On the merit of Dershowitz vs. Finkelstein
To: President of Depaul University,
Subject: On the merit of Dershowitz vs. Finkelstein
Date: April 10, 2007.
Dear Mr. President of Depaul University,
It is with much distress that I venture to write this brief letter on the above topic. This should not even have been an issue. Both Mr. Dershowitz and Mr. Finkelstein have very essential roles to play in the American society, the former as one of its premier institutional scholars, and the latter as among its few genuine gadflies. Both need a permanent home so that the business of society can continue moving forward - the former supporting its ruling elite, the latter providing some semblance of moral-activism for its peoples. I humbly expound on this topic at some length in the essay: "Responsibility of Intellectuals - Redux" at: http://www.humanbeingsfirst.org
May I humbly request that in this august position as the distinguished President of an up and coming Catholic university in America, that you show your mettle to your audience and to your students for whom you are a role model, and that you not succumb to special interests or to reasons of "pragmatism" by bowing to pressure or "practicalities" in making your decision on awarding tenure to Norm Finkelstein. Whether or not you agree with his positions, as an intellectual person shouldering the same responsibilities as outlined in the above referenced essay, do the right thing so that all in the world may know to which "Mecca" you pray.
For your kind reference and in order to help you make your decision fairly and without prejudice, as a concerned tax-paying plebeian resident in this nation, may I be permitted to offer the following additional information in the same spirit as Mr. Dershowitz has ventured to offer you in order to apprise you of the general concerns of the plebeian people of this nation whom you purport to serve, so that you can make a decision that is balanced and fair as you proceed to educate us and our children in your august university.
Please do take a look at my "Open Letter to former American President Jimmy Carter", and my humble essay "The endless trail of red herrings" on the subject of Israel-Palestine, both available on the above website, and you will surely be able to assess impartially where each of these two contestants reside in the intellectual spaces. Since I maintain that they each reside in opposite spaces as defined in "Responsibility of Intellectuals - Redux", as a fair minded concerned intellectual of this nation, you need to ensure that both spaces remain populated for the proper functioning and sanity of this nation. And as you can see in the past few years in this country with "United We Stand" mantra taking over the commonsense of its peoples feverishly as death and destruction is rained upon innocent civilians in other nations, that there are hardly any prominent voices of moral dissent heard anymore. "Jesus" - the first gadfly in the face of power of the Roman empire - is entirely absent in this country. Had these two prized antagonists resided in the same intellectual space, then only having one of them in it would have been sufficient, and the significance of your decision would have been a no-op. But in this case, your decision is pivotal, and of immense importance to this nation and to its future preeminence as a "moral Christian state" as opposed to a "barbaric Roman state". To understand this issue and to what's at stake in your decision, please see my essay "America's Shame" also available on the above website.
I will leave the adjudication of the matter in your informed and moral hands - anyone leading a Catholic or any 'divinely inspired' religious institution must have some element of non "ubermensch" morality in their decision making process that transcends co-optation to every power and each of its many incantations.
With Kind Regards,
Founder Project Humanbeingsfirst.
P.S. my brief bio is at the end of each of the above cited articles for your reference.
This letter will also be made available at http://www.humanbeingsfirst.org
The author, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. He may be reached via humanbeingsfirst on gmail com.
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