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Tue, 19 Jun 2007
IDF and Border Police assassinate two Palestinians in Kafr Dan
Mon, 18 Jun 2007
end of Hamas and Fatah armed groups engaged in armed clashes in Gaza, and to a lesser extent on the West Bank
US and EU establish contacts with, and aid to, the Abbas-created Palestinian Authority
Sun, 17 Jun 2007
Mahmoud Abbas swears in a new Palestinian cabinet
Thu, 14 Jun 2007
Israeli occupation forces raid Qalqilya and assassinate one civilian
Mahmoud Abbas dissolves PA government and declares state of emergency
Hamas secures control of Gaza Strip, preventing Fatah coup
Wed, 13 Jun 2007
start of Hamas and Fatah armed groups engaged in armed clashes in Gaza, and to a lesser extent on the West Bank
Israeli Interior Ministry forces demolish houses in Twail Abu Jarwal for the fifth time this year
Tue, 12 Jun 2007
Chief of Israeli military intelligence tells US Ambassador Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza
Mon, 11 Jun 2007
Israeli occupation forces invade Nablus, harass residents, kidnap civilians, and destroy property
Sun, 10 Jun 2007
Activists thrown from high buildings in Gaza
start of Hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners at Al Jalama prison to protest against conditions
Sat, 9 Jun 2007
Israeli occupation forces harrass several villages near Hebron, and kidnap 11 civilians
Shin Bet security service chief tells US ambassador that Fatah asked Israel to attack Hamas
Fri, 8 Jun 2007
Israeli Foreign Minister announces task force to fight boycott of Israel
Jews desecrate Muslim graves in Kifl Haris village on West Bank
Israel occupation soldiers kill one Palestinian youth and injure others
Israeli occupation forces invade several villages, ransack homes, harass villagers, and kidnap youth
Wed, 6 Jun 2007
start of Protest camp in central Jerusalem by Victims of Socio-economic terrorism

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The case for Norman Finkelstein

<<< Earlier issue of this journal ^ This issue of this journal (4 other articles) Later issue of this journal >>>

Article/book #: 65050
Title: The case for Norman Finkelstein
By: Matthew Abraham  
Published in: Guardian: Comment is Free
Date of issue: Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Topic(s) addressed: People/entities mentioned in this item:

  1. This article, by Alan Dershowitz, in Comment is Free refers to this article


On Friday, June 8, DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider announced that he had decided to uphold the university's tenure and promotion board's ruling denying outspoken political science professor Norman Finkelstein tenure. In a press release, the president is quoted as saying that academic freedom "is alive and well at DePaul University". Not surprisingly, the announcement of Finkelstein's tenure denial has spawned a national discussion. Academics everywhere have been forced to ponder the implications for the future of academic freedom in the United States, especially those who dare to criticise US and Israeli policy in the Middle East.

Finkelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors, has been relentless in exposing what he calls "The Holocaust Industry": the institutions and organizations that have used the holocaust (the actual historical event) to justify Israel's criminal assault upon the Palestinian population and international law. Among these organisations, he includes the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and a host of other fellow travellers. There is no doubt that Finkelstein's work has stoked controversy. But that shouldn't detract from what makes his tenure treatment so worrying: Finkelstein is undoubtedly a path-breaking and serious scholar.

Raul Hilberg, the leading scholar on the Nazi holocaust, has called Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry "a breakthrough" and states that Finkelstein "was on the right track" in his documentation of how the World Jewish Congress, with the aid of the Clinton administration, extorted billions of dollars from Swiss banks in the name of Holocaust survivors, only to pocket the money for Jewish organisations. And, although The Holocaust Industry is Finkelstein's most frequently cited book in defamatory attempts to cast him as a "Holocaust denier" and a "denier of justice to Holocaust survivors", Image and Reality in the Israel-Palestine Conflict - a thorough criticism of the central political and philosophical tenets informing Zionism - is his most scholarly and substantial work. But Finkelstein's detractors avoid discussion of Image and Reality for exactly that reason: it is considered a first-rate piece of scholarship.

Finkelstein argues that most US commentators obscure or avoid the clear historical and diplomatic record in examining the Israel-Palestine conflict by ignoring or downplaying international law, fooling the US public into believing that Israel's occupation is just, necessary, and lawful. One such example is the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks - a failure that has been attributed, at least in elite circles within the United States, to Yasir Arafat's intransigence. In actuality, what Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak offered Arafat was something no Palestinian leader could accept: a Bantustan state reminiscent of the African national territories.

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