14 Responses

  1. That is nice to see, now if only they can get rid of Ward Churchill.

  2. A wonderful attitude to academic freedom and a reasoned debate.

  3. Can you have a reasoned debate with an anti-Semite and a holocaust denier?

    What gives Egan, did you know anything about the man before you posted the comment?

    Seriously… *L* KGS

  4. An after thought.

    I wouldn’t be willing to debate a Norman Finlestein anymore than a David Duke or Mahmoud Ahamninejad.

    Racists as a rule do not bring anything valid to the debating table, doing so just gives them the legitimacy that they crave.

  5. I know this guy criticised Israel, and he was sacked for it. That you enjoy this event is all I need to know really.

  6. I mean, it’s quite possible that some of the many thousands of people you label anti-semites actually are, but I know enough good people who’ve been given that label to not take your accusations seriously.

    It’s a problem ‘Islam-critical’ writers have – they often come across as shrill and aggressive, when they might sometimes have a decent point to make.

    But for most normal people Islamist hegemony is thankfully not a preoccupation.

    I’ve read your blurb and find it misleading and dangerous. I agree that fundamentalist Islam is a dangerous and oppressive ideology, but you concentrate on ‘jihad against the west’. I don’t think anybody can argue in good faith that Muslims themselves are not the main victims of authoritarian regimes in their countries (even nice Israel friendly ones like that of Hosni Mubarak).

  7. Hi Egan,

    No, Finklestein was not sacked for criticizing Israel, something by the way which is done by Israelis themselves on a daily basis, he was denied tenure (permanent position) due to his sloppy, unprofessional “teaching” habits and his completely empty record of academic publication.

    Warming up to Holocaust denier David Irving, calling him (who insists there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz) a great historian, did not earn him high marks by the staff at DePaul University as well.

    I think Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz has a good take on the discredited academic as well.

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110010034

    I dare say that I never ventured into the “shrillness” that you allude to. My points are well thought out, calculated and easily defended. My focus is on the two versions of Islamism, violent and non-violent. Both pose a danger to the west.

    Glad that you agree with me that Islamist extremism is a dangerous and oppressive ideology, but though the majority of my posts focus on the west, I do post about Islamist extremism in the ME as well. I do not blame you for not knowing that, since you can hardly be expected to comb through 2.5 years of material. But then you shouldn’t make sweeping statements either.

    But in any case, whether I focus on the west or ME, it doesn’t detract from the dangerousness of that ideology, that has its roots in the writings and personage of Islam’s prophet.

    The Muslims’ wellbeing inside dictatorships throughout the ME, are due to oppressive socialist models copied from the former soviet Union and the Eastern block, and have nothing to do with Islamist extremism, though the Saudi Kingdom might be the closest to that line of thinking with the exception of the now doomed Taliban.

  8. Hmm, I couldn’t find that quote about Irving. I found one where Finkelstein says ‘I don’t like him, I think he’s a nazi’, though:

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=99

    I don’t get your comments about the ‘prophet’ either. There was an incident recently where Orange Order thugs beat up a Catholic MP at Glasgow Airport, saying ‘We have a religious duty to knock you down.’

    Is that Calvin’s fault? Luther’s? Do we take it all the way back to Jesus? Or are they just using an excuse for their violence?

  9. First of all, I find it troubling as well as disgusting that you would be willing to come to the defense of the indefensible. Finklestein has been relegated by serious scholars to the panthion of infamous speudo-scholar hacks such as Noam Chomsky and Avi Shlaim. When quoting the Holocaust trivializer, you should quote him in full, not just “cherry pick” a statement that casts him in hte best possible light.

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=99
    “Personally, I don’t like the fellow. I think he is a Nazi. However, I have to be fair. And I want you to listen. Fairness means: A) I’m not an authority on the topic on which he writes. Mostly on military history, on the German side, during WW2. Number two, historians who are authorities on him have given mixed ratings. Gordon Craig, one of the leading historians on Germany in the US who writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, Gordon Craig wrote, “his contributions are indespensible.” I can’t change that. I cannot say Gordon Craig is wrong. You know why I can’t do it? Because I’m humble enough to say: I-Don’t-Know. John Keagan, one of the leading military historians in the UK, when he testified in the Irving Lipstad trial, he testified on his side, on Irving’s side, as being a good historian. So I can only report to you what other historians have said. And so in the book, in the Holocaust Industry, I wrote that Gordon Craig said that his contributions, his meaning Irving’s, are indespensible and that became “Finkelstein says Irving is an indespensable historian.” Well, I didn’t say it. And I just don’t know”

    This is soo Chomskyesque that I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. Finklestein’s statements are nothing more than an ambigiious admission that he refuses to dismiss a WELL KNOWN HOLOCAUST denier, quoting others who deem his work as “something being of value”, without utterly distancing himself from their views of the crank scholar, most certainly tarnishes Finklestein in the most serious way. Saying “I just don’t know” is nothing more than a disengenuous attempt at keeping up the ambiguity in which he thrives.

