Beyond Chutzpah

Dershowitz is right – Israel doesn't fire on cities, it obliterates them

Editor’s note: “Amongst cabinet members, there are differences of opinion about the policy of deploying IDF troops in southern Lebanon, and perhaps even deeper into the country. Next to those demanding “to flatten” villages prior to IDF’s entrance in order to prevent ambushes to the tune of what happened yesterday in Bint Jbeil, there are also minister calling to limit IDF operations in order to avoid difficult losses and to prevent widened international criticism.”




By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Writer

A top U.N. peacekeeping official on Friday said he feared the war in southern Lebanon would continue until late August and voiced fears Israel would flatten Lebanon’s southern villages and destroy Tyre “neighborhood by neighborhood” if Hezbollah rockets keep landing in the Jewish state.

At U.N. peacekeeping headquarters in Naqoura, barely a stone’s throw from Israel, political affairs officer Ryszard Morczynski said Tyre would become a target of intense Israeli attacks because Hezbollah was firing rockets from the city’s suburbs into Israel’s northern port of Haifa.

Hezbollah boasted Friday of a new kind of rocket it called the Khaibar-1 that it fired deeper inside Israel than the hundreds of others since the outbreak of fighting more than two weeks ago.

“I have no doubt that Israel will flatten Tyre if civilian casualties continue in Haifa. Tyre will be taken off neighborhood by neighborhood,” Morczynski said. “I think Israel is contemplating flattening villages, flattening every single house to deny Hezbollah any advantage of urban fighting in the streets.”

He estimated that 80 percent of the roughly half-million people who live in southern Lebanon have already fled the embattled area. He also said he feared the civilian death toll in Lebanon was more than 600, well more than the official count of 400-plus.

“Hezbollah are still strong” 17 days into the conflict, peacekeeping chief, Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini told The Associated Press.

And according to Morczynski’s calculation, roughly 800 Hezbollah fighters operate in the southern region on any given day.

“They are mobile, well-prepared, devoted and willing to act,” he said. “When there is shelling … they are not sitting in their bunkers.”

The Hezbollah stronghold of Bent Jbail attests to the militants’ tenacity.

“In Bent Jbail it looks like the Israelis have pulled out and are now preparing the ground to come in again,” Morczynski said, after Hezbollah fighters had pushed the limited Israeli ground force to the southern edges of the town.

Also, he said, there was evidence Hezbollah’s communications were intact and their fire-and-run tactics were still effective. There was no sign that the guerrillas’ supply of rockets was dwindling and Israel has had limited success in targeting their launchers.

Morczynski said the peacekeepers occasionally intercept Hezbollah communications. He recalled a typical such exchange: “Allah is great. My brothers this is number 13 and we are going to operation number 7. We hope that our brothers are safe for the day.” Hezbollah uses numbers and letters as codes to identify the fighter and the location.

Hezbollah firepower would seem to be a combination of sophisticated missiles and the older Katyusha rockets, Morczynski said. Some rockets are launched from the back of trucks, while older ones are ferried on motorcycles and fired from portable triangular-shaped launchers.

“They have thousands of them. They are scattered everywhere — in caves, houses, bushes, abandoned buildings. They aren’t all in one, two or three depots that you can hit and say now we have wiped them out,” he said adding Israel wanted to clear Hezbollah from a two-kilometer strip along its northern border.

“The only way to prevent the launch of rockets is to erase all launching positions of Hezbollah. That is the only solution,” Pellegrini said. “But it is difficult.”

Despite the sophistication of the Israeli military machine, the advantage seems still to lay with Hezbollah, Morczynski said. While it takes the Israelis only about two minutes to target the origin of a Hezbollah rocket and retaliate, it hasn’t stopped the barrage and it is unclear how many fighters have been hit.

The thrust of the Israeli attack is still with its air force but Morczynski said he anticipated a large-scale invasion if the hostilities continued.

“It is clear that if the pace of the war continues as it is today it will continue until the end of August,” Morczynski said.

While Israel is reluctant to wage a ground assault, he said it would be unavoidable in another two weeks because the Israeli Defense Force will need a victory.

“Now the war is going on too long without any big success. Something has to happen soon because they have to show some success to the Israeli public,” he said.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


Princeton undergrad to Dean Kagan of Harvard Law: Why are you hiding?

