Once again for all the wrong reasons
Hat tip Campus Watch and Jerusalem Post
The Max Planck Institute in Halle, Germany is hosting ex-DePaul University professor, Israel critic, and all-around misfit Norman Finkelstein to lecture on Gaza. Not surprisingly, this has brought complaints from those who question the appropriateness of having a man who thinks the Holocaust was exaggerated and exploited by Jews and Israel
I have seen Norman speak on three occasions and have written about each. In my view and that of most of his critics, he is an unbalanced clown who is unable to debate points without flying off the handle and insulting his opponents. His presence at DePaul was an embarrassment even by their low standards, and they finally canned him. The last time he spoke at UC Irvine on behalf of the Muslim Student Union, he was billed as an "independent scholar with a Phd from Princeton". Predictably, he embarrassed himself.
So now Norman bounces from speaking gig to speaking gig with an occasional class in places like Turkey.
Here is a statement in English from the Max Planck Institute addressing the concerns over the invitation.
"This, we feel, is one of the most important skills we can instil in our PhD students and early-career academics – especially in a time when social media permits expressions of prejudice and recourse to anonymous insults is almost socially acceptable, and objective exchange of arguments seems to fall more and more behind."
Wait until they see how Finkelstein engages in exchanges of arguments.
But for those who think it is inappropriate for Finkelstein to be speaking in Halle, Germany of all places (granted, he has the absolute right to do so) given his statements about the Holocaust, I have a bit of trivia news for you. Halle was the birthplace of none other than Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Final Solution.
Who says it isn't appropriate?