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Monday, 27 February 2012

Green Party Votes to Oppose the Jewish National Fund –





Mira Vogel and Green Engage are Decisively Rejected

Stop Press – Despite all the frenetic activity on the Internet, when push came to shove ‘Green Engage’ the Zionist lobby within the Green Party, failed to even try to defend the JNF. And who can blame them? How do you justify an organisation that refuses to allow non-Jews to use its land? And when that land is 93% of the total in Israel it’s called apartheid. Even Mira Vogel is not a clever enough academic to spin that one!

And the EUMC definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ which is itself anti-Semitic, (holding that Jews have the right to self-determination whilst any attempts to associate Jews with Israel’s barbarities are nonetheless anti-Semitic!) was decisively rejected by the Green Party Conference in Liverpool.

One has to wonder why Vogel even bothers. Not only is the Green Party not naturally friendly territory but their attempt to defend the indefensible is, at the best of times, impossible.

It is no wonder that they didn't even bother to put up a single speaker in favour of the JNF. Just how do you defend an organisation which won't allow Arabs to use its land and which deliberately plants forests and woods over the ruins of Arab villages whose inhabitants have been expelled? How do you justify the destruction, 30 times, of the village of Al Arakabh in the Negev by the JNF in order that they can beautify another area of ethnic cleansing?

Well done Debbie Fink, Terry Gallogly, and Shahrah Ali for good speeches against this attempt to portray anyone who supports the Palestinians as being ‘anti-Semitic’.


JNF MOTION


  • The Green Party of England and Wales condemns the Jewish National Fundfor its activities in excluding non-Jews from Israeli land and denouncesthe organisation for claiming to be an ecological agency.

  • The GPEW endorses the international call for action against the JNF andsupports efforts to revoke its charitable status in the UK.

  • The GPEW will add its name to the list of signatories of the 'Stop theJNF Campaign'. http://www.stopthejnf.org/).
After this, Liverpool Green Party, which contains supporters of Greens Engage, proposed a motion which advocated a brand new 'working definition' of anti-Semitism. Clearly it is based on the old discredited EUMC (European Union Monitoring Committee) Definition of anti-Semitism and attempts to label criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic whilst appearing not to.

When procedural motions to take it in parts and refer it back were defeated the debate went ahead with 4 speeches for and against. Our Debbie Fink was the first speaker to speak against . Only 8 were in favour of the motion so it was heavily defeated.

No doubt we can expect some fallout in the Jewish Chronicle, with predictable cries of 'anti-Semitism' but even by the Zionists' own torturous standards, it is pretty deficient. Apparently anti-Semitism is 'recklessness about possible damage to the lives, welfare or feelings of Jews.' What all Jews? Why Jews? Doesn't everyone have feelings or are Jewish feelings especially precious? What about the feelings of an Israeli Jewish torturer? Is it wrong to upset him by eg. comparing him to the Gestapo? Would that be anti-Semitic?

Apparently it is 'antisemitic to have special expectations of Jews that are different from the general population, for example expecting a Jew to be more knowledgeable about the affairs of Israel or to be more willing "as a Jew" to criticise any action of the government of Israel, or to respond in a particular way.' So if you expect someone to be more knowledgeable about the 'Jewish State' then you are being anti-Semitic? But since the Israeli state claims responsibilities on behalf of all Jews, does this make it too anti-Semitic?!

Then notice the weasel words of point 7: 'Criticism of the state of Israel is not necessarily antisemitic.' Ah, the lawyer's touch here. It isn't necessarily anti-Semitic to criticise Israel for e.g. allowing Rabbis to publish books calling for the murder of non-Jews, but it is normally anti-Semitic. Not sure where you get a dispensation from....

And in a spirit of generosity, our Zionist Greens say that 'it is not a requirement on any critic of Israel that they must first locate and criticise any other state which has done worse things than has Israel. Criticism of Israel may be antisemitic if the critic applies harsher judgements on Israel than they would apply to the actions of any other state.'

Tricky this one. You can criticise Israel but you mustn't be harsher on its torturers than those of another state. You can criticise its racism but not if you are stricter than with say Colombia. But what if someone who has been evicted from their home in the West Bank and deported does indeed, from personal experience, criticise Israel much more harshly than s/he does the Central African Republic? Is Mahmoud being anti-Semitic? Well he would say he's never been to the CAF, but that surely can't be an excuse.

And of course 'Use of language can be antisemitic. Awareness of the history of the Holocaust... should preclude making any equivalences between that regime and the current government of Israel.This should not prevent any criticism of any deed by the government of Israel, but the Nazi allusion adds nothing and serves only to cause distress.'

What if I disagree? What if I were to say that the Nazi law banning Jews from owning property and land in 1939, yes it took 6 years, is no different in principle from the JNF's modus operandi? Am I anti-Semitic. And if I point out that hostage taking and reprisals against the civilian population are the norm in Israel and I make a comparison with the Nazis in this respect, is that too anti-Semitic? But Israeli soldiers nicknamed their units the Auschwitz Squad and Mengele Commando. Clearly they saw some form of identification and in fact Israelis regularly abuse each other with the term 'Nazi'. Are most Israelis anti-Semitic?

And does Ms Vogel and co. not see any comparisons between chants of 'Death to the Jews' in Poland and Nazi Germany and 'Death to the Arabs' in Israel today? What about 'Arabs to the gas chambers' which is scrawled in graffiti in Hebron? Is it anti-Semitic to point it out?

I give up. It's easier just to say that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic rather than having to jump through these rhetorical hoops!

Tony Greenstein

Zionist Motion Defining anti-Semitism from Liverpool Greens
The motion offers a new working definition for antisemitism in order to help avoid antisemitic statements in political discourse. The motion does not create or change any Green Party policy on Israel and Palestine.

Conference reaffirms its decision of Autumn 2008 that "Members should at all times, including when proposing and implementing policy, be sensitive to the fact that the Green Party does not and will not endorse or tolerate antisemitism, or discrimination of any form." Conference endorses the following definition of antisemitism and requests its spokespersons be guided by it.

Green Party working definition of antisemitism

(1) Antisemitism is hostility to, resentment of or suspicion of Jews.

(2) Antisemitism may express itself as discrimination against Jews and this is analogous to other forms of racial or sex discrimination.

(3) Antisemitism also arises in recklessness about possible damage to the lives, welfare or feelings of Jews. When a course of action is proposed that would damage Jews, the proposer should be taken in good faith if he or she was unaware of those consequences. However, summary dismissal of evidence or argument of damaging consequences to Jews would amount to antisemitism.

(4) Antisemitism can vary in seriousness. It is antisemitic to have special expectations of Jews that are different from the general population, for example expecting a Jew to be more knowledgeable about the affairs of Israel or to be more willing "as a Jew" to criticise any action of the government of Israel, or to respond in a particular way.

(5) Antisemitism can be expressed as stereotypes about Jewishness and in references to international Jewish conspiracies.

(6) Antisemitism can be promoted by uncritical platform-sharing or co-operation with groups and individuals which are themselves antisemitic. It would set too high a standard to require perfect knowledge of any group's or individual's record on antisemitism. However the criterion should be that there should be an equal level of scrutiny of potential antisemitism as there would be of any other potential racialism.

(7) Criticism of the state of Israel is not necessarily antisemitic. Further, it is not a requirement on any critic of Israel that they must first locate and criticise any other state which has done worse things than has Israel. Criticism of Israel may be antisemitic if the critic applies harsher judgements on Israel than they would apply to the actions of any other state.

(8) Use of language can be antisemitic. Awareness of the history of the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazi regime, should preclude making any equivalences between that regime and the current government of Israel.This should not prevent any criticism of any deed by the government of Israel, but the Nazi allusion adds nothing and serves only to cause distress.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Slave Labour Scheme Collapses as Workfare Unravels




A4E Mired in Corruption
UNISON 4 found to have been unfairly dismissed by Employment Tribunal


It must be the ultimate dream of capitalists. You get free workers. After all, as Tesco’s is fond of saying ‘every little bit helps

But people have finally begun to rebel over the stigmatisation and demonisation of people on the dole. The new Tory Work Program (which replaces the previous mess of New Labour schemes) has a core underlying philosophy. The unemployed are to blame for their own predicament.

Was it the unemployed who dealt in derivatives and financial instruments that most people in the business of speculating with other peoples’ money don’t understand? Did the unemployed gamble with billions of pounds of other peoples’ money?

Yet there is a welfare state for most people, with Gradgrinds and Scrooges round every corner, and there is a welfare state for the rich, which holds that some financial organisations are ‘too big to fail’. Yet taking slave labour was one step too far. Working for your dole in a climate of no jobs simply means exploitation. And if someone gets a job at the end then it means someone else doesn’t. All it teaches people to do is compete more effectively against each other.

We need to get the message across that unemployment is endemic to capitalism. That demonisation and finding scapegoats is essential to a system that is desperate to blame any and everyone, except those who are most responsible.

With Tescos, Burger King, Poundland and many other businesses pulling out of the Workfare scheme, which imposes sanctions after 1 week if you walk out, the scheme is in crisis. Now is the time to pile on the pressure.