From: dmandic[at]Princeton.EDU
To: ekagan[at]law.harvard.edu
CC: normangf[at]hotmail.com
Subject: Fw: A Demand for Censuring Alan Dershowitz
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 13:25:04 +0700

Dean Kagan,

I am following up on a letter I sent to you in April of this year concerning Professor Dershowitz (to which you never responded, I hope with good reason). It has come to my attention that you are dismissing letters like mine – which encourage censure against Dershowitz – because you were misinformed that they are “form letters” authored by Finkelstein. As far as my letter is concerned, please note that this is an outright lie. I have never met or spoken to Professor Finkelstein in my life, have never gotten any kind of form letter from him and have never written to you a single word that I did not personally author for my own reasons. I take real offence at the very suggestion that Finkelstein or anyone else can order me to write to you, let alone to pass off others’ words as my own.

As I emphasized in my original email (reproduced below), this has nothing to do with my own views of Finkelstein or Dershowitz, nor should it have anything to do with yours. I wrote to you personally as the representative of the Harvard Law School and because of an issue of interest to both of us. I think the least you can do, as head of your institution, is to dignify my letter with a response and refrain from accepting others’ insincere insinuations about my intentions.

Danilo Mandic
Princeton University

From: dmandic[at]Princeton.edu
To: ekagan[at]law.harvard.edu
CC: normangf[at]hotmail.com
Subject: A D emand for Censuring Alan Dershowitz
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:12:13 -0400

Dean Kagan,

I’m writing to strongly encourage you to take immediate action against Alan Dershowitz’s scandalous plagiarism and misrepresentation of fact in his book “The Case for Israel.” It has come to my attention through Norman Finkelstein’s exposure of it, but I have personally compared Joan Peters’ “From Time Immemorial” and Dershowitz’s book to conclude that Finkelstein’s findings are indeed correct.
>
>I’m an undergraduate in the Sociology Department at Princeton University and can testify that, had I engaged in a fraction of Dershowitz’s plagiarism, I would be unconditionally expelled. Dershowitz violates the most basic tenets of academic integrity, as defined by Honor Committees and Codes of Academic Conduct at Princeton and other Ivy League institutions. The fact that he has received no censure for his academic malpractice (and the subsequent campaign of slander against Finkelstein) is stunning.

Though it should be obvious, I would like to note that my judgement has nothing to do with my own views on Israel, Harvard or Alan Dershowitz personally. It has even less to do with Norman Finkelstein’s views (with which I myself often disagree – especially his review of Jan T. Gross’s book ‘Neighbors’). In this specific matter, Finkelstein is absolutely right to demand Dershowitz’s resignation on the basis of his findings. It is exclusively an issue of proper academic standards, which you are responsible to enforce at Harvard Law School. If you fail to do so, it’s not only a shame on your institution, but on academia in the US in general.

Danilo Mandic
Princeton University


Dersh Exposed

Re: Arbour Must Go, Alan Dershowitz, July 21.

Professor Dershowitz’s article criticizes Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and her warning that Israeli leaders in the present attack on Lebanon could have personal criminal responsibility where their actions constitute a “foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians.”

Dershowitz cites out-of-date examples of mass civilian deaths ordered by leaders of the past, e.g. Churchill and Truman. It is true there were no prosecutions for carpet bombing Dresden or the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but international law has changed, and Churchill and Truman would not act the same way today. Arbour was right to give her warning, which incidentally refers to innocent killings not only in Lebanon, but in Israel as well.

Dershowitz’s shrill diatribe is reminiscent of other Dershowitz campaigns — defending O.J. Simpson and believing that torture is valid in certain cases. However, this one is much more dangerous because it is intended to remove the messenger for the future. Arbour, unlike Dershowitz, is a dedicated former Supreme Court judge and public servant who has prosecuted war criminals. The leaders in the present wars should realize that their questionable actions are now subject to review.

William Tetley,
professor, McGill Law Faculty, Montreal.


Dershowitz: "Israel does everything reasonable to minimize civilian causalties" (Wall Street Journal, 9 July 2006)

By Ed O’Loughlin

PARKED outside the small general hospital in Tyre is a badly refrigerated lorry container in which are stacked the bodies of 91 Lebanese civilians, 55 of them children.

The bodies have been placed inside black plastic rubbish bags and labelled in anticipation of the time, days or weeks from now, when their surviving relatives – if any – can come to collect them.

