Editor’s note: See follow up items up to The Washington Post publishes a retraction.


Contact the ADL at:
E-mail: washington-dc@adl.org
Phone: (202) 452-8320
Fax: (202) 296-2371

Text of ADL letter:

November 22, 2002
Dr. John J. DeGioia
Georgetown University
204 Healy Hall
Washington, DC 20057-1789

Dear President DeGioia:

We are shocked and troubled that on November 18, 2002, Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies Department, Justice and Peace Center, and the Young Arab Leadership Association (YALA) sponsored a lecture by a known Holocaust denier and anti-Israel propagandist, Norman Finkelstein. The Anti- Defamation League is recognized as a champion of the First Amendment and the free exchange of ideas. However, Mr. Finkelstein’s lecture was a one-sided program, intended to promote hatred of Israel and perpetuate classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.

In his highly publicized book, “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering,” Finkelstein argues that the Holocaust “has become a straight-out extortion racket.” Finkelstein is well known for his anti-Israel rhetoric and his claims that Jews have exploited the Holocaust to make money. He has said that he “truly honored” Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon for “having inflicted an exceptional and deserving defeat on their foreign occupiers,” and that, “I can’t imagine why Israel’s apologists would be offended by a comparison to the Gestapo.” To have Georgetown University provide a platform for a Holocaust denier to spread his hatred for Israel is profoundly disturbing to ADL. Finkelstein’s views about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are widely known.

Mr. Finkelstein’s appearance at Georgetown occurred simultaneously to troubling reports that another Georgetown University faculty member, Hisham Sharabi, professor of Arab Culture at Georgetown University, told students and faculty at Balamand University that the Arab world is under a “neocolonial attack” but that ” . . . in the long run, neither the Jews nor Americans will be able to subdue us for we are not (Native Americans).” He warned the audience that “Jews are getting ready to take control of us . . .”.

We would be very pleased to meet with you to discuss this matter. We look forward to your response.

David Friedman
Regional Director

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