Read the Arabic transcript online: AlJazeera.net
PROGRAM: Without Frontiers
PLACE: Al Jazeera, Westminster Towers, Lambeth Bridge, London
Watch the video of the interview
Dear Professor Finkelstein,
Arabs on the whole did not know Norman Finklestein, but after the Jazeera interview, I assure you, your name will spread far and wide. Jazeera is watched and trusted by millions of Arabic-speaking people, the world over, and your words in the interview with Ahmad Mansour will have been received with respect and gratitude. Though so many of us are poor and uneducated, but now we are also very aware of what is going on, and deeply resentful of the bias against us, the lies spread about us , the very negative image we are given, and the unbalanced reporting by the Western media. All Arabs and Muslims are terrorists, and all are violent fundamentalists. Islam is a religion of strife and it is not possible to have a dialogue with Islamic countries.This bias is one reason for the popularity of Jazeera, because Jazeera can teach a lesson or two in objectivity to many of the Western media. Ask Mr. Bush why he wants it bombed!! The other reason, of course, is the highly professional performance of that channel.
We, in the Middle-East, knew little of what was going on in Europe before and during WW II. There was no television, no satellite channels, no Internet, and the man in the street was not very well informed. We did know, however, that hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in our countries, very peacefully, and in excellent harmony with the people of other religions. We all had Jewish friends, who were our neigbours, went to the same schools, the same clubs, owned many of the stores in the cities, which incidentally, are still called Shemla and Ben Zion(!!), and there was absolutely no feeling of exclusion towards the Jews, and the many other foreign communities that were thriving in Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Bagda, and others. Though I was very young then, I look back with great nostalgia to the pre-60s era. Perhaps that is why Middle-Easterners are so bitter about what has happened to them in Palestine. But, I am digressing!
I want to congratulate you for the marvelous job you are doing. This is not the first time I watch you and listen to you, on TV, and I have followed your writings closely on the Internet. I have your first book, The Holocaust Industry, and learned much from it, and I have ordered Beyond Chutzpah. I am shocked that any man, be he a simple man or a scholar, should be penalised. even indicted, for even discussing the holocaust, the conditions surrounding it, the historical and social consequences. Voltaire once said: ” I may not agree with what he said, but I will fight to the finish to let him say it”. I cannot understand how people, in the countries of the West, fall for such fraudulent arguments. You are a man of courage, and I really raise my hat high to you and say thank you for risking so much to have the truth come out. My best regards.
From: Cherifa Sirry
To: norman finkelstein
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:26 PM
Subject: a comment from Egypt
Dear Professor Finkelstein,
I have watched your program today on Al Jazeera TV and I would just like to take this opportunity to express my deep admiration for you and for your courage in speaking out… and in speaking the Truth. It is not the first time I hear you and I do try to keep up with your excellent books, writings and interviews. As an Arab, I am very happy that you have spoken on Al Jazeera TV because millions and millions of Arabs needed to listen to what you had to say. They also need to know that people of integrity like you, still do exist. The Arab “moral” if I may say, is very very low due to the present situation the Arab world finds itself in. As far as I personally am concerned, hearing you speak today…, did my moral quite some good.
Again, I thank you for your courage and I also thank you for just being who you are and for sharing your thoughts with us Arabs.
I wish you all the best,
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 2:08 PM
Subject: Regarding your interview with Al-Jazeera
I wanted to commend you on your brilliant interview with Al-Jazeera. Lately (actually, for a while) I have been sickened by the lack of disregard our government has regarding foreign policies and many other issues. Last nights interview gave me hope that more people like yourself will have enough courage to come forward and admit the awful atrocities that many people in this country commit in our name. You were right on with all the issues. My husband saw the previews for your interview a few days ago on Al-Jazeera and was very excited to watch the complete interview. I was fortunate enough to hear your responses, due to the fact that Al-Jazeera still allowed your voice to be hear while translating in Arabic.
Once again, thank you for being so brave and taking a stand. I want you to know that you have the support of many people and not all of us believe everything that is published in the media and in other document regarding your character. I will do my best to pass along your information to others who are as open minded as you and I.
From: Ayed Shideda hew_up[at]yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 05:13:21 -0800 (PST)
i did not know any thing about you before, you are a great man.
now i know about you and thats because of the arabic channel news Al Jazeera.
well i wish you luck and keep going to teach people about the truth, thats what we people in this earth need for this time.