“It’s a disaster. It’s making me cry,” the hospital’s director, Dr Salman Zeineddine said. “We can’t move them anywhere else. Since the attacks came I’ve been trying to get wounded out of Beit Jbeil and I can’t. How could I get critical patients to Beirut, much less move dead people?”

Since Israel began bombing and shelling south Lebanon last Wednesday, about 380 patients have passed through this 65-bed hospital, plus the 91 dead.

Not one of the victims, he says, has been a member of Hezbollah, the militia group that triggered Israel’s onslaught with a border raid last week.

“The army and Hezbollah – I don’t care if they kill all of them,” he said. “But the civilians – it’s very hard. Everyone who has come in here has been a civilian.”

Even as he spoke, another volley of ordnance – perhaps shells fired from a ship, perhaps missiles from a helicopter – was crashing to earth a block away. Tyre, with the whole of south Lebanon, has become a killing zone.

While the Israeli Defence Force claims that it does its best to avoid harming civilians, it insists on its right to attack the terrorists who, it says, are using the population as “human shields”. Its list of self-declared legitimate targets expanded yesterday to include all trucks south of the Litani River and all “structures used by terrorists”.

Yesterday morning aircraft even attacked two trucks in the heart of Christian east Beirut that were reportedly carrying well-digging equipment.

Judging by the list of actual targets hit so far, what Israeli security experts term “the target bank” includes, in practice, civilian homes, minibuses and cars, as terrified families try to run away.

No one in south Lebanon feels safe. Streets and roads are almost deserted, and the few cars still daring to flee north out of Tyre career towards Beirut at breakneck speed, filled with frightened women and children waving white rags at the sky.

Bombing intensified yesterday morning – massive aerial bombs working up and down among the houses on a ridge line to the south, while closer to town sporadic bombs and rockets sent up clouds of debris and plumes of smoke.

There was no answering fire: Tyre is too far north to be a suitable launch site for Hezbollah missiles targeting Israel, and the city has no defence against air attack.

The bombs always strike without warning. The constant sound of jets and unmanned drones overhead, out of sight in the hazy sky, makes it impossible to know an attack has been launched until the earth suddenly convulses and – a moment or two later – the concussion strikes.

Yesterday the Israelis dropped leaflets across the region to “ensure the safety of Lebanese civilian population”. A statement said: “The leaflets are intended to warn the Lebanese public to stay clear of areas from which rockets are launched against Israel, as these will be targeted by the [Israeli Defence Force] and civilians present in those areas are endangering their lives.”


"The Israeli Air Force has never deliberately targeted a large civlian population center, and its leaders have said its morality would not permit it to do so." — Alan Dershowitz, Preemption: A knife that cuts both ways (p. 100)

The UN’s Jan Egeland has condemned the devastation caused by Israeli air strikes in Beirut, saying it is a violation of humanitarian law.

Mr Egeland, the UN’s emergency relief chief, described the destruction as “horrific” as he toured the city.

He arrived hours after another Israeli strike on Beirut. Israel also hit Sidon, a port city in the south crammed with refugees, for the first time.

In Haifa, two people died as Hezbollah rockets struck the Israeli city.

Fifteen people were reportedly injured by the volley of rockets, which struck a house and an industrial zone.

The BBC News website’s Raffi Berg visited the scene of one of the rocket attacks in northern Haifa.

He says the rocket exploded next to a carriageway, raking passing cars with shrapnel and ball bearings and killing a man in a nearby vehicle.

A later barrage of missiles was reported to have injured five people.

‘Block after block’

Mr Egeland arrived in southern Beirut on Sunday just hours after Israeli strikes on the Hezbollah stronghold.

A visibly moved Mr Egeland expressed shock that “block after block” of buildings had been levelled.

He said the “disproportionate response” by Israel was a “violation of international humanitarian law”.

He appealed for both sides to halt attacks and said UN supplies of humanitarian aid would begin to arrive in the next few days.

“But we need safe access,” he said. “So far Israel is not giving us access.”

Israel has said it will lift its blockade on Beirut’s port to allow aid through, but with roads, bridges and trucks among Israel’s targets, transporting it around the country is difficult.

