Two Ways of Looking at the Race for the American Presidency

12 Mar

[Prefatory Note: This is a rewritten and partially modified version of what posted to hastily yesterday.]

 

#1: as an incredibly dumbing down of the political process, turning the presidential campaigns for the nomination as heavily financed shadow shows, hiding special interests and money management, all about selling the candidate by boast and bluster;

 

#2: as pre-revolutionary ferment, mobilizing the young, and confronting the established order, finally, with non-establishment choices between the radical right of Trump & Cruz and the moderate social democratic left of Sanders.

 

This tedious struggle for political prominence and historical name recognition is being played out against a backdrop of the three pillars of America’s global role: the Pentagon, Wall Street, and Israel. No candidate has managed to shake the pillars, although this time around Sanders has at least launched a genuine attack on the Wall Street pillar, and Trump has gestured toward what might turn out to be a mild push against the Israel pillar. This alone makes Sanders and Trump the first outsiders to compete seriously for a mainstream run at the White House. Of course, since Sanders has done so much better than expected, Clinton has taken to making some noises as if she too is ready to take on Wall Street, but as the unreleased transcripts of her mercenary talks at Goldman, Sachs undoubtedly confirm, no one think she means it, and she doesn’t; this is her way of harmlessly sparring with the man from Vermont until she locks up the machine-driven nomination, and then we might get a hint of the real Hilary, that is, unless she worries about alienating the Sanders’ supporters when election time comes in November.

 Torquemada

When we look at the candidates from a Hollywood central casting point of view, we have to wonder who is running the show, especially on the Republican side. Senator Ted Cruz appears to be a credible reincarnation of Tomás de Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor of Spain (1484-1498), grimly ready to deal harshly with the infidels whether within the country or without. Like Torquemada he is sincere, personally austere, and reflective of God’s will. He also seems to have an incidental fondness for ‘carpet bombing,’ and all out war with ‘the enemies’ of the United States wherever they might be in the world, and looks to Netanyahu as the sort of leader he would like to be.

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress 

Then there is Marco Rubio snapping at the Cruz and Trump heals as if a scrappy dog seeking an evening meal. Rubio reminds one of a high school debating champion, articulate and self-assured, yet so lacking in political gravitas as to be irrelevant.

 And I almost forgot John Kasich that redoubtable former governor of Ohio who repeatedly tells his audience in a conversational monotone that he has already solved all of America’s problems in microcosm while he brilliantly managed the public life of Ohio from the state capital in Columbus. He pledges to do the same for America as a whole once in Washington, and puts himself forward as the only candidate with the right experience and track record to take up residence in the White House. It is not surprising that there is a tendency to forget Kasich as he has so far managed to stay on board the train only because he has become the default candidate of that endangered species, ‘moderate Republicans.’

 Trump 2Trump

Then there is Donald Trump who, whatever else, is hardly in danger of being forgotten. He is leading the pack into some wild terrain of which he seems only dimly aware. Trump’s idea of how to do international politics boils down to hard driving real estate deal making backed by an larger, all powerful military machine and tax breaks for American multinationals. Without exhibiting much command of the political domain Trump offers some mildly encouraging, even sensible, takeaways that are almost lost in the bigoted noise—his skepticism about regime-changing interventions, opposition to neoliberal international trade agreements, and even casting a smidgeon of doubt on the special relationship with Israel. Of course, it is not these sensible asides but the Trump thunder that excites his followers and energizes his crowds. He wins his mass following by demonizing Muslims and Latinos, promising to end all Muslim immigration, deport 11 million illegals, and build that high wall along the Mexican border, and then send the bill to the Mexican Government, and, get this, restore American military might. His reputation for repudiating what liberals espouse as ‘politically correct’ earns him a reputation for talking right-wing nonsense to power, and being perceived by his followers as deliciously politically incorrect. The Trump appeal is based totally on the politics of emotion, tapping into resentments, prejudices, and racism, unleashing a venomous tide of proto-fascist activism that should be, but isn’t yet, scaring Americans as much as it seems to be frightening and startling the rest of the world.

 th

The Democrats seem to be doing a little bit better, but only in comparison to the current crop of Republican alternatives.Hilary Clinton, running needlessly scared as frontrunner, seems to have that ‘deer in the headlights’ look every time her ‘core beliefs’ are probed or challenged. The unclassified, yet disclosed, truth, is that she doesn’t seem to have any, or at least not yet. Or maybe she had, but lost track, and now can’t find them or lost them along the way or will rediscover them if necessary. Ever an ambitious opportunist par excellence, it seems that her least laundered credential is her steadfast realization that the three pillars are absolutes in American politics, maybe better represented as ‘sacred cows.’

 

Hence, Hilary is fully credible when promising to improve upon current U.S. relations with Israel and can be trusted never to let down either the Pentagon or Wall Street, or to go wobbly when given the opportunity to champion a new military intervention. What more could the Democratic Party establishment want from a candidate, and this is the point that has seemed to resonate so strongly with the so-called superdelegates (elected officials and party luminaries who can vote for whomever they wish, neither being selected by voters or pledged to a particular candidate) who mostly stand shoulder to shoulder with Clinton and virtually extinguish the slight hopes of Sanders however many Michigan style upsets he manages to pull off.

 

And then there is Bernie Sanders, as genuine a proponent of a decent American society as the political system has produced since FDR, and maybe more so, but he only knows how to carry melodies with only a single note, and while it is a high note, pushing hard against the Wall Street pillar, it exhibits too narrow a grasp of the American political challenge to make him qualified to lead the first global state in human history. His views on the other two pillars seem unthreatening to the mainstream, he goes along, perhaps reluctantly at the margins, seeming to accept the defense budget except some quibbles, as well as existing alliances and alignments, and raises no awkward questions about continuing unconditional support for Israel. Of course, shackling Wall Street while universalizing health care and providing free public education at college levels would give the country a vital breath of free air, but given the U.S. global role, it is not enough to validate the claim of delivering ‘a social revolution.’

 

Let’s ask where all of this leads? The probable short term result is probably Trump versus Clinton, with either Trump navigating the ship of state through turbulent waters fraught with danger and unpredictability or Clinton sailing full speed ahead as if Barack Obama was still serving as the real president, but somehow has grown more macho in the process of aging. Either outcome is, of course, problematic. If Trump, the beast of fascism slouches ever closer to Washington; if Clinton, the gods of war will be dancing through the night.

 

There are a few silver linings that may be merely wishful thinking. It is possible that the Republican Party will implode, or reemerge for what it is becoming in any event, that is, the party of discontent and revenge, shedding its pedigree as the sedate sanctuary of privilege and big business. For the Democrats, the Sanders defeat might give birth to a break with party politics on the part of its young and progressive contingent, who leave discontented, adopting an anti-three pillars agenda that expands upon what Bernie so resolutely initiated. It is this possibility that seems plausible given the extraordinary strength of Sanders’ support among voters 18-25 who will be bound to feel more bitterly frustrated than ever by the dynamics of ‘normal politics.’ The country can again become hopeful about the future if such a progressive vision of a better America prevails among the young and is sustained by a strong consensus giving rise to a militant nonviolent movement for drastic change at home and abroad.

