Author Archives: Richard Falk

Can the U.S. democracy be fixed?

I share the view that the 2020 election in the United States is above all a referendum on fascism, and for this and many other reasons I wish it produces a Biden landslide followed by a smooth transfer of political power. From the perspective of the present, this kind of benign political scenario seems unlikely to materialize. Instead, we can more realistically expect a close election, which means that if Trump wins, the fascist threat grows, while if he loses, he will refuse to accept the result, charging fraud, clinging to the presidency, provoking a constitutional crisis and possibly the first coup in American history, and again fascism will thrive. Continue reading

Can we imagine peace for Palestine?

While waiting without positive expectations for the Trump ‘deal of the century,’ the Palestinian ordeal unfolds day by day. 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. Recent events paint a different picture. Every Friday since the end of March 2018 the Great March of Return has confronted Israel at the Gaza fence. Israel has responded with lethal force killing more than 250 Palestinians and injuring over 18,000, using grossly excessive force to deal with almost completely nonviolent demonstrations. The world allows these weekly atrocities to go without any concerted adverse reaction and the UN is awkwardly silent. Continue reading

Denouncing socialism, practicing fascism

With Trump the silences are usually as expressive of his intentions as the incoherent dogmas. Indeed, his Second State of the Union Address delivered in Congress on February 5, 2019 gives a clear insight into the political mentality of tormentor in chief when it comes to the human condition. Continue reading

Bolton’s red sky worldview: ICC, international law, and Iran

To be sure, on September 10, John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, pushed all the thematic buttons that might be expected of a luncheon speaker invited to address the Federalist Society, long known as the ideological home of rabid advocates of the so-called ‘new sovereignty.’ Continue reading

Renaming the 1948 war: Partition, dispossession, and fragmentation

Israel has been brilliant over the years in shaping and misdirecting the public discourse on the future of Palestine. Among its earliest achievement along these lines was the crucial propaganda victory by having the 1948 War known internationally as the ‘War of Independence.’ Such a designation erases the Palestinians from political consciousness, and distorts the deeper human and political consequences of the war. Language matters, especially in vital circumstances where there are winners and losers, a reality that applies above all to a war of displacement. Continue reading

The flawed and corrupted genius of American republicanism

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. Continue reading