Monday, August 27, 2007
I am pleased to announce that we have organized a DePaul student organization called the Academic Freedom Committee. We will still post on this site, though our main website and blog can now be found at:
We are planning a number of major events, including an Oct 12 lecture featuring Akeel Bilgrami, Noam Chomsky, Tony Judt, John Mearsheimer, Neve Gordon, and Tariq Ali. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all your support!
DePaul Academic Freedom Committee
Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago
- Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Heyman Center, Columbia University
- Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Dr. Tony Judt, University Professor and Director of the Remarque Institute, New York University
- Dr. John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
- Dr. Neve Gordon, Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University
- Tariq Ali, Editor of the New Left Review and Verso Books
Admission is free ($5 suggested donation) and open to the public
Presented by DePaul Academic Freedom Committee, Diskord Journal (University of Chicago) and Verso Books
Rockefeller Chapel is located on the
University of Chicago's campus:
5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
For more information, please email us at: email@example.com
Media Contact: Daniel Klimek
CHICAGO, IL, Aug. 25, 2007 – Eminent Middle East scholar Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein of DePaul University has had his contract violated Friday by the university’s administration, which has cancelled Finkelstein’s classes for the upcoming 2007 fall quarter. Finkelstein, after being denied tenure in June through a controversial decision, was given a one year’s notice by DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider, and was expected to return to teach in the 2007-08 academic year for his contractually stipulated terminal year.
On Friday, however, both Professor Finkelstein and many disappointed students were informed by the administration that his classes have been cancelled, breaking Finkelstein’s contract and further undermining academic freedom at DePaul by refusing to let the prominent professor teach during his final year. Both of Finkelstein’s scheduled classes were filled to maximum capacity, enrolling many DePaul students who eagerly intended to take Finkelstein’s courses in the fall. With the overwhelming support of his students at the university, Finkelstein has stated, “I will return to my office. I will teach my classes.”
Earlier this month, President Holtschneider received a letter from DePaul’s Academic Freedom Committee, on behalf of concerned students, explaining that if he refuses to let Finkelstein teach it would signify a complete abandonment of the student body on Holtschneider’s behalf. Holtschneider has already received vast criticism from countless students at DePaul, as well as academics across the nation, for the controversial tenure denials of both Professor Finkelstein and Professor Mehrene Larudee. Holtschneider has also been receiving numerous letters from the American Association of University Professors asking him to allow an appeal process and a formal faculty review of both tenure cases.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
26 August 2007 - "In Defense of Academic Freedom" - DePaul Students Launch Website and Organize Lecture
26 August 2007
Media Contact: Daniel Klimek
CHICAGO, IL -- DePaul University students, concerned over the controversial tenure denials of Dr. Norman Finkelstein and Dr. Mehrene Larudee by its administration, have launched a website (http://www.academicfreedomchicago.org) and have organized a conference to highlight the threat to academic freedom in universities. Since the tenure denials, prominent scholars across the country have begun speaking out.
On October 12, 2007, the DePaul University Academic Freedom Committee, International Studies Program and Department of Philosophy, Diskord Journal (University of Chicago) and Verso Books will host a panel lecture featuring:
• Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Heyman Center, Columbia University
• Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Dr. Tony Judt, University Professor and Director of the Remarque Institute, New York University
• Dr. John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
• Dr. Neve Gordon, Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University
• Tariq Ali, Editor of the New Left Review and Verso Books
DePaul students have been protesting for academic freedom since June 2007, when tenure was denied to Professors Finkelstein and Larudee. After a meeting between 30 student leaders and DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider, the students hosted a sit-in in the executive offices of the president. The students were evicted, after several days, under the threat of expulsion. Students furthermore organized a visible protest at DePaul’s graduation ceremonies, where countless graduates also refused to shake Fr. Holtshneider’s hand, and recently numerous students publicly fasted for one-and-half weeks to express their seriousness and self-control regarding these vital issues and academic injustices.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Fr. Dennis Holtschneider
Office of the President
55 E. Jackson, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Dear Fr. Holtschneider,
As you are aware, numerous DePaul students consider your recent decision to deny tenure to Dr. Norman Finkelstein in the Political Science Department to be unacceptable. It is disheartening to find that we have further reason for concern. As students of DePaul University, we are deeply distraught to discover that DePaul may not allow Dr. Finkelstein on campus to teach us in his terminal year as stipulated in his employment contract. As university administrators, you have denied him tenure; though as educators, we implore you not to restrict our learning. We attend DePaul to learn. We want to learn from Dr. Finkelstein.
Currently, Campus Connect lists Dr. Finkelstein's classes as enrolled at capacity, despite one being offered at 8:30 AM on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and another being offered on the same days at 9:40 AM. As you know, classes held during these time frames are not the easiest to fill, and their status reflects directly on Dr. Finkelstein as a professor. Students returning in the 2007/2008 Autumn Quarter expect to be taught by the brightest and most truthful of DePaul's professors. We also expect to have a voice in determining and defining the criteria by which our professors are evaluated: we have done so, and Dr. Finkelstein fulfills those criteria.
Dr. Finkelstein has expressed interest in teaching this coming quarter and has already submitted his course texts to the bookstore and his syllabi to the Department. The minimum we expect is that you allow Dr. Finkelstein to return for his contractually granted terminal year.
Please be clear that DePaul is inherently an educational institution and that students form the core of this university. Consider this as a formal notice from the students that denying Dr. Finkelstein his terminal year will be considered complete abandonment of the students and your responsibilities.
DePaul Academic Freedom Committee
Friday, August 10, 2007
By Peg Birmingham
Professor of Philosophy
By now it is well-known that the minority report, written by the three faculty members in DePaul's Political Science Department who cast negative votes in Norman Finkelstein's tenure case, was heavily relied upon in the negative recommendation written by LAS Dean Chuck Suchar and in President Dennis Holtschneider's letter denying tenure. It is also well known that the department's majority report recommending tenure as well as the majority's rebuttal of the minority report received at best cursory attention or in the case of the rebuttal, ignored entirely. Because the issue of academic freedom is at the center of this tenure case (and with the Churchill firing these are dark days for academic freedom), it is important to take a closer look at the report's contents.