Of course New Labour, the originator of these schemes has nothing to say. Everything the Tories do today, New Labour began. Those who maintain illusions in New Labour are doing themselves a dissservice. In Brighton we are having a meeting at which the sole Labour Councillor who refused to vote for cuts, from Lambeth, is speaking. What better example is there that the Labour Party is beyond help that there is just one councillor in the whole country prepared to vote against all cuts. And he has been expelled! New Labour has sunk so low that it cannot find it within it to condemn the exploitation of the most vulnerable kids in society. This from a party that made it an offence for parents to take kids for an outing without being checked out by the police.

We can also guarantee that the TUC will do nothing except wring its hands. UNISON and GMB leaderships in the unions are busy doing their best to avoid another fight over pensions. They fail to understand that a victory on one front will have repercussions on another front. But to be honest they fear victory more than defeat. Union leaders are intermediaries between the working class and the capitalist class. They are incapable of appreciating things like tactics against the enemy. But to Dave Prentice and co. the government isn’t an enemy and if Heather Wakefield, Unison Local Government Secretary has her way (she is reported to be seeking Prentice’s job after his retirement) then the white flag of surrender will be raised as soon as decently possible.

See The Anti-Workfare Campaign: Reflections.

UNISON Witch-hunters Loses Case At Employment tribunal Against 4 Socialist Party Members

And speaking of spineless trade union leaders. The Employment Tribunal case pursued by four Socialist Party members against Unison has found that the union unfairly dismissed them. The activists in question were:

* GLENN KELLY, UNISON national executive and Branch Secretary Bromley UNISON,

* ONAY KASAB, Branch Secretary Greenwich UNISON,

* SUZANNE MUNA, Branch Secretary UNISON Tenant Services Authority, and

* BRIAN DEBUS, Branch Chair Hackney UNISON

Prentice is reputed to have wasted over £100,000 of his member’s money on a vindictive witch-hunt against those who disagreed with him. Their ‘offence’ was to print a cartoon of the ‘3 wise monkeys’ which was deemed ‘racist’. A classical example of the misuse and abuse of racism. See Victory for UNISON 4


A4E Founder and Back to Work Czar Emma Harrison is Out of Work (but £8m the richer)

Well good news comes all at once. One of the most grotesque characters to roam the stage, a parasite extraordinaire, Emma Harrison, has resigned both her government post and as Chair of A4E. Harrison is another example of the poor character judgement of David Cameron. First it was ex-New of the Screws Editor Andrew Coulson he appointed and then the closet meetings with the disgraced Rebecca Brookes, corrupt editor of a corrupt paper, now it’s Harrison, corrupt advisor and chair of a corrupt company.

Yet it’s ruling class scum like Harrison who preach about benefit scroungers if you earn an extra fiver, whilst they coolly take home millions.

Hats off to Eric Joyce MP







A Good Man (sort of) Fallen Amongst Thieves

Yes I know there has been much tutting about Eric Joyce MP, who clocked a few Tories in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons, as well as a Labour MP and whip Phil Wilson (a Tory in all but name). But every cloud has a silver lining and this is no exception.

The popular press have all been full of the ‘violence’ of Eric Joyce, but their indignation, as usual, is selective. The violence of ‘welfare reform’ and leaving people hungry, the violence of cutting the benefits of someone who is disabled and killing them through worry and stress is acceptable, the violence of capping benefits in order to deliberately make people homeless, to say nothing of starting wars all over the globe (they call it ‘peacekeeping’) but landing a few blows on a few bloated Tories is apparently unacceptable.

Now Joyce is no socialist. He was the New Labour choice to succeed Dennis Canavan for his Falkirk constituency and Canavan was a socialist. Joyce hasn’t, to the best of my knowledge, broken the Labour whip once. Likewise his ‘achievement’ of becoming the first MP to run up £1m expenses is hardly to his credit.

Joyce was a product of a cracked political system. He saw service in Ireland & Central America. If he had knocked about a few Irishmen then he would have bene seen as a hero and the Percies of this world would have been the first to praise him.

The Daily Mirror’s coverage of the story is quite hilarious. First Joyce bellowed “There are too many fucking Tories in here!” It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment.

He then slammed Andrew Percy MP up against the wall. At which point a ‘Stunned Tory Stuart Andrew’ exclaimed that “You can’t do that to another MP.” Presumably it’s ok for MPs to dish out misery to others but it’s not supposed to be reciprocated. But most MPs probably think they are untouchable and the closest thing to god.

At which point Joyce ‘is said to have grabbed mild-mannered Mr Andrew by the tie, allegedly throttling and hitting him.’ One’s heart bleeds. With all the violence and atrocities in the world, not to say MI6 connivance and participation in the torture of its foes, the ordeals of Mr Andrew deserves a special mention.

And then another Tory, Alec Shelbrooke, pleaded “Stop hitting us – we are MPs.” Maybe there is a law saying that whatever the penalty is for hitting a normal person, you serve twice as long at HM's pleasure if you whack an MP. But the Mirror reports that ‘Mr Joyce caught the roly-poly Conservative on the side of the head.’

Presumably roly-poly did some rolling? At which point Shelbrooke had had enough. After all, Westminster is supposed to be the best club in London. What kind of gentleman’s club is it where the members engage in fisticuffs? Shelbrook ‘fled out on to the terrace shouting: “I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!” You would have thought that Joyce had shot him with one of those tasers that they give the police so they can torture people in broad daylight. But violence of course is ok as long as it happens to others.

And then a Tory councillor, Luke MacKenzie, entered the scene and according to him ‘Two people were standing up and one guy was going for the other. I got between them and tried to break it up. Punches were flying everywhere.” It almost sounds like a Wild West saloon bar, not the Strangers Bar.

And then the matronly Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price confronted Mr Joyce shouting: “Punch me then, not my staff!” By all accounts he did just that! But not before the brave amazon had jumped on his back before catching an elbow in her face. No doubt it makes a change from destroying the NHS and cutting benefits.

And if you thought there’d been enough action, Labour whip and MP Phil Wilson pleaded: “Calm down, Eric, calm down”. But Joyce wasn’t a major in the army for nothing. It’s not the business of our fighting boys to calm down. You are taught to fight your way out of trouble, not to wimp it. So with Doyle-Price still on his back Joyce landed a few blows on New Labour’s Wilson with the result that he ‘staggered off to the terrace covered in blood as police arrived.

Even one of the Common’s police officers is said to have looked in before deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and headed straight back out in search of reinforcements.

And having eventually been restrained by 6 police officers, he was handcuffed and only released when he promised to behave. And as soon as the cuffs were off, Joyce broke free and ‘charged at Mr Andrew, allegedly headbutting him. The brawl ended when six officers sat on the MP, who was heard screaming: “Fascist wankers!”

I know that he hasn’t shown much political nous or courage but it has to be said that in this one incident Joyce has redeemed himself. Now if only he can stop claiming expenses and get stuck into the Tories politically!

Tony Greenstein

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rossman-Benjamin - the Face of a Police State Academic



Rossman-Benjamin: A Good Example of the Low Academic Standards of US Zionist Jewish-Holocaust Studies Departments

It would appear that I trod on some sensitive toes when I wrote an Open Letter to one Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the Zionist academic, who has been trying to ban a somewhat more distinguished academic, Professor Ilan Pappe, from speaking at different campuses of the California State University.

Ms Benjamin’s response, which is basically a cut and paste job comprising various Zionist libels, constitutes a veritable mine of borrowed quotes, plagiarisms and non-sequitors. It’s hard to believe that Rossman-Benjamin is even an academic, let alone a professor. But then she is a professor Jewish studies, a discipline wholly taken over by Zionist zealots for whom propaganda and academia are inseparable.

Rossman-Benjamin reminds me of the court academics who prostituted themselves in 1933 when the Nazis came to power. They advanced all sorts of rationalisations and justifications for the Nazi regime. All their talents were put to use for the purposes of flattery and self-aggrandisement. No principle was left untouched. The best example of this was Martin Heidegger, who became Rector of Freiburg University on April 21, 1933 and joined the Nazi Party on May 1st. On May 2nd the German trade unions were abolished and their activists consigned to Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

But at least Heidegger was a distinguished academic, notwithstanding his acceptance of the Rectorship from the Nazis and his membership of the Nazi party. Tammi Rossman-Benjaim is noteworthy only for her hectoring tone, her McCarthyite attempt to ban academics more distinguished than herself, and her reliance on crude, cut and paste propaganda. It is little wonder that this area of academia known as Holocaust, Jewish or anti-Semitism Studies has come under fire. At Yale University the Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism was closed down by the institution because, in the words of Zionist moonbat Deborah Lipstadt, it had mistaken advocacy for academia.

Below is her response to my Open Letter and below that is my rebuttal. For a ‘Professor’ to have to resort to this type of hatchet job, demonstrates that the quality of teaching staff on these ‘anti-Semitism’ courses is indeed low. Ross-Benjamin is concerned that academics with ‘long histories of anti-Israel activism’ [i.e. they don’t agree with her] have invited Professor Ilan Papper to give a talk. Her concern is with the use of tax-payer’s money – a favourite of the racist right. So my question to her, so far unanswered, was if she would object to pro-Israeli speakers who were invited by the likes of herself. So far there is no answer.

