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by Speaks to Full House about GAZA!
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 6:28 AM
(4/13) Chico - Dr. Norman Finkelstein visited Chico State University and discussed recent events in Gaza, occupied Palestinian territories. He gave the packed auditorium details (omitted by our corporate media) about events leading up to the recent violence and disproportionate deaths of Palestinian civilians from IDF incursions into Gaza..
Last night Dr. Norman Finkelstein addressed a standing room only crowd at Chico State University auditorium concering the recent violence in Gaza, occupied Palestinian territory inside of Israel. After giving a brief background of his Jewish parent's anti-war beliefs and actions in New York, and their influence on his current views opposing Zionist Israel's apartheid policies against the Palestinians, Dr. Finkelstein gave background on Israel's early wars against Palestinians and Egypt during 1967..
He then discussed the process of events leading to the escalation of recent (11/08) violence between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces starting with the IDF assassiniations of six members of Hamas during the U.S. election days of Nov. 4/5, making sure the media was distracted enough to avoid discussing this event..
The predictable response to the IDF assassination was for Hamas fighters to launch rocket attacks inside Israel, responding to this and other provokations by Israeli policies, including the food blockade and constant humiliation of Israeli police searches on everyday Palestinians..
He then cited statistics of the disproportionate violence experienced by the Palestinians, who experienced far greater casualties than the Israelis, many of whom were killed by friendly fire. The ratio was almost 10:1, with the Palestinian civilians in Gaza being on the losing end..
However, this is far from what we hear in our media, who amplifies every rocket thrown by Hamas into a loud roar and muzzles every IDF tank, rifle and home destroying bulldozer's crash into a whisper so that the people of the U.S. remain deaf and mute, allowing Israeli violence to be ignored and even endorsed by our government..
He wrapped up by telling the crowd what they could do to help, though was very vague about any specific routes people should choose in their activism. For some unknown reason, he avoided any mention of AIPAC, the pro-Israeli political lobbyist group that financially pressures BOTH Republicans and Democrats to cave in to Zionist demands. Neither was there any mention of CUFI (Christians United for Israel) led by evangelical minister John Hagee, based in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee urges his crowd to insist on supporting Israeli militarism and views any peace between Palestinians and Israelis as counterproductive to their agenda of "Armageddon". Though this may seem insane to most logical people, Hagee has an impressive following amongst Bible Belt religious folk who seem more than willing to hand over a good percentage of their paychecks to his ministry and promoting their cause of Israel Uber Alles..
After his talk ended, he opened up for questions. However, his strategy was to open the floor for "dissentors first", specifically three. Since we were already pressed for time, one wonders at the wisdom of this choice, other than out of fairness to the opposition. The first question was from a Chico State professor who is unknown to this author. He asked some roundabout question with the mention of the old standard slander of "self-hating Jew" and what methodology Finkelstein used when coming up with these ideas. Even more shocking was his question of proof of some positive qualities that the Palestinians had, as if this "proof" was needed to extend human rights protection to them..
Of course the response by Finkelstein was predictable also, he said that it is insulting to demand 'proof' of positive qualities of anyone, that human rights applied across the board to everyone. First dissentor down, two to go..
The next dissentor was a 'moderator' who seemed to have problems remembering details. He repeatedly insisted that Finkelstein had NOT mentioned Hamas rocket attacks in his talk, when everyone who was there heard him state that Hamas rocket attacks were in response to the Nov. 4th assassinations of six Hamas members by IDF, even though Hamas had tried to work for cease fire agreements prior to that event. Even this sleep deprived author was awake to remember him make that statement..
Again Finkelstein reminded this Zionist protester that he did indeed mention Hamas rocket attacks, and encouraged the dissentor to do his own research. Two down, one to go..
The third dissentor was a young woman who once again tried to question Finkelstein's research methods, demanding proof of citations in a vague roundabout way. Once agin, Finkelstein couldn't really say much other than "look at my website, all the footnotes are there"..
