.

    On one hand there is, incredible for advanced Western societies, great sympathy for a society that oppresses its people, does not guarantee or prescribe any human rights, educates children to become martyrs for a cause which could have been resolved more than twenty years ago had there been a will to do so.

    On the other hand, there is Israel: A democratic society that guarantees human rights to all citizens, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahai, protects religious sites and has made many good faith attempts to reach an agreement with the Palestinians
    .
    Israel is a good citizen of the world contributing to technology, agriculture, and cultural development that improve life in many countries. It offers without solicitation or advertisement emergency-disaster assistance all over the world for example to Haiti, Nepal, Turkey, Chile—even offering earthquake aid to Iran to help people suffering devastation (it was refused by the Iranian Government). Israel accepted and helped settle Vietnamese boat people, refugees from Ethiopia, Soviet Union, South America, all the Arab countries, and of late from Europe. No such humanitarian programs by the Palestinians exist.

    Quite the contrary, the Palestinian Authority claims sympathy by a continual drumbeat of accusations. The “settlements” are accused of negating the chance for peace—yet there was no peace before the “settlements” nor would the “settlements” prevent formation of a Palestinian Arab state.

    Israel is guilty of war crimes? That has to be the most ridiculous claim ever. When Palestinians, using the cover of civilians, fire rockets from hospitals, apartments, schools, or mosques, no one should be surprised when fire is returned. It is the epitome of ignorance, willful or otherwise, that assumes that Israel should not react and cries war crimes. No professional military person could agree that Israel’s reaction is a war crime.
    The Palestinian Arabs claim sympathy maintaining that the “occupation” is onerous. There are several accurate responses: first, it is not an “occupation,” as only about 2% of the Palestinian Arabs are under Israeli rule since Oslo and the area was not recognized as part of another country before Israel came in in 1967; second, it was not always so, but if you want freedom, do not incite or start attacks on Israel that necessitate restricting freedom of movement. And certainly do not glorify murder and teach children to be martyrs. Do not make final settlement negotiations a career occupation.

    I look to the West and am discouraged. Why do supposedly educated and enlightened people not ask the Palestinians “why do you not settle this already? Why are you and your friends getting rich while your people continue to suffer? Do you not want to create a better life for your people? Why do you choose to travel the world whining about the “settlements”, “occupation”, encouraging hatred and boycotts when it can be ended quickly? Why does not Palestine have any human rights programs? Why is there no democracy? When will women be treated as equals?”

    A Palestinian State could have been established 20 years ago at Camp David through the good offices of President Clinton. It could have been established at Taba. It could have been established by talks with four different Israeli prime ministers
    .
    Why do people in the West not see this? Why do you not demand that the Palestinians end the conflict and care for their people?

    Richard D Small received his PhD from Rutgers University. He has worked in several scientific disciplines, likes to build cabinets, cooks and writes. He currently lives in Metula

    • Laurie Knightly February 24, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Ray, what the matter with you?

      Fred explains that if stuff went on against Jews in the 12th century and if a lesbian professor in the US currently made some unproven claims, the settlers are justified in any/all actions. See how that works?

      And it’s Gene whom he accuses of questionable intellect and emotional stability???? Anti Semites? It’s the Uncle Semites that are problematic.

  55. Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 6:49 am #

    Fantasy Islam comes to the Knesset

    © Arutz Sheva

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:25 PM

    Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.
    Ms. Rebecca Abrahamson recently provided a brief report about the Knesset conference titled “Building a Culture of Peace in the Middle East and the Global Arena” (OpEd: Putting UN resolutions to work). She noted that

    Dr. Cihat Gündoğdu, goodwill ambassador from Turkey, brandished a new book called, “Bigotry, the Dark Danger” which goes right to the sources in rebutting those who manipulate the Qur’an and hadith, taking them out of context to malign Jews. “The Qur’an should be taken as a whole, as Muslims, we see this as our duty to clarify the message of Islam. Indeed there are Muslims speaking of hatred and endless death penalties, instead of the love and gratitude that Islam commands.”

    Ms. Abrahamson provided a link to Bigotry, the Dark Danger, so I downloaded it to see what kind of contribution it might make to building a culture of peace. The book was written by Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya), a prolific Turkish writer and publicist in the Muslim world, and the subject of one of my earlier Artuz Sheva 7 articles, “Fantasy Islam.”[1]

    The premise of Oktar’s book is that a “fanatical faith produced by peddlers of superstition has appeared in the name of Islam” (p. 16). He explained the source of this “fanatical faith”:

    The religion of the fanatics lies in traditions and superstition spread by word of mouth, but mainly in fabricated hadiths, which have been invented but presented as the words of our Prophet (pbuh). (p. 81)

    Focusing on Hadiths

    Hadiths are stories about the teachings and examples of Muhammad originally related by those who witnessed them. They were generally passed on orally for over 200 years after Muhammad died, and it was not until the 9th Century that they were collected in different written volumes. During that time period many hadiths had been fabricated for various reasons, and the Muslim scholars collecting the hadiths had to determine which hadiths were legitimate and which had been fabricated. Factors involved in making this determination included the reliability of individuals in the chain of narration, and praying over each hadith.

    By around the end of the 9th Century there were six, multi-volume collections of what each of the six Muslim scholars considered to be legitimate hadiths; these collections are referred to as “The Sound Six,” or “The Six Books of Hadiths.” The most authoritative of these is considered to be Sahih Al-Bukhari; the second most authoritative is Sahih Muslim. For over a thousand years Muslim scholars, and Muslims seeking to understand their faith, have relied on these collections to help them understand the Koran and Islam. The English translations of these six collections total 39 volumes.

    For Oktar, it was not enough that a hadith was included in “The Sound Six.” He wrote on p. 81:

    …we need to look to the Qur’an to see whether a hadith really represents the words or actions of our Prophet (pbuh). If a hadith is in agreement with the Qur’an, then it is true. If a hadith that refers to the future has already come about, then it is also true. If, however, the hadith in question conflicts with the Qur’an, then there is no room for doubt; that hadith cannot be regarded as true
    .
    But as you read through Oktar’s book, you find that for him to consider a hadith legitimate, it has to be not only in agreement with the Koran, but the subject matter of that hadith needs to be specifically mentioned in the Koran. Oktar wrote that, “none of the superstition we shall be examining here actually appears in the Qur’an” (p. 104), and
    Our Prophet (pbuh) governed on the basis of the Qur’an and lived by the Qur’an alone. Our Prophet (pbuh) has absolutely no authority to make anything lawful or unlawful outside the Qur’an, and because of his prophethood and powerful fear of God, he would in any case never do such a thing. (p. 102)

    But there are things required of Muslims that are not specifically mentioned in the Koran. A prime example of this is what a Muslim is expected to do during each cycle of prayer. For that one must turn to the teachings and examples of Muhammad. Muhammad said,
    offer your Salat (prayers) in the way you saw me offering my Salat (prayer).[2]
    And in terms of what is to be done during Hajj, Muslims are expected to following the teachings and examples of Muhammad (Hajj Mabrur), which is not in the Koran either. Adding in the procedures for ablution, again demonstrated by Muhammad and not in the Koran, we can see that there is a lot about Islam that is not in the Koran. That is why in the Koran Allah specifically commands Muslims to obey and follow the teachings and example of Muhammad:

    He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah… (4:80)
    Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. (33:21)

    …And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (59:7)
    The message of these three Koran verses, and of 59:7 in particular, was aptly summed up in the following authoritative hadith in which a lady, Umm Ya’qub, asked a Muslim man named ‘Abdullah why he had cursed some women for doing certain things. ‘Abdullah replied:

    “Why should I not curse these whom Allah’s Messenger has cursed and who are (cursed) in Allah’s Book!” Umm Ya’qub said, “I have read the whole Qur’an, but I did not find in it what you say.” He said, “Verily, if you have read it (i.e., the Qur’an), you have found it. Didn’t you read: ‘…And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you take and whatsoever he forbids you, you abstain (from it)…[3]

    And Oktar’s prophet Muhammad even said there was more to Islam than just the Koran:
    Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I have left two things with you. As long as you hold fast to them, you will not go astray. They are the Book of Allah and the sunna [sic] of His Prophet.[4]

    In spite of this, Oktar has decided that if the subject of a particular hadith is not specifically mentioned in the Koran, then that hadith is fabricated. This allows him in his book to dismiss the following authoritative hadiths regarding Jews:

    It was narrated from Sufyan: “Abdul-Malik bin ‘Umair narrated to us; “Atiyyah Al-Qurazi narrated to me, he said: I was among the captives of Banu Quraizah, and they examined (us). Those whose pubes had started to grow were executed, and those whose pubes had not started to grow were not executed. I was among those whose pubes had not started to grow.”[5] (p. 365)

    The above hadith is referring to the fact, reported in multiple Muslim sources, that after the Muslims defeated the Jewish Banu Quraizah tribe, Muhammad supervised the beheading of 600-900 captured Jewish males, combatants and non-combatants. The only prerequisite for execution was that they had reached puberty.

    Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups…Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians; then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.[6] (p. 366)

    It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.[7] (p. 370)

    Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.[8] (p. 373)

    Even though the above hadith was reported in Sahih Muslim, Oktar has decided it was fabricated. But it was also reported in two others of “The Sound Six”: Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 5, No. 5205, p. 458; and Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, where the Muslim scholar At-Tirmidhi wrote the following explanation for this hadith:

    “Do not precede the Jews and the Christians [in greeting]”: Some of the people of knowledge said that it only means that it is disliked because it would be honoring them, and the Muslims were only ordered to humiliate them. For this reason, when one of them is met on the path, then the path is not yielded for him, because doing so would amount to honoring them.[9]

    Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them will [sic] the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.[10] (p. 374)

    In spite of Oktar’s claim that the above hadith is fabricated, a variation of it was also reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

    Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'”[11]

    Conclusion

    According to Rebecca Abrahamson, Adnan Oktar’s book Bigotry, the Dark Danger appears to make a significant contribution to the idea of “Building a Culture of Peace in the Middle East and the Global Arena.” This is because Oktar’s book
    goes right to the sources in rebutting those who manipulate the Qur’an and hadith, taking them out of context to malign Jews.

    But in terms of the hadiths, we must remember that in his book Oktar is the sole source for determining whether or not a hadith has been fabricated. And as we have seen, his main criterion for making this determination flies in the face of commands of Allah in the Koran, statements of his prophet Mohammad, and general consensus among Muslim scholars for over one thousand years. Nevertheless, there are those who appear to view Oktar’s book as a Muslim contribution to building a culture of peace. Such is the ease, and the lure of playing Fantasy Islam.

    And how did Oktar address verses in the Koran that were supposedly manipulated “to malign Jews”? A topic for another occasion.

    Sources:

    [1] /Articles/Article.aspx/18286.
    [2] Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1997), Vol. 8, Book 78, No. 6008, p. 35.
    [3] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 65, No. 4886, pp. 340-341.
    [4] Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi, Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas: The First Formulation of Islamic Law, trans. Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley (Inverness, Scotland: Madinah Press, 2004), 46.3. Sunnah: The Way of Muhammad, consisting of the examples, ways, and teachings of Muhammad that have become rules to be followed by Muslims. Sources for the Sunnah are hadiths and the Sira, the authoritative biography of Muhammad.
    [5] Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin Al-Ash’ath bin Ishaq, Sunan Abu Dawud, trans. Yaser Qadhi (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2008), Vol. 5, No. 4404, p. 45. Oktar referred to this as Hadith No. 4390.
    [6] 110 Ahadith Qudsi: Sayings of the Prophet Having Allahs Statements, 3rd ed., trans. Syed Masood-ul-Hasan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2006), No. 8, titled Superiority of the believers in the Oneness of Allah and the punishment of Jews and Christians, pp. 19-20.
    [7] Abu’l Hussain ‘Asakir-ud-Din Muslim bin Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi, Sahih Muslim, trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqi (New Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributors, 2008), Vol. 5, No. 1767, p. 189.
    [8] Sahih Muslim, Vol. 6, No. 2167, p. 439. Oktar referred to this as Hadith No. 5389.
    [9] Abu ‘Eisa Mohammad ibn ‘Eisa at-Tirmidhi, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, trans. Abu Khaliyl (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2007), Vol. 3, No. 1602, p. 365.
    [10] Sahih Muslim, Vol. 8, No. 2922, p. 349.
    [11] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 56, No. 2926, p. 113.

    Dr. Stephen M. Kirby

    The writer is the author of three books, and numerous articles and pamphlets about Islam. His most recent book is “Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor.”

  56. CFR memembers are imperalists and zionists February 24, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    The humanitarianism is a guise for the ruthless pursuit of United States political and economic hegemony across the world. The people who belong to this elite club [the council on Foreign Relations] have internalized the imperialist worldview that the U.S. is an “indispensable nation” that upholds “a just and liberal” world order, and use this belief to rationalize their Machiavellian exertions of power abroad.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/24/hillary-clinton-the-council-on-foreign-relations-and-the-establishment/

    • Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      Is this you, Gene?

      • Kata Fisher February 24, 2016 at 8:49 am #

        It’s Walker. Remember, he is hiding one.

      • Fred Skolnik February 24, 2016 at 8:53 am #

        Walker doesn’t “reference” Counterpunch. It must be Gene.

  57. Fred Skolnik February 25, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Prof. Falk

    Have you also deleted Mr. Schulman’s remark about the mental condition of defenders of Israel?

    • Kata Fisher February 25, 2016 at 10:36 am #

      Fred, I think that it is the best to be refraining from classification of conditions of conscience – if you are not ordained, or personally trained to do that. By the way – I am wishing you all a wonderful day. I am having a wonderful day, outing.

  58. ray032 February 25, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    ‘Why Israelis and Palestinians demonize each other’

    Against the backdrop of the “Individuals’ Intifada,” an emotionally charged discourse has been taking place in Israel in recent weeks on the sanctity of life in the eyes of Israelis versus the sanctity and glorification of death among the Palestinians. Had the debate been confined to the social networks, with all sorts of ideological, religious or psychological “explanations” proposed to the conflict, it is doubtful whether this discourse would have been taken seriously. However, the debate emerges from top decision-makers within the Israeli political and security establishments.

    The argument often raised is that the Palestinians are readily sending their children to their death and that human life is regarded cheaply in their eyes, while the Israelis bitterly mourn every victim of a terrorist attack and every fallen soldier on the battlefield, seen by Judaism as constituting “an entire world” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a).

    Education Minister Naftali Bennett has taken it even further. At the Cabinet meeting Feb. 21, he said that Palestinian parents were not stopping their sons or daughters from going out on stabbing attacks, realizing that if their children get killed, the family was assured of a cash grant and an allowance from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Bennett went on to propose that the funds granted by the PA to the families of terrorists be offset from the tax money collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. He was unaware that Israel has already been doing just that.

    On Feb. 22, at a meeting with bereaved parents in Eilat, Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh compared the way Israelis experienced bereavement with the way “our neighbors,” as he put it, dealt with it. “Their underlying message is that there is no significance to life, and that by pressing a button or pulling a knife, one can move on to a better world and be rid of the challenges of this world,” the chief of police said.

    Alsheikh critically alluded to the statements made by Army Radio broadcaster Razi Barkai during an interview with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Feb. 7. Minister Erdan has been halting the transfer of bodies of Palestinian attackers who were Jerusalem residents for burial by their families. With reference to the policy adopted by the Ministry, Barkai told Erdan: “[comparing to Palestinian bereaved families] Imagine Israeli families — and sadly we know cases like that … waiting and waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to return.” “That’s the comparison you’re making?” Erdan said, clearly shocked. The interview has sparked an outcry throughout the country and prompted a call by Israeli bereaved families to suspend Barkai, who is one of the veteran radio broadcasters in Israel.

    Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon joined in the discourse. On Feb. 23, Ya’alon said, “We are facing a society that sanctifies and glorifies death. … There is no room for any comparison between our bereavement and the way the loss of life is experienced on their side. We have chosen life.”

    The theological philological argument underlying the comparison made about bereavement should be clarified at this point.

    According to Islam, the term “shahid” denotes a Muslim who has sacrificed himself in the name of Allah. These days, a martyr sacrificing himself for a national cause is honored with the same title. During funerals of terrorists or Palestinians killed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in clashes in Gaza or the West Bank, the dead are customarily hailed as “Al-shahid habib Allah!” (The martyr is the beloved of God). Yet one may wonder whether the use of religion to promote national causes can be attributed exclusively to Muslims, or just to the Palestinians.

    Consider, for instance, a question raised on Kipa — one of the leading websites of the religious Zionist community in Israel — concerning “a death sanctifying God’s name in military service in an elite unit.” The question is posed by a combatant in an elite IDF unit, asking the rabbi’s advice on the issue troubling him: As someone who takes part in military operations deep inside enemy territory, would it be deemed acceptable in terms of the Jewish faith to voluntarily sacrifice one’s life in the name of God? And here’s the rabbi’s answer: “Blessed are you to have reached such a high level of sanctifying God. Your willingness to sacrifice yourself for the sake of Israel and the Jewish nation is noble indeed. And blessed are we to have young men like you among us. Your words are inspiring, giving us all who read them courage and inner strength. Bravo! May God be with you.”

    The attempt to present the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a religious conflict is simplistic and evasive, dodging the really important issues. The ongoing intifada apparently broke out on the backdrop of incitement — claims that Israel was taking over Temple Mount and damaging Al-Aqsa Mosque. But since then, the intifada has kept going, and it appears that many Palestinian youths are joining it motivated by completely other reasons. The security establishment is well-aware of these causes and so are the political decision-makers in Israel. It has been stated once and again in all possible forums that the growing despair among young Palestinians, their dire economic situation and the absence of a political horizon push young individuals to set out on terrorist attacks in Israel.

