Israel denies visa to TFF Associate Richard Falk, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian human rights situation.
That's what you can read in the Israeli Daily Haaretz on April 9, 2008.
By any standards and beyond dispute, professor emeritus Richard Falk of Princeton University, distinguished visiting professor of University of California and Board member of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara is one of the world's leading international law scholars and peace researchers; he is a prolific - to say the least - writer about international politics: dozens of books, text books, and thousands of articles. At 77, he has proven his life-long commitment to social justice, non-violence, global governance, democracy, as well as the fundamental importance to international law, human rights and the UN Charter.
TFF is extremely proud of having professor Falk as an Associate over 22 years. You will find a tiny fraction of his articles here
and judge for yourself his eminence, moral commitment and persistence in promoting the common values of humanity. There you will also find his thinking on democratization in the Middle East and his seminal article Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust
Falk's crime? You guessed it! He is a Jewish scholar critical of Israeli politics, the occupation, and the Untermensch treatment - my term - of Palestinians. He perceives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a-symmetric and applies the basics of international law and human rights with integrity and civil courage in his own soft language and personal appearance.
As any intellectual worth the name, Falk is critical to the militarism that is
Israel with its 200-300 nuclear weapons that we are supposed to never discuss or take action against because Western politicians and media practize turn-the-blind-eye exceptionalism in the case of Israel like it does with only one other self-appointed exceptionalist government, that of the United States of America.
The two practize a symbiotic relation, embodied in the well-documented Israeli-Jewish-American lobby and both tilt toward authoritarianism, nuclearism and fundamentalism based on an extremist interpretation of the ethos of their mono-theism. With "Us/US" right all "Others" must
Here you also have the key to the fact that there are only two governments whose propaganda machines coupled with outdated - if not also un-civilized - policies have established the norm that if we criticize their policies, we are hateful or "anti" their people and culture. Anyone criticizing US policies have heard opponents say they are "anti-American" and if the criticism is directed at Israeli policies it's "anti-Semitism." That this is intellectual nonsense bother them not.
I for one have criticized the policies of many countries including my native Denmark - for the bad reasons that it has bombed Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, occupied Iraq, and runs what is probably the most xenophobic policies against even refugees from that same Iraq. In short, a rogue mini-state. I have criticized Denmark's NATO policies and follow-the-US for decades. And while I have been accused of much, including being a spy against my own country, I have never ever been accused of being anti-Danish.
But be sure that an article like this will be picked up in both Tel Aviv and Washington and some will think, say or write that Jan Oberg is an anti-semitic or anti-American or both. And if so, I would not even bother about writing a rejoinder. Life is too short for countering all human folly...
On January 31 I published a blog post here about the case of Arun Gandhi who was forced out from his peace institute for having criticized Israel's occupation policy and disgraceful Wall.
It is time scholars and NGO's stand up in defence of people of such integrity whose only "crime" is that they seek a larger truth, practize their right to intellectual and other freedoms, and devote their lives - against all odds, you may say - to justice and peace. One clamp down against one of them is a clamp down on us all.
It is utterly naive to believe that the peace and development community is not targeted in these times of increasing authoritarianism in Western democracies that operate on the cosmological mistake - Shikasta à la Doris Lessing - that the only system possible - and therefore the best, the highest state of civilization possible - is their own and that, therefore, God has given them a right to teach the rest of the world just that
Now - it will be very very interesting to see how Western governments, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the media will deal with the Richard Falk case. They have certainly not stood up for Mordechai Vanunu
- the man who told the world about the Israeli nuclear program 22 years ago and spent 18 years in prison, 11 of them in solitary confinement. And they have deliberately ignored the Arun Gandhi case. And we know why, don't we?
And will the UN Secretary-General finally turn out to be a man of integrity and civil courage and defend his Human Rights Council, the Charter of the UN and his own UN-appointed investigator?
There is more about Richard Falk and his predecessor and about what Falk has actually said, with links, on Wikipedia here