Of course, I may be wrong, my imagination remains trapped in what now seems most likely. It is possible that Trump will be stopped and Sanders will prevail, or that some kind of third party will be insinuated in the political process to save the established order from shipwreck. If it happens, then the  shape of the future will be different from what is conjectured here, but I doubt that I will have to eat many of these words. 

At another level, the political soap opera that seems to be entrancing the American people at present can be seen as an epic battle between ‘the politics of emotion’ (Trump), ‘the politics of sentiment and values’ (Sanders), and ‘the politics of reason and knowledge’ (as variously represented by Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio). 

 

 

 

61 Responses to “Two Ways of Looking at the Race for the American Presidency”

  1. Elaine McGillicuddy March 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

    Thanks a lot for this, Bruce!

    Elaine

  2. Gene Schulman March 13, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Richard,

    Your opinions on the issues of the day are always interesting. That’s what keeps me coming back to the blog. But once in a while you make a mistake. Like the one mention of Israel in this one. Not that Israel is not an important factor, and one of the ‘pillars’ you describe, but it opens the door for the hasbarist’s return to the fray. I can’t wait for Ira, Fred, Harvey and all the other ‘Falk you!’s to jump on you. They will turn this ‘Race for the Presidency’ into a critique of Israel, and again call you an anti-Semite and self hating Jew. Probably me too, for bringing it up. 😦

    Cheers,

    Gene

    • Fred Skolnik March 13, 2016 at 6:33 am #

      None of us (Ira, Harvey, Fred) has ever called Prof. Falk or even you an antisemite or a self-hating Jew. You are creating another of your fictions. I myself have suggested 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.

      • Richard Falk March 13, 2016 at 9:33 am #

        I agree that Harvey should not be tarred with the same brush as Ira and Fred, who through continuous innuendo
        and some slight of hand with language, certainly never tire of accusing me and anyone who agrees with
        me, as a Jew-hater and the rest. And to twist self-hating into self-loving is merely to compound the
        indictment by adding a kind of prideful vanity to my spurious quest for identity. As well, Ira and Fred, although
        each knowledgeable in their way, seem mainly interested in undermining critics and criticism of Israel, and putting
        forward repeatedly long discredited arguments.

      • Fred Skolnik March 13, 2016 at 10:40 am #

        I won’t speak for Ira, who has made it clear what his aims are, and they seem more constructive than anything that has come from you, in the real sense of what the word means. It certainly does not mean establishing Israel’s exclusive guilt, which is the only aim of your rhetoric. My interest is not to “undermine” criticism in the subversive sense that you are suggesting but to defend Israel against unjust criticism. Your assertiion that an argument has been discredited does not make it so. You, for instance, misrepresented UN Resolution 242 just a while ago. I pointed this out, You disappeared, which is what you generally do when your misrepresentaions are pointed out to you, not because we are too far apart for a useful dialogue, as you like to claim (though you are happy to respond when you think you have a winning argument), not because I am insulting you, not because you think I am not being constructive, but simply because you have been caught out in a demonstrably false statement..

      • Richard Falk March 13, 2016 at 11:11 am #

        You seem to have no awareness of how consistently insulting you are, and how one-sided
        in support of positions that lack almost total support outside of those
        who deem themselves defenders of Israel’s good name, and lack all sensitivity
        to the displacement and long suppression of the Palestinian people.

      • Fred Skolnik March 13, 2016 at 11:28 am #

        Prof. Falk

        Once again, this matter of being insulting or insulted comes down to identity. You believe that you can slander entire peoples and nations as long as you “don’t get personal,” and this may indeed be the norm among academics who engage in polemics, but believe it or not there are people who take such impersonal slander personally. I’m sure you’re capable of understanding this. If someone, for example, were to make disparaging remarks about black people, without mentioning names, and a black individual were to attack the author of these remarks personally, I think you would understand that perfectly well.

        I see that you have convinced yourself that critics of Israel are in the ascent and defenders of Israel are a dying breed. This is not what polls show, at least in America, though admittedly I am not familiar with polls in other countries. Are you?

      • Harvey Epstein March 13, 2016 at 11:40 am #

        Richard, Fred

        I appreciate your comment about me, but to infer that all of the positions of Fred and Ira are not factually correct is to ignore part of the “truth”. Such a view on your part forms much of the basis of why I bother to comment on your blog at all ( but this is ground which we have covered before).

        Might Fred’s view of what is taking place with a portion of the Jewish world also be rephrased as : disappointment that because of the inherent hostility of certain elements of the non-Jewish world as against Jews and Israel, Jews and Israel are forced to defend their very existence. This takes away from their ability to do all of the good they are otherwise desirous of doing. In the interim, this could also change the way we think and act – changes forced upon us by our avowed enemies. Changes we do not want to take place and which we will strive to reverse as soon as we can. I believe that such is our nature. Evidence of this is the restraint shown by the IDF when other armies would go in with all guns blazing and ignoring all collateral damage. Sounds very American, doesn’t it?

        I am certain in my mind that Israel would rather spend money on water reclamation projects which benefit their neighbors than spending it on munitions defending against the hostile acts of those neighbors.

        As a fresh example of some of the nonsense we hear emanating from some Muslim leaders is the comment by a female member of the Egyptian Parliament (as I recall): Egypt will soon outlaw the use of the full facial and body covering for women being worn in public (I would not be surprised if this effort will result in another revolt in Egypt). This covering is not of Islamic origin, so says this MP, but of Jewish origin as practiced in Arabia at the time of Mohammed (I have yet to research such Jewish dress as existing at that time). The female MP goes on to say that nothing in the Quo’ran or Islamic literature mandates the wearing of such garb.This is patently false! On at least 2 occasions,in Islamic literature, a woman is told that it is best that such garb be worn. Not only that, but one of the comments states that it is best that only one eye be exposed. So blame such body covering as Jewish, and not within Islamic theology, is another reason not to like Jews. That was the message.

        The same message (hate Jews) is now being sent by Muslims regarding spousal abuse. Jews are at fault because physical abuse of Palestinian women is on the rise. The argument being that because of the psychological pressure of their harsh living conditions, Palestinian men are now more likely to beat their wives than before. Perhaps a few men might do that, but 37% of women in the West Bank and 51% in Gaza having been or now being beaten is a bit much, don’t you think ( referred to by me in a prior post)? And they forget that the Quo’ran allows for this practice. Within the past few weeks, a Mufti in Gaza even instructed his flock as to how to beat its wives!

        Israel is not always right in what she does, but to blame her for literally everything? Really?

        Sorry for some of the above (admittedly partially repetitious), but we all need to try to live in the real world. Sometimes the Palestinian/Muslim is just plain wrong. Failure to recognize this and point it out is not to describe a fuller spectrum of the truth. Isn’t that what we are really after? First truth and then resolution.

