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                                                             Richard Falk

This comes from Richard Falk's OpEd on Al Jazeera:

                                        The latest Gaza catastrophe
Many aspects of the current assault on Gaza pass under the radar screens of world conscience.

 ...This spectacle of one-sided war in which Israel decides how much violence to unleash, and Gaza waits to be struck, firing off militarily meaningless salvos of rockets as a gesture of resistance, represents a shameful breakdown of civilization values. These rockets do spread fear and cause trauma among Israeli civilians even when no targets are struck, and represent an unacceptable tactic. Yet such unacceptability must be weighed against the unacceptable tactics of an Israel that holds all the cards in the conflict.

It is truly alarming that now even the holiest of cities, Jerusalem, is threatened with attacks, but the continuation of oppressive conditions for the people of Gaza, inevitably leads to increasing levels of frustration, in effect, cries of help that world has ignored at its peril for decades. These are survival screams! To realise this is not to exaggerate! To gain perspective, it is only necessary to read a recent UN Report that concludes that the deterioration of services and conditions will make Gaza uninhabitable by 2020.

Completely aside from the merits of the grievances on the two sides, one side is militarily omnipotent and the other side crouches helplessly in fear. Such a grotesque reality passes under the radar screens of world conscience because of the geopolitical shield behind which Israel is given a free pass to do whatever it wishes. Such a circumstance is morally unendurable, and should be politically unacceptable. It needs to be actively opposed globally by every person, government, and institution of good will.

Richard Falk is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

                                                          emphasis added

Following Israel's 2009 assault on Gaza Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Israeli leaders to loosen the blockade: Hillary Warns Israel to Relax its Blockade of Gaza.
Had Israeli leaders taken Secretary Clinton's 2009 concerns seriously the parties involved might well have avoided this latest round of rocket attacks on Israel and the IDF's extensive assault on Gaza.

If Israel is agreeing to open up Gaza's borders more, that gives me hope that Israeli leaders have finally come to the realization that their past policy towards Gaza has been an utter failure. Israel's right wing governments' enforced depravation through its blockade to punish Gazans into toppling Hamas has been unsuccessful.

Blockading Gaza HAS been successful in creating a hopeless siltation for the people of Gaza making periodic lashing out at their Israeli oppressors almost inevitable. That punitive approach hasn't produced Israali leaders' hoped for regime change in the five and a half years of collective punishment of 1.6 million Gazans. That can't be sustained and it I hope Netanyhau now realizes that.  

At a minimum Israel must let building materials into Gaza instead of forcing the people of Gaza to continue to live in the rubble from 2009 not to mention all the new destruction the IDF left behind.

Please also see: Noam Chomsky: The Soul-Crushing Cruelties Perpetrated by America's Number 1 Ally

International law, the Gaza war, and Palestine's state of exception                                                                                    

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:16 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Peace in ther Middle East (32+ / 0-)

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:16:44 PM PST

  •  Hey, not familiar with it other than just reading (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setrak, erush1345, martini, thomask

    about it, but it appears Falk is not exactly an uncontroversial figure, yes? Do you know if it, or do you think it, warrants mentioning here?

  •  You headline with a shoutout to an antisemite. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, johnny wurster

    Why?

    "Your diary is a pack of filthy lies." -bronte17

    by Setrak on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:55:21 PM PST

    •  Does your charge have a link? (6+ / 0-)

      Or are abject oppression, land theft and brutal overreaction now considered antisemitic charges to level, even when they are true?  If so, there are quite a few antisemetic Jews running around, many on this site.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:38:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go to Wiki. He's admitted himself to some (0+ / 0-)

        things.

      •  Sure... here you go (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        Well there is this

        You gotta love the cartoon Falk published with the Dog wearing a Kippah (yarmulke) with a Star of David on it, pissing on the U.S. - I mean nothing anti-Semitic there... Right?

        Or how about:

        This bit of lovliness

        And of course his glowing rapport with Kevin Barrett of Truth Jihad (a site with "interesting" views on the Holocaust and praise for Iranian President Ahmadinejhad)

        You want to rethink your comment?

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:21:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One doesn't often find one of these in the wild. (0+ / 0-)

        The man's being branded an antisemite here.  Yet, he's Jewish.

        What's the term that the rabid right-wing Israelis like to use on Jews who are critical of Israel, the IDF, the Occupation, the Gaza Diet, or any of the other right-wingy things that Israel likes to do these past few years?  Is it "self-hater"?  Yes!  I think that's it!

        Next time, ignore the Israeli Internet Defense Force.  There's no upside to engaging them.  They'll just post more crap like that comment.  Your heart and spirit are in the right place, though, and I thank you for that.

        Celtic Merlin
        Carlinist

        Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

        by Celtic Merlin on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 02:54:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In this case, at least I got a useful link to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Merlin

          connect with one very active Likud apologist.  See the thread directly above...

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

          by nailbender on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:54:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh how interesting... Let's see now (0+ / 0-)

            I am a Likud apologist for a link I used (Even though if you paid any attention to anything you would know that I support Likud's opposition, but, hey why let a little reality get in the way of your delusion).

            BUT... Lefty here linked to a straight out anti-Semite (Richard Falk) and somehow that is indicative of nothing.

            You do see the the irony here now? Don't you?

            Let me see... Do I have this right? The Pro-P side can pretty much link to anything and that's all cool. And no matter who says what... if they agree with that - pretty much that's Ok.

            BUT if the Pro-I side links to anything that the Pro-P side doesn't like... They are Right-Wing, neo fascist Likudnikim... Do I have that right?

            The irony here seriously burns. You realize that?

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 03:56:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Falk apologized for that cartoon. (0+ / 0-)

              You haven't apologized for that first link.  It is execrable.

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

              by nailbender on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:20:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  WHOOSH... what was that sound? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kane in CA

                Falk lied about it, then eventually apologized for it. He fucked up and exposed his true self. Did you see the other stuff on him?

                But in any case, as your pal Merlin says... Why worry about where the information comes from, if it's true?

                Did I make my point?

                Oh and you are an idiot if you think I am a fan of Likud, I may agree with one or two things Netanyahu and Likud-Betainu may do, but, I am no fan of them. Yes, yes, I realize in the non-reality based community that this means I am a bought and sold member of the 101st Fighting Keyboardist Hasbara Brigade, but that is just to people who don't understand shit about Israeli politics, or learned all they could from some fucking magazine / internet article, actually thinking that JVP and their friends is even close to a relevant group, or listening to some dipshit teaching International Relations 1B.

                Why don't you actually learn something about Israel and it's history, you spend a lot of time whining about it. It might be good to actually have a fucking clue about the subject that you so like to opine about.

                OH... and just FYI, I say the same thing to the freakin' lunatics on the Right who really actually do support Likud, who live here in the U.S. Because they can't get their shit together between arguing that the Israelis should hold the West Bank (thus destroying Israel eventually) and talking about how President Obama loves the Muslim Brotherhood.

                My G-d, the internet is a stupid place.

                "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                by volleyboy1 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:06:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. That's some rancid shit. (0+ / 0-)

            The "Canada Free Press" has as it's motto, "...Becasue without America there is no Free World" so you just KNOW that it's a main-stream and legit Canadian publication (snark) and that its right-wing-ed-ness is radical (not snark).  The unsigned, unattributed rant is testimony enough as to that site being off the hinges.

            Just to satisfy curiosity, I followed the other link, too.

            Did you know that the UN is an antisemitic organization?  I didn't either.  The "UN Watch" website he linked is certainly doing its damnedest to present a case that the UN is so.  Who knew?

            BTW, his description of the cartoon is WAY the fuck off.

            First, his description, word-for-word . . .

            Dog wearing a Kippah (yarmulke) with a Star of David on it, pissing on the U.S.
            There is a dog (he got that part right) and it IS indeed wearing a yarmulke with the Israeli Star on it and it is pissing.  That's about where his description and a thing called Truth diverge.  By "diverge" I mean "head in opposite directions at high speed."  The piddly little details that he DID NOT feel were worth mentioning about the cartoon are:

            1. The dog is also wearing a big label (or sweater) on its body with the letters "USA" on it.

            2. The dog is leashed and the other end is being held by a statue of Justice - blindfolded, holding a sword and a set of scales in the hand not holding the leash.

            3. She's looking away from the dog and whistling (there's a music note at her lips) - clearly an act of, "I don't see anything!"

            4. The dog is pissing ON THE STATUE OF JUSTICE - not on the USA.

            5. The dog is also chewing up a bloody skeleton - an obvious reference to murders having been committed against some group of people, though it is unclear who these people are as there is no label.

            6. If you'd like to check the accuracy of my description and compare it to his (which I would LOVE for everybody on DKos to do), a .pdf link to the thing (load of text is also part of it, but the cartoon IS on the second page) is here:

            Clickable: UN Watch copy of the cartoon (.PDF)

            So!  Instead of a dog with JUST a yarmulke with a Star of David on it who is "pissing on the USA", what we really have is a political cartoon of a dog (representing the US and Israel together) attacking a human being, its leash held by Justice - who is looking away from the attack (purposefully ignoring the attack) while the dog takes a leak on Justice.  Based on what I saw (the actual cartoon), his description is a vile lie.  After all, if the dog IS (at least partly) the USA, how can it be pissing on the USA?  Nothing like appealing to a base sense of patriotism when you want to piss people off and bring them to your side.  I don't believe that his mommy taught him to lie to people like that.  She'd be so disappointed in him, I'm sure.

