Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Richard Falk Bans Free Speech (For Some), Reveals David Singer

A reminder that Falk posted this antisemitic cartoon on his blog in 2011
Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It's entitled "Palestine: UN Special Rapporteur Bans Free Speech"

Writes David Singer:

'United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967" – Professor Richard Falk – has taken the extraordinary action to ban posts on his blog page "Citizen Pilgrimage".

This has happened to myself and at least one other person when we attempted to post comments in response to an article written by Professor Falk titled "What was wrong with Obama's speech in Jerusalem"

My detailed comment sought to point out what was right with President Obama's speech in Jerusalem. It had been published as an article on many Internet pages around the world and reproduced on the web sites of scores of others without editorial amendment.

I presented a considered and reasoned analysis of what President Obama had said. It was not couched in inflammatory or defamatory terms. It considered aspects of President Obama's speech not referred to in Professor Falk's article and came to an entirely different conclusion to the views expressed by Professor Falk.

To my amazement Professor Falk's response to my post was:
"My blog is no longer open for this sort of polemics on the Israel/Palestine conflict. There are many other more important venues to carry on these discussions."
My reply to Professor Falk – pointing out his decision amounted to the banning of free speech and requesting he reconsider his decision – went unanswered.

I subsequently sought to post an entirely different response to another contributor's comment – but it was also not published.

One person who sought to post a comment to Professor Falk's article received the following response:
"Mr. Skolnik: My blog is no longer open for this sort of polemical responses that insult either me or others who submit comments. There are many other venues for this sort of debate."
Strangely, Professor Falk had no similar qualms in publishing the following comment from one of his readers:
"I have been following events in Israel and Cyprus closely, and stand by my assertions. I find it both fascinating and terrifying that Germany is the force behind the Cypriot haircut, in which unscrupulous jewish industrialists, all of whom hold Israeli passports, are having their bank accounts seized and money transferred to Germany. Who would have predicted this turn of events, but really, once you spot the pattern, it becomes impossible to deny this jaw-dropping turn of events, and its ominous implications."
It is clear that there are many readers of Professor Falk's blog who would be grossly offended by this Jew-hating language – yet it was published.

I do not seek to silence these Jew-haters airing their views on Professor Falk's blog. Better the world should be aware such views exist and are exposed to critical comment.

My articles sometimes attract such vile and repulsive comments. Never would I seek to have them expunged. I prefer to respond to such comments or let my readers do so.

But why should a UN Rapporteur concerned with human rights seek to ban the views of others like myself and Mr Skolnik – if he allows such a vile post as this to appear as a comment on the same blog page?

Intrigued by the Professor's totally unexpected and unexplained reaction to my post – I contacted other sites where his article had been published.

One was a virulently Jew-hating web site called "Shoah – The Palestinian Holocaust" It had no problem posting the identical response that I attempted to post on Professor Falk's web page.

Another was "Ramy Abdeljabbar's Palestine and World News" – not what one would call a pro-Israel site. It published my response to Professor Falk's article without indulging in the histrionics and petulance displayed by Professor Falk.

A third site was "Transcend Media Service" – which describes itself in the following terms: 
"TRANSCEND International is an experiment in promoting peace by peaceful means throughout the world. Traditionally, institutes have been centered around a building where the people who work together meet on a regular basis. Since many people who share common interests in helping transform conflicts nonviolently and creatively are geographically scattered and cannot usually be physically together, our solution is to create an electronic network of members. This, in addition, diminishes our carbon footprints and contributes to attenuate the global warming crisis."
Professor Falk is a member of the Transcend Network.

Transcend saw nothing objectionable in posting my response to Professor Falk's article.

Professor Falk needs to understand that attempts by him to ban freedom of expression and free speech on his web site demean himself and his position as a UN Special Rapporteur.

Those in authority at the UN who repeatedly express their support for the protection of human rights must be prepared to act against one of their own by denouncing Professor Falk's actions in the strongest terms with a view to ending his crass attempt to deny the inalienable right of every human being  to speak out and be heard.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and members of the UN Human Rights Council – are you listening or do you endorse Professor Falk's outrageous conduct?'

4 comments:

  1. I find generally that when blogs do this readership goes down. Even the people who love him want to be able to chant and sing along. Once CSPAN started ruthlessly moderating their comments it was the end. HuffPo is way down, Salon is on its last legs, alternet and DKos are all down - and all have adopted the Glenn Greenwald standard: "Absolute Free Speech as long as you hate Jews and agree with everything that I say."

    Though to be fair I'd rather blogs didn't have any comments rather than laboriously pick through the comments. This was my complaint against Harry's Place which seems to allow commenting by only a small handful of regulars. Fair enough, but make people sign up or something. I suggested to the editors of Salon.com that they charge for commenting the same way they put Table Talk behind a paywall. That way only fellow travelers would bother at all and they wouldn't have to worry about constantly banning people. Similarly, Fark.com does something close to that - they put people on shadow ban which flips a switch and makes their comments only visible to them and no one else. But in all these cases, generally speaking when you don't let people comment they don't click as much. And I've been banned from all the ones I listed, and CNN too (although CNN Money is completely different and doesn't operate on the same registration DB).

    I can't even imagine what kinds of flatworms spend their time on Mondoweiss, or John "Juan" Cole, or 972mag when the only thing they read is each other telling each other how wonderful it is to be them.

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  2. Brian GOldfarb1 April 2013 at 08:34

    Empress, you may be right about moderating comments. However, on one site on which I regard myself as a "founding commenter", they chose to moderate comments, and although I'm absolutely on "all fours" (as the saying goes) with their philosophy, I have had on occasions not had comments posted. On enquiry, this is usually because I haven't advanced the debate and/or am merely repeating myself, tho' the moderators do reserve the right to edit content for potential libel (given the ferocious laws here in the UK), as well. I accept this (not much point in doing otherwise!) but those not in the loop do wonder why.

    So, moderating can work, tho' it's hard work for them.

    On David Singer's final sentence ("Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and members of the UN Human Rights Concil - are you listening or do you endorse Professor Falk's outrageous conduct?"), I don't think that the question should be addressed to any Secretary General, only to the UNHRC: they're the one's who appointed Falk.

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  3. Falk is no different then Assad, Hamas in Gaza or the Mullah's who run Iran.
    He allows no opposition to his lies.
    All posts rebuking his untruths are to be banned.

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  4. This really shows what a liar Falk is.
    Falk wrote 2 years ago that Israel was sexually abusing Palestinian kids.
    It turned out the people Falk listened to on this, were the same people who lied about Jenin in 2002.
    Read this article.

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/03/latest-richard-falk-slander-idf.html
    Latest Richard Falk slander: “IDF sexually abuses Pal Arab kids”
    Richard Falk has outdone himself again in his never ending quest to demonize Israel.
    March 22, 2011

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