As a political moderate, long-time Crimson reader, and Harvard alumnus, I was concerned about disinformation in Michael Segal and Jacob Victor’s op-ed “The Finkelstein-Weiss deception.” Although I cannot speak to attacks against Weiss, I had attended the Feb. 22 talk by DePaul University professor Norman G. Finkelstein at the Kennedy School of Government entitled “Is Jimmy Carter Anti-Semitic?” At the lecture the “fringe views among the general public” expressed by Finkelstein through his entire, very moderate and reasoned talk, were citations from World Court rulings. At the lecture, he spent no time at all speaking about Hezbollah, let alone “praising the terrorist group,” and did not mention Osama Bin Laden once, although your columnists seem to like to invoke the name in order to make The Crimson op-ed page more sensationalistic.
Indeed, if anyone is to bring peace and an end to Israeli-Palestinian violence it is men like Professor Finkelstein and President Jimmy Carter who have the guts to point out some atrocious policies and human rights violations that Israel has and continues to conduct. Indeed if Israel has no regard for the human rights of its neighbors, the spiral of violence, the constant reproduction of vengeance for lost lives on both sides, will never end. Only with restraint and cooperation, from both sides, can there be peace, and that was precisely the final message of Finkelstein’s talk.
March 4, 2007
The writer is editor and publications coordinator of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.