    Why then has the discussion in Israel been sidetracked to questions of bereavement and the sanctity of death or life?

    Well, in the heat of war, any war whatsoever, the demonization of the other side is often used as an indispensable psychological means of tackling the other side. The enemy is invariably presented as inhumane and as driven by irrational considerations. Such demonization, utilized by both sides, enables the decision-makers to avoid critical decisions and, needless to say, to shirk all responsibility for the situation.

    In the Palestinian incitement video clips, Israelis are depicted as bloodthirsty animals viciously hounding the Palestinian people. As for the Israelis, these days, when the intifada is raging, the Palestinians are seen in the eyes of many as death seekers for whom life means nothing. They are sent to die for no reason at all — thus the myth goes; it is in their nature, and that’s what their leaders believe in, encouraging them to sacrifice their lives in vain. In this discourse, the real causes for the situation are put aside.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu usually puts the blame on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and on the PA. As far as Netanyahu is concerned, they are engaged in rampant incitement against Israel, and this is the real trigger that sparked the recent wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis. Going by this premise, once the incitement is checked, once Palestinian media is shut down and Palestinian websites and social networks are put under control, the security problem Israel is currently coping with — so far, unsuccessfully — will disappear on its own.

    Alas, this is but an attempt at distracting public opinion. To put an end to the intifada, Israel will have to make some very tough decisions — that is, to put an end to the occupation.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/02/death-culture-life-judaism-west-bank-intifada-shahid.html#ixzz41Cl6YfF9

  59. Harvey Epstein February 25, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Fred,

    Most respectfully, when you speak of particular individuals, you are making the very type of specific attack that Richard chooses not to have take place on his blog. He has warned us about that before. And frankly, the words of those individuals already describe what they are. Of those who participate in these discussions, you are in the very top tier. I recognize that one can easily become frustrated (as I often am) with certain comments made by some, but your knowledge of the facts is encyclopedic and that should be the resource by which you should overcome their rantings. Please remain one of the adults in the room and do not drop to their level. You teach me so much.

    Words such as “tribalism” do not change the dynamic of our conversations. One best point out to the speaker that if there is a question of “tribalism”, that it taints the Muslim side far more than it does the Jew. Our daily news proves this up.

    I think I am beginning to sound a bit like Ira. An improvement already!

    Regards

    Richard, I still have to plow through your blog to get to the most recent comments. Is there anything you can do on your end, since the problem seems not to be unique with me? I still get no notifications.

    Regards

    • Richard Falk February 26, 2016 at 6:22 am #

      Harvey:

      I appreciate your push toward civility. I would only say in self-defense in relation to Ira, Fred, et al., that despite
      their insinuations that I harbor ‘Jew hatred’ and the like, I have refrained from reciprocating with insults of my own. Also,
      despite much self-scrutiny in the wake of such allegations, I can identify none of these characteristics. When I was a critic
      of American policy in Vietnam in the 1960s I also was the target of many personally insulting diatribes, but always felt that
      by objecting to the war policies I was being a good citizen rather than ‘a traitor.’

      Although we understand the relevant realities differently, I often learn from your presentations on various issues.

      I am in Italy for meetings at present but will try to fix things about the blog when I return next week, although my
      digital talents are, at best, minimal!

      Richard

      • Harvey Epstein February 26, 2016 at 9:57 am #

        Richard,

        The problem, as I see it, is that you “appear to some ” as expressing “Jew hatred” by failing to articulate that the “other side” is not perfect, either. Only very recently have I noticed in your blog that such might be the case: that there is fault. If I err, I apologize for that oversight. That is why I constantly point out a “lack of balance” (a phrase which seems to aggravate some on this blog).

        With so much of what you write on this blog (certainly I do not read it all), I get the impression that your singular purpose is to castigate Israel. She can do no right, whatsoever. Only recently have I noted that you believe that she does some good, but I don’t recall your giving any specifics on this. You have admitted that you give a “pass” to the Palestinians because of a great disparity in power, as it relates to Israel. I have pointed out that your approach results in enabling bad acts by the Palestinians. I think this approach does a great disservice to both sides: right or wrong, Israel is always wrong so why should she bother to try and do it right; the Palestinian can do no wrong so why should they bother trying to do it right.

        Your definitions of certain words/phrases such as “genocide”, “apartheid”, “ethnic cleansing”, etc. are somewhat different than mine. Honestly, I feel that your definitions are not intended to be explanatory; they are intended to be inflammatory. It appears to me that you use these words/ phrases when what is more appropriate is the word “discriminatory”. As you say, it is perhaps a matter of prospective and I just do not see the validity of their use in the case of Israel. So we will agree to disagree on the propriety of their use.

        Often I note that “how” one says things is more important than the ideas being conveyed. Perhaps therein lays the reason why you have had such vigorous detractors. Again, back to my criticism of balance and differences in the meaning of certain “trigger words”.

        In any event, enjoy your conference.

        Regards

  60. Laurie Knightly February 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Couple of points;

    Somewhere in these contributions was quoted Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam and some differences occur.

    Supposedly, on the eve of the 1948 war, he has been often quoted as saying;
    “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.

    Actually, his words were spoken earlier on October 11, 1947 – interview with the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar el-Yom upon hearing of the UN recommendation to partition. His opening words were:
    “Personally, I hope the Jews do not force us into this war because it will be a war of elimination and it will be a dangerous massacre which history will record similarly to the Mongol massacre or the wars of the Crusades. I think the number of volunteers from outside Palestine will exceed the Palestinian population.”

    Either way, why would he not resist foreign domination of his kinsmen? Who wouldn’t?

    Also, there ‘s quite an interesting video – Truth About The Talmud by Yossi Gurvitz. Israeli born yeshiva scholar – and most importantly – he speaks Hebrew.
    I hear/read references constantly about the amazing moral codes of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. I have not found this to exist within these religions. Whatever decent ideas proposed are for their own ingroup, with very strict rules, and which each regards as vastly superior to any other. Plenty of outgroup hatred. Subsequently, each of the religions has fragmented to quarreling factions – each claiming divine favor and labeling the others as inferior. Admittedly, they have been effective for social control which is their purpose.

    • Aaron February 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

      “Either way, why would he not resist foreign domination of his kinsmen? Who wouldn’t?”

      Because it was NOT foreign. The British were the “foreign” and they ran and forgot to turn the lights off.

      The Jews were indigenous and had every right to defend themselves when they were attacked in 1948.

      Why don’t you read some archive issues of the Palestine Post, New York Times, London Times?

      All is quite evident!!

      • Gene Schulman February 26, 2016 at 4:35 am #

        Yes, do read some of those archives. You will see that they are filled with pro Israel propaganda, from the days when the Holocaust (yes, Virginia, there really was a Holocaust) was on everyone’s conscience.

        There were VERY few indigenous Jews in Palestine. Most were immigrants from Europe from the days prior to and during the second WW.

      • ray032 February 26, 2016 at 8:31 am #

        Fred, is this a temporary lapse of reason on your part? Are you undermining your own arguments?

        “There were VERY few indigenous Jews in Palestine. Most were immigrants from Europe from the days prior to and during the second WW.

      • Aaron February 26, 2016 at 9:10 am #

        Ray:

        Your statement: “Fred, is this a temporary lapse of reason on your part? Are you undermining your own arguments?

        “There were VERY few indigenous Jews in Palestine. Most were immigrants from Europe from the days prior to and during the second WW.”

        Is without merit.
        The fact that OUR people returned to OUR indigenous homeland after exile is what we are talking about. That goes for Jews that were exiled to North Africa, Spain, Persia, China….whatever.

        Read the Passover Haggadah.
        Read the Torah. Read the Qu’ran. Its all there.
        Read Mark Twain’s travel logs. Also those of many more famous travelers.

        The Jews have come back. The Jews offered the local inhabitants, some who were Arab, the chance to live in peace. They chose war. They lost. Some fled and some were expelled or had their land or strategic buildings seized. That’s war.

        Not one Gazan would have died in any of the Hamas initiated wars had they not fired first.
        Why was Maimonides buried in Eretz Hakodesh?
        Who purchased the Ma’arat Hamachpela?
        Who purchased the Cave of the Patriarchs?
        Where is Joseph’s tomb?
        Where is Herodium?
        Where is the City of David?
        What did Josephus write in his accounts of the time?
        Who died at Masada?
        Where was Jesus the Jew crucified?

        So why won’t Abbas negotiate with Bibi?
        Why won’t Hamas accept Israel?
        Why does Iran and Abbas deny the holocaust?
        Because they, unlike you, actually know of all of the above and so they also know the minute they acknowledge or compromise they have lost all merit to having their own State.

        So if there IS going to be a Palestinian State, with or without a military, with or without full sovereignty, it will only come because the people of Israel and its government allow it. There is no other solution. No amount of terrorism, BDS, EU pressure, U.S. pressure will EVER stop us.

        If they negotiate in good faith, give up on dividing Jerusalem, give up on the right of return, give up on a militarized State, then they will probably get 80% of Judea and Samaria, and with some land swaps probably another 10% plus they already have Gaza. They can obvious get a relaxing on the Gazan control from outside by ridding themselves of Hamas and instilling a democratic regime that accepts the same peach treaty and stops terrorism.

        More then anything, incitement has to stop also (on both sides).

        Then depending on the next generation of living together in peace, mutual economic development etc., Israel might be ready to loosen some of border controls and allow freer access to the 2 nations.

      • Fred Skolnik February 26, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

        Aaron

        Ray is just confused again. He is quoting what Gene wrote (“VERY few, etc,”), not what I wrote.

      • ray032 February 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

        Yes, Fred. I did confuse Gene’s comment as being yours. My mistake. Still, Gene’s comment is historically accurate.

    • Kata Fisher February 26, 2016 at 7:46 am #

      A Note:

      In exceptions when,

      exposing something for what it is – does not translate into social control (in purpose).

  61. Fred Skolnik February 26, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    But there were NO indigenous Arabs in the Land of Israel. Sorry, Gene. The Arabs come from Arabia. If you wish to redefine the word indigenous, take it up with the lexicographers, or learn the English language a little better and become a lexicographer yourself.

    If you want me to go away, and I’m sure you do, stop talking nonsense.

    • Gene Schulman February 26, 2016 at 7:59 am #

      No, Fred, don’t go away. You’re beginning to make good laughing stock.

      If you read my last a bit more carefully you will note I didn’t mention Arabs. But now that YOU mention it, I will say there were a lot of indigenous Palestinians, who are Arabs, in Palestine. There still are.

      Your Land of Israel is a figment of your imagination.

      • Kata Fisher February 26, 2016 at 8:07 am #

        Gene – there are Historical Records of Hebrew speaking people and Land of Israel Judea and Samaria (Post Exsilic Hebrew peoples / Hellenistic and Palestinian Hebrews/Jews).

        Those are some facts in actual substance.

      • Fred Skolnik February 26, 2016 at 8:11 am #

        No, Gene, there were no indigenous Arabs who were Palestinians. The Arabs came from Arabia. Ask them. They don’t even think the Bedouin are Arabs.

      • Kata Fisher February 26, 2016 at 8:17 am #

        A Note:

        Absolute Truth, Historically, Palestinian Arabs never existed in Judea and Samaria (as Arabic Speaking peoples before conquests).

        Also, there is intense denial of Holocaust taking place (which took place) actual Historical happenings. Still denied.

        Just a point in perspective to reflect on.

      • Gene Schulman February 26, 2016 at 8:39 am #

        Ah Fred, as usual you are being disingenuous. I didn’t say indigenous Arabs who are Palestinians. I said indigenous Palestinians who are Arab. Sorta like the people who populate the Americas: All Americans, but only those of the USA like to be seen as American. All the rest are Mexicans, Canadians, Brazilians, Chileans, etc. And, until the Spanish Conquistadors came along, were the indigenous Americans. I consider the Zionists on a par with the Conquistadors.

        BTW: I’m only indulging you here because I have some free time on my hands, resting my eyes from close reading of David Nirenberg’s “Anti-Judaism”. Do you know it? You might learn something from it.

      • Kata Fisher February 26, 2016 at 8:50 am #

        Gene, I have to tell you that people are being shoot and shelled daily.

        If that would be the effect of personal indulgences, bad believes, and or arguments – all based on void ideologies … then God help them all – whenever!

        I read Bible for 2 Years strait – that alone infused an understanding of all around me before I touch an any other book that was available trough collage or Market. After all, I realised – all was vanity, except, one thing: That what I read and understood during this 2 Years of my private study..

        I am of to pity me!😉

        And once again – time for outing!

      • Fred Skolnik February 26, 2016 at 9:17 am #

        There are no indigenous Palestinians who are Arabs. You don’t understand how Arabs view their nationality and identity. They are making their claims in the Land of Israel as Arabs, in the name of Allah, by virtue of conquest and not on the coattails of the people they conquered and whose national identities they destroyed.

        ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will

        obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ (Preamble to Hamas Charter)

        By “obliterated others” Hamas means precisely the people the Arabs found in the Land of Israel.

        And of course the Conquistidors are the Arabs by the logic of your own analogy. And Mexico didn’t exist, just as Palestine didn’t exist. And the Mexicans were of course the Aztecs. And if the indigenous Aztecs claimed sovereigbty it would be as Aztecs and not as Spaniards. You get a little confused when you try to reason.

      • Kata Fisher February 26, 2016 at 9:42 am #

        Fred: Quran is not inerrant. It is not written down by the Prophet/s – things may or may not be mere myths. In addition to that it does not cooperate with the revelation of the Church Charismaric (ecclesialistical writings in Church Age) in Word, Tradition, and Letters – as passed down. Mere Theology is not inerrant, all together. The essence of different writings in Church age is easy stuff for Church Charismatic.

  62. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Richard,

    Several days ago, you posted that I’m among those who use false accusations of anti-Semitism to make bogus excuses for rejecting your views out of hand. That’s both inaccurate and unfair. My critiques of your views are always reasoned and detailed. (Gene says they’re too long). Very occasionally —I can recall two instances but there may be one or two more—I add that your views are so extreme, even when measured by the norms of harsh criticism of Israel, and so removed from reality, that one cannot rule out the possibility that they’re influenced by anti-Semitism, especially when you welcome and praise anti-Semitic comments (Walker Percy, rehmat1).

    I still believe that, although I also acknowledge that I may not understand your methodology. Harvey Epstein, in his 2/26/16 comment, raises this issue in detail, and far better that I could. But allow me to ask a question that may help clarify the confusion, and which I believe follows from Harvey’s post.

    You hold that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be fairly addressed without consideration of the disparity in power that exists between the two parties. I agree and also acknowledge that Israel is more powerful than the Palestinians in a variety of ways. But what are the limits of this adjustment? And to what items can they be legitimately applied?

    As regards the specifics of what I, and others, find disturbing, I refer you to Harvey’s excellent post.

    Wishing you a safe trip home, and looking forward to your reply when you have a moment.

    Ira

  63. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 26, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    Prof. Falk had better hurry home. In his absence, discussion on this blog has drifted even further into irrelevance.

    Who’s indigenous, Jews or Palestinians?

    Who was here first, and in what number?

    What did some minor official really mean by something he said in 1925? Or was it 1927? Is the quote accurate, or a distortion perpetrated by a rival?

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    Brothers and sisters, as important as all these things are to us fighting in internet trenches from comfortable homes far from the real battlefront (with apologies to Fred who lives in Jerusalem), they have little or no relevance to the real situation at hand. There are millions of Jews and Palestinians locked in a thus far irresolvable conflict over a very small piece of land. Until that conflict is resolved, neither side will enjoy peace and real security of any kind. Fighting over demographics from two millennia ago and quoted out of context political statements from two decades or two years ago won’t cut it.

    The tenor of exchange on this blog resembles a high school debate—I say that as one who has participated in it. In a high school debate, points are cored and a referee declares a winner at the end. But that’s not the way the current conflict will be decided. So the challenge to people who really care about the future of one side or the other—or both—and not primarily interested in trashing its adversary, should be exploring ways for them to establish a just and sustainable peace.

    An old adage holds that in the Middle East, only the past changes, the future remains the same. It’s time to reverse this dynamic!

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman February 27, 2016 at 1:02 am #

      I’ve never heard of that old adage. But if it’s true, the burden is on Israel to reverse the dynamic. Unfortunately, they have no interest in doing so.

  64. Aaron February 26, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    So Rabbi,
    Don’t you think that that first step should be that Abu Mazen come to the negotiation table?

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 26, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

      Aaron,

      Why do you think Abu Mazen should be the first to come to the negotiating table?

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Aaron February 26, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

        Because he was the only one who walked away in the first place.
        Remember the 10 month settlement freeze?
        He waited till just before the end to come to the table to only walk out again.

        Next step?
        Try and get a State by letting the rest of the world do all the work like the UN, EU, BDS etc

        This way he won’t have to compromise, only let the world try and extract more from Israel without making his own concessions.

  65. ray032 February 28, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    If we can change the subject, this is supposedly the speech Hillary Clinton was paid $225,000 to give to Goldman Sachs.

    Counterpunch is a reputable publication, but reading the speech, I’m shocked. If it is true, and she really said these things thinking it would remain private, once it gets out, her chances of getting elected will be almost nil. She will be exposed as the most pandering fraud. What do you think?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/26/hillary-clintons-speech-to-goldman-sachs/

    • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      The speech attributed to Hillary above was written as satire. That’s why it was so shocking!

    • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Really,
      They tell you right from the start its a lie and you ask “If it’s true” hoping most of us will believe it.

      Sorry Ray, I didn’t let it slip by and I’m not that gullible.

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 11:10 am #

        I clarified it before you did Aaron.

      • Aaron Remer February 28, 2016 at 11:40 am #

        That’s Microsoft Exchange for you

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

        Between 2013-2015, Hillary Clinton made $21,667,000 giving speeches to the biggest Banks and Corporations. Here’s the impressive list.

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

        What list

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

        Can’t you see the list? It shows up on my monitor.

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

        ok, it shows up in the web page, just not on the email itself

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

        I wonder if she gave similar speeches with minor modifications catering to the subject audience? That’s really hard work she does to make so much money, don’t you agree?

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

        If I were American I can really assure you I wouldn’t vote for her.

        She’s a real piece of work.

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

        Aaron, I’m Canadian and I can’t vote for anyone either, but on this issue, we’re 100% in agreement.

        I would vote for Bernie, the Jewish candidate, and I’m thinking of sending his campaign a donation.

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

        I am also Canadian.
        I would never vote for Sanders primarily because of his horrible socialist economic beliefs and stated foreign policy intentions.

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

        Aaron, that leaves only Trump for you, doesn’t it? On the other side, he the best of a bad lot as far as I can see. He may be crazy like a fox as the expression goes.

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 12:47 am #

        No, actually he is a buffoon. I like Carson first and then Rubio. Cruz is too much of an evangelical for me and Kasich has no chance. Carson is also unelectable but at least he’s a mensch. If Bloomberg chose to run he would be my first choice even though I think he’s off base on gun and food control.

  66. Aaron February 28, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    Interesting how these 2 views of the same coin can be interpreted:

    Why Canada should not restore funding to UNRWA

    Shimon Koffler Fogel

    Contributed to The Globe and Mail

    Published Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 11:57AM EST

    Shimon Koffler Fogel is CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

    As the world’s largest multilateral institution, founded to promote international peace, security, co-operation, and human rights, the United Nations is an important vehicle for achieving Canadian foreign-policy objectives. However, as Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion recently acknowledged, despite its lofty goals, “the United Nations is not a perfect institution.” These institutional flaws are perhaps most egregious when it comes to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, commonly known as UNRWA.

    UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide humanitarian assistance to both Arabs and Jews who had lost their homes and livelihoods in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Both populations were under UNRWA’s care until Israel assumed responsibility for Jewish refugees in 1952, resettling them and bringing an end to their plight. The Arab refugees, then living under Egyptian or Jordanian occupation, or residing in neighbouring states like Lebanon and Syria, have continued to subsist on UNRWA support.

    Initially conceived as a relief agency focused on integrating refugees into their host countries, UNRWA subsequently grew into an education, health and social service agency for approximately 750,000 Palestine refugees and their descendants in perpetuity. UNRWA’s mandate does not seek a durable solution for Palestinian refugees, but rather persists and artificially sustains their dependency. It is the only UN agency that increases its refugee population, now in its fourth generation and totalling more than five million people, rather than seeking to bring an end to their vulnerability.

    UNRWA is a counterproductive anachronism, especially when juxtaposed with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency responsible for all other refugee populations throughout the world. While the UNHCR’s primary function is to safeguard refugee rights and secure their well-being, its “ultimate goal is to help find durable solutions that will allow them to rebuild their lives in dignity and peace.” The UNHCR provides three solutions for refugees: “voluntary repatriation; local integration; or resettlement to a third country,” helping millions of people to find safety and restart their lives. The contrast with UNRWA could not be starker.

    This week, the federal government reiterated that it has not yet taken a decision on whether to restore Canadian funding to UNRWA, noting that “it is in our best interests as Canadians to look at all options on the table to see how we can best assist those in need in the region.” Any objective assessment would find that the UNHCR is the most effective UN agency in this regard. Canadian support for its work aiding Syrian and Iraqi refugees is laudable and necessary. In addition to third country resettlement in Canada, helping to provide refugees with support on the ground in countries like Lebanon and Jordan is a crucial response to the crisis.

    Contributing to a separate, parallel response exclusively for Palestinians would be just as inefficient and counterproductive in this context as it has been elsewhere. As former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler stated in 2014, “there is no reason why there should be one separate body dealing with Palestinian refugees where all other refugees in the world are under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, which is where the Palestinian refugees also belong.”

    Somewhat bizarrely, UNRWA continues to operate facilities for Palestinian refugees and their descendants in jurisdictions governed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza respectively. This duplication of services has produced negative outcomes for the development of a viable, independent and functioning Palestinian civil society. Furthermore, UNRWA employees and facilities have been implicated in fomenting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement to violence and abetting terrorist activity, thereby contributing to and perpetuating a major obstacle to peace.

    Canada’s commitment to helping the Palestinian people with humanitarian aid and development assistance can have far greater impact if it is directed through the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah rather than via the general budget of UNRWA. This is one of the representative office’s core functions, which has resulted in significant, targeted contributions to the fundamental building blocks of functional state and civil society institutions in the West Bank. Moreover, exercising the kind of direct control that can only be achieved through Canada’s representative office will ensure full accountability and transparency regarding the resources allocated for humanitarian purposes. This cannot be assured when funds are transferred to an agency like UNRWA, which has never had a strong reputation for proper fiscal management of the funds received from donor countries like Canada.

    Assisting the most vulnerable members of Palestinian society is an important objective. The federal government should ensure that its efforts are results-focused and do not contribute to further entrenching the plight of those we wish to help or diminish the prospects for peace. As the government explores ways to maximize Canada’s impact on the world stage, it is important that agencies like UNRWA are not funded blindly, and that our resources are instead allocated thoughtfully to most effectively achieve Canadian foreign policy objectives.

    =====================================================================

    Michael Bell

    Why Canada should restore funding for Palestinian relief agency

    MICHAEL BELL

    Special to The Globe and Mail

    Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 12:57PM EST

    Michael Bell is a former Canadian ambassador to Jordan, Egypt and twice to Israel. Before the last federal election, he advised Justin Trudeau on foreign policy.

    The question of renewed Canadian core funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) is on the table. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau raised the issue this past Sunday on CTV’s Question Period. She said the government had the issue under review. Her comments likely represent another move toward activist internationalism to which Justin Trudeau’s government has a stated commitment.

    A renewal of funding would reverse the sense of isolation and alienation former prime minister Stephen Harper favoured when he cancelled our ongoing commitment to UNRWA, an organization in which Canada had been prominent since its foundation.

    On the direction of then minister of international co-operation Bev Oda, Canada had already reduced its core contribution and, in January, 2010, funding was eliminated entirely. The reason given was that UNRWA was a repository of Hamas-directed radicalism and terrorist activity. As so often, on-the-ground realities had nothing to do with Mr. Harper’s decision; rather it reflected his ideological commitment and community-focused politics.

    Canada became the only donor to have ever withdrawn from funding. Main supporters remain a strong group of Western countries – the United States, the European Union, Britain, Germany, Norway, Japan and Australia – plus the oil-rich Arab states. In 2014, the U.S. contributed a total of $408-million (U.S.), including $74-million in special funds for Gaza relief. The same year, Britain provided $95-million and $15-million, respectively. The other countries are in line proportionally. In 2008, according to UNRWA statistics, Canada contributed a total of $28-million but Mr. Harper considered even that too much.

    Founded in 1950 to cope with the refugee flow resulting from Israel’s foundational war, the agency today provides assistance to more than five million people in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. But it was the situation in Gaza that caught Ms. Oda’s eye and gained Mr. Harper’s ire.

    Gazans total close to two million, of whom more than 75 per cent are refugees. UNRWA is heavily engaged in education and health care. UNRWA is active in microfinancing. Since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel, it has been preoccupied with the reconstruction of 83 schools and other infrastructure. It provides rebuilding assistance to more than 140,000 households.

    Youth unemployment stands at 41 per cent with close to half the population under 15 years of age. Gaza is a region of high social and economic instability with its political leadership loosing popular support because it cannot deliver the basic necessities of life.

    When Mr. Harper made his decision on UNRWA, he ignored the advice of important elements of Canada’s Israel lobby and, remarkably, that of the Israeli government itself. They had asked that Canada continue its support role. The government in Jerusalem realized, and I’m certain continues to realize, that while UNRWA as an organization might not be its ideal choice there is no better alternative.

    True Hamas dominates the UNRWA trade unions and its staff is replete with Hamas supporters, but in the world of the possible how could one expect otherwise. That staff may inculcate values we cannot accept, but how could one expect otherwise from a population living in misery and feeling itself dispossessed?

    Having toured Palestinian refugee camps throughout my career, I have to ask myself, as do the Israelis, whether a UNRWA withdrawal from Gaza would make the situation better or worse. Is there any other entity capable of taking its place? Would Hamas running the Gaza operation, even if it could physically do so, better contribute to a minimally acceptable environment? Instead the lid, I’m certain, would blow, a situation neither Palestinian nor Israeli could accept. Both want no breakdown. They are both clear beneficiaries from UNRWA’s buffer function. They, if not others, know it.

    The UNRWA question gives our new multilateralist Prime Minister the chance to prove his stuff. He should not let himself be deterred. I don’t think he will.

    • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

      Like the commentators in this Blog, there can be opposite perceptions of the same single issue.

  67. Aaron February 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    Note to Gene et al:

    Could Vic Rosenthal be talking about you when he references what Richard Landes proposed in his article?

    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/being-the-jew-that-fights-back/2016/02/28/

    On Jewish shame.

    • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

      Aaron, Jews are shameless in their racist Zionist Master Race behaviour over Palestinians.

      The Times of Israel recently reported on a talk by Max Blumenthal in Toronto which various Canadian Jewish organizations tried to have cancelled.
      “He spoke to upwards of 500 guests at an event titled “Embattled Truths: Reporting on Gaza with Max Blumenthal.” It was organized by PEN Canada — a charity which advocates for free expression and other basic rights for writers — and hosted at the Toronto Reference Library in honor of Freedom to Read Week in Canada.

      The talk, which featured a question and answer period, was marred by constant heckling and jeering from more than a dozen protestors who attended, most of whom from the far-right Jewish Defense League of Canada.”

      Contrary to Fred’s belief, I do not search the Internet for anything anti-Israel. Information just arrives in my Facebook news feed, some of which I read and some I don’t.

      Today I got notice of Jeremy Hammond’s, ‘The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel.’ It’s a very long read, too long to re-post here, with the usual opposite sides commenting on the historical accuracy of it.

      I did follow a related link to an article in the Christian Science Monitor short enough to re-post here.

      ‘What ‘Israel’s right to exist’ means to Palestinians’

      Since the Palestinian elections in 2006, Israel and much of the West have asserted that the principal obstacle to any progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace is the refusal of Hamas to “recognize Israel,” or to “recognize Israel’s existence,” or to “recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

      These three verbal formulations have been used by Israel, the United States, and the European Union as a rationale for collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The phrases are also used by the media, politicians, and even diplomats interchangeably, as though they mean the same thing. They do not.

      “Recognizing Israel” or any other state is a formal legal and diplomatic act by one state with respect to another state. It is inappropriate – indeed, nonsensical – to talk about a political party or movement extending diplomatic recognition to a state. To talk of Hamas “recognizing Israel” is simply to use sloppy, confusing, and deceptive shorthand for the real demand being made of the Palestinians.

      “Recognizing Israel’s existence” appears on first impression to involve a relatively straightforward acknowledgment of a fact of life. Yet there are serious practical problems with this language. What Israel, within what borders, is involved? Is it the 55 percent of historical Palestine recommended for a Jewish state by the UN General Assembly in 1947? The 78 percent of historical Palestine occupied by the Zionist movement in 1948 and now viewed by most of the world as “Israel” or “Israel proper”? The 100 percent of historical Palestine occupied by Israel since June 1967 and shown as “Israel” (without any “Green Line”) on maps in Israeli schoolbooks?

      Israel has never defined its own borders, since doing so would necessarily place limits on them. Still, if this were all that was being demanded of Hamas, it might be possible for the ruling political party to acknowledge, as a fact of life, that a state of Israel exists today within some specified borders. Indeed, Hamas leadership has effectively done so in recent weeks.

      “Recognizing Israel’s right to exist,” the actual demand being made of Hamas and Palestinians, is in an entirely different league. This formulation does not address diplomatic formalities or a simple acceptance of present realities. It calls for a moral judgment.

      There is an enormous difference between “recognizing Israel’s existence” and “recognizing Israel’s right to exist.” From a Palestinian perspective, the difference is in the same league as the difference between asking a Jew to acknowledge that the Holocaust happened and asking him to concede that the Holocaust was morally justified. For Palestinians to acknowledge the occurrence of the Nakba – the expulsion of the great majority of Palestinians from their homeland between 1947 and 1949 – is one thing. For them to publicly concede that it was “right” for the Nakba to have happened would be something else entirely. For the Jewish and Palestinian peoples, the Holocaust and the Nakba, respectively, represent catastrophes and injustices on an unimaginable scale that can neither be forgotten nor forgiven.

      To demand that Palestinians recognize “Israel’s right to exist” is to demand that a people who have been treated as subhumans unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim that they are subhumans. It would imply Palestinians’ acceptance that they deserve what has been done and continues to be done to them. Even 19th-century US governments did not require the surviving native Americans to publicly proclaim the “rightness” of their ethnic cleansing by European colonists as a condition precedent to even discussing what sort of land reservation they might receive. Nor did native Americans have to live under economic blockade and threat of starvation until they shed whatever pride they had left and conceded the point.

      Some believe that Yasser Arafat did concede the point in order to buy his ticket out of the wilderness of demonization and earn the right to be lectured directly by the Americans. But in fact, in his famous 1988 statement in Stockholm, he accepted “Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.” This language, significantly, addresses the conditions of existence of a state which, as a matter of fact, exists. It does not address the existential question of the “rightness” of the dispossession and dispersal of the Palestinian people from their homeland to make way for another people coming from abroad.

      The original conception of the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” and of its use as an excuse for not talking with any Palestinian leaders who still stood up for the rights of their people are attributed to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It is highly likely that those countries that still employ this phrase do so in full awareness of what it entails, morally and psychologically, for the Palestinian people.

      However, many people of goodwill and decent values may well be taken in by the surface simplicity of the words, “Israel’s right to exist,” and believe that they constitute a reasonable demand. And if the “right to exist” is reasonable, then refusing to accept it must represent perversity, rather than Palestinians’ deeply felt need to cling to their self-respect and dignity as full-fledged human beings. That this need is deeply felt is evidenced by polls showing that the percentage of the Palestinian population that approves of Hamas’s refusal to bow to this demand substantially exceeds the percentage that voted for Hamas in January 2006.

      Those who recognize the critical importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace and truly seek a decent future for both peoples must recognize that the demand that Hamas recognize “Israel’s right to exist” is unreasonable, immoral, and impossible to meet. Then, they must insist that this roadblock to peace be removed, the economic siege of the Palestinian territories be lifted, and the pursuit of peace with some measure of justice be resumed with the urgency it deserves.

      • John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer, is the author of, “The World According to Whitbeck.” He has advised Palestinian officials in negotiations with Israel.

      Richard, do you know John Whitbeck?

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

        His article is fraught with errors and completely asinine.
        The Nakba was not caused by either Israel nor its Jewish residents.
        It was caused 100% by the surrounding Arab countries.

        Had they not invaded Israel and accepted the partition plan they actually would have a bigger “Palestine” then the Jews would have had Israel.

        Do you think its an accident that Jordan and Lebanon refuse to give their “Palestinian” residents citizenship? Of course not. The refugee industry is alive and well since it was invented by the UN in 1947 (actually, for the Jews, not Arabs). Israel solved its refugee problem even while the Arabs were adding its own Jews to the refugee industry while at the same time refusing to protect their fellow Arabs. Israel absorbed all the Arabs that chose to stay and also took in Jews from all corners of the world.

        Do you know that if tomorrow Jordan granted citizenship to its “Palestinian” residents (75% or the population) it would cease to be a Hashemite kingdom?

      • ray032 February 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

        Aaron, if I shared your “opinion” I would not have re-posted the CSM article.

        I’m waiting to hear from others if they have an opinion, especially Richard’s if he wants to say anything on the essentials. He has more direct experience than all of us others.

      • Kata Fisher February 28, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

        A very Important note: Can we have all posts from Aaron as they are not deleted. I find them important to look over them – by Rabbi. (If that is possible).

      • Aaron February 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

        Actually many of my posts DO get deleted however perhaps because Richard is travelling he hasn’t deleted any lately.

        Generally as soon as I post a question or challenge that he knows he can’t contradict he either deletes or ignores.

        I thought it was only personal attacks and vulgarity that were supposed to be controlled by the thought police, not differences of opinion or questions of facts.

      • Kata Fisher February 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

        Aaron,

        Obviously there is a lot going on and is just too much to all of it:

        When you have time – can you go about this in much more detail. It seems to me that there is no specifics, and other stuff it is either lost or does not correlate – I can’t follow. I cant follow you because I am not seeing first and second order of your doctrine / explanation to all of this:

        By the way – because you are not American – it makes you not native here.

        “His article is fraught with errors and completely asinine.
        The Nakba was not caused by either Israel nor its Jewish residents.
        It was caused 100% by the surrounding Arab countries.

        Had they not invaded Israel and accepted the partition plan they actually would have a bigger “Palestine” then the Jews would have had Israel.

