Saturday, February 9, 2008

Finkelstein Interview: Tear Down the Walls

Norman Finkelstein is one of Israel's fiercest academic critics and a vocal supporter of the Palestinians.

Excerpts from interview with Al Jazeera:

So where does that leave the Palestinians?

The suggestion has to be, as I said earlier, God helps those who help themselves. The Palestinians have to find a way to act on their own, and I think what happened in late January [the destruction of part of the wall separating Gaza from Egypt] is a good sign.

That is exactly what they should be doing in the West Bank. One million Palestinians armed with picks and hammers should go to that wall and say "The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said this wall has to be dismantled. We are implementing the ICJ decision. We are knocking down the wall."

Does that mean you encourage violence?

What happened in Gaza last month was not violence. I advocate what international law allows - that people under occupation can resist occupation using means which are legal under that law. This includes violence so long as you are targeting combatants and not civilians.

George Bush, the US president, has called Iran and North Korea "rogue states". Do you consider Israel a "rogue state"?

It is more than a rogue state. It is a lunatic state. The only country in the world where the population overwhelmingly supports an attack on Iran is Israel - 78 per cent want to attack Iran. The state has gone berserk. The whole world is yearning for peace, and Israel is constantly yearning for war.

You have been called an extremist, a neo-Nazi, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier.

What I have to say is not particularly radical. I have said pretty much what the whole international community has said for the past 30 years. When people actually hear what I say, it's not particularly extreme.

What about the claim that you testified as an expert witness for Hamas in a 2006 US court trial?

In Chicago, there was a person who was indicted on some lunatic terrorism charge and I was called in as an expert witness on what Hamas' record was in Gaza. That's all I was called in for. I would certainly support them of course, what's wrong with Hamas? They're the elected government of Palestine. Who cares what they are considered, the people elected them.

Are you deliberately trying to provoke a reaction with your views?

No, I have no desire to provoke, I want to win this cause [for Palestine]. I think we can really win it; that's one of the reasons I'm on this tour.

I think public opinion about Israel is now in freefall. I think it is going to be even worse now because nobody is going to defend Israel when the Palestinians blow up the wall.

Complete Interview

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fink is an EX-academic. When it was discovered that he was just POSING as one, he was fired.

He's more irrelevant now than he ever was.

Paleos engage in terror and pay the price. Not such a difficult concept.