[Marxism] Norman Finkelstein

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Sat Apr 3 17:28:00 MST 2004

On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 19:25:03 -0500 "David Quarter"
<davidquarter at sympatico.ca> writes:
>  I like Finkelstein a lot. But, Human Rights Watch neutral?  

No, I don't think they are, but I think there are some good
reasons why Finkelstein might choose to rely upon them.

> when. Consider the "who's who" of U.S. imperialism that makes up 
> the hierarchy of that organization. Also consider some of the nasty 
> positions they've taken on the issue of Yugoslavia, for example, 
> claiming the U.S. led bombing spree was 'not a war crime' and the 
> fact that they equate Palestinian suicide bombers with Israeli 
> directed state terrorism.
> http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/isrl-pa/
> Hardly neutral, I would say. They takes stances, although it so 
> happens that they also highlight what are obviously blatant 
> violations of human rights by client states or allies of U.S. 
> imperialism. They even occasionally come down hard on the U.S., 
> although so does, at times, Kofi Annan. And what does that tell 
> you?
> IMO They are front for imperialism...

And yet those very reasons,they are a 
useful source of information for Finkelstein.  Precisely
because they are stacked in favor of imperialism,
information from them concerning Israeli atrocities
or other human rights violations will come across
to people as being especially damning. Why do
you think that people like Chomsky or Finkelstein
like to cite works by Zionist scholars?  The reason
is simple; charges that Israel has engaged in 
practices such as systematic
ethnic cleansing etc., appear more credible when
you can cite the writings of respected Zionist
scholars to back them up.  Thats Polemics 101.

> Article on  Soro's connections to HMR:
> http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/extra/d1207hc.htm
> From:           	Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
> > Just watched him on CSPAN-2. He was extraordinary. It occurred to 
> me after 
> > watching him field questions from the audience how much more 
> interesting 
> > the Socialist Scholars Conference would be if he was on the 
> plenary 
> > sessions instead of the same-old, same-old.
> > 
> [...]
> > 
> > The final question came from a female undergraduate who asked for 
> advice on 
> > how to approach the subject of Israel, etc. since it was such a 
> highly 
> > charged field with so many strong opinions that clashed with each 
> other. 
> > What should she study to become better informed? After 
> recommending that 
> > she study material from neutral sources such as Human Rights Watch 
> that has 
> > charged Israel with torture, he made the observation that perhaps 
> more 
> > knowledge is not the necessary goal. 
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