Norman Finkelstein has shown that
even a Jew can be an anti-Semite,
Michael Lerner has shown that
even a rabbi can support anti-Semitic actions.

Alan Dershowitz
“The Case for Peace”
page 156
(emphasis added)

Norman G. Finkelstein

In the spring of 2007,
Norman Finkelstein was considered for tenure at DePaul University.
In the run-up to the tenure decision,
he was called an “anti-Semite” by Alan Dershowitz
and accused of “Jew-baiting” in FrontPageMag.com,
and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the campaign
to prevent him from gaining the prestige for his views (e.g.)
that comes with a tenured academic appointment.
On 2007-06-08, he was informed that his application for tenure was denied.

Below are some of the Web sites supporting or opposing Finkelstein,
followed by a sample of specific Web articles
about him or the tenure controversy;
to skip to the denial of tenure, click here.

Google Finkelsteintenure
Google NewsFinkelsteintenure

“The Official Website of Norman G. Finkelstein” (normanfinkelstein.com)
Peter N. Kirstein’s Academic Freedom Blog
Finkelstein at Peter N. Kirstein’s Blog
Norman G. Finkelstein Solidarity Campaign
Pro-tenure petition

@“Moonbat Central”
Alan Dershowitz
Jewish Defense Organization
Anti-tenure petition


Why is the University of California Press Publishing Bigotry?
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMag.com, 2005-07-05

Giving Chutzpah New Meaning
by Jon Wiener
The Nation, 2005-07-11

What Lies Beyond Chutzpah?
By Jacob Laskin
FrontPageMag.com, 2005-10-04

Norman Finkelstein's Fraudulent Scholarship
CAMERA.org, 2005-10-10

Norman Finkelstein: An Obsessive Anti-Zionist Shows his Stripes
By Abraham H. Foxman
ADL.org, 2005-10-31

Norman Finkelstein has an Israeli Groupie
by Steven Plaut
Moonbat Central, 2005-11-02

[The beginning of this article (emphasis is added):]

We here at the Moonbat Central have been devoting considerable time and effort
to exposing the activities of the pseudo-scholar Norman Finkelstein,
on the faculty of DePaul University,
a fact that
raises serious doubts about whether DePaul
should even be considered to be an academic institution at all.


Should Alan Dershowitz Target Himself for Assassination?
CounterPunch.org, 2006-08-12

[Despite the title, this is a serious article.
It is almost a paradigmatic example of Finkelstein’s writings
(the only qualification being that
it lacks the heavy dose of footnotes and citations that appear in his books).
It illustrates Finkelstein’s main themes:
  1. Israel is committing serious crimes and misdeeds
    in its treatment of the Palestinians.
    In the case of this article,
    what is stressed is Israel’s practice of targeted assassinations.

  2. The Jewish American Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz
    (who, of course, is so ubiquitous in the media
    because he serves as a de facto spokesperson
    for a significant fraction of the American Jewish elite)
    is aiding, abetting, enabling, and encouraging those crimes of Israel.
Both of these themes are presented and justified
in a fairly objective, dispassionate treatment.
But then, as is also typical of Finkelstein,
he condemns Dershowitz in personal terms,
calling him a “moral pervert” for his words and deeds.

Some take these words to constitute an ad hominem attack,
but in this case I disagree.
Finkelstein’s believes, and has made the case,
that Dershowitz’s values are morally perverted,
thus the phrase “moral pervert” refers directly to the issues involved.
An ad hominem attack would reference
some aspect of the person being attacked
not directly relevant to the issue at hand
in an attempt to discredit the person’s arguments.

One interesting feature of the article is its pointing out that
Dershowitz’s criteria for establishing who is eligible for targeted assassination
could, in the eyes of some,
be applied to him, making him eligible for assassination,
thus the article’s title.

Dershowitz subsequently (and repetitively) harps on, and I believe exaggerates,
Finkelstein’s criticism of him in order to, in turn, criticize Finkelstein.
Because Dershowitz makes such an issue out of it,
here is what Finkelstein actually said.
The two internal quotes are from a book by Dershowitz.]

Finally, in Preemption he [Dershowitz] boasts
of having vicariously participated in a targeted assassination
while visiting Israel:
I watched as a high-intensity television camera, mounted on a drone,
zeroed in on the apartment of a terrorist ...
I watched
as the camera focused on the house and the nearly empty streets.
It seems, however,
that this moral pervert missed the climactic scene of his little peep show,
although it isn’t reported whether he got his quarter back:
“I was permitted to watch for only a few minutes,
and no action was taken while I was watching
because the target remained in the house.”
One wonders whether Dershowitz carefully inserted these weasel words
because, as he well knows,
targeted assassinations constitute war crimes,
and he might otherwise be charged as an accessory to one.

[Agree or disagree with Finkelstein’s conclusions,
I think that there can be no serious doubt that he has made a substantial point,
and raised some significant and profound issues.
(The issue of when targeted assassinations are war crimes
is discussed at length, with many citations,
in Chapter 5 of his book Beyond Chutpah.}
The problem, of course, is that the American Jewish community
would do almost anything to keep those issues from being aired and discussed
in any fashion other than “Aren’t those Israelis wonderful!”.

Here is the (highly charged) conclusion of Finkelstein’s article:]

It is highly unlikely ...
that he will ever be brought before a tribunal for his criminal incitement.
But there is yet another possibility for achieving justice.
Dershowitz is a strong advocate of targeted assassinations
when “reasonable alternatives” such as arrest and capture aren’t available.
The conclusion seems clear -- if , and only if, --
one uses his standard and his reasoning.
Of course, the preponderance of humanity,
this writer [and CounterPunch, Eds.,] included,
does not think this way.
After all the hard-won gains of civilization,
who would want to live in a world that once again legally sanctioned
torture, collective punishment, assassinations and mass murder?
As Dershowitz descends into barbarism,
it remains a hopeful sign that few seem inclined to join him.

Norman Finkelstein’s Obscenities
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMag.com, 2006-08-22

[Here Alan Dershowitz “responds” to, possibly, Norman Finkelstein’s
Should Alan Dershowitz Target Himself for Assassination?.”
It is difficult to tell exactly what he is responding to,
because Dershowitz provides nothing to identify the specific target of his ire,
not a title, nor an URL.

Here is its beginning:]

The level of “academic” discourse on the Middle-East reached a new low—
quite a feat considering some of the old lows—
when the notorious Jewish anti-Semite and Holocaust-justice denier Norman Finkelstein
wrote a screed suggesting that I be targeted “for assassination”
because of my views on Israel.
The obscene article was accompanied by an obscene cartoon drawn by “Latuff”,
a frequent accomplice of Finkelstein.
The cartoon portrayed me as masturbating in rapturous joy
while viewing images of dead Lebanese civilians
on a TV set labeled “Israel peep show,”
with a Jewish Star of David prominently featured.
The cartoon aptly represents the content of Finkelstein’s piece,
which accuses me of being a “moral pervert”
who “missed the climactic scene of his little peep show.”
He also claims quite absurdly that I “sanction mass murder”
and “the extermination of the Lebanese people.”

[Dershowitz has claimed that
Finkelstein’s work contains no scholarship, only propaganda.
Where is the scholarship on Dershowitz’s part
when he does not even provide any information on where can be found
the article/cartoon about which he is hyperventilating?]


Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, 2006-10-11

[This slander on Finkelstein is addressed and, to my eye, rebutted
in Appendix 2 (scroll to bottom) of this 2006-11-01 report
of the DePaul University Department of Political Science Personnel Committee.
Here is a key paragraph from that report (emphasis is added):]

In investigating the matter, the Committee discovered that Finkelstein
never having heard of the website in question publishing the article and cartoon,
did not authorize use of his article, and
did not commission the accompanying editorial cartoon.
He said that it is not unusual for articles he has written
to be reposted on other web sites without his knowledge or consent,
and that he first learned of its use only recently and after the fact.

[In other words, both Dershowitz and the Catholic League
are accusing Finkelstein of actions that he never committed.
If they wish to make such charges,
it seems to me to be up to them to provide some proof of such charges.
Otherwise they are, manifestly, libelous and defamatory.]

Finkelstein Hits New Low
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMag.com, 2006-12-12
(minor interest)


Norman Finkelstein, DePaul Scholar and Son of Holocaust Survivors,
Struggles for Tenure

by Peter Kirstein

Professor Finkelstein is an Excellent and Popular Teacher
According to DePaul Dean Chuck Suchar

by Peter Kirstein

Furor Over Norm Finkelstein
by Scott Jaschik
Insider Higher Ed, 2007-04-03

The Issue of “Service”
and the Assessment of Professor Norman G. Finkelstein

by Peter Kirstein
(minor interest)

The Entire Text of The Suchar Memorandum
Concerning DePaul University Professor Norman G. Finkelstein

by Peter N. Kirstein
(major interest)
Middle East Studies Association
Supports Fair Treatment During Dr. Finkelstein Tenure Review

by Peter Kirstein
(minor interest)

A Bitter Spat Over Ideas, Israel and Tenure
New York Times, 2007-04-12
(Freely available here.)