In other developments:

  • UK Foreign Minister Kim Howells is due to meet Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. A day after accusing Israel of targeting “the entire Lebanese nation”, he said the British government understood Israel’s need to defend itself and criticised Hezbollah for hiding weapons in civilian areas.
  • The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due to leave for the Middle East later on Sunday.
  • Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Israel supports the idea of an international peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, and suggested it should be led by Nato. A Nato official said there had been no discussion so far of any Nato role.
  • Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel had “pushed the button for its own destruction”.
  • Syria’s information minister said his country would enter the conflict if a major Israeli ground invasion of Lebanon threatened the security of Damascus.
  • An unarmed UN observer was seriously wounded during fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters in the village of Maroun al-Ras, which Israel said it had taken control of on Saturday.
  • The French and German foreign ministers are also in Israel for talks on the crisis.

Sidon targeted

Israel’s bombing campaign continued, with strikes on Beirut and on southern and eastern Lebanon in the early hours of Sunday.

The Associated Press news agency reported at least eight deaths on Sunday – an eight-year-old boy, a Lebanese photographer, three civilians fleeing in a minibus, and three Hezbollah fighters.

One target was the southern port of Sidon, a city not previously targeted by Israel, where 42,000 refugees from the surrounding area have flooded in the hope of safety.

The BBC’s Roger Hearing in the city reports that a mosque was destroyed in one strike, which hit less than 500m (550 yards) from a hospital. At least four people were injured.

While Israel said the mosque was a meeting place for Hezbollah militants, local doctors insisted it was just “a place for prayers”.

Bombing intensifies

The BBC’s Jim Muir in the southern city of Tyre reports intense bombardment, with Hezbollah firing missiles from the area and Israel launching air strikes in retaliation.

At least 15 civilian vehicles have been hit on the roads, including one taking injured people to a nearby hospital, he says.

Further east, more Israeli air strikes forced engineers to turn back who were trying to repair impassable roads so a UN-escorted aid convoy could get through, our correspondent reports.

He says that bombing has intensified in the region since Israel dropped warning leaflets on Friday, and the Israelis are now shooting at almost anything on moving on the roads.

At least 364 Lebanese have been killed in the 12 days of violence, many of them civilians, and angry protests condemning Israeli attacks have been held in cities around the world.

At least 36 Israelis have been killed, including 17 civilians killed by rockets fired by Hezbollah into Israel.


Where to begin?

The threat of mutually assured destruction worked for the United States during the Cold War because it had proved its willingness to drop nuclear bombs on enemy cities at the end of World War II. It might work less well for Israel, because the Israeli Air Force has never deliberately targeted a large civilian population center, and its leaders have said its morality would not permit it do so.

Alan Dershowitz, Preemption: A knife that cuts both ways (p. 100)


Dersh sees a conspiracy

From: Brendan Keane brendanbrendanbrendan[at]gmail.com
Date: Jul 18, 2006 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: slur against a Holocaust survivor on Harvard site
To: “Alan M. Dershowitz” dersh[at]law.harvard.edu, ekagan[at]law.harvard.edu

Dean Elena Kagan:

I assure you, it was not a form letter. Finkelstein
would never spell Lebanon incorrectly. I am glad
to know that others have found Alan Dershowitz’s
slur disgusting.

Sincerely,
Brendan Keane

From: “Alan M. Dershowitz” dersh[at]law.harvard.edu
To: “Brendan Keane” brendanbrendanbrendan[at]gmail.com>, EKagan[at]law.harvard.edu
CC: normangf[at]hotmail.com, letters[at]thecrimson.com,derek_bok[at]harvard.edu
Subject: Re: slur against a Holocaust survivor on Harvard site

Dear Elena,

This is a form letter, written by Finkelstein. I have received dozens like it.

Best,
Alan

At 01:59 AM 7/18/2006, Brendan Keane wrote:

Dean Elena Kagan:

While conducting research on the Israeli invasion of Lebannon, I came across a debate between Norman Finkelstein, and a member of your faculty, Alan Dershowitz. The televised discussion, available on the Democracy Now website, was mainly about indisputable innaccuracies and what look like frauds Finkelstein found in Dershowitz’s book The Case for Israel.

I am becoming convinced that fraud is the correct term, because I continued my research, and found a specious discussion by Dershowitz of Finkelstein’s mother on a Harvard University website:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/dershowitz/statement.html . Here Dershowitz inaccurately summarizes a written statement Finkelstein made in his memoir (Haunted House) about his mother’s experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.