But my mistake is that ‘You have not come clean about yourself and your long-standing campaign to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people’. But it’s a matter of common knowledge. As RB admits, that ‘You are a well-known, out-spoken Jewish anti-Zionist living in the UK’ So why the need to come clean about something that is well-known? Logic clearly isn’t the flavour of the month with our police state academic. I am quite upfront in saying that the very concept of a ‘Jewish’ state (does the state pray, put on tefillin, say kaddish? Or merely hit Palestinians over the head with batons if they protest too much) is anathema to Jewish traditions and an exercise in the most virulent racism and ethnic cleansing.

And note the sloppy reference to harming ‘the Jewish people’ whomsoever they are. And how do I harm them? By opposing a Jewish state!

But RB is not above a little low lying – apparently I support Hamas (a favourite charge of Zionist hasbarists these days), I endorse a massacre of members of AIPAC; invoke the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claim that "Zionist" historians have inflated the number of Holocaust victims. And to cap it all, call Israelis "Judaeo-Nazis"; and stating unabashedly: "Yes, I want Israel destroyed." Well at least the bit about Judeo Nazis is correct so I guess our distinguished ‘professor’ has got 1 out of 6 right, not bad in the circumstances but still not enough to pass one of her undergraduate programmes! Or is it?

Apparently I’ve hijacked ‘the academy’ (which one?) and the whole Jewish community is outraged (what by the invitation?) ‘as long as anti-Semitic bigotry is permitted to flourish on CSU campuses.’ Presumably the invitation to an Israeli Jewish academic teaching at Exeter University is an example of such bigotry! Anyway you can read the foaming-at-the-mouth rant of Rossman-Benjie below. Logic, academic argument, debate – is impossible with zombies like RB.

However if RB is merely a fruitcake, then the activities of the various Zionist lobby and pressure groups like CAMERA are not.

In the 1960’s Hubert Humphrey, Vice President to President Lyndon Johnson, was called a ‘police state Democrat’. He was second to none in his anti-communism and support for the Vietnam War. At his nomination at the 1968 Chicago Convention the riot cops under Mayor Daley battoned all protest off the streets. Rossman-Benjamin is Humphrey’s equivalent. The kind of academic who would feel at home in a police state, which is why she defends Israel so avidly.

Dear Mr. Greenstein,

Thank you for your email. I hope you won't mind if I respond with some pertinent information.

You have claimed that we are disingenuous and dishonest in our request to California State University administrators to rescind all University sponsorship and support for Ilan Pappe's lectures on 3 CSU campuses, but we have always been forthright about our primary concern: Pappe's talks are being organized and promoted by a dean and two professors with long histories of anti-Israel activism, who are clearly using their University positions and taxpayer-supported University resources to promote their own personal political assault against the Jewish state, all under the mantle of "academic freedom."

Indeed, if there is any disingenuousness and dishonesty here, it comes from you. You have not come clean about yourself and your long-standing campaign to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people:

You are a well-known, out-spoken Jewish anti-Zionist living in the UK.
You are a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which launched the "Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign" in 2001, and you recently co-founded the organization "Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods."
As a member of the trade union "Unison," you successfully argued for a boycott of Israeli goods.
You recently participated in the unprecedented disruption of an Israeli Philharmonic concert in London, which you compared to protesting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1930's.

You have gone on public record: expressing support for Hamas; endorsing the massacre of members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); invoking the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to describe the behavior of American Jewish supporters of Israel; claiming that "Zionist" historians have inflated the number of Holocaust victims; calling Israelis "Judaeo-Nazis"; and stating unabashedly: "Yes, I want Israel destroyed."

Ironically, your letter claiming that "academic freedom is never an abuse" is itself further evidence of the extent to which this time-honored professorial privilege has been distorted and perverted beyond all recognition by individuals like yourself, who have hijacked the academy in order to advance their anti-Semitic assault on the Jewish state.

After reading your letter and mine, hopefully the CSU and California state leaders who have been copied on our exchange can better understand why the Jewish community is outraged and will not remain silent as long as anti-Semitic bigotry is permitted to flourish on CSU campuses with the sanction and approval of CSU administrators.

Sincerely,

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Dear Ms Rossman-Benjamin,

I understand you are a 'professor' at California State University. Let us hope that the research and academic writing which you normally undertake is more rigorous than the ‘cut and paste’ letter which you have just sent to me. At least I assume that you can tell the difference between hasbara (propaganda) and academic writing.

From what you have said logic would suggest that if a speaker is invited by academics who are known for their support for the Israeli state and its works then you will be equally vociferous in opposing their speaking on campus? In particular one would expect you to have no hesitation in writing to all and sundry about an abuse of public money. If this is not the case then you are a rank hypocrite.

I note your allegation that I have claimed that '"Zionist" historians have inflated the number of Holocaust victims;' and various other insinuations (because people like you prefer to insinuate rather than to quote chapter and verse) that I am anti-Semitic, if not a holocaust denier. Perhaps the best response to your McCarthyite smears come from Jamie Slavin on the Board of Deputies of British Jews site: http://www.bod.org.uk/live/content.php?Item_ID=130&Blog_ID=323

'I stumbled across Tony Greenstein’s blog this morning. Tony is an anti-Zionist, Jewish member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Whilst his views on the situation in the Middle East are a complete anathema to me, to his credit, he has led the opposition within the PSC against rising levels of antisemitism.'

I am of course an anti-Zionist for the same reason I am an anti-racist. I wouldn't expect a junk 'academic' like you, whose only expertise lies in cutting and pasting quotes from unattributable sources, the purpose of which is to deceive and mislead, to understand that. From what is reported of the US Republican nomination contests, lying and defaming seems to be standard practice amongst US politicians these days.

Because, in the words of the old saying, a lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on, I shall respond briefly:
i. I do not support Hamas politically. They were Israel’s creation not mine. http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-israel-created-hamas.html They are what is called ‘blowback’. There is not one article on my blog which supports Hamas, quite the contrary. There is Hamas Attack on NGOs Resembles That of Israel http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/08/hamas-attack-on-ngos-resembles-that-of.html, Hamas Prevents Palestinian Students Studying Abroad amongst others. http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/08/hamas-prevents-palestinian-students.html But a tame spoonfed ‘academic’ like you who relies on propaganda organisations for her sources isn’t going to know that.
ii. Being a plagiarist is far easier, of course, than finding out the information for yourself. However in most academic institutions and departments, plagiarism is enough to get you dismissed. Clearly the Jewish Studies department has different standards but next time when you decide to 'borrow' from someone, at least try to acknowledge your sources, in case you end up copying someone’s mistakes.
iii. You are quite correct that I co-founded Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. So what? We boycotted South African Apartheid and before me people boycotted Nazi Germany (though the Zionist Organisation opposed and broke the boycott). Given their own experiences of anti-Semitism, Jews should be the first to oppose racism when it is carried out in their name.
iv. Yes I am a member of the largest trade union in Britain, Unison and I spoke in support of the successful resolution calling for a Boycott of Israeli goods. Most unions in Britain and Ireland take the same attitude to Israel that we took to Apartheid (South Africa). What is so difficult to understand about the fact that people object to the Jewish National Fund/ Israeli Lands Administration refusing to lease 93% of ‘national’ land to non-Jews/ Arabs? It smacks of the colour bar. If a Christian National Fund did the same to Jews in the USA I suspect that you would be the first to cry ‘anti-Semitism’.
v. Yes I participated in the successful disruption of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in London. Whilst Palestinians face the 45th year of occupation and whilst even Palestinian children are subject to brutalisation, torture and dehumanisation, then yes, were are doing the same as we would hope others would have done when the Berlin Philharmonic and its conductor Furtwangler toured in the 1930’s.
vi. I have endorsed no massacre of members of members of AIPAC, a loathsome organisation dedicated to promoting war and bloodshed. I stated that, like Dylan in Masters of War, I would lose no sleep if they were to be vaporised. A very different thing though the difference probably escapes an academic as discerning as yourself.
vii. It is a lie that I have ‘invoked’ the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to describe the behavior of American supporters of Israel. What I have said is that their conspiratorial methods of operating mimic the caricature of Jews in that notorious forgery.
viii. I have made no claim that "Zionist" historians have inflated the number of Holocaust victims. What I have said is that a debate on numbers, be it 5 or 7 million is irrelevant to the fact of the holocaust. But what is one lie amongst many?
ix. Yes I did call the orthodox settlers in the Occupied Territories [not a blanket ‘Israelis’] "Judaeo-Nazis". I was quoting the late and distinguished philosopher Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, himself an orthodox Jew. Professor Leibowitz was of course, unlike you, a distinguished scholar with an international reputation. But perhaps you have another way of describing the Chairman of the Yesha Rabbinical Council Rabbi Dov Lior, who said that a Jewish fingernail is worth more than a thousand Palestinians or when Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira writes a book, Torat HaMelech in which he writes
“Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder”
“There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, Torat Ha’Melech (The King's Torah) http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2010/11/rabbi-schochet-of-racist-lubavitch-big.html
I suggest that instead of hounding Israeli academics who disagree with you, that you devote a little of your time to opposing the poisonous and deadly racism which comes from the Orthodox religious settlers in particular. And speaking of racism why have Zionist ideologues always spoken about Jews outside Israel in similar if not worse terms as the anti-semites? For example Pinhas Rosenbluth, the first Israeli Minister of Justice went so far as to dub Palestine "an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin." [Classic zionism and modern anti-semitism: Parallels and influences (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism No: 8]

As you say, after reading my response to you, it is to be hoped that those politicians and academic administrators in CSU and California will better understand why McCarthyite apparatchiks such as yourself should be ignored when they exploit ‘anti-Semitism’ whilst at the same time climbing into bed with Hitler supporters such as Rev. John Hagee of CUFI.

