More on Finkelstein

Moron Finkelstein BookOh. Poor Normie. Didn’t get his tenure at DePaul. Of course you’ve read all about that on Jewlicious. What you haven’t read yet are other reasons why Finkelstein may have been denied tenure. Campus Watch, reproduced an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education (requires paid subscription) in it’s entirety, lest they be accused of bias. This article, written by one Elizabeth Farrell (Jewess? Zionette?) reported the following:

Mr. Finkelstein was abruptly placed on paid administrative leave late last month, just 10 days before the beginning of the fall semester (The Chronicle, August 27). The terms of the leave forbid Mr. Finkelstein from teaching his scheduled classes or entering his office on the campus… The university did not publicly state a reason for placing Mr. Finkelstein on leave at the time, but now says it was because of disruptive behavior described in the memos, which were first reported by the Chicago Tribune in an article published on Monday… A university spokeswoman declined to comment on the memos on Monday, but said they “appear to be authentic.” The spokeswoman, Denise Mattson, also confirmed that Mr. Finkelstein was put on leave “because of unacceptable behavior exhibited on the campus in June.” … According to one of the memos, dated June 26 and written by DePaul’s provost, Helmut P. Epp, that behavior included two incidents in which Mr. Finkelstein refused to leave the office of a dean or a professor, prompting them to call DePaul’s office of public safety. In a third instance, the memo says, Mr. Finkelstein followed Charles S. Suchar, the dean of liberal arts and sciences, to an elevator and blocked the elevator door from closing. He did not relent until Mr. Suchar threatened to call the police… “As provost, I cannot ignore the faculty’s complaints about Professor Finkelstein’s behavior nor their requests that they be protected from his abuse,” Mr. Epp wrote in the memo.

Of course Finkelstein claims that this is just some ex post facto justification for his continued uh… martyrdom. His fans will continue to support him and this denial of tenure thing is just going to make him even more in demand as a highly paid (reportedly $25,000 per speaking engagement) champion of his bizarro brand of Justice and Freedom. Oy.

But at least he doesn’t have the credibility afforded a tenured professor…

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  1. Grand Muffti

    9/6/2007 at 6:29 pm

    Muffti isn’t sure 2 things aren’t being mixed up here: 1) why didn’t Finky get tenure and 2) why is Finky banned from campus this year despite still being on the payroll and apparently (Muffti stresses the word) wanting to teach. The article seems to relate to the second, not the first, question.

  2. ck

    9/6/2007 at 7:47 pm

    Well yes. You are right. In fact, I predicted that you specifically would make this otherwise valid point. However, do you think this sort of behavior is isolated? He may not have frightened people into calling or threatening to call security in the past, but don’t you think his actions are evocative of a shrill, imbalanced individual? And that these character traits may have manifested themselves during his time at DePaul? Maybe not as markedly but manifest nonetheless? And that this may have had some impact on the final decision not to grant an obviously unhinged individual tenure? I think so because I’ve met the man several times. I saw him at the very begining of his career.

    I recall a speech he gave at Concordia to a Palestinian group where he outlined how terrible the Israelis were to the Palestinians. Then at the end of his speech, this little old lady sitting at the front of the room got up. She looked agitated, disturbed – I’ll never forget her crazy eyes. She then declared in a shaky but angry voice that she was a holocaust survivor and that what the Israelis were doing to the Palestinians was worse, WORSE! than what the Nazis had done to her and her family.

    It was a fantastic piece of theater. Turns out that crazy old lady was Norman’s Mom and that this dog and pony show took place at all of his speeches at the time. She was clearly crazed and delusional. My contention is that the apple does not fall far from the tree. I’d call her a kapo (as has been alleged but never proven) but I would not want to besmirch the memory of the kapos, some of whom used their relatively privileged positions to show kindness to others and to sabotage the Nazi killing machinery (blowing up crematoria in Auschwitz etc.).

    Finkelstein exhibits, in my non-clinical opinion, crazy-man behavior. I’m glad he didn’t get tenure and I’m glad he’s off campus. Let him go preach to the choir. No one normal is buying what he’s selling.

  3. grandmuffti

    9/7/2007 at 9:03 am

    errr…well, fair enough but Muffti can’t help but feel that this is rather speculative on your behalf 🙂 Not getting Tenure is a huge and terrible thing to happen to an academic and Muffti can see one going a little crazy as a result.

    Then again, maybe Muffti is just overly sympathetic to the man because in the background he always hears the faint ticking of his own tenure clock.

  4. Sarah

    9/7/2007 at 9:06 am

    I should like to see a professor who’s never had an argument with some other professor.

    Muffti is up early today for his standards.

  5. Adam

    9/7/2007 at 9:14 am

    How many professors have been escorted out by campus security multiple times?

    Perhaps what is most maddening now, is that Da Fink’s martyrdom has already become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have already read in at least 5 different venues that the Finkie case proved the validity of the Walt and Mearsheimer thesis.

  6. Sarah

    9/7/2007 at 9:39 am

    In Europe we don’t have campus security. We don’t know the details of the conversations he was having with those other professors / deans, but I could imagine plenty of plots where about anybody would feel entitled to insist on receiving an answer. I’m not claiming it was right for him to stay inside an office after having been requested to leave (just saying, so I won’t get fret upon for something I clearly haven’t written yet again), but I still find it odd to call in security.

  7. Adam

    9/7/2007 at 10:59 am


    Agreed, and I think that speaks towards precisely how vitriolic a figure his Finkiness is. It is readily apparent anytime one listens to him speak publically, so it really is no surprise to me that he would be the same on a personal level.

  8. grandmuffti

    9/7/2007 at 11:45 am

    Amen, Sarah, Muffti is up to early for his standards. But he would never pretend to be a babe for much more obvious aesthetic reasons. Muffti agrees as well that the circumstances do sound rather underscribed.

  9. WEVS1

    9/7/2007 at 12:52 pm

    Fink Protest Fizzles

    Controversial scholar Norman Finkelstein has left DePaul University. He’s controversial for a variety of reasons. Radical leftists say it is due to his willingness to stand up to the Jewish (I mean, “Zionist”) lobby.

    Conservative critics note that Finkelstein, who presents himself as an expert on Israel and the Middle East, knows neither Hebrew nor Arabic. Further, he uses his classes as a bully pulpit rather than providing students a complex and nuanced understanding of history and politics.

    Finkelstein threatened to “commit an act of civil disobedience,” engage in a hunger strike, and have his supporters hold massive protests due to his failure to receive tenure. In the end, it was all a bluff.

  10. Sarah

    9/7/2007 at 1:43 pm

    So is Muffti the male equivalent of a babe?
    Gaius Iulius Cesar used to refer to himself in the third person singular as well, and Cleopatra thought he was hot.

  11. themiddle

    9/7/2007 at 1:53 pm

    Muffti is perhaps the most attractive blogger on Jewlicious except for all the other male and female bloggers on our site, so yes he qualifies as a babe. Sadly, his chosen field of research and teaching renders him unable to engage in normal conversation without the names of obscure German philosophers popping up every couple of sentences.

    He is single and totally Ashkenazic looking, however.

    ck, where did you get that $25,000 number? That’s a rarefied league, usually speaking to corporate audiences, and I can’t imagine any such organization would be interested in his research or ideas. I may be wrong. When I looked into it some months ago, it seemed he was in the $5000 range. He has definitely made some money as a result of his writing and notoriety, although losing a paying job may end up being more costly.

  12. Sarah

    9/7/2007 at 2:47 pm

    Such as Hegel, Kant, von Weizsäcker, and Nietzsche?

  13. themiddle

    9/7/2007 at 2:51 pm


  14. Sarah

    9/7/2007 at 3:02 pm

    Ah, in a nutshell: we’re not wit’s end, so have the courage to make use of your mind, but don’t forget it all comes down to politics, but is that all real anyway?

  15. themiddle

    9/7/2007 at 4:03 pm

    Very funny. That’s quite a nutshell.

