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Norman Finkelstein Accuses Jeffrey Goldberg Of Torturing Palestinians

Sometimes a guy just can't win. Last week, we noted that a deranged person with a blog for deranged people accused Jeffrey Goldberg of being a "jihadist" agitating for "Jewicide" because his position on West Bank settlements is the same … Read More

By / May 28, 2008

Sometimes a guy just can't win. Last week, we noted that a deranged person with a blog for deranged people accused Jeffrey Goldberg of being a "jihadist" agitating for "Jewicide" because his position on West Bank settlements is the same as the position of the Israeli government. Moreover, our two-bit character assassin couldn't look past the idea of minimal dissent from her self-destructive militarism, to notice that Goldberg had made greater sacrifices for Israel than she ever could — specifically by volunteering for the IDF — and so might just be arguing on the level, rather than from ulterior, Jewicidal motives.

Well, it looks like serving with the IDF doesn't buy Goldberg any credit with the extreme paranoid left, either. Specifically, Norman Finkelstein accuses Goldberg of having tortured Palestinians while serving as a prison guard. What's Finkelstein's evidence? Well, he doesn't have evidence, but he has the next best thing, assumptions, and he has them in abundance. Perhaps it's giving away too much to Finkelstein to observe that he can't be bothered to decide whether he's accusing Goldberg of being an active party to torture, or an accessory to torture, or merely insensitive to Palestinian suffering.

Jewcy has covered Professor Finkelstein's strange case at some length. Whatever the substantive merits of his tenure denial — on which his extracurricular endeavors should have had no bearing provided his scholarship was up to scratch — and whatever the credibility of some of his antagonists, Finkelstein has a pretty well-established history of propagating outrageous, paranoid nonsense. Pathological people can't help themselves, so perhaps Goldberg shouldn't take things personally. In any case, Goldberg did respond to Brad A. Greenberg that "[The accusation] is just ridiculous. I never laid a hand on anybody…One of my principle roles there was making sure the prisoners had fresh fruit…Norman Finkelstein is a ridiculous figure and he is lying and purposely misreading my book." So it would seem.

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