Saturday, December 05, 2009
Collaborators in the War Against the Jews: Richard A. Falk – by Steven Plaut
It is a bit of a shame that Richard A. Falk, professor emeritus of International Law and Practice from Princeton, cannot go back in time in some sort of time machine to right historic wrongs. If he could, there is no doubt at all that he would revise and re-orchestrate the Nuremberg Trials conducted by the Allies after World War II so that the leaders of the United States and Britain were the ones indicted instead. . After all, from 1945 onwards the Allies were guilty of “occupation.” Earlier, they had even dared to use military force against German terrorism, had caused German civilian deaths in their earlier military incursions and air bombing campaigns, and then illegally colonized German territories. If it were up to Falk, the Nuremberg trials would have been devoted to prosecuting the Jews of Europe for causing so much trouble for those poor innocent Germans.
Falk is not only one of the worst collaborators in the academic wars against the Jews, he is also America’s leading practitioner of the Orwellian inversion. For Falk, America is a fascist monstrosity, while the world’s fascist and totalitarian monstrosities are democratic enclaves of freedom. For him, Israel is a terrorist aggressor, while the Arab terrorist aggressors are innocent victims and peace-loving progressives. For him, Israel is a Nazi-like country seeking genocide, while the genocidal Islamofascists of the Hamas and their backers are merely protesters against social inequality inside Israel. For him, terrorist aggression against Jews is really the pursuit of peace, while self-defense by Israel is criminal, terrorist aggression and genocide.
So who exactly is Richard Falk? He is basically an Ivy League version of Ward Churchill. He has described himself as an “assimilationist Jewish with a virtual denial of even the ethnic side of Jewishness.” According to Martin Peretz of the New Republic, “Yes, let me assure you, this hater of Israel is a Jew. And, also yes, this hater of America is an American. “ Falk’s only interest in his Jewish origins is when he can use them as a bludgeon against Israel and other Jews. According to one report, Falk may have converted to the Baha’i religion. Falk’s wife is a Turkish Moslem.
And just what is Falk’s agenda? When addressing an audience of supporters of the anti-Israel organization “Sabeel,” Falk thus spoke: “During a question and answer period after remarks by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, an audience member urged people to ‘vote the Jewish state out of existence.’ Enthusiastic applause erupted up and down the pews.” For Falk, it goes without saying that Israel must be annihilated. He cannot imagine any form of Middle East “peace” in which the Jews have not been driven into the sea. In his words, “If we are to re-imagine peace, we have to stop thinking of the conventional two-state solution, this idea of two people living in separate states would be a disaster.”
But there is so much more! Falk is a conspiracy nut who is involved up to his hairline in the “911 Truth” conspiracy cult, which claims that the Bush Administration was actually behind the 911 attacks on the US. Falk has repeated over and over his “suspicion” that high American officials, conniving with nefarious Jewish neo-conservatives, were the real culprits who organized the attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. Falk wrote a sycophantic foreword for a conspiracy “book” by one David Ray Griffin, “The New Pearl Harbor.” Falk championed that “book” and helped get it a publisher. Here is Falk’s take on 911:
“As far as I can tell, the real explanation is a widely shared fear of what sinister forces might lay beneath the unturned stones of a full and honest investigation of 9/11. Ever since the assassinations in the 1960s of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X there has been waged a powerful campaign against ‘conspiracy theory’ that has made anyone who dares question the official story to be branded as a kook or some kind of unhinged troublemaker. In this climate of opinion, any political candidate for high office who dared raise doubts about the official version of 9/11 would immediately be branded as unfit, and would lose all political credibility. It is impossible to compete in any public arena in the United States if a person comes across as a ‘9/11 doubter.’”
Writing a in the Middle East Quarterly (Winter 2002), “Professors of Palestine,” Martin Kramer observed that “extracting…ex cathedra rulings from Falk is easy business.” Kramer added: “I hadn’t seen Falk’s authority invoked so reverentially since my own student days at Princeton. Back then, he was the leading campus enthusiast of the Ayatollah Khomeini. ‘The depiction of Khomeini as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,’ he wrote in 1979. ‘Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane government for a third-world country.’ I well recall watching him preside over a ‘teach-in’ in support of the revolution, which was going to end human rights abuses in Iran. And I recall student groupies applauding fanatically, as if in a trance.”
Falk’s publication record is a one-sided indictment of everything Western and a one-sided exoneration of everything anti-Western. He was an early sycophant of the Ayatollah Khomeini, publishing in the New York Times on February 16, 1979 a piece titles “Trusting Khomeini.” The New Republic claims Falk considered the Ayatollah to be the Messiah. Falk also was a cheerleader for the Khmer Rouge. He regularly writes for viciously anti-American and anti-Semitic web sites such as “Counterpunch” and “Znet.”