  16. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 7:15 am

    TM, and quite a useful thing to do; when you start teaching, you’re tempted to overwhelm your students with lots of bits of information, many of them trivia annotations that you yourself may find interesting but that might be confusing to the students. Summarizing the contents of each lesson when planning it in one line helps you to focus on what subjects you actually want to cover and what pieces of information you want to share.

  17. grandmuffti

    9/8/2007 at 10:10 am

    That’s funny Sarah; Muffti is kinda the opposite when he teaches. He reckons the stuff is so hard that he makes everything pretty abstract and baby step-like and only gives details when he sees the light of understanding (via questions). At least for undergrads.

    Whenever he teaches descartes, however, he does tell them the oversimplified bit of trivia that he died because he took a job in a place that was too cold and most of all made him wake up too early. And the story abou how Goedel died by starvation when his wife couldnt’ taste his food for him.

  18. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 10:37 am

    May I ask Muffti what kind of things his students need to do to earn credits?
    Philosophers do die curious deaths at least if you can trust the reports about their respective last words.

  19. ck

    9/8/2007 at 1:22 pm

    What?? Not a single comment on my clever, albeit juvenile title for this post? And what about the rejigging of Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry” book cover? It’s like you people just don’t care.

  20. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 1:26 pm

    ck, I was tempted to ask, “Why pink?”

  21. ck

    9/8/2007 at 2:57 pm

    Because that’s what his stupid Holocaust Industry book cover looks like. See for yourself.

  22. grandmuffti

    9/8/2007 at 3:42 pm

    You can ask Muffti whatever you like…mostly they write papers. And buy him drinks of course. And drive him home when they find him all whacked out on heroin at the side of road. And that’s just hte udnergrads! Philosophers ahve died plenty o curious deaths…Muffti once heard the various death tales of diogenes the cynic who iether died trying to show that man can fly or by eating raw octopus to show that cooking wasn’t necessary (he may be messing these up).

  23. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 3:43 pm

    Suppose I’ll have to direct the question at him then. It had a different cover over here (most books do).
    Oh, BTW, maybe that’s a topic suggestion for a different post, but not every family name that sounds like German or Anglicized German inevitably denotes a Jewish background, e.g. there’s a well-known Roma (Gypsy) family by the name of Rosenberg.
    Still interested in German hipster music?

  24. themiddle

    9/8/2007 at 3:48 pm

    ck, I admired the cover title but would have preferred if it had read:

    Finkelstein’s Private Holocaust Industry
    “How Dissing Jews and Jewish Organizations can Generate BIG Book Sales
    and Lucrative Lectures”

    In pink, of course.

  25. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 3:58 pm

    So Muffti’s an academic rock star with groupies?
    There were several Diogenes; Monistic, Epikurean, Stoic and Cynic ones, but apparently no Peripateian one. I hope neither of them tried to eat a live octopus.

  26. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 4:26 pm

    Has anybody perchance got his email address? Now I’m seriously curious about his mother…

  27. ck

    9/8/2007 at 5:43 pm

    Sarah: re. Rosenberg – one of the Nazis on trial at Nuremberg was one Alfred Rosenberg. According to Wikipedia, he was considered the main author of key Nazi ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abolition of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to “degenerate” modern art. He is also known for his rejection of Christianity. He served as Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories 1941-1945. Found guilty on all four counts of the indictment – Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace, Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace, War crimes and Crimes against humanity – he was executed by hanging on October 16, 1946. Friggin Rosenberg, eh?

    As for Finkelstein, he can be reached at normangf@hotmail.com – please don’t use that email address for nefarious purposes, ok? Now that he’s not at DePaul anymore and doesn’t have his depaul.edu email address, well… you know what I mean.

  28. Sarah

    9/8/2007 at 10:21 pm

    Most certainly; I’d just like to know whether he knows why all bio information on his mother (even the Wiki entry) is copied from his website and whether he’d ever asked his mother why she was named Maryla (= Mary) in Poland, a country that’s so devoutly Catholic and dedicated to ‘Virgin Mary’ that it even annoys the most Catholic theologians at times. I’ll try to think of an inconspicious way to put it.

