October 25, 2007

Anyone but Finkelstein at Oxford

Oxford Town, Oxford Town

Here's a story that shines a light on zionist priorities. I couldn't quite get my head around the significance of this story when I was first sent it but it appears that zionists, maybe even just one zionist, have managed to get Norman Finkelstein barred from a UK university now. Norman Finkelstein was booked to oppose a motion
'This House believes that one state is the only solution to the Israel Palestine Conflict'
at the Oxford Union debating society at Oxford University. Avi Shlaim, Gharda Karmi and Ilan Pappe were going to support the motion and Norman Finkelstein, Peter Tatchell and David Trimble (former Northern Ireland First Minister for the Ulster Unionist Party) were going to speak up for the two-state solution. Well according to the Jerusalem Post the "Peace" Now movement in the UK are boasting that it was their man in London - Paul Ussiskin - who had Norman Finkelstein pulled from the list of opponents.
When Peace Now-UK co-chair Paul Usiskin saw Finkelstein's name on the team opposing the motion, he expressed concern that "a far-left detractor of Israel" had been chosen to defend the existence of the Jewish state.

He told the Student Union they were "seeking sensation over substance" and were denying a proper and balanced debate.

Following talks with Oxford Union President Luke Tryll, the union decided to drop Finkelstein and invited Usiskin to participate along with Yossi Mekelberg, an associate fellow of the Middle East program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, who is also Israeli.

Usiskin told The Jerusalem Post that a Jewish student informed him Sunday that the proposers of the one-state solution were disgruntled at his inclusion in the debate and demanding Finkelstein's re-invitation. When this was refused, Shlaim, Pappe and Karmi withdrew from the debate.
So Finkelstein's criticism of Israel and of zionism is too repugnant for "Peace" Now. Perhaps the hallowed surrounds of Oxford University are just too genteel for one so outspoken as Finkelstein. Perhaps Paul Ussisikin was saving the delicate ears of Oxford University students from some unpleasant ideas.

Peace Now have been emailing their members and their ex-members to boast of Paul Ussiskin's success in having Finkelstein barred from yet another university. The zionists can be very influential in the matters it seems. And yet David Irving, the holocaust denier, and Nick Griffin, leader of the UK's fascist British National Party, can argue their poisoned doctrines unimpeded by the undoubted influence of the zionist movement. I did say this matter shone a light on zionist priorities.

I'm guessing the debate between credible seekers after peace, justice and truth will eventually take place somewhere because that is a debate we need. We need a discussion between opponents of Jewish supremacy as to which of one or two states is the way forward for occupied Palestine. The best zionists are offering is one state of Jewish supremacy with dog kennels flying Palestinian flags on either side.

It's to the credit of the proposers of the one state motion that they withdrew. We don't know if they would have won or lost the debate. Finkelstein is a formidable debater, and unlike the zionist "left" he has credibility as a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

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