My guest tonight is a Jewish American political scientist and author who Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong love to hate. He is – Norman Finkelstein.
Norman Finkelstein grew up in New York City where, before he obtained academic employment, he was a part-time social worker with teenage dropouts.
He completed his undergraduate studies at New York’s Binghampton University in 1974. After studying in Paris, he went on to get his Master’s degree in political science, and later his PhD in political studies, from Princeton University. He has held faculty positions at five American universities.
The reason why Finkelstein is vilified by Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong can be simply stated. In his writing and public speaking, as in his doctoral thesis, he is committed to exposing books which present Zionism’s version of history. They are, he writes and says, part of a “monumental hoax”, “fraud” and “nonsense”.
His friend Noam Chomsky once warned him in a letter that he would get into trouble because, Chomsky wrote, “you’re going to expose the American intellectual community as a gang of frauds, and they are not going to like it, and they’re going to destroy you.”
A dramatic moment in Zionism’s on-going attempt to destroy Finkelstein, and also its highly successful strategy for restricting academic freedom in general, came in June of last year (twenty o seven) when, giving in to Zionist pressure, Chicago’s DePaul University denied him tenure. Prior to that decision, Finkelstein had been an assistant professor at DePaul for six years, and described in an official university statement as “a prolific scholar and outstanding teacher.”