Kramer adds, “Falk is famous for his one-size-fits-all definition of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” So, “in 1998…he warned officials responsible for implementing the United Nations sanctions against Iraq of their ‘criminal accountability for complicity in the commission of crimes against humanity.’ The persistence of American leaders in carrying out the sanctions regime ‘subjects them to potential criminal responsibility.’”
Naturally, Falk also sees conspiracies being perpetrated by Neo-conservatives (meaning Jews) against far-leftist academics. He opines: “There’s no doubt that there’s a concerted right-wing attempt to intimidate professors who advocate critical views, especially on Middle East issues and on the Bush presidency.” To drive home his point, he served as a cheerleader and apologist for Ward Churchill when the latter dismissed the American victims of 9-11 as “little Eichmanns.”
Falk has been ferociously opposed to the Allied liberation of Iraq. He described the invasion as a “war of aggression” by the United States and its allies, and – naturally – also compares it to the crimes of German Nazis in World War II. Orwellian inversions involving Nazis are Falk’s favorite metaphor, and he seems to compose several before breakfast each day. Elsewhere he has stated, “It is not an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with the criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity.” He compared Attorney General like John Ashcroft to the Nazi conspirators who set the Reichstag on fire.
Falk dismisses the Domestic Security Enhancement Act and the Patriot Act as “sweeping powers” that represent a “slide toward fascism.” He routinely denounces America for being an imperialist power, an empire. In 2003 he published a diatribe, “Will the Empire be Fascist?” There he insists that terror warnings and threat assessments are tools used by the American government to frighten and control the public. He has demanded that American sovereignty be constricted and subjected to a “Global Peoples’ Assembly,” a governing body whose members would “represent the worldwide voice of the people in action and decision making.” You know, people like Hugo Chavez and Muammar Khaddafi, who would decide there what America can and cannot do.
But Falk’s special animosity is reserved for Israel. He has been trying for decades to get Israel obliterated. And that track record qualified him to serve as the special investigator into “Israeli war crimes” on behalf of the United Nations! In 2007 Falk published, “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,” in which he wrote that it was not an “irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians (by Israel)” with the “criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity.” His title is a thin plagiarism of the title of a book by Robert Bork, “Slouching Towards Gemorrah.” The article may be Falk’s most openly anti-Semite diatribe. In it, he accuses Israel of mistreating Palestinians on a scale comparable to the Nazi extermination of Jews. He writes:
“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. If ever the ethos of ‘a responsibility to protect,’ recently adopted by the UN Security Council as the basis of ‘humanitarian intervention’ is applicable, it would be to act now to start protecting the people of Gaza from further pain and suffering.”
Falk then went on to argue that the plight of the Palestinians is worse than the victims of genocide in Rwanda: “But Gaza is morally far worse (than Rwanda), although mass death has not yet resulted.” That single sentence may be the most telling of all the inanities Falk has ever invented.
Jonathan Kay, writing in the Canadian National Post, dismissed Falk as an anti-Jewish bigot and as “an anti-Israel hit man:”
“Falk accuses Israel of having ‘genocidal tendencies,’ and calls the international response to the situation in Gaza “morally far worse” than its response to the 1994 Rwanda genocide (death toll: 800,000) and Srebrenica — despite the fact that there is not a single recorded instance of Israel implementing a program of deliberately killing civilians in Gaza, let alone mass murder.”
The article concludes by declaring, “To persist with [Israeli policies] is indeed genocidal, and risks destroying an entire Palestinian community that is an integral part of an ethnic whole. It is this prospect that makes appropriate the warning of a Palestinian holocaust in the making, and should remind the world of the famous post-Nazi pledge of ‘never again.’ What a scandal to imagine that this ignorant ideologue is the expert in whom the UNHRC has entrusted its fact-finding in Gaza and the West Bank. In fact, notwithstanding his shrill opinions, Falk clearly doesn’t actually know anything about Gaza and West Bank.” No, Falk is not beneath commandeering every iota of Jewish suffering in history to demonize Israel, even the “Never Again” slogan coined following the Holocaust in World War II.
There is almost no distortion of the truth that Falk will not embrace when he jihads against Israel. He defends the “election” of the Hamas in Gaza as a “fair election.” His evidence? Jimmy Carter said so. He deliberately inverts history in the worst Orwellian manner. The Hamas has been seeking ceasefires with Israel, but Israel keeps violating them, according to the learned oprofessor. Israel and the US are all to blame for the rise of Hamas hegemony in Gaza, opines Falk, because Israel failed to capitulate sufficiently to the heads of the PLO and the US failed to coerce Israel to do so: “This latest turn in policy needs to be understood in the wider context of the Israeli refusal to reach a reasonable compromise with the Palestinian people since 1967.” The reasonable compromise the Palestinians demand of course is Israel’s complete extermination.
