Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finkelstein welcomed to LA by Jewish Defense League

I just got done attending a lecture at Cal State Northridge by Norman Finkelstein, the author of "The Holocaust Industry" who resigned from DePaul University in September after being denied tenure and then last month praised Hezbollah as representing "hope."

The first of three lectures this week, the topic was "Civility and Academic Freedom." Not one I am particularly interested in, but, as is usually the case wherever he goes, Finkelstein's invitation caused a bit of commotion -- it serves as the lede for my story on StandWithUs that will run Thursday -- and I wanted to see who showed up.

The crowd of just over 50 contained mostly faculty and students, many of whom were Jewish, but the real attraction was Shelley Rubin, head of the militant Jewish Defense League and widow of the late Irving Rubin, who was arrested for allegedly scheming to bomb an L.A.-area mosque and the office of Arab-American U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa.

Before the lecture began, I asked Finkelstein whether he has come to expect the protests of the Jewish communities in cities he visits.

"I don't worry," he said. "People have the right to say what they want to say."

But when he walked to the lectern, Rubin, who was joined by a young religious man with a video camera and an elderly man with a fanny pack, pounced.

"You should be ashamed of yourself. You should really be ashamed of yourself," she said. "Don't call yourself a Jew. You're a sick puppy."

CSUN's vice president and provost, Harry Hellenbrand, then introduced Finkelstein and explained the criticism he had received for inviting a man who has been called "America's leading anti-Semite, the Grand Wizard of the KKK, the leader of the Hitler Youth and the new David Duke."

Hellenbrand, a diminutive man wearing frayed khakis and a black blazer with a big white splotch on the lapel, defended his decision to invite Finkelstein, which he told me yesterday was done at the request of faculty who wanted to know about how controversial research could threaten academic employment, and he said that the university is a place for myriad perspectives to be shared.

Finkelstein thanked Hellenbrand for the glowing introduction, at which point Rubin shouted out: "Good one, Harry. The Nazi loves you."

Other than that outburst, the hissing that followed many of Finkelstein's remarks and the 30 minutes Rubin spent berating Hellenbrand in the hallway -- screaming "I pray you make t'shuvah!" -- the event was pretty quiet.


CJSmith said...

I was in attendance at this event, and can state as a fact that none of Finkelstein's remarks were "hissed", apart from the heckling of the goon Shelley Rubin and the moronic thug you describe as a '"religious" man' (?????), who made a show of photographing audience members (as a form of intimidation). You omit to mention Rubin screaming at a young lady in the audience to "go hang herself with her scarf", or that the JDL is a known terrorist hate group which has murdered people.

Brad A. Greenberg said...

Sorry if I wasn't clear but the hissing was, indeed, from the JDL folks. I guess I missed Rubin's "go hang yourself" comment. Though I think I captured the essence of their MO.

By "religious man," I meant that he was wearing a kippah and tzitzis, not that he seemed like a particularly great guy.

LanceThruster said...

Wherever I've seen Dr. Finkelstein speak (UCI & USC) he's been warmly received on the whole. Those trying to challenge him were at least respectful enough to do so within the event format.

I think the success he's been having getting his message out now that he has more free time is starting to concern those who seek to promote the Israeli/Zionist official narrative to the exclusion of all else. It seems that if the "wrong" message starts to get out, the gatekeepers scramble to stifle it.

This is the reason I was banned from the LA Jewish Journal Forum even though my remarks met with the posting guidelines. On a side note (having to do with Shelley Rubin and the JDL), I met Irv Rubin giving blood at City of Hope in Duarte a while before he was sent to prison for his bomb making conviction. We had an interesting and friendly conversation about religious freedom (I was involved with Americans United for Separation of Church and State). I would have liked to continue it on the subject of Zionism (my views of it changed largely after 9/11) but as is fairly common knowledge, he died in prison (of supposed suicide). I wonder now if it would have been able to have remained friendly.

