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The article about Norman Finkelstein’s talk (“Anti-Israel speaker sparks dialogue among students,” 1/26/2011) refers to him as an “anti-Israel speaker” in the headline, although this is not a characterization that Finkelstein accepts. As he has done for many years now, Finkelstein spent the bulk of his talk citing from organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. He also pointed out in a lengthy discussion during the question period that it is in fact Israel and the United States who stand virtually alone in the world in opposing a two-state settlement in line with the international consensus. As always, he urged Israel to join the international consensus for a resolution to this conflict.

I do not see any basis for referring to these views as “anti-Israel.” Worse, the flyer handed out by the Penn Israel Sector afterward accused Finkelstein of “promotion of hatred, enmity and terror.” Could they possibly point to anything from the talk that justifies such language? Those who consider themselves supporters of Israel can work toward acceptance of the international consensus for a resolution and for an end to Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. That would be a far more effective response to a discussion of the documentary record than singing songs about peace while ignoring all the main points of the talk.

-- Seth Kulick The author is a 1986 Engineering graduate, a 2000 doctorate in Computer Information Science and staff member.

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