Richard Falk – Another Lannan Fdn Mistake

Richard Falk –  December 2, 2015

[Editor update, March 16, 2017:  Falk is at it again, authoring a scurrilous diatribe accusing Israel of “apartheid.”  See here and here for more details and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s response.]
What do Richard Falk, the Ayatollah Khamanei, and the right wing Jobbik Hungarian party have in common?  The three of them were named to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Top 10 Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Slurs list of 2013.

That’s because “Falk has a long and sordid history of Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism.  He alleged Israel may be planning a Nazi-like Holocaust.  He justified Palestinian terrorism in terms of ‘the right of resistance,’ adding that suicide bombings were the only way to inflict sufficient harm on Israel so that ‘the struggle could go on.’”

Falk was the UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories when he made his slurs.  During that time he also said on Russian RT television, “When you target a group, an ethnic group and inflict this kind of punishment upon them, you are in effect nurturing a kind of criminal intention that is genocidal.”  There were numerous calls for his firing from various nations and NGOs following this comment.

Professor Falk, a supposed international human rights expert, should know better than to use such a phrase when the UN and other definitions would never apply to the Arab-Israeli dispute.  If there are any suggestions of ethnic cleansing it is by the Palestinians, who have threatened and forced a major reduction in the Arab Christian population in the West Bank, and refuse to permit Jews to live in their midst.[†]

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, called Falk’s comments in 2011 that the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers was shrouded in a cover-up conspiracy by the US, “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.”  He described Falk’s comments as “preposterous.”

Watch out – rather than addressing the facts, Falk often whines that the problem is with his defamation by pro-Israel organizations like UN Watch.

One wonders – couldn’t the Lannan Foundation find some legitimate voices to speak about the Middle East and Human Rights?

[†] Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population has been growing:  300 percent since 1948; 20% since 1999.  There were 34,000 Christians living in Israel in 1949.  There were 162,000 in 2014.  Of these, 128,600 are Arab Christians.  Even in the West Bank and East Jerusalem the number of Christians has increased since Israel took control in 1967, from 40,000 to 48,000.  (There were 45,000 Christians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1961; dropping to 40,000 by 1967.)  By the way, there were 1.1 million Jews and 113,800 Muslims living in Israel in 1950, and 6.2 million Jews and 1.4 million Muslims living there in 2014, an increase of 463% and 1130% respectively. [Statistical Abstract of Israel, 2013]

The Moderator:  Not Really Moderate – Ali Abunimah

unnamed (1).jpg

When is a journalist not a journalist? When he spews propaganda.

Ali Abunimah, is a co-founder and contributor to the Electronic Intifada (EI), which purportedly is “an independent online news publication focusing on Palestine” but actually a propaganda rag that routinely distorts the news.

Here are just a few recent examples of Abunimah’s propaganda posted on EI:

Event:  November 13, 2015, University of Texas-Austin, U-T Palestinian Solidarity Committee disrupts a lecture organized by the Institute for Israeli Studies.  Demonstrators were escorted out of the room by campus police.  EI headline:  “Israel studies director assaults Texas students.”  A doctored video was posted online.  Here’s more that refutes the EI story.

Event:  November 11, 2015, Israeli law enforcement entered a hospital in Hebron to arrest Azzam al-Shalaldeh, who stabbed a 58-year old man two weeks earlier. Azzam was wounded by his intended victim during this attempted murder and was in the hospital for treatment. His cousin was with him when the Israeli forces came to arrest Azzam. The cousin attacked the Israelis, who shot back and killed the cousin. The cousin’s family admitted that he had tried to fight the arresting Israeli officers.  EI headline:  “Israel executes Palestinian in Hospital.” No mention of why the Israeli forces were in the hospital, no mention of the cousin’s attack in the Israeli arresting team.

There are many additional examples of such distorted “journalism.”
Albunimah has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging “the Palestinians … into endless negotiations while Israel is allowed to kill them, colonize their land, impose apartheid on them with no consequences” and of “carpet bombing” Gaza.  He characterizes Gaza’s Palestinians as “destitute refugees [Israel] has caged and starved” while ignoring the antecedents of Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, or Egypt’s ongoing blockade as well because of Hamas terrorism.