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 Monday, December 11, 2006

Words Even an Ex-President Can't Say in America


Norman Finkelstein
(Norman G. Finkelstein (born December 8, 1953) is a professor of political science and controversial American author. The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein is known for his writings pertaining to the behaviour of the state of Israel, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for his view that the Holocaust is being exploited for personal financial gain and pro-Israel political ends. A graduate of Binghamton University, he received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University after which he held faculty positions at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and New York University, and most recently DePaul University, where he has been an assistant professor since 2003.)


"... There is NO discussion of these issues in this country that amounts to anything.

There is obviously NO discussion among the members of Congress.

And even the American news media, wonderful ones like who you work for, The New York Times, The Washington Post and so forth, as well as the major networks and even cable -- RARELY bring up any of the issues that are dramatized very accurately in this book.

... any congressional candidate who declared, "I want the Israelis to comply with international law," WOULDN'T have a chance to be elected.

But it is a mystery to me why the news media don't at least give a sharp discussion of these issues.

... I go to Israel fairly often and when I go to Jerusalem, the debate is vociferous in the news media and among politicians. In Europe the same thing.

In the U.S., no debate."

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  • Read related posting Here

  • Jimmy Carter Can't Say What Jewish Critics of Israel Are Free to Say : The paddling Jimmy Carter is receiving for making criticisms of Israel that are common in Israel demonstrates a law of the Israel conversation: It is one thing for Jews to criticize Israel, but it's not O.K. for non-Jews to do so. This law is demonstrated by the Hillel chapters I wrote about the other day: it's OK for Jewish groups to host the Israel veterans Breaking the Silence, but those same groups will criticize Palestinian organizations when they sponsor the very same program—as if the Arab groups are doing so as the first step toward a pogrom. Read here for more

Pro Israel Lobby Media Attack Dogs:

  • Read Here Marty Peretz's offensive article: "..... That's how he (Jimmy Carter) will go down in history: as a Jew hater. He's now done a new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. It shows just how silly he is ... and malicious. And ignorant, since it also proves that he knows next to nothing about what apartheid was like in South Africa. "

  • Read here the offensive article by Alan Dershowitz, who is Jewish : "...Carter has little good to say about any Israelis -- except those few who agree with him. But he apparently got along swimmingly with the very secular Syrian mass-murderer Hafez al-Assad. Mr. Carter and his wife Rosalynn also had a fine time with the equally secular Arafat, a man who has the blood of hundreds of Americans and Israelis on his hands..."

  • Read Here article by David Harris, Head of American Jewish Committee in Jerusalem Post: "..... It thus is startling that a former president who prides himself on his ongoing contribution to world peace would write a crude polemic that compromises any pretense to objectivity and fairness. The book's inflammatory title is a case of false advertising, conjuring up comparisons between Israel and Apartheid South Africa, a comparison Carter never makes. South Africa's policies were racial in nature and deprived black subjects of basic rights in their own country.

Read here full article by Norman Finkelstein, "The Media Lynching of Jimmy Carter"

It seems Israel's "supporters" have conscripted me in their lynching of Jimmy Carter.

Count me out.

True, the historical part of Carter's book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, contains errors in that it repeats standard Israeli propaganda.

However, Carter's analysis of the impasse in the "peace process" as well as his description of Israeli policy in the West Bank is accurate - and, frankly, that's all that matters.

A wag once said that there is no Pravda (Truth) in Izvestia (News) and no Izvestia in Pravda.

The same can be said of our Pravda (The New York Times) and Izvestia (The Washington Post).

Today both party organs ran feature stories trashing Carter using Kenneth Stein's resignation from the Carter Center as the hook. (I was sitting in the airport when this earth-shattering story came on CNN.)

But like John Galt, many people must have wondered, Who (the hell) is Kenneth Stein?

Stein wrote exactly one scholarly book on the Israel-Palestine conflict more than two decades ago (The Land Question in Palestine, 1984). Even in his heyday, Stein was a nonentity.

When Joan Peters's hoax From Time Immemorial was published, I asked his opinion of it. He replied that it had "good points and bad points." Just like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Later Stein wrote a sick essay the main thesis of which was, "the Palestinian Arab community had been significantly prone to dispossession and dislocation before the mass exodus from Palestine began" - so the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 was really no big deal ("One Hundred Years of Social Change: The Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Probem," in Laurence Silberstein (ed.), New Perspectives on Israeli History, 1991).

The Pravda ( NYT) story was written by two reporters who seem to have made a beeline for the newsroom from their bat mitzvahs. They quote Stein to the effect that Carter's book is "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments".

I doubt there's much to this.

Most of the background material is Carter's reminiscences. Maybe he copied from Rosalyn's diary (she was his note taker).

Then Pravda reports that "a growing chorus of academics...have taken issue with the book".

Who do they name? Alan Dershowitz and David Makovsky.

Makovsky is resident hack at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Israel Lobby's "think"-tank.

Pravda saw no irony in citing Dershowitz's expertise for a story on fabrication, falsification and plagiarism regarding a book on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

As always, one can only be awed by the party discipline at our Pravda. It makes one positively wistful for the days when commissars quoted Stalin on linguistics.

Norman Finkelstein's most recent book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of California Press). His web site is

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