Friday, May 30, 2008

Rejection of a celebration, No place for morals, and the Persevering Professor Finkelstein

In May, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel was celebrated. Although many Jewish organizations joined in the celebration, there were individual Jews who found little to commemorate. In a letter, on April 30, to the Guardian newspaper in England, 104 such individuals wrote, "It is now time to acknowledge the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler's genocidal policies." Jews have the Holocaust, the writers continued, while the Palestinian people memorialize what they call Naqba, the invasion and takeover of their homes and territory in 1948.

In the U.S., the names of David Garfinkel, Tanya Bronstein, Heinz Grunewald, Michael Kalmanovitz or Yehudit Keshet may ring no bells, but these prominent Britons should be commended for what should not be, but is a courageous act -- just for writing a letter and signing their names.

Read the letter here.
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And then cold reality is restored by Yehezkel Dror in The Forward (5/15/08), a man who tells it like it is – as if we haven't observed for decades the very behavior he describes. In his text below, try substituting "Jewish people," "Jewish nature," "Jewish state," with the name of any other ethnic group, and see how it works for you. How about substitutes like "Euro-white" or "caucasian" or "gentile?"

When Survival of the Jewish People Is at Stake, There’s No Place for Morals

By Yehezkel Dror

There is little disagreement that every Jewish leader, organization, community and individual has a duty to help ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. But in a world where the long-term existence of the Jewish state is far from certain, the imperative to exist inevitably gives rise to difficult questions, foremost among them this: When the survival of the Jewish people conflicts with the morals of the Jewish people, is existence worthwhile, or even possible? ...

Clear external and internal dangers threaten the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state. It is very likely that the collapse of Israel or the loss of its Jewish nature would undermine the existence of the Jewish people as a whole. ... Regrettably, human history refutes the idealistic claim that in order to exist for long, a state, society or people has to be moral. Given the foreseeable realities of the 21st century and beyond, harsh choices are unavoidable, with requirements of existence often contradicting other important values. ...

In short, the imperatives of existence should be given priority over other concerns -- however important they may be -- including liberal and humanitarian values, support for human rights and democratization. This tragic but compelling conclusion is not easy to swallow, but it is essential for the future of the Jewish people. Once our existence is assured, including basic security for Israel, much can and should be sacrificed for tikkun olam. But given present and foreseeable realities, assuring existence must come first.

Read complete article here.
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And then there is the persevering Norman Finkelstein. Where does this man get his energy, spirit, and downright bravado? Talk about nerve and gall, the man has testosterone to spare. From the day he blew the whistle on the Holocaust reparations racketeers in his book The Holocaust Industry, to his exposure of the fabrications and outright lies of Israel's apologists in Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, it's been a non-stop ride for him.

As reward for his outspoken truthtelling, Princeton University tried to deny Finkelstein his well-earned doctorate, smear campaigns made it almost impossible for him to get teaching posts, publishers have been pressured by his opponents from publishing his books, and he was denied tenure at DePaul University. Yet he relentlessly journeys onward.

There have been Finkelstein types among blacks – those who blew whistles on the hustlers and charlatans among us. You might say that, among blacks, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey, were the original whistleblowers – as the two fiercest challengers of the NAACP and other cabals, whose clever, sophisticated black elites used the historical suffering of their own people to rise to prominence.

And there have been modern day whistleblowers against the likes of Jesse Jackson, whose disgraceful shakedowns of companies he and his cronies managed to pull off, in the name of "racial justice." Washington and Garvey fought to dispel the poisonous propaganda lapped up by eager whites, whose only concern was (and is) to be on the "correct" side of the race issue. As they say so boldly in Canada, "Truth is no defense."

In the case of Norman Finkelstein, the late Professor Raul Hilberg, who was considered the ultimate authority on Holocaust studies (a field he co-founded), endorsed Finkelstein's book about reparations abuses, and declared, "I was saying the same thing, and I had published my results in that three-volume work [his final edition of The Destruction of the European Jews], 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." It matters not.

Professor Avi Shlaim of Oxford University, a leading authority on Arab-Israeli conflicts, says of Finkelstein, "I consider him to be a very impressive and a very learned and careful scholar." It matters not.

To follow news of the indefatigable Norman Finkelstein's writings and latest misadventure, i.e., his deportation from Israel, visit his website here, and also see here.

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