  29. Rabbi Yonah

    9/8/2007 at 11:58 pm

    ck I loved the cover BTW

  30. Suzanne

    9/9/2007 at 10:01 am

    You left out from the story the role of Richard Silverstein, AKA Little Dickie, in promoting Nazi Norman. Silverstein is to Finkelstein as Monica was to Bill.

  31. Sarah

    9/9/2007 at 2:42 pm

    Various media report that the Lubavitcher rabbi Zalman Gurevitch of Frankfurt, Germany was stabbed on Friday night. He had to undergo surgery and is in IC, but his chances of recovery are good. The offenders were described as two Southern / Arabic / Moroccan looking youths. Police is investigating.

    I’ll send a get-well card to Frankfurt via snailmail. I don’t care whatever affiliation’s someone’s got, but it’s about time to send a signal that we do care about Western values. Anybody who wants to add their get well-wishes please contact me, and I’ll print things out and put everything into one envelope.

  32. ck

    9/9/2007 at 6:35 pm

    Clearly, the Jews with their continued genocide of the Palestinians and their ongoing domination of the US government and all media everywhere are to blame. It’s as if I myself plunged the knife into Rabbi Gurevitch.

    Please send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  33. Sarah

    9/10/2007 at 6:53 am

    ck, you’ve forgotten the well poisonings…

    If you want, you may email your well-wishes to dibbuk[at]web[dot]de .

  34. Sarah

    9/10/2007 at 1:13 pm

    Has Muffti tried to eat a live octopus?

  35. grandmuffti

    9/12/2007 at 7:53 pm

    Nope. Just dead ones. Apparently in Korea you can buy bits of recently hacked off octopus tentacles as a late night drunken snack. HOWEVER, the tenctacle’s suction cups are still active and apparently, according to Muffti’s friend Karen, not an insignificant number dies of it.

    Muffti isn’t quite as bit a cynic as Diogenes. Now stand out of Muffti’s light!

  36. Sarah

    9/13/2007 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve been wondering whether, being that darkness means the absence of light, light means the absence of darkness.

    I hope Dimufftines is comfortable.

  37. grandmuffti

    9/13/2007 at 12:40 pm

    Muffti isn’t so sure that darkness ‘means’ the absence of light so much as that darkness refers to a state that is necessarily absent of light – perhaps one could have the concept ‘darkness’ without having the concept ‘light’ or ‘absence’. Similarly for the other direction. Muffti senses a conflation of sense and reference here.

    Maybe not. Hope you’re having fun yourself!

  38. Sarah

    9/13/2007 at 12:48 pm

    I was trying to see whether modern-day physics can still be a discipline of philosophy as it used to be back in the day. Suppose it can.

    I was teaching from 12pm till 6pm today, so that wasn’t too bad. Two more classes tomorrow, maybe a trip to Belgium over the weekend.

  39. grandmuffti

    9/13/2007 at 12:50 pm

    Sonds nice. Muffti thinks it might be a good thing tat physics is no longer a branch of philosophy…it seems to have done much better since the amicable separation.

  40. Sarah

    9/13/2007 at 12:56 pm

    Yet there were philosophers in recent history with a background in physics and vice versa (e.g. von Weizsäcker); I wonder whether an inclination to philosophy could make science more ethical.

  41. grandmuffti

    9/13/2007 at 1:03 pm

    Loads of philosophers these days have backgrounds in physics and vice versa. Muffti isn’t sure, regretably, that there is any real correlation between philosophical interest or talent and actual behaviour. He’ sknown some very wicked ethicists in his day!

  42. Sarah

    9/13/2007 at 1:12 pm

    Maybe they’re all in for the race of being heir to Jefferson and hope they’ll be the ones to draft the Highest Directive once Startrek becomes reality. There’s no such thing as bad publicity when you aim to be a future history textbook protagonist.

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