Like the boy who cried wolf, your invocation of ‘anti-Semitism’ and your false accusations against people like myself, who have been anti-fascist activists throughout our lives, simply lets the real anti-Semites off the hook. Indeed given the affinity of Zionism with anti-Semitism, which both accept that Jews do not belong in the countries where they were born, it is no surprise that you are happy to abuse and misuse the term ‘anti-Semitism’.

Tony Greenstein

From: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
To: Tony G
Cc: "tbenjami@ucsc.edu" ; "humanities@ucsc.edu" ; "johnw@csufresno.edu" ; "presidentsoffice@calpoly.edu" ; "harry.hellenbrand@csun.edu" ; "creed@calstate.edu" ; "lhernandez@calstate.edu" ; "senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov" ; "Assemblymember.Perea@assembly.ca.gov" ; "assemblymember.halderman@assembly.ca.gov" ; "senator.blakeslee@senate.ca.gov" ; "assemblymember.achadjian@assembly.ca.gov" ; "Senator.Padilla@sen.ca.gov" ; "assemblymember.blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov"
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2012 11:43 PM
Subject: Re: Ilan Pappe and Academic Freedom

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM, Tony G wrote:
To: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Lecturer
University of California
Division of Humanities
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Dear Ms Ross-Benjamin,

You have been the principal organiser of a campaign to prevent Professor Ilan Pappe of Exeter University in the United Kingdom, formerly of Haifa University, Israel from speaking on California campuses. I think we can take your professed concern with the ‘abuse of tax payers’ money with a pinch of salt. Academic freedom is never an abuse.

In your article ‘Anti-Israel speaker on 3 CSU campuses with University’s approval’
http://amchainitiative.org/2012/02/14/ilan_pappe_at_csu/ you invite people to send a letter to various academic administrators and politicians, with a copy or blind-copy to you at administrator@AMCHAinitiative.org. I thought it would be more helpful if I wrote to you directly, with a copy to those you mentioned.

You call the invitation to speak to Professor Ilan Pappe ‘a serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity on three California State University campuses.’ Perhaps you would explain how speaking on campus equates to virulently anti-Israel activity? Or is it the message you object to?

As an academic and social scientist, I assume that part of your training involved assessing and weighing evidence before reaching conclusions. Yet in your campaign against a fellow academic, it would appear that your forte is the making of wild assertions, backed no by no evidence but coupled with the use of McCarthyist ‘guilt-by-association’ techniques. It is clear that you have no commitment whatsoever to the concept of academic freedom, a strange quality in a Professor. Your commitment is to Zionism.

Professor Pappe is, as you well know, both Israeli and Jewish. The suggestion that he is ‘anti-Israel’ is a piece of inflammatory abuse. What does ‘anti-Israel’ mean? Were campaigners against Apartheid in South Africa ‘anti-South African’? Were those who opposed Nazism in Germany anti-German?

What you presumably mean is that Prof. Pappe is an Israeli Jew and an anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism is a valid political current, not least within the Jewish community and until 1945 it was a majority current. Are you seriously suggesting that those who dissent from the Israeli State’s preferred image of itself should be barred from speaking on campuses?

Your purported concern is with a ‘serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity’ but what activity are you referring to, apart from hosting a speaker that you obviously dislike? Is Professor Pappe going to be opening a Boycott Israel bazar? Would you object to Zionist academics from Israel speaking on campus?

Professor Pappe was a Professor at Haifa University who was one of the new Israeli historians who challenged the founding myths of Zionism. He conducted research into the massacres and expulsion of the Palestinians during 1947-9. Is that a topic which is out of bounds to the AMCHA censorship group? Are you funded by money deriving from Israeli state sources? Do you not find such funding embarrassing? A foreign state funding those who wish to clamp down on academic freedom within the United States?

The rest of your appeal is equally tendentious. It speaks of Pappe harbouring a deep animosity towards the Jewish state and calling for its elimination. Pappe opposes the very concept of a Jewish state which gives rights and privileges to those who are Jewish whilst at the same time denying those rights to non-Jews. If American Jews received the same treatment as Israeli Arabs I suspect you would be the first to protest. Pappe no more calls for Israel’s ‘elimination’ than anti-Apartheid supporters called for the elimination of the South African state. The very use of the term ‘eliminate’ is emotive, as you well know, suggesting the destruction of people rather than changing state structures.

Nor am I aware of any ‘campaign to boycott Israeli academics’ by Pappe or others. There is a campaign to boycott Israeli universities which are complicit in the occupation and discrimination against Israeli Arabs. That is an entirely different thing.

You allege that Pappe supports Hamas but you cite no evidence for this. Perhaps you would supply some references to back this statement up? In any event it is the Palestinians who have voted for Hamas. You call Hamas a ‘terrorist organization’ yet fail to mention that the Israeli state sponsored and virtually created Hamas as a counterweight to secular Palestinian nationalism in the 1980’s. In any event I’m not aware that Prof. Pappe supports Hamas. I suspect that if the United States were occupied by the military of another country that Hamas would be like a children’s tea part in comparison with groups which would spring up to eject the invaders.

It is true that Prof. Pappe, like other Israeli academic such as Prof. Benny Morris, has shown that Israel was created through “ethnic cleansing.” That is a fact. Or is the truth also verboten to McCarthyist organisations like Amchai?

You say that your concern ‘is not with Ilan Pappe’s talk per se’ but because it is ‘being organized and promoted by faculty and administrators of the California State University system’. This is disingenuous. If Ilan Pappe were singing the Israeli State’s praises then you would be fully supportive of such a talk.

It is unfortunate that you don’t even have the honesty to at least say you don’t want Pappe to speak on Californian campuses because you disagree with him. Instead you use ‘the tax payer’ as a convenient peg on which to hang your anti-democratic credentials. But then hypocrisy has always been the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

Yours sincerely,


Tony Greenstein

Monday, 20 February 2012

Zionist Attempts to Prevent Ilan Pappe Speaking at University of California Fail





Zionism's McCarthyite Supporters Rebuffed - Academic Freedom at California State University Defended

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is an academic at the Santa Cruz campus of the California State University, albeit not one with an international reputation, unlike Professor Ilan Pappe who she has been trying to get banned. When she and fellow McCarthyists heard that Professor Ilan Pappe of Exeter University had been invited to speak on campus, and even worse it was an official invitation, she saw red (or rather blue and white).

Academic freedom is not something that is especially dear to the heart of American Zionists. They first sought to deny tenure to Joseph Massad at Colombia University before successfully intimidating dePaul Catholic University in New York into denying Norman Finkelstein a tenured position as Professor.

Through various ‘grassroots’ organisations such as Amchai (dedicating to protecting Jewish students – i.e. preventing them learn anything too uncomfortable), Camera, NGO Monitor, the Jonathan Foundation and other groups of the same ilk, the Zionists seek to control debate and discourse. Any supporter of the Palestinians is automatically a ‘Hamas’ supporter. By the same token, Rossman-Benjamin is presumably a supporter of Yisrael-Beteinu, party of the fascist Foreign Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman.

But in this case her purported concern about the misuse of taxpayers’ money was too transparent. No objections ever materialise when Netanyahu or pro-Israeli speakers are on the guest list. Only certain views should be excluded from being hosted or publicised and there are no prizes for guessing which ones. And since the University as an institution is funded publicly, presumably Pappe shouldn't have spoken anywhere on campus as that would have involved tax payer's dollars being expended, when they could have been better spent on bombs to Iran.

But Israel is no longer as popular as it once was in the USA. And Ross-Benjamin, more of a political functionary than an academic, overplayed her hand. With the result that the principals of the University of California have come out with a letter restating their support for academic freedom.

It’s nice when the censors get egg all over their faces.

And to rub it in, I penned a little letter of my own to Ross-Benjamin explaining what academic freedom is all about. Maybe you would like to likewise and send it to her academic address too! After all that’s what she claims she is.

And it’s also nice to know that Jewish Voices for Peace Deputy Director, Cecile Surasky, has pioneered the opposition to this police-state academic. JVP is a growing force in the USA, having garnered over 100,000 signatures of support. Cecile Surasky herself was among the top 10 in a poll of heroes of the Jewish community before her name was pulled by the organisers!


