Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it ‘a cult’ [UPDATED because Youtube keeps on censoring this]February 16, 2012
Kieron Monks is a reporter and editor for Palestine Monitor. He’s written pieces in the publication accusing “Zionist lobbies” of “smearing” such heroic figures as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein. Finkelstein, it should be noted, asserts that the Holocaust has been exaggerated and exploited by Jews to justify Israeli human rights violations and crimes against humanity, and supported Hezbollah’s “armed resistance against the Israeli Army in Lebanon.” In the same essay, Monks accuses the Jewish people of having transitioned from “oppressed” to “oppressor”, and – even more shamefully – accuses Jewish groups of desperately ”digging deeper for evidence of their victim-hood.”
In another piece for Palestine Monitor, entitled “Human Currency”, in 2009, he argues that Palestinians should not negotiate with Israel, and that force is the only thing which Israelis understand.
So, with such a prolific anti-Israel pedigree, and palpable hostility towards the Jewish community, I wasn’t surprised to see that Comment is Free recently published his essay, on Nov. 19, Palestine aid models must change.
It was these five words in the following passage that initially got my attention:
“The impact of foreign interests can be clearly seen in PA budgets that allocate 10 times more money to security – suppressing resistance to the occupation – than to agriculture, which could be the backbone of the Palestinian economy.”
This passage really caught my eye. With language, context is everything, but, given his past commentary, its seems clear that it should be read as criticism of the Palestinian security forces attempts to combat extremism, violence, and terrorism against Israelis – a minimal requirement for coexistence in the region. The words “resistance to the occupation” often are a thinly veiled euphemism for the right to “armed resistance.”
Another passage in his essay lends support to my conclusions. He says:
Individual NGOs have attempted to assert their independence from donors. Many reject USAID funding due to its political demands, which preclude assistance for projects that could benefit people with affiliations to undesirable political groups. The Dalia Association has introduced a “Village Decides” scheme, focused on institution building, which empowers local communities to invest funding as they see fit, without conditions.
Of course, Monks fails to inform his readers what he means by “undesirable political groups.” He’s referring to U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) guidelines requiring NGOs receiving funds to pledge “not to promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry, or the destruction of any state, nor … make sub-grants to any entity that engages in these activities.”
In the mind of Kieron Monks, requirements that NGOs – who ostensibly are trying to promote peace and human rights in the region – shouldn’t promote terrorism or anti-Semitism are, naturally, a betrayal of the revolution.
Monks – who fetsishizes violent resistance by the most reactionary political movements, and peddles hateful narratives about Jews, yet still styles himself a brave progressive voice – is the perfect embodiment of the Guardian’s consistent betrayal of true liberal values.
There was a time when liberal papers (like the Guardian) were at the forefront in the fight against anti-Semitism. There was a time when such papers could be relied upon to be in fierce opposition to totalitarianism and unwavering in their defense of democracies – and never mistook the former for the latter. And, there was a time when liberal papers would see through the thin veneer of folks such as Kieron Monks and see him as the reactionary that he is.
I long for the return of that kind of crusading and fearless liberal voice in the UK.
the real sign that things are turning in Israel’s favor is that the creativity and innovative thinking of their enemy is gone. At least back in the day they were inventing so called “facts on the ground”. Listening to this guy you would think he was plagiarizing a dead man named Edward Said. These academics don’t have anything new to add or any intellectual discourse to travel.
there was a poll recently taken in the Arab world about their thoughts about Palestinians. the poll showed sincere disinterest. I don’t believe the Arabs have stopped their bigotry and violence towards Jews… it is certainly still there… but I also think there is a certain quality of boredom because their leadership is just not creative enough to convince their population to care. The flotilla was dangerous because it did create a victimization narrative… but it was easily exposed.
this character in the Arab media is exactly why Bibi should ignore Obama. We have the upper hand. It isn’t that people are siding with us… but rather the Islamic world is so corrupt, chaotic and killing themselves… that they just don’t have the interest to actually attack Israel… at least the common man on the street.
As for Hezbollah and the unpopular now Hamas…. these armies can be dealt with if Israel wants to. Sadly the Jews have never been the type to go for the knockout punch. Right now Israel’s largest threat is from within. There are too many Jews who are brainwashed by Obama… but the actual man on the street Arab threat can be dealt with if Israel has the Chutzpah
sadly if Bibi deals with Obama this situation could change… and in a year the entire Arab Moral could change as well when in 1 year, 1 month and 1 week Obama will allow the UN to create a country breaking the laws of the mandate of Palestine which says no outside power can decide borders within the are without the consensus of the people within the land.
one of the reasons Obama is making this honey pot trap is because it is a hail Mary pass. I hope Bibi is wise enough to see it for it is and build homes as much as he can
|so the students of this Chicago University
can not have dialogs about this….
|…but of course attacks on Israel
by professors they hired is fine?
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has the details. The university admits that it is excluding the group from generally available student group registration benefits, because the university disapproves of the group’s message:
Considerable research indicates the use of cannabis does not contribute to healthy decision-making, particularly in college-age populations. Given the above, the University determined that recognizing the “Students for Cannabis Policy Reform Group” as a DePaul student organization would not be congruent with out institutional goals regarding the health and well-being of our students.
I rather doubt that recognizing such a group would materially affect the level of marijuana use by DePaul students. But denying recognition would affect the amount of debate about marijuana policy that takes place. Sounds like unhealthy decision-making on the university’s part to me.
DePaul is a private university, so it’s free to engage in unhealthy decision-making. But banning the expression of some views, it seems to me, is the gateway drug to broader restrictions as well, restrictions that are even more dangerous to the culture of debate and discussion that universities, private and public, ought to be promoting. DePaul itself has officially stated, in its Guiding Principles on Speech and Expression that it is “committed to fostering a community that welcomes open discourse.” And while that document seems to suggest that DePaul’s Catholic mission may support some restrictions aimed at protecting “dignity,” “respect,” and “civility,” I don’t see anything in that statement that justifies discrimination against student speech that promotes legalization of marijuana. So I’m glad that FIRE is taking DePaul to task for its position.
Finally, DePaul’s letter suggests that denying recognition to the student group would still leave open “myriad opportunities for students to gather together and express their views to the larger community regarding the use of and/or legalization of cannabis.” But if indeed the group will be able to speak as effectively without the benefits of recognition, then I don’t see how the university’s action will further its stated goals. And if the university’s action will somehow diminish the amount of speech that might promote “[un]healthy decision-making,” then that must mean that the university hopes the group will not speak as effectively without the benefits of recognition.