February 25, 2013

Norman Finkelstein seeks reconciliation....with Dershowitz

I looked at our tracker a couple of hours ago and noticed that we had got lots of hits from Norman Finkelstein's site.  It took me a little while to establish what this blog had to do with his headline:

ALAN DERSHOWITZ WARNS BAY AREA: FINKELSTEIN IS COMING! DON'T LET HIM SPEAK!

Hmm, poor old Norm, I thought, getting it in the neck again from the Dershmeister.  But below the headline is a copy of an email to the Palestine Solidarity Network:
Subject: [PSN] Finkelstein in SF in April

To: “palestine_solidarity_network” <palestine_solidarity_network@googlegroups.com>
Date: Friday, February 22, 2013, 4:38 PM
Norman Finkelstein is planning to come to SF in April and is looking for speaking engagements. In light of the offensive and libelous claims he’s made about the Right of Return and about the BDS movement recently, I’d strongly advise against co-sponsoring events with him. Zionist sites have been quoting him extensively, so that hosting him would just give them more ammunition. If you didn’t follow this, read more here http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2012/07/norman-finkelstein-continues-to-spread.html  ; http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/finkelstein-renews-attack-bds-cult-calls-palestinians-who-pursue-their-rights. The main point is that this isn’t just constructive criticism, but baseless accusations based on hasbara points.
So that would explain the hits but where does he get off comparing his detractors to Dershowitz?  The email doesn't look like a demand that he not be allowed to speak.  It looks like a suggestion that he not speak with the support of Palestine Solidarity Network or in any venue they control.  And how many venues could that be?

Now we can all play this game of comparing two opponents of each other to each other, like say, comparing anti-zionists to Alan Dershowitz.  I'm always struck by the similarities between zionist arguments and antisemitic ones.  But this latest hissy fit by Norm suggests that, in spite of attempting to get his first videoed attack on BDS pulled, Finkelstein has no intention of rethinking his position.  And just to recap on that, his position is that the State of Israel exists on the basis of international law and therefore we cannot demand the enforcement of those aspects of international law which might lead to the abolition of the State of Israel or lead to an Israel without Jewish supremacy.  He further insists that since the abolition of Jewish supremacy in occupied Palestine/Israel cannot be achieved because the public (or maybe the most powerful governments in the world at the mo') don't like it, it is cult-like to try for this.  Furthermore, to bolster his argument he has misrepresented aspects of the BDS campaign and its activists.

What would be interesting would be for Alan Dershowitz to come out strongly in support of Norman Finkelstein. This is unlikely because both of them have a lot of personal baggage bound up in their differences, but who knows what might happen?  Dershowitz supports Jewish supremacy.  Finkelstein acquiesces to it.  Both support the so-called two state solution. Are their positions really so far apart?


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