Finkelstein In Nasty Tenure Battle
Controversial DePaul professor alleges that
Deshowitz is orchestrating pressure campaign.
by Stewart Ain
Jewish Week (of New York), 2007-04-13

Professor Finkelstein Meets DePaul Board, Students Rally
by Peter Kirstein
(very minor interst)

Norman G. Finkelstein’s “Hucksters.”
Dean Suchar, Professor Dershowitz and the Misspelling of a Word.

by Peter Kirstein
(minor interest)

Norman Finkelstein Addresses Charges of Scholarly Improprieties
by Peter Kirstein

JDO Goes After Traitor to the Jews Finkelstein
JDO Launches Campaign "Operation Drive Out!"
to Drive Self-Hating Jewish Professor Hater of Israel-Mocker of the Holocaust-
Out of De Paul University
Jewish Defense Organization, 2007-04-19

[The date is that in the copy of this at http:www.normanfinkelstein.com;
the JDO page itself has no date;
I first noticed this on 2007-04-23.

Here is an excerpt from their web page, as of 2007-04-23
(emphasis is from the original):]

[T]he JDO is launching "Operation Drive-Out!"
calling upon Jews from across the United States
to flood the Presidet of De Paul University
demanding that traitor to the Jews Finkeslstein be fired immediately!



Mary Finkelstein [Norman’s mother] was a Communist and an athiest
who had more sympathy - more rachmones, for the Palestinians
than for her own people,
but the JDO research team doubts that she was a Kapo or Nazi collaborator


Norman respects the Nazis more than the Jews!
It wouldn't surprise the JDO if Norman had a few Nazi uniforms in his closet.
He claims he is pro-Palestianian but he is really anti-Jewish.

Effort to deny tenure ignites protests at DePaul
Dean rejects promotion for critic of Israel,
saying he lacks ‘Vincentian values’
National Catholic Reporter, 2007-04-20

DePaul Political Science Personnel Committee
Rejects Dershowitz, et al. Charges of Academic Misconduct

by Peter Kirstein
(major interest)

The Finkelstein Affair
By Steven Plaut
FrontPageMag.com, 2007-04-23
(major story)

FrontPageMag.com Steven Plaut Rips Professor Kirstein;
Denounces STUDENTS for even taking Norman Finkelstein’s Classes!

by Peter Kirstein
(response to 2007-04-23-Plaut just above)

Finkelstein discusses Israel’s human rights record
By David Pepose
Brandeis University Hoot, 2007-04-27

[A report on Finkelstein’s 04-24 talk at Brandeis:
nothing exciting happened.
Still, here is an excerpt:]

Describing former President Jimmy Carter’s controversial book
Palestine Peace, Not Apartheid,
Finkelstein said that “the actual content of the book...
was remarkably uncontroversial… one might even call it tepid.”
Instead, Finkelstein said,
“what’s most striking is how uncontroversial this is,
yet there is so much controversy when you bring it into a public forum.”


Finkelstein also stated
“the second fake controversy is playing ‘the Holocaust card’...
if you can claim that Jews have suffered uniquely,
you do not have to hold them to a universal standard.”
He said “every time Israel comes under international pressure
to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem diplomatically...
there is a new claim of a ‘new’ anti-Semitism.”


Seva Brodsky, an off-campus audience member,
asked Finkelstein during the question-and-answer section of the event,
“do you hate your parents? Do you habitually rape your niece?”
Brodsky later said that
“the whole thing was a fraud... a string of lies.
Finkelstein is sanctimonious... [and] self-righteous.”
[Attributes that Israel surely never exhibits.]

Finkelstein Tenure Case:
American Association of University Professors (Illinois Conference)
Letter to DePaul President


Academic freedom, the primary concern of AAUP,
allows “full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.”
(1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure).
It appears that much of the opposition to Professor Finkelstein
is based on the “tone” of his writings
and not their accuracy and scholarly rigor.
In this regard we call to your attention
the AAUP statement “On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation”
which concludes after much experience and study that
“certainly, an absence of collegiality ought never, by itself,
to constitute a basis for …denial of tenure…”

The affirmative vote of Professor Finkelstein’s departmental colleagues
and the College Personnel Committee
would indicate that, in their professional judgment,
his research, teaching and service
have satisfied university requirements for tenure and promotion.

We respectfully submit this statement to express our conviction that
the surest protection of academic excellence is academic freedom.
Academic freedom in turn requires that
tenure decisions be made in fair and established processes
in which the primary responsibility lies with the faculty of the institution.
We trust that DePaul will adhere to these principles.


Leo Welch
President, AAUP-Illinois

Dershowitz v. Finkelstein:
Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?

CounterPunch.org, 2007-04-30

[This is a fine analysis, from the pro-Finkelstein point of view,
of the D-F controversy up through the publication in 2005
of F’s Beyond Chutzpah, with its scathing attack on D,
and D’s counterattack in The Case for Peace, also in 2005.
Considerable additional material surrounding Menetrez’s article
is available on its web page at NormanFinkelstein.com.]

The Doha Debate regarding The Israel Lobby
Doha Debate at the Oxford Union, 2007-05-01

At the latest Doha Debate held at the prestigious Oxford Union in the United Kingdom on May 1st,
two-thirds of the student audience approved a motion claiming that
Israel’s supporters are stifling Western debate about Israel’s actions.

The Debate took place amid mounting controversy
over the role of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States
and accusations that it has suppressed criticism of Israel -
a charge that the lobby vigorously denies.

Norman Finkelstein,
an American academic and a leading critic of Israeli policies,
argued in favour of the motion, claiming that
the pro-Israel lobby sows confusion to avoid being held to account.

The journalist and writer Andrew Cockburn also supported this view, claiming
there are “red lines” in discussing Israel
that no politician or journalist in the US would dare cross
for fear of being demonised or driven out of public life.

Dr Martin Indyk, former US Ambassador to Israel
and Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy,
argued strongly against the motion, saying that
the recent ‘firestorms’ around President Carter’s book
and the Walt and Mearsheimer report
are proof of a lively debate on the subject.
[What a non sequitor!
In the first place,
Carter’s book and the M+W paper are rare, one-of-a-kind events.
In the regular day in, day out flow of the news,
criticism of Israel is unheard of
(see Alterman for a confirming view).
In the second place,
as Indyk points out, Carter and M+W raised a firestorm of protest.
There was scarcely any support for the Carter and M+W points of view
coming from either the pundits and analysts in the MSM
nor, most certainly, from America’s political class.
They all ran in abject terror from what Carter was saying.
God forbid, what would
agreeing with what Carter was saying
do to campaign contributions?]

His fellow panelist David Aaronovitch, the British journalist and broadcaster,
dismissed accusations of conspiracy around the lobby and said that
there simply isn’t a lobby in the UK in the same way
that there is in the United States.

To hear the debate, click here (warning: audio-video play starts immediately);
running time is 45 minutes.

Finkelstein’s Bigotry
Wall Street Journal, 2007-05-04

(free versions available from Dershowitz and Finkelstein)

A response to Dershowitz (PDF, HTML)

The following commentary is by the author of this blog.
To prevent a rather overwhelming amount of colored type,
only this note is in my signature color;
the rest of the commentary is in the normal black.

In most cases, the WSJ does quite a good job
of ensuring that both sides of important issues get covered.
When they run a news story presenting one side of an issue,
the other side will often appear in a lengthy letter to the editor.

But a radical exception to this policy is readily apparent
on issues dealing with Israel, where only one side of the story is allowed.
In particular,
consider the example of this Dershowitz screed against Norman Finkelstein.
Dershowitz’s article is on the face of it a one-sided presentation:
it is without doubt, to any observer, an attack on Finkelstein.
One would think that they would allow a response,
something to answer Dershowitz’s charges.
Ideally, since Dershowitz was published as an op-ed commentary,
Finkelstein himself would be allowed the same opportunity,
so that something that passes for debate might occur.
If not that, then at least a letter to the editor,
from Finkelstein himself or from one of his allies,
such as, emblematically, this.

But no.
So far as I can tell,
from the date Dershowitz’s article was published, 05-04, to today, 05-21,
the WSJ has published not a single thing mentioning Finkelstein.
In other words, Dershowitz gets not only the last word, but the only word.

