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)

Saturday 18 August 2012

David Singer On Talking About Palestine With Falked Tongue

The focus of the latest article, via the antipodean J-Wire service, by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer, who entitles the article "Palestine – Burying The Past – Faking The Future," is the attitude of the controversial (some would say notorious) Richard Falk.

Writes David Singer:

'Richard Falk – United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967" – provides compelling proof of how successful the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been in its attempt to bury historical fact and international law regarding the former territory of Palestine.

Mr Falk is not on his own among the United Nations coterie of organizations and officials who seem ready to try and wrest the title deeds granted to the Jewish People to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine pursuant to the Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the UN Charter – following the decisions of the San Remo Conference and the signing of the Treaty of Sevres.

Former Secretary General Kofi Annan amazingly failed to include any mention of the Mandate and Article 80 in his brief delivered to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2003 seeking its advisory opinion on the legality of part of Israel’s security fence being erected in the West Bank.

The ICJ’s subsequent failure to consider the effect of the Mandate and Article 80 still needs to be explained – especially as one of the Presiding Judges warned that such an examination was necessary.

UNESCO maintains that Palestine is a state – when it clearly fails to comply with the requirements of the Montevideo Convention 1933.

Now Mr Falk – writing recently on his blog page – adds further fuel to the fire:

“I regard the Balfour Declaration and the mandatory system as classic colonial moves that have lost whatever legitimacy that they possessed at the time of their utterance, and prefer to view the competing claims to land and rights on the basis either of the 1948 partition proposal or the 1967 boundaries, although if there was diplomatic parity, I would respect whatever accommodation the parties reached, but without such parity, it seems necessary to invoke the allocation of rights as per settled international law.”

Mr Falk was parroting what had first appeared in Article 18 of the PLO Charter in 1964:

“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based on them are considered fraud.”

But even the PLO was forced to change that viewpoint just four years later – when it recognized that if the Mandate system was a fraud, then the Mandates for Syria and Lebanon and Mesopotamia – which had delivered self determination to the Arabs in 99.999 per cent of the captured Ottoman territory – could also be subject to challenge.

With some crafty draughtsmanship – Article 18 was replaced in 1968 with the following Article 20 in the redrafted Charter:

“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based on them is null and void”

In response to Mr Falk’s remarks, I asked him:

“The mandatory system delivered self determination to the Arabs as well as the Jews. When did the League of Nations mandate lose its legitimacy as settled international law?
Are both Jordan and Israel illegitimate?
Is article 80 of the UN Charter not settled international law?
The partition proposal was in 1947 – not 1948. It spoke of a Jewish state and an Arab state – not a Palestinian state. There were no 1967 boundaries. Do you agree? “

Mr Falk’s reply was very troubling:

'Churchill was a notorious advocate of colonialism and possessed a colonial mentality, persisting after World War II. I think it is not in Israel’s current interest to argue the historical case for its original claim of statehood.
A more compelling ground would be to work toward peace and reconciliation premised on the 1967 realities. To keep moving the goal posts, "fact on the ground" after 1967, is equally doomed if a sustainable peace is our shared goal.'

Suddenly everything was to now be forgotten in Mr Falk’s opinion before “the 1967 realities”.  The penny suddenly dropped as I commented:

 'I now am beginning to understand why you don’t want to have anything to do with the Mandate and article 80 of the UN Charter or what happened between 1920-1948.. The inconvenient truth of the Jewish people’s struggle to assert its legal claim to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine during those 28 years totally undercuts and dismisses those who would deny the Jews any legal or moral rights in their ancient and biblical homeland.
Now you even go further in wanting to forget 1948-1967 as well – when you state:
“I think it is not in Israel’s current interest to argue the historical case for its original claim of statehood. A more compelling ground would be to work toward peace and reconciliation premised on the 1967 realities.”
Israel’s case is not only historical – it is legal – sanctioned by the League of Nations and the United Nations. Why do you continually seek to deny the existence of these vested Jewish legal rights?'

