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Richard Falk

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Kamila Shamsie (Photo: Zain Mustafa/Penguin Random House)

The Dortmund City Council was set to award the novelist Kamila Shamsie its Nelly Sachs Prize until it learned she supports BDS. The council rescinded the honor which brought the author to Richard Falk’s attention, and he is thankful it did. “Selfishly, I cannot thank the Dortmund City Council enough for its outrageous behavior,” Falk writes, “In her novels, she has manifested an uncannny awareness, more so than any writer I have encountered, of the precarious existence of ethnic, gender, and civilizational outsiders, especially Muslims, if they happen to reside in the supposedly once more tolerant West.”

A Palestinian youth flashes the victory sign during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, May 21, 2014. (Photo: Khaled al-Sabbah/APA Images)

Many Israelis would like us to believe that the Palestinian struggle to achieve self-determination has been defeated, and that it is time to admit that Israel is the victor and Palestine the loser. But Richard Falk says recent events paint a different picture than this premature Israel triumphalism.

An Israeli settlement sits to the right of Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem, dividing the Palestinian neighborhood to the left, from other Palestinian neighborhoods in the area. (Photo: Eoghan Rice)

Richard Falk writes that the proper priority for genuine advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be centered around apartheid rather than be devoted to reviving an Oslo style ‘peace process’ or proclaiming the goal of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. He says this is not attainable without first dismantling the apartheid structures that subjugate the Palestinian people as a whole so as to maintain the Zionist insistence on Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

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 thinking and doomsday worries. Richard Falk untangles the threads of the story so far what it could mean for U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Richard Falk examines the argument for a U.S. disengagement from the Middle East: “Unfortunately, for America and the peoples throughout the Middle East the US seems incapable of extricating itself from yet another geopolitical quagmire that is partly responsible for generating extra-regional terrorism of the sort that has afflicted Europe in the last two years. And so although disengagement is a sensible course of action, it won’t happen for a long, long time, if at all. Unlike BREXIT, for AMEXIT, and geopolitics generally, there are no referenda offered the citizenry.”

Richard Falk writes that the Brussels attack for which ISIS claimed responsibility exhibits the new face of 21st century warfare for which there are no front lines, no path to military victory, and acute civilian vulnerability. As such, it represents a radical challenge to our traditional understanding of warfare, and unless responses are shaped by these realities, it could drive Western democracies step by step into an enthused political embrace and revived actuality of fascist politics.