Oh, for sure. At my campus and at your campus, there was usually a nutcase professor who had very odd views, really very odd, about this and that. A professor of engineering would believe that blacks were stupid or that woman should stay home and do the wash...or a professor of chemistry would believe that the Holocaust was a historical invention. It was unpleasant. Maybe even worse than unpleasant. But it somehow didn't go to very heart of the university which was that teachers should be experts in their fields.
Well, you know about Norman Finkelstein who is truly a nutcase teacher in the field for which DePaul University is now considering him for tenure. Our Leon Wieseltier has called him "poison, he's a disgusting self-hating Jew, he's something you find under a rock." Omer Bartov, the world-renowned scholar of genocide at Brown University, wrote in the New York Times that Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry is "an ideological fanatic's view…by a writer so reckless and ruthless in his attacks... [His theory is] both irrational and insidious…an international Jewish conspiracy verges on paranoia and would serve anti-Semites." If his these words from critics are not sufficient, how about those from his fans? The wife of the neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Ernst Zuendel has gushed, "I feel like a kid in a candy store… Finkelstein is a Jewish David Irving."
OK, don't take my word. Listen to him on YouTube for yourself.
If you can't stand listening and watching, take the easy route...and just read.
I'm going to try and be brief this afternoon, I know it's hot, and so many people have already said so many important things. I want to make basically 3 points. Number one, in my view reasonable people can disagree about how the conflict in Lebanon began, but reasonable people cannot disagree about what's happening now. The conflict is perfectly clear to anyone who looks at it honestly. Israel has embarked, in its own words, on a war of annihilation against the Lebanese people. Not a day passes when the language they use doesn't escalate. One day they say for each Hezbollah rocket we will destroy 10 Lebanese homes. The next day they say we will flatten southern Lebanon. The next day they say we will cleanse southern Lebanon. The next day they say we will obliterate and pulverize southern Lebanon. We have to be honest about what they are saying. This is pure and simple Nazi language. They're talking about -- and we shouldn't be afraid to use that analogy. They are waging a war of annihilation against the Lebanese people.
Number two, I heard a few days ago a member or several members of the House of Representatives say, "We are all Israelis now." Now, I beg to differ. Right now, and I say it publicly, right now we are all Hezbollah. All of us. You can have differences, disagreements with their ideology, with their values, with their organization. But right now at this moment that is totally and utterly irrelevant; just as, for those of you who are older in this meeting, in the 1940s you can disagree with Stalin and Stalinism and the Soviet Union on this and on that. And there were excellent reasons for disagreeing. But every victory of the Red Army over the Nazi invaders was a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom. And every victory of Hezbollah over the vandals and the marauders, the invaders and the murderers; every victory by Hezbollah over Israel is also a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom.
One last point, and that is the question of Israel. I personally remain committed to the belief that ordinary people, Jewish and Muslim, Jewish and Arab, if left to their own devices, they can live together in peace, freedom, mutual dignity and mutual respect. But if Israel proves itself unable to live in mutual dignity and mutual respect with its Arab neighbors; if it chooses to become the garrison state for the United States whose only purpose and being is to enslave the Arab people; if it chooses, I am not saying it is, I am saying but if it chooses then it's losing its right to be there in the Middle East. It's no different than Da Nang airbase during the Vietnam War if your only purpose is to wreak murder, wreak havoc, destroy, level, pulverize, flatten, cleanse. If that's your purpose, if that's your raison d'etre, then you've lost your right to be there.
One last point. For those of you who are indifferent to moral arguments, there remains a, the fancy word is a realpolitik argument, a real world argument. And the real world is, Israel is courting its own disaster. Maybe the blind, the arrogant, those who are drunk with power, intoxicated with their weapons, they don't see it; but rational people, reasonable people see what's going on. Hezbollah is not, thank goodness, the PLO. They're serious, they're committed, they're determined. Hopefully, and I mean hopefully, reasonable, sane people will see that, and will recognize that even if they don't like the Arabs, and even if they don't like Muslims, it's a wiser strategy, it's a more prudent strategy just from the vantage point of self interest. It's wiser and more prudent to learn to live with your neighbors rather than try to destroy them, because sooner or later before you destroy them they will destroy you; which means at the end of the day we all have a common purpose, though maybe we don't see it. And the common purpose is we are all fighting, resisting, struggling to make this world a decent place, a fair place, a place where dignity and mutual respect is allowed for; and where everyone can live, everyone to live who wants to live in mutual respect and mutual dignity. Those who do not -- the monsters and freaks in the White House and their collaborators in Tel Aviv -- so far as I'm concerned they can all drop dead. But let's the rest of us struggle, work hard, reach out to everybody. Make it a common struggle for a common goal -- truth and justice. Thank you.