October 26, 2007

Stop being so silly, it was the lobby wot dunnit

This is getting so bizarre now. The Guardian has published the most ludicrous letter saying that Norman Finkelstein was univited to the Oxford Union debate, not because of Israel lobby pressure but because he doesn't support the two-state solution. See this:
Norman Finkelstein was not uninvited by the union on account of any pressure from "American pro-Israeli academics", but because, as the union president explained to the audience, an error had been made and he had been invited to speak on the two-state solution side of the debate. As Finkelstein supports a one-state solution, this would have rendered the debate a farce. Hence the decision to keep a balanced debate and withdraw his invitation.

Needless to say, one of the Israel lobby's on line components, Harry's Place, is running the lie that Finkelstein's uninvite had nothing to do with the lobby. I think, without going back and checking, that they are saying that one of the would-be participants, Lord Trimble, threatened to pull out if Finkelstein was on the side of the two-state solution because Trimble said that Finkelstein supports a one state solution.

David t wrote the piece and he is fending off queries as to where his evidence of Trimble's intervention has come from. I also haven't seen him responding to "Fred" from, it seems, the States, quoting Finkelstein on Democracy Now saying that he has never spoken up for the one-state solution. Here:
"As Finkelstein supports a one-state solution, this would have rendered the debate a farce."

That may be news to Finklestein. The following is a rough trancript of his Sept. 4, 2003 debate with Dershowitz on Democracy Now:

Norman Finklestein: Mr. Dershowitz then throws in another lie. He says oh, finklestein, he's an extremist, he doesnt support the two-state settlement.

My entire adult life i've been involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict. I started publishing on the topic in 1984. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the topic in 1988. I lecture about 2-3 times a week on the topic. I'd like you to show me a statement where I say I don't support the two-state settlement. You said I don't support a two-state settlement, can you provide the evidence to that?

You can see this at 2:00 in the first video at this link:
So said Fred. No response from Mr t.

But what we have here is an Israel lobbyist, David t, denying that the lobby had anything to do with this and insisting that it was Lord Trimble asserting that Norman Finkelstein holds a position on Palestine that he does not hold.

So who else is arguing the "it was Trimble wot dunnit" line? Not the Jewish Chronicle according to Fred, in the same fred, I mean, thread:
Note what the Jewish Chronicle says:

The Jewish Chronicle is also saying "But members of the Jewish community, including Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz and Peace Now UK co-chair Paul Usiskin, complained to the Union that it had given the anti-Israel side a 'fourth voice' by having US political scientist Norman Finkelstein in the pro-Israel team, which also comprised Peter Tatchell and Northern Irish politician Lord Trimble."

All it says about Trimble is this:

"Lord Trimble also withdrew, due to 'diary pressure'."

Is "diary pressure" what you say on your side of the pond instead of "scheduling conflict?"

Now why would Lord Trimble agree to debate w/Finklestein on his side, then suddenly insist Finklestein be removed -- and not say publicly he objected to Finklestein's presence? Seems rather odd. Is he known to be given to such enigmatic behaviour?
Now, from my own experience, Harry's Place has a lot of form when it comes to downright dishonesty. They seem to see the truth as at best irrelevant. But what makes David t feel that he has this "in" to the heart and mind of Lord Trimble? David t is a mysterious soul. I'm not sure but apparently his true identity is known only to his special people like Mikey and Gilad Atzmon. Lord Trimble's name before becoming ennobled as compensation for his lack of popularity in Ireland is David. And of course t is for Trimble. That's it! David t is Lord Trimble. Oh no, he can't be. He'd know just how ludicrous the "it was Trimble wot dunnit" line really is.

So let's be clear. Finkelstein was uninvited by the Oxford Union because of pressure from the Israel lobby. If they believe that Finkelstein argues for a one state solution, then, surprise surprise, the lobby lied and so did HP, which is redundant really. The lobby lied and HP is a part of the lobby.


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