The latest act in the saga of the controversial academic Norman Finkelstein ended not with a bang - or at least a hunger strike and civil disobedience - but with a whimper: a settlement with DePaul University, in Chicago, that secured his resignation.John J. Miller at National Review Online posts an e-mail from DePaul student Nicholas Hahn:
[Finkelstein's] anti-climactic press conference, which closed the book to his DePaul career, was pitifully comical. His remarks were frequently interrupted by loud construction noises on the near-by DePaul campus. After reading a prepared statement to approximately 70 or 80 people, most being non-DePaul students on a campus of almost 20,000, he wanted to thank “a few” of his supporters. He ended up thanking a good majority of the crowd listening to his farewell speech. Thanking supporters implied some reception of an honor or an award, when in reality Finkelstein had just received his pink slip.
IHE goes the rehash route.
The Tribune's Ron Grossman observes:
Wednesday's demonstration witnessed the way in which [Finkelstein's] personal and academic struggle has been subsumed into a constellation of larger issues. Though the majority in the pro-Finkelstein ranks were college age, some in the crowd of 120 looked like veterans of many an earlier protest. One carried a placard and a portable oxygen supply [no, it wasn't me].Abu Ghraib?
Members of the International Socialist Organization hawked their newspaper, as did representatives of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Others wore orange headbands, signifying solidarity with prisoners at Abu Ghraib, where U.S. military guards abused Iraqi detainees.
One person Wednesday wore a T-shirt with the words of Albert Spies, an anarchist executed after the 1886 Haymarket Incident in Chicago, who told the court: "Here you tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up."
Grossman also quotes Alan Dershowitz:
"The university has traded truth for peace," said Dershowitz. "The statement that [Finkelstein] is a scholar is simply false. He's a propagandist."Update: Haymarket Incident?