            So this cartoon is not so antisemitic as he's trying to lead us all to believe.  Since this is a political cartoon depiction of two nations acting in a violent manner (assuming the yarmulke represents Israel, which seems to be the artist's intent) and disrespecting Justice, I have to say that it's a pretty mild cartoon.  Form your own opinion as to how genuine is the (manufactured) outrage over this and how hollow the charge of antisemitism.

            By the way, I saved a copy of the thing.  If need be, I can post a copy of it to back up my accurate description and show how completely dishonest is his description of it.  The link I put in here should be sufficient, though.

            Thanks for pointing out those links.  Nice to see what he's using as reading material lately.  Looks to me like it's a Karmafish-type of publication.  Perhaps next we'll be listening to songs of how wonderful a man is Avi Lieberman - Netanyahu's (not so) secret political lover and all-around fascist pig.

            Celtic Merlin
            Carlinist

            Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

            by Celtic Merlin on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 07:44:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  If you can't deny the facts presented . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, martini, divineorder

      . . . attack the speaker mercilessly!

      Even if he is what you say he is (without having presented any proof of it) - that doesn't make anything that he has said untrue.

      Dispute the facts if you can.  Attacking the speaker (who seems to have the backing of the United Nations) isn't working for you.

      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

      by Celtic Merlin on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:11:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know this brings up an interesting point... (0+ / 0-)

        You say:

        Even if he is what you say he is (without having presented any proof of it) - that doesn't make anything that he has said untrue.
        Ok... well then how do you feel about people using sources like MEMRI or PMW as sources. I mean if what they say is true (and most of it is) should we also use those.

        I would say no... because those sources, while they may have truth to them have a tendency to tell those truths in an out of context way. Same with having a rabid anti-Semite and "Troofer" Richard Falk talking about anything related to Jewish people. The source invalidates the message.

        Now if you disagree with that - then hey, I guess you won't be disputing someone next time they use Brietbart or the Washington Times as a source. Right?

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You must enjoy Lieberman's praise for a job well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Celtic Merlin

          done.

          3. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quick to take credit for maintaining Israel’s good image, ascribing it to the “excellent work” that was done in what he described as the “hasbara front.”
          Haaretz

          “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

          by Lefty Coaster on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:33:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah yes... a complete non-sequitor (0+ / 0-)

            SO... Lefty, would you say that it is ok then for us to use MEMRI or PMW as information sources?

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 09:19:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  qwerty (0+ / 0-)

                Ok... So.. then I take that as a yes

                "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:59:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You tried, divineorder. (0+ / 0-)

                None of the Israelis are going to address the facts.  They've all had plenty of opportunities to do so and the situation is that they can't.  None of them.

                Perhaps after they've sent a copy of the diary to the IDF blog HQ in Israel and had the PR experts there come up with answers for them to parrot, you'll see something of substance from one or more of them.  Until then, you're gong to get answers like:

                Ok... So.. then I take that as a yes
                Just leave them alone.  Ignoring them is the best way to keep them out of here and over on that cesspool they have going off site.

                Thanks for the effort though.  I honestly appreciate it.

                Celtic Merlin
                Carlinist

                Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

                by Celtic Merlin on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 02:43:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So ok I get this... simply avoid addressing the (0+ / 0-)

                  issue raised, because you have no answer. Here is the best thing about this - and it is obvious to all who can see it...

                  You type about "addressing the facts" (which are questionable here particularly since those "facts" come from noted anti-Semite and lunatic Richard Falk) and you say those who refuse to address the facts demonize their opponents. THEN you go on to do exactly what you complain about with this:

                  Perhaps after they've sent a copy of the diary to the IDF blog HQ in Israel and had the PR experts there come up with answers for them to parrot, you'll see something of substance from one or more of them.  Until then, you're gong to get answers like:
                  You complain about not getting answers, and then completely FAIL to give answers to a simple question... which remains:

                  Given the importance of information, should we not take into account the source of said information? Of course, I can see why you don't want to address that issue but the question remains.... DO YOU think that any source of information is valid if it contains an element of Truth, even if that truth is spun 180 degrees from what really happened because of source bias?

                  SO rather than be a flaming hypocrite and doing exactly what you are accusing others of doing, how about simply doing the right thing, and addressing the issue.