Messrs. Dershowitz, Foxman, and like-minded thinkers
might think this is only right.
I think it is only proof positive of several things that they so often deny:
  1. The Jews have absolute control of much of the media,
    the WSJ in particular.

  2. They use that control to ensure that
    only the side of the story they favor gets out.
    In particular, nothing significantly prejudicial to Israel may be published,
    and no one who is capable of effectively criticizing Israel’s policies,
    such as Finkelstein, may be allowed to achieve
    a position of significance or prestige in American society.

Note added 2007-05-23

Since I wrote the above,
the WSJ has published one thing about Finkelstein,
a 05-23 letter to the editor from Robert Trivers
which corrects a key factual error in Dershowitz’s attack.
Thus we note that
  • Dershowitz distorts the truth to make a better case;

  • the WSJ will publish
    a direct factual correction regarding Dershowitz’s assertions;

  • but will publish no broader defense of Finkelstein,
    for example, material which might put Finkelstein in a better light.
No, to the Bancroft family and its WSJ,
the only material to be published regarding Finkelstein
is negative material about him
(and corrections to such negative material that has already been published).

This is continued here.

Target of a Witch Hunt:
A Conversation with Norman Finkelstein

CounterPunch.org, 2007-05-09

World-Renowned Holocaust, Israel Scholars
Defend DePaul Professor Norman Finkelstein

as He Fights for Tenure

An interview conducted by Amy Goodman
Democracy Now, 2007-05-09

[Here is most of the interview; emphasis is added.]

Finkelstein’s two main topics of focus over his career have been
the Holocaust and Israeli policy.
Today we are joined by two world-renowned scholars in these fields:
  • Raul Hilberg.
    One of the best-known and most distinguished of Holocaust historians.
    He is author of the seminal three-volume work
    The Destruction of the European Jews
    and is considered the founder of Holocaust studies.
    He joins us on the line from his home in Vermont.

  • Avi Shlaim.
    Professor of international relations at Oxford University.
    He is the author of numerous books, most notably
    The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.”
    He is widely regarded as
    one of the world’s leading authorities on the Israeli-Arab conflict.
    (See, e.g., his back cover blurb for Finkelstein.)

Finkelstein is one of the country’s foremost critics of Israeli policy.
We’ll begin in Vermont with Professor Hilberg.
Can you talk about Professor Finkelstein's contribution to Holocaust studies
with his book, The Holocaust Industry?

Yes. I read this book, which was published about seven years ago,
even as I, myself, was researching actions brought against Swiss companies,
notably banks, but also other enterprises in insurance and in manufacturing.
And the gist of all of these claims, all of these actions, was that
somehow the Swiss banks, in particular, and other enterprises, as well,
owed money to Jews
or the survivors
or the living descendants of people who were victims.
The actions were brought by claims lawyers,
by the World Jewish Congress, which joined them,
and a blitz was launched in the newspapers.
Congressmen and senators were mobilized,
officials of regulatory agencies in New York and elsewhere.
Threats were issued in the nature of withdrawal of pension funds,
of boycotts, of bad publicity.

And I was struck by the fact, even as I, myself,
was researching the same territory that Professor Finkelstein was covering,
that the Swiss did not owe that money,
that the $1,250,000,000 that were agreed as a settlement
to be paid to the claimants
was something that in very plain language
was extorted from the Swiss.
I had, in fact, relied upon the same sources that Professor Finkelstein used,
perhaps in addition some Swiss items.
I was in Switzerland at the height of the crisis,
and I heard from so-called forensic accountants
about how totally surprised the Swiss were by this outburst.
There is no other word for it.

Now, Finkelstein was the first to publish what was happening in his book
The Holocaust Industry.
And when I was asked to endorse the book,
I did so with specific reference to these claims.
I felt that within the Jewish community over the centuries,
nothing like it had ever happened.
And even though these days
a couple of billion dollars are sometimes referred to as an accounting error
and not worthy of discussion,
there is a psychological dimension here which not must be underestimated.

I was also struck by the fact that Finkelstein was being attacked over and over.
And granted, his style is a little different from mine, but
I was saying the same thing,
and I had published my results in that three-volume work,
published in 2003 by Yale University Press,
and I did not hear from anybody a critical word about what I said, even though
it was the same substantive conclusion that Finkelstein had offered.
So that’s the gist of the matter right then and there.

Why do you think, Professor Hilberg, he was criticized and you were not?

Well, Finkelstein --
I believe Finkelstein was criticized mainly for the style that he employed.
And he was vulnerable.
And it was clear to me already years ago that
some campaigns were launched --
from what sector, I didn’t know --
to remove him from the academic world.

I wanted to bring Professor Avi Shlaim into this discussion,
a professor of international relations at Oxford University,
has written numerous books,
including The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.
Can you talk about the significance of Professor Finkelstein’s work?

I think very highly of Professor Finkelstein.
(Note, e.g., his back cover blurb for Finkelstein.)
I regard him as
a very able, very erudite and original scholar
who has made an important contribution
to the study of Zionism,
to the study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, in particular,
to the study of American attitudes towards Israel and towards the Middle East.

Professor Finkelstein specializes in exposing spurious scholarship
on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
And he has a very impressive track record in this respect.
He was a very promising graduate student in history at Princeton,
when a book by Joan Peters appeared, called From Time Immemorial,
and he wrote the most savage exposition in critique of this book.
It was a systematic demolition of this book.
The book argued, incidentally,
that Palestine was a land without a people for people without a land.
And Professor Finkelstein
exposed it as a hoax,
and he showed how dishonest the scholarship or spurious scholarship was
in the entire book.
And he paid the price for his courage,
and he has been a marked man, in a sense,
in America ever since.

His most recent book is Beyond Chutzpah,
follows in the same vein
of criticizing and exposing biases and distortions and falsifications
in what Americans write about Israel and about the Middle East.
I consider him to be a very impressive and a very learned and careful scholar.

I would like to make one last point, which is that his style is very polemical,
and I don’t particularly enjoy the strident polemical style that he employs.
On the other hand,
what really matters in the final analysis is the content, and
the content of his books, in my judgment, is of very high quality.

Professor Shlaim, what about the whole issue of
when you criticize the Israeli government,
being charged with anti-Semitism?
What is your response to this?
You were born in Iraq. You’re also an Israeli citizen and then moved to Britain?

I am. I was born in Baghdad. I grew up in Israel. I served in IDF.
And for the last forty years, I have lived in Britain, and I teach at Oxford.
My academic discipline is international relations,
and I am a specialist in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And I think that there is no --
we must be very careful to separate
questions of anti-Semitism
from critique of Israel.
I am critical of Israel as a scholar,
and anti-Semitism just doesn’t come into it.
My view is that
the blind supporters of Israel --
and there are many of them in America, in particular --
use the charge of anti-Semitism
to try and silence legitimate criticism of Israeli practices.

I regard this as moral blackmail.
Israel has no immunity to criticism, moral immunity to criticism,
because of the Holocaust.
Israel is a sovereign nation-state,
and it should be judged by the same standards as any other state.
And Norman Finkelstein is a very serious critic
and a very well-informed critic and hard-hitting critic
of Israeli practices in the occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians.

His last book, Beyond Chutzpah,
is based on an amazing amount of research.
He seems to have read everything.

He has gone through the reports of Israeli groups, of human rights groups,
Human Rights Watch and Peace Now and B’Tselem,
all of the reports of Amnesty International.
And he deploys all this evidence from Israeli and other sources
in order to sustain his critique of
Israeli practices,
Israeli violations of human rights of the Palestinians,
Israeli house demolitions,
the targeted assassinations of Palestinian militants,
the cutting down of trees,
the building of the wall --
the security barrier on the West Bank, which is illegal --
the restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the West Bank,
and so on and so forth.
I find his critique extremely detailed, well-documented and accurate.

Professor Hilberg, like you,
Norman Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust victims,
his mother and his father both in concentration camps.
Your final thoughts on this whole dispute and
whether Norman Finkelstein should get tenure at DePaul University in Chicago?

Well, let me say at the outset, I would not, unasked,
offer advice to the university in which he now serves.
Having been in a university for thirty-five years myself
and engaged in its politics,
I know that outside interferences are most unwelcome.
I will say, however,
that I am impressed by the analytical abilities of Finkelstein.
He is, when all is said and done,
a highly trained political scientist
who was given a PhD degree by a highly prestigious university.
This should not be overlooked.
Granted, this, by itself, may not establish him as a scholar.

However, leaving aside the question of style --
and here, I agree that it’s not my style either --
the substance of the matter is most important here,
particularly because Finkelstein, when he published this book, was alone.
It takes an enormous amount of academic courage to speak the truth
when no one else is out there to support him.

[Note well how Hilberg describes Finkelstein’s statements: as “the truth”.
So much for the propaganda campaign of those who would discredit Finkelstein.
they just don’t like the truth being told about them or their state of Israel.]

And so,
I think that given this acuity of vision and analytical power,
demonstrating that the Swiss banks did not owe the money,
that even though survivors were beneficiaries of the funds that were distributed,
they came, when all is said and done,
from places that were not obligated to pay that money.
That takes a great amount of courage in and of itself.

So I would say that his place in the whole history of writing history is assured,
and that those who in the end are proven right triumph,
and he will be among those who will have triumphed, albeit, it so seems,
at great cost.

[Sadly, that sounds like a valedictory comment for Finkelstein.]

by Martin Peretz
The New Republic Blog (“The Spine”), 2007-05-12

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

[Y]ou know about Norman Finkelstein who is truly a nutcase teacher
in the field for which DePaul University is now considering him for tenure.
Our Leon Wieseltier has called him “poison,
he’s a disgusting self-hating Jew,
he’s something you find under a rock.”

Democracy Not!
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMag.com, 2007-05-16

Chicago Sun-Times Gets Cold Feet:
Now They Won’t Publish Letter on Finkelstein Tenure Case

by Peter Kirstein

[A good example of how the MSM suppresses,
not only effective criticism of Israel,
but also words said in defense of those, like Finkelstein,
who can make effective criticism of Israel’s policies.
Another example is how the Wall Street Journal, while it published
Alan Dershowitz’s obviously totally one-sided attack on Finkelstein,
refused to publish anything giving the other side of the story.

Thus not only is Israel protected from the criticism that it deserves in the MSM,
but its critics cannot even gain a foothold elsewhere in prestigious circles.
And, to add insult to injury,
if you dare to point out how overwhelmingly Jews control the MSM,
then that itself makes you an anti-Semite!
I.e., telling the truth is anti-Semitism.

As a sample of the sort of thing the Chicago Sun-Times refused to publish,
here’s one (very apt) sentence from one of Kirstein’s follow-up emails
(emphasis is added):]

Stating that supporters of Finkelstein are “anti-Israel”
is egregious, unprofessional and terrible reporting

and I think the Sun-Times should accept that as legitimate criticism.

[But no, the CST wants to let stand
the notion that Finkelstein is “anti-Israel,”
without permitting the slightest attempt to rebut that charge.
What rot!

This story is continued below.]

Chicago Sun-Times Reporter Responds
to Letter that was not published on Finkelstein Tenure Case

by Peter Kirstein

What I Said to Dershowitz
by Robert Trivers
Wall Street Journal, 2007-05-23

[The full text of this letter to the WSJ editor; emphasis is added.]

In regard to Alan Dershowitz’s commentary “Finkelstein’s Bigotry”
(editorial page, May 4):
In it he asserts that
“He [Norman Finkelstein]
has encouraged radical goons to email threatening messages;
‘Look forward to a visit from me,’ reads one.
‘Nazis like [you] need to be confronted directly.’ ”

But all of this is untrue.
I wrote the letter in question (April 15, 2007),
but without Prof. Finkelstein’s knowledge, interest or approval.
The key sentences had nothing to do with Prof. Finkelstein:
“Regarding your rationalization of Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians,
let me just say that
if there is a repeat of Israeli butchery toward Lebanon
and if you decide once again to rationalize it publicly,
look forward to a visit from me.
Nazis — and Nazi-like apologists such as yourself —
need to be confronted directly.”

As for being an academic goon:
I am late responding because I was in Europe lecturing
after receiving the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Robert Trivers
Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences
Rutgers University
Somerset, N.J.

Finkelstein tenure case
exposes the commonplace cowardice of “responsible” professors

by Robert Jensen

Match Point
by Alan Dershowitz & Noam Chomsky
New Republic Online, 2007-06-01

[For reasons that I do not understand,
the above article is currently (06-01) available for free
if you find it via a Google search (e.g.),
then click on the link in the list of found web pages.

From the dialog,
here is a sample for what passes for argumentation from Dershowitz:]

Finkelstein’s only contribution to public discourse
is to coarsen the level of debate about the Middle East.
In a recent speech, Finkelstein called for
all “monsters and freaks in the White House and their collaborators in Tel Aviv”
to “drop dead.”

[Note the gross quantification error.
Dershowitz makes a universal assertion that
Finkelstein’s only contribution is
“to coarsen the level of debate about the Middle East”.
This is nothing but a big Zionist lie.

In fact, anybody who has read either of Finkelstein’s books
Image and Reality and Beyond Chutzpah
can only come away impressed with the level of scholarship exhibited therein,
as scholars Raul Hilberg and Avi Shlaim have attested.
Dershowitz, like most of Finkelstein’s assailants,
emphasizes only the sensational, never the substantial,
from Finkelstein.
He, and they, only seek to distract attention
from the very real factual content of Finkelstein’s books.
It’s just more smoke from the Zionist camp.

Surely there are decent people among the Zionists,
but why do they allow Dershowitz to so pollute the debate
with his failure to acknowledge the valid points that Finkelstein makes?
And, most problematically,
why does the American media serve as a megaphone for Dershowitz (e.g.)
while it hardly ever allows Finkelstein to convey his point of view in the media?
What could be more definitive proof that the American media
are owned lock, stock and barrel by the Zionists?]

Comment on a David Aaronovitch column
by Frank Schnittger
Timesonline, 2007-06-02

[David Aaronovitch was one of the participants in the Doha debate;
he wrote an online column
with some interesting commentary about that debate.

One of the reader comments regarding that column
was from one Frank Schnittger.
It brings up a very standard pattern that arises whenever Israel is criticized;
I know that I personally have had similar experiences
when I participated in an online discussion group (Slate’s Fray).
What appears below is the relevant part of Mr. Schnittger’s comment
(emphasis is added).]

Having also been the victim of Zionist abuse (sometimes on this blog)
whenever I raise the topic of Palestinian suffering
I can empathise with how Norman Finkelstein feels.

Its not that it isn’t possible to build a rational case
for a number of different points of view,
but that, for some reason,
a rational debate never even gets started.

The first response from my opponents is always
to latch onto the fact I have a German sounding name
and label me as a crypto (or not so crypto) Nazi sympathiser.

Personal abuse of the most vile sort invariably follows,
and even on moderated blogs such as Timesonline,
this is rarely censored,
and even some mild retorts on my part have been ruled out of order.

It sometimes seems that
any attempt at a rational analysis
which uses generalisations about Israel
is automatically deemed to be anti-semitic and racist

[presumably he means uncomplimentary generalisations],
whilst the most vile racist slurs by Zionists
are regarded as fair or at least arguable comment.

However it is the ad hominem nature of the responses
which is the most saddening,
because it means that the argument is never progressed
beyond the playground “who’s side are you on anyway?” level of debate.

2007-06-08: Finkelstein Denied Tenure

Developing Story:
Norman Finkelstein Denied Tenure at Chicago’s DePaul University

by Peter Kirstein

Update: DePaul University Norman G. Finkelstein Case
by Peter Kirstein

Latest: DePaul President Informs A.A.U.P. of Finkelstein Tenure Denial
by Peter Kirstein

DePaul Rejects Tenure Bid by Finkelstein
and Says Dershowitz Pressure Played No Role

Chronicle of Higher Education, 2007-06-08

DePaul University Statement on the Tenure and Promotion Decision
Concerning Professor Norman Finkelstein

DePaul University, 2007-06-08

[This is also included, with comment from Peter Kirstein, here.]

The Letter Denying Tenure
by DePaul University President Dennis H. Holtschneider

Exclusive: Finkelstein Supporter also Denied Tenure at DePaul
by Peter Kirstein

Who’s Who on DePaul University’s Committee on Promotion and Tenure
by Peter Kirstein

Professor Finkelstein Denied Tenure Due to
Alleged Lack of Collegiality in Published Research

by Peter Kirstein

[An excerpt:]

Having read the reverend
[DePaul University President Dennis H. Holtschneider]’s statement,
it appears to be virtually a political manifesto
that Dean Chuck Suchar first advanced in his non-recommendation for tenure.
It lacks substance;
it lacks specific bona fide reasons
to sustain the prevention of tenure and promotion.

