Monday, February 23, 2009

Propaganda? What Propaganda?

Norman Finkelstein's visit to Edmonton last month raised a variety of reactions. This one, voiced in a Letter to the Editor in the Edmonton Journal, January 26, 2009, pretty much sums up the Zionist lobby's view.

'Anti-Israel propaganda'

I recently attended a lecture at the University of Alberta at the behest of concerned Jewish students looking for support to counter what they well knew would be an hour of anti-Israel propaganda. The guest speaker was Norman Finkelstein and his topic was "What We Can Learn from Gandhi: Resolving the Palestine-Israel Conflict."

As expected, his entire speech was a platform for the vilification of the Jewish state.

Why is our public funding of the university going towards lectures such as this on campus? Where was the administration? Faculty members? Where are the voices on and off campus to protest Finkelstein's visit? Their silence is deafening.

Shoshana Szlachter, regional director, B'nai Brith Canada - Alberta, Edmonton

The Journal did not cover Finkelstein's talk at all (nor did any of the other mainstream papers in the area). Many readers of the Journal may likely not even know who Finkelstein is. However, whenever someone cries "Anti-Israel Propaganda", it is expected by the Zionist lobby that everyone is going to jump and cry anti-Semitism. An academic who backs up what he says (and Finkelstein did) should not be silenced just because he isn't saying nice things about Israel. Saying that the U of A should not have let Finkelstein speak indicates that the person does not understand how a university works. Below is a response that adequately sums up the situation.

Re: " 'Anti-Israel propaganda,' " by Shoshana Szlachter, Letters, Jan. 26.

I, too, attended Dr. Norman Finkelstein's lecture on the Palestine-Israel conflict. His talk was calmly delivered, scholarly, well-researched, well-argued, and full of evidence -- usually quoted from Israeli or U.S. military sources -- that fully backed his claims. This makes it entirely appropriate for a university or any other audience. Those who dismiss his talk as "propaganda," without providing any counter-arguments or counter-evidence, simply demonstrate their own bankruptcy.

Dougal MacDonald, Edmonton


ernie yacub said...

excellent, short and direct, thanks - will move this around to my networks.

Paula E. Kirman said...

Thanks! You may find some of my other recent posts of interest as well.