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Friday, September 07, 2007

AP canonizes Finkelstein

This is an almost unreal cheerleading article by AP on Norman Finkelstein, the self-hating Jew and Israel-basher who was denied tenure from DePaul University:
In the home of Norman Finkelstein's youth, talk about a watchful God was not welcome. His parents survived concentration camps during the Holocaust, but all their relatives died. Their belief in God died with them.

As a scholar, when Finkelstein saw what he considered to be some Jewish groups' exploitation of the Holocaust for political and financial gain, he thought about his parents and began to call those groups to task.

On Wednesday, Finkelstein resigned from his job as a political scientist at DePaul University, months after he was denied tenure at the school where his views and scholarship have come under fire.

“I felt that the memory of my late parents' suffering was being cheapened by this industry that was reducing their suffering to the moral stature of a Monte Carlo casino,” said the Brooklyn-born Finkelstein.

...Finkelstein's regard for the students was clear Wednesday when he heaped praise on them while reading a statement announcing his resignation. On the way to tell students he was leaving – knowing his views make it an almost certainty he will never teach college students again – Finkestein was asked what he would do now.

He paused for a few seconds, before he said, almost in a whisper, “I like to teach.”

Dozens of students showed up Wednesday to support Finkelstein and stage a protest outside the college president's office. “You are a great teacher,” one student tearfully told Finkelstein.

“He was consistently ranked high in student reviews, (and he) received some of the highest marks in the political science department,” said student Thomas Bellino, 22. Bellino said Finkelstein was one of his best teachers at DePaul.

Still, Finkelstein knew his views were putting his job and prospects of tenure at risk. He recalled that a few years ago he was called into the office of the university president after his writings caused a furor.

“He said 'We'll keep him but we will take a hit,'” Finkelstein said.

Tenure, Finkelstein said, was another matter entirely: “I recognize if they had me on campus as a tenured faculty I would be an albatross for them for 20 years,” he said.

Still, Finkelstein kept it up, something he practically promised to do as far back as 1995, six years before he came to DePaul, in the dedication he wrote to his parents for his first book: “May I never forget or forgive what was done to you.”
AP seems to be saying that Finkelstein is honoring his parents and the Holocaust by writing inconsistent, historically inaccurate books blaming Jews for various perceived crimes. The article doesn't quote a single specific criticism of Finkelstein - he is made into a martyr for his views, which AP clearly sympathizes with.

The New York Times review of Finkelstein's Holocaust book states:
There is something sad in this warping of intelligence, and in this perversion of moral indignation. There is also something indecent about it, something juvenile, self-righteous, arrogant and stupid.

Benny Morris, who Finkelstein claims to admire, stated about him, "Norman Finkelstein is a notorious distorter of facts and of my work, not a serious or honest historian."

This article's praising of a man who has consistently sacrificed honesty and accuracy on the altar of his own biases is beyond disgusting.