See also an article on the JVP website on The Zionist Organization of America’s Effort to Criminalize Campus Activism through Federal Civil Rights Legislation


Tony Greenstein



February 18 2012 by Cecilie Surasky

Breaking news/a good day for free speech: despite extensive efforts by the new Amcha Initiative to get Israeli historian Ilan Pappe booted from Cal State University campuses, where he is scheduled to speak next week, the presidents of Cal State Fresno, Cal State Northridge, and Cal Poly have taken a strong, unanimous stand in support of free speech on college campuses.

If you’re near any of these campuses, please go hear Ilan Pappe speak the week of February 20th. He’s a brave, important scholar whose analysis and insights are invaluable to understanding Israel and Palestine. He’s speaking at Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and Cal State Fresno.

In the attempt to censor Pappe, who is a Jewish Israeli, UC Santa Cruz Hebrew lecturer Tammy Rossman-Benjamin, under the aegis of her new group, “The Amcha Initiative: Protecting Jewish Students,” recently sent a letter to the president of the CSU system against Pappe and his CSU hosts. The letter is a prime example of doublespeak, emphasizing – using bold font and capital letters – that we “are NOT asking that these three events be cancelled or that Ilan Pappe be censored.” (emphasis in original)

What, then, were they asking for? For the Cal State campuses and Cal Poly to “rescind all … sponsorship and support” from the Pappe events. What does that mean, exactly? Removing the events from campus and preventing the faculty from hosting Pappe in their official capacity. So no, that wouldn’t exactly be censoring Pappe – he could still speak off-campus, we presume – but it would surely be censoring the faculty who invited him, making a mockery of the freedom of intellectual inquiry and free speech that are so essential to college campuses.

There’s more to this story, too. The Amcha letter claims that Pappe’s event is propaganda, not education, and cites the political activism of the faculty who invited him (including the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at CSU-Fresno) as evidence. This claim that political people can’t be interested in education, or that people can’t simultaneously be committed to a political cause and to rigorous scholarship is both insulting and revealing. Revealing because it suggests on which side of the scale Rossman-Benjamin, an educator paid by the state of California, would fall.

And today, Rossman-Benjamin’s efforts failed. The presidents’ statement is strong and clear. In it, they state that “Universities are places where debate, discussion and free ideas are welcome and encouraged. … Academic freedom and freedom of speech are … cornerstones … of a functioning democracy.”

That’s right – free speech, higher education, functioning democracy are all deeply intertwined.

And moreover, they say, “Universities are charged with teaching students how to think for themselves….We seek to instill in students the tools to fairly and intelligently assess all data and views, as well as the personal integrity and values to come to a rational and reasonable conclusion.”

Exactly. They trust the learning process. They trust that students are intelligent and capable and have integrity, and can learn how to assess data and opposing, conflicting viewpoints.

That is, their educational philosophy is the opposite of Tammy Rossman-Benjamin, who has been the most visible leader behind a growing campaign to eliminate from college campuses virtually any criticism, however mild, of Israeli human rights practices.

In 2010, Rossman-Benjamin succeeded in getting Israeli peace activists kicked off of UC Santa Cruz campus. In March 2011, she – together with the SF Jewish Community Relations Council and the ADL - failed to do the same for a conference on Palestinians legal rights at UC Hastings (though they did get Hastings to pull its “name and brand” from the proceedings.

Also in March 2011, Rossman-Benjamin filed a complaint against UC-Santa Cruz, her employer, with the federal Office on Civil Rights, under the newly revamped anti-bullying guidelines (Eyal Mazor wrote a report on these guidelines for Muzzlewatch here. Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint alleges a “hostile environment” for Jewish students at UC-Santa Cruz and fills 29 pages with reports mainly about human rights activists speaking on campus. According to this complaint, any criticism of Israel is “anti-semitic” and “inciting hatred” against Israel – which, according to Benjamin, automatically means against Jewish students, too. We expect the Office of Civil Rights to dismiss this complaint: despite Rossman-Benjamin’s statement in the Forward suggesting that investigation itself proves the validity of her claim, if a complaint is filed, the OCR must investigate, like firefighters responding to a fire.

Which brings us back to the Amcha letter on Israeli historian Ilan Pappe- it says that hosting the Jewish Israeli historian on campus “cannot help but create a hostile environment for Jewish students” at these three campuses. That language sounds a lot like a threat, or maybe a promise. Are these campuses next on Rossman-Benjamin’s list for an Office of Civil Rights Title VI complaint?

Anti-Israel speaker on 3 CSU campuses with University’s approval

There is a serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity on three California State University campuses.

We need your help.

Dear AMCHA Initiative supporters,

Yesterday we sent a letter to the Presidents of CSU Fresno, CSU Northridge, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, as well as CSU Chancellor Reed, urging them to revoke administrative sponsorship of a speaking tour by Ilan Pappe.

Ilan Pappe is an Israeli Jewish academic who harbors deep animosity towards the Jewish state, has publicly called for its elimination, and engages in activities to harm its citizens, such as a campaign to boycott Israeli academics, which he helped to found. In addition, he openly supports the terrorist organization Hamas and falsely accuses Israel of “crimes against humanity,” including “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.”

On these three CSU campuses, Pappe’s talk is officially sponsored and funded by University departments and administrative offices. In addition on each campus the event is being organized and promoted by a faculty member or top university administrator who has publicly expressed his or her hatred of Israel and has participated in many anti-Israel events, including the campaign to boycott Israeli academics.

It is important to note that our concern is not with Ilan Pappe’s talk per se, but rather with the fact that his talk is being organized and promoted by faculty and administrators of the California State University system, using the name, resources, and imprimatur of CSU, in order to vilify and harm the Jewish state and its supporters. In this way, taxpayers like us are subsidizing the promotion of hateful indoctrination in our nation’s largest public university.

Please click here to view the letter.

You can also watch the following AMCHA video to learn about CSU’s support for Ilan Pappe’s speaking tour:

Please consider sending your own respectful letter to one or more of the following individuals, asking them to ensure that official university sponsorship and funding is withdrawn from Ilan Pappe’s talks at the three CSU campuses:

CSU Fresno President John Welty: johnw@csufresno.edu
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong: presidentsoffice@calpoly.edu
CSU Northridge Interim President Harold Hellenbrand:harry.hellenbrand@csun.edu
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed: creed@calstate.edu
CSU Trustees: lhernandez@calstate.edu
California State Senator Tom Berryhill (Fresno): senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov
California State Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (Fresno):Assemblymember.Perea@assembly.ca.gov
California State Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (Fresno): assemblymember.blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov
California State Senator Sam Blakeslee (San Luis Obispo):senator.blakeslee@senate.ca.gov
California State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (San Luis Obispo): assemblymember.achadjian@assembly.ca.gov
California State Senator Alex Padilla (Northridge): Senator.Padilla@sen.ca.gov
California State Assemblyman Bob Blumenfeld (Northridge): assemblymember.blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov

If you do send a letter, please copy or blind-copy us at: administrator@AMCHAinitiative.org

Thank you!

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin Tammi@AMCHAinitiative.org
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith Leila@AMCHAinitiative.org
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative


Open Letter to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and her McCarthyite Supporters

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
California State University
Division of Humanities
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Dear Ms Ross-Benjamin,

You have been the principal organiser of a campaign to prevent Professor Ilan Pappe of Exeter University in the United Kingdom, formerly of Haifa University, Israel from speaking on California State University campuses. I think we can take your professed concern with the ‘abuse of tax payers’ money with a pinch of salt. Academic freedom is never an abuse.

In your article ‘Anti-Israel speaker on 3 CSU campuses with University’s approval
you invite people to send a letter to various academic administrators and politicians, with a copy or blind-copy to you at administrator@AMCHAinitiative.org. I thought it would be more helpful if I wrote to you directly, with a copy to those you mentioned.

You call the invitation to speak to Professor Ilan Pappe ‘a serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity on three California State University campuses.’ Perhaps you would explain how speaking on campus equates to virulently anti-Israel activity? Or is it the message you object to?

As an academic and social scientist, I assume that part of your training involved assessing and weighing evidence before reaching conclusions. Yet in your campaign against a fellow academic, it would appear that your forte is the making of wild assertions, backed no by no evidence but coupled with the use of McCarthyist ‘guilt-by-association’ techniques. It is clear that you have no commitment whatsoever to the concept of academic freedom, a strange quality in a Professor. Your commitment is to Zionism.

Professor Pappe is, as you well know, both Israeli and Jewish. The suggestion that he is ‘anti-Israel’ is a piece of inflammatory abuse. What does ‘anti-Israel’ mean? Were campaigners against Apartheid in South Africa ‘anti-South African’? Were those who opposed Nazism in Germany anti-German?

What you presumably mean is that Prof. Pappe is an Israeli Jew and an anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism is a valid political current, not least within the Jewish community and until 1945 it was a majority current. Are you seriously suggesting that those who dissent from the Israeli State’s preferred image of itself should be barred from speaking on campuses?

Your purported concern is with a ‘serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity’ but what activity are you referring to, apart from hosting a speaker that you obviously dislike? Is Professor Pappe going to be opening a Boycott Israel bazar? Would you object to Zionist academics from Israel speaking on campus?

