Richard Falk

Richard Falk - 2018-03-12 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: The dysfunctionality of the Gulf Crisis, pitting a coalition of four countries, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt against tiny Qatar, is emblematic of the descent into multi-dimensional chaos, conflict, and coercion that afflicts much of the Middle East. Qatar may be tiny,...

Richard Falk - 2018-03-09 - Original post - cached version

A Debate on Peacemaking: Ending Occupation or Apartheid


[Prefatory Note: This post consists of an exchange of views prompted by my talk at a United Methodist Church in Culver City (Los Angeles) published by Tikkun’s online magazine, March 6, 2018. The core disagreement is whether...

Richard Falk - 2018-03-02 - Original post - cached version

Book Launch: Revisiting the Vietnam War: The Views and Interpretations of Richard Falk, edited by Stefan Andersson, Cambridge University Press, 2017.



Why the Legal and Political Debate on the Vietnam War Still Matters



[Prefatory Note: There has...

Richard Falk - 2018-02-26 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: With apologies for this long post, which attempts to situate the struggle for an ethically and ecologically viable political future for the United States and the world in the overheated preoccupation with Trump and Trumpism, which is itself a distraction from the species...

Richard Falk - 2018-02-14 - Original post - cached version


It is now known by virtually everyone who follows the Palestinian struggle that a 16 year old girl, now 17, named Ahed Tamimi, confronted Israeli soldiers on her family’s land shortly after her cousin, Mohammed, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet, causing a coma. The...

Richard Falk - 2018-02-11 - Original post - cached version

Israel Claim to be a Jewish State and a Democratic State: Legalism versus Justice



[Prefatory Note: This post is a somewhat revised version of a book review that was published by the Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XLVII, No. 2 (Winter 2018), p. 81. The book is an...

Richard Falk - 2018-02-04 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: The post below is a modified text of an interview conversation with Khourosh Ziabari, initially published on the website of the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence on February 4, 2018, <>] </>



Peace and...

Richard Falk - 2018-02-01 - Original post - cached version


 Let me seize the opportunity to say to all who visit this space that I hope that 2018 started as you would wish, at least privately. To feel satisfied publicly these days will require a series of miracles!


I am grateful to the community of blog readers, and especially...

Richard Falk - 2018-01-19 - Original post - cached version


There are many reasons for persons with very different worldviews to feel disillusioned by, if not angry at, the United Nations. These negative feelings arise usually because the UN stands idly by the sidelines while terrible national and human tragedies unfold as the world media...

Richard Falk - 2018-01-08 - Original post - cached version



[Prefatory Note: This post is a modified version of an article published in Middle East Eye on Jan. 1, 2018. It contends that the proper priority for genuine advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be centered around apartheid rather than be devoted to...

Richard Falk - 2018-01-02 - Original post - cached version

Endings and Beginnings: A Commentary on 2017 to 2018


The bad news from a global perspective is that the world crisis worsened during 2017, largely due to the inept and anachronistic orientation toward reality and human wellbeing exhibited by the Trump presidency. Two things

Richard Falk - 2018-01-01 - Original post - cached version

The Private and the Public in Trump’s America on New Year’s Day 2018


I realize how insensitive I have been in sending messages to a few friends in which I suggested that we should look forward in the year ahead to private satisfactions, while being wary of public hopes given the...

Richard Falk - 2017-12-31 - Original post - cached version


Trump, the UN, and the Future of Jerusalem


[Prefatory Note: This post is the modified text of an interview on behalf of the Tasnim News Agency in Iran as conducted by Mohammed Hassani. It tries to assess the wider implications of the UN reaction to Trump’s December 6th...

Richard Falk - 2017-12-23 - Original post - cached version



What struck me as the most significant dimension of the Jerusalem votes in the Security Council and General Assembly has been oddly overlooked by most commentary in the media. The public discourse has, of course, been correct to identify the isolation of the United States with...

Richard Falk - 2017-12-18 - Original post - cached version



More than 25 years ago I took part in a major conference in Kuala Lumpur affirming the importance of human rights. At the end of the second day, the convener of the conference, Chandra Muzaffar, a leading advocate of human rights and democracy in Malaysia, arranged for a few of...

Richard Falk - 2017-12-16 - Original post - cached version


[Prefatory Note: The following post is a modified version of an article published on December 8th in Middle East Eye. It considers the normative and geopolitical sides of Trump’s unilateralism. Apologists claiming Trump finally acknowledged the operational reality that Jerusalem has...

