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November 14, 2016 11:40 am

Infamous Anti-Israel Professor Storms Off Debate on ‘Double Standards’ Towards Jewish State, After Calling Moderator a ‘Certified Moron’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Anti-Israel academic Norman Finkelstein. Photo: Screenshot.

Anti-Israel academic Norman Finkelstein. Photo: Screenshot.

Calling the moderator of a debate “a certified moron,” controversial anti-Israel professor Norman Finkelstein abruptly stormed off the air when he was asked to “dial it back a bit,” The Algemeiner has learned.

The topic of the debate, conducted last month on the Jewish Internet station J-TV’s program “Current Affairs” — and moderated by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society founder and executive director Dr. Alan Mendoza — was the question of whether Israel is held to double standards where international criticism is concerned.

Finkelstein, author, most recently, of Method and Madness: The Hidden  Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza, began to hurl epithets about halfway through the 17-minute segment. These included accusing his debate partner, Jewish historian Ken Spiro, of promoting “Israeli propaganda” at the expense of facts.

“It’s despicable!” Finkelstein shouted at Mendoza, who was trying to steer the discussion back on track and defuse tensions. “It’s despicable how you carry on – with your red tie and your crossed legs — when people are being killed! And you spout the most ridiculous Israeli propaganda!”

Spiro had asserted, “There’s no question that in international forums, Israel is held to a double standard. The most glaring example, of course, is the United Nations, where there are more…resolutions condemning Israel than every other country in the world combined…So Israel gets an inordinate amount of play and focus in the media, to the exclusion…of many other human rights issues and humanitarian tragedies in the world. Statistically, it stands out like a flashing red light…”

Finkelstein’s response: “Well, it would be useful if Israel were held to any standard.”

He went on to say that “it’s quite correct that there are many UN resolutions on the Israel-Palestine conflict…[and] that Israel has been repeatedly condemned in all the representative and authoritative venues in the international arena…[T]he point is…the reason it’s constantly, repeatedly condemned is because it ignores, and is enabled to ignore, the condemnations…”

When Spiro presented arguments to the contrary, Finkelstein retorted, “One of the problems with debates like this is people have no knowledge of the facts. They go through an Israeli propaganda sheet, and they simply read off of this propaganda sheet the nonsense of the Israeli government…[but] I believe in facts.”

Reminded by Mendoza that he is on a TV show, not delivering a solo lecture, Finkelstein shot back, “If you want to just chat, then you should cut me off. I’m interested in facts. I’m not interested in chatting, and I’m not interested in propaganda…”

Finkelstein concluded by yelling, “You’re brain dead! It’s like having a conversation with somebody who’s brain dead… I don’t want to go on, because you don’t know what you’re talking about! I’ve never seen such stupidity!”

“Professor Finkelstein’s behavior was quite extraordinary for someone purporting to be an academic,” Mendoza told The Algemeiner. “Walking out of an interview and attacking the interviewer when simply being asked to clarify a point is the action of a polemicist. For years, Professor Finkelstein has claimed he has been blackballed from faculty positions because of his views on the Holocaust and Israel. Judging by his performance, a likelier explanation is that he simply isn’t open to reasoned debate and discussion, which is a baseline expectation of all institutes of higher education.”

J-TV is a new, global Jewish YouTube channel, featuring weekly segments on current affairs and Jewish culture.

Watch the debate and Finkelstein’s exit below:

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  • Go, Ken!

  • GeekGirl101

    Sadly this nitwit does have a PhD from Princeton.

  • Harvela

    He speaks of Israeli propaganda while shillin for the Arabs. He will be a tiny footnote in history. A mere Wilki entry. Poor Norm

  • Brien

    Mr F ignored the facts that were made and continued repeating his diatribe.
    All the Arab league nations had to do was to recognise Israel as a nation and the ‘settlements’ would not have continued.
    It was complicated – intricate …yadda yadda…
    The man is a disappointed pissed-off ‘commie’ from the 60’s – these guys are still dime a dozen.

  • Doug

    The Muslims should put the refugees they created with their numerous attempts at genocide against Israel on the much larger plots of land confiscated from middle eastern Jews when they were ethnically cleansed from Muslim countries after 1948.

    People who call “Palestine” and open air prison should note 2 things — 2 walls of that prison are Egypt and Jordan and they “Palestinians” are just as well off as their Jordanian neighbors.

    When they say Israel is apartheid they should remember it is 20% Muslims (better off than their Muslim brethren in Muslim countries) with = rights and representation in politics.