        Do you think its an accident that Jordan and Lebanon refuse to give their “Palestinian” residents citizenship? Of course not. The refugee industry is alive and well since it was invented by the UN in 1947 (actually, for the Jews, not Arabs). Israel solved its refugee problem even while the Arabs were adding its own Jews to the refugee industry while at the same time refusing to protect their fellow Arabs. Israel absorbed all the Arabs that chose to stay and also took in Jews from all corners of the world.

        Do you know that if tomorrow Jordan granted citizenship to its “Palestinian” residents (75% or the population) it would cease to be a Hashemite kingdom?”

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 12:43 am #

        I never said I WAS native

      • Harvey Epstein February 28, 2016 at 11:54 pm #

        Ray032

        The answer to your question regarding why it is reasonable that Israel insists on a recognition of its right to exist is found in the Charter of Hamas, among other things. This is a separate issue from any Palestinian desire for “self-respect” and dignity as full fledged human beings. The first ( a recognition of Israel’s right to exist) is the Hamas/Palestinian external view of Israel, as expressed by their Charter (which I urge that you re-read); the second ( self respect, etc.) is internal. It represents the Palestinian view of itself. You seem to be saying that they do not respect themselves, feel a sense of lack of dignity as they view themselves, and do not view themselves as full fledged human beings. If such is the case, then they need a massive amount of psychiatric help prior to being able to meaningfully engage in any peace process with Israel. They must first make peace within themselves.

        I speculate that what you intended to say was that the Palestinian wanted Israel to respect them and treat them in a dignified manner so that their egos are not deflated, their “human rights” should be respected, etc. I agree that they should be so treated, BUT don’t you think that the language of the Charter and the attitude of the Palestinian regarding Israel should also be reversed, both by deed and in spirit? Are the Palestinians to be given a “pass” such as the type that Richard often infers? If so, then there will never be a solution to these problems which will ever satisfy any of the major aspirations of the Palestinians. If the Palestinians remain intransigent, then why shouldn’t Israel get a “pass”, too? So long as Hamas/Palestinians have a stated goal of destroying Israel, why should Israel ” cut them any slack” at all. Only a fool would.

        The rest of your comments are little more than balderdash. Stating that Israel’s demand for recognition is ” unreasonable, immoral, and impossible to meet” is just one example of that. Your logic is nothing short of tortured. As to what Arafat said in 1988 has long since been abrogated by Hamas and Abbas, and never actually represented the ” facts on the ground”. Arafat never acted on those words. In Arabic, he spoke of Hudna. He double spoke.

        Regards

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 12:40 am #

        All this talk is moot given the Palestinian’s refusal to negotiate. Why aren’t all the BDS’rs calling the Arabs to task for not being prepared to sit and come up with a peace treaty?

      • ray032 February 29, 2016 at 8:49 am #

        First of all, Harvey, the article was not written by me, but it appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and I agree with the basic tenets in the article. Aaron offered his opinion and now you have stated yours. Hopefully more opinions will be volunteered.

        I find this statement by you to be disingenuous in the extreme, ” If such is the case, then they need a massive amount of psychiatric help prior to being able to meaningfully engage in any peace process with Israel. They must first make peace within themselves.”

        Prior to the Orwellian Operation Protective edge, Natanyahe went ballistic when the Palestinians announced they would try to form a “Unity” government as Israel has on every occasion when the Palestinians tried to speak with one voice in negotiations with Israel. Israeli policy is to divide and conquer the Palestinian people and prevent a unitary voice by all means possible. The separation wall was not constructed along the 1967 lines, but is designed to keep Palestinian Villeges isolated and separated. It is Israel not interested in any viable Peace negotiations, wanting Palestinian land. The rest is all idle talk and lip service to Peace negotiations.

        It is untenable for Israel to call itself a Democracy predicated on maintaining the 48 year Military Dictatorship over Palestinian lives so the settlers can live in their faux Cantons of Democracy at the point of a gun.

        Here is more evidence that appeared in Haaretz only Today. It is not uncommon for Israel to seize Palestinian land for closed military purposes, only to let Jewish settlers start farming it after a while.

        Jordan Valley Settlers Took 150 Acres From Palestinians in 2015

        Israeli army, civil administration were apparently unaware of new land grabs.

        During 2015, Jordan Valley settlements appropriated 600 dunams (150 acres) of Palestinian farmland in an area that is off-limits to Palestinians for “security reasons.”

        After the West Bank was occupied in 1967, the Israel Defense Forces issued Military Order 151, which prohibits Palestinians from entering the area between the border fence and the Jordan River. This order remained in effect even after the signing of the peace treaty with Jordan.

        The area contains tens of thousands of dunams of Palestinian-owned land that was cultivated by the Palestinians until they were shut out.

        Because the Jordan River passes through the area, the land is especially fertile and good for agriculture. In the early 1980s, the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs issued a resolution permitting armed Jewish residents of the Jordan Valley to cultivate government-owned land in the area. Ariel Sharon instructed settler leaders to cultivate the entire area, going beyond the provisions of the resolution.

        In January 2013, Haaretz reported that 5,000 dunams of these lands were being cultivated by the settlers, many of them after receiving land allocations from the World Zionist Organization in the ‘80s.

        In the wake of that report, two petitions were submitted to the High Court of Justice. During the hearings on those petitions it emerged that some of the plots from which the Palestinians were being blocked were actually west of the border fence. A new, corrected order is meant to be issued shortly.

        As for the Palestinian plots that are being farmed by settlers, the state refused to take a position and instead is trying to come to an agreement with the Palestinians on compensation, so far without success.

        Now it turns out that despite the High Court hearings and the efforts by the IDF General Staff to address the issue, in 2015 settlers began cultivating an additional 600 dunams owned by Palestinians in three different parts of the border zone.

        Until Haaretz contacted them, neither the army nor the Civil Administration was aware of the new land grabs, and it is not clear what they plan to do about it.

        Last month, settlement researcher and left-wing activist Dror Etkes criticized what he called “the harmonious coexistence between what is called ‘security concerns’ and the ongoing enterprise of theft and expropriation [of Palestinian lands] by the government, which has flourished for the past 50 years.”

        As Etkes put it, “We can assume that had they not petitioned the court, the situation would have stayed the same for many more years.”

        Taufiq Jabrin, a lawyer representing some of the Palestinians, said “the state pretty much confessed to doing something illegal, but they have yet to decide what they want to do with it …. There is nothing to talk about, we want our land back.”

        The IDF Spokesman said in response: “The IDF views the keeping of law and order and protecting the property and land rights of the residents with the utmost importance. with regard to the matter in question, it is being adjudicated the the High Court, and once a decision is made we will act in accrdance. In addition, the matters raised will be looked into by the proper authorities.

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.706044

        Israel will not define what it’s final borders will be because it is not finished with the theft of Palestinian land.

  68. Harvey Epstein February 29, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Aaron,

    The BDS supporters understand the goal of the Arab leadership: it is not lasting peace with Isreal; it is the ultimate destruction of Isreal.

    And you are correct as to the talk being moot. So long as all some do is talk at each other and not listen to and reason with each other, and so long as each cannot recognize that there may be some merit to what the other may be saying, there never will be understanding or progress. Thus my underlying criticism of a lack of balance by many on this blog.

    Regards

    P.S. it took me over 5 minutes to get down to your comment, so if there are follow’ons, I doubt that I will spend the time to look for them.

    • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 8:34 am #

      You mean Israel, not Isreal?

      • Harvey Epstein March 1, 2016 at 8:57 am #

        Aaron,

        Sorry for the typo. I am basically a “helping hand” person, and often miss my spell check notifications. I need to get my voice recognition system up and running again.

        Regards

      • Aaron March 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

        no problem

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 29, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      Harvey,

      It’s not quite accurate to say that BDS supporters understand that the goal of Arab leadership is to destroy Israel. While this has always been the goal of a small core of organizers, they have deceptively marketed it a pursuing the far more limited, and acceptable, objective of ending the 1967 occupation. My own experience with religious communities and college students is that many, perhaps most of those who support BDS are unaware of, and opposed to its real objective.

      The BDS smokescreen was blown away by Prof. Falk when he posted on this blog a scathing denunciation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) for adopting a resolution that both endorsed BDS and affirmed Israel’s right to exist. The blowback on this will be felt when the Presbyterian General Assembly next gathers later in the year.

      With warm regards,

      Ira

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

        Rabbi, you mean “alleged” occupation?

        As long as disputed lands are under the joint control of the PA, Israel and WAKF they are not really occupied since no legal (national, non-title) ownership has been negotiated in final status agreements.

        The term “occupation” is a false canard invented by Yasser Arafat in 1964 and reassigned in 1967.

        For the time being Israel has in its possession the most accurate and historical land registry document and it is quoted quite clearly in the Tanach and Qu’ran plus the other various modern agreements in the earlier half of the 20th century.

        Only revisionists who want to re-write history believe in the existence of an “occupation”.

      • Richard Falk February 29, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

        Virtually, the entire world are ‘revisionists’ by this criterion. The UN does not even
        discuss this kind of legalistic argument rejected when first put forward by Israeli official
        Yehuda Blum.

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

        Quoting or referring to the UN, your former “employer”, hardly endorses your claim.

        The UN is the one proof that Israel is justified in its actions. Had the UN really cared about the Palestinians, they would have stopped singling out Israel and gone after the true violators of human rights around the world.

        Furthermore, by giving the terrorist PA a pedestal and recognition they have permanently destroyed any chance for peace as there is no longer a fair field for Israel to negotiate in.

        In other words they want to achieve everything through unilateral actions.

      • Richard Falk February 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

        Ira:

        I have known many of the BDS organizers and I have never met one whose goal is to destroy Israel. Their
        three sets of demands can all be accommodated without the destruction of Israel, and privately these are
        not people that espouse such views. The basic target of BDS is the policies and practices of Israel, not
        the existence of the state as such. It is a matter of finding a way to address Palestinian grievances
        on the basis of civil society pressures of a nonviolent after decades of diplomatic futility.

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

        I guess that’s why Sodastream has had to fire it’s last Palestinian since it was forced to move its plant to Rahat? Way to go BDS!!!

        The staff begged Barghouti to back off and he refused. Abu Mazen begged them to back of and he refused!!

        No although they try, they won’t destroy Israel however I guarantee you that in the end only “Palestinians” will suffer as a result.

      • Harvey Epstein March 1, 2016 at 8:34 am #

        Ira,

        Thank you for your evaluation. I forgot that sometimes the partially sighted lead the totally blind

        Now the question will be: will the Church be blessed with 20/20 vision when it next meets? If not, who will be the person/entity who will provide the corrective lenses?

        I hope you are correct: that we are seeing the most of BDS supporters as being mislead, and not “true believers”.

        Regards

  69. Aaron February 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    IRAN PLEDGES CASH FOR KILLING JEWS
    Jonathan S. Tobin
    Commentary, Feb. 24, 2016

    In recent weeks, publications like the New York Times have been reporting about post-nuclear deal Iran and speculating about which sector of its society will benefit the most from the cash windfall that will result from the end of international sanctions on Tehran. The short answer to that question is that very little of the billions that will flow into Iran will find its way to ordinary citizens. Instead, most of it will wind up in the coffers of the government, its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the companies that terror group and the regime control.

    But it won’t be just the IRGC and the entities directly under the ayatollahs’ control that benefits from Western largesse. Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon has announced that Iran will now be offering new cash bonuses to Palestinian terrorists. As the Times of Israel reports: Mohammad Fateh Ali said Tehran will give $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” and a further “$30,000 to every family whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons,” according to local news reports.

    It should be noted that the Palestinian Authority already pays pensions to the families of Palestinians that have been jailed by Israel for terrorism. Indeed, PA TV has a regular program profiling such people and treating them as heroes and martyrs. This is an integral part of a political culture that considers Jews to have no rights to any part of the country, including pre-1967 Israel. More importantly, Palestinian public opinion, egged on by the official media of both Fatah and Hamas, treat attacks on individual Jews, including women, children and the elderly as acts of heroism, not crimes. But the offer of cash bonuses from Iran to those Arabs who seek out random Jews for slaughter in what is known as the “stabbing intifada,” lends added legitimacy to a society that has legitimized terror.

    It should be noted that during the past few months, 32 people have been killed in the terror surge that began when the PA and its leader Mahmoud Abbas spread the lie that Israel was planning to harm the mosques on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Though apologists for the Palestinians have tried to place the blame for the violence on Israeli policies, the bloodshed is rooted in hatred for Jews. As the Palestinians have made clear, they view Jews sitting in Tel Aviv cafes as being as much of a legitimate target as those living in remote West Bank hilltop settlements. Moreover, the Palestinians refusal to negotiate, let alone accept repeated Israeli peace offers, gives the lie to the idea that more concessions from the Netanyahu government or territorial withdrawals would magically end the conflict.

    But Iran’s willingness to inject its financial power into the already toxic Palestinian political culture ought to particularly worry an Obama administration that has sought to create a new détente with Tehran. On the same day as Iran’s cash for terror offer, reports were published of meetings in Tehran with representatives from Hamas. The agenda was apparently another Iranian financial offer, this time to help fund Hamas terrorism against Israel.

    Iran was Hamas’s chief sponsor during the second intifada. But the group broke with the Iranians when Hamas joined other Sunni Muslim groups in calling for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s ouster. But now, thanks to military intervention by Iran, its Hezbollah auxiliaries, and Russia (as well as American acquiescence to Iran’s foreign policy goals in the wake of the nuclear deal), that Assad’s continued rule is assured, Hamas has reconciled with its former patron. The IRGC is planning to funnel even more aid to Hamas that will allow it to continue its terror tunnel-building program in Gaza as well as to replenish and upgrade its rocket arsenal.

    Of course, Iran is interested in more than just helping Palestinians who kill Jews. They wish to expand their influence among Palestinians as part of their push for regional hegemony that so scares Arab nations like Egypt and Jordan as well as Saudi Arabia. This has created an upside down regional alignment that finds these Arab states allying themselves with Israel as they seek mutual protection against an increasingly aggressive Iran.

    Iran’s desire to make mischief and to maintain pressure on Israel isn’t new. But the nuclear deal that President Obama imagined would be the start of a new and more peaceful era is giving Tehran the economic muscle to make the region even more dangerous. Instead of helping Iran to, as President Obama hoped, “get right with the world,” those who argued that the deal was good for Israel must now account for the fact that the West’s cash will now subsidize the slaughter of Jews.

    • Israel has no right to exist February 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      Tobin is a criminal zionist jew trying to build ‘legitimacy for Israel, an apartheid and criminal entity. On the other hand Israelis have killed many Iranians including the nuclear scientists to eliminate one of the indigenous population of the region for the past 7000 years.
      The Ashkenazis have NO relation to Palestine and the region. Therefore, to steal Palestine, they feel they have to kill whatever is moving to keep their stolen good.
      Israel has no right to exist, no matter how much Tobin lies to deceive ignorant people.

  70. Aaron February 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Lovely prime time death cult for all the children to watch in the stadium

    Hamas Showcases Terrorist Skills in a Rafah Rally

    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/5354.htm

    • Kata Fisher February 29, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

      Note:

      It is exactly what they train for. That is why it is illegal to give funds and give weaponry to hate/s of illegal religion / illegal religion – its fruit is terrorist in action. It is not about legal self-determination and self-defense of Palestinian people. Its about evil governing, all together.

      It would be more then legitimate and legal to cut off all funds given and all fundings to PA and Gaza militarism. It is without purpose. It’s as same as providing weaponry and illegal funds to civil radicalism.

      What PA and Gaza needs is internationally controlled humanitarian funds – independent in oversight for a rebuilding of depopulated areas – for Arabs.

      Also, what they need is sincere look at that what exactly are they indoctrinating their children with, all together. Perhaps, there is enormous child-human-right/s violation just because they take advantage of hate-religion upon their children, and they violate the conscience of their children with the guilt of blood.

      Now, I am very sincere about this, and really rational that these things are just so.

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

        Looks like this Professor faces a similar fate to me and others on this blog when they don’t like our postings:

        http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260607/jewish-professor-hounded-california-riverside-phyllis-chesler

      • Richard Falk February 29, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

        It is not a matter of dislike. It is their tone of derision and referencing of extremist literature
        that is not at all on point as far as I am concerned. My sole interest is to have a constructive exchange
        of views with certain outer boundaries set by me. There are many web sites open to the kind of views you
        are promoting, but I do not want this to be one of them.

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

        You have constantly allowed extremist opinion from the left. Let alone that you have eliminated stated opinion of a subscriber that did not engage in any personal attack, meaning the undersigned.!!

      • Kata Fisher February 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

        Professor Falk is misunderstood.

        He is impartial, and totally accurate in all that he did and all that he does.

        Also, everyone is very, very wearied from all evils that we often even do not fully understand.

        So we all are wearied, and we are humans that are going to make human errors – just because we are not God.

        In overal, it is possible to good man of Spirit to be totally impartial and totally accurate (just as Professor Falk is). So Aaron – you have something to look forward – your entire life! Good that you are here in good Spirit – he will teach you things that you will underatsnd.

      • ray032 February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

        Aaron, I followed your link leading to Front Page News and followed their link to “Who We Are” I can only conclude it’s Hasbara Central.

        You should follow this link. It’s too long to re-post here, except for a few paragraphs. This appeared only Today, but it complements the article written by the Nazareth based Journalist Jonathan Cook re-posted to my Blog August 18, 2013 titled ‘ISRAEL’S BOOMING SECRETIVE ARMS TRADE – MERCHANTS OF DEATH.

        ‘Testing Out Repression in Israel’ By Dennis J Bernstein

        Israeli author and human rights activist Jeff Halper who has challenged the Israeli practice of destroying Palestinian homes (usually for simply building after being denied a permit) attempts to answer the question why the world continues to accept such repeated brutalities perpetrated by the Israelis against a million-plus locked-down, very poor Palestinians.

        Halper detects a quid pro quo, a violent marriage of convenience in which “Israel offers its expertise in helping governments pursue their various wars against the people and, in return, they permit it to expand its settlements and control throughout the Palestinian territory.”

        Halper’s latest book, War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification, focuses on a “global Palestine,” and “how Israel exports its Occupation – its weaponry, its models and tactics of control and its security and surveillance systems, all developed and perfected on the Palestinians – to countries around the world engaged in asymmetrical warfare, or domestic securitization, both forms of ‘war against the people.’”

        He contextualizes Israel’s globalization of Palestine “within the capitalist world system. Inherently unequal, exploitative, violent and increasingly unsustainable, Capitalism must pursue innumerable wars against the people if it is to enforce its global hegemony. These are precisely the types of wars – counterinsurgency, asymmetrical warfare, counter-terrorism, urban warfare and the overall securitization of societies, including those of the Global North – in which Israel specializes.”

        Halper, whose activism also includes work for over a decade as a community organizer in the working-class Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, is a coordinator of the Wars Against the People project of The People Yes! Network; he has served as the Chairman of the Israeli Committee for Ethiopian Jews; he was an active participant in the first attempt of the Free Gaza Movement to break Israel’s crippling economic siege on the Gaza Strip by sailing into Gaza in 2008; he’s an active member of the international support committee of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine; and he was nominated by the American Friends Service Committee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni.

        Halper spoke recently with Dennis J Bernstein.

        DB: Let’s talk a little bit about house demolitions, before we get into this book and what you’re talking about in terms of the way in which Israel perfects and then exports oppression. Talk a little bit about your work with the houses.

        JH: Well, I’m an Israeli activist. I grew up in the States, actually, in Minnesota, but I’ve lived in Israel now for more than 40 years. I’ve been involved all those years with the Israeli peace movement. And for the last 20 years I’ve been the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, as you mentioned. We call ourselves ICAHD.

        And that’s a political organization that’s trying to fight the Israeli occupation, and achieve a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But [we also operate] in order to give people an idea of what occupation means, which is kind of an abstract term sometimes, and how it works, and what Israel’s intentions are.

        Now, as an anthropologist, I tried to read political intentions from what the powers are doing on the ground, not from what they’re saying. We took the issue of house demolitions as our focal point. Israel has demolished 47,000 Palestinian homes in the occupied territories since 1967, since the occupation began. [T]hat’s on the background of about 60,000 homes that were demolished in 1948, in what the Palestinians call the Nakba. Thousands and more are demolished inside Israel all the time, of Israeli citizens, all of whom are Arabs. For example, there is one Bedouin community in the Negev that’s been demolished now 90 times, and rebuilt.

        DB: Same community.

        JH: The same community. And we’ve all gone out and rebuilt with them, and it’s been re-demolished. Because they want to build a military settlement on top. And this is inside Israel. And a lot of these Bedouin men serve in the Israeli army. So one of the points of house demolitions is that we can’t really separate the occupation from Israel itself.

        We think the two state solution is gone, it’s over. And basically Israel has created already one state which is an apartheid state. I mean, there’s only one government, one army, one water system, one currency between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, in the entire country. We don’t even call the occupied territories, “occupied,” we call them Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, the Palestinian side has been annexed.

        So there is one country today. And what the house demolition issue shows is that, yes, in fact Israel is still demolishing homes, still ethnically cleansing the Palestinian population, after 70 years. And so what we do is we … first of all, we resist demolitions. I get in front of bulldozers, we resist. We also rebuild homes. We built 189 homes, which takes quite a bit of resources, activists coming from all over the world.

        So if you think of it in political terms, 189 political acts of resistance, of Israelis and Palestinians, and Internationals together. I think that is meaningful. And then we take what we learn on the ground, our analysis is genuinely grounded, and we go abroad, like I am now here in the Bay Area, to try to work with the activists. First of all, to update them on what’s happening and to give them focus.

        But in general, as you are saying, to raise this issue that’s so difficult to raise in the mainstream American media, or even in universities. You can get fired for raising this issue…………………..
        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44335.htm

      • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

        So Ray, I can spend the 2 hours it will take me to respond to this article point by point. However many times in the past Richard would just delete.
        Perhaps he can weigh in now and state whether or not he grants me “permission” to comment. If so I will later today.

      • Richard Falk March 1, 2016 at 10:28 am #

        Aaron:

        Please do not send serial comments or mere reading suggestions. It is not appropriate to dominate
        the comments section in this way. I am trying to maintain what I would call ‘a constructive openness’
        to diverse viewpoints, but want to minimize personal insults and other destructive commentary.

      • Aaron March 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

        So Richard, how does sending serial comments or mere reading suggestions equate to personal insults and other destructive commentary?

        What do you mean by serial comments? Can you give me an example or quote?

  71. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    Approximately four million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza. Those on the West Bank have no civil rights, must pass through numerous checkpoints just to get from here to there, face arrest and lengthy detention without the right to habeas corpus and are under the control of IDF soldiers who impose unequal standards of justice on Palestinians and Jewish settlers. If this isn’t an Occupation, I don’t know what is!

    The central point I and a few others have been attempting to make on this blog is that denying or distorting reality (i.e. facts on the ground) is both unfair to both Israel and the Palestinians . That applies to you. Your distortion of the Palestinian reality is as inaccurate and unhelpful as Ray32’s portrayal of the Territories as being akin to a Nazi Concentration Camp.

    Finally, although I “believe in the existence of an ‘occupation’, I am not a revisionist who wants to re-write history” and resent being tarred as one.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • ray032 February 29, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

      Ira, I don’t want to confuse your comment with someone else as I did recently thinking Gene’s comment came from Fred.

      Is the 1st paragraph in your comment an acknowledgement by you?

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 29, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

        If the comment you’re referring to is the one I sent a few minutes ago, the answer is yes.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • ray032 February 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

        Ira, you have been born again, although your acknowledgement of the “the facts on the ground” in the 1st paragraph, and what you wrote in the 2nd paragraph, seem to confirm my earlier observation you are attempting to straddle both sides of the fence.

        Acknowledging the Israeli imposed facts on the ground of the occupation will have Fred and Aaron thinking you have defected.

        In my view, you have raised yourself up in my esteem and appreciation. God Bless you with the Truth that sets us Free!

    • Aaron February 29, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

      Ira,

      I will preface my reply below your lines using a “**” to make it easier to follow. I will also try and indent a bit.

      ================================================================

      Approximately four million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza. Those on the West Bank have no civil rights,

      **This is not true. I will agree that heightened security does diminish some of those rights but they are not the intention, only the consequence.

      must pass through numerous checkpoints just to get from here to there,

      **no different then between the Canada/US checkpoint. Argentina/Brazil etc.

      face arrest

      **no different then between the Canada/US checkpoint. Argentina/Brazil etc. No different then when the police in New Orleans set up checkpoints for drunken drivers.

      and lengthy detention without the right to habeas corpus

      **not true. They always have the right to contest the detention. It’s done all the time. When the Turks and then the British created this rule which Israel inherited, it was because of a lawless society with warring factions on both sides. If the Palestinians engaged in only civil disobedience and stopped terrorism I’m sure they would legislate this provision in the law to the history bin. Even Jews have been held under this method.

      and are under the control of IDF soldiers who impose unequal standards of justice on Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

      **No different then a typical US city when one cop sees a Black and thinks he’s about to steal something and another cop sees him as just a regular citizen doing his normal business. When you have soldiers being constantly attacked, knifed, mowed down, pelted with stones, what do you expect? Heveinu shalom?

      **With regard to “settlers”, between 1967 and the arrival of Yasser Arafat, how was the relationship between “settlers” and the local Arabs then? Ask me, I know. I lived in Israel in the 70’s. No checkpoints, no fences, no walls. I travelled throughout Gaza, Judea and Samaria. The only way you knew you crossed over any line was by either a road sign or the colour of the licence plates. Palestinians were allowed to travel freely throughout Israel and vice versa.

      If this isn’t an Occupation, I don’t know what is!
      ** No, its not an occupation. Its a response to a policy of terrorism and incitement. Fact.

      The central point I and a few others have been attempting to make on this blog is that denying or distorting reality (i.e. facts on the ground) is both unfair to both Israel and the Palestinians . That applies to you. Your distortion of the Palestinian reality is as inaccurate and unhelpful as Ray32’s portrayal of the Territories as being akin to a Nazi Concentration Camp.

      **Then put your money where your mouth is and respond to the specific assertions I make with documented proof and not just opinion. Read Carolyn Glick’s “The Israeli Solution” and attack it only on the merits of it’s citations and facts, not your jaded opinion.

      Finally, although I “believe in the existence of an ‘occupation’, I am not a revisionist who wants to re-write history” and resent being tarred as one.

      ** you tar yourself by stating opinion instead of facts. The Arabs refuse to have their “country” because they want it only as a paper clerical entry endorsed by the world’s leaders instead of the true way countries are born which is through painful yet necessary concessions!!

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      ===============================================================

  72. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    Richard,

    I write not to refute your comment on BDS, but to seek clarification.

    I may have misspoken in saying that the goal of BDS’ organizers is to “destroy” Israel, which may suggest violence. I should have used “dismantle”, which Uri Avnery used in unequivocally opposing a bi-national state. But changing the meaning of “D” in “Divestment” to “”Delegitimization”, as the organizers have done, certainly implies more than changing Israel’s policies and practices. And you, yourself, castigated the Presbyterian Church (USA) for adopting a pro-BDS resolution that also affirmed Israel’s right to exist, which you characterized as a “zombie idea” motivated by a misguided impulse toward political correctness.

    To me, this appears to be sending conflicting signals. Can you please clarify.

    And please do not overlook my request for explanation re: your overall methodology, which follows-up on Harvey’s post stating concerns.

    To conduct a civil and constructive conversation on your blog, participants need to understand where adversaries are coming from and what they’re saying.

    Regards,

    Ira

    • Fred Skolnik February 29, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      Re BDS, aside from the moral bankruptcy of these, people, none of them really puts his money where his mouth is:

      “You know how it goes. These hypocrites who call on others to boycott us don’t apply their principles to themselves. They continue to use their computers, laptops, smartphones that wouldn’t operate without our Israeli technology. They use Israeli science, medical and pharmaceutical advances in their everyday life” (from an Arutz-7 op-ed).

      They are a little like our Gene, who blithely surfs the Internet, compliments of Google, which owns an Israeli hi-tech company that pays the salaries of Israeli Nazis, genocidists ans apartheidists.

    • Richard Falk March 1, 2016 at 10:33 am #

      Ira:

      I appreciate your recent comments as being in tone and substance much more constructive.

      I am in a rush due to travel, deadlines, and assorted other pressures, but I wanted to clarify my
      recollection of my criticism of the Presbyterian Church resolution–my objection was their call for
      a resumption of Oslo diplomacy based on the ‘two-state consensus’ despite the realities of two decades
      of futile negotiations, the intrusiveness to the point of irreversibility of settlement expansion, and
      the attitude of the Israeli political leadership (including the liberal opposition) toward a fair outcome.

      Richard

      • Aaron March 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

        So does that mean you support Carolyn Glick’s one state Israeli solution?

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

        Richard,

        I’m afraid your Presbyterian Church BDS post went well beyond merely critiquing Oslo diplomacy. Here’s what you wrote:

        “The only futures worth pondering under current conditions is whether there will emerge from the ruins of the present either a political community of the two peoples that becomes an Israeli governed apartheid state or somehow there arises a secular and democratic bi-national state with human rights for all ethnicities and religious identities each protected on the basis of equality.”

        This clearly is a call for a bi-national state, which you have reiterated more than a few times on this blog. At the same time, you’ve written a fairly detailed analysis of why a bi-national state won’t work. And when I asked you how one might be created and function, you replied that you didn’t know.

        It would seem that your only reason for pressing the bi-national concept is that it wipes Israel off the map. “Israelstiine” isn’t Israel. You’ve written that establishing a bi-national state requires only “slight revisions” in Israel’s structure, and that “BDS’s three sets of demands can all be accommodated without the destruction of Israel.” Uri Avnery disagrees, and condemns the bi-national concept for seeking to “dismantle Israel”. Besides, if what you and BDS seek is so benign, why does BDS call for delegitimizing Israel?

        Perhaps I don’t understand your vision of a bi-national state. It would help a great deal if you would spell it out in some detail.

        Regards and thanks in advance,

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 8:32 am #

        Ira:

        You are mainly right about this. I have at various times argued that only a binational state respectful of
        the rights of both peoples would be an acceptable outcome, and at other times insisted that a solution must
        depend on what the parties can agree upon to resolve the conflict and uphold their basic respective rights,
        and this could possibly be a two-state framework. I believe it is not tenable to insist on Israel as ‘a Jewish
        state’ given the 20% Palestinian and Christian minority. In that sense it does seem to me that the Zionist project
        must be revised, accepting a Jewish ‘homeland.’ Two homelands rather than two ethnocracies. It may be that our
        misunderstanding derives from different interpretations of what is the nature of Israel as a state. This is a point
        worth clarifying.

      • Aaron March 2, 2016 at 11:11 am #

        Consider the Israeli Solution

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

        But is it tenable, Prof. Falk, to call Turkey a Turkish state when it has a 20% Kurdish minority? Your eagerness to delegitimize Israel as a national state has created enormous blindspots in your reasoning.

      • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

        Mr. Skolnik:

        It is fine to call Israel a Jewish state as an empirical description of the dominant ethnicity, but it is unacceptable
        to couple that descriptive label with discriminatory rights based on ethnicity, privileges and burdens of nationality
        as in Israel on a wide range of issues (right of return, family unification, property ownership, residence regulations, etc.).
        The same is true with respect to Turkey to the extent that rights of the Kurdish people are denied.

      • Fred Skolnik March 3, 2016 at 2:25 am #

        You are also fixated on the term ethnicity, which you use for no other purpose than to diminish the State of Israel as a legitimate Jewish national state that is Jewish in the same way the France is French and Turkey is Turkish. Israel is a Jewish national state and the Arabs are a national minority. As I’ve pointed out numerous times, the fact that Italian Americans and Irish Americans are ethnic minorities in the United States does not mean that Italy and Ireland are not national states. The term “ethnic” in common parlance is reserved for national groups who have transferred their national identities from their countries of origin to their adopted countries. A national minority, like the Kurds in Turkey and the Arabs in Israel, does not transfer its national identity in this way. Since in the case of Israel this national identity is with a larger Arab world that is hostile to Israel, an obviously problematic situation has arisen, and part of it is unjustfiable discrimination against Israeli Arabs, which certainly doesn’t reach the level of anti-Kurd discrimination in Turkey or what you are fond of calling apartheid. I imagine that you are aware that dozens of countries have immigration laws that favor their own expatriate nationals. As for family unification this is a security issue, however unfair it seems. In the end, human lives are at stake. You are trying too hard to put Israel in the worst possible light.

  73. Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Ray,

    Before you buy confetti and schedule a parade to celebrate my defection to the “Truth that Sets us Free”, I must correct a misperception on your part.

    I haven’t changed my position. I’ve opposed the Occupation ever since in began nearly a half century ago, and my criticism has intensified as settlements have multiplied and the mistreatment of Palestinians has become more vindictive among some, but by no means all of the settlers. I’ve made no secret of my views on this blog, or in my writing and public speaking. It’s a tragedy that you never realized it because your vision is clouded by a mindset that precludes accepting the reality that Zionists criticize Israel and support Palestinian aspirations toward national liberation, so long these do not entail eliminating Israel. You may deride this as fence straddling. But to me, and most people, the only way to accurately assess and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to acknowledge that both sides bear responsibility for the impasse, and that conflict resolution will come when each side not only understands the other, but also understands itself. Sadly, this, too, appears to be beyond your comprehension.

    I appreciate that I’ve now forfeited your esteem and appreciation. But I didn’t want to accept that new and exalted status under false pretenses. However, as a Jew, I won’t mind if you no longer think of me as being “born again”.

    Ira

    • ray032 March 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

      Rabbi Ira, maybe you implied your position in the past, but I never saw you be so exact and explicit as you were in that 1st paragraph. Just the fact Aaron and your fellow Zionists question it, supports my position.

      Be assured, not that I think it means anything to you, you have not forfeited my esteem or appreciation. It was always there. I said it was raised by your bold, direct admission. It is alien to my way of thinking to see anyone as ‘goyim’ in any equivalent sense.

      Now I address you as Rabbi, someone who has a Spiritual knowledge of the God of Abraham, something secular Jews do not have.

      As a Jew, I don’t understand how you could be offended or discomforted by the notion of being described as “born again.” It’s not alien to anything in the Torah and the Tanach.

      Paul was a Pharisee and his teachings are rooted in the Tanach. Believe it or not, Spiritually, I consider myself a Jew as Paul describes Jewishness in Romans 2:28-29. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
      But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

      This idea comes from Deuteronomy 30:6.
      And the Lord, your God, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, [so that you may] love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, for the sake of your life.
      וּמָל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ:

      And from Psalms 51.
      Behold, You desired that truth be in the hidden places, and in the concealed part You teach me wisdom.
      הֵן אֱמֶת חָפַצְתָּ בַטֻּחוֹת וּבְסָתֻם חָכְמָה תוֹדִיעֵנִי:
      Create for me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
      לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא לִי אֱלֹהִים וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי:

      For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people.
      כִּי זֹאת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אֶכְרֹת אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי הַיָּמִים הָהֵם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה נָתַתִּי אֶת תּוֹרָתִי בְּקִרְבָּם וְעַל לִבָּם אֶכְתֳּבֶנָּה וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ לִי לְעָם:
      Jeremiah 31

      And I shall give them one heart, and a new spirit I shall place within them, and I shall remove the heart of stone from their flesh, and I shall give them a heart of flesh.
      וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב אֶחָד וְרוּחַ חֲדָשָׁה אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וַהֲסִרֹתִי לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשָׂרָם וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב בָּשָׂר:
      Ezekiel 11

      Jesus the Jew, speaking to Jews before Christians even existed, used all those Jewish Scriptures to derive the notion of being “born again.”

      Shalom

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

        Ray,

        I appreciate that you mean well, but I’m not moved by your citing Paul’s (“born again”) conversion to Christianity as precedent and justification for your describing me as being “born again”. Liturgical language used in the contemporary world is in many instances far different from what the same words meant in the 2nd century CE. “Born again,” as used to describe Paul’s life-changing experience on the road to Damascus, now applies to an individual accept Jesus as his/her Lord. That’s not me.

        I could point out that you don’t understand Paul’s theology and mission to the Gentiles, but I don’t want to become entangled in a theological debate with Kata. Paul is not a Jew preaching a Jewish message. He’s a born Jew preaching a message that has roots in traditional Judaism, but its essence is radically different.

        Additionally, I must reiterate that my views haven’t changed! I’ve been consistent in stating them on this blog and elsewhere, albeit in more general terms. They strike you as being new because you haven’t had the interest or curiosity to ask me to explain them.

        Finally, while I can’t stop you from regarding yourself as a Jew, I assure you that you are not. I assume you accept Christ Jesus as your Lord. End of story.

        Faithfully,

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • ray032 March 2, 2016 at 7:43 am #

        Ira, the Love of God cannot be forced on anyone. People cannot be forced to Love others. That comes from a heart of flesh, not a heart of stone.

        Too bad you wilfully ignore all the Jewish Old Testament references, especially Deuteronomy 30:6 in my comment.

        Fundamentally, I agree Liturgical language used in the contemporary world is in many instances far different from what the same words meant in the 2nd century CE and BC.

        At least you recognize CE, the Common Era, and not Jewish exclusivity in owning any human relationship with the God of Abraham the Jewish-Christian Bible points to.

        As you assure me I am not a Jew Spiritually, according to your flesh standard, I assure you it is not “end of story” or His-story/History.

        Peace
        Ray

  74. Harvey Epstein March 1, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Ray032

    I was not being disingenuous with my comment regarding the need for the Palestinian society to have a massive amount of psychiatric help. Their educational system has taught them to hate Jews, their political system provides very little in the way of allowing them to believe that their leadership is competent, their economy does not provide enough jobs (and this is not all the fault of Israel), their failure to achieve a meaningful peace so that their lives hold a bright future (not all the fault of Israel) must be very depressing and emotionally draining, etc. Add whatever you choose from your end to this list and what is the result? They need a new mind set. They can’t even make peace within their own society. A correction of these problems will be generational and probably take generations to achieve.

    If you had a relative with all of these problems, don’t you think a psychiatrist would be in order, or would you just relegate that person to the horror of taking some really bad street drugs (which I am now informed, the usage of which is skyrocketing in their areas)?

    Ray, I am not a person without compassion. I was not being disingenuous, I was just trying to be analytical.

    Regards

    • Richard Falk March 1, 2016 at 10:25 am #

      Harvey:

      I accept the clarification of your comment, and its plausibility, yet on the basis of my direct experience,
      especially in the West Bank but also in Gaza and the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, the primary condition
      of psychiatric disorientation is the traumatic effects of prolonged occupation, refugee status, and the sort of
      confinement and intrusive violence that exists on a daily basis in Gaza. And contrary to what you and others say
      in support of Israel, having met with hundreds of Palestinians, I find an astonishment absence of anti-Semitism
      or even hatred of Israel. It just isn’t present on the ground, where the yearning of the overwhelming majority of
      Palestinians, including those political engaged, is for peace and normalcy, but on a basis that does not crush
      Palestinian self-esteem.

      Richard

      • Fred Skolnik March 1, 2016 at 11:52 am #

        Prof. Falk

        I say this with a degree of sadness, but your understanding of Palestinian views of Jews and Israel is indicatve of the level of your understanding of the Arab-Israel conflict and of the Middle East in general, and proves how willing you are to be led around by the nose when you talk to Palestinians and how lacking you are in the perception needed to know when you are being told what people want you to hear or what they believe that you want to hear. Below is a summary of the ADL’s antisemitism survey, which reflects what anyone in the least bit familiar with Arab thinking, who has listened to them in unguarded moments, knows to be true. I”m also giving you a link to my own response to the survey insofar as it pertains to Christian antisemitism.

        Poll: 93% of Palestinians hold anti-Jewish beliefs
        Global survey by ADL reveals that almost half the world does not know that the Holocaust happened; suggests over 1 billion people are anti-Semitic
        BY REBECCA SHIMONI STOIL May 13, 2014, 5:40 pm 147
        WASHINGTON — The Middle East is the most anti-Semitic region on earth, with 93% of Palestinians holding anti-Semitic beliefs, a global survey of anti-Semitism revealed Tuesday morning. The survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) across 100 nations and territories revealed that almost half of the world’s adults have never heard of the Holocaust, while over a quarter hold anti-Semitic attitudes.
        “For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. “The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots [of anti-Semitism], as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially nonexistent.”
        The top such anti-Semitism hotspot, the survey noted, was the West Bank and Gaza, where the ADL found that anti-Semitic attitudes topped 93%. The survey goes on to rank countries and territories from most to least anti-Semitic.
        The south Asian country of Laos brings up the bottom, with only 0.2% of the adult population holding anti-Semitic beliefs.
        Using an 11-question index that the ADL has employed for five decades to poll anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States, the ADL survey found that 26% of those polled answered “probably true” to six or more of the 11 negative stereotypes presented about Jews. If the sample data is projected across the world’s entire population, the ADL noted, it suggests that some 1.09 billion people in the world “are deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes.”
        Beyond the West Bank and Gaza, the survey found that in the Middle East and North Africa, 74% of those polled agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes in the index. In comparison, countries outside of the region have an average index score of 23%. The second most anti-Semitic region of the world is Eastern Europe, where some 34% of the population hold anti-Semitic beliefs.
        “It is clear in this survey that the conflict in the Middle East matters,” Foxman said during a Tuesday press conference debuting the data. “But it is not clear from the survey whether it is the cause or the excuse for anti-Semitism.”
        “While it is startling to see how high the level of anti-Semitism is in the Middle East and North African countries, the fact of the matter is even aside from those countries, close to a quarter of those polled in other parts of the world is infected with anti-Semitic attitudes,” Foxman wrote, responding to the data before the press event.
        “There is only a three-point difference when you take world attitudes toward Jews with the Middle East and North African countries, or consider the world without,” he added. The survey revealed that the Middle Eastern country with the least anti-Semitic inclinations was Iran, where some 56% percent of the adult population held anti-Semitic beliefs.
        Unlike most of the world, however, anti-Semitism in the Middle East and North Africa tends to increase commensurate with the respondents’ education levels – the opposite of what is seen in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
        In the survey, which was conducted via a combination of telephone calls and face-to-face conversations, respondents were asked a series of 11 questions based on stereotypes about Jews, including questions about Jewish power, loyalty, money and behavior.
        The poll showed that the most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in” – a statement believed to be “probably true” by 41% of those surveyed. The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world,” which was believed to be “probably true” by 35% of those surveyed. This was the most widely-accepted stereotype in Eastern Europe.
        The majority of people surveyed – 74% – indicated that they had never met a Jewish person, while of the 26% of people who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70% said that they had never met a Jewish person. At the same time, only 16% of the people surveyed correctly identified the world’s Jewish population as less than one percent of the total world population, while 18% believe that over one out of every ten people in the world is Jewish.
        Foxman, a child survivor of the Holocaust, described as “disturbing” the fact that only 54% percent polled had heard of the Holocaust, although 94% of Western Europeans said that they had.
        Foxman noted that even in Western Europe, “the results confirm a troubling gap between older adults who know their history and younger men and women who, more than 70 years after the events of World War II, are more likely to have never heard of or learned about what happened to the six million Jews who perished.”
        “We were profoundly disappointed about the resilience of anti-Semitism in many countries where we had hoped to see lower numbers, particularly some in Eastern Europe that experienced the war and the Holocaust firsthand,” Foxman said.
        Of those who said that they had heard of the Holocaust, 32% believe that it is either a myth or has been greatly exaggerated. The highest percentage of those respondents was in the Middle East and North Africa, followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The data indicates that only some 33% of people worldwide have both heard of the Holocaust and believe that it has been fairly described by history.
        The survey also documented key distinctions among countries based on the majority religions in the states. Foxman described finding “incredibly low levels of anti-Semitic beliefs” in European Protestant-majority countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Sweden. Of the least anti-Semitic countries, five were majority-Protestant and four were in east Asia. The one outlier among the top ten that fit into neither group was Tanzania.
        On the other extreme, 49% of all Muslims surveyed around the world responded “probably true” to at least 6 of the 11 index stereotypes in the poll, which also found that Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries.
        Muslims living outside of the Middle East and North Africa, however, are much less anti-Semitic. Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa come in well below the international average, with only 18% holding anti-Semitic beliefs. Muslims in Western Europe were only slightly above the global average, at 29%, while Eastern European Muslims were slightly below it, at 20%.

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15129

      • Richard Falk March 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

        Your insulting and arrogant style of response to whatever I write never disappoints expectations!

        I do not trust such a poll until I know how anti-Semitism is understood as a background basis of assessing attitudes.
        Given the recent history of the region conflating Israel with being Jewish is bound to turn up an ‘anti-Semitic,’ and as
        for Forman, being the target of his criticisms along these lines and his involvement in some academic freedom cases in the US,
        I have every reason to hold his views in low esteem.

      • Harvey Epstein March 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

        Richard and Fred,

        I have earlier seen the same basic data to which Fred refers. It makes perfect sense and is indicative of what is, and for a long period of time, has been acted out by some of the PA population. Most respectfully, not to have seen this is not to have looked.

        Long ago, on one your posts, perhaps when I came on to your blog under one of my old names of Oldguyincolorado, I pointed out to you the dangers of using translators and how I would have approached your investigations. The following is just a short summary of what I recall suggesting:
        If you do not speak any of the local languages, do not use just one translator with each interview – pick one from each opposing side. My experience has been that translators often have their own agendas. Often they tell you what you want to hear. Often they are one sided and it is their message that they want broadcasted.
        I recall one session I had where I conducted an interview and my paid translator did his job, or so I thought. Fortunately, while this session was going on, another person was present who had nothing to do with this session and happened to be a “native speaker”. After I was finished, the “native speaker” said to me: all the interviewee was doing was cussing me out and never answered any of my questions. I immediately confronted my paid translator and he admitted that that was what in fact had taken place.

        I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

        Regards

      • Aaron March 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

        So why aren’t the Pallies interested in negotiating an end to their status quo?

      • Fred Skolnik March 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        Permit me one further arrogant remark: you don’t trust the ADL findings because you don’t like them.

        It is not that I am arrogant. I am good and angry. You may think that it is acceptable to slander entire nations and peoples as long as you don’t get personal and that, I will hazard to say, is indicative of your total alienation from any nation and people. I do not. When you refer to Israelis as Nazis, I do take it personally, and when you welcome and encourage an entire coterie of debased individuals who make snide and disparaging remarks about Jewish origins, history, religion, money, greed, power, morality, character and even genetic makeup, I also take it personally, and therefore I am not at all kindly disposed toward you.

        (Foxman did not of course conduct or formulate the survey personally, which followed the methodology used over the past 50 years.)

      • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 8:09 am #

        You constantly mischaracterize my views. I have NEVER referred to Israelis as Nazis. I once wrote more than seven years ago
        that the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians living in Gaza exhibited a mentality based on collective guilt that resembled
        how the Nazis viewed the Israelis. I continue to believe this is accurate as a description of official policy, but I have never
        repeated these sentiments because they are easy to manipulate and inflate in the manner that you have done.

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 10:36 am #

        “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy.”

        “There were strong advance signals in 1994 of a genocide to come in Rwanda, and yet nothing was done to stop it; the UN and the world watched while the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of Bosnians took place, an incident that the World Court described as ‘genocide’ a few months ago; similarly, there have been repeated allegations of genocidal conduct in Darfur over the course of the last several years, and hardly an international finger has been raised, either to protect those threatened or to resolve the conflict in some manner that shares power and resources among the contending ethnic groups.

        “But Gaza is morally far worse, although mass death has not yet resulted. It is far worse because the international community is watching the ugly spectacle unfold while some of its most influential members actively encourage and assist Israel in its approach to Gaza.”

        From the BBC News:

        The next UN investigator into Israeli conduct in the occupied territories has stood by comments comparing Israeli actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis.

        “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].” Well, Prof. Falk, you are saying that “the manner in which … the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur,” which resulted in hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, somehow didn’t measure up to the abominations of Israel and therefore was unworthy of any such comparison, unlike Israel. You are utterly shameless.

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        In fact what you are saying now is even worse: “a[n] [Israeli] mentality based on collective guilt that resembled how the Nazis viewed the Israelis [you mean the Jews]. Collective “guilt” wasn’t precisely the issue. The Nazis viewed the Jews as subhuman and exterminated them in gas chambers. Are you sure you wish to stand by the comparison?

  75. Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 1, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Aaron,

    I agree with some of what you write and disagree with some. But the core problem is that we’re not on the same page. My purpose as a Jew and Zionist is to understand the situation on-the-ground as Palestinians see it. By trying to see the world through their eyes, we can better look for realities Israel can safely change in search of peace, and hope the Palestinians will do the same regarding their own policies and behavior. That’s the way peace is achieved through negotiation.
    Your approach is to dismiss issues when you can blame the Palestinians or find an excuse for Israel. If it’s their fault, the issue doesn’t exist! That’s essentially the strategy prevailing on this blog. It does nothing to ease tensions.

    One thing I clearly do not agree with is your equating life in the Territories with life elsewhere. What the Palestinians endure daily while passing checkpoints going to and from work is not the same as crossing the US border into Canada. And yes, Palestinians can protest detention. But if they’re under what is called administrative detention it rarely if ever does any good. And as bad as racial profiling is among many American police departments, it does not compare to the how the IDF operates in the Territories.

    Aaron, I and many others justifiably criticize Prof. Falk for presenting an unreal, one-sided image of the conflict. I’ll hold you to the same standards.

    Shalom,

    Ira

    • Aaron March 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      Again, only broad strokes, no facts no details.

      I will indent below with “**”

      ===================================================================

      I agree with some of what you write and disagree with some. But the core problem is that we’re not on the same page. My purpose as a Jew and Zionist is to understand the situation on-the-ground as Palestinians see it. By trying to see the world through their eyes, we can better look for realities Israel can safely change in search of peace, and hope the Palestinians will do the same regarding their own policies and behavior.

      **”see the world through their eyes”. Ok, so now you speak Arabic, listen to all the Imams @ Friday prayers, watch all the children’s hate shows on PA tv, listen to re-runs of Arafat’s fiery pro-shahid speeches, read the text in Farsi offering rewards to terrorist families, deposit the PA cheques paid monthly to convicted terrorist families for them, read their text books and manuals, scan the maps on their walls, sit in on lectures at Bir Zeit university, attend their summer youth day camps where they play “war” against the Jews (not the Israeli’s) etc. etc. Is this your lens?

      That’s the way peace is achieved through negotiation.
      **Of course, but only one side wants to negotiate, Israel.

      Your approach is to dismiss issues when you can blame the Palestinians or find an excuse for Israel. If it’s their fault, the issue doesn’t exist! That’s essentially the strategy prevailing on this blog. It does nothing to ease tensions.

      **That’s not the point. Of course the Israeli’s do things that don’t help. But that is not the core and not the cause of the status quo!! It is only the consequence. The price tags started after how many years of one sided terrorism, vandalism and incitement from the Palestinians?

      One thing I clearly do not agree with is your equating life in the Territories with life elsewhere. What the Palestinians endure daily while passing checkpoints going to and from work is not the same as crossing the US border into Canada.

      **So what do they endure? Who are they? On a good day now there are 40,000 workers crossing checkpoints. Out of how many million population? Why do they have to be frisked? Why do they have to have their bags checked? Do you not read the news every day? Even from Haaretz? Every day contraband is found, arms are seized, drugs are found. Every day there are assaults, on both sides of the fences.

      And yes, Palestinians can protest detention. But if they’re under what is called administrative detention it rarely if ever does any good.

      **So where would a Palestinian prefer to be in Jail if he had a choice, Israel or the PA (where he might be summarily shot or lynched if he sells land to a Jew)? The PA, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria all have administrative detention. They are allowed to use it but Israel? No WAYYYY!!

      And as bad as racial profiling is among many American police departments, it does not compare to the how the IDF operates in the Territories.

      **Malarkey. More people die in US police shootouts and gang warfare in your country then all the wars of Israel and the Pallies combined.

      Aaron, I and many others justifiably criticize Prof. Falk for presenting an unreal, one-sided image of the conflict. I’ll hold you to the same standards.

      ***I agree

      Shalom,

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

        Aaron,

        This exchange gets us nowhere. Let’s quit it, acknowledging mutual respect for each other’s views and appreciating that both of us are committed to Israel’s secure future.

        Shalom,

        Ira

      • Aaron March 2, 2016 at 7:50 am #

        I have no problem quitting the discussion however its par for the course. No different then the other anti-Israel agitators who either are unable to debate on the merits or who in the case of BDS’rs (not you chas ve shalom) just shout you down so as to avoid having to face the facts.

        You don’t have to reply as going forward I will reserve comment to others and/or new topics.

  76. Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 1, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Richard,

    I’m troubled by what you recently posted:

    “I find an astonishing absence of anti-Semitism or even hatred of Israel. It just isn’t present on the ground, where the yearning of the overwhelming majority of
    Palestinians, including those political engaged, is for peace and normalcy, but on a basis that does not crush Palestinian self-esteem.”

    One doesn’t need an ADL poll to know that this word portrait lacks credibility. I don’t know what anti-Semitism means in this context. But I do know that a population living under cruel occupation for nearly a half century must harbor a substantial measure of animus. That’s not trashing the Palestinians. It’s saying that they’re like the rest of us human beings, not some super-human species that rises above anger. Indeed, many third person accounts and visual evidence, such as footage of Palestinian street celebrations when Jews are killed, reveals they are not.

    From where does your unreal image come? Fred charges, in admittedly intemperate language, that you permit Hamas leaders to tell you what you want to hear and then repeat it. Harvey, being his usual gently conciliatory self, suggests it’s a problem of translation. My own thoughts center on a question: You’ve explained that you cut the Palestinians some slack because they’re suffering under an Occupation, an approach you call “constructive imbalance”. Is this an example; perhaps exaggerating Palestinian goodness to compensate for accusations of Palestinian bestiality?

    There’s one caveat in your post that warrants clarification. You write that “Palestinians yearn for…peace and normalcy, but on a basis that does not crush Palestinian self-esteem.” What peace and normalcy crushes Palestinian self-esteem”? In an article posted by Ray35, John Whitbeck writes that the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist expresses “their deeply felt need to cling to their self-respect and dignity as full-fledged human beings.”

    “Normalcy” in international relations entails mutual recognition of the right of nations to exist. If accepting Israel’s right to exist crushes Palestinian self-esteem to the extent that they no longer see themselves as being regarded as full-fledged human beings, one despairs for any hope of achieving a just and sustainable peace.

    Finally, opinion polls reveal that many, perhaps a majority, of Palestinians, whatever their feelings toward Israel may be, look to get the conflict behind them and proceed into the “normal life” few of them have ever enjoyed. But Richard, your blog militates in precisely the opposite direction. You tar Israel as being unremittingly evil. In your writings—on this blog, your UNHRC reports and elsewhere—Israelis never do anything good. Your words are divisive in a time and place where words of comfort and healing are needed.

    Ira

    • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Ira:

      I agree with you that there is great resentment among the Palestinian people due to the prolonged occupation and the harsh administration that has
      accompanied it, but there is also this yearning for peace and reconciliation. My assessment of Palestinian sincerity has nothing to do with
      translation or language or ‘constructive imbalance’ (that you take out of context; it was meant only in reference to mainstream American media that I find biased in Israel’s favor). I trust my judgment of people I have come to know as friends and colleagues among the Palestinian people. There are very
      few traces of what I regard as anti-Semitism that I have encountered, less than what I experienced here as a kid, especially when attending a naval
      academy as a teenager.

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 10:44 am #

        Why should you encounter antisemitism among your Palestininian friends and colleagues? You are, after all, one of them, an ally. Are you this naive? Try the Palestinian and Arab media, mosques, schools, rallies, cafes, rank and file, fellahin.

      • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 11:07 am #

        Fred,

        You mean – what lay-people are up to? Can you explain?

      • Aaron March 2, 2016 at 11:10 am #

        Alleged occupation

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 11:22 am #

        It means, Kata, that 93% of the Palestinians answered yes to 6 or more of the following 11 question:

        * Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/the countries they live in].
        * Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
        * Jews have too much control over global affairs.
        * Jews think they are better than other people.
        * Jews have too much control over the global media.
        * Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
        * Jews have too much power in the business world.
        * Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind.
        * People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.
        * Jews have too much control over the United States government.
        * Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.

      • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 11:29 am #

        Fred,

        I do think that it is believed and said by lay-people can be like unending wasp-buzzing!

        I think this is helpful!

  77. Harvey Epstein March 2, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Richard, Ira, Fred, et al,

    I would like to take a pause here and point out that we have been, in part, trying to work around what I have described as the meanings of certain “trigger words/phrases”. There appears to some disparity in definitions. With what Richard has just posted, I feel that his definition of “anti-Semitism” differs greatly from what I would consider “mainstream”. Since this is his blog, perhaps he can tell us what words or actions would generally fall within his definition of “anti-Semitism”. Then we can discuss that definition and try and incorporate that into our discourse.

    Once we establish a commonality on what certain words/phrases mean, perhaps we can then engage in more meaningful discussions. Until we agree on a common dictionary, one or more of us may be speaking Greek and the others Japanese.

    Regards

    • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      A Note:

      For me pointing out unrighteousness, evil, sin of Jew/s would not be anti-Semitism and Jew-hate. In my understanding, anything else would be (toward a whole person Jew or Non-Jew).

      Also, there is a difference between Israel (as Jews) and Jews, and then we have Jews that are not under Judaism – but anything else secularism / false Christianity / false Islam – and so on.

      However, the first sentence is Generally applicable.

      This is what I understand – if helpful at all. And sure if I am wrong, I will gladly accept correction and/or just criticism. But not false criticism.

      • Harvey Epstein March 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

        Kata,

        What you have defined as not being anti-Semitism falls squarely within the definition of anti-Semitism if you apply it to Jews Generally. Your definition of this concept just goes to prove my point that we need to have a common understanding of what words/phrases mean.

        My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as : having or showing prejudice against Jews; disliking or fearing Jews and Jewish things; discriminating against or persecuting Jews.

        Now if you speak of a particular Jew as being unrighteous because of a particular act, and I knew of the act, I might agree with you; if a particular Jew is evil and I knew of the particular act, I might agree with you, etc. But if within your definition, most or all Jews fall into the categories you have listed, that constitutes hate speech of which we Jews justifiably have a right and duty to classify as anti-Semitism. You cross the line if you apply your concept to Jews, Generally. That would then make you an anti-Semite.

        As to trying to separate out Israel from Jews in general; in essence trying to describe two different types of anti-Semitism, etc., I suggest that you go back into one of Richards earlier blogs wherein he tried to do just that. I and others indicated why, as a practical matter, this was impossible in the real world. I, and others, have pointed out that the Pope (whether you like him or not) happens to agree with our view.

        I hope that as a general matter, you do not hate Jews, do not consider most or all to be evil, etc. What I hope is that you merely wish to point out that some Jews, on occasion, do improper things, but that the vast majority do not. Just like members of your Church.

        I have pointed out to Richard that sometimes it is not what you say that creates the problem, but how you say it. I urge that you rethink and then perhaps rephrase what you mean by anti-Semitism.

        If I have misunderstood you, you have my profound apology and I look forward to your clarification.

        Regards

      • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

        Harvey,

        I do not disagree with you and we see things from different angle(s).

        In the context anti-Semitism can not be attributed to the exposing unrighteousness, evil, and sin to Jews, specifically, because it is rationally possible.

        For example – if I would say it is unrighteousness, evil, and sin for Jews to seek their Faith determination in Holy Land – I would be anti-Semitic. Rationally Possible Condition to be a Jew-hater and anti-Semitic.

        If I would say, we all have enough of illegal religion among Jews who are doing unrighteousness, evil, and sinful things individually and corporately – what can be done to make them aware of that – so that they can move beyond that? Everything is in a dead-end because they in dead-end wandering. This is not Antisemitism, and it is Rationally Possible Condition.

        Unrighteousness, evil, and sin in its origin either coming from individuals or entire communities can be very troublesome for individuals and communities.

        Unrighteousness, evil, and sin can strip individuals or entire communities from civil well-being and human existence. This is a historical fact.

        I believe that it is possible to attribute unrighteousness, evil, and sin to individuals and entire communities.

        Further, we can define unrighteousness, evil, and sin and understand how that effects civil well-being and human existence – and we do not even have to look at any of what Jews are doing – we can apply to any other community of peoples / tribes. In fact, we can even apply Biblical text and understand that “ancient Jews/Israel / Post-exilic peoples” are “critical Jews” (if you will) that do not graft in at all! Where are they? Rooming all around the middle east and tunnels of Gaza – beheading / killing anyone that they can!

        Contemporary, only Judah with modern Jews/Israeli (graft in’s from Non-Jewish lines) have something to show for in spiritual essence of this point in time.

        That is spiritual Israel/Jews, contemporarily. They were among the nations, during Church Age intermarried and have some spiritual crop among themselves – coming back to Land of Israel under Judaism and Hebrew Language.

        It is writen that ancient non-spiritual Jews are divorced from God – no matter what! Give them Old Testament – they can’t be saved! Give them New Testament- they cant be saved! Give them Holy Quran – they cant be saved! Give them Natural Revelation – they cant be saved! Nothing will do for them.

        They have to be Baptised in God’s Spirit by Free Fall – nothing else will do well with them! They are cut off, for Good – rejected gold of the unclean smelting. They killed the Prophets of God and burned the Scrolls – they were spiritually excommunicated among the nations!

        Rationally explained – and has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It is a rational reality.

        I hope this is helpful to really clarify how it is with contemporarily things.

      • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

        And I overlooked a very important face fact / I limited the fact only to Middle East region, but should have not had done that.

        This is gap-closing factual thing:

        Not only that they are in the middle east and tunnels of Gaza – beheading / killing anyone that they can! – but they are here in US, as well! In vast cults of all kinds world-wide, and are in un-converting Christian sects, as well. And plus that, they also are in Church-Chatolic and they are never in valid Church-Sacraments because and actually leave the Church over generations – because they just can’t stick around as spiritual excommunicated!

        It certainly is no fun that those things are so – but they are real, actual things, actual reality.

    • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

      Dear All:

      I agree totally. I tried to make my position clear in a couple of earlier posts. I will make reference
      to them. I believe a broad definition of anti-Semitism has been manipulated by those seeking to deflect
      criticism of Israel and to demonize supporters of BDS.

      • Harvey Epstein March 2, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

        Richard,

        Are you trying to say that anti-Semites do not criticize Israel nor do any of them support BDS, or is it that not every such comment is necessarily anti-Semitic? If it is the former, that is not to live in the real world. If it is the latter, as I speculate, then you would have to look into the heart of each proponent, or group of proponents, and recognize that some anti-Semites do indeed criticize Israel just because it is Jewish and support BDS because it could hurt Israel, and for no other reason (Soda Springs by way of example)..

        In the latter case, if one has other evidence of the anti-Semitic attitude of the proponent, then more likely than not the statement or support has an evil purpose. By way of example: if Hamas or Iran espoused this, is there any real doubt that anti-Semitism is involved?
        If it comes from a religious or other type of group which otherwise espouses anti-Semitism, would the same not also hold true? Or from a student group whose professors or leaders have an undying belief that Jews are bad; who make life miserable for Jewish students who just want to study; who hold pro-Palestinian rallies designed to disrupt classes; who cause fear in the hearts of Jewish students so that they are afraid to wear kipahs while their antagonists display Palestinian garb; who vote in Sharia law to be applied on campus; whose “chairs” are supported by the Saudis; etc. ad nauseum. How far of a stretch do you feel should be taken before anti-Semitism is said to have raised its ugly head? When “innocents” are targeted just because they happen to be Jews (some of whom are apolitical) my view is that the distance to be travelled is about the length of an atom of hydrogen.

        Regards

      • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

        Harvey:

        I apologize for being unclear. My meaning is set forth rather fully in a couple of posts that I can reference for you if you wish.
        In essence, I do not believe that the criticism of the government or state of Israel is anti-Semitic unless it explicitly endorses
        hatred or hostility to Jews as a people. To shield Israel from criticism by smearing the critic as an anti-Semite is unacceptable
        and often hurtful. I faced these allegation consistently during my period at the UN when I was only trying to be a witness to what
        I experienced. I do not deny that others might have seen the same realities differently or that I might have made mistakes, but to
        contend that I acted out of hatred or hostility to Jews is completely foreign to my feelings or lifelong experience, never previously
        being so attacked. As soon as I left the UN job the public attacks have stopped, and it is only blog comments that anti-Semitism is
        used to shield Israel from BDS and criticism. Richard

      • ray032 March 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

        Jonathan Cook, the Independent Journalist reporting from Nazareth just wrote about BDS from the Palestinian perspective.

        ‘Emerging from a ‘reign of terror’: Palestinians in Israel hold first BDS conference’

        3 March 2016

        Mondoweiss – 2 March 2016

        Israel’s large Palestinian minority held its first-ever conference on BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – this past weekend in spite of anti-boycott legislation introduced five years ago that exposes activists in Israel to harsh financial penalties.

        One participant called it a sign that the Palestinian minority was slowly emerging from the law’s “reign of terror”.

        The dangers of promoting BDS inside Israel were highlighted by the difficulties of finding a venue. A private cinema in Nazareth agreed to host the event after several public venues in Haifa backed out, apparently fearful that they risked being punished by the Israeli government.

        The question of how feasible it is for Israel’s 1.6 million Palestinian citizens to promote BDS was high on the conference agenda, with speakers addressing issues of legality and strategy.

        In a sign of a tentative shift towards political support for BDS by the Palestinian leadership in Israel, the opening statement was made by Mohammed Barakeh, head of the High Follow-Up Committee, an umbrella body representing all the political factions.

        Barakeh said BDS was “an important form of solidarity with Palestinians” and was causing increasing panic among the Israeli leadership.

        He said there was a link between “support for BDS and our survival in the current conditions” of rising Israeli racism, the killing of Palestinians by security forces, the expansion of the settlements and entrenchment of the occupation……………………………………..

        http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-03-03/emerging-from-a-reign-of-terror-palestinians-in-israel-hold-first-bds-conference/

        I see it as evidence of an hypocritical double standard, Israel can impose draconian BDS type extreme economic sanctions on the people of Gaza, but don’t dare do the same thing to Jews. That’s anti-Sematic!

      • Richard Falk March 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

        Ray, I agree fully with your assessment and Jonathan Cook’s presentation. BDS is a form of nonviolent resistance
        in a situation where all other attempts to achieve a fair solution have failed. It cannot be compared with the
        kind of gratuitous collective punishment inflicted daily on the people of Gaza year after year. Richard

      • Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

        You have become fixated on the term “collective punisjment.” A blockade is not a form of collective punishment, though it obviously causes suffering. If it were, all blockades in time of war would be forms of collective punishment. And there is certainly nothing gratuitous about it. The aim of the blockade is to prevent war materials from reaching Gaza. It has no other purpose.

      • Fred Skolnik March 3, 2016 at 2:55 am #

        With reference to labeling you an antisemite or self-hating Jew, I will say that animosity or hostility toward Israel among Jews naturally calls attention to itself, and if the wrong words are being used to characterize it, that is only because your critics are not psychologists. I am not a psychologist either but, as I think I’ve mentioned, it would never occur to me to call you an antisemite or self-hating Jew, I have argued that the problem among Jews who are hostile to Israel is not self-hatred but in fact an excess of self-love, which causes them to resent Israel deeply for the implied demand it makes on them to come out of their comfort zones and assert themselves as Jews. Fortunately, since World War II, the decline of antisemitism in America, together with the awakening of ethnic pride, starting with black Americans, as well as the Six-Day War, gave American Jews the confidence to assert themselves fully as Jews. That is why the Jewish anti-Zionist crowd remains a small minority despite all the noise it makes and all the malice pouring out of it.

  78. Harvey Epstein March 2, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    Kata,

    I do not wish to be unkind, but the Faith you express allows you to do what Jews really do not do: force conversions; for everyone. Additionally, it would appear that everyone but your Church is wrong. Only you get to go to heaven. The Muslim believes the same for themselves. That is one of the key points of the Quo’ran. In my faith, so long as you follow the 7 commandments of Noah, there is a place in heaven for you.

    Since you and I appear to live in very different intellectual worlds, and it being highly unlikely that we could ever develop a common dictionary, I will do my very best to try not to comment on any of your posts.

    Regards

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 2, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      Harvey,

      Perhaps because I’m more familiar with the history and literature of anti-Semitism than you are, I would not be nearly so gentle with Kata Fisher than you’ve been.

      Because she’s unintelligible much of the time, much of the toxiticity in her message gets by unnoticed. But on those occasions when she achieves lucidity, we get a clear view of the demons at work here.

      The last four paragraph of her 3/2 2:50 pm are a textbook example of “replacement theology”, the notion that Jesus superseded (i.e. replaced) God’s Covenant with the Jewish People, who are now separated from God and cut adrift to wander the world until and unless they are baptized into the Christian faith. This is a core doctrine of historical anti-Semitism fueling conversions forced under penalty of death, pogroms, the Spanish Inquisition, etc. One rarely sees so blatant a presentation of this prejudice these days, but here it is!

      But that’s not all. In her next post, she consigns to Hell everyone else other than members of her own sect, portraying them as creeping through tunnels beheading everyone they find. These aren’t just Hamas tunnels and ISIS beheadings. They are everywhere.

      Reading the Gospel According to Kata is a wild ride back to the Middle Ages. I’m not sure why Richard makes it available to be read on his blog.

      Ira

      • ray032 March 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

        Of all the articles in Richard’s Blog, this one has generated so many more comments than most of them.

        I appealed to Kata directly several times in this thread to restrain herself, but she doesn’t. As a Christian, I can’t relate to much of what she writes and it doesn’t make much sense to me. It may simply be because obviously, English is not her 1st language.

        The reality is I have diametrically opposite understandings of Scripture as espoused by many of the American Christian TV personalities like Pat Robertson and others I think of as being nuts, bring Christ into disrepute. Christ himself warns about that type of false prophet-Christian.

        Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
        Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
        And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
        Matthew 7:21-23

        Everyone is Righteous in their own eyes, and I am conscious of the possibility those verses could apply to me as well, so it takes prayer without ceasing. I have 100% confidence God knows the thoughts of my heart, and my sincere intentions.

        After 40 years of seeking God, I have had enough evidence I am already a beneficiary of the Inheritance of Abraham and even now, Today, live in the Eternal Sabbath.

        All who seek You shall exult and rejoice; those who love Your salvation shall constantly say, “May the Lord be magnified.”
        יָשִׂישׂוּ וְיִשְׂמְחוּ | בְּךָ כָּל מְבַקְשֶׁיךָ יֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל יְהֹוָה אֹהֲבֵי תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ:

      • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

        Dear Ray – I am not stopped by God Himself – so I will not Stop. Professor Falk can stop me at any time that he believes he should do that. Look, I do respect and expect that he has authentic Peace Making Responsibility!

        Dear Rabbi,

        You have misinterpreted / misrepresented everything that I said. Now I do not even have to wonder why are you misreading and misinterpreting Professor Falk at times.

        However, if you were offended with things that I said – just because you may know much more what may be wrong or right with contemporary Judaism then I – I have no control over that. I just said what I genuinely understood from all that is going on (in rational and in Spirit).

        Spiritual Israel / Hebrews is Never Replaced – nor it can be. But in fact, that what was sold into slavery and harlotry – by Ancient Israelites / Jews (lay-people) / non-spiritual lay-people can be grafted in into the Church-Charismatic, legitimately, whenever we can – it is not the replacement – its regrafting that which is lost.

        Forced conversion of Jews into the Catholic Church never were valid. They are not Catholic Church Members, never were and never will be. What is stolen does not belong to the Robber/Thief. They are Neither in New or Old Testament – it is never-grafting into the Church line/s without Baptism in Spirit by Free Fall.

        Look, Rabbi – I know my stuff. Otherwise, I would have Doctrine of the Church Office, right here correcting my stuff – only if they could do that – since themselves have turned out to be grave-heretics to the Standards of the Law of the Church/Law of the Spirit/Law of the Gospel.

        They can’t even heed simple instruction of Emirates Pope to fix up their evil sins.

        So, to make short (in clarity):

        I do not believe Replacement Theology. In fact, I don’t think in Theology at all, and I do not believe in Theology at all. I only acknowledge Apostolic Apologetics and Writings of Early Church Fathers. That is Authentic Church in Rome Teaching/Apologetic. I also read and find Papal letters sufficient to understand things that are passed on.

        I will respond to Harvey, but I have to finish the cooking of the dinner – or my husband will start to be displeased and kick me out of the house! Lol.

    • Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

      Harvey,

      I am not sure what you believe – but I think that you are giving references to Natural Revelation (Mentioning Law that was given to Noah).

      Natural Law – that is witness by conscience good will can, in fact, excuse one – from all post-life judgement (in mine understanding)!

      Apostolic teaching is clear that those who are without the Law, without Law will perish, but will not be judged by the Law (for they were the law to them self’s—the law of sin).

      In contrast, those who are under the Law and have sinned (against the given Law) will be judged by the Law. Those who sin against Law of Christ / Law of the Spirit/ Law of the Church/Law of the Gospel will be under destruction (often of their own making – nothing that someone crafts them again).

      The General/ Natural revelation in it’s nature will not give the full revelation of faith, but a will give a revelation of God in which faith is possible, under automatic Grace that is one for all humans.

      It is only by faith that one is saved apart from doing the Law, but the Law can be dictated and accomplished by the work of healthy conscience, to accomplish God’s will and to excuse one—this is my understanding.

      I can give you what I wrote on that – applying Scripture – but only if you do not think that my summary / explanation is sufficient. Likewise, anything that I wrote here you can dismiss and consider irrelevant to you.

      In General, New Testament is totally Self-Standing by Spirit of God in Church age. It is independent of all other Systems of Faith. New Testament is Interpretation and Effect of the Old Testament in Church Age – in Spiritual Authority of Church-Charismatic. One and the Same Church that First Generation of Way / (Church) was.

  79. Kata Fisher March 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

    I have a reflection:

    Where is the Oil that Samuel had?
    Where is the Anointing Oil that Samuel had?

  80. Fred Skolnik March 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    Ira, Harvey

    The Kata monologues and ray pastings make it very easy for Prof. Falk to slide out of the discussion. What he has managed to say is that he doesn’t mean Nazi when he says Nazi and that we are expanding or “manipulating” the meaning of the term antisemitism in order to apply it to critics of Israel. No amount of protest is going to move him from the latter accusation, and when the evidence is presented he ignores it: ” … and when you welcome and encourage an entire coterie of debased individuals who make snide and disparaging remarks about Jewish origins, history, religion, money, greed, power, morality, character and even genetic makeup, I also take it personally …” As for the Nazi business, it is true that he won’t let that pass when it hits home, but ends up saying things that are even worse than his original remarks. When he says, “The suggestion that this pattern of conduct [Israel and Gaza] is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy,” he is implying that “although mass death has not yet resulted” the Israelis (or perhaps Jews) are capable of bringing it about, that is, doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews, and this does in fact imply something very unsavory about the moral character of Israelis and/or Jews (Jews are potential Nazis if not Nazis already) and furthermore that not even the Darfur genocide with hundred of thousands massacred and millions displaced approaches what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and is worthy of being classified as Nazi-like: “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!

    • Harvey Epstein March 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

      Ira and Fred,

      I appreciate your efforts to increase my education. Generally, I agree with your views, although you sometimes may differ on some points.

      At least when you take positions, you generally present facts upon which you base those positions and do not seem to engage in wild flights of fancy. Often, your opposition seems to do nothing more than ventilate and misstate facts (which you usually clarify) – I say “misstate” because my independent research validates such a view. This is not to say that Israel does not make mistakes or never acts in its own best interests in opposition to the desires of others. It certainly does that as do/did every other nation which has ever existed. Sometimes your opposition correctly points out where Israel is wrong, and such points need to be acknowledged.

      It appears to me that only Israel is being held to such unrelenting scrutiny (although Syria seems to be coming up that ladder and deserves the top spot, followed by many others long before Israel even appears on that list). So why Israel? One can only wonder why (tongue in cheek)?

      As to Kata, I know what she is. Basically, I am saying goodbye to her in as gentle a fashion as I can. Why make an unnecessary enemy so long as her ramblings do not draw a following?

      Regards

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2016 at 6:14 am #

        This is what I understand Harvey:

        Jews faced alienation and they will face it again. It is not because of Church-Roman-Chatolic Charismatic. They have to look for their enemy elsewhere. In, fact – I should not even concern my self what happens to Jews all together. Why should I do that?

        This generation will not fit it – so maybe next one or one after that one will. Look, you people – if there is no Baptism in God’s Spirit by Free Fall, and actual human and etcical approach to raising of children – you will see tribes eating each other alive.

        Why should I submit my self to any of that? After all I an Church-Roman-Catolic Charismatic, and it is Ancient one.

        I can’t be followed Harvey. It is impossible. If anyone would to follow Jesus Christ Himself – they may connect to my understanding – be able to keep up with me.

        But since it is impossible for this setting. I have no lose or win. I am natural. In fact, what happens to the spiritually excommunicated world has nothing to do with me and Words that Church-Charismatic can speak outside of the Spirit.

        Its Spirit to Spirit.

        Otherwise it is Spirit to VOID!

        You will see satanic seals in work and devil directed when the work of the Church is taken out.

      • Aaron March 3, 2016 at 6:45 am #

        Kata:

        Please explain the meaning of these words you use.
        Perhaps my command of the English language is not that good however and explanation would be appreciated.

        1. Chatolic

        2. Catolic

        3. Church-Charismatic

        You constantly use these words and interchange them. Please make it easier for me by interpreting the meaning of these 3 terms.

        Thank you

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2016 at 8:37 am #

        Aaron:

        This blog comments section does allow a series of comments with no substantive content. As it is
        I find your comments aggressive and one-sided in a self-serving manner.

      • Fred Skolnik March 3, 2016 at 9:27 am #

        Pardon me for butting in here, but this type of referencing and cutting and pasting of every piece of dirt they can find on Israel is precisely what ray and gene have been doing for what seems like years, almost every day, and it hasn’t troubled you at all, nor has the one-sided and aggressive nature of their material, Isn’t it time that they got a taste of their own medicine? I would personally be embarrassed to compulsively dredge up every scrap I could find that puts Arabs in a bad light, and none of us has been doing this, but that is just about the only thing your admirers do,

      • Fred Skolnik March 3, 2016 at 10:56 am #

        I see, Prof. Falk, that you have removed two of Aaron’s videos that are as substantive and to the point as anything can be. One addresses your contention that there is “an astonishing absence of anti-Semitism or even hatred of Israel” among the Palestinians by presenting Hamas in its own words, The other addresses your obsessive use of the word apartheid with reference to Israel by presenting a very level-headed young South African woman saying that it is disgraceful to make such a comparison. You will say I am insulting you if I comment on your honesty so I won’t.

      • Kata Fisher March 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

        Aaron,

        In General, Catholic means (Church in Rome) the First Church in Order Ancient that Survived and has passed down (Apostolic) as received. It was also the Church upon which judgment was not declared (at the Time John was on Patmos).

        We find the Church in Rome in the Apostolic Scriptures, but it is not mentioned in judgment against the churches.

        1. Chatolic = Catholic (I misspelled it).

        2. Catolic = Katolic (this would me wording in my language).

        3. Church-Charismatic

        This term is complex: Charismatic is a contemporary term for the Way of the Order of the First generation of the Church. However, this term (as the Order and Order itself) is very much misunderstood and abused. It is grave abuse of Apostolic Order outside Roman-Catholic Church, in fact. There are different reasons cause / effect for that grave abuse.

        With that, I made some grammatical / language transliterating errors. I do apologize for that just because it seems to lead to the difficulty to read.

        Also, I do apologize to Rabbi Ira because he fell under spiritual attack for short period of time. I do not believe in upsetting a Rabbi and especially not Rabbi Ira.

  81. Aaron March 3, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    An open letter by a disgruntled ISIS fighter to the self-proclaimed caliphate’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, revealed extensive ties between the group’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula and the Palestinian terror organization Hamas.

    The letter, written by Abu Abdallah al-Muhajir, a jihadist from Gaza who now fights for ISIS in Syria, complained that ISIS-Sinai Province, the group’s Egyptian affiliate, was collaborating with Hamas through weapons smuggling, explosives manufacturing, communications and logistical assistance, and hospitalization for injured fighters. ISIS officials frequently visit Gaza and attend “lavish banquets” at the homes of Hamas leaders, al-Muhajir alleged. Al-Muhajir asked al-Baghdadi to stop this collaboration because Hamas was insufficiently pure.

    The letter was leaked to the group messaging app Telegram and discovered and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. A pro-ISIS media group responded with its own statement on Telegram, where they criticized al-Muhajir for airing the group’s dirty laundry, but never denied any of his specific claims. Al-Muhajir listed five specific areas of cooperation in his letter:

    1. Sinai province is smuggling weapons for Hamas in Gaza, because of the province’s fighters’ expert knowledge of the [smuggling] routes from Libya, Sudan, and Egypt.

    2. Sinai province depends very much on Hamas and Al-Qassam [Hamas’ militia] for weapons and for explosives and ammunition. There are direct and continuous supply routes from Hamas to Sinai province. The Al-Qassam factories operate assembly lines for manufacturing explosive devices and bombs for the Sinai province, but do not stamp the Al-Qassam logo on them, as they usually do.

    3. Sinai province leaders are regularly visiting the Gaza Strip, and holding cordial meetings with Hamas and Al-Qassam leaders, even [Hamas] government [representatives]. Animals are slaughtered for them, feasts are held, and they are embraced in Gaza.

    4. Hamas and Al-Qassam are accepting all wounded Sinai province [fighters], and they are treated in Gaza Strip hospitals under Al-Qassam’s direct protection.

    5. Hamas is providing wireless communication hubs for Sinai province, because of the difficulty of operating them in Sinai and because they are vulnerable to swift destruction by the Egyptian army.

    Al-Muhajir also wrote that “Hamas and Sinai province are maintaining warm relations and direct lines of communication around the clock.” Many Palestinians have crossed the border into Egypt to fight for Sinai Province, but when those fighters die in battles against the Egyptian army, ISIS claims that they have died fighting for other ISIS branches in Syria or Libya, so as not to embarrass the Palestinian terror group by creating more honorable martyrs. (via TheTower.org)

  82. Harvey Epstein March 3, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    Aaron,

    These videos demonstrate why we really do need a common dictionary. We all need to open our eyes as to the facts on the ground. As the interviewee stated, Israel is not perfect, but then who is. She is not the devil as she is often portrayed as being.

    Regards

    • Richard Falk March 3, 2016 at 8:43 am #

      Harvey:

      The point is not whether or not Israel is perfect. It is a matter of the manner in which the Palestinians have
      been treated decade after decade. The Palestinians have legitimate grievances that Israel has failed to address.
      Other people in various settings have grievances that they are entitled to press. Just as we have a movement in
      the US called ‘black lives matter’ I endorse the view that ‘Palestinian lives matter.’ Earlier in my life I supported
      the view that ‘Vietnamese lives matter,’ and it is not an adequate response to say America isn’t perfect, but an evasion of political
      and moral responsibility. Best wishes, Richard

      • Aaron March 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

        To comment on your response to Harvey:

        “Harvey:
        The point is not whether or not Israel is perfect. It is a matter of the manner in which the Palestinians have been treated decade after decade. The Palestinians have legitimate grievances that Israel has failed to address.”

        **and vice-versa. The “Palestinians” have failed to address Israel’s legitimate grievances.

        “Other people in various settings have grievances that they are entitled to press. Just as we have a movement in the US called ‘black lives matter’ I endorse the view that ‘Palestinian lives matter.’ Earlier in my life I supported the view that ‘Vietnamese lives matter,’ and it is not an adequate response to say America isn’t perfect, but an evasion of political
        and moral responsibility.”

        **But of course Israelis lives matter how?

      • Richard Falk March 3, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

        Israel holds the cards. I have been to the occupied territories several times. I
        can tell you the night and day differences between life under Israeli occupation
        and the situation of Jews in Israel. Your logic is one that would say that there
        needs to be a movement in the US called ‘white lives matter’, and that is what
        the Trump campaign is basically expressing to the American people.

  83. Fred Skolnik March 3, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    To continue along very substantive lines, as the BDS movement has been mentioned more than once here, the following may be helpful to anyone who wishes to go all the way with it and really stick it to Israel:

    So You Want to Boycott Israel? Here’s A List of Products and Services You Need to Start With….
    .
    So you want to boycott Israel?

    So your organization has decided to boycott all products and services from Israel. Here is a list of activities that you now need to perform in order to comply with this boycott.

    Technology and Food

    First, remove all Intel Pentium and Celeron computer processor chips from personal computers (desktops, laptops and notebooks) as these were either developed or manufactured in Israel.

    Note that the revolutionary new Ivy Bridge processor will be manufactured in Israel. Any computers running the Windows XT operating system must be turned off immediately as this was developed in Israel. All current Microsoft operating systems are not to be used as Microsoft is heavily reliant on its Israel R&D centre.

    Step 2. Any computers that still work need to have their anti-virus software and personal firewalls removed as this technology originated in Israel. The organisation’s firewall will also need to be switched off. Staff should no longer open external emails as most of these will be infected with viruses. No outgoing emails can be sent. The algorithm (code) that’s used today for sending e-mails, was made by an Israeli who worked at the Ben-Gurion University in Be’er-Sheva in 1980.

    Step 3. Discard all mobile phones, as this technology was developed in Israel, where the first mobile phones were manufactured. Mobile chip technology from a single Israeli company has now been installed in over 100 million devices. Only top-level staff may retain mobile phones for emergency situations. However the use of SMS (Texting) is expressly forbidden as this facility was developed in Israel. No 4G devices can be used, as the chipset is Israeli.

    Step 4. Turn off your voice-mail service and delete any recorded messages. Israeli companies invented the voice-mail system. If someone you do not know answers your phone-call, then hang up. Israeli call-centres and call-centre technology is in widespread operation in the UK.

    Step 5. Before accepting any printed material, check that the supplier has not used the Israeli device that might have saved up to 50% of the ink used.

    Step 6. At home, do not use Facebook as many in-built and add-on applications are Israeli-developed. Do not watch videos on the Internet as the platform used to upload them may be from AOL and hence from an Israeli company. Do not use the Internet to search for answers to your questions as this may involve use of an Israeli-developed search engine. Better to remain unenlightened.

    Step 7. On your TV or home entertainment centre, do not use Video On Demand (VOD) to watch movies as you may inadvertently see an advert displayed using Israeli software. Do not purchase any games devices as these are likely to use Israeli technology.

    Step 8. Do not read books using an e-book as this may contain Israeli technology. Do not use data storage as it may have been developed at Israel’s storage technology R&D center.

    Step 9. Do not buy an electric car as it is likely to be powered with an Israeli battery or use Israeli developed charging mats. Continue to sit in traffic knowing that you are polluting the environment