Life In Occupied Palestine
Published on Nov 19, 2012
Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American with the IWPS, documents the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli Government.
Baltzer & Finkelstein Discussion @ The New School
Published on Oct 10, 2012
Anna Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein gave a joint talk/discussion at The New School on October 6th, 2012 titled “The Jewish-American Relationship with Israel at the Crossroads.” After their individual remarks, Adam Shatz moderated the Q&A (one of the questions he selected was from myself) which turned into something approaching a debate – as Baltzer and Finkelstein had quite differing views on some substantive issues.
Why Are American Jews Abandoning Israel? Norman Finkelstein Speech (2012)
Published on Aug 5, 2013
Norman Gary Finkelstein (born December 8, 1953) is an American political scientist, activist, professor and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors. He is a graduate of Binghamton University and received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University. He has held faculty positions at Brooklyn College, Rutgers University, Hunter College, New York University, and, most recently, DePaul University, where he was an assistant professor from 2001 to 2007.
In 2007, after a highly publicized row between Finkelstein and a notable opponent of his, Alan Dershowitz, Finkelstein’s tenure bid at DePaul was denied. Finkelstein was placed on administrative leave for the 2007–2008 academic year, and on September 5, 2007, he announced his resignation after coming to a settlement with the university on generally undisclosed terms. An official statement from DePaul strongly defended the decision to deny Finkelstein tenure, stated that outside influence played no role in the decision.
Finkelstein has written of his Jewish parents’ experiences during World War II. His mother, Maryla Husyt Finkelstein, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, survived the Warsaw Ghetto, the Majdanek concentration camp, and two slave labor camps. Her first husband died in the war. She considered the day of her liberation as the most horrible day of her life, as she realized that she was alone, her parents and siblings gone. Norman’s father, Zacharias Finkelstein, was a survivor of both the Warsaw Ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp. After the war they met in a displaced persons camp in Austria, and then emigrated to the United States, where his father became a factory worker and his mother a homemaker and later a bookkeeper. Finkelstein’s mother was an ardent pacifist. Both his parents died in 1995.
Finkelstein grew up in New York City, where he attended James Madison High School and was a childhood friend of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who was two years ahead of him. In his forthcoming memoir, Finkelstein recalls his strong youthful identification with the outrage that his mother, witness to the genocidal atrocities of World War II, felt at the carnage wrought by the United States in Vietnam. One childhood friend recalls his mother’s “emotional investment in left-wing humanitarian causes as bordering on hysteria.” He had ‘internalized (her) indignation’, a trait which he admits rendered him ‘insufferable’ when talking of the Vietnam War, and which imbued him with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude at the time which he now regrets. But Finkelstein regards his absorption of his mother’s outlook — the refusal to put aside a sense of moral outrage in order to get on with one’s life — as a virtue. Subsequently, his reading of Noam Chomsky played a seminal role in tailoring the passion bequeathed to him by his mother to the necessity of maintaining intellectual rigor in the pursuit of the truth.
He completed his undergraduate studies at Binghamton University in New York in 1974, after which he studied at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. He went on to earn his Master’s degree in political science from Princeton University in 1980, and later his PhD in political studies, also from Princeton. Finkelstein wrote his doctoral thesis on Zionism, and it was through this work that he first attracted controversy. Before gaining academic employment, Finkelstein was a part-time social worker with teenage dropouts in New York. He then taught successively at Rutgers University, New York University, Brooklyn College, and Hunter College and, until recently, taught at DePaul University in Chicago. According to The New York Times he left Hunter College in 2001 “after his teaching load and salary were reduced” by the college administration.