UCLA Will Host Israel-Hating Professor

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The next stop on Israel-hating professor Norman Finkelstein’s tour of sympathetic US college Islamic supremacist groups: University of California, Los Angeles. (Hat tip: Terp Mole.)

And note that the Reconquista crowd has found new allies.

Finkelstein, a professor of history at DePaul University in Chicago, has published several books on Zionism, the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which present different positions than those of many mainstream scholars.

He plans to speak at UCLA as a part of a week of events called “Israel and Palestine: Obstacles to Peace,” which is being sponsored collectively by Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Student Association, United Arab Society, MEChA de UCLA and Raza Graduate Student Association.

Among his contentions, Finkelstein has questioned the estimated number of Jews that died in the Holocaust – asserting that the number was less than the widely accepted estimates of 6 million. In his two most recent books – “The Holocaust Industry” and “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” – Finkelstein, himself the son of Holocaust survivors, argues that Jews and Israel supporters have exploited the Holocaust to promote their cause and justify the existence of the state Israel.

Finkelstein’s book “Beyond Chutzpah” also addresses what he calls “Israel’s horrendous human rights record” and the situation for Palestinians living in “the occupied territories.”

While some academics and members of the larger Jewish community say Finkelstein’s version of Holocaust and Middle Eastern history is inflammatory and believe some of his views are inaccurate, organizers believe that he has something important to say to the campus.

Adam Elsayed, vice president of the Muslim Students Association, said organizers hope Finkelstein can give students a different perspective on various issues than they usually receive.

Elsayed said he believes having a speaker like Finkelstein is important to provide a diversity of opinions and clarify long-standing misconceptions on the nature of the conflict. He also said he believes many Jewish groups are quick to classify those who criticize Israel as anti-Semites which causes them to avoid a discussion of the issues.

“(Finkelstein) is concerned with Israeli policy (and) he has the facts to back up his opinion,” Elsayed said.

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