The minority report is comprised of three parts. The first two parts offer an analysis of Finkelstein's scholarly work, arguing that his scholarship is shoddy and substandard, suffused with personal attacks, and polemical rather than academic. The third part, "Violations of Collegiality" takes up the issue of Finkelstein's behavior as a colleague. The report concludes by arguing against tenure and promotion.
The overall analysis of the work is broken down into several categories including, "double standards," "red herrings," "misleading use of language," and "false dichotomies." The minority report finds evidence of shoddy scholarship on a total of 17 pages and two footnotes in a corpus of work that spans five books which together total well over a thousand pages. Finkelstein's work relies on an overwhelming amount of statistical data from a large and wide-ranging number of documents and reports. The minority report finds no evidence of faulty facts, sloppy citation, or incorrect data. In all cases, the evidence has to do with the conclusions drawn. One example is representative: under the category, "Assertion of claims inconsistent with the evidence he provides," the report points to "pages 126-7 of Image and Reality [where] Dr. Finkelstein quotes without any disclaimer U Thant's report of Arab fears of 'a massive attack on Syria' (emphasis added). A few lines later he posits that 'the alarms were almost certainly not false' (emphasis in original). In support of that conclusion he cites Michael Brecher's judgment that Israel 'would launch a limited retaliatory raid.' A limited retaliatory raid is not a massive attack, so Arab fears were indeed false." The minority report's emphasizes the word "massive" and then suggests that if this was rigorous scholarship, the "correct" conclusion would be that a limited attack renders Arab fears false (illegitimate?). But is this the reasonable conclusion to draw? Isn't it rather the case that most of us will become very alarmed and fearful if we have reason to believe our house or our country might come under even limited attack?
The analysis reads like a badly written undergraduate paper wherein the student thinks he or she has outsmarted the author by catching a few perceived inconsistencies, all the while not engaging with the essential arguments and thereby missing entirely the overall substance of the work. The minority report admits that the examples used to support the claim of shoddy academic work are "minor" but that "taken together and read in the context of the corpus of Dr, Finkelstein's writings, they raise in our view serious questions about whether this work meets scholarly standards." But several minor examples do not add up to any major critique of Finkelstein's work. In fact, taken together, the minor examples are glaring in just how minor they are.
The minority report selectively cites only two negative reviews, but does not so much as mention the many laudatory reviews of Finkelstein's scholarship. Immediately after citing two negative reviews of Beyond Chutzpah, the authors cut off any criticism of their own selective reporting by suggesting that the reader will criticize their tactics by claiming that the negative reviewers "disagree with his [Finkelstein's] interpretations or because they are Israeli apologists or because they have a political agenda." But of course the pertinent criticism is the one just made, namely, that there are numerous positive reviews of Finkelstein's work and in the service of intellectual honesty, the minority report ought to have acknowledged that fact and shown why these positive reviews are misguided. Moreover, the minority report does not address why the two external reviewers of Finkelstein's scholarship for the tenure application, two eminent scholars of Middle East politics and history, are misguided in their respective letters, each of which gives high praise to Finkelstein's scholarship. It should be noted that none of the authors of the report are experts in this field.
Acknowledging that perhaps their examples "may seem to be nitpicks," the authors go on to say that "they are meant to be illustrative of our assessment that Dr. Finkelstein's work is designed for advocacy rather than for scholarly enlightenment. While there is nothing wrong with advocacy per se, it should not come at the expense of scholarly standards." Insofar as Finkelstein's "slide towards advocacy and away from scholarship" served as part of the basis for President Holtschneider's letter denying tenure, it is worth stopping for a moment to reflect on this.
First, nowhere in the minority report do the authors address the question of how such allegedly substandard scholarly work passed peer review of two major and well respected presses: Verso and University of California. Secondly, it is clear that the real charge against Finkelstein here is that his scholarship lacks the impartial objectivity that the authors of the minority report seemingly view as necessary to academic scholarship. In other words, the charge is that his work slides towards advocacy because it is suffused with outrage over the lies and deceptions that form US-Israel policy, deceptions uncritically embraced by many "liberal" academics who favor Israel to the almost complete disregard of the real violence done to the Palestinian people. We arrive at the issue of "academic tone."
Here Hannah Arendt is instructive. Taken to task in a critical review by Eric Voegelin for her passionate and oftentimes angry tone in writing Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt responds by asking if it is possible or even desirable to write sine ira et studio when writing of this event. Taking as an example the immense poverty of the British working classes during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, Arendt writes, "If I describe these conditions without permitting my indignation to interfere, I have lifted this particular phenomenon out of its context in human society and have thereby robbed it of part of its nature, deprived it of one of its important inherent qualities. For to arouse indignation is one of the qualities of excessive poverty insofar as poverty occurs among human beings." For Arendt, "the sheer horror of contemporary political events, together with the even more horrible eventualities of the future…is the preliminary condition for political philosophy." Finkelstein understands this preliminary condition; he writes from out of the horror and outrage of the lies and deceptions that form the basis of so much of the violence and injustice done to the Palestinian people, understanding that to do otherwise would deprive his subject matter of its human context wherein as an inherent quality deception, violence, and injustice arouse indignation.
The minority report goes on to claim that Finkelstein's writings are "suffused with personal attacks." The authors rely almost exclusively on Finkelstein's "vendetta against Alan Dershowitz in which Dr. Finkelstein seems focused on demolishing Dershowitz's reputation and perhaps getting him fired, rather than showing where Derschowitz is in error." Here the report willfully disregards Finkelstein's painstakingly careful and relentless analysis of Dershowitz's errors in Beyond Chutzpah. Ironically, these charges ought to have been leveled against Dershowitz who has played an active and tireless role in attempting to destroy Finkelstein's reputation, who played a significant role in the negative tenure decision, and who has never been able to show where Finkelstein is in error despite hiring a coterie of lawyers to try to do just that.
