Hart of the Matter #9: Norman Finkelstein

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.”

6 comments on this post.
  1. Brad Golding:

    Hi Alan!

    I have just seen your interview with Norman Finkelstein, a man for whom I have great respect. I have not come across your program before but I am so glad I did. I found your interview to be most excellent and informative, and now intend to subscribe to your site.

    Thank God there are people like you out there.

    Brad

  2. Ahmed from Bahrain:

    Mr. Finkelstein is a great thinker and orator. His take on Middle East problems is right on the mark. In him I find a brother in humanity and I have immense respect and admiration for him. I just wish Israeli Jews and world politicians listened to what he has to say.

    Keep up the good work Mr Hart.

  3. safiyya:

    it would be nice alan if a) you would allow your guests to speak without continuously interrupting them, and b) if you wouldnt ask them all the same questions and relate the same stories again and again.. isnt it better to let them speak on what it is they want to/ are most erudite in speaking about..?? you have all these great speakers and it just feels like they are somewhat stunted by your questioning style..

  4. Peter Mathyssen:

    It is Mr Finkelstein’s sound reasoning and exemplary verbal expression of it that the Zionist apologists are worried about. Mr Finkelstein knows the facts and will not shut up about them. A great man whose sincerity and commitment to justice should be an example to all of us.

  5. Björn Lindgren:

    Alan,

    Excellent!

    You both should have had another
    half an hour to penetrate further.

    Björn Lindgren

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