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April 26, 2012 0

Norman Finkelstein to Speak at KinderUSA Fundraiser in Long Beach

Nor­man G. Finkel­stein, an anti-Israel aca­d­e­mic whose career has been marked by a vit­ri­olic hatred of Zion­ism and Israel, is sched­uled to be the “Spe­cial Guest Speaker” at the 10th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of KinderUSA, an orga­ni­za­tion whose stated mis­sion is to “alle­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing of chil­dren and their fam­i­lies in Pales­tine and beyond.”

The May 5 event in Long Beach, billed as: “A Decade of Giv­ing,” is endorsed by the Los Angeles-based Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil (MPAC). In a press release for the event, MPAC’s Senior Advi­sor Dr. Maher Hathout said, “I think every­one who comes will walk out informed and inspired as well…you will lis­ten to per­spec­tives that you will not hear on CNN or the offi­cial media that is always giv­ing us our nar­ra­tive. It’s about time to hear the nar­ra­tive com­ing from our­selves to ourselves.”

Finkel­stein, who is fre­quently invited to speak on cam­pus about the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, has a long his­tory of por­tray­ing Holo­caust edu­ca­tion and sur­vivor com­pen­sa­tion as a cal­cu­lated attempt to “immu­nize Israel from crit­i­cism” for alleged human rights abuses.

He fre­quently evokes offen­sive com­par­isons between Israel and Nazi Ger­many. On his web­site in 2009, for exam­ple, he re-posted a col­lec­tion of images of Jew­ish per­se­cu­tion in Nazi Ger­many jux­ta­posed with images of Pales­tin­ian suf­fer­ing. The title of the Web page is “The grand­chil­dren of Holo­caust sur­vivors from World War II are doing to the Pales­tini­ans exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany…”

Finkel­stein has also expressed sup­port for the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions Hamas and Hezbol­lah. In an inter­view with a Lebanese tele­vi­sion sta­tion in Jan­u­ary 2008, Finkel­stein said, “I was of course happy to meet the Hezbol­lah peo­ple, because it is a point of view that is rarely heard in the United States. I have no prob­lem say­ing that I do want to express sol­i­dar­ity with them, and I am not going to be a cow­ard or a hyp­ocrite about it.”

At a speak­ing appear­ance at the Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver in Sep­tem­ber 2011, Finkel­stein attempted to legit­imize Hamas by com­par­ing the group to Gandhi: “Gandhi’s solu­tion is the same as Hamas, word-for-word.”

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