Monday, October 24, 2005

Yale sponsors a racist

Double standards in college, you're kidding?

members of the Yale Friends of Israel in the Yale Daily News:

Imagine sitting in a room with respected Yale professors, listening to a Yale-invited speaker humiliate fellow students and deride American Jewry's "level of mental hysteria" about Holocaust denial. You needn't stretch your powers of imagination too far; such a scene unfolded last Thursday night in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, where Norman Finkelstein expounded on "Israel and Palestine: Misusing Anti-Semitism, Abusing History."...Finkelstein's recurring theme was exploitation. He accused American Jewish organizations of exploiting the Holocaust for monetary gain and political influence, and alleged that Israel uses the Holocaust to deflect criticism. But the ultimate irony is that it is Finkelstein who is the one doing the exploiting. Thursday night, Finkelstein never failed to remind us that he is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, in an effort to inoculate himself against any charges of anti-Semitism and racism. Finkelstein has made a career out of the Holocaust; he counts on his controversial claims to garner publicity and speaking engagements....Would a Yale department sponsor a speaker who criticized the African-American community for "exploiting" slavery and segregation? Would the YCIAS sponsor an event in which Bosnian Muslims were condemned for using the genocide in Yugoslavia for monetary gain?The answer is clear. But the YCIAS apparently felt compelled to affiliate itself with an irresponsible demagogue and a fringe group. Student tuition funded this event, and YCIAS must be held accountable.

Will Jewish facility members and donors have anything to say? They would if a Hispanic vegetarian single mom lesbian were under attack!
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 11:34 AM


Blogger heebnvegan said...

I saw Finkelstein speak at Carnegie Mellon in April. It's interesting to note that because there was so much controversy surrounding the event, he played his cards right and was extremely well-grounded (for him, at least). He's inherently controversial, but he wasn't particularly inflammatory toward Jews in this speech. He knew he couldn't afford to take any risks, so he gave a very academic, almost dry speech. I think it actually made him more credible than I would've otherwise given him credit for. Sure, much of what he says simply doesn't add up right, but I thought it was a good experience in that it encouraged me to challenge my existing opinions and come up with stronger reasons for why I hold them. That and freedom of speech, so long as they're in a civil and respectful environment, shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.

However, CMU has been up in flames ever since. The school originally postponed the event to figure out what it should do, and it also had a random Jewish professor (who really didn't know his stuff) try to give a pro-Israel rebuttal right after Finkelstein finished up. The school is still debating whether it should change its controversial speaker policy, but I'm actually happy that they hosted the event. It doesn't sound as vicious as the Yale episode!

8:43 PM  
Blogger heebnvegan said...

My last post should read that CMU has been "up in arms," not "up in flames"! :-)

8:44 PM  

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