    In short, the overwhelming majority of serious scholars regard Finklestein as a crank, and defending him is just plain stupid.

    When it comes to what I wrote about the Muslims’ prophet, read it again slowly. The comparison you gave is akin to the mixing of apples and oranges.

    Nowhere in the Christian scriptures does the Christians’ leader/s give licence to beat others for opposing views. Perhaps their dogma might, but please show me the words in the Christian New Testament that allows for it.

    No ones is saying that extremism can’t be found in all major religions, but what is undeniable, is the leader of Islam (who is Islam’s perfect example of a role model in human flesh) giving licence to his followers to commit heinous crimes.

    Depending on the region, much of his exhortations are followed to the letter. That is the sad fact.

  10. It’s sad that those who shout loudest about freedom and democracy are also those who look to close down debate when it isn’t conducted within what they consider to be ‘acceptable’ parameters.

    The guy said he didn’t like Irving, he said Irving was a Nazi. If we disregard everything that was ever done by people we object to on political grounds, our lives would be horrible.

    You’ve called Finkelstein an ‘anti-semite and a holocaust denier’ (changing this later to ‘holocaust trivializer’), you’ve said he ‘warmed up to David Irving’ (changing this later to ‘refusing to dismiss’ Irving), you seem to be unsure in your own mind just what the extent of Finkelstein’s crimes are.

    Calling a Jewish child of Holocaust survivors an ‘anti-semite’ is quite a serious accusation, and I could do with a bit of background.

    I also find your blanket condemnation of Chomsky quite strange. Whatever you think of his political views, I labour under the impression that his academic work in the field of linguistics is respected, though disputed.

  11. Nonsense and poppycock.

    You’re clearly word weaseling here. My statement about not debating an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier concerns the useless effort in debating either strain or both.

    Anyways, there is a very fine line between the two, most of the former usually having one foot in the latter.

    Anyone knowledgeable about the way Chomsky framse his statements would readily recognize the dissembling in Finklestein’s calling Iriving a nazi. That you intentionally overlooked (after I took the effort to reprint the entire quote) what he went on to say further….has not been missed by me.

    “Warming up to or refusing to dismiss” is just two sides of the same coin, funny you would lend time to make such a distinction.
    Whether he is 1/4 a fan of Iriving or even 2/3 of one is of little relevence.

    History is full of accounts of fire fighters putting out fires set by their own offspring, criminals having police officers for dads, it doesn’t though, stop me from labeling them as such.

    “I also find your blanket condemnation of Chomsky quite strange. Whatever you think of his political views”

    That’s a rather light comment considering Chomsky’s extra curricular…stuff, that’s brandished by the left as “great scholarly work”, which it’s not.

    Please don’t tell me that your a great fan of his non-linguistics related… tripe?

  12. Oh, one more thing:

    “It’s sad that those who shout loudest about freedom and democracy are also those who look to close down debate when it isn’t conducted within what they consider to be ‘acceptable’ parameters.”

    Finklestein’s tenure denial has nothing to do with free speech, and everything to do with credible academic disclipines. The “Fink” can blabber all day long on his own free time, but to earn tenure, he has to show he is well up to the task….which he isn’t, therefore he’s been denied. Pretty much the same for the fake Indian professor Ward Churchill.

  13. What did Hultschneider mean by ‘his persona as a public intellectual’, in his reasons for denying tenure?

    I read that as ‘I can’t be arsed with all these mental people jumping up and down screaming about my employee. I think I’ll hang him out to dry.’

  14. Egan,

    Norman Finkelstein is SO anti-Semitic that it’s beyond arguement. For a guy passing himself off as a professor competent to comment on Israel, the Holocaust and their connection, you’d think the man would be fluent in Hebrew and German. He’s not!

    How does a man pass himself off as a legitimate historian on the Holocaust if he isn’t fluent in German.

    That DePaul University even allows him to remain there is an act of academic freedom and recognition he doesn’t deserve.

    Finkelstein’s sloppy, incompetent research was reason alone not to grant him tenure. Add that to his anti-Semitic agenda and DePaul had no basis to grant him tenure.

    You’re free to think whatever you want, but this is a done deal.

    Regards,

    TINSC

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