Saturday, March 11, 2006

Congrats to Katz; Finkelstein's a Fink


A historian who argues that Jewish organizations exploit the Holocaust to deflect criticism from Israel drew dozens of student protesters last night during his lecture at Columbia University. Norman Finkelstein, a DePaul University professor who is the son of Holocaust survivors, gave a talk titled "Israel and Palestine: Misuse of Anti-Semitism, Abuse of History."

Some students in attendance quietly held up two-sided red signs that showed a picture of his face with a red heart, followed by the word "Hezbollah." They also handed out fliers outside. "We're angry because a lot of what Norman Finkelstein says is repugnant and is based in Jewish conspiracy theories that easily spin out of control into anti-Semitism," said Avery Katz, the vice president of LionPAC, a pro-Israel student group that helped coordinate the protest. The lecture was sponsored by 10 student groups.

"I feel very glad that students who oppose the event are voicing their opposition and engaging in the dialogue," said Sakib Khan, 21, a Muslim Students Organization member who helped arrange the lecture. He said he hoped the event would stimulate conversation that had been stifled by last year's disputes between pro-Israel students and pro-Palestinian professors.

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