An Interview With Richard Falk

Palestinians shout slogans during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Gaza City, Gaza on December 15, 2017. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Palestinians shout slogans during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in Gaza City, Gaza, on December 15, 2017. (Photo: Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

President Trump made history in naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel, as much of the world watched on with anger and despair. The moment comes as a crucial step backwards for the region’s “peace process.” In the background seemingly, Trump needs to sustain his base of support among Evangelicals and rich Jewish donors, but as for the effects, it seems that as usual, he couldn’t care less.

Liberal US Jews, such as the advocacy group J-Street, are condemning the decision and they’re right, of course, to condemn it. Theirs is a major task to bring about some respect for human rights in the US, at least at the leadership level. The move poses other challenges and questions. Will Trump move the Embassy? Does Trump have any thinking on the matter beyond his own ego? Or is this a further step toward organizing the reactionary bloc of Arab dictatorships as well as hyper-nationalist Israel? Is an alliance against Iran part of the strategy?

In this exclusive Truthout interview, former UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Human Rights Richard Falk helps to elaborate on these points and more. Falk argues that “what is already evident on the basis of the decision itself is the severe damage done to the global and regional leadership reputation of the United States. As well, the authority of the United Nations has been shown to be no match for geopolitical resolve, and international law and world public opinion have been pushed aside.” Falk goes on to state that, “prospects for a diplomacy based on the equality of rights of Palestinians and Israelis have been reduced to zero, and thus no just end of the Palestinian ordeal can be foreseen.”

This interview is dedicated to the late Edward S. Herman, the author of Manufacturing Consent.

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