Richard Falk - 2017-12-12 - Original post - cached version

Explaining my Blog Inconsistencies of Late


In the last two weeks I have received many messages asking me why I have been so long silent about the Jerusalem decision and doing so little to maintain my blog, inducing questions about my health and other possible explanations.

Richard Falk - 2017-12-11 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: This post is a slightly modified version of an article published in the global edition of the Italian newspaper, Il Manifesto, on December 8, 2017.]

 Jerusalem Is (Is Not) the Capital of Israel

 Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s...

Richard Falk - 2017-11-26 - Original post - cached version



Not surprisingly, my sixth visit to Vietnam stirred many memories, among them, a recognition of the parallels between the Vietnamese and Palestinian experiences, two peoples who have meant so much to me over the course of my adult lifetime. I visited Hanoi in 1968 in the midst...

Richard Falk - 2017-11-21 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: This post addresses the need for dialogue with the political, economic, and cultural ‘other,’ that is, those multitudes acutely alienated from and angry with secular globalism and the Enlightenment legacy often equated with ‘modernity’ and ‘modernization.’ At the core is a...

Richard Falk - 2017-11-16 - Original post - cached version

I have been perplexed by the intense divergences of perception when it comes to the Syrian reality, and the allocation of blame and responsibility for the havoc that has been experienced by the Syrian people.

In ‘the fog of war’ there are many ambiguities that allow ideological...

Richard Falk - 2017-11-14 - Original post - cached version


Failing the people of Syria during Seven Years of Devastation and Dispossession


[Prefatory Note: What follows is a wide-ranging interview in November 2017 that that concentrates on the failure of the UN and the world to rescue the people of Syria by a timely and...

Richard Falk - 2017-11-03 - Original post - cached version



Today, November 2, is exactly 100 years after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, the pledge given to the World Zionist Movement in a letter signed by the British Foreign Secretary to support the establishment of a ‘national home’ in the then Ottoman millet of Palestine....

Richard Falk - 2017-11-01 - Original post - cached version


[Preliminary Remarks: What follows is the modified transcript of a talk given at Fordham University School of Law honoring the memory of the recently deceased Maryknoll priest, Father Miguel d’Escoto, who had been both the Foreign Minister of Sandinista Nicaragua and President...

Richard Falk - 2017-10-15 - Original post - cached version

Trump as President makes us think as never before about viability of the American version of constitutional democracy, that is, the ‘republic’ that Ben Franklin promised the people at the time of Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

We often forget that Franklin replied to the...

Richard Falk - 2017-10-12 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: This post is a slightly modified version of my presentation to the Human Rights Commission of the Italian Parliament on October 11, 2017. The Commission is composed of members of Parliament, and chaired by Hon. Pia Elda Locatelli, representing the city of Bergamo. The...

Richard Falk - 2017-10-08 - Original post - cached version


Finally, the committee in Oslo that picks a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize each year selected in 2017 an awardee that is a true embodiment of the intended legacy of Alfred Nobel when he established the prize more than a century ago. It is also a long overdue acknowledgement of the...

Richard Falk - 2017-10-02 - Original post - cached version


I spent two days at Nuremberg to attend the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award ceremony on September 22, 2017. The reason we were in Nuremberg was that my wife had been a member of an international jury that selects an awardee every second year. The recipient in 2017 was the ‘...

Richard Falk - 2017-09-25 - Original post - cached version



Lunch alone in a trattoria in the San Lorenzo neighborhood of Rome, which is neither fashionable nor touristic. Noisy with students and young people at night, local places to hangout, some occupied spaces.


What struck me, in contrast to the U.S...

Richard Falk - 2017-09-20 - Original post - cached version


[Prefatory Note: There has been lots of discussion prompted by the release of a report jointly authored with Prof. Virginia Tilley, a study commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), and given by us the title, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian...

Richard Falk - 2017-09-13 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: I am republishing in modified form a short tribute to the memory of Ebrahim Yazdi. My original text, including its Arab translation, can be found at this link– I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Yazdi, a pharmologist living in...

Richard Falk - 2017-08-21 - Original post - cached version



International law is mainly supportive of Palestinian grievances with respect to Israel, as well as offering both Israelis and Palestinians a reliable marker as to how these two peoples could live normally together in the future if the appropriate political will existed on both...

Richard Falk - 2017-08-18 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: I have been persuaded to remove the words ‘otherwise promising’ before the name of Macron. I paused while writing those words, but in view of his condemnation of France’s conduct in Algeria, I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt, now obviously a premature gesture....