Mr Falk then proceeded to change tack yet again in stating:

“Your reliance on the Balfour Declaration, UN partition proposals, etc., is one, but only one, construction of international law. There are competing constructions that do not regard as any longer valid all acts based on colonialist authority. My own view because of these contradictory lines of historical authority is to start from the present reality to sort out the respective claims of both peoples according to the logic of self-determination, an approach that will never satisfy extremists on either side, but has the best chance of achieving a sustainable peace.”

Suddenly the “ realities of 1967” mentioned as a starting point just a few days earlier had disappeared into the blue yonder to be replaced by “the present reality” as the new starting point.

Both puzzled and bemused, I was motivated to ask Mr Falk:

'Which of the “contradictory lines of historical authority” do you  personally accept?
1. the PLO position that regards the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate and everything that resulted from it to be null and void.
2. The Zionist position that accepts the Mandate to have been a proper exercise of the League of Nations sovereign power to confer on Great Britain
With respect this is the third time you have changed your starting date:
1. You originally said 1948 or 1967
2. You then said 1967
3. You now state – “the present reality”
Won’t any of these starting points still involve sorting out the respective claims of both parties to self determination based on what happened between at least 1917-2012 and what happened to the territory once called Palestine during that period?'

I am still waiting for an answer from Mr Falk.

Turning historical facts and established international law on its head in favour of a fake and forged PLO narrative can only exacerbate – not help resolve – the 130 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews.'

Cross-posted from here


  1. Love your title :)

    "the US should just leave the UN to the collection of mass-murderous dictatorships, banana republics, islamists, and crackpot socialist euro-weenies."

    Princeton prof Richard Falk, newly-appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," is also a devoted supporter of the crackpot "9/11 Truth" movement , which denies that Al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

    U.N. Debate: Hillel Neuer Challenges UN Palestine Expert Richard Falk!

    Shabat Shalom

    1. Thanks, Jean. btw, your "apartheid" photos thread has proved very popular.
      Shabbat Shalom.

  2. many thanks DAPHNE

    Keep up the good and true work :)

  3. That Falk is a paid representative of Hamas is neither here nor there. Legally though he should be required to register as one. He can even keep his UN job; no one really listens to him anyway.

  4. Daphne, as you are on first name terms, it's acceptable to use "TU". The second person singular

    I presume Jean is male, being French. Therefore mon ami is correct.

    1. Thanks, Boss. I did do French at school, you know! But a girl doesn't want to be presumptuous ...

  5. Daphne, have you seen this excellent article by Efraim Karsh (H/T: EoZ)?

    His argument, in brief (very brief!), is that the ancient hatred of Jews had directly transferred to a hatred of Israel. I was a bit dubious at first, but then it struck me that Galt and Mearsheimer's 'The Israel lobby' is a direct application of the Protocols' 'the Jewish lobby' to Israel. And I remembered a comment recorded by (I think) Mel Phillips, who recounted an editor saying to her, 'For years we haven't been able to say what we think about the Jews, because of the Holocaust; but now, because of Israel, we can'.

    Today there is, in respect of Israel, the same ferocious irrationality, the same moral inversions, as were present in traditional anti-semitism.

    1. I'm grateful for that link, Rob, and will read the article with great interest. The theme fascinates me.

    2. btw, you might well be right re Melanie P, but of course Barbara Amiel had a similar experience

  6. Dear Daphne, here is a link to a terrific column by Caroline Glick, was wondering if you've seen it:
    Please, keep up the good work from your blog which is my very favorite.
    Very sincerely.

    1. Will look asap, Cry4Dance, and I really am flattered by your comment. You paid me that (undeserved) compliment before, and it has certainly helped to spur me on!

    2. And don't forget Caroline has her own blog where she posts a lot of stuff that doesn't appear in the JPost.

      Check out her recent videos talking about the situation in Egypt. Absolutely brilliant analysis.

    3. Yes, I used to look at her blog regularly. She's a very clever and gutsy woman.


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