Monday, June 12, 2006
Finkelstein Poisons the Wells
1. Do they get virgins for this?
2. The Latest on Neve Gordon's Guru (note: the ADL has declared
Finkelstein to be a Holocaust Denier)
Finkelstein poisons Jewish minds
By Roz Rothstein June 10, 2006
In May of 2006, I witnessed the bizarre rantings of the author and
Holocaust revisionist Norman Finkelstein at UC Irvine. This was the second
time that I had the misfortune of sitting through his lecture, the first
time was at Cal State Fullerton. Finkelstein uses his identity as the
child of Holocaust survivors to gain credibility, distorting history by
omitting context, and defaming well-respected figures for the purpose of
promoting hatred against the state of Israel and minimizing the horrors of
His lectures include predictable rants against Israel, promotion of
conspiracy theories regarding the reason his own new book, Beyond
Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History,
(University of California Press, 2005), was not reviewed, and a strange
continuous bashing of Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz for writing The
Case for Israel. He spends an inordinate amount of time lecturing about
Joan Peters' book From Time Immemorial : The Origins of the Arab-Jewish
Conflict over Palestine, and calls Survivor Eli Wiesel the "clown in the
Holocaust circus." How twisted is Finkelstein's sense of human decency?
As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I find Finkelstein beyond
despicable. I believe he openly and methodically lies in order to promote
his own anti-Israel agenda. It is well known that some children of
Holocaust Survivors carry severe scars and wounds that actually manifest
in peculiar psychological behavior. For two decades I worked as a licensed
family therapist, and I believe that some day soon there will be a formal
psychological syndrome that would account for self-hating Jews like Norman
Finkelstein. Perhaps the syndrome will even be named after him: The
It's inconceivable to me that Finkelstein might achieve tenure at De Paul
University in Chicago, where he teaches his bizarre theories. That he is
an assistant professor there is, in my view, a badge of shame for De Paul.
His true occupation is as a member of a traveling circus, a freak show of
anti-Semites who promote anti-Israel propaganda from campus to campus. He
openly admits to having high regard for Hezbollah on his website, and
promotes the false notion that "scholars widely agree that Israel
ethnically cleansed the Palestinian people in 1948."
Even the historians that he quotes, disagree with him. He denies the
evidence that Arab leaders told Palestinian Arabs to leave Israel in 1948
so that the combined forces coming from Arab countries could exterminate
the Jews, after which the Arabs who had lived in the region could return.
He denies the overwhelming evidence that this was the case, contained
within periodicals and confirmed radio announcements at the time -- among
them The Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station, The New York Herald,
London Economist, Time Magazine, and Jordanian Daily Newspaper -- that
clearly reflected the push by Arab leaders to encourage the flight of
their brethren for the purpose of the annihilation of the Jews and their
reborn state. A compiled list of critical quotes from reputable sources
regarding this issue is available here.
I cannot help but wonder why Finkelstein fails to mention that
approximately 150,000 Palestinian Arabs chose to remain in Israel in 1948,
becoming Arab Israelis with descendants and friends that now number over
one million. Growing numbers of Arab Israeli citizens, with representation
in Israel's Knesset, do not match with his accusation of ethnic cleansing.
I once wrote a letter to Finkelstein, because I was frustrated after
having attended one of his deeply disturbing lectures. I asked him why he
lied to well-meaning students during his lecture. I showed him the
evidence that the flight of the Palestinian Arabs from Israel in 1948 was
in part due to the war, and in part due to the clear calls from Arab
countries. I showed him evidence from credible sources. I asked him to
refute them, but he did not in his reply. Instead he told me to read his
book, and he told me that our conversation was at an end.
As I sat watching Finkelstein this second time, I looked around the room
at the eager 300 to 400 students who came to hear him speak. Many of them
were already anti-Israel and enjoyed his presentation because it supported
and expanded their own prejudices. Others, however, had heard that a
controversial speaker was coming and came in good faith, with open minds.
I watched for three straight hours at UC Irvine, as students were poisoned
by the Finkelstein Syndrome. I walked away feeling saddened by the notion
that young hearts and minds were affected by a man of such dubious
scholarship and malicious intent.
What remedy do we have when a hateful propagandist and academic fraud like
Finkelstein comes to town? As the national director of an organization
that believes in free speech, the only power we have is to expose him as a
failed scholar who lacks balance, as a man with an obsessive agenda and as
a man who respects the likes of Hezbollah. Maybe if these things about him
become more widely known, the people who may have the misfortune of
attending his future lectures will come for entertainment rather than for
3. Forgive us because we are innocent:
4. A REAL Peace Plan:
5. Global what?
6. Recovering ex-leftist:
7. More prosecution of free speech:
8. Mikey's Lerner's Friend Cornell West has ... another Friend: