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A few comments on recent Norman Finkelstein interview with Frank Barat


By Gilad Atzmon

Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign with Norman Finkelstein from HuffPoMonitor on Vimeo.

Norman Finkelstein has recently bought himself a few enemies within the Palestinian solidarity movement for openly and enthusiastically advocating the Two States Solution. In the last interview it seems as if Finkelstein defends Israel’s right to exist.

From an academic point of view, Finkelstein has a point. He argues that in order to win we have to operate within the parameters set by international  law. However, some points should be made here.

It is far from being clear who sets the parameters of international law. Is it really the international community? Or is it just a few powerful Western countries looking into their own particular expansionist interests.

  1. It is also far from being clear whether the international law is either ethically or sensible. Is it ethical to let the Jewish State celebrates its exceptional symptoms at the expense of the indigenous people of the land i.e. the Palestinians?  Is it sensible to maintain an, aggressive, expansionist, racist, and exclusivist, nuclear Jewish State in Middle East? Is it safe? Is it good for world peace?

  2. It is far from being transparently obvious to me why an American Jewish academic or any other Western solidarity activist should have a say about the way or manner in which Palestinian should live on their land. I, for instance, have never come across a Palestinian academic preaching Britain to divide its island by resurrecting the wall at the Scottish border. The meaning of it is simple, there is something fundamentally pretentious in the solidarity discourse and in resolution discourse in particular. We, for some reason, like to tell others what is right or wrong.

  3. Do we need to discuss resolution for the conflict? Israel is already a one State, it has a single electric grid, one sewage system, one international pre dial number. Yet Israel is dominated politically by an oppressive and racially exclusive Jewish political philosophy. This has to be changed and it will be changed by means of resistance with our solidarity or without it.

  4. Yet, Finkelstein’s criticism of the solidarity movement is largely valid. The recent expulsion of Palestinians and academics from the UK PSC, proves that we aren’t just dealing with a ‘cult’ discourse as Finkelstein suggests, far worse, we are actually dealing with a rabbinical operation that exercises the most repulsive Judaic excommunication tactics.

  5. Finkelstein is correct when he suggests that the achievements of the solidarity ‘cult’ operations are pretty limited. However, he may fail to realise that solidarity with the Palestinian doesn’t end in the West, in NYC, London or Paris. The recent political triumph of Muslim parties in the region is fuelled by Hamas and Hezbollah victories. It is more than likely, that the Palestinians and the Aabs will liberate themselves.

  6. Unlike Finkelstein, I believe that the solidarity movement is already a mass movement. More and more people out there grasp that the continuum between Israel, AIPAC and the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) is the biggest threat to world peace. More and more Brits are astonished to find out that all the British political parties are controlled by the Israel Lobby (Friends of Israel), CFI, LFI, & LDFI . How many British politicians are as  friendly with Hartlepool or Penzance?   More and more Brits and Americans grasp that their politicians are for sale. They realise that on the Israeli shopping list, a Western politician comes out much cheaper than a tank. More and more Brits and Americans come to realise that in this crucial battle for elementary freedom  ‘We are all Palestinians.’

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