The Canadians For Justice And Peace In The Middle East had recently invited world-renowned Jewish academic, author and anti-Zionist, Dr. Norman Finkelstein to deliver lectures in several cities in Ontario. As expected, Dr. Finkelstein’s lecture tour faced the wrath of the pro-Israel lobby groups. His lecture at the Mohawk College was canceled under pressure from the Jewish groups and had to be moved to a Hamilton church on February 19, 2011.
On February 17, 2011 – Dr. Finkelstein spoke at Kitchner’s Trinity United Church. In his speech Dr. Finkelstein covered topics ranging from the 2000 and 2006 Israeli wars in Lebanon and their resulting defeats at the hands of Hezbollah, the 2008 22 day massacre in Gaza, the summer 2010 Freedom Flotilla raid, the potential coming third war with Lebanon and the consequences, for Israel, of the recent revolts shaking the Arab World, particularly Egypt. This was Dr. Finkelstein’s first visit to Kitchner-Waterloo since 2003 when he faced the Jewish hacklers at the Campus (watch a video of that event below).
Dr. Finkelstein believes that though the current protests in the Middle East are providing Arabs to breathe fresh air of dignity but they have not materialized into revolutions as yet. . He cautioned the anti-government protesters to beware of western imperialist intentions of hijacking the current turmoil to install more pro-western regimes.
“Israel’s perennial strategy has been to create fear among the Arab people. Israel’s strategy is now threatened, Finkelstein said – not because a democratic Egypt would rescind its 1979 peace treaty or because the Arabs would attack Israel. No – Egypt was satisfied to get the Sinai back, so it will not initiate a war. What threatens Israel is that the fear factor is no longer there,” said Dr. Finkelstein.
“In May 2000 Hezbollah successfully evicted the Israeli forces occupying southern Lebanon. As a result, Israel feared that its “deterrence capacity” – its ability to instill fear – had been compromised. So it started planning the next round of engagement with Hezbollah. The pretext for a re-engagement with Hezbollah came in the summer of 2006. Israel then unleashed 34 days of massive destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure and killed 1200 people,” said Finkelstein.
In order to boost the morale of a defeated Jewish army, Tel Aviv started a new wave of terror (Operation Cast Lead) against the 1.5 million Palestinian traped inside tiny Gaza Strip, Finkelstein believes.
Thomas Walkom, a columnist with Canadian daily Toronto Star wrote about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s fixation on Israel on February 19, 2011 – that his government insists being more Israeli than Israelis themselves.
“It’s worth noting that the Canadian Jewish Congress, which is second to none in attacking anti-Semitism, did not complain to Mohawk. Bernie Farber, the Congress’ chief executive, confirmed that to me this week,” wrote Thomas Walkom.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein (born 1953) is considered an authority on Holocaust and Jewish occupation of Palestine. He received PhD in political science from Princeton University and taught at DePaul University till 2007 when he was forced to leave the campus under pro-Israel Jewish academic lead by Dr. Alan Dershwitz. Both his father Zacharias Finkelstein and mother Maryla Husyt were survivors of Warsaw ghetto. Both of them died in 1995.