DePaul Denies Controversial Professor
The Associated Press
Washington Post, 2007-06-10

Chicago Sun-Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune on denial of tenure
NormanFinkelstein.com, 2007-06-10

Norman Finkelstein gets Canned, at Last
by Steven Plaut
Israel National News, 2007-06-10

DePaul University Press Release
on Denial of Tenure to Dr. Finkelstein

by Peter Kirstein

InsiderHigherEd Scott Jaschik
Interviewed Professor Kirstein on Finkelstein Case

by Peter Kirstein

[An excerpt:]

I believe the Finkelstein case is, perhaps,
the most important academic freedom case since the McCarthy Era
and I hope both the academic and national press covers it with due diligence.

DePaul Rejects Finkelstein
Inside Higher Ed, 2007-06-11

DePaul University on Friday formally denied tenure to Norman G. Finkelstein,
who has taught political science there
while attracting an international following — of both fans and critics —
for his attacks on Israeli policies and the “Holocaust industry.”

[This is an excellent, comprehensive article on the situation;
here is an excerpt. Emphasis is added.]


While most tenure processes are layered,
several people at DePaul said it was unusual for tenure candidates there
to advance several steps in the review process — only to be rejected....

“The real responsibility
for assessing someone’s scholarship and teaching and service
rests with the department.
Your closest colleagues are expected to understand what you do
more precisely than an upper level body,”
said Anne Clark Bartlett,
a professor of English and president of the Faculty Council at DePaul.
In the aftermath of Friday’s announcements, she said that
“people are very concerned.”

That concern extends beyond DePaul.
“This is a very important case not just for DePaul,
but for the country as a whole,”
said Cary Nelson,
president of the American Association of University Professors.
He declined to offer an opinion on the case
because the AAUP could become involved.
The Illinois conference of the association already has,
objecting to some of the arguments used against Finkelstein.

Finkelstein meanwhile does not plan to take his loss of tenure quietly.
He said via e-mail, with more than a little irony, that
“it’s gratifying to see that the system works.”

What are his plans?
“I’m unemployed and unemployable at 53,” he said.
“I accumulated an impressive teaching record
yet will never again be able to step foot in a college classroom.
I’ve written five books to considerable scholarly acclaim
and that have gone into 46 foreign editions,
yet I won’t have access to a good research library with borrowing privileges.
Like I said, the system works.
Do I have any regrets? None at all.
To quote my childhood hero Paul Robeson when he was being crucified in the 1950s:
I will not retreat one thousandth part of one inch.”
(Actually, Finkelstein isn’t unemployed; as is standard in tenure denials,
he is employed at DePaul for the next academic year.)


Professor Kirstein Quoted in InsideHigherEd
and Reflections on Dr Finkelstein Academic Freedom Case

by Peter Kirstein

A Remonstrance of Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M.
Describing Professor Finkelstein as “Unprofessional.”

by Peter Kirstein

Outspoken Political Scientist Denied Tenure at DePaul
New York Times, 2007-06-11

[An excerpt:]

Mr. Finkelstein’s work,
accusing Jews of exploiting the Holocaust for monetary gain
and attacking Israel for oppressing the Palestinians,
has made Mr. Finkelstein many enemies over the years.
One of the most dogged has been Alan Dershowitz,
the attorney and Harvard law professor
whose impassioned defense of Israel
has led to frequent and often venomous conflicts with Mr. Finkelstein.


Mr. Finkelstein said he plans to leave Chicago for New York.
“Teaching is in my bones. I love to teach,”
he said, but he added that
as a result of this “blacklisting,
I will be barred from ever entering a college classroom again.”

DePaul U. Turns Norman Finkelstein Down for Tenure
Chronicle of Higher Education, 2007-06-11

free copy at Finkelstein’s web site

ADL Reacts to DePaul’s Denial of Tenure to Prof. Norman Finkelstein
Anti-Defamation League, 2007-06-11

[An excerpt from their statement:
(emphasis and commentary are added)]

The Anti-Defamation League has long been troubled
by Professor Norman Finkelstein’s
vitriolic and mean-spirited rhetoric
in his written works and public speaking engagements.
His career has been marked by
hurtful attacks on those seeking to remember the Holocaust
[Nowhere have I seen Finkelstein attack
“those seeking to remember the Holocaust;”
rather he has attacked
1) those seeking to improperly profit from the Holocaust, and
2) those trying to use the Holocaust as a way of deflecting Israel from criticism,
no matter how well-deserved.]
an obsessive hatred of Zionism and Israel, and
a penchant for distorting the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
[Why is Finkelstein’s focus on Israel any more obsessive
than, say, Dershowitz’s, or for that matter, many other Jews,
like, say Haim Saban?
And why is Finkelstein’s criticism of Israel motivated by hatred,
rather than a desire to help Israel avoid making tragic mistakes?
Is Israel so perfect that no one, other than an Israeli, may criticize it?
That, most clearly, is the attitude of the ADL, and, also clearly,
shows that the real bigots are the ADL
and those who support its bigoted “Israel can do no wrong” attitudes.
But then, Jews are no strangers to hypocrisy, are they?]

To the extent that DePaul’s decision to deny tenure to Prof. Finkelstein
is intended as a repudiation of his hateful and bigoted ideas,
we applaud the University for its actions in standing up for its principles.

the ADL has done nothing to show that Finkelstein’s statements
are motivated by hate, rather than love;
nor that his criticism of Israel is destructive, rather than constructive.

In fact, Finkelstein himself has provided an explanation
for why he criticizes current Israeli policies so vehemently.
The following is from the conclusion (pages 225–226) of his Beyond Chutzpah.
All emphasis is added by the current author.]

Throughout the past year [2004] this writer [Finkelstein]
has stated in public lectures that
The Case for Israel [by Alan Dershowitz] is replete with egregious falsehoods.
Yet the biggest fraud is the title itself.
Dershowitz hasn’t written a case for Israel.
How could anyone genuinely concerned about the Israeli people
counsel policies certain to sow
seeds of hatred abroad and moral corruption within?

What he has in fact written is the case for the destruction of Israel.

[As Foxman, the ADL, and all knowledgeable Jews know very well,
within Israel debate over the wisdom of Israel’s policies is quite active (e.g.).
What they want to do, and this is not just my opinion
but has been widely reported by Jews well-placed within the Jewish community,
is shut down such debate within America,
to make America a slavishly obedient follower
of whatever the policy is of the current Israeli government.
In other words, to make America a vassal state to its master, Israel.
As American Jewish leaders have said, to Israeli leaders,
“Our job is to follow you.
Our role is to be loyal to Israel.”
That’s the reality.
What is shameful about the ADL is that
it willfully and deliberately tries to deny that reality,
and, worst of all,
to punish anyone, such as Finkelstein,
who tries to speak the truth about these matters to his fellow Americans.
In my opinion, the ADL has, in these regards,
done terrible damage to the health of American intellectual life.]

Professor Kirstein Interviewed on Chicago Public Radio
on Finkelstein Tenure Case

by Peter Kirstein

Letter from Bill Christison: Denying Finkelstein Tenure
by Bill Christison (Former senior CIA official)

My strong belief is that Dr. Finkelstein
is an honest and highly competent scholar
who seeks justice for and an end to oppression of the Palestinian people.

[Bill Christison, with his wife Kathleen,
have written much to aid American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Check the references cited at the link, and search this blog for examples.]

DePaul Genuflects to Dershowitz
by Howard Friel
ZNet, 2007-06-12

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Because few assistant professors
with books published by at least three major publishers
(in this case the University of California, W.W. Norton, and Verso)
are denied tenure, and
because even fewer
with such books,
a vote of support from their department, and
glowing student evaluations,
are denied tenure,
it is difficult to imagine that anything other than outside interference ...
led to the denial of Finkelstein’s tenure at DePaul.


Anyone with even minimal awareness of
the politics of criticizing Israel in the United States
understands the implied threats against DePaul
that such statements from Dershowitz embodied.
Clearly, Dershowitz sought to leverage
Catholic vulnerability about the Holocaust,
given the “neutrality” of Pope Pius XII
in the midst of the genocide of European Jews, and
Finkelstein’s scholarship on the Holocaust,
which argues that it’s exploited by Israel
to justify its otherwise illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
Or perhaps President Holtschneider happened to see
the photograph of Pope Benedict XVI placed next to one of David Duke [!!]
on the homepage of the Anti-Defamation League in January of this year
[yes, that’s the ADL all right—
masters of guilt by association and the cheap shot]

an apparent co-conspirator (with the UN’s Kofi Annan) against Israel—
and imagined his own picture there
[Your picture here!
Yes, you too can be pictured next to David Duke.
Just criticize Israel enough.]

pursuant to a grant of tenure to Finkelstein.
Or maybe he sought not to expose himself and his university
to the kind of Dershowitzian slander that Finkelstein was subjected to,
and which Holtschneider witnessed
without a public word to Dershowitz
that his interference in the case was improper and unacceptable.

Furthermore, by withholding tenure from Finkelstein
while also unconvincingly denying the public context of that decision,
Holtschneider sold-out long-standing Catholic “Just War” doctrine
to Dershowitz,
which features the protection of the rights of civilians in armed conflict.[7]
While Dershowitz is in the vanguard, with the American Jewish Congress,
of a major effort to modify international humanitarian law
to further minimize the rights of civilians
with the goal of “unshackling” the United States and Israel
in their various military campaigns,[8]
Finkelstein supports international humanitarian law
and consistently applies it in his scholarship,
including to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.[9]
By, in effect, choosing Dershowitz over Finkelstein,
DePaul betrayed bedrock Catholic principles
pertaining to the protection of civilians in armed conflict,
and helped boost Dershowitz’s Medieval-dungeon views
about international humanitarian law and human rights.
This is easy to illustrate in the context of
Dershowitz’s support of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in summer 2006.[10]

Kirstein quotes Chronicle of Higher Education 06-12 article
by Peter Kirstein

Dershowitz Foes Face Scrutiny
Denied tenure bid, cancelled speech latest fates
for enemies of Harvard Law professor
Harvard Crimson, 2007-06-17

[A more accurate title would be:
“Dershowitz Foes Face Setbacks.”
The first part of the article
brings the Harvard community up to date
on the denial of tenure to Finkelstein,
with, naturally, careful attention to the role of Dershowitz.
The second part, below, describes yet another way
those who speak out against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians
and the American supporters of that oppression
are punished.
All emphasis in this excerpt is added.]


Academics in places other than DePaul
have not been able to steer clear of the Finkelstein-Dershowitz conflict.

The Boston Globe reported in late May that
Robert Trivers, a noted Rutgers University biologist,
had a Harvard speaking engagement cancelled
after publishing comments in the Wall Street Journal
that referred to Dershowitz as a “Nazi-like apologist.”

The comments came in response to the May 4 Journal article by Dershowitz,
in which the author quoted a message Trivers had sent him
as support for his claim that
“[Finkelstein] has encouraged radical goons to email threatening messages.”

Trivers adamantly maintained that when he did write to Dershowitz,
decrying the law professor’s
“rationalization of Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians,”
his words did not come at Finkelstein’s behest.
Finkelstein himself said that Trivers’ work
was too mathematically impenetrable for the two to have much in common,
and he confirmed that
he did not know the noted biologist personally.

“I wish I could claim people of that stature as my friends,” Finkelstein said.
“But…how could we be friends?
I have no idea what he’s talking about [in his work].
We might as well be talking from Earth to Mars.”

Trivers had been scheduled to speak at
Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics (PED)
after a process which, he said, involved him being “pestered…and harassed”
by PED Director Martin A. Nowak for close to three months.

After putting off a trip to Jamaica for a week so that he could give the lecture, Trivers said,
he arrived in Cambridge on the day of the event and
was told by Nowak only hours before he was due to speak that
the date had been cancelled.
A party, scheduled by PED to honor Trivers
for his recent receipt of a prestigious scientific award,
was also cancelled.

Nowak’s stated reason for the cancellation of both events, Trivers said,
was that he had “called a Harvard professor a Nazi.”
[Harvard professors are sensitive about that, you know.]

According to Trivers,
when Nowak was pressed to reveal who had made the decision,
the PED director said that he had been “sworn to secrecy.”
Nowak did not respond to repeated phone and e-mail requests for comment.

It was Nowak’s secrecy
that suggested that the decision to cancel
did not come “through regular administrative channels,”
Trivers said,
leading him to suspect that either
Dershowitz—who sits as a faculty affiliate on PED
[?? What does Dershowitz know about evolutionary dynamics?]
Jeffrey E. Epstein—who donated $6.5 million to the creation of PED in 2003
and has retained Dershowitz as a defense lawyer
against his 2006 indictment for soliciting prostitution—
were responsible for the decision to cancel the speech.


His objection to Trivers’ letter, Dershowitz added,
was not the invocation of Nazism,
but instead the apparently threatening language that followed.

“Let me just say that
if there is a repeat of Israeli butchery towards Lebanon and
if you decide once again to rationalize it publicly,
look forward to a visit from me,”
reads Trivers’ transcription of the offending portion of the message.
[Trivers was born in 1943, making him 64 years old;
see his photo and web page.]

Dershowitz said he believed that
the message’s promise of a confrontation signaled a physical threat and that
he had given it to the Harvard University Police Department upon receipt.
He added that
while he had not played a direct role in the cancellation of Trivers’ event,
he thought that the decision had been made properly.

“I don’t think you should have a party
at which a Harvard faculty doesn’t feel comfortable,” Dershowitz said.
“I have a right to go anywhere at Harvard
without feeling a risk to my bodily integrity.”

[I don’t see where Trivers’ remarks
constituted a “threat to Dershowitz’s bodily integrity.”
Isn’t it clear that Dershowitz is really hamming it up, playing the victim?
Maybe that’s what trial lawyers do for a living.
But why Harvard should indulge Dershowitz’s exaggerated fears,
rather than just providing him security
while the “menacing” figure of Trivers was on campus,
is beyond me.]

Trivers maintained that “no physical threat of any sort was intended,”
and that he regretted not making the statement clearer
“so that no fool could have thought
I was planning to come up there and fight [Dershowitz],
for God’s sakes.”

[Hey, Jews can see a threat in almost anything.]

A letter to Father Holtschneider
RE: Denial of Tenure for Doctors Norman Finkelstein and Mehrene Larudee

from Martin Brewster
NormanFinkelstein.com, 2007-06-19

Finkelstein’s Sexism
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com, 2007-06-25

[Dershowitz never lets up:]
In addition to describing his abusive sexist behavior toward a subordinate,
the report characterized Finkelstein as “mean spirit” and as “unprofessional.”

The Commissar Two-Step at DePaul
CounterPunch.org, 2007-07-02

Imagine the following phone conversation between
the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard, Alan Dershowitz,
John Simon, the Chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees:

Norman Finkelstein and the Catholic Church
DePaul and the Vatican’s Long Leash
CounterPunch.org, 2007-07-03

It seems ... that Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s application failed
not because of any professional or personal failings,
but rather because of considerations external to his person,
none of which have been explained.

Norman Finkelstein and the Perils of Impeccable Scholarship
CounterPunch.org, 2007-07-04

An impressive record of scholarship was not enough
to ensure tenure for DePaul University Professor Norman Finkelstein.
An unprecedented yet predictable campaign of hate and slander
waged by Israel Inc.,
commandeered by Alan Dershowitz,
the noted Harvard plagiarist, strident enemy of human rights,
and America's leading apologist for Israeli state terrorism.

Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul University for one primary reason - his impeccable scholarship.
Finkelstein, by all accounts, is a shoe-in for tenure
but he dared to accurately and cohesively dismantle, question and expose
the motives and methods undertaken by members of Israel Inc.,
like Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz,
who have as their primary life objective -
working on behalf of The State of Israel.


Academic freedom doesn't extend to those who speak out against Israel
by Greg Felton
Media Monitors Network, 2007-08-09

[Its conclusion:]

In Chapter 7 of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer describes the various ways the Nazi regime censored and otherwise debased German education:

“The Civil Service Act of 1937 required teachers to be ‘the executors of the will of the party-supported State’ and to be ready ‘at any time to defend without reservation the National Socialist State.’ An earlier decree had classified them as civil servants and thus subject to the racial laws. Jews, of course, were forbidden to teach. All teachers took an oath to ‘be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler.’...

“As early as the autumn of 1933 some 960 of them, led by such luminaries as Professor Sauerbruch, the surgeon, Heidegger, the existentialist philosopher, and Pinder, the art historian, took a public vow to support Hitler and the National Socialist regime.”

Shirer notes that those who openly opposed the new politicized education were exceedingly small, and most of those who did were forced to emigrate. Today, in the U.S. and other “democracies,” professors who oppose the official politicized education also face threats, ostracism and libel. For the “National Socialist State” substitute the “National Zionist State.”

Dr. David Noble of York University in Toronto
was libeled by the university’s administration
and harassed by the Canadian Jewish Congress
for his opposition to Israeli apartheid and support for Palestinians.
No professor came to his defence or condemned the University administration
for colluding with the Lobby.

Dr. Robert Trivers of Rutgers University
had his guest lecture at Harvard cancelled just before he was due to speak
because he had earlier identified Alan Dershowitz as a “Nazi-like apologist”
for having justified Israel’s atrocities in Lebanon.