In 2001, when he retired from Princeton, the misnamed U.N. Commission on Human Rights decided to send a biased “commission of inquiry” to bash Israel over its supposed violation of human rights. Falk was one of three members chosen. The other two were also anti-Israel: John Dugard, a South African from Leiden University in the Netherlands who considers Israel a racist apartheid-like regime, and Kamal Hussein, former Bangladeshi foreign minister. Alan Dershowitz dismissed Falk as a bigot and as someone who made up his mind long before he began any “investigation.” In Dershowitz’ view, appointing Falk is comparable to the following: “Imagine the UN appointing David Duke to report on how Blacks are victimizing Whites, or Hugo Chavez to report on American foreign policy, or Mohammad Ahmadinejad to investigate whether the Holocaust occurred.”
In 2008 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) officially appointed Falk to a six-year term as a “United Nations Special Rapporteur” on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” I guess Noam Chomsky wasn’t available. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton explained why Falk was selected: “He was picked for a reason, and the reason is not to have an objective assessment — the objective is to find more ammunition to go after Israel.”
This new commission reached its conclusions long before it was even convened. In Falk’s words, the purpose of the commission was this: “The central issue is to ask whether Israel has used excessive force in responding to the Palestinian political demonstrations.” Note that he and his sidekicks had no interest in the countless terrorist atrocities and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians launched by Palestinians. In fact, Falk essentially came out in favor of Palestinian terrorism even before the commission began its work: “One is evaluating whether the conditions of occupation are such as to give the Palestinians some kind of right of resistance. And if they have that right, then what are the limits to that right?” The only difference between terrorism and “resistance” depends entirely on whether on not Falk endorses it. Falk used the same opportunity to denounce Israel as a colonialist entity.
In May, 2008, and recalling his early campaigns against Israel on behalf of the UN, Israel refused to allow Falk to enter the country at all as a UN representative. He tried to enter again in December, was detained for 30 hours in Tel Aviv airport and then given the bum’s rush out. Falk joined the tiny club of anti-Semites so extreme that Israel refuses to allow them to enter the country. Of “academics” barred from entering Israel, Falk shares that honor only with Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein, who was evicted from Israel thanks to Finkelstein’s intimate ties to the Hezb’Allah terrorists. (Even Noam Chomsky and numerous other blatant anti-Semites enter Israel all the time with no problem, and many lecture at Israeli universities. Israel only evicts the worst collaborators with terrorism!)
When Falk was evicted, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior explicitly cited Falk’s long record of anti-Israel hate propaganda in its decision to ban his entry. Simona Halperin, the director of Israel’s International Organization and Human Rights department, called Falk “completely unobjective,” citing his comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of Israel’s actions against the Palestinians to the Holocaust. Writing in the Israeli daily Maariv, Uri Yablonka commented on the expulsion of Falk: “It is not every day that the Foreign Ministry decides to ban a senior United Nations emissary from entering Israel, especially when the person involved is a Jewish academic. But in the case of Prof. Richard Falk from the United States, Israel made an exception. This was because in the past Falk voiced support for suicide attacks and compared Israel’s activity with that of the Nazis.” The editor of Maariv dismissed Falk as a repulsive maniac.
When Israel launched its anti-terror campaign in Gaza in 2008, “Cast Lead,” Falk repeatedly and mechanically denounced all Israeli defense operations as “war crimes.” Evidently the only form of Jewish self-defense against Hamas rockets that Falk is willing to approve is total capitulation. Even grabbing ships full of arms bound for Islamofascist terrorists is “criminal,” according to Falk, and an abuse of Palestinian rights. He repeatedly called for Nuremberg-style indictments of Israeli leaders for “war crimes.” Falk is not above outright falsification when it comes to his prettifying the Hamas or demonizing Israel.
As for Falk’s other political associations, Kathy Shaidle lists some of these: “Falk is a prominent member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, which the CIA once characterized as ‘one of the most useful Communist front organizations at the service of the Soviet Communist Party.’ Today Falk chairs the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, whose recommended strategy for combating terrorism is to increase U.S. aid to those countries that act as a breeding ground for terrorists.” The New Republic’s Martin Peretz insists that he “finds human rights abuses Right and Left but on second thought only Right.”
Kathie Shaidle sums Falk up thus: “Were Falk simply an obscure crank, his views about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 could be written off as the rantings of a sadly delusional individual. However, Falk’s enthusiasm for conspiracy theories casts grave doubts about the levels of objectivity and competence he will bring to his new ‘investigative’ position at the United Nations. Unlike the scientific method or other rational methods of deduction, conspiracy theories work backwards from frequently tenuous ‘evidence,’ in order to ‘prove’ the conspiracist’s pre-determined theories. Richard Falk publicly has sided with radical Islam over America and Israel for three decades, with little consideration for facts and evidence. Given that, and his gullible support for bizarre 9/11 ‘revelations,’ critics have good reason to suspect that, as a UN ‘investigator,’ Falk will leave a great deal to be desired.”
As the Hamas’ point man serving the UN commission, Falk did indeed deliver the goods, as expected.