Staying with the claim that Finkelstein's writings are filled with personal attacks, the minority report then argues that he impugned Benny Morris's reputation, despite its citing Finkelstein's praise for Morris's research with Finkelstein disagreeing only on how the findings were used. The report also does not like Finkelstein's critique of Lawrence Summers and Henry Louis Gates Jr., nor does it like the fact that Finkelstein called Wiesel and Kosinski "charlatans" and "frauds." The report gives no argument as to why one ought not on occasion to call into strongly worded question the motives of public intellectuals. Surely Norm Finkelstein is neither the first nor the last to call a fellow scholar or a public figure a charlatan or a fraud. Socrates, for example, fires the opening shot in the Apology by calling his accusers "liars" and "flatterers." One suspects that it is not the name-calling that the authors of the minority report find offensive but the people and the issues being called into question. One can imagine, for example, that had Finkelstein called the current US President a fraud or William Bennett a charlatan, no objections would have been raised, much less served as evidence of excessive nastiness in the public space. This is, of course, Finkelstein's point. This section of the report concludes with citations from a personal email that was never meant for the public eye; it ought not to have been included. No more needs to be said on this subject unless the authors of the minority report would like to open their emails for public scrutiny.
It is clear that despite their initial disclaimer and several protests to the contrary in the body of the report, the authors of the minority report do not like Finkelstein's scholarly conclusions. The general charge of their analysis is that Finkelstein does not present the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fairly; he presents stronger evidence against Israel than is warranted; he presents weak arguments that favor the Palestinian side. All this of course mirrors the third charge leveled against Socrates in the Apology: "he makes the weaker argument stronger." When teaching this work, I ask my students why a person on trial for his life would fail to defend himself against this charge. The students always understand: it is impossible for Socrates (or any of us) charged with such a "crime" to offer a defense as any argument will be viewed as manipulative by accusers whose real motive is to silence this gadfly. Socrates offers the strongest arguments he can muster and it is up to the listeners and readers to respond with better arguments, if they can. None of this occurred with the authors of the minority report. Not agreeing with his conclusions, the authors bring Finkelstein up on charges of weak scholarship and nastiness in the public sphere; they offer the academic equivalence of the cup of hemlock. Socrates ends his defense by saying, "I leave it up to the dogs of Hades to decide." History will be the judge.
In its penultimate section, "Violations of Collegiality," the minority report shows its other hand. The personal is the political: "Dr. Finkelstein's nastiness in his polemical work overlaps with serious failures of collegiality towards those in the DePaul community whom he construes as being his enemies. The three members of the department who have signed this report were among those who he viewed in this manner well before his tenure application was considered." The authors are quite explicit: Finkelstein's mean-spiritedness towards the three authors of the minority report is reflected in the mean-spiritedness of the work. Not only do the three authors not like his conclusions regarding US-Israel policy, they do not like him. The three charges: Finkelstein shuts his office door, refusing to talk to colleagues with whom he disagrees; he gets overly angry about an annual evaluation; he does not handle contract disputes well. But to use one of the report's own categories, "double standards," it might very well be the case that one of the authors, angry that Finkelstein was hired rather than the candidate he supported, has been refusing to speak to Finkelstein, shutting his office door and waiting for just such an opportunity to help assemble the charges; or perhaps it is the second author of the report, the former chair of the department, who is angry for having been questioned about an annual evaluation and who exacted his revenge by inviting Derschowitz into the tenure process; and finally, perhaps it is the third author of the report, the former LAS Dean, who remains furious over a contract dispute, a dispute that was settled by then Provost John Kozak, (whom the third author intensely disliked), ruling in Finkelstein's favor.
The report expands the charge of non-collegiality by pointing to threats to the administration and an inappropriate word used against a staff person. Here the report falls into innuendo and unsubstantiated claims. No staff person has come forth to verify the charge and there is no specificity or substantiation regarding the supposed threats. What were the threats and in response to what? Perhaps the actions of the administration warranted threats. No details are given. The report ends with baseless speculation that junior colleagues and staff personnel might be threatened in the future by a tenured and therefore unrestrained Finkelstein, a speculation dismissed by the junior, untenured faculty in DePaul's Political Science department, many of whom signed a second majority report rebutting the minority report-a rebuttal that was not allowed to be part of Finkelstein's tenure materials sent to the University Board. It must also be asked how a professor who undisputedly receives the highest teaching evaluations in DePaul's Political Science Department and who has been nominated by his students for an excellence in teaching award every year since time of hire poses such danger in the office corridors.
In its 1999 statement, "On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation," the AAUP is clear that the category of "collegiality" ought not to be used in the evaluation of tenure. Indeed, in his June 22, 2007 letter to President Holtschneider, Leo Welch, President of AAUP Illinois-Conference, reminds Holtschneider of this statement: "Historically, "collegiality" has not infrequently been associated with ensuring homogeneity, and hence with practices that exclude persons on the basis of their differences from a perceived norm." Welch's letter quotes from the June 2006 report of DePaul University's Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee which affirms the AAUP guideline: "The Faculty Handbook does not incorporate collegiality as a criterion in promotion and tenure reviews."
Finally, in a significant misquote that goes straight to the issue of academic freedom, the report concludes, "because of the finality of such a decision, the Faculty Handbook states that 'the University retains the utmost latitude in determining which non-tenured faculty members will be retained' and 'should be left without a reasonable doubt as to the faculty member's qualifications for tenure before it reaches a favorable decision on a reappointment to which tenure is attached.'" DePaul's Faculty Handbook actually states, "Consequently, the university has the utmost latitude, within the limits of academic freedom, in determining which non tenured faculty members will be retained." Clearly, the omission of the "within the limits of academic freedom" clause was not accidental. This omission is the damning detail-the authors of the report are well aware that they are violating Finkelstein's academic freedom. Did they think by omitting the clause no one would notice?