Dr. Ilan Pappé of Haifa University in Israel
has been ostracized and threatened
because of his exposés of Israel’s terrorism,
and has been forced to emigrate.
In September he begins teaching at Exeter University.

Dr. Norman Finkelstein, while at DePaul University in Chicago,
was denied tenure despite overwhelming support from faculty and students,
because of administrative bias and a defamation campaign led by Alan Dershowitz.

These four professors of principle, three of whom are Jewish, are victims of fascism just as much as were Jewish students and teachers during the Third Reich. Their cases might lack the overt, declared fascism of Hitler’s regime, and neither had to swear a loyalty oath but the coercive influence of the The Lobby is every bit as pernicious.

How is it possible that a democracy founded on notions of individual liberty could tolerate such gross abuses of that liberty, unless that democracy no longer exists?

The founding myth of Jews as eternal victims
and of Israel as Jewish payback for the crimes committed by the Nazis
are nothing more than compartmentalized moral dogmata.
To accept that zionist Jews are doing to Arabs
what the Nazis did to Yiddisher Jews
amounts to assailing the moral justification for Israel’s existence.

Any professor who taught honest scholarship in 1930s Germany committed a crime. If B’nai Brith gets its way, any professor who teaches honest scholarship about the Middle East, advocates justice for Palestinians or denounces the corrosive influence of the Israel Lobby will also be guilty of committing a crime.

In 1945, Professor Julius Ebbinghaus, one of the few professors who refused to cave in to the Nazis, remarked: “The German universities failed, while there was still time, to oppose publicly with all their power the destruction of knowledge and of the democratic state. They failed to keep the beacon of freedom and right burning during the night of tyranny.”

The beacon of freedom, though, doesn’t appear to be fairing much better in 2007. In response to a boycott of Israeli universities by UNISON, the U.K.’s largest public trade union, the presidents of McGill University and the University of B.C. issued knee-jerk condemnations in the name of academic freedom, never once mentioning Israel’s denial of academic (or any) freedom to Palestinians, the substance of UNISON’s argument, or The Lobby’s terrorism of scholars.

Such is the state of academic freedom in Israemerica and Canadisrael.

Alumni Group Seeks to Deny Tenure
to Middle Eastern Scholar at Barnard College

by John Gravois
Chronicle of Higher Education New Blog, 2007-08-15

[This isn’t about Finkelstein, rather about Nadia Abu El-Haj,
but it shows the ubiquity of Jewish hit teams
that attack the ability of American universities
to grant tenure to scholars who dare to criticize Israel.]

Controversial research on Israel and the Palestinian territories
has become the basis of
yet another campaign
to prevent a professor from winning tenure.

A group of Barnard College alumni has drafted an online petition
asking their alma mater to deny tenure to Nadia Abu El-Haj,
an assistant professor of anthropology whose scholarship, they say,
is flawed and skewed against Israel.

Fracas Erupts Over Book on Mideast by a Barnard Professor Seeking Tenure
New York Times, 2007-09-10

A tenure bid by an assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College
who has critically examined the use of archaeology in Israel
has put Columbia University once again
at the center of a struggle over scholarship on the Middle East.

The professor, Nadia Abu El-Haj ....

Joint statement of Norman Finkelstein and DePaul University
on their tenure controversy and its resolution

[Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

Norman Finkelstein and DePaul University issued the following statement today
in connection with the resolution of their dispute
over the University’s denial of tenure to Professor Finkelstein.
Except for this statement
there will be no public comment regarding the resolution of our controversy
or the terms of our agreement.

From Professor Finkelstein:

I came to DePaul University in 2001
and was put on a tenure-track position in 2003.
To get tenure I had to demonstrate a credible record
as a teacher, scholar, and citizen of the university.
During my six year stint at DePaul
I consistently received
among the highest student evaluations in my department.
I have published five books to critical acclaim from leading scholars,
and they have been translated into 46 foreign editions.
I have been recognized as a public intellectual
at many of the leading universities in the United States and Europe
and have become an internationally recognized scholar
in my academic specialties.
Based on this record, I should have received tenure.
Indeed, after extensive scrutiny of my academic credentials,
my department voted overwhelmingly to tenure me
as did the college-level tenure committee,
which voted unanimously in my favor.
The only inference that I can draw is that
I was denied tenure due to external pressures
climaxing in a national hysteria that tainted the tenure process.

The outpouring of support for me after the tenure denial
from among the most respected scholars in the world
buttresses this conclusion.

Although DePaul’s decision to deny me tenure was a bitter blow,
I would be remiss in my responsibilities if I did not also acknowledge
DePaul’s honorable role of providing a scholarly haven for me
the past six years.
It is a fact, and I would want to acknowledge it, that
the DePaul administration kept me on its faculty
despite overwhelming external pressures.

It is also a fact that my professional colleagues
displayed rare rectitude in steadfastly supporting me.
It is also a fact that DePaul students
rose to dazzling spiritual heights in my defense
that should be the envy of and an example for
every university in the United States.
I will miss them.

It is now time for me to move on
and hopefully find new ways to fulfill my own mission in life
of making this world a slightly better place on leaving it
than when I entered it.

From DePaul:

Today we have reached a resolution
of our dispute with Professor Norman Finkelstein.
As a part of that resolution he has agreed to resign effective immediately.
With this issue behind us,
we can once again turn our full attention and energy
to discharging our most important duty:
the education of DePaul students,
who have placed in us their trust and faith.

Granting tenure is a guarantee of lifetime employment.
DePaul’s standards for tenure are
demonstrated and sustainable excellence in teaching and scholarship
as well meaningful service to the University.
Every DePaul faculty member seeking tenure
is evaluated by the same standards:
it is an evaluation of faculty conducted by faculty.

Throughout the tenure process,
our faculty ensured that the established standards for tenure
were their only consideration.
Upon receiving the recommendations from the lower level faculty committees,
the University Board on Promotion and Tenure --
DePaul’s highest academic committee --
voted to deny Professor Finkelstein tenure,
and the President of DePaul accepted that vote.
We understand that Professor Finkelstein and his supporters
disagree with the University Board on Promotion and Tenure’s conclusion
that he did not meet the requirements for tenure.
The system is designed to give every applicant
the same opportunity to achieve tenure,
and has proven to be fair and effective.
In every tenure case,
the final decision is one of balancing
the various arguments for and against tenure.

Professor Finkelstein has expressed the view that
he should have been granted tenure and that
third parties external to the University influenced DePaul in denying tenure.
That is not so.
Over the past several months,
there has been considerable outside interest about the tenure decision.
This attention was unwelcome and inappropriate.
In the end, however,
it had absolutely no impact on either the process or the final outcome.

Professor Finkelstein is a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher.
The University thanks him for his contributions and service.

Both parties are satisfied with the resolution of their dispute
and wish each other well in their future endeavors.

Finkelstein and DePaul Settle
by Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Education, 2007-09-06

[The beginning of the article (emphasis is added):]

Wednesday was supposed to be
the day of the big showdown at DePaul University.
Instead it turned out to be the day of the big compromise.
DePaul and Norman Finkelstein, the professor to whom it had denied tenure,
announced that he was resigning immediately.
The university and Finkelstein even managed
to say some nice things about one another.
But while Finkelstein will be leaving,
some at the university and elsewhere believe that
significant academic freedom issues raised by his case are very much alive.

The statements issued by the university and Finkelstein
did not contain details of their agreement
and they reiterated some of the main arguments in the dispute:
Finkelstein’s view that outside groups had inappropriate influence in the process
and the university’s insistence that the tenure denial was fair.

In his remarks, Finkelstein blamed the outcome on
“external pressures climaxing
in a national hysteria that tainted the tenure process.”

But he went on to note ways in which DePaul had backed him up.

“Although DePaul’s decision to deny me tenure was a bitter blow,
I would be remiss in my responsibilities if I did not also acknowledge
DePaul’s honorable role of providing a scholarly haven for me the past six years.
It is a fact, and I would want to acknowledge it, that
the DePaul administration kept me on its faculty
despite overwhelming external pressures.

It is also a fact that
my professional colleagues displayed rare rectitude
in steadfastly supporting me.
It is also a fact that
DePaul students rose to dazzling spiritual heights in my defense
that should be the envy of and an example for
every university in the United States.
I will miss them.”

In the university’s statement,
it said that the tenure review was based on appropriate criteria.
“Professor Finkelstein has expressed the view that
he should have been granted tenure and that
third parties external to the University influenced DePaul in denying tenure.
That is not so.
Over the past several months,
there has been considerable outside interest about the tenure decision.
This attention was unwelcome and inappropriate.
In the end, however, it had absolutely no impact
on either the process or the final outcome,” the statement said.
But DePaul also praised Finkelstein as
“a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher.”


