Easy to Criticize

Thursday, May 9, 2013
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Nick Welsh is correct that Richard Falk’s most recent diatribe against U.S. and Israeli policy in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings was not quite as egregious and offensive as his past anti-Semitic and maliciously anti-Israel comments.

The reaction against Falk’s comments, however, was not, as Welsh alleged, a knee-jerk response to any criticism of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League, for one, denounced Falk’s comments in an effort to draw attention to the absurdity of his continuing to hold the position of “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” for the United Nations Human Rights Council. This position requires that the person reporting on Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have a modicum of objectivity. Yet with every report he files with the U.N., with each op-ed he pens, with every blog he posts, Richard Falk reveals his bias and extremism.

What Mr. Welsh fails to understand is that this most recent example of a public reaction to Richard Falk’s airing of opinion is not an example of “critics of Israel being stifled.” Rather, it is a case of standing up and asserting that pathological critics of Israel should not hold official positions at the U.N. in which they report on Israeli policy. – Cyndi Silverman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, S.B./Tri-Counties


Great article regarding Richard Falk, his statement, and the problem of saying anything critical of Israeli’s policy. You will no doubt be labeled as anti-Semitic just for broaching the subject of questioning Israel. Thank you for writing this article. I wish Americans would understand that there are many Israelis who are critical of their own government’s policies and actions re Palestinians. – Lee Beckom


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Falk is a pathological critic of Israel. This does not make individual comments good or bad but his trend is pretty insidious and lopsided.
Of course many Israelis criticize their government; after all, it's a stable and functional democracy.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 6:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is it a functional democracy with a large base of "Israeli Palestinians" who only have partial rights??
It's a wonderful country which I've visited several times and have worked there: many Israelis of course agree with Falk and with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. Evacuate the colonized West Bank territories in exchange for peace, and accept the Two-State solution.
Falk's intemperate language does not help the debate.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How come you never mention the Palestinian/Hamas official lack of recognition about Israels basic right to exist or the fact that Israels new borders were originally arrived at after being attacked by the majority of Arab states? Arafat was offered a two state solution and according to EVERY historical account subverted the process.
You and I agree on the first part, Israel should go back to a semblance of the original border AND the entire Arab world must acknowledge and officially protect Israels right to exist.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2013 at 12:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sounds like someone's unhappy that ADL doesn't control every last facet of American influence in the piece-by-peace process.

Maybe Jokar & Hulagu Tsarnaev were motivated by Team America: World Police, not by Palestine's occupation by nice Jewish kids. But we wouldn't be selling our own kids to pay for GWOT if Israel had remembered to tell us Mohamed Atta's shirt size before the WTC attack. Thanks a heap again, Number One Ally.

Yes, there were John Does galore, apart from the Israel lobby. Why did the American public pull over and pick up Dick Cheney on the road to Iraq? (My prose gets purpler, just wait.) Well, the public was distracted by the Jewish (mostly) neocon PR machine, hiking up its skirt, promising nuclear sarin lasers with swastikas, etc. This is not to excuse the Military-Industrial Complex! Look where USSR's M-I Complex got them in Afghanistan, all tanked out. But unfortunately for American Jews, "what's good for General Motors is good for the country," or so many still seem to think. (Never mind that corporations hardly pay taxes anymore.) Besides, stomping on smaller countries lifts Americans' spirits every time. Right?

Oh, yeah... one could even blame this Great Republic's citizenry for never ever saying what Abe Foxman tells them not to ever ever say. ( 8< ]] But please don't tell them I mentioned it.

Then who CAN we (I mean the courageous few) blame, in search of a little leverage? Foreign influence? Is the foreign-oriented tail wagging the occidental dog? That's the ticket! And no whining! Either move to Israel, or get you some patriotism, if you don't like it. Israel can take care of itself already, long since.

Netanyahu's the tail, not a pretty sight. Let's bob it.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Check out this maliciously anti-Israel comment from the NYT:

Asked tonight [Sept 11, 2001] what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, ''It's very good.'' Then he edited himself: ''Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.'' He predicted that the attack would ''strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"How come you never mention the Palestinian/Hamas official lack of recognition about Israels basic right to exist ..."
-- italiansug

Isn't that like your wife complaining you never say she's pretty? Israel is the big gun in the neighborhood and is more than capable of defending itself (as recent sorties into Syria demonstrate). But if that isn't enough:

"The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security."

-- Offical letter, Yasar Arafat to Prime Minsiter Yitzhak Rabin, 1993

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sounds like a Freudian slip to me Adonis. The biggest threat to Israelis is their own government.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok: Agreed, but I think "The biggest threat to Israelis and U.S. citizens are their respective governments" might be a useful statement in addressing the issue. Many Jewish (in addition to us goyem) US citizens are opposed to US policy re Israel.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 3:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Adonis: Are there not contradictions in Israeli-related policy and what the Bible says? I say this because many right-wing Christian Coalition types are convinced that the Bible says we MUST support Israel but from what little I know, the "Israel" of today is not what the Bible mentions. (What?,,,Pat Robertson and his Sheep can possibly be WRONG?)

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 4:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To go further BC, they are "biblically" convinced that they must support Israel to bring about the end of the world and a second appearance of Christ.
Basically theologically excused genocide. Wow that's a real friend to Israel.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 4:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Contrary to the predictable ADL propaganda, there is no anti-Antisemitism in Falk’s statements. The Jewish lobby should really be called the Israeli lobby – it’s a political organization that represents a foreign government – Israel – that places its own interests above all other nations. One can be ambivalent or negative about Israel policies, repressive practices and illegal settlements, and have no anti-Semitic feelings; many American Jews fit into that category, for example.

Most American Jews do vote democratic, but Israeli Jews are red:

It is also interesting that US intelligence views Israel as a significant and “genuine counterintelligence threat.”

We, the USA, would be better off if we distanced ourselves from the nation Israel, and stopped favoring them over other countries in the region, for example, Egypt. We owe Israel nothing.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2013 at 9:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think some people use their religion as an excuse to bully.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2013 at 2:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I regret over-generalizing in my post above. Obviously, many Jews in USA & Israel disapprove of AIPAC's sway over US politicians. And some even have the matzo dumplings to speak out. Sorry... I was het up & got careless.

Status quo is just crazy-making. Just imagine how ugly things will get if our save-Israel-or-bust ethos consummates in bust economically, due both to up-front expenditures and melt-down from nuclear war. We'll all be good Germans then. "What, WE got nuked, and Israel could have warned us?" Does that sound like a game-changer? Worms do turn, even huge ones.

Hey, look at the above posters spitting out plain truths! We've got to get past the point where only comedians address these crucial issues.

Bill, I'm not one who expects clarity or consistency from the Bible. It seems to me that Hebrews cleverly declared themselves to be the special pets of The One True God (specifically, YHWH), and that now, Christians are saying "Well, if you say so!" But if you're looking for scriptural reasons to question the Hagee-ites support for Israel, try The National Prayer Network. Regarding the kvetch about Christians supporting Israel so that Israel can ultimately be destroyed, hey gimme 5$ if you think that'll ultimately make me go broke. How dumb are goyim supposed to be?

And Freud didn't slip, he was pushed.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
May 13, 2013 at 12:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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