But many have noticed and are outraged. It is clear that the minority report seriously violates Finkelstein's academic freedom to tell the truth as he understands it. His scholarship draws on a copious number of documents and testimonies to establish a body of factual truth regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict as well as US-Israel policy. None of these facts are called into question in the minority report; rather, the report's thinly veiled charge is that Finkelstein ought not to have brought these unwelcome truths into the public space. Here again Arendt is helpful. In her essay, "Truth and Politics," Arendt responds to the firestorm that erupted with the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem, taking up the question of whether she ought to have told the truth in her trial report given that it caused such pain and controversy for so many. Numerous of her critics asked, "Would it not have been better to sacrifice a bit of the truth?" Her answer is unambiguous: "no human world destined to outlast the short life span of mortals within it will ever be able to survive without men willing to do what Herodotus was the first to undertake consciously-namely, to say what is. No permanence, no perseverance in existence, can even be conceived of without men willing to testify to what is and appears to them because it is." The bedrock of academic freedom lies in this Arendtian insight: the survival of the world depends upon its truth tellers. It is not too much to claim that Norm Finkelstein's truth-telling, his insistence on the stubborn facts, has helped guarantee the survival of the Palestinian world in the face of so many deceptions that threaten its continued existence.
And so now it is up to the dogs of Hades. Although denied tenure at DePaul, I suspect that like Socrates, Finkelstein will carry the historical day. Like Socrates, he is the gadfly on the back of the twin horses of Israel and the United States; he is the midwife who exposes as 'wind-eggs' so much that passes for truth about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. History will judge him well. It is DePaul's profound loss and shame that he is no longer a member of our faculty. As for academic freedom at DePaul, the dogs are barking.
Professor of Philosophy
These are the same entities that has moved to pressure those within DePaul to deny Norman Finkelstein and Mehrene Larudee tenure at DePaul. I will be watching this with great interest...
The Israel Lobby article, by J. Mearsheimer and S. Walt, available at the London Review of Books
Speechless in ChicagoWall Street Journal
August 7, 2007
Jay Solomon reports on controversy over a planned speech.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington’s pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics’ arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council’s board.
These opponents of the event argued that the two political scientists could only address the Chicago Council if someone from the opposing side, “such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, concurrently appeared on stage with the authors.
“One might argue that our views are too controversial to be presented on their own,” Mearsheimer and Walt wrote. “However, they are seen as controversial only because some of the groups and individuals that we criticized in our original article have misrepresented what we said.”
Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Walt, on the faculty at Harvard, set off a political firestorm last year when they penned an article for the London Review of Books, called the “Israel Lobby,” that argued pro-Israel interest groups had distorted U.S. policies in the Middle East. They also argued that these groups played a central role in promoting the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq.
Since the original article appeared in March 2006, the two academics have appeared at a number of ventures to explain their views, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Press Club and Georgetown University. But a number of leading Jewish-American organizations, such as the ADF and the American Jewish Congress, have consistently charged that Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s views are anti-Semitic and overemphasize the power of the pro-Israel lobby.
Mearsheimer and Walt deny being anti-Semites and said the charges are designed “to discourage respected organizations like the Council from giving us an audience.”
Friday, August 3, 2007
|Palestinian teachers and students at a UN school in Gaza protest against Israeli airstrikes on the previous day (8 November 2006) which killed 18 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. Israel's use of 'collective punishment' are one of the reasons given by Britain's University and College Union for a boycott against Israeli academic institutions. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)|
In the last few weeks, university presidents across the US and Canada have rushed to issue statements about the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the British University and College Union. They view this boycott as a serious violation of academic freedom. Yet, given the general failure of these leaders to comment on any number of infringements of academic freedom that have occurred in recent years, including those close to home in the form of the politically-motivated denial of tenure to Norman Finkelstein and the colleague, Mehrene Larudee, who very publicly supported him, the harassment of Columbia University professors Joseph Massad and Rashid Khalidi, and the intimidation of faculty by Campuswatch, one might be excused for concluding that university presidents prefer to remain above the political fray and reserve their office for grave and important but non-controversial pronouncements on tsunamis. But now, even in the midst of the hot and hazy summer recess, university presidents have mobilized their most imposing academic rhetoric in expressing solidarity with Israeli academics and upholding the rights of all to engage in "an open exchange of ideas" and "freedom of association."
What is perhaps most perplexing about this trend is its entirely virtual nature, for in fact no one's freedom has been violated by the boycott yet under discussion. Nevertheless, university presidents are preparing in advance for what could be an "attack ... [on] all universities at their core mission" (Gilles Patry, University of Ottawa) and a "threat ... [to] the moral foundation of each and every university" (Amy Guttman, University of Pennsylvania).  University of Virginia President John Casteen compares the proposed boycott to "the conduct of the most vicious political movements and governments of the 20th century." Yet, surely they must realize that Palestinians have for many decades suffered a multitude of assaults on their universities and schools by the Israeli occupying forces. Surely if university presidents are up in arms over a proposed boycott of Israeli academics, they must have something to say about the shutting down of universities, jailing and shooting of students and faculty, daily impeding of students and faculty from getting to classes, denial of student permits to attend universities, and revoking of visas to visiting scholars and researchers that characterizes academic life in Palestine. If a boycott of academic institutions is considered unfair, what does one call the methodical destruction of an educational system? If Patry warns about potential "acts of exclusion" against Israeli academics, isn't he concerned that right now, as we speak, all but a handful of Palestinian students are excluded from Israeli institutions and that even within Palestine, the Israelis exclude Palestinian students from their own universities by refusing to issue them the necessary travel permits? Might he see the deportation and nineteen-year exile of his colleague, Birzeit University president Hanna Nasir, as an "act of exclusion"? My own university principal, Karen Hitchcock, is committed to "defend the freedom of individuals to study, teach and carry out research without fear of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination." Do these "individuals" include Palestinians, one wonders? If so, is she prepared to address the erection of checkpoints outside of universities, such as the one outside of Birzeit that resulted in a 20-40 percent reduction in class attendance in 2001 according to Human Rights Watch? The philosopher and critic Judith Butler argues, "If the exercise of academic freedom ceases or is actively thwarted, that freedom is lost, which is why checkpoints are and should be an issue for anyone who defends a notion of academic freedom." 