        Regards

  3. American200 March 13, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    If it comes down to Hillary vs Trump I have go with Trump.
    We have to get our own domestic house in order economically and quit the US Master of Universe role.
    I notice the neocons are working hard on resurrecting Russia as the world boggie man—-hoping to repeat the Cold War arms race and no doubt thinking Russia will spend itself into ruin as it

    did before. However it might be the US that spends itself into bankruptcy this time around.

  4. Harvey Epstein March 13, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    Gene,

    Gene, please do not invoke my name as part of your nonsense. Read what Richard has said about me and please re-think. If I spent my time doing what you say about me, don’t you think Richard would have a different view of me?

    I am sorry, but I just can’ restrain myself, and if Richard wants to purge any or all of the below, he has my permission.

    One of the things I find interesting in this new post by Richard is the equation of Cruz with Torquemada: I don’t know much about the background of Cruz (other than the fact that his family came from Cuba), but I never knew that Cruz, like Torquemada, also had a Jewish grandmother! Go know! – humor intended.

    Regards

    • Gene Schulman March 14, 2016 at 2:03 am #

      Sorry, Harvey. I would like to exculpate you because you are at least polite. But the piece you wrote (above) shows you come from out of the same barn as Fred and Ira. Your continued defense of them gives you away. And then your repetitive “Israel is not always right, nor is she always wrong” gets rather boring. I can’t remember a time when Israel/Zionism has been in the right. I agree that the Palestinian leadership has made many mistakes, but that does not exonerate Israel’s everlasting war on innocent, stateless Palestine.

      Regards

      • Harvey Epstein March 14, 2016 at 8:31 am #

        Gene,

        Gently put, you seem to be blind as to anything which contravenes your preconceived ideas. Your second to last sentence says it all.

        The rest of your post is little more than balderdash. In the very recent past, I have criticized Israel on specific activities: education being one of them. I clearly stated that I do not agree with everything Fred and Ira say, but you apparently expect me to say that I agree with none of it. I do double check what they post, from time to time, and I almost always find substance in what they say. Basically, when I have the time, I do double check facts.

        You apparently take the position that if I am not your lemming, I must be theirs. I am neither. I do respect their scholarship. Frankly, I question yours.

        As to my comments regarding veils and spousal abuse by Palestinians, am I factually wrong? Do you consider the statements of the MP factually correct or is it that you feel that such fundamental falsehoods are acceptable commentary: to be equated with the statements by Abbas that stabbing attacks are merely a form of peaceful demonstration?

        While I try, as hard as I can, to understand what you are all about, I do not seek your approval on anything. Whether you or anyone else exculpates me or not is of insignificant consequence to me. This assuming that exculpation is required or sought. My efforts to seek a balanced view of what is taking place looks for no approval from anyone.

        Regards

  5. Jerry "Peacemaker" March 13, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    It is extremely disappointing and a cause for righteous indignation when those who consider themselves progressive, those of any political persuasion on the spectrum actually, have somehow become manipulated by the idea drilled into viewers by the corporate media that Bernie Sanders’ run will not gain sufficient power to overcome Clinton.

    Instead of endorsing and supporting Sanders in every manner humanly possible, with the full recognition that Sanders as president would positively transform America and the world on a historic level, people who should know better pull back, doubt, criticize, succumb to defeat. Every presidential election is in reality the “most important election ever”, because for certain who becomes president decides the future of the human race.

    In sports, players who don’t put out full 110% effort on the field of competition are called “doggers” by their teammates, because they aren’t putting forth maximum effort focused on the team’s success. The American people, especially those in the progressive community, must fully understand the tremendous consequences which will manifest from either a Sanders presidency or Clinton, how much more positive those consequences would be if it were Sanders, then stop “dogging it” and do everything humanly possible to get Sanders elected.

    As Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, Gandhi’s personal bible by the way: “Fight!”

    • Gene Schulman March 13, 2016 at 10:37 am #

      Even if Sanders was my man and I thought he might draw more votes than Hillary, it wouldn’t make any difference. The president isn’t chosen by the people; he/she is chosen by the ruling class. Do you remember 2002 and the anointment of GWB? It is the same every time, and this time it is Hillary who has been anointed. There is no point in voting for the lesser evil, and that’s all Bernie is. Just don’t vote!

      • Gene Schulman March 13, 2016 at 10:38 am #

        Sorry, that should read 2000.

      • Jerry "Peacemaker" March 13, 2016 at 11:31 am #

        Gene,
        To simply reiterate: “Fight!”

      • Gene Schulman March 14, 2016 at 1:29 am #

        “The continued reliance on established mechanisms of political participation and reform—the chief mistake made by the supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—will not work.”

        http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/the_mexicanization_of_the_united_states_20160313

      • Jerry "Peacemaker" March 14, 2016 at 7:36 am #

        Hedges consistently and publicly slams Sanders’ movement when his choice, Jill Stein, isn’t even affected if Sanders beats Clinton. Why is Hedges reserving his criticism for Sanders; why isn’t he bashing Clinton? One has to wonder if Hedges isn’t getting money from Hillary Clinton herself.

        Chris Hedges then wrote the answer is demolition of the system, and, in complete contradiction, points to Syriza and Podemos as the examples. Both Syriza and Podemos, again, to which Hedges points as examples, have used precisely the established political participation and (attempted, in Greece’ case) reform which Hedges blasts as Sanders supporters “chief mistake” – “will not work”.

        Hedges’ argument defies logic – he can’t have it both ways. Hedges thinks a Sanders defeat increases Jill Stein’s, but one has to consider neither Sanders or his supporters have ever attacked Jill Stein. Hedges can support Jill Stein full throttle, but hurting Sanders and simultaneously increasing the possibility of Clinton becoming president has been Hedges’ “chief mistake”.

  6. Cesar Lardies March 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    Great analysis. Also, this is why Hillary is running needlessly scared. http://politicsunraveled.com/2016/03/10/democrats-and-democracy/

  7. Harvey Epstein March 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Richard, Fred,
    Addendum

    Should one wish to research my “veil” comment: it was the Jew who adopted the veil from the Arab (The Historical Muhammad by Irving M. Zeitlin, Polity Press (2007) at pg. 90).

    All Muslim women must cover themselves (to cover their bodies meant the face as well): Quo’ran 33.59 – the better translation of this Shura is found at http://www.noblequran.com/ translation of the Dar-us-Salam Publications of the Surah-al-Baqarah. This ilustrates my constant admonishment to read many different translations of the Quo’ran before you conclude that you have a fairly good understanding of it. The commentary and explination
    of the terms used are very enlightening.

    The above demonstrates that, as some commentators have expressed, most Muslims have never read the Quo’ran; and as to those who have, they don’t understand it because they often do not know what certain words/terms meant in the 7th century.

    Sorry to beat a dead horse, but some Muslim leaders really do not understand their own religious origins, or just lie in order to attack Jews.

