April 14, 2007

Dershowitz irritates DePaul over Finkelstein

You will have already read about Alan Dershowitz's campaign to prevent Professor Norman Finkelstein acquiring tenure at DePaul University. Well in a further sign that the Israel lobby is losing its clout in America, the campaign of Alan Dershowitz against Norman Finkelstein has made it to the New York Times, with the NYT reporting the irritation of the Chairman DePaul University's Political Science Department overe Dershowitz's "political" interference.
Regardless of the outcome Mr. Dershowitz has managed to irritate many people besides Mr. Finkelstein. “Everyone has been offended by the degree of outside pressure,” said Michael Budde, the chairman of DePaul’s political science department, “which shows no respect for the integrity of our process and institution.” On Tuesday the Middle East Studies Association, which represents scholars, sent a letter to DePaul’s president expressing concern that this tenure decision had been “unduly politicized.”
Finkelstein is understandably disgruntled by this outside interference. Now cop Dershowitz's reasoning here:
Mr. Dershowitz said he found it paradoxical that Mr. Finkelstein was complaining about outside interference when Mr. Finkelstein tried to discredit the historian Daniel Goldhagen by publishing a book that excoriated his scholarship on Germany and the Holocaust, and tried to disbar Burt Neuborne, a law professor at New York University, saying he lied and blackmailed Swiss banks when he was representing Holocaust survivors.
Now, I could be wrong but I thought that Finkelstein merely commented on, you could say, exposed, Goldhagen and Neuborne's work. That's not quite the same as hindering their job prospects.


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