A Bad Beginning in Irvine
New York Times Editorial, 2007-09-14

[From the editorial:]

Applying an ideological litmus test for academic appointments
is offensive.

[Too bad the NYT,
and all the academics who are defending Chemerinsky,
couldn’t bother themselves to defend Finkelstein
when he was denied tenure on ideological grounds.
Anyone who thinks that Finkelstein was denied tenure on any other grounds
is just fooling themselves, if not others.]

In Defense of Academic Freedom
a convocation at the University of Chicago
sponsored by the DePaul Academic Freedom Committee

[From the announcing press release:]

In light of the controversial tenure denials of
eminent Middle East scholar Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein and
Dr. Mehrene Larudee
earlier this year at DePaul University,
the most prominent scholars from across the world
will come together this Friday, October 12, 2007,
at a conference at the University of Chicago to speak lecturing about
the threats to academic freedom at universities.

Professors Finkelstein and Larudee were both denied tenure at DePaul last June for political purposes.
After not being allowed to teach his terminal year at DePaul, Finkelstein and the university settled on an agreement in September,
when Finkelstein resigned and DePaul acknowledged him to be “a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher.”
Professor Larudee, who was a strong supporter of both Finkelstein and Palestinian rights,
is currently appealing her case at DePaul.
Both scholars will also appear as panelists at the October 12 conference.

The event is to be held at the Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. Chicago, IL 60637. Scheduled speakers include:

Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Heyman Center, Columbia University
Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Norman Finkelstein, (formerly) Department of Political Science, DePaul University
Dr. John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Dr. Neve Gordon, Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University
Dr. Tony Judt, University Professor and Director of the Remarque Institute, New York University
Dr. Mehrene Larudee, International Studies Program, DePaul University
• Hosted by Tariq Ali, Editor of the New Left Review and Verso Books

On the Academic Freedom Convocation at U Chicago.
by Peter Kirstein


Norman Finkelstein at the Oxford Union -- Round Two
The Magnes Zionist, 2008-01-08

Finkelstein, a Victim of the Israel Lobby, Denies That It Has Power
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-02-23

Finkelstein Denied Entry to Israel

Finkelstein's Deportation and the Reaction of Progressive Jews
by “Jeremiah Haber”
The Magnes Zionist, 2008-05-24

Israel imposes a 10-year ban on American critic of Israeli policies
by Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com, 2008-05-27

Why is Norman Finkelstein Not Allowed to Teach?
by David Klein

[This is an eye-opening account of the roadblocks thrown up
to keep Norman Finkelstein from getting an academic position,
in this case at CalState Northridge.
Here are some excerpts; emphasis is added.]

There can be little doubt that Finkelstein was fired because of
his criticisms of Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people,
and for his fact-based criticisms of the Israel lobby.
Raul Hilberg warned at the time,
“I have a sinking feeling about the damage this will do to academic freedom”.
Even the DePaul administration tacitly conceded that
his firing was politically motivated when it acknowledged Finkelstein as
a “prolific scholar and outstanding teacher’’
in a later legal settlement (Finkelstein, “Joint Statement”).

An unstated axiom for U.S. universities is that
criticism of Israel by untenured faculty members is not allowed.
[Any exceptions?]
Academic freedom protects critics of
the national policies of the U.S., France, England,
and every other country in the world, save one:
Norman Finkelstein violated this axiom.
Had he not been Jewish he would have been vilified successfully as anti-Semitic,
and that slur alone would have isolated him from supporters.
As it is, his detractors also smear him as a “Holocaust denier,”
knowing full well that Finkelstein is the son of two Holocaust survivors,
and that the remainder of his family died in the Nazi death camps.
His first book includes a dedication “to my beloved parents,” ending with,
“May I never forget what was done to them”.


The Visit

Finkelstein visited CSUN the week of February 11, 2008.
In the weeks preceding his arrival,
the provost and president were lobbied heavily by
Jewish groups, Rabbis, and various individuals
to disinvite Finkelstein.
He was denounced in the most degrading terms.
Shelly Rubin of the Jewish Defense League (JDL)
posted a memo to a JDL Blog entitled, “Stinky Finky Coming to LA”.
In it Finkelstein’s email address was provided,
and he was described as “a sick, disgusting example of self-hatred” (Rubin).
Readers were urged to contact CSUN’s president, Jolene Koester,
to register their indignation.
The Pro-Israel advocacy group, Stand With Us,
similarly lobbied the administration against allowing Finkelstein to come,
as did the Jewish campus organization, Hillel,
and faculty members and students in the Jewish Studies Program at CSUN.
A few letters called for the removal of the provost,
and some of the letter writers
threatened never to make financial donations to CSUN again.
Hellenbrand received a small number of death threats from out of state,
which he ignored.
The chancellor of the 23 campus California State University system
also received some letters which he forwarded to the campus.

The provost estimated that he received
some 200 letters from members of Los Angeles Jewish organizations
demanding that Finkelstein’s invitation to give talks on campus be withdrawn.
Finkelstein was accused of denying the Holocaust
and working for the destruction of Israel.
Many of these letters argued that a presentation by Finkelstein
was like shouting “fire” in a movie theater,
thereby endangering the youth in attendance.


Presidential Veto

During the last week of February 2008,
a retired faculty member, inspired by Finkelstein’s lectures,
offered $30,000 toward an endowed chair at CSUN for Finkelstein.
He indicated that he might be willing to offer an even larger figure.
The provost declined the email offer on the grounds that
university regulations prevented
the creation of an endowed chair for any specific individual.
Curiously, the administration showed no interest
in meeting with this erstwhile donor to discuss alternate ways in which
he might contribute toward bringing Finkelstein to CSUN,
or even toward more general university projects.

Despite compelling letters of recommendation, and substantial faculty lobbying,
we faced a formidable barrier in March.
We were told by the administration that because of faculty union regulations,
the university could no longer hire any university wide visiting scholars.
Instead, all hires would have to originate from academic departments.
This broadly anti-intellectual restriction
put a freeze on potential future visitors with interdisciplinary interests,
and it appeared to undo our effort to bring Finkelstein to CSUN.
(The Political Science Department
seemed to want to have nothing to do with him.
Mehran Kamrava
had accepted an academic position in December at another university,
and none of the remaining CSUN political science faculty members
even attended Finkelstein’s talks.)

However, our effort was resuscitated during the final week of April,
when the Chair of Journalism asked the provost
to bring Finkelstein as a visiting professor to his department.
This was a good fit.
Finkelstein would make an excellent resource for faculty members
interested in the important area of Middle East affairs.
He was also more than capable of directing research projects for students,
and contributing seminars, lectures, and class visits for a range of courses.
To proceed the Journalism Chair was instructed by the provost
to make a formal request to his college dean, which he did.
He submitted the necessary paperwork, but from May to mid-June,
almost nothing happened.
Many of us had worked for much of the preceding year
to bring Finkelstein to CSUN,
and we were anxiously waiting for the formal offer to go out.

The coup de grace came from the campus president, but it came discreetly.
The provost informed me on 26 June 2008 that
the president had made a policy decision
not to award visiting positions,

even when they originate within a department.

That policy decision put an end to our project.
It was a sharp departure from past practice,
and an extraordinary bow to the Israel Lobby,
as the university had hosted departmental visiting professors in recent years.


Bobby Fischer

While this collection includes some people
who are classified as “anti-Semites” only under the broadest possible definition of anti-Semitism,
Bobby Fischer certainly fits a narrower definition.

Bobby Fischer, Troubled Genius of Chess, Dies at 64
New York Times, 2008-01-19

The preliminary title and lede on the Web, Friday, 01-18:

“Bobby Fischer, Chess Master, Dies at 64”

Bobby Fischer, the iconoclastic genius
who was one of the greatest chess players the world has ever seen,
has died, a close family friend, Gardar Sverrisson, confirmed Friday (01-18).

List of “Anti-Semites”

Here are some people who have been called anti-Semites at one time or another.



Jimmy Carter (Carter-39)
George H. W. Bush (Bush-41)

J. William Fulbright
Charles H. (Chuck) Percy
Ernest F. (Fritz) Hollings

Paul Findley
Pete McCloskey
Jim Moran
Cynthia McKinney
Earl Hilliard
John E. Rankin


Patrick Buchanan
Robert Novak
Alexander Cockburn
Joe Sobran


John Mearsheimer
Stephen Walt
Norman Finkelstein
Kevin MacDonald
Juan Cole


Charles Lindbergh (his Des Moines speech;
for background information, click here, then page search on "Lindbergh")
Henry Ford (for some info, see MacDonald’s review: part I and part II.)

Israel Shahak