Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NORMAN FINKLESTEIN “IS CRITICISM OF ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITISM?”

This is some of my notes from the lecture this evening. I would like to say that this is not an exact transcript, I may have made some mistakes in my notes and by posting these notes I does not mean that I necessarily share all the views of Prof. Finkelstein just wanted to share what I heard.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Finkelstein

FINAL STAGE ISSUES-those issues that are so controversial that they have to be put off to the last stage of negotiations. If you begin with them the negotiations will break down. Start with confidence building measures.
• Questions of borders
• Settlements 460,000 settlers Israel has transferred to West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem
• Who doe East Jerusalem belong to
• Right of return of Palestinian refugees
• (Water)

80% of the Israeli wall is in the West Bank, if it were in Israeli land then it would be legal
• cuts through neighborhoods of E Jerusalem
o so who owns E Jerusalem
ICJ decided that
• West Bank and Gaza are said to be “disputed territories”
o “Under international law it is inadmissible to acquire land by war” –George Bush
o Israel acquired it during a war therefore Israel has no entitlement to the West Bank or Gaza- they are not “disputed territories”
SETTLEMENTS
• Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention: it is prohibited for an occupying power to transfer its occupation to an occupied territory.
• Therefore IJC deemed the settlers there as violating international law
EAST JERUSALEM
• How did Israel acquire it? During the war
• ICJ: therefore it is Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

Nov 1947 UN Assembly decided to partition Palestine between Arab and Jew nations
1949 Palestinians are removed from their homes
• “May 48 invading Arab armies transmitted radio broadcasts to Palestinians to leave their homes so that the Arab armies could clear the Jews from the land and they could return.”
o Deemed not true- instead ethnic cleansing
• See the book “1848”

“None of Israel’s wars were wars of necessity.”

Human rights orgs conclusions about the human rights records of Israel in the Palestine Territories.
• Most heavily monitored places in the world by human rights orgs.
• In 20 years of human rights reports by many human rights orgs, Finklestein found that all the reports agreed on their reports;
o Terrorism- the principle of application of terrorism: if it is only applied to one side it is hypocritical.
http://www.btselem.org: 4:1 Palestinians killed: Israelis killed
• 60% of those Palestinians were civilians
• Doesn’t count those who died in hospitals due to lack of water
o Difference of intentional killing of Israeli’s by Palestinians vs accidental killing of Palestinians by Israelis?
• “Many occasions Israel deliberately targeted peaceful demonstrations including children.”
• Indiscriminant fire: “anyone who throws a lit match into a woods cannot say they didn’t mean to lit the woods on fire.” –Gideon Levy (not an exact quote)
• Israeli terrorism is 4x as lethal than Hamas terror.

TWO STATE SOLUTION
• Fully withdraw from Palestinian territories
• Every year the UN votes on a two state solution
o All but 7 states or less agree on a 2 state solution

Benny Morris
• Doesn’t deny Palestinians are ethnically cleansed but it was necessary
• Inhalation of Indians was a good thing bc it lead to the possibility of an American nation.
Dershawitz says that ethnic cleansing is 5th rate human rights issue
Chompsky: “Palestinians have the right to return but it isn’t feasible.”

“NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”
• Not new- people have been saying this send the 70’s
• Not anti-semitism
o Can’t be anti-anything these days
o On college campuses: Jewish studies programs, anti-semitism programs, etc.
o Articles from AIPAC and UCI Hillel Students article who said “it is a great time to be a Jewish student and Pro-Israel”

PURPOSE
• To turn the perpetrator into the victim.
• To discredit all criticism as anti-Semitism

1. Stick to the facts- do not exaggerate.
2. Show a little courage-
a. Sami Al-Arian

Asked for dissenters to ask questions first: (no one stood up, even though about 20 Jews attended to my knowledge) (sorry this part has gaps- I was getting tired)
Q: Do you think that the Israeli refusal to accept Palestine as ethnic cleansing?
A: “After the fact ethnic cleansing.”

Q: UN resolution; why the high degree of blindness which hurts the interests of the US.
A: The lobby applies a lot of pressure on the government which is not uncommon.
“Everyone knows that the war was constructed by Cheney and Rumsfeld; Bush was upstairs with his play station 3.”
• “Mass murderer, someone you wouldn’t want to be with in a dark alley, but not stupid or gullibly.”

sorry guys got tired. even though probably only 2 people are actually reading this..and they probably got tired..


1 comment:

John said...

Hello,

I am curious: what did Dr. Finklestein say about Sami Al-Arian?

Thanks,