It is important to realize that the British UCU is targeting Israeli academic institutions (and not individuals) not only because they are linked to the same profession but also because of the place of universities in Israeli society. Israeli universities, far from being sites of dissidence and resistance to their government's discriminatory and violent policies, are themselves guilty of human rights abuses. Bar-Ilan University founded a branch in Ariel, an illegal settlement in the West Bank, making it directly complicit in a continued colonialist expansion project. Hebrew University has a long and deleterious history of appropriating Palestinian land. In 1968, in opposition to a UN resolution, the university evicted hundreds of Palestinian families to expand their campus in East Jerusalem. This history of confiscation continues, as October 2004 saw more evictions of Palestinian families and destruction of their homes for another campus expansion. Israeli faculties collaborate with intelligence services, using their academic expertise to devise sophisticated "interrogation" methods for the Israeli military. And Israeli academics themselves serve in the military as reservists, often in the occupied territories. The British UCU's position is ultimately designed to encourage Israeli academics to do something about the complicity of their universities in the illegal occupation.
Rather than merely showcase inflated rhetoric and verbally denounce the British UCU's boycott, a few university presidents are prepared to go further. In her statement, Karen Hitchcock threatens to add Queen's to the UCU's "boycott list." Modeling her position after Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, ironically a First Amendment scholar, Hitchcock is referring to the petition initiated by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz that enjoins academics to sign on to consider themselves as honorary Israelis and ask also to be boycotted by the UCU. University of California-Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and McGill University Principal Heather Munroe-Blum express similar sentiments in their statements, declaring that should the British UCU choose to boycott Israeli institutions, they should also boycott Berkeley and McGill as well.
When these university presidents challenge the UCU to boycott them in their statements, they indicate that Columbia, Berkeley, McGill and Queen's academics wish to be boycotted along with their Israeli counterparts because they think that such boycotts are wrong. One suspects that there may be faculty, staff, and students at these schools who do not want to be considered honorary Israelis and be boycotted by British universities. Is it within the proper purview of a university's president to make unilateral pronouncements that have such potentially significant consequences for the intellectual welfare of its members? What sort of academic freedom is this if a president has the power to make such decisions for his/her faculty, students, and staff? While there may be many at these universities who welcome such a position, in principle one cannot and should not support it. I believe that it is itself an infringement of academic freedom.
Indeed, for all their professed commitment to "the exchange of knowledge and ideas" (Munroe-Blum) "scholarly understanding and free academic exchange and expression" (Patry), "open inquiry and exchange of ideas" (John Casteen, University of Virginia), "free and unfettered debate" (David Skorton, Cornell University), none amongst this cadre of university presidents seems the least bit concerned with providing the type of open debate on this issue that is purportedly the very hallmark of their institutions. Sadly, it seems that these presidents in fact are rushing to issue statements precisely in order to pre-empt such debate on their campuses. Were these university presidents really committed to their stated positions on intellectual exchange, would they not organize or at least foster a discussion of the issues amongst their constituencies that would examine the motivations behind the proposed boycott? Or are they rushing to stifle debate because they are afraid to be involved in a potentially controversial set of issues? When there has been no open discussion of these issues on campus, what sort of example is set by these statements from on high? I do hope that they will have a "free and unfettered debate" at Cornell. Let the fetters fly!
I suspect, however, that this spate of statements does not bode well for what Casteen calls the university's "unique capacity to serve the public good." It seems that a dangerous precedent has been set in which university presidents recently have taken on the customary role of politicians and accepted politically organized and motivated tours to Israel. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that seven university presidents from the US visited Israel in early July in a campaign designed "to explain Israel's policies to the leaders of US academic institutions and to strengthen scientific collaboration between the two countries."[ 3] In addition to meeting with the educational minister and academic leaders, the university presidents also met with "military experts." Presumably they did not exchange views on Aristotle with the Israeli generals. While we are now accustomed to our elected officials participating in such tours, the university is, I agree with Casteen (a member of the delegation to Israel), supposed to serve the public in a unique way. While I'm not saying that some educational purpose and "free exchange of ideas" did not occur during the presidents' visit, I remain stumped by the meeting with the Israeli military. The Haaretz correspondent, Tamara Traubmann, pinpoints a political agenda in the timing of the trip, writing that "The visit takes place amid attempts to impose an academic boycott of Israel and controversy over Israel on US campuses between the right and the left." If this trip was designed to target university presidents in an attempt to pre-empt debate on campus, then we must ask whether the universities have succumbed, in Bollinger's ominous phrase, to "politically biased attempts to hijack the central mission of higher education."
The university presidents might argue that they are prepared to defend the rights of any group, not just Israelis, to academic freedom. As Tom Traves, President of Dalhousie writes in his statement, "Universities do not have foreign policies and they must assert their right always to be independent of government dictates in the name of short-term political agendas." Yet, when university presidents have allowed numerous violations of academic freedom to Palestinians to pass without comment, they must realize that their statements, rather than "defending the freedom of individuals" as they claim, function precisely as politicized pronouncements in support of the Israeli regime. You cannot let decades of gross injustices to one side pass and then suddenly leap to the defense of the other side without implicating yourself in a political position.