Dershowitz’s summary distorts Finkelstein’s text when he writes on the Harvard website: “He suspects his own mother of being a kapo and cooperating with the Nazis during the Holocaust.” Dershowitz fraudulently recharacterizes a victim of German attrocity as a perpetrator of it. He does this with the authority of a Harvard law professor and with the university’s resources.

Finkelstein’s discussion of his mother’s complicated survivor memories and emotions can in no way, by any reasonable or empathetic reader, be misunderstood to mean she was a “kapo.” The slur is based on a disgusting manipulation of a deeply touching discussion of trauma and memory. Finkelstein’s mother’s heroic survival in Warsaw, at the Maidenek concentration camp and at two slave camps is described without sappy sentiment in Haunted House with great fairness, nuance and care. There are difficult details and honest remembrances that must be read directly from that essay, and which I will not attempt to summarize in this letter. Dershowitz’s summary is simply not like the original. It is a gross distortion.

If his statement is not removed from the Harvard website, and an apology issued, I will assume the university endorses the slur of a Holocaust survivor’s memory. My conscience will not allow me to let that injustice go unnoticed. I will redress my grievance against Dershowitz and Harvard in public spectacles, and shame both liar and his harbinger until the insult is rescinded and apology made.

Sincerely,
Brendan Keane


Die Tageszeitung Review of Beyond Chutzpah

Oliver Tolmein: “Contrived Controversies: Norman G. Finkelstein fights ‘anti-Semitism as a political weapon’ with real commitment, but his argumentation is a tad too simple,” Die Tageszeitung, 1 July 2006.

“Boycott Israel! Goods, kibbutzim, and beaches!” we used to read on Hamburg’s Hafenstrasse squats. This slogan triggered off a vehement political dispute about anti-Semitism on the Left. Most of those groups who were arguing with one another back then disbanded a long time ago; but replies to the question “What’s your position on Israel?” remain as obdurate and vehement as ever.

It’s hard to think of a topic that might prompt equally irreconcilable positions within German society as does the issue of the politics of the state of Israel. And the front lines in this debate do not run along the usual political boundaries: the self-imposed pro-Israel stance of the Springer press finds common ground with radical “anti-German” positions, while real socialist anti-imperialists come up with points which right-wing, conservative anti-Zionists are also happy to make.

In his book, “Anti-Semitism as a Political Weapon” [German edition of Beyond Chutzpah], US political scientist Norman G. Finkelstein once again – committedly, but rather unsurprisingly – takes a stand against Israel’s policies. For, according to Finkelstein, Israel’s “brutal repression of the Palestinians” makes things easy for the “real anti-Semites.” The fact that Finkelstein wrote an extra preface for the German edition indicates that he is well aware of the significance of this very special market for his books. He notes, apparently without any deeper knowledge of what’s going on in this country, that “If Germany was once the European hotbed of anti-Semitism, it has now become the hotbed of philo-Semitism.”

The content of the preface to the German edition is characteristic of the whole book. With his whole dead seriousness, Finkelstein puts forth the thesis that there really is no reason for any controversies about the Israel-Palestine conflict, because first, there’s broad agreement among historians on the genesis of the conflict and second, most political and legal bodies know exactly what needs to be done in order to solve it. Therefore, he says, “the preponderance of controversy on the Israel-Palestine conflict is contrived by Israel’s apologists.”

The focus of attention here is defense lawyer and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz whose polemic, The Case for Israel, Finkelstein seeks to meticulously refute in the second part of his book. For his readers, this undertaking is rather tiring. In the first part of the book which, at any rate for German readers, seems more interesting, Finkelstein sets out to refute the allegation of a growing anti-Semitism.

In this context he attacks, among others, NGOs like the Anti-Defamation League; intellectuals like psychology professor Phyllis Chesler; and Kofi Annan whom he chides for having asserted Holocaust uniqueness when, “given that Africa is currently being ravaged by starvation, disease, and war,” one might have thought “that he would have bigger priorities than mobilizing the international community to affirm Holocaust uniqueness.” When Finkelstein gets down to specifics, he often argues meticulously and is able to document distortions and falsifications by several friends of Israel. Yet politically not much is gained by his work because his discussion of the Palestinian side is not nearly as critical, and the image of the conflict, as he presents it, therefore seems skewed.

Most important, his political analyses and proposed means to resolve the conflict are as simple as his reflections on the relationship between poverty in Africa and Holocaust uniqueness. For example, his thesis that Israel’s withdrawal would at once cut the ground from under the feet of the “real” anti-Semites, runs through the book without being substantiated by hard facts.

