Saturday, April 07, 2007

In Defense of Finkelstein

Most American academics will go out of their way to be unhelpful to you at best. One of the few exceptions to this rule is Norman Finkelstein. The few times I have contacted him by e-mail he has responded promptly and been helpful. He is also one of the few academics doing honest research. It was from reading him that I discovered that the Labor Zionists under Ben Gurion had modeled their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in part upon the Soviet deportations of the Volga Germans and Crimean Tatars. It was also from Finkelstein that I learned that Joseph Schechtman had studied the forced expulsion of ethnic Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II precisely to provide a template for dealing with the Palestinians. Yet, because he does not tow the standard left Zionist line that predominates in American academia he has found his livelihood under constant threat. The current attempt by Alan Dershowitz and others to deny Finkelstein tenure at DePaul University is despicable. He certainly deserves tenure far more than Dershowitz does.

Mark Elf of JSF has put up what I hope is the first of several posts in defense of Finkelstein. If anybody else puts up anything else along these lines please let me know and I will link to it. For all the academic whinging about academic freedom I see very few US professors going to bat for Finkelstein. It is kind of like they only believe in freedom for ideas they support.


levi9909 said...

I also have the occasional correspondence with Finkelstein. I've pointed him in the direction of issues in the UK media that I thought would interest him (holocaust industry stuff) and he always expresses his gratitude, letting me know whether or not he already knew what it was I directed him to.

Somehow I don't think my gratitude and admiration for his work will stand him in good stead for his tenure so I won't be writing to De Paul.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Gregory Meyerson, Assistant Professor of English (critical theory) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, has drafted a letter from 'Scholars for intellectual freedom in support of Dr. Norman Finkelstein' to DePaul University President The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D. It is now circulating for signatures. Any practicing or former academics wishing to support the initiative to counteract Dershowitz's pernicious machinations can find further details at:

Ernie Halfdram said...

There is now a site for the Finkelstein campaign: