TELLING IT LIKE IT IS: LIP SERVICE TO PEACE – POLICY & ATTITUDES LEADING TO WAR

The following article by Professor Richard Falk is clear, incisive, objective and Righteous.Richard Falk

Richard Falk is an International Law and International Relations Scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. His term as UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Rights recently ended. He is the Jew the Israelis love to hate.

I first learned of his being long before Charlie Hebdo, reading in the news The Secretary-General of the United Nations, The US Ambassador to the UN, and the Canadian Government were calling for him to be fired from his UN position for expressing his Rapporteur’s Freedom of Speech in the framework of his Legal Experience and Knowledge of International Law. Even though I knew nothing about him except his UN title, I instinctively knew if all those powerful people wanted him fired, he must be doing something right, and did some research. I discovered a man with a beautiful mind and soul.

The Irrelevance of Liberal Zionism

settlement buildingFrustrated by Israeli settlement expansion, excessive violence, AIPAC maximalism, Netanyahu’s arrogance, Israel’s defiant disregard of international law, various Jewish responses claim to seek a middle ground. Israel is criticized by this loyal opposition, sometimes harshly, although so is the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and activists around the world. Both sides are deemed responsible in equal measure for the failure to end the conflict. With such a stance liberal Zionists seek to occupy the high Palestinians on the way to work in the Settlementsmoral ground without ceding political relevance. In contrast, those who believe as I do that Israel poses the main obstacle to achieving a sustainable peace are dismissed by liberal Zionists as either obstructive or unrealistic, and at worst, as anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic.

Listen to the funding appeals of J Street or read such columnists in the NY Times as Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman to grasp the approach of liberal Zionism. These views are made to appear reasonable, and even just, by being set off against such maximalist support for Israel as associated with AIPAC and the U.S. Congress, or in the NY Times context by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu attends a news conference in Jerusalemcomparison with the more conservative views of David Brooks (whose son currently serves in the IDF) who published a recent ‘balanced’ column lionizing Netanyahu, “The Age of Bibi” [Jan. 2, 2014]. Of all the deformed reasoning contained in the column, perhaps the most scandalous was comparing Netanyahu to Churchill, and to suggest that his story has the grandeur that bears a resemblance to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, an observation that many would find unflattering. Of all Netanyahu’s qualities remarked upon, Brooks astoundingly finds that “his caution is the most fascinating.” According to Brooks, Netanyahu deserves to be regarded as cautious because he has refrained from attacking Iran despite threatening to do so with bellicose rhetoric. I would have thought that Netanyahu’s inflammatory threats directed at ISRAEL-NETANYAHU-BOMB-IRAN Iran, especially as combined with covert acts including inserting viruses to disable its nuclear program and assassinating Iranian scientists, would seem reckless enough for most observers. Since Brooks fails to mention the murderous attacks on Gaza, there is no need to reconcile such aggressive behavior with this overall assessment of caution.

At the core of liberal Zionism is the indictment of the Palestinian leadership for “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity” to recall the self-serving quip of the Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban. Roger Cohen would have us believe that prior to the collapse of the PLO-Hamas LeadersApril negotiations the U.S. Government had presented a framework agreement, acceptable to Tel Aviv, that the Palestinian Authority irresponsibly and unreasonably rejected. And not only rejected, but the PA behaved in a manner that was provocative, signed some international agreements as if it already was a state. [“Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed,” Dec. 23, 2014] This spin comes from Netanyahu’s chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, who is presented by Cohen as the voice of moderation, as the self-proclaimed champion of ‘two states for two peoples.’

Livni who is the leader of a small party called Hatnua, which is joined in coalition with a T Livnirevamped Labor Party headed by Isaac Herzog, contesting Likud and Netanyahu. Cohen never inquires as to what sort of state she would wish upon the Palestinians, which on the basis of her past, would be thoroughly subjugated to Israeli security demands as well as accommodating the bulk of settlements and settlers while rejecting the rights under international law of Palestinians in relations to refugees.

When Livni was asked by Cohen whether she would suspend Israeli settlement expansion so as to get direct negotiations started once more, she indicated that she would “at least outside the major blocs.” Cohen calls her party ‘centrist,’ which is one way of acknowledging how far Israeli politics have drifted to the right in recent years. A reading of the leaked documents of the secret negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel represented by Livni showed how disinterested Israel seemed to be in two states for two peoples at that time of far less extensive settlement encroachment, as well as her overt rejection of the relevance of international law to the diplomatic process. [For a collection of the leaked documents showing Livni’s role see Clayton E. Swisher, ed., Palestine Papers: The End of the Road (2011)]

241_cartoon_us_arms_aid_middle_east_largeThis expresses a second element of liberal Zionism, that despite everything the two state solution is confirmed over and over again as the only path to peace. As such, it should be endlessly activated in accordance with the Oslo formula that keeps the United States in the absurd role of intermediary and continue to insist that any Palestinian reference to rights under international law is an obstacle to peace. After more than 47 years of occupation and over 20 years of submission to the Oslo approach it would seem that it is past time to issue a certificate of futility, and the failure to do so, is for me a sure sign of either bad faith or extreme denial.

What is baffling is that those like Friedman and Cohen who surely know better play this game that never even raises the concrete question of how to reverse a settlement process that now includes as many as 600,000 settlers many of whom are militantly opposed to any kind of solution to the conflict that challenges their present situation. Conveniently, also, this liberal advocacy finesses the claims of the four million or so Palestinian refugees, including almostIsraeli Gaza Ghetto two million that have been confined to miserable refugee camps for decades, some since 1948. How can one possibly imagine a sustainable and just peace emerging from such a blinkered outlook!

 Liberal Zionists also oppose as irresponsible and unhelpful all efforts to challenge this framework, especially any call for holding Israel to account under international humanitarian law for its excessive violence. Alternative futures based on the equality of the two peoples, such as some kind of living together within a single political community are dismissed out of hand, either because of colliding with Zionist expectations of a Jewish state or because after decades of hatred any effort at social integration would be bound to fail. Intriguingly, my experience of many conversations with both Palestinian refugees and Gazans is far more hopeful about peaceful coexistence within shared political space than are the Israelis despite their prosperity, prowess, and far greater security.

In a similar vein, liberal Zionists almost always oppose as counterproductive, activist initiatives taken under the auspice of the BDS Campaign. Their argument is that Israel will never make ‘painful sacrifices’ when put under pressure deemed hostile, and without these, no peace is possible. What these painful sacrifices might be on the Israeli side are never spelled out, but presumably would include disbanding the isolated settlements and maybe security wallthe separation wall, both of which were in any event unlawful. The real sacrifice for Israelis would be to give up the completion of the maximal version of the Zionist project, that of so-called Greater Israel that encompasses the entirety of the alleged biblical entitlement to Palestine. For the Palestinians in contrast their sacrifice would necessitate renouncing a series of entitlements conferred by international law, pertaining to settlements, refugees, borders, self-determination, sovereignty. In effect, Israel would sacrifice part of its unlawful dominion, while Palestine would relinquish its lawful claims, and the end result would be one of the inequality of the two peoples, not a recipe for a lasting peace.

A final feature of liberal Zionism is to make concessions to the Greater Israel outlook along the following lines—Israel should be allowed to control the unlawfully established settlement blocs; Israeli security concerns should be met, including by stationing military forces within the West Bank for many ears, while any Palestinian security concerns are treated as irrelevant; Palestinian refugees would be denied the right to return to their pre-1967 places of residence; Jerusalem would remain essentially under Israel’s control; no provision would be made to ensure non-discrimination against the 20% Palestine minority living within pre-1967 Israel; no acknowledgement would be made of the past injustices flowing from the 1948 dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their place of residence and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people, the nakba, nor the recognition that the nakba is a process that has continued to afflict Palestinians to this very moment.

Despite its claim of reasonableness and practicality, the liberal Zionist approach is an increasingly irrelevant presence on the Israeli political horizon, paralleling the decline of the Labor Party and the peace movement in the country, as well as the ascendancy of the Likud and the politics of the extreme right. The Israeli end game is now overwhelmingly based on unilateralism, either imposing a highly subordinated and circumscribed Palestinian state confined to parts of the West Bank or establishing Greater Israel and giving up any pretense of implementing the formula of two states for two peoples. The fact that liberal Zionism and the diplomacy of the West largely plays along with the discarded scenario of two states for two peoples is nothing more than subservience to a cruel variant of ‘the politics of delusion.’

The denigration of liberal Zionism is not meant to belittle the effort of Jews as Jews to find a just and sustainable solution for both peoples. I strongly support such organizations as Jewish Voices for Peace and Middle East Children’s Alliance, and hail the contributions of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, and many others to the struggle for Palestinian empowerment and emancipation. 

Fortunately, Palestinian resistance will likely stymie the two variants of the Israeli end game mentioned above, but much suffering is almost certain to ensue before sufficient momentum builds within Israel and throughout the world for living together on the basis of equality and even solidarity, accompanied by the necessary acknowledgement of past injustices via some kind of truth commission mechanism. After such knowledge, anything will be possible!

 

PATIENCE OF JOB – THE MAN/PATIENCE OF JOB – THE WORK OF FAITH

Job……This is a Work of Faith in progress! Please be patient and revisit in a few days.

This is 44 years later! Looks like their high paying Job-Work has been rough on their faces! I liked this Rolling Stones song since it came out in 1969. It has always served to govern any emotional over-reaction when I didn’t get what I wanted! Many other people react very negatively when they don’t get their way.

TEMPLE MOUNT AND THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY

Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_rock

The Gold Dome is the most immediately identifiable image dominating the skyline of Jerusalem. It has stood there for 1300 years, longer in TIME than both the 1st and 2nd Jewish Temples.

There is a growing movement of Jewish activist-extremists who want to see the Dome destroyed, and a 3rd Jewish Temple built in it’s place, restoring the Levite Priesthood with the animal blood sacrifice of sheep and goats in atonement for sin.

The fundamental of Messianic Christianity is God’s requirement of animal sacrifice by Jews in the Temple, ended when Christ Jesus, by offering his own body as a LIVING SACRIFICE, fulfilled that requirement ONCE, for ALL TIME, and for ALL HUMANITY.

The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper hand’ This is no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job. But who are the suspects? this morning’s headline reports in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

Jerusalem is up in arms again. As violence spreads from the capital to other parts of Israel, it seems the question isn’t so much whether the country is teetering on the brink of an intifada, but how the upsurge should be characterized.

Some are calling it “the Firecracker Intifada,” in honor of the firecrackers that Palestinian protesters are hurling at the police. Others are going simply with “the third intifada,” though many disagree with that moniker. In any case, the term “Silent Intifada,” previously used to describe the violence in Jerusalem, hardly seems appropriate now.

At the center of this craziness stands the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, as it is known to Muslims. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism and the third holiest for Islam. It’s one of the most sensitive religious sites in the world — a massive powder keg, if you will.

Now that this powder keg looks to be on the verge of exploding, note that this was no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job.

The immediate suspects, as many observers have pointed out, are the Israeli right-wing politicians challenging the decades-old status quo on the Temple Mount, over which the Muslim Waqf trust has retained religious control since Israel took over East Jerusalem in 1967. The right-wingers are insisting that Jews be allowed to pray there; they include Knesset members like Likud’s Miri Regev and Moshe Feiglin.

These two, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and others have been key to the incredible resurgence of the Jewish Temple Mount movement in recent years, a resurgence that led to rumors that Israel sought to change the delicate status quo.

Last week Feiglin visited the site yet again, despite warnings by the police. Others like another Likud MK, Tzipi Hotovely, expressed wishes to follow suit despite charges they were fanning the flames.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon admonished them; in an interview with Channel 10, Ya’alon admitted that the current violence had at least been partly stoked by ministers and MKs who defiantly visited the Temple Mount.

If Lieberman and Ya’alon have to tell you you’ve gone too far, you can be pretty sure you’ve gone too far.

It’s not for nothing that Lieberman and Ya’alon, not to mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and much of Israel’s security apparatus, appear so agitated over the mount these days.

Over the years, maintaining the status quo there by prohibiting Jewish prayer was critical to preventing an all-out religious war. The status quo wasn’t perfect by any means, but it allowed a delicate balance between the national and the religious.

That balance is now eroding fast.

Tension since 1929

The history of the Temple Mount is, of course, fraught with conflict. For many years, extremists — both Jews and Arabs — have battled over, or against the backdrop of, this tempestuous holy site.

In 1929, 133 Jews were killed by Arabs partly motivated by rumors of a planned Jewish takeover of the mount. In 1996, riots broke out there following Netanyahu’s decision to open the Western Wall tunnels — a decision that again led to rumors of an imminent threat to Islamic control of the site. Seventeen Israeli soldiers and more than 100 Palestinians died, and scores were wounded.

In the 1980s, the Jewish underground, a terrorist organization formed by members of the right-wing movement Gush Emunim, almost blew up the mosques on the mount, including the Dome of the Rock. The idea was to further a messianic redemption that would culminate with the construction of a Third Temple.

In September 2000, Ariel Sharon (then opposition leader) made a high-profile visit to the mount. The day after, riots broke out there following Friday prayers, launching the second intifada.

But now, at the outset of what may or may not be a third intifada, something is different. It’s not the violence as much as the way the events are being framed.

For the most part, the movement to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount has been limited to extremists. Sharon’s 2000 visit, for example, was seen as a dangerous provocation. Until a few years ago, any talk of change at the Temple Mount was a surefire sign of religious madness, the stuff of eccentrics and the certifiably insane.

Not anymore. These days there appears to be a wider acceptance for a Jewish Temple Mount, tracking Israel’s right-wing shift and the erosion of its resistance to messianic rhetoric.

The movement, still a minority movement, has gained mainstream recognition in recent years and won influential supporters in the Knesset. Regev, chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, has chaired no fewer than 15 debates on the subject in the past year alone, hounding police officials for their “cowardly” response to the harassment of Jewish visitors to the mount.

Outlandish no more

Two weeks ago, hours before right-wing activist Yehuda Glick was shot by East Jerusalemite Mutaz Hijazi, Regev reminisced how she initially thought the Temple Mount movement was “outlandish” — before she was ultimately convinced.

Glick, now in recovery, was, as my colleague Anshel Pfeffer has pointed out, key to the mainstreaming of the Temple Mount movement. An affable, red-bearded oddity, Glick — who went on a 53-day hunger strike last year after being barred from the mount — often befriended ideological rivals and depicted his struggle as a pure freedom-of-religion issue. By portraying the issue as a civil-rights debate, he played a key role in the massive PR resurgence of the Temple Mount movement.

Glick’s affability aside, the proliferation of Israeli visits to the mount and the growing conversation about the site — much aided by opportunistic Hamas propaganda — helped increase tensions and led to the formation of local groups like al-Murabitun, self-proclaimed guardians of the site against the rumored “Jewish takeover.” The clashes that followed led to the violence we’re seeing now.

The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, of course, don’t want a religious war. Israel’s foremost religious authorities, among them Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, have reiterated their stance against Jewish visits to the mount. The vast majority of Israelis have never visited the place and probably have no intention of doing so. Most Palestinians, meanwhile, have more pressing material concerns.

Unfortunately for those people, it seems there are plenty of arsonists among us. And right now they seem to be enjoying the upper hand.

O JerusalemBehold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say to you, You shall not see me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.                         

Luke 13:35

Those Jewish extremists provoking a confrontation with the Arabs over the Temple Mount are not doing it for God, but for the Pride of Power over Palestinians, leading to Armageddon, the climax to this religious war already underway over there. The whole world will be caught up into it by ignoring it.

Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build for me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

Isaiah 66 -Christian translation

Isaiah 66 – Jewish translation

So says the Lord, “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool; which is the house that you will build for Me, and which is the place of My rest? א. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי וְהָאָרֶץ הֲדֹם רַגְלָי אֵי זֶה בַיִת אֲשֶׁר תִּבְנוּ לִי וְאֵי זֶה מָקוֹם מְנוּחָתִי:
And all these My hand made, and all these have become,” says the Lord. “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit, who hastens to do My bidding. ב. וְאֶת כָּל אֵלֶּה יָדִי עָשָׂתָה וַיִּהְיוּ כָל אֵלֶּה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְאֶל זֶה אַבִּיט אֶל עָנִי וּנְכֵה רוּחַ וְחָרֵד עַל דְּבָרִי:

God is Great

This solid earth is physically moving through space around the sun at a rate of some 100,000km every hour, while rotating on it’s axis around 1675km/hour. Do you feel it? Do you sense it?

Why should it be such a great leap to believe in an invisible God who becomes visible to those who believe by Faith and look for God?

Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20

In addition to the rising tensions over the Temple Mount, the following Haaretz reports detail some of the usual Israeli humiliation and provocation of the Palestinians in the 47 year Israeli Military Dictatorship in the occupied territories separate from Gaza.

Ten torched mosques, zero indictments Since June 2011, 10 mosques in Israel and the West Bank have been set on fire by presumed right-wing Jewish extremists. No charges have been filed.

When the Israeli FBI, Shin Bet, can find and kill a Palestinian suspect in hours, I can only imagine how frustrated and suffocated the Palestinians must feel with such double standards in police work and results.

 ‘Police failing to investigate Jewish hate crimes in West Bank, says NGO’

Some 92 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians are closed and the criminal never found, according to a report by the Yesh Din human rights group, which has been tracking 1,045 complaints filed through the organization since 2005.

The list of complaints includes shooting attacks, assault, stone-throwing, arson, cutting down trees, animal abuse, crop theft, construction on Palestinian-owned land, threats and attacks. All the actions mentioned in the complaints were committed by Israeli citizens.

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(false beliefs about God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
For they are the spirits of DEVILS, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth (Pope, Presidents, Prime Ministers, The 1%, CEOs, and other IDOLS of the People) and of the whole world, (the rest of us) to gather them to the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty.
Behold, I come as a thief. (when you least expect it)

Blessed is he that WATCHES, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON.

Revelation 16

Both religious and non-religious understand the implications of the word ‘Armageddon’ and the pictures it raises in the mind. It was derived from Har Megiddo, a physical place located in the occupied West Bank of Judea and Samaria in the Roman Province of Palestine 2000 years ago

Har Megiddo/Armageddon still exists as a physical place in temporal Israel TODAY, recreated from the Bible after an absence of some 3000 years. The war, 2000 years later, is still over the occupied West Bank of Judea and Samaria in Palestine. Go figure?