Richard Falk - 2017-08-18 - Original post - cached version


I suggest that Zionists fond of smearing critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites’ take a sobering look at the VICE news clip of the white nationalist torch march through the campus of the University of Virginia the night before the lethal riot in Charlottesville. In this central regard, anti...

Richard Falk - 2017-08-09 - Original post - cached version


We are living amid contradictions whether we like it or not, driving expectations about the future toward opposite extremes. Increasingly plausible are fears that the ‘sixth extinction’ will encompass the human species, or at least, throw human society back to a technology of sticks and...

Richard Falk - 2017-08-03 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: The text below is drawn from a talk given at the Spring Festival of the Arts in Beirut, Lebanon on 15 June 2017. Comments welcome]


Living in Dystopian Times


How can we understand the present unfolding world order, with special reference to its...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-30 - Original post - cached version



The word hubris is far too kind in describing Donald Trump’s approach to the Middle East cauldron of conflict, with his response to the Palestinian struggle being more revealing of his absurd braggadocio brand than of malice, although its impact is malicious. Insisting that he...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-22 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: Below is an Open Letter prepared under the direction of Vida Samiian of State University of California at Fresno on behalf of California scholars defending against any effort to abridge academic freedom anywhere in the world, but particularly in California and the United States...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-14 - Original post - cached version



On 7 July 2017 122 countries at the UN voted to approve the text of a proposed international treaty entitled ‘Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.’ The treaty is formally open for signature in September, but it only become a binding legal instrument according to...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-06 - Original post - cached version


 Almost since the blog was initiated in 2010 I have wrestled with the proper and desirable scope of my monitoring role. I wanted to avoid two things: dogmatic bickering between opposed viewpoints and hateful, hurtful comments directed at either me or comment contributors. Although I did...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-03 - Original post - cached version


We are all discovering that Donald Trump has Olympic skills when it comes to traversing a minefield, escaping mostly unharmed from high magnitude explosions that would long ago have ended in ignominy almost any other political life. How can we explain the enigma of an American real...

Richard Falk - 2017-07-01 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: This post is a modified and enlarged version of a talk I gave in Geneva a week ago. The audience was a blend of students of all ages from around the world, with almost none from Europe and North America, and several NGO representatives with lots of UN experience.]


Richard Falk - 2017-06-23 - Original post - cached version



[Prefatory Note: the following interview with Abdo Emara, an Arab journalist was published in Arabic; it is here republished in slightly modified form. The changes made are either stylistic or clarifying. There are no substantive changes from my earlier responses. I think it...

Richard Falk - 2017-06-20 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: The following article was initially published in The Nation on June 15, 2017. It was written jointly with my friend and longtime collaborator, Phyllis Bennis. As suggested in the text below we both worked with Farther Miguel D’Escoto on several occasions in relation to different...

Richard Falk - 2017-06-16 - Original post - cached version


[Prefatory Note: This jointly authored essay was initially published in The Hill on May 30, 2017 under the title, “Averting the Ticking Time Bomb of Nukes in North Korea.” We did not choose such a title that is doubly misleading: our contention is not that North Korea is the core of the...

Richard Falk - 2017-06-07 - Original post - cached version


The abrupt announcement that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, the Maldive Islands, and the eastern government in divided Libya have broken all economic and political ties with Qatar has given rise to a tsunami of conjecture, wild speculation, and most of all, to wishful...

Richard Falk - 2017-06-06 - Original post - cached version

[Prefatory Note: I feel somewhat apologetic to blog subscribers. In most respects I realize that I am wasting the time of readers by posting this response to one of my most habitual and vindictive detractors, Fred Skolnik.  I will try to make amends by posting  a more...

Richard Falk - 2017-06-03 - Original post - cached version

Personal Prelude


I never knew Zbigniew Brzezinski well, and was certainly not a friend, hardly an acquaintance, but we interacted on several occasions, directly and indirectly. We were both members of the Editorial Board of Foreign Policy magazine founded in 1970 during its early...

Richard Falk - 2017-05-28 - Original post - cached version



The Palestinian hunger strike protesting Israeli prison conditions was suspended on May 27th after 40 days, at a time when many of the 1000 or so strikers were experiencing serious deteriorations of health, most were by then hospitalized, and the holy period of Ramadan about to...

Richard Falk - 2017-05-25 - Original post - cached version


[Prefatory Note: This post is a much modified version of a shorter
opinion piece published by the global-e online publication on May 18, 2017. It is a response to and commentary upon an essay of Ahmet Davutoğlu, former foreign minister and prime...


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