Professor Pappe was a Professor at Haifa University who was one of the new Israeli historians who challenged the founding myths of Zionism. He conducted research into the massacres and expulsion of the Palestinians during 1947-9. Is that a topic which is out of bounds to the AMCHA censorship group? Are you funded by money deriving from Israeli state sources? Do you not find such funding embarrassing? A foreign state funding those who wish to clamp down on academic freedom within the United States?

The rest of your appeal is equally tendentious. It speaks of Pappe harbouring a deep animosity towards the Jewish state and calling for its elimination. Pappe opposes the very concept of a Jewish state which gives rights and privileges to those who are Jewish whilst at the same time denying those rights to non-Jews. If American Jews received the same treatment as Israeli Arabs I suspect you would be the first to protest. Pappe no more calls for Israel’s ‘elimination’ than anti-Apartheid supporters called for the elimination of the South African state. The very use of the term ‘eliminate’ is emotive, as you well know, suggesting the destruction of people rather than changing state structures.

Nor am I aware of any ‘campaign to boycott Israeli academics’ by Pappe or others. There is a campaign to boycott Israeli universities which are complicit in the occupation and discrimination against Israeli Arabs. That is an entirely different thing.

You allege that Pappe supports Hamas but you cite no evidence for this. Perhaps you would supply some references to back this statement up? In any event it is the Palestinians who have voted for Hamas. You call Hamas a ‘terrorist organization’ yet fail to mention that the Israeli state sponsored and virtually created Hamas as a counterweight to secular Palestinian nationalism in the 1980’s. In any event I’m not aware that Prof. Pappe supports Hamas. I suspect that if the United States were occupied by the military of another country that Hamas would be like a children’s tea part in comparison with groups which would spring up to eject the invaders.

It is true that Prof. Pappe, like other Israeli academic such as Prof. Benny Morris, has shown that Israel was created through “ethnic cleansing.” That is a fact. Or is the truth also verboten to McCarthyist organisations like Amchai?

You say that your concern ‘is not with Ilan Pappe’s talk per se’ but because it is ‘being organized and promoted by faculty and administrators of the California State University system’. This is disingenuous. If Ilan Pappe were singing the Israeli State’s praises then you would be fully supportive of such a talk.

It is unfortunate that you don’t even have the honesty to at least say you don’t want Pappe to speak on Californian campuses because you disagree with him. Instead you use ‘the tax payer’ as a convenient peg on which to hang your anti-democratic credentials. But then hypocrisy has always been the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Greenstein


Tammi@AMCHAinitiative.org, tbenjami@ucsc.edu, humanities@ucsc.edu,
johnw@csufresno.edu, presidentsoffice@calpoly.edu, harry.hellenbrand@csun.edu, creed@calstate.edu, lhernandez@calstate.edu, senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Perea@assembly.ca.gov, lhernandez@calstate.edu, senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov, assemblymember.halderman@assembly.ca.gov, senator.blakeslee@senate.ca.gov, assemblymember.achadjian@assembly.ca.gov, Senator.Padilla@sen.ca.gov, assemblymember.blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov,

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Tragedy of Norman Finkelstein – Time to Say Goodbye



From anti-Zionist to Supporter of a 'Jewish' State
Pragmatism in the Service of Imperialism

[this is a brilliant refutation of Norman's position, Ilan Pappe, e- mail 18.2.12.]

Norman Finkelstein, at the beginning of his career, was the brightest star in the firmament. His analysis and dissection of various Zionist propagandists and frauds was second to none. His demolition job on Joan Peter’s fraudulent From Time Immemorial, a book published in 1984, was a wonder to behold. Peter’s main thesis was that the Palestinians were newcomers to Palestine who had only migrated there as a result of Zionist immigration in the first half of the last century, i.e. they were not genuine refugees.

Finkelstein’s review showed that her use of demographic statistics was flawed and dishonest and that the book was a piece of propaganda. This gave the clue to knowledgeable writers such as David & Ian Gilmour, who cited Peter's errors such as quoting a medieval Arab historian, Makrizi, who died in 1442, to support her statements about mid-nineteenth century population movements. (London Review of Books, 7.2.85. ‘pseudo travellers’).

In fact the evidence to support the fact that Peter's thesis was junk history, on a par with the methods of holocaust denial, comes from Zionists themselves e.g. Ahad Ha'am or Leo Motzkin, a Zionist leader who in 1912 called on the Arabs of Palestine to transfer themselves to other countries. At the 2nd Zionist Congress in 1898 he told delegates how ‘Completely accurate statistics about the number of inhabitants do not presently exist. One must admit that the density of the population does not give the visitor much cause for cheer. In whole stretches throughout the land one constantly comes across large Arab villages, and it is an established fact that the most fertile areas of our country are occupied by Arabs..." (Protocol of the Second Zionist Congress, p.103).

This review was distributed widely by Noam Chomsky and as soon as the book appeared in Britain, it was savaged (unlike the US where the newspapers and news organisations sang from the same hymn sheet and refused to carry unfavourable reviews until both British and Israeli historians panned the book as a laughable further response fraud).

In the same vein, Finkelstein’s critique of Daniel Goldhagen’s apology for fascism and Nazism, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996), could not be bettered. Goldhagen held Nazism to be benign except for the Jews. The problem was not so much Nazism as the ‘eliminationist’ anti-Semitism inherent in the make-up of Germans. ‘Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s ‘Crazy’ Thesis: A Critique of Hitler’s Willing Executioners’ New Left Review I/224, July-August 1997.

Finkelstein, although a political scientist, was one of the few anti-Zionists who could hold his own with Zionist holocaust historians. With two parents, both survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camps, he was able to command authority when he wrote on the subject. Finkelstein had clearly taken the time to get to grip with the main sources and debates of holocaust historiography and he understood how people like Professor Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem, the Zionist Holocaust & Propaganda Museum and Institute, operated.

With his book ‘Holocaust Industry’ describing how the Zionist movement had cynically used the extermination of millions of Jews in order to justify Israel’s barbarous treatment of the Palestinians, Finkelstein established his reputation. Finkelstein showed how the Zionist Jewish Claims Conference had stolen and defrauded via expense accounts, much of the reparations from West Germany which had been intended for the holocaust survivors. Today those survivors mainly live in poverty as a result. His second book, ‘Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History’ further established his reputation. The book also proved that Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Professor of Law, had plagiarised and copied, without acknowledgement, from other sources, for his book ‘The Case for Israel’. He had also faithfully copied their mistakes!

Included in the book was a detailed refutation of Dershowitz’s main thesis by reference to innumerable human rights sources. Herein lay a clue, which I noted at the time, to the subsequent political degeneration of Finkelstein. The Palestinian Question is not primarily a human rights issue, even though many people are brought into the movement by Israel’s abuse of Palestinian rights. It is above all a political issue. Finkelstein’s primary weakness is his failure to situate Israel's disregard of Palestinian rights within a political context.

One of the consequences of his attack on Dershowitz, the Professor of Torture (he once proposed giving the Police the right to apply for a Warrant to Torture someone) was that he was denied tenure at DePaul University. A good example of how, in the aftermath of the ‘War Against Terror’ academic freedom has been relegated to the status of a curious artefact in academia in the USA.

It therefore sad that Norman Finkelstein, who will no doubt survive for many more years on the lecture circuit, has little or nothing more to offer the Palestinian cause. On the contrary, everything he is now doing is actually helping to undermine solidarity with the Palestinians. His attack on the BDS movement as a ‘cult’ is unforgivable arrogance that bears all the hallmarks of a frustrated academic. Finkelstein has not only jettisoned much of what he believes in, he expects others, including the Palestinians to do likewise.

I first criticised Finkelstein after attending a talk given by Finkelstein to a thousand people at the Institute of Education in London on 11th November 2011. Finkelstein spent the best part of 2 hours belabouring the point as to why we should support a 2 State solution. It is only recently that a pre-talk interview with an activist Frank Barat has surfaced.

My first reaction to the interview was that Finkelstein must be suffering from a mid to late life crisis. Repeatedly he talks about how he has devoted his life time to the cause, how he is growing tired and weary. In a telling part of his interview he says:
‘Yes BDS has had some victories, but the way people have promoted it, on the verge of victory is sheer nonsense – it’s a cult. I’m tired of it. I went through my cult stage I was a Maoist. There were 2 competing possibilities – you can be a Maoist/Leninist and waste 20 years of your life. You can work with Ralph Nader, lot of bills through Congress. Nice we have seat belts and airbags – that was Nader. I’m not going to be in a cult again. Gurus in Ramallah giving marching orders.’
You cannot but detect a feeling that Norman Finkelstein believes he has wasted his life on a cause that doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit. In his frustration he is both turning on his own supporters and looking for any and every pragmatic solution. As a young man Finkelstein was a Maoist. Maoism collapsed under its own contradictions. What has happened to Finkelstein’s politics is not a new thing. He has become attracted to what he believes is immediately achievable, hence Ralph Nader is his consummate political hero for having got Congress to enact laws in support of seatbelts. An important issue no doubt, since I can personally testify that but for a seatbelt I would probably be dead. But it is hardly an earth shattering, life-changing event for the world. Finkelstein has grown cynical of revolutionary change, which is what the liberation of Palestine demands, and instead believes that a 2 State Solution, enforced by the ‘world community’ is the only solution. Backed of course by world opinion.

Finkelstein says that ‘If you are serious about politics you can’t go beyond what the public accepts, and that is international law.’ Herein lies his most important mistake and it matters little if much of Palestinian propaganda is indeed based on a demand that Israel upholds international law. The weak often look to the law in their frustration, however it rarely serves them well as it was not devised to help the weak and powerless.

Israel does not today rule over 4-5 million Palestinian Arabs because the nebulous concept of ‘international law’ granted them permission to do so. As Finkelstein himself wrote, when he was an anti-Zionist, ‘In fact, Zionists pursued from early on a "stages" strategy of conquering Palestine by parts - a strategy it would later vilify the Palestinians for.’ For example the Anti Defamation League, a notorious Zionist organisation, acknowledges that what most Zionists concentrated upon was “creating facts on the ground ­ immigration, agricultural settlement of the land, a Jewish-based economy, etc.’ From this there came the law, not the other way around.

There was nothing in international law that allowed colonists to invade a country, take over the land, expel the people and set up a state based on the ethnic nationalism of the settler. Colonisation occurred by force everywhere and from that there came the law in order to regularise the situation. So it is with international law, except that international law is, at best, a hazy and fluid concept.

One of the major faults with international law, apart from the fact that it serves the interests of the imperialist not the colonised or occupied, is that it has no enforcement mechanisms. Who is going to take the United States to the International Court for what it did in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who is going to fine the USA billions of dollars? Who is going to prosecute George Bush and Tony Blair? Compared to them Slobodan Milosevik was a saint. What prevents the International Court at the Hague from putting out a warrant for Bush and Blair? Well the USA never ratified the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court and does not accept its remit when it comes to its own leaders. Maybe that’s the reason but it doesn’t prevent the ICC from pursuing lesser fry than western leaders.

International law is helpless against US drone attacks on Pakistan. There is no lawful authority which allows computer gamers in Nebraska to wipe out whole families in Pakistan’s North Western Frontier. It is might and might alone which lies at the heart of power relations throughout the world. At the end of the day, capitalism rules through naked force and we can see how, even in the USA, when the bankers and capitalists are challenged, the Police resort to naked and brutal force as e.g. when the Occupied group was pepper-sprayed in front of the world’s cameras in Oakland, California. Of course the law gives a semblance of authority and rationale to the rule of capital. It legitimates the US’s actions and those of western imperialism, not least through its handmaiden, the United Nations. But the UN can only act when the USA allows it to. But when Israel breaks international law by transferring populations, exploiting the natural resources of the occupied territories and settling the land, the US vetoes all resolutions which are critical of this.

To therefore say that the United Nations is the jewel in the administration of international law is to fail to recognise that the UN is a political instrument at the behest of the USA. When Russia and China veto a resolution over Syria, the West scrambles around looking to undermine it by introducing special forces into the country, arming fundamentalist forces in the country etc.

Likewise Russia’s genocide in Chechnya has gone unremarked by the UN or international law. There are of course certain international conventions such as the Convention on the Child where states have come together to agree a Protocol as to how to deal with certain situations such as child kidnapping, but this is not enforceable internationally but by one’s own courts.

National liberation is the act of the people themselves not a consequence of international law. Apartheid in South Africa was not overthrown by international law and decolonisation did not occur because a court of law told the West to get out of its colonies. Emancipation is the act of the working and exploited classes, not international lawyers.

So when Finkelstein says ‘All I want to do is enforce the law. It is uncomplicated’ he is wrong, it is very complicated. And further international law cannot be enforced because there is no enforcement mechanism. Unless Norman Finkelstein accepts that the US military is the de facto enforcement mechanism.

One of Finkelstein’s major themes is that ‘You can’t be selective with the law.’ He says that ‘the law is a package’ some good, some bad. But this isn’t true. The law is and has always been selective. As the old saying goes:
They hang the man, and flog the woman,
That steals the goose from off the common;
But let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from the goose.
The law is not neutral and above society. It reflects and always has done, the interest of the ruling classes in society, the powerful and rich. Even in Britain it is noticeable how so-called benefit cheats are demonised and prosecuted by the state with great vigour unlike those who have stolen billions from the banks or MPs who fiddle their expenses. Fox hunting is illegal but the Police are more interested in prosecuting hunt-saboteurs than the hunters. Their interest is with those who threaten the interests of the property owner rather than property owners who hunt and kill foxes for a past-time. In a small way this emphasises that law in capitalist society is concerned not with human rights or justice but with protection of the interests of our rulers. We can see that in the indifference of the law to extraordinary rendition. Torture is illegal but never has it thrived so.

Norman Finkelstein gives the north of Ireland as an example of how a peace settlement was achieved. But he has spoken too soon. The underlying causes of sectarianism and division haven’t gone away. Partition is still in place, although Unionism has been weakened by its own lack of strategic importance to the British state today and its political weakness and isolation. It has in short outlived its usefulness. There is also a general war weariness but the problems caused by Irish partition remain for future generations.

Norman Finkelstein says that ‘Conflict has been on 2 state basis since Partition – Arafat talked about ‘unfinished business’ of 1948.’ This is nonsense. Transjordan annexed the West Bank in 1948 in a deal with the Zionists. [see Avi Shlaim’s Collusion Across the Jordan] Although the UN carved out an area, some 46% of Palestine for a Palestinian state, it did not attempt to provide a mechanism to enforce partition, still less to provide for the internationalisation of Jerusalem. It was therefore inevitable that the area allocated to a Palestinian state would be fought over by Israel and the surrounding states. Two states was never on the agenda in 1948, let alone now. The idea of 2 statism was the creation of opportunists in the PLO, led by Arafat, who saw the solution to the Palestine Question as lying in a quick ‘diplomatic’ solution to the Palestinian crisis in 1973.

In 1948 ¾ million Palestinian Arabs were expelled in order that a Jewish majority could be created in Israel. What effectively Norman Finkelstein is now saying is that Zionism should be allowed its victory. The problem is that the 1.5 million Arabs in Israel are still subject to the same forces of discrimination and oppression.

Norman Finkelstein says that ‘There is nothing in the international consensus which says anything about Palestinian minority in Israel. You want to drag in that minority and start talking about them you’ll get nowhere. The whole world persecutes their minorities. Or every country in the Middle East.’

Whilst many states have problems of national minorities, Israel is a state of its Jewish citizens and Jews world-wide. In this it is unique. It is an ethnocracy, an apartheid state. Yes many states do have problems of national minorities, and often in those cases separation is the only solution as with Czechoslovakia and the Tamils of Sri Lanka. But in Israel the Arabs aren’t a national minority, any more than the Jews of Germany were a national minority. They are Israeli citizens, they should have equal rights but instead they are treated as tolerated guests, a ‘demographic problem’ who should be expelled when the right opportunity arises. This is very different from a problem of national minorities. It is about purification of the race. That is why Israel is also unique in not having an Israeli nationality. There is a Jewish nationality, which includes Norman Finkelstein and myself. The conflict in Palestine has nothing to do with different nationalities and everything to do with a nationalist political current Zionism which brought into being a state based on the same principles that motivated European anti-Semitism.


For example in most western states there is, at the official level, an attempt to eradicate direct and obvious racial discrimination. In Europe there have been Race Directives and individual legislation aimed at outlawing racial discrimination. Sometimes of course states have been insincere and at all times their behaviour has been, at least to some extent, at odds with their declared position. But anyone living in Britain today knows that interpersonal racism on e.g. football terraces is outlawed and clamped down upon. This followed the Scarman Report in the early '80s, which reported into the riots in Britain. The cost of racism was deemed too high.
Contrast this with Israel where the State and the parties within it compete as to who is the greater racist. The state deliberately introduces legislation which is overtly racist. A unification law which prevents Israeli Arabs marrying the person of their choice, if they are an Arab, and continuing to live with them in the country of their birth. Or the passage of legislation, the Community Standards Act, which allows committees of existing residents to veto newcomers who don't accord with the existing norms and practices of those communities. It doesn't take a genius to work out that this is a recipe for open discrimination against Arabs and a way of subverting the Supreme Court's belated decision in 2005 in Ka'adan that the Israeli Lands Administration and JNF couldn't bar non-Jews from leasing their land. Instead of implementing this decision successive governments have done their best to subvert it. In other words Israel's government does its best to increase racism and, as we saw in the Palestine Papers, the Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni negotiates with the Palestinian Authority on the basis of transferring Israel's Arab citizens into any new bantustan that is set up. A point that Norman Finkelstein, in his desire for a 2 State Solution, is oblivious to. To pretend that Israeli racism against Arabs is no different from other countries is to fail to understand the imperatives and dictates of Zionism.

That is why Norman Finkelstein is wrong to suggest that the solidarity movement is a mirror image of the Palestinian authority. It is noticeable that despite characterising the PA as ‘a gang of corrupt, wretched collaborators’ which fears its own people, he supports their aspiration to a bantustan in the West Bank.

Norman Finkelstein insults and caricatures the BDS movement as a ‘little ghetto’ ‘a cult’. Yet if this were so, it is hardly likely that Israel would pass a law which effectively criminalises calls for a Boycott of Israel and the settlements. The fact is that BDS, unlike any other solidarity action, has for once forced the Zionists on the back foot. It undermines and throws into question the legitimacy of the Zionist state and its apartheid institutions. And far from having a few accomplishments that can be counted on the fingers of two hands BDS has made an enormous impact.

Veolia has just suffered a £500m loss of contract in West London and is trying to get out of the Jerusalem light railway project. The decision of British and Irish trade unions to support the boycott has undoubtedly hurt the morale of the Israeli state and for us, the task is to turn these resolutions into reality. The growth of supermarket boycotts is a reflection of the growth in support for Palestine despite the efforts of the international law makers to insulate the Israeli state. A whole range of artists and musicians, such as Elvis Costello and Santana, have supported the cultural boycott and refused to play in Israel. Others have disrupted Israeli concerts in London. We even have a Boycott from Within group in Israel itself.

Norman Finkelstein makes much of the ruling of the International Court of Justice, which declared the Apartheid Wall illegal. It also stated that the pre-1967 border is legally Israel’s border. But Israel has never defined its borders. The ICJ’s ruling though useful propaganda wise, has been ignored, its ruling totally redundant. Indeed its ruling is held to be advisory. So when Norman Finkelstein says ‘You want to enforce one state, don’t pretend you want to enforce the law’ then we have to turn round and say clearly that we aren’t fighting to enforce any law but to obtain justice for the Palestinians, a very different thing.

Norman Finkelstein has though put his finger on certain problematic areas for the Palestine solidarity movement. There is a widespread appeal to international law and rights. Palestinians and Palestinian organisations are not left-wing or socialist groups. Palestinians are a refugee population not the scions of a working class. That is a major weakness of the Palestinians compared to Black South Africans. In South Africa the banks and capitalists feared that if they persisted in supporting Apartheid they may endanger capitalism altogether. The other weakness of the Palestinians is that the Whites were in a minority in South Africa but Israeli Jews have rough parity with the Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

The real problem the Palestinians face is that compared to the Black masses in their fight against Apartheid, they are incredibly weak. They have no hinterland, no Mozambique or Angola further from which to operate. They don’t have a politically conscious working class. They have an Arab East which is still subservient, despite the Arab Spring, to US imperialism. Indeed the US and its allies have been able to subvert the revolutions as in Libya by sponsoring particular, usually Islamic fundamentalist, groups.

The rights that people have, even the right of women to vote in Britain, were obtained not through the law but through defiance of the existing law. The best way to make a good law is to break a bad law. It is this that the good Professor Norman Finkelstein, with his patronising admonition to Palestinians that he is not prepared to waste the rest of his life, doesn’t understand.

Norman Finkelstein says that ‘I’ve been at this 30 years, I’ve earned my right to speak my mind, and not going to tolerate leftist posturing, childishness.’ Leave aside that others, including myself, have given even more time to the movement. It is not childish or leftist posturing to build for a boycott of Israel. What is most evident is a rightwards moving Norman Finkelstein. Finkelstein confuses his own personal crisis with that of the Palestinians.

Of course the Palestinian struggle faces major problems in comparison with the Anti Apartheid movement in South Africa. For a start Israel is much stronger than the Apartheid Regime of F W de Clerk. The liberation movement was led by one movement, the ANC and the Communist Party. The Palestinians are for the most part led by collaborators, bigots and Wannabee oppressors. There isn’t a great political difference between the PA in Ramallah, which tortures those under its control, or Hamas, which also uses tortures its opponents. Both Hamas and the PA opposed the movement against Mubarak and suppressed Palestinian demonstrations. But then why should we be surprised. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood are the parents of Hamas. They are also the last resort of the Egyptian military and it is no surprise that they only joined the demonstrations against Mubarak at a late stage.

It is no surprise that the Palestine Return Centre, which organised Norman Finkelstein’s last tour of Britain, has nothing to say about the content of Norman Finkelstein’s speech or interview.

About the movement for BDS and One-State Norman Finkelstein says that ‘They are being disingenuous. 3 tier, very clever – end of occupation, right of return, equal rights for Arabs in Israel. They know the result is no Israel.’

It is an interesting point, equal rights for Arabs in Israel means no Israeli state. Norman Finkelstein is correct and therein lies the problem. If equal rights and the right of return for Palestinian refugees means an end to Israel what does that say about Israel? Why should we accept the continued existence of a state based on inequality? Especially when the first thing it will do is to transfer its existing Arab population into the new Palestinian Bantustan. Most people of course don’t understand that the existence of Israel as a Jewish state means permanent inequality for Israeli Arabs. That is one of the reasons why the solidarity movement should indeed come out explicitly in favour of one state.

Norman Finkelstein sums up his case thus: ‘You are only clever in your cult. Here they have a case – they only want to destroy Israel – I think they are right. I have one standard. Can I defend this position in public not whether I can defend it in my cult.’

Norman Finkelstein is trapped by his own background in Maoist politics and fails to see that in his reaction he adopts the language of the Zionists. No one I know seriously suggests ‘destroying’ Israel, nor should they. The implication is that the population itself will be destroyed or dispersed. What we seek is the destruction or overthrow of the Israeli state. The people of Israel, its Jewish citizens, are and should be made welcome to stay as equal citizens, with guaranteed national rights such as language, culture and religion. But the apartheid Zionist state structures themselves and their implementation have to go.

Norman Finkelstein has also abandoned support for the right of the Palestinian refugees to return. He asks

‘Will a person in the public find it reasonable to demand 6m Palestinians go back to a country with 1.8m Palestinians and 5 million Jews.’ Well put in those terms probably not but that is not the choice. Most Palestinians given the chance to return will probably not take it up. They will likely choose to stay where they are, but they should have the right to return if they wish.

Norman Finkelstein even claims to support BDS, though it is hard to understand why, but ‘until they are explicit on their goal and that has to include recognition of Israel….’ When I first heard Norman Finkelstein speak, about 4 years ago, in Sussex University, he gave as good an exposition of the origins of Zionism and how it was quite uncomplicated, as I have heard. Norman Finkelstein is a methodical and clinical speaker, even if he does have the tendency to repeat himself.

It is a great pity that he has now succumbed to defeatism and despair. Apart from anything it is not his right and when he attacks the BDS movement it is unforgivable. Norman Finkelstein says that ‘It’s not an unwitting accident that BDS does not mention Israel. It will split the movement. There is a large section which wants to eliminate Israel.’ Leaving aside the caricature ‘eliminate Israel’ then he is right in the sense that there is disagreement amongst supporters of BDS as to whether 2 States is a viable solution. But so what?

Most 2 State supporters are fairweather friends and often motivated by the desire to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel. But 2 States is based on championing an imperialist solution to the Palestinian Question through a rejigging of borders and the imposition of a Palestinian Bantustan. But I agree, political clarity is important. The Green Line doesn’t even exist on Israeli maps. There is already a single state. The problem is that half of its inhabitants are denied even elementary democratic rights. Those who propagate illusions in a 2 state solution are, wittingly or otherwise, helping to prolong the agony of those in the West Bank and Gaza.

The road Norman Finkelstein is travelling on is one mapped out by Zionism. He says that ‘If we end the occupation and we bring back 6 million Palestinians and we have equal rights for Arabs and Jews we have no Israel. That’s what it’s really about and you think you’re fooling anybody?’

If equal rights for Arabs and Israelis means no Israel, because Israel by its very nature rests on racist discrimination, then most people would agree that Israel as currently constituted has to go. Of course this also means dealing a blow to sectarians on the Palestinian side too. Hamas, a Muslim organisation, cannot become a national liberation organisation. Hamas and Political Islam is a reflection of Zionism and imperialism not its adversary. But it is also necessary to put Israel in perspective. It is not supported by the USA because of a love for Jews or guilt over the holocaust but because Israel is imperialism’s main watchdog and base in the region. About the role of Israel in the Middle East Norman Finkelstein, in his post-Maoist phase, has nothing to say.

As Finkelstein says, ‘I’m 58 years old, I gave my life to the cause and I’m not going to be anyone’s fool. I’ve lost patience with it.’ It is a fact that people, even Norman Finkelstein, can get burnt out and become lost to the movement. Norman Finkelstein’s present position is that of a historical curiosity, a relic of past battles. His books relevant for what Finkelstein used to believe in rather than what we currently preaches. Norman Finkelstein today is a performing bear, dancing to imperialism’s melodies whilst the older lyrics remain unsung.


ADDENDUM
I hadn't seen the article from the Jewish Chronicle when I posted this. Although the Zionists will use any debate or disagreement within the Palestine solidarity movement for its own purpose, having seen my own articles misused on a number of occasions, and I don't believe we should therefore abandon vigorous debate, Finkelstein's attack on BDS and the wider movement is unforgivable arrogance. He must have known how it would be used and if Lenin's Tomb is correct, he tried to stop the circulation of this damaging video. However that is no excuse for his outrageous attacks and his condescension to those who disagree with him.