    Regards

    • rehmat1 March 14, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

      n spite of the fact that Catholic Nuns and Orthodox Jewish women are forced to cover their heads and entire bodies – Islamic hijab is one of the major Judeo-Christian tool to demean Islam being oppressive toward its female believers.

      Covering head is mandatory for practicing Muslims, both male and female as part of modesty prescribed by Prophetic traditions since the establishment of the first Islamic state in Medinah in 622 CE. However, when Islam spread to foreign nations, such as, Persia, Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia, Muslims adopted many non-Muslim cultural traditions. It was the time when some Muslim scholars invented apologetic views to justify such innovations. As result, Hijab became traditional, cultural and even ‘personal’ choice.

      In the west, three-out-of-four converts to Islam are women and a great majority of them wear hijab as a personal choice. For example, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth, British journalist and political activist Yvonne Ridley, British TV presenter, artist and author Kristiane Backer, French rapper Mélanie Georgiades, known as Diam’s, Bollywood actress Monica, British writer, journalist and editor Myriam François-Cerrah, to name a few.

      But then, Jewish Lobby has always been allergic to Hijab.

      On March 8, Sima Goel, an Iran-born Zionist Jewess, in an article at the ‘Canadian Jewish News’ called the Hijab Day events across Canadian Campuses, “a folly”. She says since Jewish men don’t celebrate a “Skullcap Day” or Sikhs a “Turban Day”, therefore, it’s foolish for Muslim women to celebrate Hijab Day in Canada.

      I’m sure Goel never heard of “Gay Parade” in Montreal and Toronto run by her Tribe….

      https://rehmat1.com/2016/03/09/canadas-hijab-day-offends-jewish-lobby/

  8. falkuncensored March 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    Richard,
    Here is your chance to enjoy full uncensored platform for your opinion: https://falkuncensored.wordpress.com/

    I welcome you to come and comment at your leisure

    Regards

    Aaron

  9. rehmat1 March 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    Dr. Falk – no use beating around the bush.

    I agree 100% with former CIA analyst of 20 years, Philip Giraldi, who said on December 22, 2015 that no matter who become next US president – it would be 100% victory for Israel.

    “The next American president will almost certainly be bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby. Hillary Clinton has already declared that she would invite Benjamin Netanyahu to meet her at the White House on the very first day of her presidency. So who is standing up for the interests of the American people? Nobody, apparently. Senator Ted Cruz has no less than 69 press releases on his web site pledging support for Israel. Jeb Bush has pledged to ban the pro-Palestinian Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement in the U.S. which most people would consider to be free speech. Every Republican candidate also continues to pander directly and personally to Benjamin Netanyahu, including Donald Trump who planned to drop in on Bibi but had to cancel the trip because of the reaction to his comments about Muslims. Trump had also caused somewhat of an uproar by telling a Jewish Republican audience in New York City that they wouldn’t support him because he didn’t need their money. Imagine the cheek of Trump to link Jews with money with buying influence! In any event, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), determined that Trump’s comments were not anti-Semitism because they had been misinterpreted and I for one am relieved that we have a brave and enlightened organization like the ADL to keep us on our toes when it comes to potential hate speech,” Giraldi said.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/23/us-elections-and-the-jewish-money/

  10. Beau Oolayforos March 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Unfortunately, Hillary’s ties to Goldman-Sachs go much deeper, as I’m sure you’re aware. Her own son-in-law sports 8 years with GS on his resume, to go along with the rest of his dubious ethical pedigree. Good to see that Matt Taibbi, at least, is still on those scoundrels’ heels.

  11. Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    Reading back through the monumentous debate that has unfolded in this space since early February, one is overwhelmed by the prodigious volume of purported data that has been hurled by both sides. Where would we be without Google and shadow copying?!

    Another striking fact is that throughout the hundreds of posts and tens of thousands of words, not one participant has conceded an inch on anything. Not one participant! Not one inch! This is a “Dialogue of the Deaf” perhaps unparalleled in human history. If Prof. Falk is seeking a “constructive dialogue”, this certainly isn’t it.

    Nor could it be, even if the dissenters returned to our barn, as Gene’s GPS locates us. Much of this pseudo debate is over the past; i.e.what so-and-so meant when he said such-and-such in 1937? Yes, the past is prologue. But the past is irrelevant if it doesn’t relate to the present and future. Most of the anti-Israel posters are more interested in trashing Israel than in finding a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict. Without Fred, Aaron me and a few others getting in the way, one imagines that Gene, Laurie, Rehmat1 and Ray32 would continue to cherry-pick items to heap on the flames of anti-Israel sentiment. There’s an Orwellean quality about this exercise.

    Fancying oneself as a lone voice crying out for righteousness in a cesspool world of unrighteousness funded by an international Jewish conspiracy assuredly brings on a rush of self-satisfaction. But as no-one outside the tight circle seems to be paying much attention, the bluster amounts to nothing more than a waste of bandwidth.

    Reading the posts also disproves Prof. Falk’s blaming dissenters for the incivility that pervades the blog. The dissenters can be rough, especially Fred. But no more so than Gene (who derisively smears us as trolls and insults our integrity by alleging that we’re being paid by the Israeli government); Laurie (Falk you!); Ray32 (who calls Israelis Nazis and lectures us with New Testament passages long used to stir up anti-Semitism); and Rehmat1 (who blithely propagates the concept of an international Jewish conspiracy). Incivility on this blog is a shared achievement. Blaming one side while exonerating the other only throws salt on the festering sore.

    And by the way, isn’t Gene’s labeling anything and everything he disagrees with as “Zionist hasbara (propaganda), aka b_____t, which is not worth considering precisely what Prof. Falk says his opponents do by labeling him as an anti-Semite and ignoring his views? What’s sauce for the goose is obviously not sauce for the gander.

    I want to conclude this floodtide of negativity with a suggestion that might make the blog more pleasant, or even relevant. Somewhere along the line, a man named Leslie Bravery, who identifies himself as representing the Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand, submitted several lengthy comments that, using the lingua franca of this blog, might be characterized as Paletininian hasbara (sorry, I don’t know the Palestinian word for propaganda). Standard Operating Procedure would entail a point-by-point attack on the views presented. If memory serves, someone did just that. And then somebody attacked the attacker, i.e. business as usual.

    But suppose we try bypassing a fight over whether or not the Occupation is illegal while accepting Mr. Bravery’s account of Palestinian suffering as accurate, and agreeing that it must be terminated at the earliest possible time. This shifts the discussion from an adversarial exchange that cannot be resolved on this blog to a shared quest for a just and DO-ABLE resolution, which requires concessions on both sides. I emphasize DO-ABLE because motivation is requisite unless the parties are prepared to go to war, as too often happens in human history.

    Example: Mr. Bravery argues that a party under occupation cannot negotiate freely, so that Israel must withdraw from the Occupied Territories before the Palestinians can be expected to come to the table. That won’t happen, and for good reasons. Israel won’t accept it because (1) it creates a vacuum into which Hamas can move its rockets and missile launchers when Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005; and (2) once Israel has conceded territories captured in 1967, what’s left to negotiate other than return to the 1947 lines?

