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Anti Israel Professor Norman Finkelstein – recently denied tenure at DePaul University – has long argued that charges of anti Semitism are leveled at critics of Israel in order to stifle the criticism of Israel.
With that in mind, I bring you this IHT report of Finkelstein’s meeting with fellow anti-Israel critics Hizbullah. A meeting to, you know…criticize Israel.
A vocal American critic of Israel met Monday with a senior official from the militant Hezbollah group and visited villages in southern Lebanon that witnessed heavy fighting in the 2006 war between the guerrillas and the Jewish state.
Norman Finkelstein, who resigned last year as a political science professor at DePaul University in Chicago, met Hezbollah’s commander in south Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, in his office in the coastal city of Tyre.
He visited the border village of Maroun el-Rass where heavy fighting between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops took place during the two side’s 34-day war in the summer 2006, according to the state-run National News Agency and Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television.
Finkelstein also toured the border village of Aita al-Shaab, the location from where Hezbollah guerrillas triggered the war after they crossed the border, killing three Israeli soldiers and capturing two others in hopes of trading them for Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, according to the report.
The 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war left more than 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, dead. About 160 Israelis, including 119 soldiers, also died in the fighting.
“After the horror and after the shame and after the anger there still remain a hope, and I know that I can get in a lot of trouble for what I am about to say, but I think that the Hezbollah represents the hope. They are fighting to defend their homeland,” the Brooklyn-born Finkelstein told reporters. The U.S. government has labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Finkelstein is on a one-week visit to Lebanon where he is scheduled to hold lectures and visit Palestinian refugee camps.
The Daily Star has more on Finkelstein’s show of support for Hezbollah.
Sunday will see Finkelstein travel to the southern town of Qana to hold a public meeting with the title of “Why Pro-Resistance Lebanese Were Right to Give Human Rights Watch the Boot,” at 3 p.m.
Regarding “Israel’s brutal war of aggression” on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the Jewish author disputed the notion that actions by Hizbullah were to blame for the onset of hostilities. Finkelstein said that Israel had long been planning the war, which claimed the lives of 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. The US, he claimed, signed off on the invasion with the hope that it would destroy Hizbullah, thus facilitating a US strike on Iran. While Finkelstein said that there is never a victor in war, he added: “However, it is also true to say that the Lebanese resistance inflicted a historic and well-deserved military defeat on the invading foreign army and its chief supporter.”
“It should also be mentioned that after the war the US-based organization Human Rights Watch whitewashed Israeli war crimes and made false accusations against Hizbullah,” he said. “This cowardly and mercenary act deserves contempt.”
Of course, Finkelstein will justify his meeting with Hizbullah since they are just anti-Israel and not at all anti-Semitic.
Within a month of Nasrallah’s taking over as leader, Hezbollah (with the help of Iranian intelligence) bombed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200. The next attack perpetrated by Hezbollah—again with Iranian help—was the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 86 and injuring over 200.
The widening arena of Hezbollah’s attacks stemmed from Nasrallah’s perception that Jews anywhere are legitimate targets. In fact, Nasarallah has said:
If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)
Shiite scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb analyzed the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology in her book Hezbollah: Politics & Religion. In it, she quotes Hassan Nasrallah describing his antipathy toward Jews:
If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli. (New Yorker, Oct. 14, 2002)
Nasrallah also incoroporates anti-Semitic rhetoric in speeches. For example, he has characterized Jews as the “grandsons of apes and pigs” and “Allah’s most cowardly and greedy creatures.” (MEMRI: Al- Manar, Feb. 3, 2006)
And it’s not just Nasrallah:
“Just like Hitler fought the Jews, we are a great Islamic nation of jihad, and we too should fight the Jews and burn them.”
— Hisham Shamas, political science student, at a symposium hosted by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV at Lebanon’s largest and only government-run university, Université Libanaise, November 29, 2005
I found that relatively easily with Google. It is a wonder that the scholarly Professor Finkelstein, who likes to think of himself as a meticulous researcher, would be unaware of Hizbullah’s very real Jew hatred.
Unless, of course, he knows fully well that the “anti Zionists” to which he is coddling up, really do hate Jews.
But I guess it is ok by him, since they don’t hate all Jews. Especially not the self-hating kinds like him.
Update: And perhaps Finkelstein can also explain how he can claim to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, yet show support for a terrorist group that openly tries to bring about a one-state solution (that state not being Israel).