It strikes me as particularly unfortunate, though given the recent mistreatment of Middle East Studies professor Joseph Massad, not unexpected, that Columbia's president should be leading the charge. In 1968, as Hebrew University busied itself in confiscating Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, on the west side of Manhattan, Columbia University was doing something similar. In April of that year, Columbia broke ground in Morningside Park, a neighborhood park adjacent to its main campus, in order to build a gym. The neighborhood outcry was immense and students immediately organized to stop what they saw as an arrogant appropriation of neighborhood space for largely private use. A long protest followed, which though at first violently suppressed by police, was ultimately effective in achieving its goal. The plan for the gym was abandoned and the students' demand for Columbia to sever ties with the Institute of Defense Analysis was also met, a step that surely allowed its scientists to work with greater "openness" and "free exchange of ideas." This was a galvanizing event in Columbia's history and the effectiveness of the protest and ultimate good it achieved in respecting the neighborhood's rights and highlighting the complexity of the racial relations of its residents with the university is now told as a proud moment in Columbia history and nicely archived on its website. This is a history Bollinger and others might learn from, for institutions do need motivation to move forward and transcend their sometimes less-than-illustrious pasts. Supporting a boycott of a university can help those dissidents within the university more effectively work towards change, for the wish to make a favorable impression in the world has frequently served as a catalyst for positive transformation. World opinion was absolutely central to pressuring the US government during the Civil Rights era and to dismantling Apartheid in South Africa. Since the boycott is aimed at institutions not individuals, rather than isolating Israeli academics, the boycott could provide a sort of support to those academics who wish to reform their universities.
There are other tactics aside from a boycott open to us as academics for addressing the suffering of Palestinians in the occupied territories. A university community might well decide upon a different strategy. Recently New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman suggested that universities would do better to educate Palestinian students, establish exchanges, and send faculty to teach in Palestinian universities. I think that these are great ideas and hope that Israel will agree with Friedman and no longer refuse to issue or arbitrarily revoke visas of visiting faculty and prevent Palestinian students and academics from attending meetings abroad. I am certain that "an open exchange of ideas" on university campuses will lead to a lot of different and creative suggestions for considering how we, as academics, can contribute towards improving the plight of our Palestinian colleagues and supporting our Israeli colleagues in doing the same. But let's not condemn the boycott out of hand before that discussion has taken place.
To this end, I have created a petition at my university to ask the principal to retract her statement and support the organization of a forum to discuss the issues relating to the proposed boycott. This is the very least that a university should do. I urge my colleagues at other universities to do likewise.
 All quotations from university presidents, principals, chancellors, etc. that I cite are taken from their statements posted on their university websites.
 "Israel/Palestine and the paradoxes of academic freedom," Judith Butler, Radical Philosophy 135, January/February 2006, p. 11.
 "U.S. university presidents visit Israel to strengthen academic ties," Tamara Traubmann, Haaretz, 3 July 2007.
Margaret Aziza Pappano is an Associate Professor of English at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario; her specialty is medieval literature. In 2006 she visited the West Bank as part of the institute, "Connecting Dearborn and Jerusalem," sponsored by the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
07.02.2007 | CounterPunch
By BILL WILLIAMS
Over the last few weeks, as I have thought hard about how the Finkelstein and Larudee tenure denials went down the way they did, I repeatedly stumble upon a troubling, but perhaps plausible, scenario. Imagine the following phone conversation between the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard, Alan Dershowitz, and John Simon, the Chair of DePaul's Board of Trustees:
Alan Dershowitz: "Is this Finkelstein tenure denial really going to go down without a hitch? There's a lot riding on this."
John Simon: "We'll take care of it Alan. No need to worry. The players are in place. It's a lock. You have my personal assurance."
Alan Dershowitz: "Thanks, John."
You read that correctly: one month before Dershowitz made the case for Israel in front of the Chicago JUF and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Lawyer's Division, with fifty Jenner and Block attorneys in attendance, John Simon became chair of DePaul's Board of Trustees. Three months after Dershowitz makes the case for Israel before fifty Jenner and Block attorneys and 2500 die-hard supporters of Israel at a JUF fundraiser, John Simon officially began his stint as chair of DePaul's Board of Trustees. (See p. 28 and this video). Simon received the ORT Jurisprudence Award in 1999. A little digging allowed me to learn that:
ORT (was created in 1880 by Russian Jews who established new colonies and agricultural schools and model farms to help newly displaced Russian Jews adapt to an agricultural existence. Known as the 'Obschestvo Remeslenovo i. Zemledelcheskovo Trouda,' which translates into the 'Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor,' ORT has developed into an international non-governmental educator that has had schools and programs in 88 countries throughout the world and that helps to educate 300,000 students each year. Today, ORT is a world leader in technological and general education, teaching the skills necessary for success in today's world. (See press release)Was John Simon in attendance at Dershowitz's talk before the Jewish United Fund and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Lawyer's Division? Are Simon and Dershowitz acquaintances? Friends? Was John Simon elected chair of DePaul's Board of Trustees to take care of Norman Finkelstein's tenure case, as a favor to Alan Dershowitz? Who knows? The answers to these questions are merely speculative at this point, but they are certainly worth asking. You can email John Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him for some answers to these questions.
"All of this is merely a coincidence," you say, "Don't be paranoid!" We all know an upstanding professional such as Alan Dershowitz would not try to tamper with Norman Finkelstein's tenure case through DePaul's Board of Trustees nearly two years before his good friend "Norm" was supposed to go up for tenure, right? Or would he?
Readers will remember that Finkelstein gave Dershowitz the drubbing of his life in September 24th, 2003 on Democracy Now!, where Finkelstein accused Dershowitz of concocting a hoax plagiarized from another hoax, a reference to the fact that Dershowitz, in writing his The Case for Israel, "borrowed" - perhaps illegitimately - secondary material from Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
We all know the dangers of positing conspiracy theories, but this one is really too good to pass up:
On the Jenner and Block website advertising Dershowitz's June 2004 speech before the Chicago JUF, you'll notice that the JUF/JF board of directors is headed by Chairman Lester J. Rosenberg and President Steven B. Nasatir. Well, the name Nasatir leapt out at me. As it turns out, one Lonnie Nasatir delivered the joyous news on 6/11/07 from the ADL office about the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Office's stance on Finkelstein's tenure denial. Are Lonnie and Steve Nasatir related? I'm thinking they might be.
