Norman Finkelstein, author of "This time we went too far (truth and consequences of the Gaza invasion)" spoke this afternoon at the Covenant Fine Arts Center at Calvin College. Around 75 people came to hear Finkelstein discuss the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how the situation has evolved over the last several decades.
Finkelstein has spent a large portion of his life dedicated to achieving justice and peace between Israel and Palestine; A seemingly endless struggle that has frustrated the international community for decades. By his own admission in the foreword of "This time we went too far", Finkelstein admits "It cannot be said that the Palestinians living under occupation have derived much benefit from these efforts. The Israeli juggernaut proved unstoppable. The changes that have occurred have only been for the worse"
Yet despite all of the Israeli resistance to international will, and their adherence to violence and oppression to subjugate the Palestinian people, peace is attainable. According to Finkelstein,a few key concessions from Israel are essential to obtain a lasting peace; A return to the pre-1967 borders, ending the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian lands, and a land swap (2% of Israeli land for 2% of Palestinian land) to preserve continuity of the Palestinian state.
Wrapping up the discussion, Finkelstein concluded by fielding questions from the audience on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Afterwards, several members lingered to discuss more of Finkelstein's ideas on Israeli policy, his previous books, and even some of Finkelstein's insight on the writings of Mahatma Ghandi.