Anonymous said...

To Lance Thruster: what official narrative? That there was a holocaust? Whoops, stupids like you need to read the Nuremburg tribunal testimonies. It's all there, not made up. No "holocaust industry" there.
Finkelstein is a self-hating kapo who is probably funded by Saudi money, or the equivalent. You know the Saudis, they're like Arab Zionists.

Anonymous said...

Finkelstein is a provocative Nazi and
paid agent of Islamofascism. He is a
scientist like I am a ballet dancer.
Every invitation Finkelsteins to any american University is an open anti-
Semitic provocation. The press, but especially the Jewish media, should
totally ignore him. Don't mention his
name anymore.

LanceThruster said...

To anonymous (at least one of them) - re: "To Lance Thruster: what official narrative? That there was a holocaust? Whoops, stupids like you need to read the Nuremburg tribunal testimonies. It's all there, not made up. No "holocaust industry" there."

Nice of you to misrepresent what I was saying. The "official narrative" is that Israel/Zionists are justified in stealing Palestinian land because of what was done to them by Europeans and because they claim their god says it's OK. They are also entitled to brutalize the indigenous population (even more so if they fight back) for the same reasons mentioned above.

Finally, a point of fact (not that it appears you give any creedence to the historical record), it has been shown that there was indeed testimony from the Nuremburg tribunals that turned out to have no basis in reality. Just as when Elie Wiesel wrote in "Night" that victims were marched into bonfires and that the ground spewed forth geysers of blood from the corpses buried there, there are numerous accounts that could not possibly be true.

This is not to say that horrific murders did not take place or that death was not engineered on a mass scale, but that historical accuracy comes from critical examination of the claims.

Additionally, your ignorance of the nature of Dr. Finkelstein's book _The Holocaust Industry_ is telling. It is not a denial of the Holocaust that took so many of his family members, but rather a condemnation of the hucksters who profit by it. Indeed, the record has confirmed exactly what Dr. F was decrying in that principles in the Holocaust Industry have had to step down due to their blatant abuses of the funds of their non-profit organizations.

So, spare me your indignation as your cluelessness is appalling.

Anonymous said...

Lance Thruster is a typical anti-semite..Your statement "there was indeed testimony from the Nuremberg tribunals that turned out to have no basis in reality", is completely ridiculous. You challenge proven fact and delegitimize those who were murdered by Nazis. You mock the tribunal and spit on the memories of those killed by the Nazis. I have heard Finkelstein speak and he is the modern day equivalent of Goebbels. He has fostered the "Big Lie" theory to perfection and has many devoted followers just like the Nazis did. Finkelstein and guys like Lance Thruster would have made Hitler proud.

LanceThruster said...

anony - Thanks for providing no support whatsoever for your contentions (with the obligatory ad hominem to boot).

There were indeed instances where "facts" alleged at Nuremburg werre later to be found as falsified. One such example was the Katyn Forest massacre.

[from: http://www.codoh.com/trials/trirecon.html ]

"This kangaroo court at Nuremburg was officially known as the 'International Military Tribunal.' That name is a libel on the military profession. The tribunal was not a military one in any sense. The only military men among the judges were the Russians.... At Nuremberg, mankind and our present civilization were on trial, with men whose own hands were bloody sitting on the judges' seats. One of the judges came from the country which committed the Katyn Forest massacre and produced an array of witnesses to swear at Nuremberg that the Germans had done it."

Rear Admiral, U.S.N. Dan V. Gallery
Thompson, and Strutz ed., pp.XXI-XXII.

[end excerpt]

It is the Hasbara propagandists that have learned well from "Mein Kampf" in that appeals to the less well informed with memes that reinforce their own predjudices are the most effective. Dr. Finkelstein is certainly swimming against the tide in that regard, yet as a truth-teller, can do no less.

I am sorry that truth and historical accuracy hold no merit for you but not everyone chooses to live with blinders on.