Speaking on behalf of the Chicago ADL Office, Lonnie Nasatir insisted that one Claudette Marie Muhmammad, who had been appointed to Rod Blagojevich's Task Force on Hate Crimes, be removed after it was revealed that Muhammad had connections to the Nation of Islam. Imagine what might have happened had a woman with the last name of "Epstein" been removed from Blagojevich's task force for sending money to the Israeli Settler Movement or for proven connections to the Israeli Likud Party. The Heavens would surely have darkened. Add to all this that the Anti-Defamation League actually specializes in defaming U.S. critics of Israel, it's a wonder that Nasatir wasn't rung up on charges of "gross hypocrisy".
Another internal player at DePaul, who undoubtedly watched the Finkelstein tenure proceeding with keen interest, is J.D. Bindenagel, Vice President for DePaul's Community, Government, and International Affairs. Bindenagel was a Holocaust Compensation official in the State Department appointed in 1999 by President Clinton as U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust issues, reaching "agreements on World War II-era forced labor, insurance, art, property restitution, and Holocaust education, research and remembrance." In his The Holocaust Industry: On the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering Finkelstein deals critically with the likes of Bindenagel and Stuart Eizenstat, the author of Imperfect Justice and a key player in the Holocaust Industry racket. Here's what Finkelstein had to say on Bindenagel:
Even Holocaust survivor organizations decry that the Holocaust industry inflated the number of survivors during negotiations only to deflate the number once it had the compensation monies earmarked for Holocaust survivors at hand: "Why during the negotiations were the numbers of actual Shoah survivors so vastly exaggerated and why were the negotiators so fearful that the press and the German and Swiss opponents might challenge their proclaimed survivors statistics?" The inflation now exceeds that of the Weimar years with the US State Department's Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, J.D. Bindenagel, proclaiming that "in the postwar years many millions of Holocaust victims were caught behind the Iron Curtain." (The Holocaust Industry, p. 238-39).
To see Bindenagel's contributions to the Proceedings of the Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, go here. I'm sure this Vice President at DePaul would have loved to have had Finkelstein on the faculty permanently. I'm sure Finkelstein could have reminded Bindenagel on a regular basis the full dimensions of the Holocaust Industry's "Double Shakedown" of Europe. "Hey Norm, let's get a martini at 5 so we can recap the Holocaust Industry's shakedown of Germany and a good bit of Eastern Europe." Probably not - wasn't going to happen.
Assuming DePaul's administration made a commitment nearly three years ago to make sure that Finkelstein would be denied tenure, wouldn't it have just been more honest and efficient for President Dennis Holtscheider to have sent Finkelstein a short note along these lines:
We don't like the conclusions of your scholarship, which are supported by the leading scholars on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Nazi Holocaust, because they aren't conducive to perpetuating the propaganda system that DePaul University is dedicated to upholding under the banner of 'Vincentian Personalism,' so we'll accuse you of advocacy, which suffuses all social-science scholarship.This is truly defamation, Zionist-style. To hide behind the obvious bad-faith language of the tenure denial letter itself, which is effectively disposed of by Kim Petersen in his three-part essay on Bathos at DePaul/Academe, really requires chutzpah. But when it comes to justifying the unjustifiable and explaining the unexplainable, chutzpah is all you've got to lean on.
If there's no place for Norman G. Finkelstein in American Academe, what does that mean? I'm afraid it means that American Academe isn't ready for serious scholarship, especially when it impedes U.S. and Israeli war aims in the Middle East.
Bill Williams is an independent writer who lives in Toledo, Ohio. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
One of our main goals with the fast is to keep pressure on the administration and another great opportunity will arise on Monday. Freshman Orientation starts at DePaul on Monday and not only will future students be there, but there parents will be as well. We will hopefully have media/press here at the Student Center.
As always, if anyone is around and wants to participate/support in the fast, please feel to come by Monday at noon to the DePaul Student Center located at 2250 N. Sheffield, a block south of the Fullerton El stop.
Thank you once again for all the support from everyone. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
We came to DePaul's graduation to hold banners saying, "Tenure for Finkelstein and Larudee" and we came to support the twenty five or so graduating seniors that were to hand the president, Fr. Denis Holtschneider, a letter of disapproval instead of shaking his hand. Our plan was to hold the signs up for as long as we could, but to do it silently so we would not be disruptive; and this was actually my biggest fear-not getting the message across with tact. My fears quickly went away as I noticed that the graduation was only fractionally as formal as I expected. There were signs, banners, and airhorns- it seemed more like a party than a graduation and the administration accepted this because the moment was about the students, not DePaul.
We were there as each name was read, A-Z, holding our signs and cheering after each graduate handed the president a letter. The process worked like clockwork- the announcer would read a card, the student would walk across stage, shake the president's hand/ give him a letter, wave to the camera, and then the next person was up. One by one each graduating senior was allowed to express themselves any way they wanted to, be it having their middle name announced, wearing sunglasses, dancing in front of the camera, hugging the president, or slapping him on the behind. Everything was fair game because this was the student's graduation. But halfway through the letter 'S', there was a long pause. As a bystander, there was an obvious problem and you could see it on the announcer's face. The student had handed the announcer a card that read 'Norman Finkelstein' and she did not know if she should read it or not. Finally you could read her lips on the two jumbotrons- "I can't read this". So the student leaned over into the microphone and screamed the words- 'Norman Finkelstein'. At that moment you could see the demeanor of every administrator on stage change. The student made her point.
But what is so wrong with reading the words 'Norman Finkelstein'? They are words and they can not hurt. An argument can be made that words do hurt, but neither the words 'Norman' nor 'Finkelstein' have a negative connotation. In fact, it has been my experience that those words are positive around DePaul, especially in regards to students. So why could they not be read? After all, students were walking across the stage and accosting the president of a university for the sake of a show. They were trying to create a spectacle and did so with no repercussions. And that is the way it is supposed to be, its about the graduates. So why not read the name, the name of someone who was so valueless to the university that they let him go a week before?
It's because those words inspire. Those words inspire students to learn, they inspire students to understand the world they live in, they inspire students to dissent. And those words inspire fear among the administration.