    Quote from a PLO leader —
    “THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE DOES NOT EXIST. THE CREATION OF THE PALESTINIAN STATE IS ONLY A MEANS FOR CONTINUING OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THE STATE OF ISRAEL for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. ONLY FOR POLITICAL AND TACTICAL REASONS DO WE SPEAK TODAY ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF A PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.
    “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.” — PLO Executive Committee member Zahir Muhsein, 1977

  • herbcaen

    Finkelstein belongs in a zoo where he can erupt to command performances

  • Robin

    Unfortunately, this is a clear case of mental illness that has been allowed to go “public.” I’m sure he could be helped with medication and a good psychiatrist. In the meanwhile, he should be ignored until he gets the necessary help that he needs to function in the real world and not the fantasy world that he created for himself.

  • Alan

    Finklestein is a progressive liberal, you have to understand that progressive liberal are never wrong and if you have an opinion that is different than theirs, then you are a freak, moron, evil, and racist! This is the progressive liberal way, they shout you down with insults. Peopl who are progressive liberals never listen to what we have to say, raising your opiion or facts to them is a sin to them!

  • meqmac

    As a pro-Israel academic, it is precisely the refusal to admit to facts that angers me about the anti-Israel community. The historical and other facts are heavily in Israel’s faiure. Back when I was writing my PhD dissertation, I used raw archival material that upended what I had thought were facts. I took that on board and replaced my assumptions with the factual material. That is what all academics bare supposedc to do. It can be painful to admit you were wrong, but that is what honesty is about. And why is Finkelstein called ‘professor’ anyway?

  • “when people are being killed!”
    People are being killed all around the world. Israel* actually is not a country where that happens so much. Why the histeria about this conflict? Well, 22 Arab countries, 57 Islamic countries and tons of Arab oil we buy everyday so they can buy weapons and influence is the answer.

    *Including Israeli-Palestinian violence

  • Marc Rosenblatt

    Finkelstein is a horse’s ass. What university would hire this moron. But, Finkelstein appears to have bigger issues. He is obviously a rabid self hating Jew who is eating himself up for whatever reason. He needs some serious therapy and I feel sorry for the students that have to tolerate this sicko in the classroom. He most probably teaches in a university in Turkey because he is probably persona non grata in any decent American university.

  • F Ric Blum

    Finkelstein is so totally absorbed by his Jewish self hatred that he is completely delusional; disconnected from reality. For example, he continually harps on the Israeli settlements issue as the original sin committed by Israel as of the 1967 war without any consciousness about the sober fact that it was Israel that won the war, notwithstanding, whilst the rest of the world watched and awaited its total annihilation at the hands of the invading Arab armies. And, the world watched as if it was entertainment without attempting any intervention to prevent the war and Israel’s destruction from happening. To make the point of his unbelievable thinking even clearer, Finkelstein focuses intensely on his ant-Israel delusions without any consideration at all about actual inhumane activities that have happened elsewhere in the world such as the unprovoked Chinese takeover of a peaceful Tibet. A good question to ask him is why is he not condemning China with the same kind of zeal he uses to condemn Israel for ? ( The answer is obviously that he is antisemitic himself; the complete Jew-hating-Jew. )

    • aj nitzberg

      1949-1966 was a period of intense terrorism against israel. they were called, fedayeen attacks’.

      • F Ric Blum

        Right, It was Arab state(s) terrorism until they were utterly humiliated by their Israeli defeat in 1967. After that their terrorist activities converted magically into the ubiquitous ” Palestinian ” cause.

  • bargouti

    This Fink is a Loon,who is consumed by his hate for Israel…Most Israelis haven’t heard of him.Israeli’s have special names for Jews like this Fink…..

  • Peter Joffe

    This is how it always will go. If reason does not succeed then turn to violence. In the Middle East there is no place for reasonable debate because the Quran is the final arbiter and if you don’t like it then its turns to bombs and big knives.

  • Steve Brown

    Since this Jewish enemy to Israel hates Israel so much give him a 3 year transfer to Saudi Arabia..

  • Patricia Brenner

    Who is the moron?

  • Mae White

    Finkelstein would be better served spending time with a good therapist.

    Wherefore the self hate, Norm?

    • Doug

      Behind every narcissists love of an image of their self as good is a loathing of their true self — a reaction formation.

  • Herb Glatter

    giving this creep “oxygen” is a serious mistake, Hi Ruthie, say hi to your wonderful parents

  • Slawsk

    Ken Spiro is an amazing Rabbi/Academic/ Scholar/ and person. I’ve personally sat in many of his classes and continue to be blown away at his intellect and ability to speak to intelligently to any person

  • Benjamin Glasser

    Finkelstien is a lunitc

    • shloime

      lunatics are a dime a dozen. he’s also a hate-monger, and his jewish name and job title make him particularly desirable for the anti-israel cause.

      and when his ideological rantings are challenged by reason and fact, he resorts to name-calling and throws a tantrum. why would any college give him a platform?

    • TerrorIsEvil

      The moon is closer to the earth than it has been for 68 years and that tends to bring out the loonies in full force like Fink, the paid anti-Trump, anti-democracy, pro-globalism Soros-sponsored rioters and all manner of freaks.