It’s astonishing that a political scientist who dedicates his academic life to fighting the misuse of the anti-Semitism allegation as a political weapon, can fail to grasp the hatred of Jews in its essence. The least he could do is reflect on the fact that the worst persecution of Jews took place at a time when the mere thought of an Israeli occupation was still inconceivable.

Norman G. Finkelstein, Antisemitismus als politische Waffe. Translated by Maren Hackmann, Piper, Munich 2006, 388 pp., EUR 19.90.

(Translation: Maren Hackmann)


Le Monde Diplomatique on Beyond Chutzpah

by Ibrahim Warde

Beyond Chutzpah passe au peigne fin un ouvrage titré The Case for Israel, ayant pour auteur Alan Dershowitz, avocat, professeur de droit á Harvard et personnalité très médiatisée. Le livre de Dershowitz brosse un portrait idyllique de la politique israélienne dans les territoires occupés : l’Etat hébreu respecterait scrupuleusement le droit international ; en matière de droits humains, son bilan serait « généralement impeccable » ; les soldats n’auraient « jamais tué délibérément un seul civil » ; et la torture y serait proscrite. Beyond Chutzpah confronte ce texte aux analyses d’organisations de défense des droits fondamentaux telles qu’Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ou B’Tselem. Le grand juriste de Harvard se révèle vite être un affabulateur, dont les techniques incluent l’affirmation péremptoire de contrevérités, le plagiat de citations douteuses, et la confection de « preuves » – le tout sur fond d’attaques contre ces mêmes organisations humanitaires et de chantage á l’antisémitisme. On ne s’étonnera pas que M. Dershowitz, grand prêtre de la liberté d’expression, ait multiplié les menaces á l’encontre des éditeurs de ce livre.


Protesting attack on academic freedom

A Grave Injustice at DePaul University

By BILL CHRISTISON
Former CIA analyst

I plan to demonstrate publicly but without violence this coming Sunday (June 17, 2007) against the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Rome for condoning the actions of one of its subordinate units De Paul University in Chicago, Illinois, USA in denying tenure for Dr. Norman Finkelstein because of the latter,s criticism of the policies of the government of Israel and the government of the United States in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

My strong belief is that Dr. Finkelstein is an honest and highly competent scholar who seeks justice for and an end to oppression of the Palestinian people, who live in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, in Israel itself, and in many other parts of the world in refugee camps and as exiles. My belief also is that he was denied tenure because of these views and because a massive campaign was launched against him by the Israel lobby in the United States a campaign that those Catholic officials who presently dominate the management of De Paul University were unwilling to stand up against.

This demonstration in Santa Fe, New Mexico will begin at 9:00 a.m., June 17, across the street from the main entrance of St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, on one of the corners of Cathedral Place and San Francisco St. I will be there alone if necessary but hope others will join in, as long as they are willing to accept that the demonstration must be peaceful, and that they not cross the street and go onto the grounds of the Cathedral or block anyone from entering the Cathedral or say anything critical of those entering. I am personally not a Catholic, but my sign will urge people planning to go to the 10:00 a.m. Mass to boycott that Mass instead, and join us in the demonstration. I do not intend to say anything derogatory to anyone while I am demonstrating, although I will give anyone who expresses interest in me a brochure explaining the Finkelstein tenure issue. I will stay until 10:00 a.m. and then leave.

I not only hope that others will join me in this demonstration. I hope that yet others, reading this message, will organize similar demonstrations near other Catholic churches. I further hope that we can carry on similar demonstrations on future Sundays, all around this country and abroad, until the hierarchy of the Catholic church in Rome takes note of us, and until that hierarchy compels its subordinates at De Paul University to reverse the unjust decision on Dr. Finkelstein.

If anyone reading this thinks I am overreacting, that is unfortunate. The Israel lobby simply should not be allowed to win this round. There is little doubt that some will argue that the Catholic hierarchy in Rome had nothing to do with the decision against Finkelstein. But there is also little doubt that the hierarchy can overrule that decision if it wishes. And it says something that, to me, is utterly despicable if the hierarchy of the church refuses to overrule its own underlings at De Paul.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis. He can be reached at: kathy.bill.christison@comcast.net


More articles on tenure denial:

More articles leading up to the tenure decision: