I found out recently that the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network has a Facebook page, so I thought I’d check it out. It mostly consists of links to various news articles and propaganda pieces (including those linked from anti-Semitic web sites), but there’s also the typical Facebook opportunity to comment.
They posted a story about DePaul University, a faux-Catholic college in Chicago, that has decided to boycott Israeli-made Sabra brand hummus. Ho hum. What caught my eye was this exchange between Noushin Framke, who is apparently in charge of communications for the IPMN, and another reader:
Marilyn Kauffmann: Norman Finkelstein has to be celebrating. And movement continues to do the right thing.
Noushin Framke: @Marilyn – it had escaped me that Finkelstein’s tenure battle was at DePaul! thanks for the reminder! Yes, he will get the last laugh one day too …
This is yet another reminder that the Presbyterians of the IPMN seem to have a predilection for–how shall we put it?–fringe characters. Norman Finkelstein is the author of The Holocaust Industry, among other tomes, and was refused tenure by DePaul (as well as every other school he’s taught at, including Rutgers, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and NYU) because of politicized, shoddy, and frequently dishonest scholarship. Finkelstein has:
•Held up neo-Nazi David Irving for his “indispensable contributions” to the history of World War II Germany;
•Denied that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in Europe;
•Claimed that MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute, which regularly makes available in the West translated Arab-language broadcasts and articles, many of which are of the most vulgarly anti-Semitic sort) is a Mossad operation;
•Regularly used language that, if used by a non-Jew, would undoubtedly get the writer ostracized from polite society as a vicious bigot;
In short, Finkelstein falls in a category of bizarre individuals (one which includes people like Noam Chomsky, Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzmon, Paul Eisen, and Israel Shahak, among others) known as “Jewish anti-Semites.” He’s a person that anyone of good will who genuinely wants to see peace in the Holy Land, rather than simply the destruction of Israel, would run the other way from. But Noushin Framke declares that “he will get the last laugh one day.”