March 27, 2010
Hi,For your consideration…and with sincere respect. I’m Greek Orthodox. I live in Toronto. I’m also Norman’s webmaster. I volunteered for him after the Gaza massacre last year. I found out about him and got in touch with him after trying to learn more about the massacre and the Israel-Palestine conflict in general. I quickly found that he is the clearest, most accurate, concise and most thorough scholar on the topic. I, like most decent people, was HORRIFIED at the indiscriminate killing of innocent men, women and children last year with ammunition produced exclusively by your country and funded by your tax payer dollars. Apparently, this charge (that Israel intentionally killed innocents in order to “teach” the Palestinians how to vote in a fair democracy) is backed not only by your former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, but also by the renowned chief prosecutor of the U.N. Court Richard Goldstone, a practicing Jew and devoted ZIONIST. Noam Chomksy, Amy Goodman, Avi Shlaim, Gideon Levy, Ami Hass and Naomi Klein are but a few scholars, peace activists and human rights supporters who are also Jewish, and also hold the same views as Norman. Noam Chomsky is Norman’s mentor, that is not an insignificant fact if you know anything about Chomsky. The country of your ancestry, Greece, blocked U.S. shipments of ammunition to Israel during the massacre, and thousands marched on the streets in solidarity with the Palestinians. I read your email in which you informed Shirien about the news canceling Norman’s event, specifically this line: “…they looked deeper into the Professor that will be speaking at our church and they insisted that we couldn’t be affiliated with the ideologies of Mr. Norman Finkelstein so I am sorry to say that the church is going to have to cancel and will not be able to rent the gym the night of April the 16th 2010.” Since I have listened to literally almost all of Norman’s interviews and lectures and have read his books, and I know him personally now, I know that the above statement was either made out of complete ignorance of the facts, or out of complete cowardice. The ignorance is forgivable given the lack of awareness on this issue in the general public. The cowardice, if it’s true, is not forgivable…particularly for a religion that is supposedly urged by its Founder to “suffer death” in His name, not fold like a cheap suit because a bunch of lawyers think it’s safer. Norman has spoken at many venues, including universities, churches, halls, etc. and absolutely NO ONE to my knowledge has been sued or taken to court for hosting him as a speaker. I personally helped to organize and sponsor an event in Toronto with the support of a wide group of fellow engineers, and I did not get sued and I still have a job (although some told me it was crazy and suicidal at the time). I wished your committee had shown a bit more diligence and a bit of back bone given our heritage of not putting up with anyone’s shit but our own. As for Norman’s “ideology”, if by his ideology your lawyers mean human rights, international law and the principle of universality (i.e. there is no such thing as a moral standard unless it is applied universally…or like the Head of your church once famously said: “do unto others as they do to you”)….if that’s the ideology that you don’t want to be affiliated with….I would suggest that your lawyers belong in criminal court defending murderers, rapists and investment bankers rather than directing a church on what is moral and immoral. If you have any self respect and desire to justify your letter to Shirien, I challenge you to ask your lawyers to find exactly ONE comment that Norman made which is either racist, anti-semitic, a complete or even partial lie, or disparaging to anyone based on their race, creed or religion. I can find at least a few dozen racist American shit bags that my country has had to accommodate here, including most recently this lovely piece of human filth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGjB2oq9o8Q University of London Ontario lets this hate mongering twit speak freely….and we don’t even have free speech in this country, thanks to the pro-Israel lobby…yet your country has free speech enshrined in its constitution. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I think it’s a shame. When I found out about the original venue, I actually felt proud that the Greek Community in the U.S. was joining the chorus of communities finally waking up to this nightmare which the Palestinians are being forced to suffer every day and which we (the sheeple) are being forced to ignore by the worst means possible, legal threats, a useless mainstream media, and otherwise. It’s a terrible shame. Here’s a link to some of Norman’s interviews. http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/norman-finkelstein-inverviews/ Have a listen, if you find anything I said above to be untrue or unfair, then please put me in my place. Otherwise, do yourself and the church a service and stand up for decency, stand up for humanity, stand up for protecting the persecuted, oppressed and the innocent, stand up for the children who did nothing and have been put on a two year “diet”..in other words…stand up for the crucified figure gazing over the benches in your church every Sunday, to Whom your congregation prays, Who commands us to emulate Him. Respectfully yours, P.S. This is the Greece that makes me proud: http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Gaza_Greece.html http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/greece-on-palestine/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wFwPuZMa08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOa4kjKfD0s Peter I.