header image
Home
About
Events
News
Get Involved
Search
Contact Us
Resources
CanPalNet Publications
Reviews
Links
Focus on...
Anti-Semitism
BDS
Canada
Censorship
Controversies surrounding...
Gaza
The Israel Lobby
Israeli Apartheid Structures
Labour
Lies My Media Told Me
Not a peace process
Palestinian Elections 2006
Related Items
Archive
Syndicate
Home arrow Censorship arrow We support Norman Finkelstein
We support Norman Finkelstein PDF Print E-mail
Jun 30, 2007 at 05:23 PM

June 21, 2007

On the eighth of June, DePaul University in Chicago denied tenure to one of the world experts on the Israel/Palestine conflict, Norman G. Finkelstein. There's been a great uproar on campus and worldwide because it is well known that Prof.Finkelstein's contract was terminated as a result of intervention from outside the university, and ultimately because of the power of his ideas. In a book entitled, The Holocaust Industry, Dr. Finkelstein argues that since 1967 Zionist organizations and certain Jewish leaders have capitalized on the memory of the Holocaust to generate wealth and power for themselves and to silence criticism of Israel's [war] crimes against Palestinians. Professor Finkelstein's ideas are dangerous, and he has paid the price, losing his position in academia despite his tremendous intellectual productivity -- 5 books in 12 years.

We, Jews for a Just Peace, write this statement because we are disturbed by the events at DePaul. We have been impressed by Dr.Finkelstein's incisive analysis and passionate defense of human rights and international law in the context of Israel/Palestine. We take this opportunity to share our thoughts about the relationship between his dismissal and the struggle to which we are committed.

Prof. Finkelstein's case reveals some of the contours of academic freedom in North America. Without denying the specificity of this situation, his dismissal confirms the growing consensus that sustained criticism of Israel and the Israel Lobby represents a risk for scholars, not to mention journalists and others. The fact that an academic of Dr. Finkelstein's calibre worked as an adjunct professor for over a decade before finally landing a tenure-track position is even stronger evidence for this assertion...

Jews for a Just Peace, Vancouver, BC

June 21, 2007

On the eighth of June, DePaul University in Chicago denied tenure to one of the world experts on the Israel/Palestine conflict, Norman G. Finkelstein. There's been a great uproar on campus and worldwide because it is well known that Prof.Finkelstein's contract was terminated as a result of intervention from outside the university, and ultimately because of the power of his ideas. In a book entitled, The Holocaust Industry, Dr. Finkelstein argues that since 1967 Zionist organizations and certain Jewish leaders have capitalized on the memory of the Holocaust to generate wealth and power for themselves and to silence criticism of Israel's [war] crimes against Palestinians. Professor Finkelstein's ideas are dangerous, and he has paid the price, losing his position in academia despite his tremendous intellectual productivity -- 5 books in 12 years.

We, Jews for a Just Peace, write this statement because we are disturbed by the events at DePaul. We have been impressed by Dr.Finkelstein's incisive analysis and passionate defense of human rights and international law in the context of Israel/Palestine. We take this opportunity to share our thoughts about the relationship between his dismissal and the struggle to which we are committed.

Prof. Finkelstein's case reveals some of the contours of academic freedom in North America. Without denying the specificity of this situation, his dismissal confirms the growing consensus that sustained criticism of Israel and the Israel Lobby represents a risk for scholars, not to mention journalists and others. The fact that an academic of Dr. Finkelstein's calibre worked as an adjunct professor for over a decade before finally landing a tenure-track position is even stronger evidence for this assertion.

Terminating Prof. Finkelstein's contract is meant to set an example, to scare other scholars into biting their tongues. To the extent that this occurs, we are saddened. However, we are certain that many scholars will be inspired by his courage. In addition, Prof. Finkelstein's vulnerability leads us to reflect on the importance of research that is produced by networks of scholars, activists and others who support each other and cannot be so easily dismissed.

Although we recognize that Dr. Finkelstein himself may suffer hardship as a result of this decision, we are confident that he knew the risks of his work, and that he will continue. We also believe that in the future his writing will be taken even more seriously, since people around the world will recognize that only powerful ideas could provoke such a desperate attack.

As an organization focusing on human rights, we recognize continuities between an attempt to silence a professor and the conditions that make it difficult for marginalized people all over the world to express their political beliefs. Prof. Finkelstein's dismissal leads us to reflect on Palestinians living in West Bank and Gaza who risk more than tenure when they choose to speak truth to power.

We recall that scholars tend to study what they love. Although Dr.Finkelstein is a formidable critic of Israeli policies,and certain Jewish leaders and organizations, we believe his work is inspired by a great passion for justice and a desire to see the institutions he criticizes become worthy of our respect.

At this historical moment, we applaud Dr. Finkelstein’s supporters among the faculty and students, and call on DePaul University to reverse this unfortunate decision and grant Prof. Finkelstein the tenured appointment that he richly deserves.

Finally, we stand in solidarity with Dr. Norman Finkelstein, confident that his analysis will continue to illuminate our work in the years to come.

Jews for a Just Peace, Vancouver, BC

<Previous   Next>
End of Mission Report - UN Under-Secretary-General

Alvaro de Soto

Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Special Coordinator For the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representatives of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority Envoy to the Quartet
May 2007
Accessible at  http://tinyurl.com/2aevpx
Who's Online
We have 42 guests online