May 27, 2008

Engage supports ban on Finkelstein

A bit of background:

Norman Finkelstein has been arrested and deported from Israel and he has been banned for ten years.

Israel is claiming that Finkelstein is banned on security grounds because he has met with Hizbullah people. That of course does not make him a security risk so it looks like the ban is for some other reason and the Jerusalem Post said that:
Officials said that the decision to deport Finkelstein was connected to his anti-Zionist opinions and fierce public criticism of Israel around the world.
Now since Engage is such a vociferous defender of the rights of academics, even those that support colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and racist laws, you'd expect them to support someone whose banning, the Jerusalem Post claims, (let's have that again) "was connected to his anti-Zionist opinions and fierce public criticism of Israel around the world." But no. They support the ban. Well I presume Mira Vogel discussed her post with Engage colleagues. She tries to add a little to mere meetings with Hizbullah by reference to
his (Finkelstein's) explicit and repeatedly expressed hope that Hesbollah will attack Israel
She even helpfully provides a link to Harry's Place's upload of a Finkelstein interview. The suggestion being that here is one such occasion when Finkelstein had expressed his "hope". Go see. He does no such thing. But again, suppose he did "hope", does an academic's "hope" amount to a security threat even if we are yet to see evidence of such a hope? Of course it doesn't. So why is Engage supporting a ban on an academic who, like Dr Hirsh, Alan Dershowitz, the nearly late Ariel Sharon and almost everyone else on the zionist spectrum, supports the two state solution?

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