    So, if we want to achieve peace and a secure future for both Palestinians and Israelis, what can we propose as measures that might move both parties back to the negotiating table? Needless to say, what we say here will not impact on the larger world outside? But at very least, we’d have a good feeling emanating from the shared effort to explore pathways to peace.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Gene Schulman March 15, 2016 at 4:06 am #

      An interesting cris de coeur, Ira, but as far as I can see it is the same old ‘b———t’ that you’ve thrown out before. You want everyone to settle down and be reasonable in ‘exploring pathways to peace’. But as soon as anyone makes a suggestion, as Richard and I, and others have done, back bounce the ‘hasbarists’ to accuse us of being anti-Israel, if not anti-Semitic. You and Fred and Harvey and Aaron are all hard-line Israel lovers who will give no leeway to Palestinian suffering under a harsh occupation by (yes) Nazi-like war mongers who wish only to rid their stolen lands of its indigenous population. Just how do you expect to find a pathway to peace when only one side is willing to march on it?

      After reading your unrelenting diatribe, I’m not sure I shouldn’t have substituted the term ‘barn’ with ‘pig sty’. Though it was not my intention to imply that you are all animals, that was Fred’s ugly take. So why not take it to his uglier conclusion?

    • Fred Skolnik March 15, 2016 at 4:27 am #

      You’re losing it again, Gene.

      Actially neither you nor Prof. Falk nor any of his admirers has ever made a suggestion that has anything to do with achieving peace. What you have done is to try to criminalize Israel. When your misrepresentations are pointed out to you, you beat a hasty retreat to your second line of defense, which is “hasbara.”

      Maybe you are as ignorant as ray (and I hope Prof. Falk will permit me the use of the word ignorant in the light of your own language) and really don’t know what “Nazi-like” means, that is, do not know what the Nazis actually did. If that is the case, I will be happy to explain to you what Nazi-like means.

      The Palestinians are not an indigenous people and the Zionists did not steal their land. They purchased land from mostly Arab landowners, Israelis are also not war mongers. They literally begged the Arabs to make peace. Even you know what the Arab response was.

    • Lillian Rosengarten March 18, 2016 at 10:55 am #

      Thank you Richard for your excellent piece. I will respond to one glaring distortion by Rabbi Ira Y.There is no fight about whetherZionist Israel’s occupation -apartheid is illegal. It is frightening how the neocons together with AIPAC continues to inform US policy that remains complicit with the crimes of Zionist Israel’s genocide against Palestinians. This is morally repugnant.
      Always a driving force is “The Holocaust” used to deflect from the realities of how Zionist Israel has delegitimized itself. To use the Holocaust to justify Zionism’s long brutal endeavor to create a Jewish state only is a powerful distortion and manipulation to justify near 70 years of ethnic cleansing and brutality. Non Zionist Jews feel great pain and the distinction between Zionism and Jewish must continue to be reinforced. Zionism attempts to blur the distinction.One hopes the outside world can increasingly respond with revulsion towards Zionist Israel’s apartheid policies of delegitimization and terror.

    • Lillian Rosengarten March 18, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Thank you Richard for your interesting analysis. I want to reply to Rabbi Ira Y. The Zionist Israel occupation-Apartheid of Palestinians is illegal and a gross crime against humanity. It is frightening to reflect on the strength of the hold on US policy by neocon ideologues whose power continues to inform US policy that remains complicit with the crimes of Zionist Israel’s genocide against Palestinians. This is morally repugnant.
      Always a driving force is “The Holocaust” is used to deflect from the realities of how Zionist Israel has delegitimized itself. To use the Holocaust to justify Zionism’s long brutal endeavor to create a Jewish state only, is a powerful distortion and manipulation to justify near 70 years of ethnic cleansing and brutality. Non Zionist Jews feel great pain and the distinction between Zionism and Jewish must continue to be reinforced. One hopes the outside world can increasingly respond with revulsion towards Zionist Israel’s apartheid policies of delegitimization and terror.

  12. Gene Schulman March 15, 2016 at 7:07 am #

    I am not the least bit unaware of the Nazi crimes against humanity. I am well of age to have lived during the period described above. And I am well up on all the literature. But as Avraham Burg wrote, “The Holocaust is Over. We Must Move On”. Now, I am also aware of the US, NATO and Israel’s crimes against humanity being committed today. We can’t remake or change the history of the Holocaust, but we can do something about the latter. There is no need for us to be Nazis. Because of the Nazis we should know better. But, apparently, some refuse! You, among them. So, bugger off, Fred.

    • Fred Skolnik March 15, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      We are not Nazis. If you don’t understand that, you still don’t understand what Nazis were and I am willing to illustrate further what “Nazi-like” actually means.

    • Gene Schulman March 15, 2016 at 7:39 am #

      I don’t need any more of your illustrations. As I told you, I am AWARE! All one has to do to be reminded is watch how the IDF treats its neighbors.

      I’m giving you the last word. You can can live with your obsessions, I’m out of here, with Laurie.

  13. Richard Falk March 15, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    Fred Skolnik:

    None of us active at this blog site need your long comments depicting the horrors of the Holocaust. You are
    continuing to divert attention from the real issues, and this is unacceptable.

  14. Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 15, 2016 at 8:03 am #

    Gene,

    I’ll ignore your schoolyard-grade put-down about my living in a pigsty, although my wife might take exception to it. She prides herself on keeping a neat and clean house, as did my mother (of blessed memory). Btw, haven’t you heard that Prof. Falk wants to eliminate incivility from the blog? Guess you didn’t get the memo.

    You accuse us “hasbaraists” (I’m beginning to like the word) of labeling you and others as being anti-Israel. Do you really regard yourself as not being anti-Israel???? Or Ray32, Rehmat1 and Laurie Knightly? Prof. Falk wants to turn the Jewish State of Israel into a bi-national Israestine. That sounds pretty anti-Israel to me. One thing I admire about Gad Atzmon is his integrity in proclaiming himself as a “proud self-hating Jew”. (Don’t bother accusing me of slander; there are You Tubes of him saying it.) So the real question is how far does self-delusion go on this blog? Obviously, the sky’s the limit.

    You again accuse Fred, Harvey, Aaron and me of being “hard-line Israel lovers who will give no leeway to Palestinian suffering under a harsh occupation…” Frankly, I grow weary of repeating over and over again that I oppose the Occupation and its cruelty, and support the Palestinians’ quest for national liberation. But you have this impenetrable mindset that a Zionist must be an oppressor. Or as Prof. Falk stated on this blog a while back, “a Zionist is someone who can’t feel the pain of a Palestinian. “ That’s simply wrong!

    Finally, you write that you, Richard and others have posted proposals for pursuing a just and equitable peace. On the upper right hand corner of the blog’s webpage, you’ll find a complete archive of posts and comments, nearly six years of material. Begin at the beginning, November, 2010, and show me one proposal you’ve posted. Ditto for Ray, Rehmat and Laurie.

    For his part, Prof. Falk has proposed morphing Israel into a bi-national state. That is a legitimate proposal, although vast majorities on both sides of the conflict reject it, while its few supporters are extremists on both sides who welcome a one-state format of any description as a first step toward permanently subjugating the other, or driving him into the sea. Additionally, the chances of Israelis and Palestinians finding enough trust and common ground to establish a state is far-fetched. It’s like saying that people whose mutual distrust precludes their agreeing on terms of a divorce can find a way to get married.

    But I’ve never rejected Prof. Falk’s proposal out of hand. He has extensive experience with the conflict, and must have some notion of how it could work. So I’ve asked him several times to spell out his ideas in more than one sentence. Thus far, there’s been no response.

    Got to run. It’s still morning here. I’ve got to get busy arranging the straw in my stall and making sure there’s enough slop in my feeding bucket to make for an oinkingly good breakfast.

    Ira

  15. Harvey Epstein March 15, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    Ira,

    I, and perhaps others, share your frustration, and for basically the same reasons. Can I offer a few suggestions:

    1. At what great cost would it be for Israel to say to the PA: foreign entities, such as the EU, see your plight. Suggest to those entities that you have an increasing water shortage and if they helped fund a desalinization plant on the coast of Israel, Israel would clear the way to get a pipeline built from one of its coastal waters to the WB (this, in addition to the planned Red Sea to Dead Sea line). That Israel would allow the pipeline installation to be done by PA labor at a per hour labor charge agreed to by the funding entity – this providing jobs.

    2. That Israel would help pay for a new set of books for all of the students in the WB – a set of books which removes all of the anti-Jewish rhetoric. That the actual language used in those books be a translation of similar books found in the public schools of the EU. Perhaps they would just be copies of the books used by Arab/Israelis?

    3. Because Israel is so far advanced in its approach to agriculture, it will send teams of experts into the WB to help teach underserved farmers and thereby improve the diet of the PA. This would then begin to interface the average PA person with Jews of good will.

    I am sure there are far better suggestions among the bloggers, so let those brighter minds begin to speak productively.

    Rehmat1,

    I highly doubt that you would listen to anything I have to say in response to your “hijab” comment. The modern Jewish view is very similar to that expressed by two MUSLIM women found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/21as-mu. Yes, I am guilty of searching the web on this point, but those ladies were so elegant in their article that I felt that you might be willing to hear them out.

    Perhaps much to your surprise, I agree with your comment of adoption of local customs. This “adoption” custom is common throughout history and across cultural lines. The face veil is great for keeping sand out of your face and the Jews of Arabia did adopt that local Arab custom. Mohammed enforced it for the reasons set out in the above article. Notice that the Quo’ranic admonition applied to just the WOMEN.

    Fred,

    I do not know how this happened, but my public school got a full transcript of the Nuremberg trials. I was a student assistant librarian. I think I was the only one to open those books. So many volumes; so much horror. Experiments on the eyes of living people, multiple drownings in freezing water and the resuscitation and daily re drowning until the person could no longer be brought back to life – this one in particular was of a little Polish Jew. I am still speechless, and worse. Most non-Jews will never really understand.

    Some on this blog will never accept the ties of Jews to Israel. But in it all, we still need to accommodate and understand the ties that the Muslim has, as well. Perhaps you, as a person on the ground, can provide us with some suggestions as to how we can safely begin to disassemble the log jam and do it in a way which is more than just dialogue. Some gesture that improves the life of the Palestinian and at relatively little expense and no real danger to the security of Israel.

    Regards.

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 15, 2016 at 9:44 am #

      Harvey,

      Some interesting ideas. I’m running out now to my scheduled activities but will respond when I have a moment, hopefully later today.

      Have a nice day.

      Ira

    • Fred Skolnik March 15, 2016 at 10:37 am #

      Practically speaking, there has to be some linkage between the progress of negotiations and what are generally called Israeli “goodwill gestures.” Previously there was a 10-month moratorium on construction inside West Bank settlements. There were also staged prisoner releases. Easing restrictions can only be a security consideration: what is the risk that a terrorist will slip through? I have expressed what I think is becoming more and more problematic in negotiating a settlement: the weakness of Abu Mazen and the continued existence of an uncompromising Hamas. I don’t know what Netanyahu dreams about at night – he’s too practical to dream that the Arabs will disappear in the way that certain Arabs dream that Israel will disapper, and I believe he would negotiate a two-state solution in good faith if he was convinced that it would really and historically end the conflict, but the entire process of dismantling settlements outside the final border – maybe a quarter of them – would be so traumatic, just as the dismantling of the Gaza settlements was traumatic, though on a much smaller scale, that he would have to be convinced that the conflict is truly ended to go through with it, as would be the case for the country as a whole.

      • Harvey Epstein March 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

        Fred,

        I understand all of what you say above. As a practical matter, most all of it is correct, as far as I can tell. What Ira suggests is a new tack. Perhaps just a “baby step” at first. Thus my suggestions.

        Should there be ” linkage” in order to move forward? Then let it happen. But is it really required with a proper first project? The smallest of efforts, but one of practical substance. The key is not to just have a ” hiatus ” which keeps everything in place, but a change of course towards ” something, almost anything ” which holds out a chance for a better life for the average citizen in the WB; perhaps also in Gaza, if that too can be worked out. A “safe” first step by an Israel many of us believe it aspires to be.

        What if it is Israel which approaches the EU and if the PA refuses? What if the average citizen of the WB and Gaza is told of these Israeli efforts and the rejection by their leadership? Some project that would not really harm the security of Israel? Surely there must be “something” which could be done. Imagine the political ramifications of a PA/Hamas rejection in not only in the Palestinian area, but in the EU as well. Would the PA and Hamas really be in a position to reject? And the major winner will hopefully be the average Palestinian, and a more peaceful existence for all.

        Is the above just pure idealism? With the proper thought first being put into such an approach, perhaps not. What we currently have going on is not so great for anyone. Under the current conditions, a pluralistic state/one state solution is an illusion. A two state solution or continued ” occupation ” are your choices (short of a genocidal war which will never work except in the minds of the crazies). Occupation has been unsuccessful, so a two state solution is really all that is left. The continuing and burning question is: how do you get there?

        Let us rationally explore Ira’s suggestion by offering some suggestions of our own. I have proposed 3. Can anyone add to this
        list? It may just be all academic, but it gets us away from the round robin of “he said, she said” which has so far not served any useful purpose. We seem to be continuing to dig moats and not bridges.

        Gotta go get grand kids and take them to Hebrew school and then come back to watch our vaudeville election results. It would all be funny if not so sad. Slapsticks at its worst.

        Regards

    • Gene Schulman March 15, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Here comes company for Fred. If you think any of the above will happen when Israel has to accommodate the new arrivals, think again.

      Are Jewish People Really Fleeing Europe for Israel in Record Numbers? VICE News Investigates
      In the first of a three-part series, VICE News heads to Paris to accompany 200 French people on a one-way flight to Tel Aviv. Once in Israel, we meet up with the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, an organization with a $400 million annual budget, which coordinates immigration programs with the Israeli government. We learn about what is pushing Jewish people out of France, and what is pulling them to the Middle East.

      Interesting that the US taxpayer is paying for all these goodies.

  16. Rabbi Ira Youdovin March 15, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    Fred,

    Can I assume that the Moderator deleted the documented description of Nazi atrocities you posted this morning as a means of illustrated that stark disparity between what the Nazis did and what the Israelis are doing?

    Ira

    • Richard Falk March 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

      No. It is completely superfluous, and acts as if we who criticize the behavior
      of Israel are not aware of the horrors of the Holocaust. It is one more tactic
      of indirect insult.

  17. Kata Fisher March 15, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    A Note-important:

    This is very relevant (in academics and simple terms) from Noam Chomsky, and it can be applied imminently in this setting to the relevant problem-solving.

    A Note:

    Also, I would appreciate a summary / feedback – at any time. Thank you.

    Everyone else – I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  18. falkuncensored March 16, 2016 at 7:47 am #

    take the discussion over to my blog. I promise you won’t get deleted

    • Richard Falk March 16, 2016 at 9:32 am #

      I encourage all of those frustrated by the orientation of this blog to accept
      Aaron’s invitation, and enjoy a more congenial intellectual and political ambience.

      • Gene Schulman March 16, 2016 at 10:47 am #

        What a good idea, Richard. But you know they won’t do it. Their sole purpose is to annoy and demean you. And anyone else who might be sympathetic to your views.

      • Richard Falk March 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

        Somewhat more reluctantly than you, I have come to this conclusion. Just saw Danny..

      • Gene Schulman March 17, 2016 at 6:38 am #

        I can’t resist posting this for the benefit of those who object to comparisons of Israeli policies to that of the Nazis. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

        “…….. his outspoken stance made him many enemies and he received many death threats; his office was set on fire and the Jewish Defense League labeled him a Nazi.”

        http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/03/16/edward-w-said-on-orientalism/

  19. Kata Fisher March 17, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    A Note:

    Folks like Abrams are bunch of lay-folks that can’t discern their right hand from left one, and they do not know what’s good for them and what kills them in a long run. What they should and should not do, all together..

    So, they can themselfs appoint dedicated “Special Rapporteur’s” for any problem region they see fit and necessary. Jews are way behid restoring world-wide – that what was destroyed (in natural and spiritual).

    I thought that Jews were called to be light to the nations – so I do not know what happened, and what is happening.

    Perhaps Jews getting all their business into “Special Rapporteur(ing) will just do it – or at least be bare-start to do lighting up to the nations – and restore back.

    Furter, who can annul Satanic Seals and blasphemy of God’s Spirit in Blood lines? Neither Jews or Gentiles – only Church Charismatic will be doing that…but the Church can submit no one to anything.

    There is absolute difference between Spiritual authority over someone’s conscience and violating / subjugating someone’s conscience. Why? Human will (in Law of the Spirit/ Law of Faith/Law of the Gospel/Law of the Church) and human will (in law of sin). Law of sin can’t control Law of the Spirit/ Law of Faith/Law of the Gospel/Law of the Church – that which is gravely wrong (grave sin) receives irrevocable judgment / condemnation. In fact, it does due to the work of the Spirit in Church-Charismatic that not only can judge but also condemn, legitimatly (by natural understanding / language and understanding by Spirit / supernatural language of the Spirit).

    One can overlap with Spiritual Authority of the Church-Charismatic – but they should by no means violate it or annul it. People can chose and have self-apoined curses – Church does not care. In general, Church will tell you about damnation (now).

    In general folks are into self-appointed curses, and to create additional problems and have another problems that will just revisit them in their blood lines:

  20. Harvey Epstein March 17, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    Richard,

    Aaron, under “falkuncensored”, has just posted a site referring us to a National Review article. It contains a quote attributed to you. Is this quote accurate? Was it taken out of context? Exactly what did you intend if you did say this?

    A detailed explanation would be appreciated. If this is what was said, and the obvious intent was your intent, it does fly in the face of some of the things you have recently said in response to some of my posts, the posts of others, and to your desire to ” tone it down”. You raise the favorable comparison to Nazism? Do you actually expect calm and civil responses in the face of language such as this, if you said it? Additionally, it would make a change of direction of this blog absolutely mandatory if you hope to keep it within the realm of a sane discussion. Otherwise, I could only conclude: that all of your comments would be tainted well beyond the pale; backhandedly ( I can find no other appropriately descriptive word), you would be inciting both sides, but especially those who are predisposed to anti-Semitism; and Abrams view of you would be spot on. I would then, very reluctantly, suggest that repentance would be appropriate, but that time is short.

    If you did misspeak, let us know. Short of a retraction or reasonable explination or change of views of the language allegedly spoken, my tone on your blog will be appropriately adjusted.

    Israel may be guilty of discrimination, as are all countries to some extent. She has had foisted upon her a circumstance mostly the making of others, but with all of the blame. She has not been perfect in how she has handled everything. She is not the only country which has raised a fence, but until very recently, hers is the only one which is defensive in its origin But to equate her with Nazism is to not understand what went on during WWII and the lead up to it. And you are old enough to remember without having to just “hear about it”, just like I am. In fact, you are a few years older so your memories should be clearer.

    At this juncture, and until I get your favorable response, I will not close with my usual “Regards”, assuming that this ever meant anything to you.

    • Richard Falk March 18, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      Harvey:

      One of the reasons I am so distrustful of Fred and the other ultra-Zionist defamers is their
      attachment to this one sentence in an op/ed piece written a decade ago. I have several times
      indicated that I regretted the sentence, and have never made such a comparison again. The article
      written prior to my six years as UN Special Rapporteur was an expression of concern for the fate
      of the civilian population of Gaza after a visit, which convinced me that the population was being
      subjected to collective punishment, not because of alleged security concerns, but as a response to
      have voted for Hamas in 2006 elections, which led to the struggle within Gaza between Fata and Hamas.
      I was really trying to make the point that the essence of the Nazi criminal mentality was to demonize
      a people, and I was hoping that world opinion would awaken to the implications of this approach applied
      to Gaza, which even under ‘normal’ circumstances faced severe problems of poverty and infrastructure.

      Why I believe it is bad faith to invoke that sentence taken from a longer reasoned article is that I have
      never repeated this comparison, and have several times indeed expressed my regret in using it because it was inflammatory
      ebb ways that I never intended. To attempt to discredit my overall reputation and views on the conflict by
      this quotation is merely a defamatory tactics exhibiting not the slightest interest in dialogue but only in
      bashing critics of Israel’s policies and practices. In the NR article the author, a prominent neoconservative,
      relies on a guilt by association to attack the proposed candidates for the position I had held, and even beyond,
      to defame the Human Rights Council. I know you will disagree, but I feel that a qualified candidate for this position,
      if properly qualified as an ‘expert,’ will have more or less the same point of view as mine, given the realities of
      the situation. As I have been arguing the occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, which has been allowed to
      go on for far too long, is impossible to reconcile with international humanitarian law, and that is all that this UN
      position is supposed to document and determine.

      • Kata Fisher March 18, 2016 at 8:47 am #

        Fred: you also can notice that entire blog is virtual communication. In essence, interpretation of segments of information can feel other then they actually are. You are correct that militarized protection of legitimate self-determination of the population is valid. However, there are other spiritism-properties to all of that, as well. Suffering of Palastenian people is in direct relationship to disobedience of Lay-people in irrevocable sins among them, their leadership in irrevocable sins that also is no longer legitimate, expired, becoming absolute evil, and evil oppressor coming from state of Israel/Jews in irrevocable sins (which all in nature is in satanic seals / Nazi-spirit). It will remain so, unless legitimately suppressed and annulled. How? I still have no idea how they can be brought to sort things out among them selfs and their lay-people. It may jut be impossible to go about theirs and/or generational evils of all lay-people involved.

      • Harvey Epstein March 18, 2016 at 10:35 am #

        Richard,
        I saw this post only after I responded to Fred’s comment to me. I accept some of your withdrawal. Often we are haunted by prior mistakes, but they continue to follow us no matter what we do.

        Unfortunately, the balance of my critique and summary seems valid. You are an unrelenting critic when even handiness would have better served everyone, including you. One must try to diffuse hostility before people can be brought together. Did you actually engage in such a concerted effort?

        Your blog continues to agitate. That serves no useful purpose. A change of direction, as suggested by Ira, is a much better choice. If you really want what is best for all of the people in the region, use the expertise you claim and give us a few “baby steps” to get us moving in the right direction. Otherwise, no matter what any of us say, the result is just so much mindless ear wash.

        Please let me hear from you with some realistic goals, and not just wishful thinking based upon the existing facts on the ground. I am really here to help.

      • Kata Fisher March 18, 2016 at 11:13 am #

        A Note:

        This is what I understand:

        its best to refocus, removing hindering items of the table – but do not create group-think by doing that

        About Israel/Palestine issue:

        Especially, knowing that all vicious essence will have to be of the negotiating tables, excluding all radicalism. I am not taking this conclusion out of nowhere – but from a representative reality. Just for example – making this blog setting (for example) we see that all ends up in the dead-ends and same cycle as long as all deliberate, the vicious essence of negligence is present / felt. However, this setting is far from the wickedness of religious radicalism (in its abuse and killing of ordinary people).

        For Israel/ Palestine conflict I would suggest mature and qualified understanding to all of that with independent observers – and this can be both Civil and Ecclesiastical. Keep lay-people and their illegitimate wishes out of it.

        In my understanding, there could be way out and on another hand, it can remain just as it is and become worse in next years to come.

        It’s impossible to know the future; all can turn out to a good – or absolute dead-end/s. Just do not deal with immature and lay-people because it is the Ecclesiastical problem caused by satanic seals. It will not be resolved by personal / private feelings and all lay-people jamborees.

        I do not know any further

  21. Fred Skolnik March 18, 2016 at 1:55 am #

    Sadly, Harvey, this is old stuff. Here is my “dialogue” with Prof. Falk a few posts back. (I’ll leave it the Professor to deal with Mr. Schulman.)

    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?

    • Kata Fisher March 18, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      Fred: I believe that professor Falk observed activity of “Nazi-spirit” among Jews/Israelis – but was not in full understanding what he was observing. Satanic seals and Blesphemy of God’s Spirit in blood lines manifests as “Nazi spirit” and activity of that spirit can have all or some similar properties of Nazism of Germany. Azusa charismatic disorder caused Satanic Seals and Blespheming of God’s Spirit among population, in general. They even had Berlin Deceleration in 1909. But prior to Azusa they were others similar to it, charismatic-satanic. So those things remain in blood lines, and can be silent for many generations. However, when active/manifested in blood line its absolute devil-directed activity of/in Nazi-spirit. So problem of evil can be diverse, and as some lay-people say “it a bitch” (tough hell). Folks in such irrevocable sins will act as Russian gestapo and Nazis. It’s observable all over – Church-Charismatic knows what’s counterfeit and generational activity of it. Satanic charismatics abuse Apostolic Church order and judgment of the Gospel by means of filth among them that are in Charismatic-satanism. It is a lot to all of that from the prespective of Church Doctrine. But I asure you that there is activity of Nazi-spirit among Jews and it is in blood lines. It can’t be denied, but can be observed.

    • Harvey Epstein March 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      Fred,

      I guess I have now joined the group of those whose posts have been deleted. I was responding to you by beginning to say that I have been aware of what you say since I first came onto this blog. I then summarized my conversations with Richard and drew a few conclusions, but it seems not to have passed through Richards filter and Aaron’s blog was not fast enough to catch it, so far as I can tell. I guess Richard felt it was an attack. That was not my purpose. I was merely repeating things which Richard stated and questioning the lack of response. In fairness to Richard, it was a bit assertive. But my summary was the same: time for all of us to stop being divisive and becoming constructive based upon the facts on the ground. I wonder if we will ever get there?

      • Fred Skolnik March 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

        I’ve suggested to Aaron that we all have our say on his blog, if at all. Without us, the Falk blog will pretty much dry up.

      • Richard Falk March 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        We will see. Give Aaron’s blog a try. It will test the viability of my effort to achieve ‘constructive conversations.’

      • Gene Schulman March 19, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

        I have just looked at Aaron’s blog. I wonder how he expects anyone to engage with it when he provides no symbols for a reply?

        It is true that Zionism did not arise from the Holocaust, but the Holocaust was used post hoc to justify the creation of the state of Israel. Zionism was long rejected by most Jews as the answer to find a homeland. Few wanted to consider a move to Palestine – most were quite happy where they were in democratic countries. Even the very religious Jews were reluctant because of the belief that founding a homeland was contrary to the teachings that said Israel will only be founded with the return of the Messiah.

        So, yes indeed, move to Aaron, and leave Richard’s blog to those who find value in it. Good riddance.

  22. Aaron March 18, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    This is an example of vulgarity that WOULD have been deleted on my blog. interesting that Richard lets this through but blocks polite yet differing opinions.

    WOW!!!

  23. Jerry "Peacemaker" March 19, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    Respecting Professor Falk’s choice of title for this writing, “Two Ways of Looking at the Race for the American Presidency”, at the time of writing he and many others may have been unaware of a greater-truth, all-encompassing third way of perception. That, until now, fullest perception is available in the following 57-minute interview of James and Joanne Moriarty on the truth of 2011 and NATO’s destruction of Libya, and why Gaddafi, in certain eyes, had to die. It is impossible to underestimate how important it is that all people on Earth know the truth. Because when that happens a peaceful world comes within reach, and life on Earth becomes positively transformed.

    http://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-03-15-16/

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