Finally we get to "open floor" questions from non-dissentors, leaving only time for one question before the event was over. This really frustrated some people who had serious questions, as so much time was taken up with giving dissentors the first three questions, most of them being quite silly. It was somewhat dissappointing in the outcome of this strategy, as we only got to see some very misled people make fools of themselves. Good for a laugh maybe, but not for learning very much about the domestic causes of Israel's domination over Palestine, AIPAC and CUFI lobbyist groups..
Overall Finkelstein's talk was informative about specific issues of the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, but without some background into U.S. lobbyist groups on supporting Israeli militarism, many of the youth would be left clueless unless they discover the info for themselves. Maybe that was Finkelstein's real strategy, allowing the students of CSU to discover the pressures that AIPAC and CUFI have on both Republicans and Democrats, and then reinvite him for a debate on how to stop AIPAC/CUFI influence on our government..
In other related news, Finkelstein's scheduled talk at UC Davis was cancelled due to lack of space. There's quite a few large auditoriums in UC Davis, was lack of room the real reason Finkelstein needed to cancel his visit to UC Davis??
The price of honesty;
"In 2005, adjunct Professor Thomas Klocek sued DePaul for defamation and breech of contract after they suspended him following a heated argument with pro-Palestinian students. At the time, critics considered the case an example of the shutting down of free speech, in this case, of an advocate of Israel. The University said he was guilty of “threatening and unprofessional behavior.” Part of Klocek’s suit for breech of contract was dismissed, the rest is still pending.
Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education says reports are circulating that DePaul will deny Norman Finkelstein tenure despite the fact that “his department had voted 9-to-3 in his favor and that the College Personnel Committee had unanimously recommended tenure.”
Mr. Finkelstein, an assistant professor of political science, told The Chronicle in an e-mail message that he had been the target of �external intrusion in the tenure process 'including a relentless campaign of character assassination directed at the faculty and administration' by his critics."
DePaul article found @;
Once again we introduce the actual culprits of promoting Israeli Zionist apartheid policies here in the U.S., namely AIPAC and CUFI;
"CUFI's founder, Rev. John Hagee, is leading this push for aggressive US action, purportedly based on Biblical principles. Hagee heads the Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio and a big evangelical television operation. He founded CUFI in February and packed its leadership with luminaries of the religious right.
A Christian lobby for Israel
Hagee established CUFI as a Christian congressional lobby in support of Israel, modeled on the pro-Israel congressional lobby AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), according to news reports. (However, for unknown reasons, he disclaims similarity in an opinion article for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).)
While AIPAC generally supports current Israeli government policy, Hagee and CUFI board members, including Rev. Jerry Falwell, make clear that they do not support Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, based on their Biblical interpretations. (For more on Christian Zionism, see the sidebar at right.)
Hagee has been promoting war with Iran since February. His book on the subject, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning to the world, has sold 700,000 copies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Speakers at CUFI's July 18th kickoff banquet hurled imprecations at Iran."
details found @;
"A real historic turning point came for aipac when it opened up its coveted platform to Rev. John Hagee, who is founder of the organization "Christians United for Israel" (CUFI) at their annual Policy Conference (March 2007) in Washington DC . He was a keynote speaker on Sunday night, and the response to his speech (that can be read in full here) was enthusiastic overall. Yet even among aipac faithful there was trepidation. After all, Hagee's agenda, like that of the Christian Zionist Right in general, is extremely militaristic (he believes that the coming "nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty"). He even has implied support for Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He opposes any compromise with Palestinians. Hagee's ideology also is anti-Semitic in that he believes that the "rebellion" of the Jews caused the Holocaust, and that the Holocaust was God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel. So this is a new and dangerous alliance, an embrace of a real loony ideology. Thanks to the leadership of AIPAC, the likes of Hagee has now been brought to the mainstream. He shares a stage not only with Dick Cheney but also with "liberal" Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Strange bedfellows indeed."
details con't @;
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