DePaul's administration wants this entire situation to go away. Fr. Holtschneider can talk all he wants about civil disobedience, like he did on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but in actuality he just wants to maintain the status quo. He wants an apathetic core of students that buy into the rah-rahness of 'Vincentian values' so they donate as an alumni. The idea of 'Vincentian values' is so vague and ambiguous that they themselves morph into whatever is most beneficial at that moment. It is a level of control.
Maybe I am being paranoid about DePaul wanting to rid the campus of this F-word. But when I called the school's bookstore (actually both of them) to see if they had any copies of Professor Finkelstein's books, the nice older lady from the bookstore downtown said that up until about a week ago they always carried at least one of his books or had them coming in, but that have since removed them from the store. Maybe there is something to it and maybe there isn't. But at this point of desperation for DePaul, I would not put it past them. What better way to get rid of the thought of a professor than to take away his texts? Without his voice on campus and without his books in the store, the professor disappears and his ideas go away; life at DePaul continues to be comfortable.
But that is not the case of Norman Finkelstein. DePaul can't kill off his ideas, no matter how hard they try. Maybe its because his classes were transformative experiences-after taking one, you are never the same person. Maybe its because you can see his sacrifice for social justice in his face and hear it in his voice. Or maybe its because his heart has the same ambition and aim that 'Vincentian Values' once had, before DePaul got a hold of them and bastardized their worth for the sake of a marketing ploy. Regardless, Professor Finkelstein, unintentionally, is bigger than not just the Political Science department, but DePaul as a whole, and that scares people.
So DePaul not reading the words 'Norman Finkelstein' does not surprise me. It shouldn't. This is a university that puts dollars as its top priority, just ahead of finding professors who follow the norms and don't ask questions. I guess I should be thankful that there is quality faculty that has tenure. But having to be thankful for professors sliding in under the radar was not what I expected the last time I wrote my tuition check.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
by Brian Leiter
On his web site, Professor Finkelstein has posted a very fine letter by a philosopher in the U.K. sent to the President of DePaul University, Dennis Holtschneider (you may e-mail President Holtschneider here regarding the tenure case). The letter writer notes a point we have touched on in the past, namely, the misuse of the term "ad hominem" to describe certain kinds of criticism. Our U.K. philosopher wrote, in pertinent part, as follows:
I write to you as a retired teacher of Philosophy, formerly a lecturer in the University of Wales, and a founding member of the Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards, to express my dismay at your decision to refuse tenure to Norman Finkelstein and to dismiss him.
In defending your position, you refer more than once in your letter to him to ‘ad hominem attacks’ he has made upon other scholars, thus endorsing the complaint made publicly against him by Alan Dershowitz.
As I’m sure I don’t need to point out to you, ‘ad hominem’ refers to the fallacy of inferring the falsity of a statement from the bad character of the individual making it. But I’m not sure if you and Dershowitz understand the term in its technical sense. The implication of your use of the logician’s term of art is that Finkelstein is guilty of a scholarly offence: but I doubt that you could point to an instance of it in his writings. To the contrary, Finkelstein draws adverse conclusions about an individual’s character from the falsity of what he or she says, a perfectly reasonable procedure (where the falsity can’t be put down to innocent error). In drawing such conclusions Finkelstein is hardly guilty, as you suggest, of not being ‘objective’ in his ‘professional judgement of colleagues’, unless you think that objectivity is the same as neutrality. Nor can you think that he fails to show ‘due respect for the opinions of others’ unless you hold the absurd view that all opinions are worthy of respect.
No one, of course, actually holds "the absurd view that all opinions are worthy of respect." But many people, unsurprisingly, hold the view that their absurd "opinions are worthy of respect," which is almost always what is at issue when careless accusations of "ad hominem" attacks are bandied about.
On Friday the Illinois Conference of the American Association of University Professors sent a letter to the university’s president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider....In the two-page letter, Leo Welch, the chapter’s president, says the decision to deny tenure to the two assistant professors violated both the association’s standards and those of DePaul’s own Faculty Handbook.
Mr. Finkelstein’s alleged lack of “collegiality” appears to have been the “sole basis” for denying him tenure, Mr. Welch writes. “It is entirely illegitimate for a university to deny tenure to a professor out of fear that his published research … might hurt a college’s reputation,” he says. The association has explicitly rejected collegiality as an appropriate criterion for evaluating faculty members, and has criticized it as “ensuring homogeneity” and undermining the leadership role of colleges and universities, according to the letter.
There aren't many opportunities for me to fast, though Buddhists monks have always told me that fasting is a personal display of self-restraint, as a path to understanding. That is the approach I take to this protest. I have spent time meditating on the events of the past few weeks and on self-reflection, and I have only been emboldened in my protest. I feel hunger, of course, though I do not feel any desire to eat. This fast have given me greater clarity in this quest.
Thank you for your interest in our cause... I apologize if this is kindof a weird post. Take it easy...
by John K. Wilson
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Available at: http://collegefreedom.blogspot.com/2007/06/finkelsteins-bitchin-as-one-of-few.html
As one of the few people in America who has never referred to someone as a "bitch" and dislikes the term intensely, I am quite amused by Alan Dershowitz's recent article for David Horowitz's online zine. Dershowitz cites a Chicago Sun-Times report on the minority report of three members of DePaul's department of political science objecting to Norman Finkelstein.
As Peter Kirstein observes, the story further confirms that DePaul used inappropriate collegiality criteria as the reason to oppose to Finkelstein. However, Dershowitz focuses on one element of this report: that Finkelstein allegedly called a female staff member a "bitch." Needless to say, if every professor who ever called someone a "bitch" was fired, we'd pretty much clear out every university. To use an unproven claim like this, which is entirely unrelated to Finkelstein's qualifications, should outrage everyone on the left or the right. How long will it take to find someone who ever heard Dershowitz use the word "bitch" or some other offensive term?
It is ironic that the DePaul professors who were so unprofessional in denying Finkelstein tenure because he was unkind to them use the term "unprofessional" in describing Finkelstein's rudeness, as if politeness rather than the search for truth embodied the work of a professor.