                  "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                  by volleyboy1 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:48:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  More accusations without proof. (0+ / 0-)

          And sensationalism without substance.

          Plus, the facts that this man presented remain 100% unaddressed.

          What have they promoted you to in the "IDF Ranks" Hasbara program?  You must have made at least Major by now.  Full Colonel maybe?

          I usually ignore you Progressive Zionist Blog hacks but, with all of the comments under mine, I was curious to see what had caused all the activity.  I have to admit that choosing to read your ridiculous garbage just this one time was worth it.  Pointing out your abject fail was far too much fun!

          Now, I shall return to ignoring your existence.

          Bye!

          :0)

          Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

          by Celtic Merlin on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 02:34:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You took all that to say absolutely nothing? (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps rather than blathering on and on just to see yourself type... You could simply address the question, which was: Do you think any source is ok because there is an element of the truth in it? For instance, is David Duke a reliable source of info. if he says something that may in some twisted reality be true? Conversely, If MEMRI or PMV
            show something, should we then take that as a reliable source of info.?

            Not a hard question, yet none of you will answer it in a straight manner. Interesting that.

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:40:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You're being a dick (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, divineorder

      anf you know it.

      “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

      by Lefty Coaster on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:55:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am sorry but firing rockets into Jerusalem is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, volleyboy1, johnny wurster

    not a cry for help by any stretch of the imagination.

    •  That's the thing (10+ / 0-)

      The French Revolution may have been the most extreme version of cries going unheard and all hell breaking loose, but when large percentages of pregnant women and young children have anemia, when people are still living in rubble from four years ago and construction materials are not allowed in for rebuilding, when the one hospital left in Gaza is always short of basic medical supplies, and lord knows what they are doing with this bombing, when untreated sewage is pumped into the sea and safe drinking water is not available  - well, no one should have to live in fear as those in southern Israel are, but no one should live this way either.  

      I'm not saying Falk is right, but when all the facts are in, he makes sense.

      Let's hope Clinton and Obama manage this into a permanent peace that will include rebuilding Gaza and little things like water rights.

      Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

      by ramara on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:24:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah.. but bombing a bus in Tel Aviv.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        and passing out candy to celebrate it, is certainly an anguished cry of despair.

        These are scenes of the casualties. God willing, we will soon see black body bags. I pray to God the exalted we will see body bags in a short while. These are scenes of the Zionist casualties so far. Right now in these moments, the mosques in the Gaza Strip, their minarets are loudly sounding cries of “Allahu Akbar” and cries of joy, and the residents of the Gaza Strip are bowing down to Allah for this offering. The morale of the Gaza residents is in the sky right now, and is rising just as the rockets of the resistance.

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:25:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hamas denied any involvement in the bus bombing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ramara

          but obviously they've borrowed tactics from the FLN in Algeria, as well as Irgun and Lehi. This time it put Gaza back on the front burner and appears to have given them a bit of credibility. Otherwise, the world forgets and the Palestinians are left to rot while more of their land is confiscated in the West Bank. I disagree that Hamas Rockets™ are a cry of despair, they're more a scream of defiance. Sure, it's a shame they don't have a Martin Luther King, but then again, look what happened to him. And that was before drones became the popular way of dealing with opposition leaders.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:47:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You know me better than that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster, corvo

          The reign of terror in France was not a cry of despair either, it was what happens when no one listens.  So is a bus bombing with candy.  The point was that we need to listen.  If we start listening, peace might even happen.

          Have a good Thanksgiving.

          Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

          by ramara on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:30:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Couldn't the same sentiment be used to explain (0+ / 0-)

        some of the actions and/or policies of Israel as well?

        Can't we considered those as cries of help as well?

    •  Just my initial reaction but that seems a bit glib (4+ / 0-)

      given the actual suffering many Gazans endure daily. For many years now.

      It's not like the Israelis didn't do some horrible things back when they were the oppressed ones.

  •  here we go again.. (7+ / 0-)

    Don't be dicks in someone's diary. Back up your comments with facts, or links or something besides bullshit.

    Jeesus, I can't believe the shit that passes here.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:23:31 PM PST

  •  Israel's dress rehearsal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, corvo

    I've recently seen media comments that this latest attack on Gaza was really Israel's dress rehearsal for the attack on Iran.  Once Israel attacks Iran, there will be a barrage of missiles from Lebanon, and Israel needed to test its new missile defence system.  It seems to be working tolerably well, so now that the Israeli military has used the population of Gaza to try out its new toys (and further destroyed the Gaza economic infrastructure in the process), Israel can call off the attacks.

    γνωθι σεαυτόν

    by halef on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:16:41 AM PST

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