Reader Post: Open Letter to Professor Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics

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Dear Professor Kaldor,

You invited Richard Falk – who constantly uses anti-Semitic images and language – to speak at LSE on 20 March, with entirely predictable results – see here and here.  You chaired the meeting. The event was billed as a book launch.  In your introduction, you described the book thus: “A lovely beautifully written book of essays which I highly recommend.”  (0:49 on the video).

You are quite a fan of Falk, aren’t you?  Here’s the blurb you wrote for a book he published in 2014 (Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope) – a book which justifies Hamas terror:

This is the voice of reasoned outrage. The blogosphere and legal scholarship are combined in an extraordinarily moving, detailed, and perceptive account of what Richard Falk calls the ‘legitimacy struggle’ of the Palestinian people. Anyone who cares about human solidarity and wants to understand what is happening now in Gaza must read this book.

So I thought I’d better read Falk’s new book……

I must admit to being somewhat disappointed……

Here are 18 things wrong with it:

  1. It repeats (eg page xi, pps 73,124,140) the falsehood that Israel accuses its critics of antisemitism in order to silence them. This is such a well-worn device of antisemites that it has acquired a name, the ‘Livingstone Formulation’, named not after the 19th century explorer – rather, the leftwing politician who has been in the news recently – for all the wrong things;
  2. It incorrectly accuses Israel of breaking international law (pps 17,44,99,155);
  3. It incorrectly suggests (p25) that Netanyahu ‘made no secret’ of backing Mitt Romney in the 2012 US Presidential election (the truth is that he was scrupulously neutral);
  4. It fails (pps 4, 26) to quote Resolution 242 in full (as well as withdrawal from ‘territories’ (note, not ‘the territories’) it requires ‘Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force’;
  5. It incorrectly (pps 39,59) suggests Israel is in violation of the Geneva Convention;
  6. It asserts (p64) that Israel killed Muhammad al-Durrah (many believe the footage was faked);
  7. It misquotes Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. She did not label all Palestinians as ‘snakes’ and ‘enemy combatants’ and argue that ‘their blood should be on their heads’. She quoted an article which said that those who support Palestinian terrorists are ‘enemy combatants’ and ‘their blood should be on their heads’. And it is the terrorists who are the ‘snakes’;
  8. It incorrectly suggests (p72) that Israel illegally boards ships in international waters and that Israel used excessive force in boarding the Mavi Marmara;
  9. It incorrectly claims (p74) that G4S, Hewlett-Packard and Mororola pulled out of Israel due to BDS pressure (the reason was commercial);
  10. It fails (p76) to say why Israel was forced to go into Gaza;
  11. It casts doubt (p86) on the statement that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East;
  12. It several times repeats the apartheid slur (pps 99,139);
  13. It asserts that the UN’s 1975 ‘Zionism=Racism’ Resolution was not antisemitic (p107);
  14. It incorrectly says that the EUMC/IHRC Definition of antisemitism describes criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitic’ (p122);
  15. It incorrectly says (p135) that in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 Israel deliberately targeted civilians and non-military targets;
  16. It incorrectly says (p139) that Israel wants to ‘erase its Palestinian minority’;
  17. It quotes (pps 90,135) the ICJ Advisory Opinion of 2004 as if it had legal status (the ICJ is a creature of the UN and not  a proper Court);
  18. It suggests the threat to Israel from Iran is ‘alleged’ (p139).

My question to you, Professor Kaldor, is simple…..

Did we read the same book?

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